Posted 11/10/16 at 12:09 PM | Karen Kramer
Gathered around the table, they scooted closer to make room for the newest member.
Downcast, Trudy slid into the chair with a sigh. The others nodded their compassion, having walked that painful road too.
Anyone observing the group might wonder what brought them together. Different stories, but the same destination of despair. Welcome to the Broken Lives Club—the weekly meeting of the discouraged.
Divorce, disease, despondency, disappointment, and despair from deceit—sat around the table. The Broken Lives Club isn’t exclusive.
Live long enough and there will be a reason to seek membership.
The meeting was called to order by the oldest member. Harold’s burden of brokenness had been carried the most miles. He’d lost his wife to another man decades ago. FULL POST
Posted 11/3/16 at 10:53 AM | Karen Kramer
A couple years ago my husband and I were interested in purchasing some property with an amazing view of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. It was quiet and pristine.
With over fifty grassy acres, our salesman suggested we take the parcel near the crest of the bluff—no one would ever block our view.
My husband and I smiled at one another.
The friendly salesman pointed out the walkway that led to the beach far below and the benches placed along the bluff so folks could sit and enjoy the panoramic view of Mount Baker and the blue waters of the Strait.
After signing all the paperwork, we became the proud owners of two water view cemetery plots. Shaking hands, he encouraged us to come back and visit as often as we wanted—we had yet to do so.
Until this week, when a friend was laid to rest. At my friend’s gravesite, I listened to the words spoken about his life. He served his nation in Viet Nam and continued serving his family and community the rest of his life. FULL POST
Posted 11/2/16 at 8:08 AM | selwyn perry
When I have fears that I may never move
Or go again to where I've been,
Upon my bed I brood
In silent solitude.
I have thoughts of things that used to be,
Of windswept woods, of fires and floods,
Of summer days and seaside bays,
Fields of flowers and natures ways.
Why can't I rise and walk?
Why can't I laugh and talk?
What must I do to make your words come true?
Are my words too small, to weak, too few?
Please listen to my cry,
My tears, my sighs,
Is it because I am old that I lie upon this bed,
And suffer pain, fear and dread?
Have you abandoned me Lord
Like Jesus on the cross?
Have you forsaken me
To die in pain and never reign
O'er life's disdain?
'MY CHILD, for such you are,
Have you forgotten that I put you
In your mothers arms and fed you
With your mothers milk.
Have you forgotten that I am everywhere?
In days. In months in years,
In Christmas, Easter, Whitsuntide,
And always by your side?
At school and play, in every day.
I am in the seasons of the year,
The bare bleak winter snows and wind,
The springtime flowers and thaws
All are natures laws.
No less than now are they. FULL POST
Posted 10/5/16 at 3:56 PM | João Mordomo
Last week I wrote a tribute to Brazil's "Mr. Mobilization", Edison Queiroz, who recently went to be with the Lord. Yesterday, however, I had the chance to spend a little time with someone who, in a very real sense, could be considered the "original" Mr. Mobilization. George Verwer, the founder of Operation Mobilization (OM), was with us at Columbia International University, where I'm spending the year as visiting professor and missionary in residence. George in intent on "livin' la vida DOXA," i.e. living for God's glory in all areas of life and among all peoples of the world. He has mobilized and otherwise impacted hundreds of thousands of people around the globe for the cause of Christ. In my case, his greatest impact on me happened in Curitiba, Brazil, in 1998. I was the young leader of a young Brazilian mission agency called CCI-Brasil. George and I sat together at an event where he soon would take the stage to speak. I wanted to glean from his many years of experience, so I asked him what he would have done differently as the leader of a large, global, renowned mission agency. His three-word reply was, "grow more slowly". Wise words from a wise man! George's words were full of significance and I took them to heart. Very specifically, I have since been more concerned with the health of our organization than the size. Large organizations are not necessarily healthy, but healthy organizations grow and are fruitful. Today, CCI-Brasil is a healthy, growing, fruitful organization, and God used George's "three wise words" to help bring about this reality. FULL POST
Posted 9/28/16 at 11:06 AM | João Mordomo
The Brazilian Evangelical church is one of the largest missionary sending churches in the world, in no small part due to the indefatigable efforts of Pastor Edison Queiróz. Known affectionately as “Mr. Mobilization” and “Pastor Acts 1:8,” Edison was like the Energizer Bunny… on steroids! His vim and verve were as renowned as his smile was big. Yet those characteristics were dwarfed by his passion for God and His global mission. While Edison served variously throughout his life as pastor, preacher, teacher and writer, he was, at heart, a mobilizer for the cause of Christ among all peoples.
