Saturday, March 2, 2019

Have You Ever Just Let Yourself Be Loved?

Hey Friend,

This week has been a bit of a rough one.  Health issues make it necessary for me to lie down to rest a lot, or at the very least, be still and not push the activity for awhile.  To say that this is a struggle for this gal who is used to being a human "doing" vs. a human "being" is an understatement.

I do believe that God has allowed these physical infirmities into my life in order to teach me some invaluable lessons.  Lessons such as:

God is good all of the time.  All of the time, God is good.  Amen.

God is love and you can trust Love's heart.  He is faithful.

God loves me.  God loves YOU!

God doesn't love only when you are serving on the church committee, or when you are striving, earning, performing, and doing other righteous acts in order to try to get His attention and His love.  He loves you when you are simply doing nothing....when you are just sitting.

I've spent a lot of time in my favorite chair in my house, clutching a hot cup of coffee or tea, and gazing out the window at my bird feeder and my porch.  I found myself laughing and delighting in the antics of the birds at the feeder and watching the squirrel, simultaneously go about his digging the dirt out of my pots. Pesky things that they are.  They sometimes make me question God's creation lol. 

I was filled with a sense of love, care, and delight.  And, you know what?  They weren't doing anything special....just eating and digging.  But I felt God's love settle around me like a warm blanket.  I felt His loving presence.  I heard Him whisper, "Do you know how much you are loved...just sitting here watching the birds and the squirrels...drinking your tea...and simply being?

Have you ever just let yourself be loved?

Have you ever just sat in stillness long enough to hear Him whisper, "I love are loved...just as you are...doing nothing...right in this moment...because you are mine."

Zephaniah 3:17

I've read this verse many times, but I always pictured myself doing something when the Lord was rejoicing over me.  I certainly wasn't just sitting still, sipping tea, and watching the animals. Catch the part where He says, "He will quiet you with His love."  He quiets or stills you first and then He rejoices over you with singing.  Hmmm.....

God's love is not conditional upon us doing something in order to be loved.  Have you ever just let yourself be loved, simply for just being you?  

Be still...hear His still small voice.  I love you _________ because I made you.  I love you in your stillness - even when you are doing absolutely nothing to try to make me love you...even when you are curled up in the fetal position crying....even when you sit feeling all alone.  His voice comes, "I love you...I just do."

Another component of my health issues is that I must rest and sleep a lot.  Have you ever just let yourself be loved when you lay your head down to rest??

14 The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”  Exodus 33:14

Believe it or not, the Lord delights over us when we are resting.  Resting is part of the original rhythms that God created.  To not rest is to go against His ordained outline for living.  

What comfort and joy to think that the very presence of God is there when we are resting.  I like to picture Jesus sitting at the side of my bed, gently stroking my hair and saying, "Rest, Bev and know that I love you."  

Have you ever just let yourself lie down and rest and know that you are loved

Do you know that He delights over you with singing when you are resting and closing your eyes to sleep?  

Hear Him sing softly, "Be still, rest, sleep, and know that you are loved....Oh how I love you."

My word for 2019 is "Rest".  I plan to write more on this subject, but I am practicing the discipline of rest this year and I am already learning that God's love is right there with me in the resting.  My resting, your resting, makes Him glad.  

After all, what did God do after He did all of His creating....He sat back and rested and then said, "It is good."  He included the "resting" in with the "good".  Let's not skip the resting part of "good".  And in it may we know, without a doubt, that we are loved in our being still, in our doing nothing, in our lying down, in our resting, in our sleeping.  

Have you ever just let yourself be loved?  Be still He loves you...He really does!

