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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Prayer

By Leonard Ravenhill
There's nothing more transfiguring than prayer. People often ask, "Why do you insist on prayer so much?" The answer is very simple - because Jesus did. You could change the title of the Gospel according to St. Luke to the Gospel of Prayer. It's the prayer life of Jesus. The other evangelists say that Jesus was in the Jordan and the Spirit descended on Him as a dove - Luke says it was while He was praying that the Spirit descended on Him. The other evangelists say that Jesus chose 12 disciples - Luke says it was after He spent a night in prayer that He chose 12 disciples. The other evangelists say that Jesus died on a cross - Luke says that even when He was dying Jesus was praying for those who persecuted Him. The other evangelists say Jesus went on a mount and He was transfigured - Luke says it was while He was praying that He was transfigured. There's nothing more transfiguring than prayer.

     The Scriptures say that the disciples went to bed, but Jesus went to pray - as was His custom. It was His custom to pray. Now Jesus was the Son of God - He was definitely anointed for His ministry. If Jesus needed all that time in prayer, don't you and I need time in prayer? If Jesus needed it in every crisis, don't you and I need it in every crisis?

      The story goes that a group of tourists visiting a picturesque village saw an old man sitting by a fence. In a rather patronizing way, one of the visitors asked, "Were any great men born in this village?" Without looking up the old man replied, "No, only babies." The greatest men were once babies. The greatest saints were once toddlers in the things of the Spirit.

      C. H. Spurgeon was converted at the age of 16 and began preaching in London at the age of 19. When he was 27, they built him a tabernacle seating 6,000 which he packed twice on Sundays - that's 12,000 - and once on Thursday nights. How? He waited on God. He got alone with God. He studied...and he prayed.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Elisabeth Elliot on Discipleship

- Anonymous


(Wife of Jim Elliot – Missionary Martyr)


Elisabeth Elliot explains that the word “disciple” simply means learner. And learning to understand the way of the Cross is difficult. It requires self-abandonment, sacrifice, and trust in the One worth learning from. As a child of twelve, she recalls reading a prayer written by Betty Scott Stam, a missionary to China.  It was at this time that young Elisabeth sensed a desire to surrender her life to Christ and become His disciple. This prayer was then her own:

Lord,

I give up all my own plans and purposes,
All my own desires and hopes,
And accept Thy will for my life.

I give myself, my life, my all,
Utterly to Thee, to be Thine forever!

Fill me and seal me with Thy Holy Spirit.

Use me as Thou will,
Send me where Thou will,
And work out Thy whole will in my life,
At any cost, now and forever!




Betty Scott Stam
(Missionary to China, Martyr)

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Elisabeth Elliot & Rachel Saint - The Shadow Of The Almighty


Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, Roger Youderian, Peter Fleming and Ed McCully were five men that understood God's message of reconciliation for all peoples.The story of their lives is one of determination and sacrifice as they took Christ's message of reconciliation to the tribal people of Ecuador. Their legacy began in 1955; Jim, Nate, Peter, and Ed, all missionaries from the United States, set out to bring the gospel to the hostile Auca tribe near the Andes Mountains in Ecuador. 



The four had quite the task set before them.The Auca Indians were known as a violent and murderous tribe that had virtually no contact with the outside world. Surrounding tribes labelled them "savages." So, the endeavour of reaching the Aucas with the love of Christ was a brave one.

While working in a nearby tribe, Jim, Peter, and Ed, heard about the Auca Indians and their need for Christ. The men decided that they wanted to move into the Auca region in an attempt to learn the Auca language, translate the Bible, and share the gospel. Jim, Peter, and Ed teamed up with Nate Saint, a missionary pilot for Missions Aviation Fellowship, to begin gaining friendly relations with the Indians.






 For the next three months the four men made flights over the Auca's village. They dropped supplies and gifts in pursuit of friendship and trust. On Tuesday, January 3, 1956 the men decided to make their first ground contact. Upon that decision they also enlisted Roger Youderian a missionary to the Jivaro tribe, who had mastered life and survival in the jungle, to join them in the effort. The men chose to make their first land at a beach about 4 miles outside of the tribe. They quickly set up camp, and then made a flight over the village to invite the Aucas to visit their camp.The Aucas seemed to be hostile to the men, but their countenance changed as the men exchanged more gifts offering their peace and friendship.

 By Friday, the men had their first visitors. A couple and a teenage girl would prove to be their first and last encounter with the Indians. By Saturday morning all contact with Jim, Peter, Ed, Nate, and Roger had been lost. They were later found speared to death by the very people that they were trying to reach.