This past June, Pr. Edison was hospitalized in a battle against brain cancer and on September 22nd, at the age of 67, he succumbed to his illness. This loss was felt by Christians throughout Brazil and was reflected in social media and elsewhere. But the sense of loss is eclipsed by the realization that Edison is seeing and savoring his Lord and, we may surmise, seeing some of the fruits of his own mobilization labors as well. His wife Rute’s words provide perspective and comfort: “My dear, the love of my life, is gone to Jesus. I’m going to see him again for all eternity. Precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of His children. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away, blessed be the Name of the Lord. The will of God was done… praised be the Lord.” FULL POST
Posted 9/23/16 at 8:53 PM | selwyn perry
One of the first flowers of spring, magnolia petals
White like the wings of doves,
perched on the bare black branches
Announcing the end of winter and
the beginning of Spring.>
Posted 9/16/16 at 3:54 AM | olabode ososami
I pray you are never found in one. These are situations in which there are no victors, only bravery appointed to be smitten by deception and intrigue. But these are so prevalent. In the case of Uriah, a good but weak man – loyal to a human system but who had not learnt to check matters well with God, perished through the plots of his leader.
2 Samuel 11:15 And he (David) wrote in the letter, saying, Set ye Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retire ye from him, that he may be smitten, and die.
David’s secret haunted him and he was later defeated by a conscience and agony of heart that ushered in for him, the worst episode in his reign – also triggering many painful future consequences.
If Clinton wins this election, will she not soon be defeated by greed (according to Powell’s alleged email) and many contrived deceptions and illegal shortcuts … but how can Trump, if he emerges President, escape the humiliation that awaits the churlish, arrogant and self-confident. The saints can learn from outcomes of foolish battles i.e. always defeat – for all participants albeit the timings and sequences of events and consequences may differ. FULL POST
Posted 9/15/16 at 8:10 PM | Mark Ellis
By Mark Ellis
Due to the trauma of World War I, Israel Kristal missed the opportunity for his bar mitzvah at 13-years-old. Now as the world’s oldest man, he will finally celebrate the Jewish rite of passage.
Kristal was born into a religious Jewish family in Poland, then part of the Russian Empire. His father, a Torah scholar, made sure his son had a religious education and awakened young Israel at five in the morning for religious training.
He learned the Hebrew Bible at four-years-old and the Mishnah at six. Kristal maintained his faith throughout his life.
His mother died when he was only seven. When World War I broke out in in 1914, he saw Kaiser Franz Joseph in person when the monarch rode through his town in an open motorcar.
His father, drafted into the Imperial Russian Army during the Great War, died soon after his enlistment.
At age 17, Kristal started working in his family’s candy factory and later became an expert candy-maker. He married in 1928 and had two children. FULL POST
Posted 9/15/16 at 2:20 PM | Caleb Dexter
This article was previously published on www.Yourdailysip.com
“I don’t know.”
“I will never know.”
“Perhaps I am lost.”
“Perhaps I have fallen.”
These are the words of a German doctor, Mr. Winston. He had found himself in a depressiveness that lasted four years after a considerably terrible mistake. Mr. Winston was viewed as a great man with many friends and fantastic wealth and a man of faith. He was a strong example of a Christian. He attended church every Sunday, loved all people, fed the homeless, and did all he could to be a splitting image of the teachings of Christ. Upon an unfortunate turn of events in which he created, Winston lost his confidence for his devoted spiritual path. He felt hopeless and lost. He went throughout the days in mourn for how gravely he disappointed God. Winston still gathered amongst the congregation, but no matter how fine the service would go or how many private sessions he booked with the pastor, he would always be met by a sense of failure as he beset his spirit with gloom. His spark of hope was no more. It is amazing how much a downfall can consume one’s internal being. It is amazing the days one can spend pondering on what could have been done correctly, and how much they long for a chance to do it over again. FULL POST
Posted 9/15/16 at 1:43 PM | Karen Kramer
No matter what decade you were born, music has always been playing in the background.
While driving, I was listening to talk radio. The discussion turned to music, and the commentator noted that Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit was 20 years old. She remembered buying the CD as a teen and now every time she hears it she recalls exactly where she was and how she felt at the time.
Music just has that kind of power. I had a two-hour drive ahead, why not go back in time? I switched to a classic rock station and let the miles bring musical memories.
Go Your Own Way (Fleetwood Mac) started the FM commercial-free set. I turned it up and opened the sun roof. A glorious day for a drive. Since no one could hear me, I sang along, remembering my restless older-teen years.
The raucous You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet (Bachman-Turner Overdrive) followed and had been a fitting theme song for our high school football team on their way to earning a state title. Next up, I recalled my first job in the local music store when I was selling Elton John’s double-album, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. FULL POST