The View from the Firehouse
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Monday, February 28, 2005Terri
I’ve joined Blogs for Terri in an effort to make known the plight of Mrs. Schiavo, but what can I say about her that hasn’t already been said. I don’t know this young lady, but I know that God the Father does know her as a matter of fact loves her very much.
I have a hard time understanding how people can think that allowing someone to die by dehydration is humane. If I did this to one of my dogs I’d be thrown in jail. I have never watched someone die in this unthinkable way but Ann from ILJ has and I’ll let her words speak for me:
Bob had a stroke that was a fairly mild one but during it he fell and hit his head. He was paralyzed. He couldn’t speak because of respirator tubes. He knew who came to see him. The heart beat and respiration monitors clearly showed response. The brain scans showed activity in cognitive areas. After about 2 weeks he could move a finger on one hand to squeeze or take it away for yes and no…if he was not too busy holding on with it. He was “awake” more and more. He tried to speak around the tubes. They let him try breathing in his own and he could do it though the doctors said he “shouldn’t be able to do it” He could now say yes, naaa, JeJeJesus, an approximation of his wife’s name, waaa (water) and pay, which seemed to mean pray and what he did when he said that was put his hand on yours and pray for you. He started to move one foot then the other. He wiggled his toes when you rubbed his foot. He cried and smiled usually in appropriate context. He recognized his stepchildren, grandchildren, and friends. He reacted differently to different people. He started to put his foot out from under the sheet when someone who usually rubbed it came in. The doctor told his wife that he would never recover and was "not worth keeping alive'. He told her they were going to give Bob “a painless death” by sedating him and taking away all IV’s and tube feedings,. They would put a dehydrator on him to take fluids out more quickly. He said it would take 3 days. He said it had to be. She believed him and believed it would be painless. The 2nd day he cried for water and kept saying pay, pay, pay waaa, pay waaa. And 2 new words, please, and why why. Someone who hoped for a last second miracle brought him a prayer cloth. His friends prayed. He is lungs cleared up. His breathing was not raspy any more. He pulled himself up in bed and held out his arms to his family. The medical staff came in and saw him and sedated him into unconsciousness. He still cried waaa, pay, waaa, and thrashed in agony even in his “sleep” . Monitors recorded heart and respiration patterns consistent with great pain and nothing else but pain. Even in his "sleep'' until the last day. 6 days later he died. There were angels in his room. The nurses saw them too. We were there at least 16 hrs of every one of those days and of the weeks before it. He was our friend. I know he is in heaven and heaven is a better place than Cleveland. I still miss him very much.
For anyone wanting to know this is the thread that Ann first posted this. And I have since received her permission to use it here.
This is no way to treat another human being.
Sunday, February 27, 2005Total Depravity
This is my two cents for Flannel's Bible study blog stye:
This is for those people like me that need to look these things up ;)
The corruption that entered the human race in that moment corrupted us body, soul, and spirit. Thus enters the concept of Total Depravity, wherein due to the corruption of sin, man has a tendency to sin all other things being equal. This seems to bear out when I look out at the world. It doesn’t mean that all people are psychotic madmen, it just means that people tend to not do the right thing. Just get out in rush hour traffic to test this theory
I think we can see the effect of sin on the world very easily. I believe the further we get away from God the more sin effects everything around us. There is more sickness and death around us then I can remember. Not to mention the fact there seem to be more perverts and just plain sick people out there then I can remember (this may just be the fact that the number of people on earth today and that we now have 24hr news)
Now as far as rather man chose to sin. I believe so. We have to look no farther than Romans:
3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.For an example take children. When they are raised without any form of discipline (which seems to be the norm now of days) what happens, they become unruly and in some cases down right evil.
Now for what I feel is the biggest problems we face today:
1. Is the acceptance of sin as the norm, we now have acceptable forms of murder, and you can now do just about anything you want as long as it doesn’t “hurt” anyone or thing.
2. It’s never your fault if you do hurt someone, it is always someone or something’s fault.
The true problem today is we have gotten so far form God and His will for our lives that the line between good and evil has become fainter and fainter.
Thursday, February 24, 2005VOM-USA News & Prayer Update
"Sing, O heavens!
Be joyful, O earth!
And break out in singing, O mountains!
For the LORD has comforted His people,
And will have mercy on His afflicted.
