Category Archives: HEROES OF THE FAITH

Just that: Heroes of the faith. Includes biographies, videos, etc.

“i am n” Video Series: Part Four – Joy

“I have found truly jubilant Christians only in the Bible, in the Underground Church and in prison.”
Richard Wurmbrand, Founder, Voice of the Martyrs

We continue this video series, produced by The Voice of the Martyrs from their “i am n” campaign. This video features “joy.”

“Joy” is defined as “a feeling of great happiness; a source or cause of great happiness; something or someone that gives joy to someone; the emotion evoked by by the prospect of possessing what one desires; a state of happiness; a source or cause of delight.”

Image if you lived, everyday, with the danger of losing everything you have-including your life, and the lives of your loved ones-just by making the decision to convert to Christianity … or if “word got out” that you were a follower of Jesus …
“Is it possible to find Christians with joy in the midst of these types of trials? …
The words of God, the words of Jesus, are different from the words of people … All of this is nothing compared to the reward that you will be receiving in Heaven with Him.”

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“i am n” Video Series: Part Three- Forgiveness

We continue this video series, produced by The Voice of the Martyrs from their “i am n” campaign. The second video features “forgiveness.”

“Forgiveness” is defined as “the act of forgiving someone or something; the attitude of someone who is willing to forgive other people … to stop feeling anger toward (someone who has done something wrong); to stop blaming (someone); to stop feeling anger about (something).”

Image if you lived, everyday, with the danger of losing everything you have-including your life, and the lives of your loved ones-just by making the decision to convert to Christianity … or if “word got out” that you were a follower of Jesus …

Oh … as you’ll see in this video … you are given 3 distinct choices:
1. Change your religion/Denounce Christ/Convert to Islam
2. Pay a steep tax.
3. Be killed.

“Even more compelling than stories of their perseverance under persecution is they way they are able to extend forgiveness to those who persecute them … Without Christ, forgiveness is a foreign concept … “

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“i am n” Video Series: Part Two-Faithfulness

We continue this video series, produced by The Voice of the Martyrs from their “i am n” campaign. The second video features “faithfulness.”

“Faithfulness” is defined as “full of faith; steadfast in allegiance; loyal; firm in adherence to promises or in observance of duty; keeping your promises or doing what you are supposed to do.”

Image if you lived, everyday, with the danger of losing everything you have-including your life, and the lives of your loved ones-just by making the decision to convert to Christianity … or if “word got out” that you were a follower of Jesus …

“Anyone who follows Jesus faithfully will pay a price for following Him, and holding fast to the truth of God’s Word … We need to be encouraged by the faithfulness of our Brothers and Sisters …”

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The Power of “Posts:” Part Five

Hi Friends:

Yes, I didn’t plan this to be a series; I only wanted to share with you what I had discovered on the back of a calendar, and, initially, planned that one “post” for the end of the year.

While I was researching for what became a short series, I ran into this quote, which I share with you today, during a morning Bible study. Once again, I just can’t over-emphasize the importance of beginning your day with prayer, and Bible study. First thing. Every day. If you’ll do this, faithfully, I promise you’ll “run into” all kinds of things, which just happen to fit into the “that’s just what I needed” category. See, God knows what you need. If you’ll spend time with Him … you will, then, give Him the time to show you … “just what you need.”

I was in the beginning of this series, when I discovered this quote from, and, yes, I will proudly say it … one of my heroes … It’s ok to have heroes, you know … people, from the past, and present, who inspire you … God will always put people in front of you, to inspire you. Jesus is my hero. Period. Period. I want to be like Him, I want to think like Him, I want to speak like Him, I want to “do” like Him. Period.

Jesus also places people around us, circumstances around us, which will help us fulfill that goal. He also allows us to read and learn about people, from history, who had that same goal. People we can, yes I’ll say it, people we can “look up to,” people who inspire us. How about Paul? Peter? John? Etc. Well, Jesus is still alive, His influence is still alive, and there are many “modern-day” people who can, through their example of following Christ, inspire us today.

One of these heroes, to me, is Pastor Richard Wurmbrand. And, his wife Sabrina. I notice that, today, according to my “Google Doodle,” is “International Women’s Day.” Well … to women around the globe … to men around the globe … I urge you to learn about Richard and Sabrina Wurmbrand. If you want to learn about 2 heroes …

While I was doing the research for this series, I ran into a quote from Richard Wurmbrand. Mr. Wurmbrand was a Pastor in Romania. What he endured as a prisoner, inside a Communist prison, for 14 years, is incomprehensible. He was, eventually, released, and went on to found “The Voice of the Martyrs.”

