The View from the Firehouse

The one thing that is universal in fire stations the world round, is usually late at night there is a deck of cards, a pot of coffee and two or three fire fighters sitting around solving the worlds problems. It’s just a shame that no one listens to us.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

The Hounds of Sin

“A dear friend of mine who was quite a lover of the chase, told me the following story: ‘Rising early one morning,’ he said, ‘I heard the baying of a score of deerhounds in pursuit of their quarry. Looking away to a broad, open field in front of me, I saw a young fawn making its way across, and giving signs, moreover, that its race was well-nigh run. Reaching the rails of the enclosure, it leaped over and crouched within ten feet from where I stood. A moment later two of the hounds came over, when the fawn ran in my direction and pushed its head between my legs. I lifted the little thing to my breast, and, swinging round and round, fought off the dogs. I felt, just then, that all the dogs in the West could not, and should not capture that fawn after its weakness had appealed to my strength.’ So is it, when human helplessness appeals to Almighty God. Well do I remember when the hounds of sin were after my soul, until, at last, I ran into the arms of Almighty God.”-A. C. Dixon.

I think this paints an pretty accurate picture of what it is like when we surrender ourselfs to God.

# Posted by Alyfireman :: 5:14 AM :: |

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Prayers for February 21, 2006

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."
(Jeremiah 29:11-13).

From The Voice of the Martyrs
The Voice of the Martyrs Visit:
Pray for CHINA
CHINA (Compass Direct)
When Chinese house-church historian Zhang Yinan applied for a passport, in order to attend a prayer breakfast in Washington this month, police immediately surrounded his house and followed his wife to the hospital where she works as a nurse. Zhang, 50, was arrested on September 26, 2003, and imprisoned for two years on charges of "attempting to subvert the national government." He was released last September, but the Lushan County Police Bureau has retained his personal documents, including his identity card, making it impossible for him to travel. Police in Henan used Zhang’s personal prayer journals as evidence to accuse him of trying to overthrow the government. Zhang recently demanded the return of these journals and other documents, but police officer Li Haitao, Zhang’s chief interrogator, refused. When asked for an explanation, Li said he had to continue studying the journals to find any other incriminating evidence against Zhang.

Pray Zhang will hold fast his faith and witness to the lordship of Jesus Christ. Pray God will give Zhang His mind-boggling spirit of love toward the officials who are harassing him. Pray Li Haitao will actually read Zhang’s journals and be drawn to the One who is calling him.

Pray for INDIA
INDIA (Compass Direct)
Christianity is a major threat to Indian nationalism, indicated organizers of a "reconversion" rally held last weekend in Gujarat yesterday during the closing ceremony. Organizers of the Shabri Kumbh led the 60,000-strong crowd to repeat, "I will save my religion," and the throng often shouted, "Jai Shri Ram (Praise be to the god Rama)." The assembly resolved to save the Hindu religion and Bharat Mata (Mother India goddess) by reconverting Christians. Sadhvi Ritambhara, a popular Hindu preacher whose programs are aired on several TV channels, said, "They (Christians) call us harvest. They intend to pluck us out. And foreigners want to do this to us." Ritambhara said it was imperative for Hindus to take up arms to save their religion.

Pray the God of love and peace will protect His children. Pray the Lord will give Indian Christians an extra measure of discernment and courageous hearts to proclaim the gospel. Pray their witness will draw many to Christ.

(Gospel for Asia)
In a recent incident, two Gospel for India (GFA) missionaries in Haryana were attacked as they were showing the Man of Mercy film about Jesus. More than 200 villagers had gathered to watch the film in the courtyard of a believer’s home when a group of young Hindu militants attacked and started beating the missionaries. William, one of the missionaries, is the pastor of a Believers Church; and Eno, the other, works in the Gospel for Asia film ministry. Some of those watching the film tried to rescue the believers, but they, too, were cruelly beaten. The police came and took control of the situation, but as soon as they left, about 1,000 radicals surrounded the house, shouting anti-Christian slogans and threatening the believers. Miraculously, God intervened and the owner prevented them from entering his property. If this were an isolated incident, it would still be extremely serious. But it is worse. All across India, Hindu radicals are openly attacking Christians, and the situation is getting more and more difficult for believers.