But Zion said, 'The LORD has forsaken me,
And my Lord has forgotten me.'
'Can a woman forget her nursing child,
And not have compassion on the son of her womb?
Surely they may forget,
Yet I will not forget you.
See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands'" (Isaiah 49:13-16a).
VOM Web Team
Prayers for February 22, 2005
From The Voice of the Martyrs
The Voice of the Martyrs Visit: Persecution.com
CHINA (ASSIST News Service)
Ms. Liu Xianzhi, 34, a member of the South China Chuch, told a press conference about her experiences of torture, sexual abuse and arbitrary imprisonment by Chinese police, experiences that still continue to haunt her. She escaped from China last month after serving her sentence in a labor camp, making Christmas lights and rugs. In 2001, police arrested Ms. Liu and tortured her into falsely testifying that the pastor of the South China Church, Gong Shengliang, raped her. She is one of 8,903 members of the South China Church whom police have arrested for their religious beliefs, including Pastor Gong, who is serving a life sentence in prison based on multiple confessions obtained through torture. (Click here)
Pray God will strengthen Liu, take away her painful memories, and bring His peace and healing into her heart. Pray those still in prison will remain strong in their faith and have opportunities to share with those who have never heard of Jesus. Pray Liu's witness at the press conference will bring about a change in U.S. policy toward China and her suffering will not have been in vain.
Pray for EGYPT
EGYPT (Compass Direct)
Shafik Saleh Shafik, a Christian director of a home for troubled Coptic girls, is being tried this week in a criminal court. He was charged with holding a 16-year-old girl against her will, beating her and attempting to rape her. He dismisses the charges as a "contrived" attempt to halt his recovery ministry among young Coptic girls who are being enticed to leave their families and convert to Islam. Shafik, 57, holds both Egyptian and American citizenship. After returning from his U.S. business four years ago, he and his wife returned to Egypt to minister among poor and disadvantaged youth in the Coptic Christian community. (Click here)
Pray the fabricated evidence against Shafik will be exposed and he will be set free. Pray God will use this situation to alert Christians around the world to the lack of religious freedom in Egypt. Pray for the young girl who lied, perhaps was forced to lie, about Shafik's treatment of her.
Pray for ERITREA
ERITREA (Compass Direct)
Another 31 Christians have been jailed recently, making a total of 187 arrests for "illegal" Christian activities since the beginning of the year. A doctor was arrested the last week of January, and a professor of the agriculture faculty at Eritrea University was put under arrest on February 3rd, in Asmara. The next day, 14 believers were apprehended during a Bible study at the home of their pastor. On February 12th, 15 Christian women were jailed at the police station in Keren, as "a threat to national security," even though they had gathered merely for the purpose of prayer.
Pray the Holy Spirit will comfort and strengthen all Christians imprisoned in Eritrea. Pray the Lord will bring peace to the troubled minds of the families and friends of those who are suffering in prison. Pray our omnipotent Father will move in power to change the hearts of Eritrean authorities toward Christians.
Pray for INDIA
INDIA (Press Trust of India)
On Sunday, February 13th, six trainee evangelists of the Believers Church were beaten up, allegedly by RSS workers in the District of Kerala. The attackers forced the evangelists to board an auto-rickshaw and roughed them up after taking them some distance. They were later admitted to a private hospital. No arrest has been made in connection with the incident.
Pray God will fill these believers with His forgiveness and love. Pray He will give them great peace, heal them quickly, and allow them to use this experience to His eternal glory. Pray Hindus will long for the God of love who wants to know them and fellowship with them.
Pray for IRAN
IRAN (Compass Direct)
On February 16th, a military court sentenced Hamid Pourmand, an Assemblies of God lay pastor, to three years in prison for deceiving the armed forces about his faith. Although Pourmand, who converted from Islam to Christianity nearly 25 years ago, had documented proof that the army knew he was a Christian before he was given officer rank, the court ruled the documents were falsified. He faces automatic discharge from the army and forfeits his entire income, pension and housing for his family. His lawyer plans to appeal the case before the Supreme Court and block any efforts to try Pourmand before a Shariah (Islamic) court on charges of apostasy and proselytizing. (Click here)
Pray God will work a miracle of His grace to give Pourmand supernatural peace concerning his family. Ask God to give him opportunities to witness to his faith while in prison. Pray Christians worldwide will find a way to help his wife and children. Pray God will even now prepare the hearts of the Supreme Court judges to see the truth in this situation, release Pourmand, and block any attempt to have him tried under Shariah law.