I am now going to write this: When I was growing up in Georgia, the movie “Walking Tall” was released; a true story about Sheriff Buford Pusser, a former professional wrestler. A man I remember seeing. A man who suffered tremendous injury at the hands of criminals, whom he would spend the rest of his life fighting. Again … please allow me to use this as an example, in context. In the movie, Buford (played by Joe Don Baker) was on trial … in one of the most memorable scenes from his movie, and his life … from the witness stand … he ripped open his shirt … allowing the, perhaps, at first, unbelieving jury to see the wounds his enemies had inflicted him with … again, please remember the context … making a statement, to the now-horrified, stunned jury, that, if they allowed this to happen to him … “they” would allow the same thing to happen to “each of you”

Pastor Wurmbrand began his ministry of being a voice for persecuted Christians in England with Rev. Stuart Harris. Later, Richard moved on to the United States. It was the year 1966 … Years after his release from a Communist prison … Richard Wurmbrand would stand in front of perhaps, at first, unbelieving members of the United States Congress … he appeared before a U.S. Senate Internal Security Subcommittee, where he stripped to the waist and revealed 18 deep torture wounds on his body to perhaps, at first, an unbelieving group of U.S. Congressmen, to see the wounds his enemies had inflicted him with …

Yeah … I have heroes … Not many, but these are two …

Pastor Wurmbrand would write the classic “Tortured for Christ,” and “In God’s Underground.” It is a quote from the latter that I discovered as I was in the midst of this series. The day was February 29th, 1948, and Pastor Wurmbrand, in Romania, was walking to church. He was forced into a van, and taken prisoner. How scared would you be?

In his book “In God’s Underground,” here’s what Pastor Wurmbrand wrote about that day, the last day of February, 1948:
“I knew that I faced questioning, ill-treatment, possibly years of imprisonment and death, and I wondered if my faith was strong enough. I remembered then that in the Bible it is written 366 times-once for every day of the year-‘Don’t be afraid.’ 366 times, not merely 365, to account for leap year. And this was February 29-a coincidence that told me I need not fear!”

Yeah … I have heroes …

I was going to sub-title this last installment of the series, “What’s on your wall?” as I share with you a deeply personal photo, which I have, here on the wall, in our office. It is right next to a framed portrait of Abraham Lincoln.

Again, I encourage you to “post” sayings, verses of Scriptures, pictures, photos, etc., around your home, to encourage you … and … those who may just happen to visit. In my case, every time I enter the office, or as I leave the office and turn around to look, this is the photo I see … there on the wall … to encourage me, and “all those who enter.” This, by the way, and this is really personal, is the exact photo I have on the wall … I took it down, and scanned it … so this is the photo I see, both when I enter, and leave, the office.

The question is:
What’s on your wall?

I am also going to share a link to a story we did on Richard and Sabrina Wurmbrand, over on our blog, which includes a video …
Featuring actual recordings of Pastor Wurmbrand, and the story of Richard and Sabrina … the only change I may make, as I really think about their story … is that I think I should put a photo of both Mr. and Mrs. Wurmbrand on the wall …

Here’s the actual photo from my office wall:

Here’s the link to the story and video:

Richard and Sabrina Wurmbrand Post

Blessings to you, and your family,
Today. And, every day.
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

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Good News from Sudan: VOM Staff Member Released from Sudanese Prison

Under the heading of “SET FREE,” I received this email from The Voice of the Martyrs, this past Monday, February 27. This is a story we have been keeping up with, and read the announcement with great joy:
“Czech national and long-time VOM staff member Petr Jasek has been released from prison in Sudan, following a pardon issued by Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir.” 
Here is a recap of the story, from 2 emails we received:

HE’S FINALLY HOME

HE’S FINALLY HOME!

