God Reports

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Posted 8/14/13 at 3:30 PM | Mark Ellis

Stage IV lung cancer went into her brain, then God touched her

By Mark Ellis

Messianic Jewish believer Bobbie Barsky likes to identify herself as a completed Jew. When she went through a horrific health battle with metastasizing cancer, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob gave her assurance every step of the way.

“God made the difference!” Barsky exclaims three times to emphasize her gratitude. Barsky and her husband, Rabbi Dr. David Barsky, oversee Congregation Beth Hillel in Coral Springs, Florida, a messianic synagogue.

Long before her cancer diagnosis she received a vision that helped prepare her for what was coming. “It wasn’t my imagination, because I couldn’t turn off what I was seeing,” she notes in her book, “The Silver Lining” (Gazelle Press) In the vision, she sat in a hospital bed but appeared healthy – as if a crisis had passed – and many people were lined up to see her.

After the vision she shared her concern with husband David. “Something is going to happen,” she told him.

“We have to pray against it,” he said. FULL POST

Posted 8/13/13 at 2:56 PM | Mark Ellis

Mystery priest revealed who appeared (and disappeared) from crash site

Father Dowling

By Mark Ellis

When rescuers couldn’t free a teenage accident victim from her car, she requested prayer. Almost immediately a mysterious priest appeared out of nowhere, prayed, and disappeared almost as suddenly, which fed a growing urban legend he might be an angel.

Now the enigmatic priest has been revealed as Rev. Patrick Dowling of the Jefferson City Diocese in Missouri. While this heavenly hero has real flesh and bones, many still consider him a living guardian angel.

“Let’s remember it’s almighty God who loves that little girl so much,” Rev. Dowling told ABC’s Good Morning America.

Father Dowling was travelling Highway 19 between Mass assignments in northern and central Missouri when he arrived near the crash scene Aug. 4. “I was coming from 8:30 Mass and saw this line of cars,” he told ABC.

The timing seemed to be God-ordained, because he walked up to the crash scene at the very moment 19-year-old Katie Lentz requested prayer. FULL POST

Posted 8/7/13 at 6:34 PM | Mark Ellis

Hudson Taylor’s Revival of the Heart

Hudson Taylor

By Mark Ellis

James Hudson Taylor, the pioneering missionary who opened inland China to the Gospel, had a remarkable experience with God that brought newfound peace and unsurpassed joy to his ministry. And it happened in a most unexpected way.

On the outside, Taylor may have appeared as a pillar of strength. But inwardly, the pressures and demands of growing ministry responsibilities were taking their toll. He had trusted God for 24 fellow workers to open the interior of China. But as the new workers entered the field, threats multiplied.

“Those were days when scarcely a station in China was opened without danger to life itself. Riots were so usual that they seemed almost part of the proceedings,” wrote Taylor’s second son, Howard, in the classic book, “Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret.” (Moody Publishers)

As his burdens increased, Hudson penned this in a letter to his mother, “At times I seem almost overwhelmed with the internal and external trials connected with our work.” FULL POST

Posted 7/31/13 at 3:51 AM | Mark Ellis

Answering the call to reach Turkey for Christ

By Mark Ellis

In the late 1960’s, only eight known believers could be identified in the entire country of Turkey. Even though it was once home to the seven churches of the Book of Revelation, the church had long since faded in the face of Islam’s advance.

But the merger of two organizations with a heart to reach Turkic people will bring greater impact for God’s kingdom in this strategic country. Last March, Crossover and Turkish World Outreach (TWO) joined forces after a year of prayerful planning.

“We had been partnering and we felt we could do more together,” says Shawn Gardner, executive director of TWO. “We had a lot of experience with Turkic people,” he notes. “Crossover has a cohesive strategy for multiplying disciples and churches. It was a good fit.”

Gardner believes the current instability of the region brings opportunities for the Gospel. “There is a shake-up going on,” he observes. Recent protests, police beatings, and the arrest of lawyers in Turkey have increased volatility.

“This creates opportunities for the Spirit of the Gospel,” he says. “The Gospel is a proclamation that Jesus is Lord over all the Earth – He is King. Only He can bring peace to this situation.” FULL POST

Posted 7/23/13 at 7:08 AM | Mark Ellis

Ruth Bader Ginsberg at the Musee d’Orsay

Interior of Musee d'Orsay in Paris

By Mark Ellis

stylishly tailored

in knit suit

ala Coco Chanel she strolled

slightly stooped

the diminutive giant of the left

bank

hair pulled back tightly

mouthing the slightest

grimacing smile

now moving slowly with escort and private guide

past aging splendors

of impressionism

and French culture

sitting to behold

Manet’s Le déjeuner sur l'herbe

a scandal in its time

yet now tame

with respect

to pornified American culture

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Posted 7/15/13 at 5:42 AM | Mark Ellis

Corrie ten Boom’s ‘chocolate sermon' sweetened hearers to the Gospel

By Mark Ellis

Corrie ten Boom and her family were Dutch Christians who risked their lives to save Jews from the Nazi Holocaust during World War II. Her bestselling book, “The Hiding Place,” describes the affliction they suffered and the power of forgiveness to heal wounds from the past.