The effort to reach the Auca Indians was not abandoned. Spurred on by the death of their husband and brother, Elisabeth Elliot and Rachel Saint, quickly established a home among the Auca Indians. Rachel Saint, who worked for Wycliffe Bible Translators, was the older sister of Nate. She was passionate about taking the gospel to an unreached tribe, especially the Aucas, and translating the scriptures into their own language. The tragic event of her brother's death didn't deter her but rather intensified her passion to go to them. The year before Nate's death, she began working with an Auca woman, Dayuma, who had fled the tribe during an intertribal war. Rachel formed a strong relationship with her and brought her to the states to publicize the missionary work in Ecuador.The trip extended to a year due to an illness Dayuma developed. Elisabeth Elliot, who had returned to a nearby tribe with her young daughter Valerie, made contact with two Auca women in Ecuador. In 1958, Rachel and Dayuma were able to return to the Auca tribe.

This marked the beginning of communications since the deaths of the missionaries in 1956. Rachel and Elisabeth were invited to live with the tribe for 2 months. They experienced firsthand the Auca lifestyle and perfected their language skills. At that point the evangelization to the Aucas began and nine years after the tragic event, the Gospel of Mark was published in the Auca language.

The pastor of the tribe, Kimo, who was also one of the killers, had the opportunity to baptize Steve & Kathy Saint, Nate's children. God had used these women, a wife and sister of the slain missionaries, to reconcile with the Aucas and bring them ultimate reconciliation of Christ's salvation.

In 1956, Elisabeth Elliot returned home to write her first book on the amazing story of the Auca tribe, the men who gave their lives to reach them, and her journey back.The book, Shadow of the Almighty, has become a well known story of commitment, determination, and faith in God's sovereignty and grace.

Later in life she writes of loss, "The growth of all living green things wonderfully represents the process of receiving and relinquishing, gaining and losing, living and dying…
The truth is that it is ours to thank Him for and ours to offer back to Him, ours to relinquish, ours to lose, ours to let go of-if we want to find our true selves, if we want real life, if our hearts are set on glory."

Elisabeth Elliot has become one of Christendom's most beloved and well-known lecturers and writers. She has been an encouragement and challenge to woman in godliness, faithfulness and God's purpose in world missions. She wrote challenging one young woman, "If indeed He is directing you toward missions, BE GLAD! He will show you His way in His own time." The legacy left behind by the 5 slain missionaries and their families still lives on today.

The Auca Indians quickly realized their mistake in killing the very men that loved them enough to bring Christ's message of reconciliation to them. The Auca Indians were able to accept the message spoken of Christ's death because they were able to see the message lived.

"All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation." - II Corinthians 5:18-19.

From our friends at the Traveling Team (www.thetravelingteam.org)


By Megan Grober

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year 2015!

Happy New Year! 

This prayer from Billy Graham, written for "The Saturday Evening Post" in 2008, is just as relevant this year.


Our Father and our God, as we stand at the beginning of this new year we confess our need of Your presence and Your guidance as we face the future. We each have our hopes and expectations for the year that is ahead of us—but You alone know what it holds for us, and only You can give us the strength and the wisdom we will need to meet its challenges. So help us to humbly put our hands into Your hand, and to trust You and to seek Your will for our lives during this coming year
In the midst of life’s uncertainties in the days ahead, assure us of the certainty of Your unchanging love.  In the midst of life’s inevitable disappointments and heartaches, help us to turn to You for the stability and comfort we will need.  In the midst of life’s temptations and the pull of our stubborn self-will, help us not to lose our way but to have the courage to do what is right in Your sight, regardless of the cost.  And in the midst of our daily preoccupations and pursuits, open our eyes to the sorrows and injustices of our hurting world, and help us to respond with compassion and sacrifice to those who are friendless and in need. May our constant prayer be that of the ancient Psalmist: 
Teach me, O Lord, to follow your decrees; then I will keep them to the end” 
(Psalm 119:33).

We pray for our nation and its leaders during these difficult times, and for all those who are seeking to bring peace and justice to our dangerous and troubled world. 
We pray especially for Your protection on all those who serve in our armed forces, and we thank You for their commitment to defend our freedoms, even at the cost of their own lives. Be with their families also, and assure them of Your love and concern for them. Bring our divided nation together, and give us a greater vision of what You would have us to be. Your Word reminds us that 
“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Psalm 33:12).