Dear Heavenly Father, I praise you that you created me and that you love me simply because you made me.  You didn't need me, but you made me because you wanted to have a relationship with me. Enable me to be still, rest, sleep and let myself be loved by You.  Reassure me of your presence and let me believe your Truth that says you delight over me with singing.  Thank you God for being good all of the time.  Thank you for always being faithful. Thank you that no matter what I do, your love for me never changes.  Let me let myself be loved by You.  In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

What about you?  Do you have a hard time accepting that you are loved?  When is the last time you were still, rested, and let yourself be loved by God?  How can you let Him quiet you so that He might rejoice over you with singing?  How can you practice the discipline of rest this week?

Be blessed.....

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Sunday, February 24, 2019

That's Not What I Wanted to Embrace

Hey Friend,

I'm a little late in looking back over 2018, but better late than never, right?  My "word" for 2018 was "embrace".  In choosing this word, I wanted to go into the year with arms wide open - ready to embrace everything God had in store for me.  I started reading through the Bible again and had an anticipation about how God was going to speak to my heart.

I had visions of closeness, contentedness, revelation, and "Ah-ha" moments.  I  wanted to be alive in the Spirit.  Visions of goodness, like sugar plums, danced in my head.

What I hadn't counted on was that I was going to have lessons in embracing some things on which I would have rather passed!

2018 was a good year, but also a year that I was truly called to embrace the suffering of Christ.  Not exactly what I had in mind.  

I kept my streak alive, by having a 6th surgery in as many years.  I do not embrace winding up in the Emergency Room.  Though I'm no stranger to the operating room, I came out of this surgery only to have a terrifying panic attack as the anesthesia wore off. After a previous surgery, I lost my sense of taste and smell for two weeks, but what I experienced that night scared the daylights out of me.  No stranger to anxiety, this was the king of attacks.  I felt the presence of the enemy.  It was frightening!

As I recuperated from the surgery, I felt heavy and tired - like a freight train had just run me over.  I was severely anemic (deficiency in the number of red blood cells).  After more testing, they found I have another blood disorder BTM in which the slim number of cells that I have are smaller than they are supposed to be. These two forms of anemia together...well lets just say road kill looks more lively than I do.  There is no "cure" for this.  I have been coming to grips with this new "normal".  

People talk about having the luxury of taking a nap.  Taking a nap for me several times a week has become a necessity.  I have the jumbo size pill organizer for all the meds and supplements I need to take.  All I need now is my support hose and I'm good to go.  

This is NOT what I was planning on embracing.

To further compound things, a misunderstanding led to my feeling very betrayed that someone I worked with had twisted what I said and was rallying peers behind her position.  To say that I felt turned against and betrayed was putting it mildly.  Many tears were shed and sleepless nights left me tossing and turning.

Instead, be very glad--for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world. 1 Peter 4:13

It became apparent that God was calling me to embrace Christ's suffering.  

I believe that if we are to be transformed into the likeness of Christ, then we are going to experience all the things Christ experienced, and a big one is betrayal and slander. Live long enough and you will eventually have someone who has an ax to grind with you. I’ve been there. It really hurts when the betrayer goes behind your back, seemingly rallying others to their side of the story.

When this happens, we are “sharing in the suffering of Christ” which the Bible calls us to. If we are to become like Jesus, we must suffer like He did as well. One of those ways is choosing to stand and stay in the face of betrayal. It goes against every natural instinct in us that yells, “flee!” But when we stay, we stand in the sufficient grace of God and that, in turn, builds our character and our confidence in God.

Jesus Praying at Gethsemane | Matthew 26:39: And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ...

Whether I like it or not, God was calling me to embrace the side of Christ that endured suffering. This was a far cry from what I was expecting back in January of 2018.

When we endure and persevere through the suffering, the joy of salvation and Christ's return will be supremely magnified, and freedom in eternity will be that much sweeter.  

We also learn that we are never alone....God is forever holding us up with His righteous right hand. I can testify that through it all, God NEVER left, nor did He forsake me. 

We can't testify to this truth unless we have been through the crucible of suffering. 

