November 1: International Day of Prayer for Persecuted Church

Next Sunday, November 1st, has been designated as “International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church.”

I can’t implore you strongly enough to pray, every day, for our Brothers and Sisters in Christ, around the world, who are being persecuted for their faith in Jesus. I urge you to include these men, women, and children, and their families and churches, as part of your daily prayers.
We must, every day, heed the words of Hebrews 13:3:
“Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; [and] them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.”

When we pray for those in prison for their faith, we must remember that the gospel came to us in letters written from jail.

Here’s a look at the facts, from The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission:

“Christians are the most persecuted religious group worldwide. An average of at least 180 Christians around the world are killed each month for their faith. (Source: Open Doors USA)
Christians in more than 60 countries face persecution from their governments or surrounding neighbors simply because of their belief in Christ. (Source: U.S. Department of State)
One of the worst countries in the world for the persecution of Christians is North Korea. With the exception of four official state-controlled churches in Pyongyang, Christians in North Korea face the risk of detention in the prison camps, severe torture and, in some cases, execution for practicing their religious beliefs. North Koreans suspected of having contact with South Korean or other foreign missionaries in China, and those caught in possession of a Bible, have been known to be executed. (Source: Christian Solidarity Worldwide)
In 41 of the 50 worst nations for persecution, Christians are being persecuted by Islamic extremists. (Source: Open Doors).”

I’m going to share a couple of resources with you.
First, here is a video from “The Voice of the Martyrs” to promote this year’s International Prayer event. It is the true story of Pastor Pastor Suta. Please note that this is a true story, and parts of it are tough, but it will give a glimpse into just what our Christian Brothers and Sisters are facing, every day of their lives:

Next, here is a list of Scripture Verses, from “The Voice of the Martyrs,” entitled “Persecution in the Bible.” I put it in .pdf format, so you should be able to enlarge it, and print it for personal study:
Persecution in the Bible

Here’s the same list in .jpg format:

Persecution in the Bible
As we commit ourselves to pray, every day, for our persecuted Brothers and Sisters in Christ, to renew our goal and desire to “Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity,” let us also remember the words of Pastor Suta, from the video:
“When you pray for the persecuted, please remember to also pray for those who persecute.”


Now I Know Why “God Walks the Dark Hills”

Recently, we’ve been writing much about enjoying the blessings which God has bestowed upon us … right now. First, to recognize and realize just how much God loves us, and does for us … provides for us … every day.
Certainly, “The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad” (Psalm 126:3). I think one of the great things about our modern technology is the opportunity to listen to great gospel songs, from the great singers of the past, from our past.
The opportunity to hear-and see-The Happy Goodmans, for example, is a tremendous blessing. I find that if God’s hand is in the writing, and in the performing, the song truly becomes “timeless,” and, frankly, never loses its ability to minister to us. Never. Ever. Period.

One of the things I’ve always wanted to do here on our “social media” ministry, is share particular songs which have ministered to me, and blessed me, especially at the most difficult times of my life. Just like a list of Scripture verses, which we hold on to, grasp ahold of, during those difficult times, the same can be said for certain songs which came along at “just the right moment,” and often, God used to help “bring us out.”

Please understand that I am of the mindset that “inspired writing” did not end 2,000 years ago. Jesus is alive … right now. God is alive … right now … the Holy Spirit is alive … right now … And, fully capable of providing the words that will minister to us … right now … My point is that God still, today, provides writers with “living words” which are just that … alive with His Spirit, written to minister and help us along the way …

One of the titles of the Holy Spirit is “Comforter” or “Helper.” Right? The Names have the meaning of Someone who stands along beside us … helping us … guiding us … leading us …

For years, I’ve heard the song from Vestal Goodman, “God Walks the Dark Hills.” Sometimes we are so familiar with a song that we forget just what the words are. At first glance, that doesn’t seem like it makes sense. Yet, think about it. How about “Christmas” songs. We “know them by heart,” yet never really “look” at the words. Songs like “O Holy Night,” for example. What a powerful, powerful lyric. Just like “Joy to the World” and many others. If we took just the words, without the music … what a powerful testimony-and message-a “timeless” testimony and message …

Anyway, I’ve heard the song from Vestal Goodman, loved the song so much, and, just being totally honest, I think I just took the words for granted. Of course, God walks the dark hills. He is everywhere. He created the mountains, and His presence is always there “among them.” And, yes, we take comfort from just knowing that wherever we are … whatever dark mountain or valley we are facing … God is there …
But, as I listened to this song last night … after hearing it all these years … the true meaning “hit me.”
Why does God Walk the Dark Hills?

God walks the dark hills
Just to guide you and me.
God walks the dark hills
To guide my footsteps
God walks the dark hills
To show me the way
God walks the dark hills
‘Cause He loves you and me.

Here we see, in living words, the embodiment of what God, through the Holy Spirit, does for us … every day … and, especially during the darkest night … “Someone who stands along beside us … helping us … guiding us … leading us …” It’s all there, in black and white: Because God loves us, He stays with us, especially when we need His help the most.

This has to be one of the most “ministered to me” songs ever written. Written by Audra Czarnikow, made a standard by Vestal Goodman, how many, for so many years, have “reached out” and held onto the words of this song … I heard Vestal herself, when asked which song had ministered to her, personally, above all others, say it was this one. There is just something that happens, deep inside, when Vestal steps to the mic, and the first words are “God Walks the Dark Hills.” It was also one of my Mom’s favorite songs, for the same reasons it has ministered to so many across the generations. Allow me also to say that one of the greatest thrills I’ve ever had was the opportunity to see the Happy Goodmans in person, with Carol. Even though I had been a friend of Rusty Goodman’s, going back to my radio days, I had never seen Vestal, Howard, and Sam in concert.

Here is Vestal Goodman, The Happy Goodmans, with “God Walks the Dark Hills.”
I’m so blessed that now I know why He does.


God Walks the Dark Hills
Written by Audra Czarnikow

God walks the dark hills
The ways, the by ways
He walks through the billows
Of life’s troubled sea
He walks through the cold dark night
The shadows of midnight
God walks the dark hills
Just to guide you and me
God walks the dark hills
To guide my footsteps
He walks everywhere
By night and by day
He walks in the silence
On down the highway
God walks the dark hills
To show me the way

God walks in the storm
The rain and the sunshine
He walks on the billows
On through glimmering light
Helps us walk up the mountain so high
Cross our rivers through valleys
God walks the dark hills
‘Cause He loves you and me.


More Math: “Intelligent Design”

Recently, we posted a video called “The Love of God: Do the Math!”
Here’s another video for you to enjoy, using the the Math equation of 1.68 Phi, showing there can be no doubt that, behind all creation, is, literally, “Intelligent Design.”

Enjoy the images and the message, and please note the link at the end of the video:

Here’s a direct link to the “Do the Math!” video:
The Love of God: Do the Math!”