“After 445 days in prison in Sudan, Czech national Petr Jasek has been set free. He flew out of Sudan Sunday afternoon along with Czech Republic Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek. Jasek, arrested in December 2015, had served as VOM’s Africa Regional Director. He was reunited with his wife and two grown children last night in Prague.
We are so thankful for all those who prayed for Petr and his family. Many also wrote letters to the Sudanese government on behalf of Petr and two Sudanese men sentenced with him. THANK YOU!
From the earliest days of his imprisonment, Petr said many times, “God holds the key to my cell.” We are thankful that God used that key to open the door, and we pray that He will also open the cell doors to allow the two Sudanese men, one of whom is a pastor, also to go free.
Petr was arrested in December 2015, after visiting Sudanese Christians and helping one of them with a small gift to cover medical expenses. Last month a Sudanese court found him guilty of “waging war against the state,” “violating restrictions in military areas,” “spreading rumors to defame the state,” “espionage” and “inciting strife between communities.” He was sentenced to 24 years in prison. Since that sentence was announced, negotiations have been ongoing between the Czech government and the government of Sudan.

Please continue to pray for Rev. Hassan Abduraheem (second from left above) and Abdulmonem Abdumawla (far right above), who can be seen with Petr in the photo above, and were sentenced to 12 years in prison for allegedly aiding Petr’s espionage activities. Pray that they will be released soon, and pray for their families.

Please continue to pray for Rev. Hassan Abduraheem (second from left above) and Abdulmonem Abdumawla (far right above), who can be seen with Petr in the photo above, and were sentenced to 12 years in prison for allegedly aiding Petr’s espionage activities. Pray that they will be released soon, and pray for their families.

Also: Pray also for Petr Jasek and his family as they reunite and as Petr begins to recover from the physical toll that 14 months in prison has wrought.

“I was in five different prisons, each worse than the last,” Petr said. “I was placed in group cells with drug traffickers, violent criminals and radical Muslims – including ISIS members. I was deprived of sleep for days in a cell with no running water, where mice ran over my body every time I lay down.”

As a career field leader with VOM, Petr has devoted his life to serving our persecuted Christian family. For more than 15 years, he has traveled continually and served in the toughest mission fields in the world.
Inspired by years of serving Christians imprisoned for their faith, he felt honored to be able to serve God while himself the prisoner of a brutal Islamic regime. He embraced his imprisonment as an opportunity to share the gospel with Sudanese, Eritreans and radical Muslims who are normally inaccessible to missionaries.

“I found that I was peaceful and joyful in prison, and that is a miracle that only God can do,” Petr said. “I can say that I was experiencing an amazing time with the Lord. My prayer was that I wanted to have the right words to speak at any time so that everything I said would be for the glory of God and touching the hearts of the other prisoners.” During his almost 15 months in prison, Petr shared the gospel with many and saw several come to saving faith in Christ.

Each of us should be inspired by Petr’s example. We should seek to boldly witness for Christ wherever we are.

Each of us should be inspired by Petr’s example. We should seek to boldly witness for Christ wherever we are.

Pray also for all of our Christian brothers and sisters in Sudan. They have become bolder – not more cautious – in their witness for Christ since Petr and the others were imprisoned, even singing hymns outside the courthouse during our brothers’ trial.

Here is a direct link to The Voice of the Martyrs website, which will include information on how you can help those persecuted for their faith, and how you can help their families:

The Voice of the Martyrs

“Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; [and] them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.”
Hebrews 13:3

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Ivan Koloff: From Wrestler to Witness-From Title to Testimony

Hi Friends:

Today, I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Ivan Koloff.

Yet, there is an unexplainable joy I am feeling as I write this. A joy which comes from knowing about his life after wrestling, and the impact his testimony has made on me, and so many others. After growing up watching “The Russian Bear,” and then hearing, seeing, the sincerity of his testimony … I was so proud of him … Hearing his real voice, in his humble manner, talking about Jesus, and how Jesus changed his life … it’s just something I’ll never forget.

I was alerted to his passing by a friend, responding to a video of Ivan Koloff, which we featured quite a long time ago. The video is still one of my favorites, and among those I have been the most excited to share.

It was in July of 2013 that I first featured
“Special Video Testimony: Ivan Koloff.”

This will be the first time, ever, that I have repeated a video here. I just watched it again.
Here is part of what I wrote, as an introduction:

“Ivan Koloff, who accepted Jesus as Savior and Lord of his life in 1995, is now an ordained minister, and active in the ministry, traveling to share his testimony across the United States … how wonderful Jesus is, to take “bad guys”-like us, love them, save them, and deliver them. After all, we were all “bad guys” at one time. Funny how we forget that, sometimes … 
I just finished a story about someone at the end of their rope-and hope, calling out to Jesus, who answered their call, saved them … delivered them … and then, they answered His call …When I wrote the story, I thought about Ivan Koloff. How just listening to him, looking at him speak of Jesus, blessed me, and encouraged me so much.