Give thanks to God that He prevented the radical Hindus from entering the home of the believer who allowed this film to be shown on his property. Pray William and Eno will not become discouraged and will be strengthened to carry forward His ministry. Pray God’s love will touch those who are spreading the darkness of hate over the nation of India and He will renew their hearts.

Pray God will comfort the injured believers and heal them quickly. Pray they will remain grounded and steadfast in their faith. Pray the Holy Spirit will move in great power throughout India to break the spiritual bondage of Hinduism.

Pray for the NIGERIA
NIGERIA (Compass Direct)
A nursing school was recently closed down following the suspected kidnapping of a Christian student by Islamic militants on Friday (February 10th). The extremists had accused Ladi Mohammed, a female student of the School of Nursing and Midwifery in the capital city of northern Nigeria’s Sokoto state, of blasphemy against the prophet Mohammed. "For this reason, the militants, who threatened to cut off her head, hunted and kidnapped her after she fled from the school," said John Usman, a Christian student at the institution. School authorities closed the school for security reasons. They had already expelled Mohammed from the institution last week for the alleged remarks. School authorities would not say what she uttered to elicit such a harsh reaction from the Muslim students and institutional authorities. She is not with the police, and her parents have been searching for her.

Pray Jesus will surround Ladi Mohammed with the certainty of His calm and loving presence. Pray the police will make a serious effort to find her. Pray God will comfort her family and Christian friends with the knowledge that the battle is His.

A February 14th report from Middle East Concern states the Gaza office of the Palestine Bible Society has been forced to close. The Bible Society received a letter from militants demanding the Bible Society completely close down their operations and not reopen anywhere else in Gaza. They also demanded the landlord evict them from the building by February 28th. The letter warned if these demands were not met, all residents should leave the building because it will be blown up March 1st. A bomb was placed outside the office to reinforce the threat. As a result of the letter, the landlord has demanded the office close, at least for the time being. The building also houses several Muslim families. Palestinian Christians ask us to pray they will trust the Lord’s protection and not give way to these threats.

Pray God will give Palestinian Christians great discernment to do His will in response to this threat. Pray He will protect them as they follow His guidance. Pray the Holy Spirit will move in great power to thwart the plans of radical Muslims in Palestine.

# Posted by Alyfireman :: 8:49 AM :: |

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

K.P. Yohannan on Legalism

I enjoyed K.P.'s article on legalism when I go the lastest issue of Send.

Many Christians make the mistake of thinking that obeying the Bible makes them spiritual. Mahatma Gandhi obeyed the Sermon on the Mount quite literally—yet he never became a follower of Christ. The Pharisees knew their Bible well, yet Jesus told them, “You search and investigate and pore over the Scriptures diligently, because you suppose and trust that you have eternal life through them. And these [very Scriptures] testify about Me!” (John 5:39, Amplified, emphasis added).

Under the Old Covenant, the people of Israel gave themselves to obey the letter of the Law. There were plenty of dos and don’ts to follow. But now, under the New Covenant, we are called to be partakers of His nature (2 Peter 1:4).

Do you see the difference?

If the Bible is for us only a book to obey, we go back to living under the Old Covenant. We become legalistic like the Pharisees as we seek our own righteousness. But God intends for His Word to touch and transform our lives as it reveals Jesus to us.

The Word of God tells us that Jesus’ life was “the light of men” (John 1:4). A set of instructions or doctrines will never show us the way or give us power to live. Only Jesus can do that. His very life, His example, is what gives us understanding, discernment and clarity for living in the perfect will of God at all times and in all situations. He is not only our Savior, but also the One who goes before us—our forerunner (Hebrews 6:20)

Later he says
2 Corinthians 3:18 tells us that as we look into the Word of God, we see the very nature of Jesus—and the Holy Spirit changes us into His likeness day by day, transforming us on the inside to become just like what we are seeing.

Practically, what does this mean? We must seek Jesus daily by reading God’s Word and comparing our hearts with His. We must measure our humility, obedience, love and passion for the lost by what we see in Him.