Has my character been growing?  YES!!  Has it been fun?  No!!  Do I believe God is at work in me?  Yes!!  Do I want this to continue?  No!!

As God promises in the Bible, His grace is sufficient for me.  He is true to His promises.  Even with a new battle with tinnitis due to hearing loss, God has been providing.  I've been learning to lean into Jesus like never before and to surrender my self-sufficiency and my worry.  It's been a real growing and stretching experience.

So what now??  God has given me a new word for 2019.  Not surprisingly, it's "REST"...  Sabbath rest....sacred rest. I will explore my journey to embrace and practice the "Discipline of Rest" in future posts.  

Dear Heavenly Father,  I thank you that your ways are much higher than my ways.  You, ultimately, know what is best for me and what will help grow and transform me into the likeness of your Son.  The path may not look like what we expected or what we would have chosen, but ultimately you are concerned about our character over our happiness.  Thank you that even though others may betray us or turn against us, you never will.  You are faithful to your promise to be steadfastly by our side.  Help me to lean into you and depend upon you when the road gets rough.  Thank you for my new "guide word" for this year.  In this world of busy, busy, busy, enable me to embrace the sacred discipline of rest.  Teach me what this looks like to You, O Lord!!  Draw me into your presence and give me rest for my soul as well as for my body.  In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

What about you...has God been inviting you to embrace something you'd rather avoid at all costs?  Have you been called to embrace Christ's suffering?  If so, what did that look like?  What about rest?  Do you have any obstacles to overcome in order to truly rest in the Lord?  Would you please share??

Be blessed......

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Sunday, February 10, 2019

Heaven - So What's In Store For Us?

Hey Friend,

Lately, due to things going on in my life, I've found that I've had a growing homesickness for a place that I realize I know little about.  Heaven...what's it REALLY going to be like?  I've been doing some digging among scriptures and theologians to get a better grasp on what I/we can expect.

I think I had a vision of heaven that many of us, unknowingly, share.  I envisioned that I would be some sort of ethereal, angelic type being with no real human-like features.  I'd be sitting among the clouds, and I would be strumming a harp and singing praises.  Yes, I would be with Jesus and with God which has huge appeal, but beside that, honestly....heaven sounded kind of boring and unappealing. 

Actually, the final destination of believers is not an ethereal place somewhere out in space.  Our final destination is the renewed heavens and earth that Revelation 21 speaks of.  Heaven will be a very physical and concrete place.  The Bible has over 600 verses that speak to what heaven will be like, but we, too often, get our ideas from movies, literature, and television.

Revelation 21 talks about how heaven and earth will not be brand new, but instead will be this creation renewed.  We forget that when God made heaven and earth, He pronounced it good.  Earth was not just good, it was perfect.  That was, of course, until sin came in and messed it up.  

The type of "newness" that the Bible speaks of in the Greek translation is kainos which means a "newness in quality" - something that is, is made better or different.  It's quality has changed.  

God will renew, transform, improve, and refresh His creation.  It will be a kainos heaven and earth.  

Actually this makes sense to me, because I have seen some things that I have had to believe were glimpses of heaven.  I've seen views from mountain peaks that have taken my breath away.  I've had the unconditional loving licks from my dogs.  I've smelled the newborn heads of my children.  I've seen animals, birds, fish, and flowers - large and small - that just ooze of the creative nature of God.  I've seen colors that have dazzled my eyes, heard music and seen dance and art that have made my heart leap with emotion. I've felt kindness in someone's smile, and love in an embrace.   

I believe that all things good in this world will continue to exist in the next, but they will be transformed and improved in the renewed creation.  It will be THIS creation, renewed. 

So...what can we expect in Heaven?