Thursday, February 17, 2005Noah's Ark Everything I need to know, I learned from Noah's Ark.
ONE: Don't miss the boat.
TWO: Remember that we are all in the same boat.
THREE: Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the Ark.
FOUR: Stay fit. When you're 60 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big! .
FIVE: Don't listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done.
SIX: Build your future on high ground.
SEVEN: For safety's sake, travel in pairs.
EIGHT: Speed isn't always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.
NINE: When you're stressed, float awhile.
TEN: Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals.
ELEVEN: No matter the storm, when you are with God, there's always a rainbow waiting.
1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.
5. Don’t search around and look for the “coolest” book you can find. Do what’s actually next to you.
Ok so the closet book to was the phone book, I thought it would be best not to put someone’s phone number on my blog. This book was on top of a pile of books on my bookshelf:
What has happened to our concept of common sense?
Taking America Back by Joseph Farah
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, 'For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.' Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:35-39).
Please pray the love of Christ will surround our persecuted brethren and their families, so that the life of Jesus Christ will overflow and touch darkened hearts around them!
VOM Web Team
Prayers for February 15, 2005
From The Voice of the Martyrs
The Voice of the Martyrs Visit: Persecution.com
CAMBODIA (ASSIST News Service)
Since 2001, thousands of Montagnards have fled Vietnam for Cambodia, to escape persecution. The Montagnard Foundation has received information that Cambodian police are continuing to arrest and forcibly return Montagnard asylum seekers back to Vietnamese police for cash bounties. In early February, six Montagnard Degar people were arrested and handed over. The bounty paid by the Vietnamese government to Cambodian police for these refugees was 5 million dong (about $355 U.S.). On April 10, 2004, when thousands of Christian Montagnards conducted a peaceful prayer vigil inside Vietnam's Central Highlands, Vietnamese security forces attacked the demonstrators, wounding hundreds and killing many.
Pray God will keep the Montagnard Christians fearless and bold despite their treatment. Pray the government of Vietnam will protect the Christians in their country. Pray the Holy Spirit will move in power to change the hearts of the Cambodian police who deal with refugees, convicting them of their inhumanity and giving them a longing for Jesus' forgiveness.
Pray for ETHIOPIA
ETHIOPIA (VOM Canada)
VOM sources report disturbing news from the town of Alaba (K'olito) in Southern Ethiopia. Evangelical Christians in the area have been the victims of severe physical abuse, confiscation and destruction of property, extortion, kidnapping, forcible marriage and unlawful imprisonment. Hajji Husman Mohamed, a former Muslim Imam, has suffered several times since his conversion to Christ. Last December, all of his property was taken from him, including furniture, cattle, and a year's supply of grain. On February 1st, he and his family, including his pregnant wife, were severely beaten for hours. Since the Ethiopian Constitution allows flexibility in administering justice in local areas, any investigation of these events is unlikely. Alaba is 99 percent Muslim, and its regional office is the first to have requested the government for permission to implement Shariah (Islamic) law.
Pray God will give Hajji Husman Mohamed and his family peace and grace as they deal with their attackers. Pray all Christians in Ethiopia will follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit in all they do and say. Pray the Muslim attackers will fall under the conviction of the Holy Spirit, repent of their violent anger and seek Christ's mercy.
Pray for IRAN
IRAN (Compass Direct)
In late January, Christian pastor Hamid Pourmand went on trial before a military court and was charged with deceiving the Iranian armed forces about his religion. But according to his family and Christian acquaintances, Pourmand had never concealed his religious conversion. It is against the laws of Iran for non-Muslims to become officers in the military. It is expected that regardless of the outcome of his deception charges before the military court, Pourmand will now be forcibly discharged from the Iranian army and face trial on two separate charges of apostasy and proselytizing, charges punishable by execution in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Pourmand has a wife and two children. (Click here)
Pray God will protect his servant, keeping him strong and faithful through every ordeal he faces. Pray Jesus will comfort his wife and children with a peaceful assurance that Pourmand is in His care. Pray Christians worldwide will protest the treatment of this man in the world's only theocratic country.
