Monthly Archives: November 2012

The Voice of the Martyrs’ 2013 Prayer Calendar

Christians are persecuted for their faith all around the world. But in their darkest moments, they cling to prayer and trust in Jesus Christ.

The Voice of the Martyrs’ 2013 Prayer Calendar serves as a reminder to join Christians around the world in daily prayer for persecuted believers and for the lost. Each day on the calendar includes a specific prayer request for Christians in a hostile or restricted nation who are persecuted because of their faith in Christ.


The VOM prayer calendar makes an excellent gift for family and friends. It is not only a gift to remind our friends and family to pray for the persecuted church but also a gift of prayer to the persecuted church.

Give the Gift of Prayer by Clicking Here

 

Heroes of the Faith: Dr. David Livingstone Found by Henry Stanley

Once asked why he decided to be a missionary, Livingstone replied: “I was compelled by the love of Christ.”

Here’s his story, taken from Christianity.com:

For years, no one had heard from the Scottish missionary explorer, David Livingstone. In l866, he had disappeared into the East African interior, searching for the source of the River Nile. Livingstone’s reports of his earlier explorations in Africa had fascinated multitudes of readers at home. Once asked why he decided to be a missionary, Livingstone replied: “I was compelled by the love of Christ.”

His Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa, published in 1857, told of treks totaling more than 20,000 miles back and forth across the African continent. His explorations provided valuable information about the people and geography of Africa’s interior. However, when he didn’t know, he guessed; and his dreams were often bigger than the facts; this cost a number of missionary their lives because they relied on his accounts. James Stewart (founder of Lovedale mission) was so disgusted with Livingstone’s personal life and misinformation that he threw one of his books into an African river.

All the same, Livingstone awakened the world to the horror of the Arab slave trade, which he called a “monster of iniquity brooding over Africa.” By publicizing the evil of slavery, Livingstone worked effectively to see it abolished. For every 20,000 slaves captured and exported, he estimated 100,000 Africans were killed, wounded, or died of disease on the slave trails. He wrote: “The many skeletons we have seen along the paths of the wilderness attest the awful sacrifice of human life that must be attributed to this trade in hell.”

In 1871, concerned that for five years no one had heard from Livingstone and eager to obtain a “scoop,” the New York Herald sent journalist Henry Stanley to find him. Landing in Zanzibar, Stanley traced Livingstone’s steps into the interior. To do so, he had to find his way (sometimes fighting) through hostile territory and overcome attacks of malaria, the jaws of crocodiles, mutiny and desertion.

After months of misery, learning that Livingstone was close, Stanley and his porters donned their best clothes. At last, on this day, November 10, 1871, they saw an old white man by the shores of Lake Tanganyika. Knowing this could be only one person, Stanley greeted him with his now world-famous comment: “Dr. Livingstone, I presume.”

The foods Henry brought with him saved Livingstone’s life, for he was desperately ill and able to eat only African porridge. “You have brought me new life,” said the missionary over and over. Unable to persuade Livingstone to leave Africa, Stanley joined him in exploring part of Lake Tanganyika and then returned to England. Unlike James Stewart, Stanley was impressed with Livingstone’s Christianity, and wrote: “It is not of the theoretical kind, but it is a constant, earnest, sincere practice…and it is always at work.”

Henry Alford – Author of Thanksgiving Hymn “Come Ye Thankful People Come”

Here are the words to the Hymn:

Come, ye thankful people, come,
Raise the song of harvest home!
All is safely gathered in,
Ere the winter storms begin;
God, our Maker, doth provide
For our wants to be supplied;
Come to God’s own temple, come;
Raise the song of harvest home!

We ourselves are God’s own field,
Fruit unto his praise to yield;
Wheat and tares together sown
Unto joy or sorrow grown;
First the blade and then the ear,
Then the full corn shall appear;
Grant, O harvest Lord, that we
Wholesome grain and pure may be.

For the Lord our God shall come,
And shall take the harvest home;
From His field shall in that day
All offences purge away,
Giving angels charge at last
In the fire the tares to cast;
But the fruitful ears to store
In the garner evermore.

Then, thou Church triumphant come,
Raise the song of harvest home!
All be safely gathered in,
Free from sorrow, free from sin,
There, forever purified,
In God’s garner to abide;
Come, ten thousand angels, come,
Raise the glorious harvest home!