True godliness is not just following some rules and regulations; rather, it is allowing the Lord Jesus to live through our earthen vessels (2 Corinthians 4:7). It becomes “no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). And as we long to live as Jesus lived and learn to die daily to our selves, we will watch in wonder as He makes us more and more like Him!

From the latest issuse of Send click link to read the whole thing.

# Posted by Alyfireman :: 5:10 AM :: |

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Prayers for February 14, 2006

"Out of the depths I have cried to You, O Lord;
Lord, hear my voice!
Let Your ears be attentive
To the voice of my supplications.
If You, Lord, should mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand?
But there is forgiveness with You,
That You may be feared.
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
And in His word I do hope.
My soul waits for the Lord
More than those who watch for the morning-
Yes, more than those who watch for the morning.
O Israel, hope in the Lord;
For with the Lord there is mercy,
And with Him is abundant redemption.
And He shall redeem Israel
From all his iniquities." (Psalm 130).

We apologize if you did not receive your prayer update for February 8th. We were experiencing technical difficulties. We appreciate your faithful prayers. May the Lord bless you over the following week.

VOM Web Team

From The Voice of the Martyrs

ERITREA (Compass Direct)
On February 1st, Eritrean military authorities jailed 75 Protestant Christians at the Sawa Military Training Camp for "reading Bibles and praying during their free time," local sources in the small East Africa nation confirmed. Most of the newly arrested evangelicals, 37 of them women, are student youths doing their compulsory national military service at Sawa, a remote center near Eritrea's mountainous western border with Sudan. The 75 young draftees put under "military detention and punishment" had not attempted to conduct any Christian meeting at Sawa or committed any other transgression of military law. "In Sawa, to possess your own Bible and keep your personal devotion and loyalty to Christ is not allowed," an Eritrean Christian told Compass. "This is considered an act of Christian extremism."

Pray the imprisoned Christians will astound their captors with their strong, uncompromising faith. Pray God will protect them and bless them with an encouraging sense of His presence. Pray the Lord will bring about a change in the government of Eritrea that will allow Christian draftees to have Bibles.

INDIA (Compass Direct)
Extremists encouraged Hindu residents of a village in Malkangiri district, Orissa state, to attack Christian residents on January 24th, leaving at least 10 Christians injured with two requiring hospitalization. Four missionaries from the Indian Evangelical Team and 14 Christian families were at a believer's house in Koikonda village when members of the Hindu extremist group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh apparently gathered a group of about 50 people. They surrounded the home and demanded the missionaries come out. As soon as the missionaries complied, the mob started beating them and attacked other Christians in the house. One of the missionaries, Vijay Kumar, fell unconscious and did not regain consciousness until three days later. He and missionary Baldas Gopal were hospitalized with serious internal injuries.

Pray God will comfort the injured believers and heal them quickly. Pray they will remain grounded and steadfast in their faith. Pray the Holy Spirit will move in great power throughout India to break the spiritual bondage of Hinduism.

IRAN (ASSIST News Service)
According to Open Doors, Muslim background believers (MBBs) are outlawed for the first time in years. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's regime is dealing a severe blow to Christian revival in the country. "The last 10 years were relatively calm," said Open Doors staff worker Stefan van Velde. "Between 1990 and 2004, Christian life wasn't easy, but we counted fewer arrests and fewer incidents of torture than in the period before 1990. But, in September 2004, almost 90 church leaders were arrested. Hamid Pourmand, one of the leaders, is still in prison. He was sentenced to three years imprisonment and miraculously escaped the death penalty." Police and secret services also contribute to this persecution. Since the summer of 2005, more Christians have been temporarily arrested and beaten. Ghorban Dordi Tourani, a house-church leader, was assassinated in November 2005. Ethnic Christians are still allowed to express their faith within their own church walls, but Muslim background believers face tremendous risk. The government wants them to return to Islam. Churches are forbidden to support these MBBs. As a result, ethnic churches are removing their support from their brothers and sisters of Muslim origin. The MBBs now form little cell groups which only meet in secret. Van Velde said, "They aren't intimidated by the government and continue to spread the gospel. Muslims who came to the Lord in the past few years fear nothing and nobody."