*  Physical bodies (Yes, I'll finally be a "10")
*  Emotions and relationships (joy, happiness, peace, love, but no drama!)
*  Nature with daily cycles of day and night and weather
*  Animals (including pets)
*  Work (Gen. 2:15)
*  Learning (1 Corinthians 13:12)
*  Science
*  Arts (Rev. 14:2-3)
*  Entertainment and Activities

"This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day."  (John 6-39)

So to answer my son's question, "Will there be ice hockey in heaven?"  I think I would now have to definitely say, "Yes!"

What will not be present:  no evil, no curses, no brokenness (emotional or physical), no more sin, no death, no more suffering or sadness, no war, no famine, and no temples.  This last one made me pause for a moment, but in heaven we will be in God's presence continually so there will not be a need for a separate house of God.  

The closeness of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit 24/7...Wow!  Most glorious will be that heaven will be a place where Jesus (the very definition of "love") will be present and we will bask in His love.  

So what does heaven mean to me now?  It gives meaning to this life - as in it is a preparation for the life to come. God is about building our character for our eternal life to come.  Therefore, hard times now, will reap future rewards I believe.  It reminds me that in those very hard times, that there is more to life than this world.

It gives me hope for my future destination and strength for life in the present.  It gives me something perfect to hope for when this life is far less than perfect.  

It reminds me that this world, and its present troubles are but a blink of the eye in God's timing.  Heaven (perfection) will be eternal.  There will be no sorrow, or regrets, or guilt.  Rather, love, compassion, gentleness, tenderness, and other emotions that will be felt with new heights and depths.  Relationships will be all we can imagine and more. 

Heaven, however, is more than just a hope for the future, it is the very heart of God's plan for creation from the very beginning.  It is also at the very center of the human heart. 

Dear Heavenly Father, I praise you for the plan for creation that you have had since the very beginning.  Thank you that your desire is not to leave us in this sin-filled world.  I bless you for the hope and even the homesickness that lives in my heart and yearns for eternity with you.  Your creation is not evil and we look forward to when you will renew, transform, improve, and refresh what sin has tainted.  What you began in Eden you will fulfill in Revelation.  Oh, what a glorious place heaven and earth will be and how awesome it will be to kneel before you in your presence.  Thank you for this hope that keeps us/me going.  In Jesus name I pray, Amen.  

What about you?  What misconceptions have you had about heaven?  What do you most look forward to in heaven?  What do you think it will be like when Christ returns?  What do YOU envision that gives you joy and peace?  What do you see yourself doing in heaven?

Be blessed...


Friday, December 7, 2018

Our God Does More Than Just See

Hey Friend,

Like Hagar, I take comfort in knowing that God is "El Roi" - the God who sees me.

We ALL long to be seen and to be known by an Omniscient God.  But, is there more?

I think back to the story of Abraham who has been commanded, by God, to take his only son Isaac (the one for whom he waited long into his senior years) up the mountain to sacrifice him there.

I put myself in Abraham's shoes.  I have been obedient and righteous in my actions before God.  I have followed His commands, and now I hold my son's hand in my right hand and my servant carries wood for the sacrificial altar on which I will place my precious little boy.  Oh the angst I am feeling.  Why would God ask me to kill that for which I've waited all my life?

I see the terrified look in my son's eyes as I tie him up and place him on the wood pile on the altar.  I pull out my knife to slit my own son's throat, and God speaks. 

"Abraham! Abraham! Do not lay a hand on the boy," He says, "Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son." (Genesis 22: 11-12)

God sees me. He sees Abraham; and not only does God see, but He sees to it.

Just then, a ram is caught in a thicket offering.  God sees Abraham's obedience and He PROVIDES an answer.  God provided the sacrifice that would save Isaac.

Fast forward and Abraham's descendant's, the Israelites, have continually made covenants with God and have continually broken them.  No sooner do they repent, vow to not make those same mistakes again, then they are back to worshiping other Gods and engaging in all sorts of sinful behavior.

God saw the predicament man was in.  He saw and He knew that there was no way we could keep the Law - the covenant of the Old Testament.  He saw and then He saw to it.