Now, here’s the link to read the story of Henry Alford:

Henry Alford – Author of Thanksgiving Hymn “Come Ye Thankful People Come”

Original Mayflower Compact – Its Historical Importance

“There are more than l60 independent nations in the world. Whether dictatorships or democracies, nearly all have written constitutions, but that of the United States is by far the oldest.”

 

Hooray for Hymns: Top Ten Favorite Hymns From “godmadeknown” Blog

“Hymns can be a powerful (and catchy) way of conveying really big truths about God often straight from His Word…”

Here is a “Top Ten Favorite Hymns” List from the “godmadeknown” blog.
We think you’ll enjoy the list-and really admire and appreciation this blog about true Christian home schooling:

Hooray for Hymns.

 

Voice of the Martyrs Online Workshops: Persecution Studies

Visit www.VOMClassroom.com to view a selection of online workshops that will guide you through persecution studies. These courses will deepen your knowledge of and effectiveness in ministry to the persecuted church. Each class is self-enrolled and self-paced, allowing you to study on your own time.

Using audio lectures, video clips and other reading materials, these courses offer a broad range of topics, such as Persecution Studies, History of Persecution, Preparing for Persecution, Praying for the Persecuted Church, Muslim Evangelism, and courses in Biblical Studies in Persecution and Suffering for the Old and New Testaments.

Click below to view the current online courses being offered and to register:

Voice of the Martyrs Online Workshops

Don’t miss these opportunities to broaden your understanding of our response to today’s persecuted church.

 

Online Blog-Christian Hymns History: Wordwise Hymns

Here is a great resource for you:

Here, in almanac form, is a huge collection of hymn histories.

This blog features the history and the biblical themes of hymns.

Enjoy:

wordwisehymns.com

 

Africa Inland Mission, International (AIM)

Recently, we featured a story on the remarkable life of Peter Cameron Scott, founder of Africa Inland Mission, International (AIM).
We thought we’d give you the opportunity to read more about this ministry, its history, and feature links to other information about AIM
.

An Introduction to AIM International
“With over 100 years experience, AIM International is an evangelical, interdenominational organization with the goal of seeing Christ-centered churches among all African peoples.”
Africa Inland Mission has over 930 people working in over 20 countries in Africa, all sharing the same goal of reaching out to those who have never heard the gospel.

To read about their history, click here

To date, over four million people worship in churches founded through the work of AIM and that work continues. However, we have a heart for African people, and that’s why our work isn’t restricted to the African continent but includes reaching Africans in the UK and Europe as well.
To read more, here is the link to their home page

Founded in 1895, Africa Inland Mission is an evangelical, interdenominational organization with the goal of seeing “Christ-centered churches among all African peoples.”

Serving across Africa, and ministering to Africans living in Europe, we work in partnership with the African church to reach Africa’s unreached peoples with the Good News of Jesus Christ.

 

Praising God for a Prophetic Homecoming – The Fellowship

Here is a wonderful story from “International Fellowship of Christians and Jews” website.

Praising God for a Prophetic Homecoming – The Fellowship.

Richard.Vincent.Rose.: Sermon Notes: Our Words Have Power and Authority

I thought I’d share with you some notes I took during a recent sermon on the power of our words.
Here is something I have been doing lately, and I invite you to see the power in this:

It seems that every time we are going through a tough trial or situation, there are certain Scriptures, or quotes (but especially Scriptures) which we cling to, we hold to. To build our faith and confidence, often “just get through,” we repeat these quotes throughout the day, at certain periods of the day, etc. I can’t imagine going through a tough time without doing this. But, how about every day-when things are going ok. Or … even going well? How many Christians do we all know who have note cards scattered/placed where they will be sure to see them. I do. Carol does. We have them placed all over the house and our office. I have placed note cards/Scripture cards on my visor out in the car or truck. In my wallet. I still do. While I have several note cards with Scriptures on “my” bureau, I often catch myself reading Carol’s cards, as she has them scattered … um … I mean, placed neatly, on “her” bureau. Often, “her cards” are just what I need as I prepare for the day. I am now being reminded that it is not just our words that have power and authority in our lives … but, other people’s words carry power and authority in our lives.