I must be honest: I still sneak a peek at the old Wrestling Videos on YouTube … late one night, there was a video interview of Ivan Koloff, and It wasn’t the interview that grabbed my attention … it was the T-Shirt he was wearing. It said, “I Love Jesus.” WOW!

I checked it out, and, I am so proud of Ivan Koloff!
Here is Ivan Koloff’s personal testimony. I’ve seen it many times, and it still blesses me, still encourages me. He is able to reach many people that others can’t, and I hope this touches … blesses … encourages … and reaches you:”

That’s exactly the way I wrote it. I never had the privilege to meet Ivan Koloff … but, I will … one day. I can’t wait to hug him!
To look into those eyes. To hear his “real” voice.

For fans, I’m sure you’ve already gone to the news reports, detailing his real name, and his biography, including his battle with liver cancer. That’s why I didn’t include that here. I just wanted to share, again, what he would want you to remember

Here’s the link to the original post, which includes another video, and a link to the “Ivan Koloff” website, taking you directly to “My Testimony.”

“Special Video Testimony: Ivan Koloff”

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Prayer Returns to Public Schools

Hi Friends:

This is another one of those times when I ask you to place the title in context.

There is a thought which says that prayer isn’t allowed in Public Schools.
There is also a thought which says that God isn’t allowed in Public Schools.
Both are just not true. Why?

I go to School every day.
I pray in School every day.
I bring God with me to School every day.
I am reminded of a story told by Evangelist R.W. Schambach:
A man enters a church, sits down, and remarks to the lady sitting next to him, “God is in this place.”
The lady turns to the man, and in a voice which only Rev. Schambach could replicate, says, “How do you know that?”
The man answers, “Because I brought Him with me.”

Yes, there are two distinct problems surrounding this “prayer in Public School” issue.
My Pastor once said that he sent his kids to School to learn about Science, Math, English, etc. Not to learn about God. Again, think of the context. They were supposed to learn about God at home. From Godly parents. I think you can see the problem there.
Then, let’s go back to this “I bring Him with me” issue. The ones who have learned about God, even know God … don’t act like it, once that bell rings. Again, this won’t fit everyone, but please understand the context here.

So, here it is, today. January 20, 2017. Inauguration Day here in the United States. What I wish is that everyone in the United States would learn about how governments are in other countries around the globe. That every American citizen would learn about what is happening “everywhere else.” Again, context. How so many nations are in political turmoil. How Christians are being killed, just because it was “found out” that they were Christians. How, in so many countries, it is illegal to convert to Christianity … how much suffering is going on … and, hopefully, everyone would realize how “good we’ve got it” over here. How many countries have their media “state-run.” Etc.

What I am getting at, is how blessed we are, to have a day like today. Something we’ve heard so many times, but take for granted: “The peaceful transition of power.” The peaceful transition of power.

I am hopeful that many Schools … I would think that all Schools … carried the Inauguration today. I’m not speaking about the Inaugural Address here. I’m writing about the ceremony. Boy … governments love ceremony … Anyway, I would hope, because of the great opportunity to see history, right in front of our eyes … that many Schools carried the Inauguration ceremony today.

Let me get this one out of the way right now: I’m not speaking as a Republican, or a Democratic. I am speaking as an American. An American citizen.

Here goes: I remember, back during the assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan, as the President was being prepped for surgery, President Reagan looked up at the doctor, which was getting ready to operate. President Reagan said, “I hope you’re Republican.” The doctor answered, “Today, Mr. President, we are all Republican.” I heard this from President Reagan himself.

That’s what I mean. Today, we are all Americans. A remarkable thing has happened. And … it happened right in front of our eyes.