Unlike Abraham's obedience, God sees our disobedience.  He sees our propensity for sin and that we do what we don't want to do, and we don't do what we want to do.  Our predicament is without hope.

Once again, God not only sees, but He provides. 

He sends His only beloved Son to earth, wrapped in human skin, so that Jesus might live and walk among us and know what it's like to be fully human while still being fully God.  

God also knew what would have to happen to His only Son.  Unlike Isaac who was spared, He knew that Jesus would have to be the sacrificial lamb.  Christ would be God's provision for our sins.  

What an awesome God who not only sees, but provides a way for us.

This Christmas season, perhaps a loved one has passed away and there is an ache in your heart and the merriment is salt in the wound.

God sees you and He will provide you with His comfort...I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you. (John 14:18)

Maybe your spouse has left and you are feeling abandoned, alone, like a failure, and unloved.

God sees you and He will provide you with your identity in Him. He will catch every tear that falls upon your pillow...You keep track of all my sorrows.
      You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
      You have recorded each one in your book. (Psalm 56:8)

Perhaps your child is walking a prodigal path that is far from the path you have shown him/her to walk.  Your heart aches at the destructive choices they make.

God sees you and He will provide you a place of comfort and peace beneath the refuge of His wings...How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings. (Psalm 36:7)

God sees and He will provide: love, mercy, grace that is sufficient, forgiveness, compassion, peace in the face of worry, trust where there is doubt, kindness, goodness....

Whatever it is that you need, God will provide, because He is our good, good Father who does more than just see.  Take heart.  Take hope.  Let Him take you into His arms so that you may hear His beating heart of love for you....His beloved. For you He will provide.

Dear Heavenly Father,  I praise you and thank you that you see me and that I am fully known, and fully loved by you.  Thank you that you provided the answer for my sin.  When I couldn't save myself, you gave me a Savior.  Lord, you know where my heart is hurting and the cracks that need filling in my soul.  I claim your promise to provide whatever I need in my circumstances - be it love, grace, mercy, forgiveness, peace, or a combination of your good gifts. Let me lean into you, knowing you will see to what I need.  Enable me to rely and depend on you.  Help me to know you more intimately this Advent season.  In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Be blessed...

Monday, November 26, 2018

The Cracks in My Soul

Hey Friend,

I don't know about you, but the holidays, for me, are often bittersweet.  Our Christmas season doesn't resemble a Norman Rockwell painting, and I find myself becoming envious of those who seem to have those perfect family holiday Facebook posts and Christmas cards.  

Thanksgiving was filled with tears for more reasons than one. Surgery, family illness in all varieties, unforgiveness, adult child issues, struggles, then add in missing those who have passed, and a new "normal" has been thrust upon me that I'm not willing to embrace.  I realize I have cracks in my soul that need filling.

But, as I make this pilgrimage toward the birth of Jesus in a manger, I am drawn to the Psalms of Ascent.  These are Psalms or songs that the Israelites sang as they made their way back to Jerusalem for the various feasts and celebrations. 

I as read the Psalms, I was drawn to the verbs or actions of those making their way home:

1.  "Call"      Out of the depths I call [to the Lord]... Psalm 130
2.  "Wait"     I wait for the Lord, I wait...Psalm 130
3.  "Bless"    Lift up your holy hands in the holy place and bless the Lord...
                   Psalm 134     

4.  "Trust"    Those who trust the Lord are like Mt. Zion...Psalm 125
5.  "Fear"     Happy are those who fear the Lord, who "Walk" in His ways...
     "Walk"    Psalm 128.
6.  "Rejoice"  I rejoiced...Psalm 122
7.  "Pray"     Pray for the well-being of Jerusalem... Psalm 122

And perhaps my favorite:

8.  "Lift"       I lift my eyes toward the mountains. Where will my help come
                   from?  My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and
                   earth.  (Psalm 121:1-2)

My "help" does not come from better health, restored relationships, lack of struggles and trials, no, it comes from the Lord.  Through it all, I cling to the fact that God is good.  He is faithful, and His grace is sufficient in all circumstances.  He will never leave nor forsake me.  