Even though ten Boom lost her father and two siblings in the Nazi death camps, she often quoted sister Betsie, who died in the Ravensbruck camp: “There is no pit so deep that He (God) is not deeper still.”

After the war ten Boom visited a prison camp at Darmstadt, which housed some of the former Nazi female guards from Ravensbruck, where she had been imprisoned. Now the tables were turned. Ten Boom had her freedom, but these former guards were now the ones behind bars.

“I had come here to show these people the way to real freedom,” she noted in another of her books, “Amazing Love,” published by the Christian Literature Crusade. “I had come to speak of the love of God that surpasses all understanding – to tell about Jesus Christ, Who came into the world to make people happy under all circumstances.”

She made the visit knowing it would not be easy to reach the hearts of these women, who were hardened by war. “Their faces were glum,” she observed at first. “It seemed as if I was addressing a stone wall.” FULL POST

Posted 7/13/13 at 6:08 AM | Mark Ellis

Kenya: Christian President Seeks God's Covering for Nation

Uhuru Kenyatta

(Note: Melissa Nordell contributed to this article)

Kenya has been a nation struggling with issues that have tried to divide it, with Islamic terrorists killing Christians with increasing frequency. Muslims have tried to shut down Christian gatherings and houses of worship, especially near the country’s borders with Somalia.

Prior to the past presidential election, March 4, 2013, “there has been great opposition from the Islamic agenda against the Christian Church,” says Dr. Sammy Ngaho, founder and president of Ngaho International Ministries. “Through much prayer and faith all over the country, all resistance is coming down,” Dr. Ngaho says.

“The election in March was the first peaceful election in over 50 years -- with no bloodshed,” he notes. “This is all because of what God did to answer prayer as we had very organized prayer across the entire country. Every county was fasting and praying. Every county was formally dedicated to God and an altar to God was planted there as well.” FULL POST

Posted 7/9/13 at 5:29 PM | Mark Ellis

Missionary Couple Celebrate 70 Years of Marriage and Ministry

Anthony and Evelyn Bollback

On August 14, Anthony and Evelyn Bollback will celebrate a milestone -- 70 years of marriage and ministry.

One week after their marriage in 1943, they got off a Greyhound bus in Coudersport, Pennsylvania, where they planted a Christian and Missionary Alliance Church. For many years, it has been the largest church in the town.

Pioneering a new work helped them prepare for church planting in China, Japan and Hong Kong, where they spent 24 years in fruitful service launching churches that still flourish.

Also in July and August, Anthony and Evelyn will reach the ages of 91 and 92, respectively. They still preach, write, and serve in their local church.

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Posted 7/6/13 at 7:13 AM | Mark Ellis

Iran: ‘Do you confess you are a Christian? You can be killed for this’

By Mark Ellis

Fifteen tall, muscular men broke into her home in Esfahan the day after Christmas and began to ransack it. At first they were silent and refused to answer any questions, but then it be came clear. They were looking for evidence she is a Christian.

She was still in bed at 7:30 a.m. when the men broke into the house. Apparently, a neighbor opened an exterior door to the complex. “I thought I was dreaming,” says Fatemeh Yar-Ahmadi, also known as Yassi, in an interview conducted with Mohabat News. She had been a Christian for eight years when she received the visit by the Intelligence Service. She was also working with believers in other parts of Iran.

“Cut the phone lines. Spread through the house and start searching,” the men yelled. “Who are you?” Yassi cried out. They did not reply. Her mother, who suffers from heart disease, sat in the next room. Startled and afraid, she began to cry.

“What do you want?” Yassi asked again. “Say something! My mom is scared!”

One of older men, who appeared to be in charge, showed her a paper and said they were looking for Christians. “Who is a Christian here?” he asked harshly. FULL POST

Posted 7/2/13 at 7:01 AM | Mark Ellis

Daughter of martyred Iranian carries her father’s zeal

Hossein Soodmand

Her father faced a chilling ultimatum from Iran’s religious police. Close the house church that met in their basement and deny the Christian faith -- or be killed. He had two weeks to consider the authorities’ life or death demand.

“The government tried to stop the church,” says Rashin Soodmand, daughter of Rev. Hossein Soodmand. As a child growing up in a Muslim family in Iran, his parents taught him not to talk to Jews or Christians, because they were considered unclean.

When he was seven-years-old, he threw a stone and broke a Christian woman’s water bucket. As soon as he saw it break, he turned to run, but tripped over a large stone, crashed on the ground, and blood began to ooze out of his knee.

Then he saw the Christian woman move towards him and fear gripped his heart. There was no escape. He had thrown the stones. He deserved the punishment. Now her shadow loomed over him and he expected her to strike in anger. FULL POST

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