Pray for NIGERIA
NIGERIA (Compass Direct)
On January 28th, in Numan, a town in Northern Nigeria, a Christian woman was shot to death by soldiers deployed to the town to keep order. Christian leaders say the killing, combined with the state government's ouster of Numan's Christian monarch and its failure to prosecute a Muslim fanatic who killed a female Christian evangelist in the town 19 months ago, amounts to persecution. Meanwhile, in the northern city of Kano, the family of Yusuf Olawale, 27, reported him missing and believe he may have been killed. The family has not heard from him since his arrest by Islamic law enforcers on May 13, 2004, on allegations that he breached Shariah law, the Islamic legal code. (Click here)
Pray the Holy Spirit will move in power to bring His merciful peace to the town of Numan. Pray He will give the Christians His love for their Muslim enemies. Pray God will comfort the family of Yusuf Olawale, knowing that whatever his circumstances, the Lord is with him.
Pray for UNITED STATES
UNITED STATES (ASSIST News Service)
On January 14th, in New Jersey, Hossam Armanious, his wife and their two children (a Coptic Christian family) were found bound, gagged and stabbed to death in their home. According to Freedom Now News, family members are loathe to blame Muslim extremists for the murders but point out that the details of the killings are similar to murders perpetrated by extremists in Egypt, where Coptic Christians have been bound, gagged and had their throats slit. According to several reports, Armanious boldly proclaimed his faith on Internet chat rooms and invited Muslims to believe in Christ.
Pray God will comfort the family members and keep them safe from further harm. Pray this attack will be a wake-up call to all Muslims to protest the violence of radical Muslim fundamentalists worldwide. Pray the Lord will give His people a love for those who oppose Him.
Tuesday, February 01, 2005VOM prayers Feb 1
"Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word" (Psalm 119:105,114, KJV).
Many Christians in hostile countries are starved for the Word of God. In the book, Hearts of Fire, a young Pakistani girl's hunger for the Truth caused her to risk everything just so she could read God's Word.
"Gradually the words drew her in, soothing her anxiety and encouraging
her with God's love. She became so absorbed in her Scripture reading that
she lost track of time and failed to notice that her father had stepped into
The wife of VOM's founder, Sabina Wurmbrand, a prisoner for Christ in Romania for three years, shared in her book, The Pastor's Wife, how she and her fellow prisoners hungered for the Word more than physical bread.
"We had no Bible. We...hungered for it more than bread. How I wished I'd learned more of it by heart. But we repeated daily those passages we knew.... We learned what newcomers brought and taught them what we knew. So an unwritten Bible circulated through all Romania's prisons."
Though Christians face death or imprisonment for being caught with a Bible, many still seek Him and the blessing of His Word. May we be found to be so faithful!
Thank you for upholding the persecuted church in your prayers!
VOM Web Team
Prayers for February 1, 2005
From The Voice of the Martyrs
The Voice of the Martyrs Visit: Persecution.com
BURMA (ASSIST News Service)
On January 24th, more than 400 exiled Chins from Burma gathered near the Burmese Embassy in New Delhi, India, to condemn the Burmese military junta's systematic practice of religious persecution against Chin Christians in their homeland. According to Chinland Guardian, community leaders and Chin Christian pastors from several denominations led the large group, speaking boldly on behalf of the persecuted believers and demonstrating their solidarity with persecuted Chin Christians in Burma. The demonstration came in response to the Burmese military junta's recent destruction of the last remaining Christian cross planted by an inter-denominational group in Matupi, a town in the southern Chin state. The Burmese army has restricted all kinds of Christian activities, not even allowing Bibles to be printed in the country.
Pray the Chin Christians will be bold in their faith and a shining light of love in the darkness around them. Pray God will work a miracle of His grace to bring many soldiers to Christ and stop the violent persecution of Christians in Burma. Pray Chin believers around the world will be able to return to their homeland and encourage the Christians there.
Pray for IRAN
IRAN (Open Doors)
On September 9th, police invaded the annual general conference of Iran's Assemblies of God Church, arresting 85 church leaders. Every person present was put under arrest, blindfolded and taken in for interrogation. That evening all the arrested Christians except for 10 pastors and elders were released with a warning not to attend church services. On September 12th, nine pastors and elders were released quite late in the night; but due to police surveillance monitoring their movements and telephone conversations, they were not able to make direct contact with other believers after their release. Only the lay pastor, Hamid Pourmand, remained in detention incommunicado. In November, he was moved to a military prison where he has not been allowed any contact with his family. He has not been formally charged, but if he is accused of apostasy, it is a capital offense.