Back to the School … I’ve written how, in our Library, we have a large-screen television, which I use, sound muted and CC on, to carry news, weather, slide shows, and, especially, important news coverage of events happening “right now.” Certainly, an historic event like the Presidential Inauguration, qualifies for “live, streaming” coverage … with sound …

So, that’s what we did today. First thing this morning, I tuned the television to continuous, live coverage of the events, with sound … I must admit, I learned a lot, and was captivated by the historical tidbits the news anchors shared … I learned a lot …

If what I saw, and heard, happened in every Presidential Inauguration, then I may be saying too much about something that happens every Inauguration. But, for some reason, this one seemed different. The amount of prayers. The mention of God. And, especially, the mention of “the name of Jesus.” I mean … I heard Jesus mentioned a lot. Even “the powerful name of Jesus.” Somehow, it seemed like God was mentioned more this time … there were more prayers … the name of Jesus … more than any Inauguration I can remember.

So … innocently … and, I do mean innocently … there I was, with the television on, loud enough to be heard throughout the Library … and, as the ceremony got underway … time, and again … I heard a prayer … I heard Scripture being read … live on television, beaming out to the world … including Schools … prayers … Scripture being quoted … God being mentioned … a lot … Jesus being mentioned … a lot … the name of Jesus … being called on … in front of me … in front of the School … in front of audiences all around the globe … the name of Jesus … “in the name of Jesus” being said on many occasions … right in front of me … on television … in public … at a government ceremony … right in front of me … on television … in Public School … my School … it seems like there were three separate prayers before the Inaugural Address, and three prayers after the Address …

I heard “America the Beautiful.” I heard prayers. I heard Scripture being read. I heard our National Anthem. Ok, I’ll say it … when was the last time you heard these two songs during the same program? Yes … I heard our National Anthem many times last weekend … Football, remember?
I heard … yes, I heard and saw … the Mormon Tabernacle Choir … When was the last time, on National Television, you heard the Mormon Tabernacle Choir?

Quickly, allow me to mention this: One of my teacher colleagues, who is not a Donald Trump fan … I heard him proclaim, after the Republican Convention, “If he gets elected, I’m moving to Canada” … this same teacher, as an American citizen, could not believe that there were government officials who were not going to the Inauguration … this same teacher, who understands the importance of this “peaceful transition of power,” regardless of political beliefs … joined me, in the Library, during the Inauguration Ceremony … when the announcement was made to “please stand and honor our country during the singing of our National Anthem” … this same teacher, stood with me, side-by-side, during the singing of the National Anthem … I’ll never forget it … I also have made the decision, during televised sporting events, regardless of how comfortable I am, to stand during the Anthem … and, Monday, I plan to just walk up to him … and shake his hand … because he “gets it;” it’s not about “me,” but about “us,” as in United States …

So, today, there is a School-wide event, so I leave the television on in the Library, lock up, and head to the gym … When I left the Library, the Inaugural Address and benedictions had ended, the former President and First Lady had left the ceremony, and the Parade would follow … I lock up, again, leaving the television on, and enjoy the School event in the gym … When I return to the Library, as I enter, I can hear the television … but … it’s not coverage of the Parade being covered … it’s rioting, taking place, just a couple of blocks from the White House … rocks are being thrown at police … businesses have been damaged … a riot is taking place …

I don’t know what to say, or think … this is the United States, this is Inauguration Day, and this is less than 2 blocks from the White House … I hear, and see, reports about rocks being thrown at police … rocks being thrown at police …

Boy, does our country need prayer. Need to hear the Scripture. Need Godly examples. As I write this, I don’t know how all this turned out. I do know this: Many people can’t handle freedom. Even “the peaceful transition of power.” There are people who don’t have “peace within;” didn’t have it then, don’t have it now … won’t have it later, until they know this “Prince of Peace,” this “Jesus;” the One of whom so many heard the name of today … in the Library … in Public Schools … all across the globe …

Here goes: The Inauguration happened in Washington, D.C. If it had been held in any other city, yes, any other city, there would have been people to “show up” there as well … there will always be “those people” who can’t wait to throw rocks at police, or throw a brick through a business window … they’ll even travel for the opportunity … if this is a “demonstration,” it certainly is … let’s say that again … if “making your point” involves the destruction of property, or throwing projectiles at police … it certainly does “demonstrate” something …

Just 4 days ago, we celebrated the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, who said, “The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral; begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it … Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness … War is a poor chisel to carve out tomorrow.”

God, help us. As I heard in the Inaugural Address, as all the world heard … as Schools all over America heard, from our President, the most important “help” we can get … is from God …

Blessings to you, and your family.
And, God, please, bless America

Richard. Vincent. Rose.

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