Today in my Sunday Faith News and Views, is word that Congresswoman Gabbrielle Giffords (D-AZ) has announced she will resign her U.S. House of Representatives seat for Arizona
this week and thanks us for our prayers – of which there were many, many, and most will continue (see a video below). Kurt Cameron’s successful Love Worth Waiting For conferences are extending into a third year, Carl Middleton is reminding us What a Friend We Have in Jesus, and again we face the viscious persecution of Christians in Islamic Nations. Last but not least, a new study shows what we all know know, the GOP supports Israel. Isn’t it a good thing that information is being acknowledged in print?
Ms. Giffords was shot in an assassination attempt by a deranged psycho at a political event. She has persevered with overwhelming medical odds against her, and says she will need the time to continue to focus on regaining her health. She is thanking us for our prayers in the video below, and says, she will return. God’s blessings to her. Source: Christian Post and CS Monitor.
She says, “I’m getting better. Every day my spirit is high. I will return and we will work together for Arizona and this great country.”
Under state law, a special election will be called to fill out the remainder of Giffords’ term…
The shooting on Jan. 8, 2011, left 6 victims dead, a federal judge among them. Twelve others were wounded as well as Giffords.
A 23-year-old man, Jared Lee Loughner, has pleaded not guilty to 49 charges in the shooting. He has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and is being forcibly medicated at a Missouri prison facility in an effort by authorities to make him mentally ready for trial.
Actor Kurt Cameron and singer/songwriter Warren Barfield will be continuing their Love Worth Fighting For events across the country for the third year. Maybe they are coming to a city near you:
The “Love Worth Fighting For” conference focuses on all areas of relationships including one’s relationship with God. The conference encourages people in all stages of life to attend as the event applies to teenagers, single adults, newly married couples and longtime spouses. Tickets range from $20 to $35 each and are available as reserved seats or general admission for singles, couples and groups of 10 or more.
“Love Worth Fighting For” Tour 2012
*All dates subject to change, stay tuned to tickets.feedyourfaith.org
Fri. Jan. 20 Montgomery, AL
Sat. Jan. 21 Pensacola, FL
Sun. Jan. 22 Tallahassee, FL
Sat. Feb. 11 Alvin, TX (greater Houston area)
Sun. Feb. 12 Pflugerville, TX (greater Austin area)
Fri. Feb. 24 Des Moines, IA
Sun. Feb. 26 Rock Island, IL
Sat. Mar. 12 Dunn, NC
Fri. Mar. 16 Roanoke, VA
Sun. Mar. 18 Charlotte, NC
Sun. Apr. 15 Indianapolis, IN
Fri. Jun. 8 Troy, MI
You know the hymn What a Friend We Have in Jesus – all our sins and griefs to bear. My favorite Christian blogger, Carl Middleton is comparing our friendship with Jesus to our worldly friendships:
In this portion of scripture in John, Jesus has been teaching about”agapao” love, the … moral, social love one might have for a friend. It’s not a burdensome law or command … it’s the attitude of the heart He wants His friends to show to one another.
What type of attitude did Jesus possess? He was a friend to all men, evensinners … thank God for that … that gives me hope.
Matthew 11:19 … “The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners.” And so He was.
Why was Jesus a friend of sinners? Because His mission was … “to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10.)
What a privilege to carry, everything to God in prayer. I’ll be singing that song all day8] Read it all at GOD’S ANSWER is always Jesus.
My Jewish friend findalis at Monkey in the Middle reports a Republican National Committee resolution to support Israel and has a graph showing the differences between Republican and Democrat support.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the members of this body support Israel in their natural and G-d-given right of self-governance and self-defense upon their own lands, recognizing that Israel is neither an attacking force nor an occupier of the lands of others; and that peace can be afforded the region only through a united Israel governed under one law for all people.
Findalis sees the resolution an acknowledgement that a two-state solution will not work, and is not supported by the RNC. I’m not sure it goes that far, but this is a tremendous step toward defending and strengthening the small amount of land that remains to Israel, and her roots in the Middle East and Jerusalem. I would like to hear the GOP debates ask where our candidates on the so-called Two State Solution.