So instead of looking around me to my circumstances, I lift my eyes to the mountains and I call, I wait, I bless, I trust, I fear the Lord, I walk, I rejoice, and I pray.  

God is gracious and He will fill in the cracks if we simply call upon His name and ask.

God not only fills the hole in our heart, He fills the cracks in our soul.

I think sometimes I get a little greedy and I want it all (all good and no bad).  The rain, however, falls upon the just as well as the unjust.  I need to realize that God has already given me every good thing. I need a renewed perspective.

He has given me Himself and He has given me the gift of salvation and Sonship through the sacrifice of Christ, my brother.  He's also given me the gift of a holy guide and counselor.  I have it all...everything else is just the cherry on top. 

God can take the broken pieces of my life, fill in the cracks with His love and grace, and build a beautiful mosaic of my life that points directly to Him.

Dear Heavenly Father, help me please to adopt a more eternal perspective as I view life.  Let my joy be in my salvation and in my relationship with You.  Give me the strength to count my blessings with gratitude instead of counting my sorrows.  I give thanks for this Advent season as I wait, with expectant anticipation, to celebrate the good, good gift of Your Son.  Thank you for filling, with love, the hole in my heart and the cracks in my soul.  In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Be blessed...

Monday, November 19, 2018

This Is Who I Am

Hey Friend,

Though my father was a great dad, I very vividly remember him telling me to "stop wearing my heart on my sleeve and toughen up."  For this ultra-sensitive young girl who felt things SO deeply and cried at the drop of a hat, he might as well have said, "Go climb Mt. Everest." 

I've had friends tell me that I "think way too much." I've grappled, for a long time, with these being "bad" things.  I always felt that I needed to have a tougher exterior and to let hurtful comments roll off me like water off a duck's back, but that's not how God created me.

He gave me the gift of vision (all that thinking), and He also gave me these deep feelings so that I could have the compassion to actually feel others' pain - to relate to them in the heat of their struggles.

I don't think I would have had the love and passion to start a school for orphans in a terror-ridden country had I not been that girl who wore her heart on her sleeve and was pretty tender inside.  God designed me this way for a reason, and even though it's sometimes hard being me, I am coming to realize that God was "knighting" me for a mission.

In following God in a plan that only God, Himself, could have dreamed up, Redeemer Christian Foundation has grown from a handful of orphaned and impoverished children to be seventy-three strong and growing.  Several years ago, I approached Samaritan's Purse (Operation Christmas Child) about getting Christmas shoe boxes to the children we serve so that they would have something to open on Christmas.  Sadly, they told me that where we operate is TOO DANGEROUS even for them to go in.  There had to be a way....

Unlike other countries, no missionaries or even western humanitarian aid groups are allowed to come into this Middle Eastern country that many ministries deem to be the most hostile to Christians.  A clinic that was set up to immunize young children from polio was bombed by an extremist group.  Things have only gotten worse.  We can't fathom what it's like to live there day in and day out??

At Christmas and in the year ahead, I so desperately want to tell these precious children that they are NOT FORGOTTEN.  We have to work with the rare few Christians in this country to bring the love of Jesus and the hope of an education to them.  In their country they are spit upon and called "the unclean ones."  I want to bring them presents that say YOU ARE GOD'S BELOVED CHILD.  Jesus came this Christmas just for YOU!

"Giving Tuesday" (a movement started to combat all the commercialism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday) is November 27th this year.  I was wondering if you would join me in telling these precious children that they matter to God, to us, and they are not forgotten??  Let's give to those who have so little.

RCF, Inc. is a 501c3 charity with Gold Seal status with GuideStar - the "go-to" authority to track non-profits.  All gifts are tax deductible.  

