Sunday Faith News/Views 2-19-11 @ Maggie’s Notebook

In the news this week, is the posthumous awarding of the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Elizabeth (Libby) Little, on behalf of her

Presidential Medal of Freedom

husband Dr. Tom Little. Tom and Elizabeth (Libby) Little went to Afghanistan in 1977 as Christian missionaries and aid workers. Not long after arriving, the Littles helped organize and build the National Organization of Opthalmic Rehabilitation (NOOR) in Afghanistan, a total of 6 clinics, some in remote areas. NOOR provided critical eye care to Afghans, including eye glasses.

Tom Little

In 2001 when the Taliban took power, the Littles were forced to leave the country and accused of proselytizing. He returned only three months later. He was murdered in August 2010 in Badakhshan, Afghanistan, execution-style by Taliban groups that quickly took credit for it, and  still accused him of trying to convert Muslims to Christianity. And so his death was deserved in their minds, and in their holy book. The couple’s church in Loudonville, New York supported the Little’s mission for many years, both financially and emotionally. The Little’s home in the U.S. is in Delmar, New York, near Albany. Dr. Little is buried in Afghanistan.

This from Mrs. Little in an interview with CNN:

“We raised our three daughters through what was, at times, just hell,” Libby Little said. “A hundred rockets a day was a good day.”

Family members lived underground to avoid bombings, she said. Yet they stayed out of a love for the people and a passion for providing eye care for the needy…

“He died right where he loved to be — and that was doing eye care in remote areas,” Little said from her home in New York. “Our daughters are missing him terribly. But I think their feeling is, too, that this is a real passion that he had.”…

Little said her husband had recently become involved in a program to eradicate preventable blindness by the year 2020.

“There’s a lot of preventable blindness in Afghanistan — blinding eye diseases that can be solved with just very small work,” she said.

“We went, and we thought it was going to be two years, and it was 33,” Little said. “We loved the people. … The Afghan people were wonderful, absolutely wonderful to us. And they would be the first ones to protect us. So this is not the usual state of things, where they would murder all these people.”

Karen Woo

Among the dead are Dr. Karen Woo of the UK, six Americans, one German and two Afghans. Read more here.

GOD’S ANSWER is always Jesus is talking about Grace and Mercy this week (no, this isn’t about your favorite cats). This is one of those posts that if I were properly disciplined, I would print several copies, and tuck away everywhere as a reminder, that as the author says:

“We need this [God’s] grace to support us in our every day life and to preserve us in our next day of temptation.”

We are to call for mercy and grace when we need them. We have been given the liberty when we come up to the throne of grace to call boldly for mercy knowing God hears and will dispense the blessing we need. We come not on our own merits … we have none.

How many of us feel unworthy? How many of us are unbelieving of mercy and grace? What a terrible thing it is to carry our massive burdens of guilt all by ourselves. Most of us must do that, at least for awhile each day – at least until we reach what we consider our prayer time.

Do you ask boldly for the grace and mercy so abundantly available to you? Maybe asking boldly, when we know we have displeased God, our families, friends, employers, feels disingenuous, and maybe we feel unworthy. Read Grace and Mercy. You will feel uplifted and refreshed, because one thing you and I know is, we are going to sin. And that sin must be taken seriously. We do that by taking it to the Throne of God.

Last is a video, and it will stir your soul. Listen as Kamal Saleem talks of how he came to the U.S. and why. Listen to why Kamal moved to the Bible-Belt of America. You may have heard more than a few conversion stories of Muslims to Christianity, but you will find this one different, and inspiring, and hopeful that the culture hate was feel each day, will not prevail, and our out-reach is not in vain.

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  • Hi Maggie. Until earlier this year, I was one of those people who was afraid to ask God for mercy and forgiveness of my sins. I lived with a terrible burden of guilt for stupid things I had done many years ago and I suffered for years. When I finally let it go and accepted God’s mercy, I was freed in a way that I can barely describe. I still regret bad things that I did in my youth, but I will no longer allow it to poison my present and my future, Jesus has made me whole and my life has been renewed. It changed my entire existence for the better and I never could have imagined and can barely put words to, the peace and joy that fills my heart, even during difficult times.

    • Zilla, thank you for sharing your story of finding joy and peace. What a wonderful thing. We know so many never reach that place. Carl is right. When our minds start churning and “thinking back,” it is not the work of God.

  • Hi Zilla …

    May I encourage you to remember that those things in our past we have turned over to God’s forgiveness are gone. If they keep coming back to your heart and mind … it’s not God bringing them back up. It’s the enemy of your soul. God brings conviction and then forgives. Satan condemns trying to make you feel unworthy. But know Jesus has made you worthy in Him. Blessings to you.

  • Hi Maggie …

    Good word once again from your heart. I believe I would enjoy sitting in a Bible study class under your leadership.

    Blessings …

  • Oh Carl, I don’t know about leading a class. At one time I wanted to be a Precept leader. That was when I was working and it wasn’t possible then. Now it’s possible and I’m thinking I’m a bit to opinionated to “lead.” Do you teach, other than online, and through your blog?

    • No, not too ofter anymore. I have in the past; Sunday School classes, and in small home group settings with those in our church. We have quite a few small home groups, most range from 10 to 20 people in each one. And yes, from what I am reading in your comments, you would have a house full any time you wanted to start one. But … don’t get too busy … because our nation needs your blogging skills. You are doing the Lords work right from your home or wherever your office is. Just keep on, my sister in the Lord. Love your work.

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