Let Palestine have what they have now, and partake in what their brothers and sisters have in Jordan and Syria, and be grateful for it. It was Saudi Arabia which convinced the Brits to create Jordan and set-up their Royal heir to rule. There was no Jordan, as all the land was designated by The League of Nations for Israel. Jordan doesn’t want their rabble-rousing Arab Hamas-loving brothers inside their borders, and is happy to put up with them trying to kill Israeli’s out of frustration, and oh yes…the Koran, and their Charters and Constitution directs them to wipe Israel off the earth. How is it that Democrats swallow that?
My advice to Israel: take out one Hamas leader every day, and retaliate with quadrupled vigor when they hit back. Make them want no more!
This resolution, at the least, supports Israel’s right to defend itself against Palestinian thugs, in far more productive ways. The only roadblock is Barack Obama and a Democrat Senate. Read the entire resolution at Monkey in the Middle.
North Korea remains the most oppressive nation against Christians with 70,000 believed to be held in horrible prison conditions. Following closely are Afghanistan No. 2, Saudia Arabia, No. 3, Somalia No. 4, Iran No. 5, the Maldives No. 6, Uzbekistan No. 7, Yemen No. 8, Iraq No. 9 and Pakistan No. 10. According to The Open Doors Annual World Watch List (WWL) the first six give no opportunity for Christian worship. Source: Worthy News
“Being a Muslim Background Believer or ‘Secret Believer’ Christian in a Muslim-dominated country is a huge challenge. Christians often face persecution from extremists, the government, their community and even their own families,” said Moeller. “As the 2012 World Watch List reflects, the persecution of Christians in these Muslim countries continues to increase. While many thought the Arab Spring would bring increased freedom, including religious freedom for minorities, that certainly has not been the case so far.”
Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, is also mentioned in the list, at a time when intolerance and intolerance against Christians in Indonesia almost doubled in 2011, including an Islamist campaign to close down churches, according to rights investigators. In one of the latest reported incidents on Christmas Day, two churches in West Java’s Bogor city were reportedly prevented from holding Christmas services as Islamic extremist reportedly screamed and yelled at worshipers.
No injuries were reported, but the Indonesian Protestant Church Union, locally known as PGI, said it counted 54 acts of violence and other violations against Christians in 2011, up from 30 in 2010.
For the first time Pakistan (10) entered the top 10, after a tumultuous year during which the nation’s highest-ranking Christian politician, Cabinet Minister Shahbaz Bhatti, was assassinated for his attempts to change the blasphemy law. Additionally, Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer was shot by one of his security guards on January 4, 2011 after campaigning for Asia Bibi, a Christian farmer from rural Punjab sentenced to death for blasphemy, despite concerns in the investigation convicting her.
In Africa, Nigeria totaled 300 martyred Christians in 2011, and remains the worst offenders against Christians on the Continent.
Since 2009 the extreme Islamic group Boko Haram, or ‘Western education is a sin’, destroyed more than 50 churches and killed many Christians, including at least 10 pastors, Open Doors said. On Christmas Day dozens of Christians died in attacks.
Sudan – where northern Christians experienced greater vulnerability after southern Sudan seceded in a July referendum, and where Christians were targeted amid isolated military conflicts – jumped 19 places last year from its 2010 ranking, from 35th to 16th. In northern Nigeria, where Islamist bombings, guerrilla-style attacks and increased government restrictions on Christians contributed to the region leaping by 10 on the list, from 23rd to 13th place.
Read more about persecution and the Arab Spring that spiraled into the Arab Winter.
Some good news: Iranian Christian business woman Shahla Rahmati has been released from Evin Prison in Tehran after 287 days. She was incarcerated as part of a crackdown on infidels.
Since her detention on March 9 last year she was reportedly kept in solitary confinement for five months. She was then moved to “an overcrowded cell which she shared with about 80 hardened criminals and drug addicts”, stressed Elam Ministries. “Here her health deteriorated [as] her blood pressure dropped to
very low levels.”
Her family said they “thank all Christians for their faithful intercession for her release” but concerns remained over two other Christian women who were detained with Shahla Rahmati.
Congresswoman Gabbrielle Giffords Announcements, Retirment and Thanks us for our Prayers (video)