You can visit our website:

Or mail a check to:  RCF, Inc., 103 Silver Lining Lane, Cary, NC  27513.  Be sure to include your email address for tax receipt.

Ariel view from the top of the school to surrounding slums

What a contrast of love found inside our school! 
Sweet little Rose, one of our youngest students

Monthly Park/Sports Day to get out of the slums and get to be kids :)

Then say to the Lord your God: "I have removed from my house the sacred portion and have given it to the Levite, the alien, the fatherless, and the widow, according to all you commanded. I have not turned aside from your commands nor have I forgotten any of them." (Deuteronomy 26:13)

Thank you and blessings to you this Thanksgiving...

Monday, October 29, 2018

A Pittsburgh Story of Love vs. Hate

Hey Friend,

I grew up in Pittsburgh, not far from where the terrible shootings took place.  Though not in that neighborhood, I grew up in a predominantly Jewish neighborhood south of the city.  My best friends were of the Jewish faith.  I've been to worship in the synagogue, have attended Hebrew school, been the guest at many a Passover Seder, and have celebrated Bar and Bat Mitzfahs as well as weddings of Jewish friends.

As a follower of Jesus, knowing Jesus' faith draws me closer to Him.  He was a Rabbi after all.  Reading the Torah, or first five books of the Bible, gives me the history of my faith.  In order to know Jesus, you need to know HIS heritage.  The prophecy of the Old Testament prophets brings rich meaning to the New Testament fulfillment.  Israel, her people and descendants, are God's chosen people.  I, as a Gentile, am grafted in by faith.  

I am so tired of the heinous acts perpetrated on those of another faith.  After visiting what is left of Dachau concentration camp and seeing the appalling pictures and reading the horrible stories in the museum, I just can't believe man's inhumanity to man. Where and when will it stop? 

I believe that fear drives hatred.  Fear and ignorance.  If we took the time to get to know and appreciate each other, fear would dissipate and so would the hatred.  Unfortunately, my Jewish brothers and sisters are not the only victims of religious hate crimes.

I am the President of a non-profit ministry that runs a Christian school for orphans in a Middle Eastern country whose Christian population is about 1%.  This country is considered one, if not THE most notorious for persecuting Christians.  Christians who live there are called "the unclean ones".  They are considered to be on the lowest rung of society.

Most of the Christians there are illiterate and are forced to work for slave wages and they work the most menial and labor intensive jobs (like making mud bricks).  Their children are the first to be caught up in human trafficking, abducted and sold into child prostitution, made to work as slaves, caught up in begging rings, and if starving and disillusioned - recruited for extremist militia training.

Extremists have detonated themselves in their churches and at Easter gatherings in the park.  They throw acid on young Christian women while jeering, "Unclean ones."  One young man who confessed to being a Christ follower was doused with gasoline and set ablaze in broad daylight in the city streets.  The authorities did nothing. Other Christians have been executed in cold blood or burned alive in brick kilns. 

It is in their Constitution that if you say that Jesus is Lord you can be legally stoned to death.  Young Christian boys have been beaten to death by their schoolmates of another faith.  Christian men who have been overcome by fumes while cleaning city sewers are refused treatment at hospitals because they are Christians.  

There is much more religious hatred than I can write about here.  I just can't wrap my mind around a heart and mind so filled with hate that they could commit such atrocities to another human being??  9/11 was a religiously motivated act of terrorism and hate. 

If anyone says there is no such thing as spiritual warfare going on then they
are in denial. There is a full out battle being waged between good and evil.  There are forces of evil in this world that can only be defeated by love.  Fear fuels hatred, but perfect love casts out fear.  

I can't change the whole world, but I can pray, and I can be committed to showing ALL God's children love...even my enemies.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and will all your mind; love your neighbor as yourself.  (Luke 10:27)

THIS is the only answer.....

Be part of the answer....