As we look back over this past year we thank You for Your goodness to us—far beyond what we have deserved. May we never presume on Your past goodness or forget all Your mercies to us, but may they instead lead us to repentance, and to anew commitment to make You the foundation and centre of our lives this year.

And so, our Father, we thank You for the promise and hope of this new year, and we look forward to it with expectancy and faith. This I ask in the name of our Lord and Savior, who by His death and resurrection has given us hope both for this world and the world to come.

Amen

You may also want to see these posts:
http://kiranmj.blogspot.in/2011/12/put-christ-back-in-new-years.html
http://kiranmj.blogspot.in/2011/12/happy-2012.html

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Hey everyone, Merry Christmas! No new posts this time because basically there are a lot of awesome posts that have been featured on this blog over 6 years.



Please go through these posts

http://kiranmj.blogspot.in/2014/11/band-aid-30-do-they-know-its-christmas.html
http://kiranmj.blogspot.in/2014/12/the-story-of-silent-night.html
http://kiranmj.blogspot.in/2013/12/the-gold-wrapping-paper.html
http://kiranmj.blogspot.in/2013/12/happy-advent.html
http://kiranmj.blogspot.in/2013/07/pray-about-everything.html
http://kiranmj.blogspot.in/2012/12/fwd-bridge-between-two-worlds-merry.html
http://kiranmj.blogspot.in/2011/12/christmas-letter-from-jesus.html
http://kiranmj.blogspot.in/2011/12/christmas-story-animation.html
http://kiranmj.blogspot.in/2011/12/day-after-christmas-7-reminders-ps.html
http://kiranmj.blogspot.in/2011/12/christmas-birds-eye-view.html
http://kiranmj.blogspot.in/2011/12/you-can-know-christ-of-christmas.html
http://kiranmj.blogspot.in/2011/12/uniqueness-of-christ-by-charles-stanley.html
http://kiranmj.blogspot.in/2010/01/12-days-of-christmas.html
http://kiranmj.blogspot.in/2010/01/why-jesus-is-greater-than-santa-claus.html
http://kiranmj.blogspot.in/2010/12/merry-christmas.html
http://kiranmj.blogspot.in/2010/12/on-background-joseph-being-righteous.html
http://kiranmj.blogspot.in/2010/12/friend-of-mine-named-paul-received.html
http://kiranmj.blogspot.in/2010/12/on-background-joseph-being-righteous.html

See more posts from December 2010 here: http://kiranmj.blogspot.in/search?updated-min=2010-01-01T00:00:00%2B05:30&updated-max=2011-01-01T00:00:00%2B05:30&max-results=50


Also, do see the movies Its A Wonderful Life, A Christmas Carol and Annie. I love those and I'm sure you do (or will) too :)

Also, i now have a new page, MattTauraeb, featuring great music from around the world.
Please show your support by LIKING us on http://fb.com/MattTauraeb

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Story of "Silent Night"

 By Smolinski, D.

Father Joseph Mohr sat at the old organ. His fingers stretched over the keys, forming the notes of a chord.

 He took a deep breath and pressed down. Nothing. He lifted his fingers and tried again. Silence echoed through the church. Father Joseph shook his head. It was no use.

 The pipes were rusted, the bellows mildewed.



 The organ had been wheezing and growing quieter for months, and Father Joseph had been hoping it would hold together until the organ builder arrived to repair it in the spring. But now, on December 23, 1818, the organ had finally given out. St. Nicholas Church would have no music for Christmas.

Father Joseph sighed.

 Maybe a brisk walk would make him feel better. He pulled on his overcoat and stepped out into the night. His white breath puffed out before him. Moonlight sparkled off the snow-crusted trees and houses in the village of Oberndorf.

 Father Joseph crunched through the snowy streets to the edge of the little Austrian town and climbed the path leading up the mountain.

From high above Oberndorf, Father Joseph watched the Salzach River ripple past St. Nicholas Church. In the spring, when melting snow flowed down the mountains and the river swelled in its banks, water lapped at the foundation of the church. It was moisture from the flooding river that had caused the organ to mildew and rust.

Father Joseph looked out over the Austrian Alps. Stars shone above in the still and silent night.

Silent night? Father Joseph stopped. Of course! "Silent Night!" He had written a poem a few years before, when he had first become a priest, and he had given it that very title.

 "Silent Night."


Father Joseph scrambled down the mountain. Suddenly he knew how to bring music to the church.

The next morning, Father Joseph set out on another walk. This time he carried his poem. And this time he knew exactly where he was going -- to see his friend Franz Gruber, the organist for St. Nicholas, who lived in the next village.