But, back to doing this on a regular basis, as part of your daily life, every day.
While I have always been an advocate of note-taking, and I mean taking as many notes as you can during a sermon (yes, especially when I’m speaking), I, honestly, had gotten away from doing this on a regular basis. So, I started taking notes again. Whether I am a fan of “Church Bulletins” or not (brutally honest, as we also supply these!) (I guess I still have a lot of the “old school” left), our church bulletins, which I make sure I receive each week, have the back page (interesting) reserved for “Sermon Notes.” Let’s face it-this is a great idea! Since I had gotten away from taking notes, this meant I no longer carried a spiral notebook with me to church. I was so classic: I started by continuing to take the notebook, and, each week, I’d take fewer and fewer notes. I even got to the point where I had decided that I was going to limit the amount of notes I’d take to one page, and one page only. This led to taking fewer notes. It would seem to almost anger me when the Pastor had a really great sermon going, and I was in danger of having to take more than one page of notes. Ok, I’ll admit it. I would become almost angry when it appeared that I might be in danger of filling a whole page of notes. Well, you know that about this time, my notebook became full. So, I just decided not to get another one. Meaning that now, I would just show up to church without a notebook at all. This led to showing up at church without even carrying a pen! The irony in this is that, as a writer, I always have to have a writing instrument with me. I have to have one in my shirt pocket, pants pocket, and if wearing a t-shirt, I will have an ink pen attached to the neckline of the tee. I have pens out in the garage, the shed, the truck (where I have pens everywhere, including stuck in the heater vents). But, when I stopped with the note-taking at church, I no longer carried one of the items most associated with my appearance. There seems to be such a metaphor in this.

Anyway, back to the point of taking notes on the back of my church bulletin: Since I was really feeling conviction for not taking notes (not for the action of taking notes, but for the benefits the Spirit knew I would receive from doing it), I did what I saw other church members do: Use the back of the bulletin for taking notes. Should I also mention that, in the days when I was an avid note-taker, with pen and notebook, that I used to frown, judgmentally, at those who would do this? So, I started taking notes on the back of the church bulletin. God would even add additional notes to the sermon, as well!
It was then that I discovered what all this note-taking was all about. I placed the church bulletin, on the inside front cover of my Bible, on top of the note cards (with Scriptures) I keep there. When I do my daily Bible reading, which is first thing in the morning and the last thing at night, the first thing I do is read at least one of the special Scripture cards (all of which pertain to something in particular I am praying and seeking God for), before I begin my Scripture reading. But, what I started doing, is reading the “Sermon Notes” from the bulletin, instead of the note cards. It is remarkable how, each day, as I read the notes from Sunday’s sermon, it exactly pertains to exactly what I am now, today, praying and seeking God’s help for. We always hear, and know, that God gives the Pastor a message specifically tailored for the congregation-what they need to hear right now. After all, that’s the point, right? The Pastor hears from God, what the congregation needs to hear. While we all know and believe this, to see it “play out” in real life is, well, amazing.

I hope this helps you. You have to read your Bible. Every day. Yes, as often as you can, and certainly make it a priority to read first thing in the morning and the last thing at night. And, keep those cards with Scripture verses where you’ll see them-every day. God will use whatever means necessary to get the Word you need to hear to you. To keep the Word in your heart, it has to enter through your head. Make sure you place His Words where your head will be. I didn’t even mention mirrors, refrigerators, doorways, but, you get the idea. And, keep taking those notes. On whatever paper necessary. I know that some of my best writing was done on napkins, inside of torn-open envelopes and paper bags. Once, I wrote a poem on the outside of one of those white paper bags on the back of airplane seats, if you know what I mean. God’s Word, and your words, whether written or spoken, carry authority.

At some point, I should include the notes taken exactly as I wrote them, on the “Sermon Notes” back page of the church bulletin:
As always, the notes followed the sermon, and some additional words Jesus gave me as I sat and listened. These are all just as I wrote them:

Jesus is King-Now! Not just in the past or future-But, Jesus is King right now!
What I say-What you say-is important.
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue.”
Or, translated,
“Ruin and victory are in the power of the tongue.”
Proverbs 18:21

God’s Words bring life-Our words bring ruin.
Matthew 4:1-11:
Jesus didn’t give an opinion:
“It is written … “  “My Father says …”

What you say matters: Matthew 12:34-37.

“Whosoever shall say  … and not doubt in his heart … but believe that these things which he saith shall come to pass, he shall have whatsoever he saith … believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them” (Mark 11:22-24).

As believers, our words are the most powerful thing we have.
Satan has no power over God’s Word.
My words carry the authority of God.
My words release the power of God.

“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16).

We didn’t choose God first-He chose us.
My words impart salvation to the lost.

Bring your problems to God first-Not to your friends.

Blessings,
Richard.Vincent.Rose.