Pray our gracious Savior will surround Pastor Pourmand with His comforting presence and peace. Pray He will also strengthen Pourmand's family, giving them a firm trust that he is in His loving care. Pray he will be released soon. Pray God will turn the hearts of many Muslim officials to Jesus.
Pray for KAZAKHSTAN
A controversial new law on "extremism" is leading religious believers to expect mounting restrictions on their rights. The bill includes a provision to "forbid the activity of religious associations which have broken the Republic of Kazakhstan's laws on countering extremist activity." The draft law, including amendments to ban religious organizations before a court decision, is now with the lower house of the Kazakh parliament. The recent closing of a Christian children's home and criminal cases against local Baptists for holding unregistered worship services are the latest moves in a series of events that have led believers to expect mounting restrictions on worshipping freely.
Pray our omnipotent Father will halt the passage of this bill. Pray Christians will be faithful followers of their Shepherd Jesus as He protects them from the wolves in their society. Pray the Lord will lead many people in Kazakhstan to faith in Christ.
Pray for PAKISTAN
PAKISTAN (Compass Direct)
The arm of Shahbaz Masih, a young Christian shopkeeper in Punjab province, was chopped off when he refused to rent a television set to a Muslim butcher, Ahmed Ali. Ali became furious and returned shortly afterwards with a butcher's ax and chopped off Masih's left arm near the elbow. As he left, he threatened the victim and his widowed mother with even more "dire consequences" for the alleged insult he had endured. Discharged from the hospital four days later, Masih was forced to close his shop and leave the village with his mother and go into hiding. Although Ali was arrested after pressure from local church officials, the police are under heavy pressure to establish his innocence. (Click here)
Pray Masih and his mother will find refuge among Christians who will protect and support them. Pray he will find suitable employment and grow in faith as the Lord provides his needs. Pray God will see that justice is done and Ali will turn to God through faith in His Son Jesus.
(ASSIST News Service)
On January 10th, a 58-year-old Christian, Hanifan Bibi, and her family were abducted and tortured for two days. According to a report from the Centre for Legal Aid and Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS), her Muslim employer, Saeedan Batni, along with two other men, broke into her home and abducted her, as well as her husband, son and nephew. They stripped Hanifan, hung her upside down and beat her with a hot iron pipe. They also beat and kicked her husband and son. After holding them for two days without food and water, they were taken to the police station where Hanifan was accused of stealing from her employer. CLAAS is endeavoring to pressure Pakistani authorities to take this incident seriously. From all indications, Hanifan's "crime" was her faith in Christ.
Pray Hanifan and her family will know the loving, healing presence of Jesus in a very special way. Pray the authorities will take action against Batni and the others involved in this incident. Pray God will work a miracle of His grace to soften the hearts of Pakistani Muslims, giving them grateful hearts for these faithful Christian servants and bringing them to salvation through Christ.
Anwer Masih, who was arrested in November 2003, has been acquitted of blasphemy, making him the first Pakistani Christian ever acquitted of such charges. Although cleared of blasphemy charges, Masih remains in hiding, unable to be reunited with his wife and four children, as extremists from the Islamic Religious Army have vowed to kill him. He joins more than a dozen other Pakistani Christians who, despite their innocence, have been forced to apply for asylum abroad to live under new identities.
Give thanks and praise to God for Anwer Masih's release. Pray the Lord will put a shield of protection around him and his family and let them be reunited in a safe place. Pray Muslim authorities in Pakistan will come to know our loving and merciful Savior.
Pray for SUDAN
SUDAN (ASSIST News Service)
Adventist Development and Relief Agency International (ADRA) has appealed for the release of three of its workers who were abducted at gunpoint, along with their project vehicles, on December 16, 2004, while traveling through a then rebel-controlled area. ADRA's convoy had official permission to deliver equipment and supplies to rehabilitate 65 damaged and abandoned wells and construct 45 new wells. Water is urgently needed in the region, and ADRA says it is senseless to continue to hold these men and equipment. There has been no news of the whereabouts or condition of these men.
Pray the Lord will comfort the abducted workers, drawing them close to Himself. Pray Christians worldwide will learn of this outrage and raise a cry of protest. Pray these men will be found and returned to their families.