Franz Gruber was surprised to see the priest so far from home on Christmas Eve, and even more surprised when Father Joseph handed him the poem.

That night Father Joseph and Franz Gruber stood at the altar of St. Nicholas Church. Father Joseph held his guitar. He could see members of the congregation giving each other puzzled looks.

 They had never heard a guitar played in church before, and certainly not during midnight mass on Christmas Eve, the holiest night of the year.



Father Joseph picked out a few notes on the guitar, and he and Franz Gruber began to sing. Their two voices rang out, joined by the church choir on the chorus. Franz Gruber's melody matched the simplicity and honesty of Father Joseph's words.

When the last notes faded into the night, the congregation remained still for a moment, then began to clap their hands.

 Applause filled the church.

 The villagers of Oberndorf loved the song! Father Joseph's plan to bring music to St. Nicholas Church had worked.

A few months later, the organ builder arrived in Oberndorf and found the words and music to "Silent Night" lying on the organ. The song enchanted him, and when he left, he took a copy of it with him.

The organ builder gave the song to two families of travelling singers who lived near his home. The travelling singers performed "Silent Night" in concerts all over Europe, and soon the song spread throughout the world.


Today, cathedral choirs and carollers from New York to New Zealand sing the simple song that was first played in a mountain church in Austria on Christmas Eve nearly 200 years ago.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Served By An Angel


- Unknown author

It was fifty years ago, on a hot summer day, in the deep south. We lived on a dirt road, on a sand lot.
We were, what was known as "dirt poor". I had been playing outside all morning in the sand.

Suddenly, I heard a sharp clanking sound behind me and looking over my shoulder, my eyes were drawn to a strange sight!
Across the dirt road were two rows of men, dressed in black and white, striped, baggy uniforms. Their faces were covered with dust and sweat. They looked so weary, and they were
chained together with huge, black, iron chains. Hanging from the end of each chained row was a big, black, iron ball.

They were, as polite people said in those days, a "Chain Gang," guarded by two, heavily armed, white guards.
I stared at the prisoners as they settled uncomfortably down in the dirt, under the shade of some straggly trees.

One of the guards walked towards me. Nodding as he passed, he went up to our front door and knocked. My mother appeared at the door, and I heard the guard ask if he could have permission to get water from the pump, in the backyard, so that "his men" could "have a drink".

My mother agreed, but I saw a look of concern on her face, as she called me inside.
I stared through the window as each prisoner was unchained from the line, to hobble over to the pump and drink his fill from a small tin cup, while a guard watched vigilantly. It wasn't long before they were all chained back up again, with prisoners and guards retreating into the shade, away from an unrelenting sun.

I heard my mother call me into the kitchen, and I entered, to see her bustling around with tins of tuna fish, mayonnaise, our last loaf of bread, and two, big, pitchers of lemonade.
In what seemed "a blink of an eye", she had made a tray of sandwiches using all the tuna we were to have had for that night's supper.

My mother was smiling as she handed me one of the pitchers of lemonade, cautioning me to carry it "carefully" and to "not spill a drop."
Then, lifting the tray in one hand and holding a pitcher in her other hand, she marched me to the door, deftly opening it with her foot, and trotted me across the street. She approached the guards, flashing them with a brilliant smile.




"We had some leftovers from lunch," she said, "and I was wondering if we could share with you and your men."
She smiled at each of the men, searching their dark eyes with her own eyes of "robin's egg blue."

Everyone started to their feet. "Oh no!" she said. "Stay where you are! I'll just serve you!"
Calling me to her side, she went from guard to guard, then from prisoner to prisoner, filling each tin cup with lemonade, and giving each man a sandwich.

It was very quiet, except for a "thank you, ma'am," and the clanking of the chains.
Very soon we were at the end of the line, my mother's eyes softly scanning each face.

The last prisoner was a big man, his dark skin pouring with sweat, and streaked with dust. Suddenly, his face broke into a wonderful smile, as he looked up into my mother's eyes, and he said, "Ma'am, I've wondered all my life if I'd ever see an angel, and now I have! Thank you!"

Again, my mother's smile took in the whole group.

"You're all welcome!" she said. "God bless you."
Then we walked across to the house, with empty tray and pitchers, and back inside.

Soon, the men moved on, and I never saw them again. The only explanation my mother ever gave me, for that strange and wonderful day, was that...

"Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it." (Hebrews 13:2 NIV)

Then, with a mysterious smile, she went about the rest of the day.

I don't remember what we ate for supper, that night. I just know it was served by an angel.