Pray the Muslim background believers will remain loving and bold in their faith. Pray Hamid Pourmand will know Jesus' presence with him and have opportunities to share his faith. Pray the Holy Spirit will move in revival power among the ethnic Christian community, giving them a fearless love for their MBB brethren.

PAKISTAN (ASSIST News Service/Religion Today)
Muslim men and women attacked yet another church in Pakistan in Kanwanlit, a village some 3 kilometers from Daska, a sub-district of Sailkot, at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, February 3rd. Some of the attackers smashed doors, windows and the altar of the church. The mob reportedly spat on the Bible and hymn books after trampling them under their feet. The Muslim women inflicted torture on the Christian women. Verro and Salima, two Christian women, sustained critical injuries. Both of Verro's legs were broken by the Muslim women. The village falls under the control of the Daska Saddar Police Station, but the police only appeared at the scene of the incident after Muslim residents of the village were done with the job of ransacking, and desecrating the church. According to Religion Today, the roots of the attack go back to November 2005, when landowner named Iqbal bought a piece of property adjacent to the church. He than began a process of "encroachment," using more and more of the church's land to park his vehicles and tie up his animals. After failed attempts to buy the property from Iqbal, the Christians opened a court case against the landowner on January 12th, leading to Iqbal's arrest. Released on bail on January 26rh, Iqbal threatened the Christian community with retribution for opening the case against him. The February 3rd attack was triggered when Verro Masih and Saleema Masih challenged Iqbal's relatives for tying up livestock on the church property. After the Muslims left, the women were immediately admitted to a government hospital three miles away.

Pray God will work a miracle of His grace, giving these Christians His forgiving heart toward their attackers. Pray justice will be done in the courts to allow the church to use their property without interference. Pray the women's rapid healing and recovery will be a witness of Jesus' love and healing power.

VENEZUELA (Compass Direct)
Complying with President Hugo Chavez's order to leave Venezuela's indigenous lands by today, the last two New Tribes Mission (NTM) workers left the area late last week. They joined other NTM staff members at Puerto Ordaz, even as Venezuela's courts considered New Tribes' appeal of the expulsion order. Chavez' edict, published in the Official Gazette last November 14th, expelled NTM from indigenous lands—not from Venezuela. The tiny churches among Venezuela's indigenous peoples will be immediately affected. "What we need to pray about is for these people who will take the leadership of their own people," said Samuel Olson, head of the Evangelical Council of Venezuela. "They have to run their own ship."

Pray God will work in mighty power to soften the heart of President Chavez. Pray the Lord will guide the missionaries expelled from indigenous lands to find what He has planned for their continued ministry. Pray that as the indigenous people are left without human leadership, they will rely on God to teach them His ways and the outcome of this evil act will work to God's glory.

# Posted by Alyfireman :: 9:49 PM :: |

Monday, February 13, 2006

Blog Explosion Textlink Disclaimer

Just added Blog Explosion's Texlink link box. I buy no means endorse any blogs that happen to apper there. Hopefully they'll get the bugs worked out of the categories here in a couple of weeks. So if you think your're going to be offended by one of the links than don't click on it.

# Posted by Alyfireman :: 9:09 PM :: |

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

You're very religious right?

I love it when people don't beat around the bush and are up front about what they belive.
KING: So what do you do? Are you acting? What are you doing?

CAMERON: Yes, well let's see. Last year we finished "Left Behind, World at War." That's based on the Left Behind book series with Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye.

KING: Religious books.

CAMERON: Yes, kind of end of the world apocalyptic thrillers.

KING: You're very religious right?

CAMERON: No, I'm not religious. I'm a Christian but I'm not big on religion but I do produce a television program right now called "The Way of the Master" and that basically is -- it's a Christian reality program where we kind of unmask the -- the hypocrisy of a lot of modern religion that you see today.

And then we go out on the streets and confront people with what is it that you believe about stuff like heaven and hell and God and how to make peace with God? And then we talk with them about how they can find eternal life.

Read the whole Transcript

# Posted by Alyfireman :: 3:49 AM :: |

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

It's about time

For a new look.

# Posted by Alyfireman :: 3:05 AM :: |