Yesterday, Sunday, the Islamic State attacked three Christian churches in Surabaya, the second largest city on Java, Indonesia. The father detonated a car bomb at the Pentecost Church Central Surabaya. Two sons riding motorcycles attacked the Immaculate Santa Maria Catholic Church. And the wife/mother and her two daughters, nine and twelve blew themselves up at the Indonesian Christian Church. Twelve people were killed and forty were wounded.
Lord, we pray for peace.
What does Ascension Day mean? I always interpreted it as Christ ascending to the heavens. But our pastor, Rev. Kornilov, put a new meaning to it. He said, and I think he is right, that the ascension can also mean, and in this case perhaps even more importantly, that Christ ascended to the throne. The ascension of Christ is His going to heaven and ascending to the throne.
Father, we thank you for appointing Christ as the king and seating Him at Your right hand.
Today is the least celebrated and perhaps the most important Christian holy day, Ascension Day. We celebrate Christ rising to the heavens as His work here on earth was done. He completed what He came here to do. Mission impossible accomplished. He bore the penalties of all those He is going to save at one time. He conquered death. Not bad for living on earth 33 years.
Father, we thank you for accepting Your son’s sacrifice and completed work.
Rev. Andrew Brunson’s kangaroo trial (sorry Aussie readers for insulting kangaroos) continued yesterday for ten hours. Seven witnesses appeared, but none claimed they had seen him. Result: Instead of declaring him innocent, the trial is postponed without explanation until 18 July.
Father, we pray that you would work in the heart of Erdoğan and release Rev. Andrew Brunson. We pray that You would strengthen Rev. Brunson and that his captors would convert.
We have been praying for Rev. Andrew Brunson – the American pastor incarcerated in Turkey for believing in Christ as his Savior. His trial resumes tomorrow and he has been charged with espionage and committing crimes on behalf of terrorist organizations. The House of Representatives’ Armed Services Committee is recommending a halt of the sale of weapons to Turkey, and one of the main reasons is the imprisonment of Andrew Brunson.
To read more about it, see this article in The Atlantic: https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2018/05/turkey-andrew-brunson-erdogan-coup-gulen-kurds/559748/?utm_source=atlfb
Since he is feeling discouraged right now, please keep praying.
Lord, we ask for justice. May your servant Andrew Brunson be released and may the Gospel spread. May your church, the Resurrection Church in Izmir Turkey grow.
British Broadcasting Company (BBC) has a series of films loosely based on Father Brown, set in the England countryside in the 1950s. The plots and characters are supposed to be based on G. K. Chesterton. The first episode of the first season deals with an Anglican priest confronting his bi-sexual brother who has a fondness of alcohol and gambling. When the priest cannot stop his brother’s evil ways and when his brother refuses to confess his sins and turn to Christ, the priest kills his brother. Meanwhile a devout Catholic girl is an adulteress and her husband is shown as a gambler and a harsh man to his wife.
The first problem is that the 21st century is fixated on sex, so the theme of the episode is all about sex. This is not a 1900 view of the world.
The second problem is that the Anglican priest, a true believer who tries to present the Gospel, is shown as a hypocrite and a murderer.
The third problem is that the bi-sexual brother is the one that is presented as the persecuted one. He was the one that was murdered by the Christian. Watch out, the evil Christians will stop at nothing less than murder, and they will even murder their own brother. Beware of the evil Christians.
These are not G.K. Chesterton’s views – but BBC takes liberties with a conservative Catholic and twists his thoughts to present them in a modern era.
Lord, may we love the sinner and hate the sin.
Who is G.K. Chesterton? He is an English conservative Catholic writer who lived from 1874-1936 and wrote an enormous body of literature. He was Catholic with a sharp wit and a keen understanding. Some of his quotes:
1. Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.
2. Americans are the people who describe their use of alcohol and tobacco as vices.
3. ‘My country, right or wrong,’ is a thing that no true patriot would think of saying. . . . It is like saying, ‘My mother, drunk or sober’
He also wrote a series of detective stories about Father Brown who solves the cases with intuition.
More on the next blog.
Leah Sharibu, a Christian girl of 15, remains imprisoned by the Islamic terrorist in Nigeria. The Boko Haran (literally non-Islamic education is sin) seized 110 girls from Dapchi. Five died and 104 have been released. Only Leah Sharibu, the only Christian, has been kept as a captive. She has not denied her faith.
Lord, protect her and strengthen her in her faith. May she witness to her Islamic capturers.
The sham trial by the Turkish authority lasted one day, 16 April 2018. Rev. Andrew Brunson, a Christian missionary in Izmir, Turkey, after being imprisoned since Oct 2016, is accused of conspiring with Islamic terrorists against the Turkish authority. That a follower of Christ would cooperate with Islamic terrorist is ludicrous. But that is the false charge. He stated forcefully that the only reason he is in prison is because of Jesus Christ.
The kangaroo court was in full force yesterday. His accusers appeared via a video link with their faces obscured and their voices modulated so no one knows who is his accuser. After one day, the trial was suspended for three weeks.
You can sign the petition here: https://beheardproject.com/andrew-brunson
Lord, hear our prayers. May your servant, Rev. Andrew Brunson be released. And while he is in prison, may you comfort him.