When the King stirs himself

Image result for wimpThe Christian life is not for wimps; I expect you found that out a long time ago. We follow someone who was mocked, laughed at, misunderstood by his own family, criticised, run out of town, abused, rejected, betrayed, and then executed by the religious establishment for not being religious enough.  Why then do we Christians seem surprised when letting people know we are following this Jesus that we get the mickey taken out of us, are criticised, misunderstood, and isolated and kept at arm’s length by people who think of us as ‘religious’.

Following Jesus means that sometimes we’ll be hurt. Continue reading

Join the 20.15 Club

The Battle is not yours, but GodsThank you for standing with us in prayer in this struggle for justice for missionaries Masih das and Sarita facing trumped up charges in India to close down their church planting work amongst the Santhali tribal people.

Monday 5th September is Masih das’ birthday; its also the date of another possible court appearance to apply for bail. I say possible because promised dates have come and gone because either the police have failed to turrn up, or else they haven’t had their papers properly prepared, anything to extend the time Masih das and Sarita are kept in custody. We understand this is a common tactic that could go on for three months.

We have tried everything we can to get them released and have become very disheartened and discouraged at the Continue reading

The Battle belongs to the Lord

the Lord willfight for you

 

The longed for and prayed for bail hearing for missionaries Masih das and Sarita in India on Monday did not take place. Everyone turned up in court with high expectations, except the police, who hadn’t got their act together and didn’t have their files on the case ready – after six weeks! The judge reprimanded them, but it was like water off a ducks back. Those behind the scenes who pull the strings want to delay this hearing for as long as possible; they really do want to see an end to Christian work amongst the Santhali tribe. And it’s made me so angry; what’s happening is so wrong, and it seems as if we are helpless to do anything about it.

And all of the time two of the finest Christians I have ever known have had their lives put on hold in two horrible prison cells.

A great promise from God to speak out when feeling totally overwhelmed and inadequate when facing a gigantic challenge is found in 2 Chronicles 20v15 and 1 Samuel 17v47

The battle belongs to the LordThis is a promise I’ve known and that has been important to me over the years when facing different challenging situations. Several good friends have pointed me back to it again, so I’ve been trying to revisit it and apply it to this situation from a distance of several thousands miles.

Having woken early on Monday morning to get news from the bail hearing in India and expecting to hear of a great break-through and triumph from our victorious God, my heart was crushed. I heard nothing, absolutely nothing. Nothing had happened; family members had travelled for 5 hours to be in the court and nothing happened. Nothing. The police didn’t care; no one seemed to care.

‘Lord this is Your battle, is it too hard for you?’

Then came that small quiet voice. ‘yes it is my battle, not yours. Please leave it to me. Make yourself still and watch. I’ve set the ambushes. I can use confusion. Watch the confusion result in the enemy attacking himself’.

the Lord willfight for youIt’s hard to make myself still. I used to like loud praying, walking about and declaring the victory of King Jesus the Tomb Buster, praying in tongues, praying the Lord’s Prayer, binding and loosing, praying with an open Bible, praying with others, praying over the phone … but something is changing in me.

‘This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s…. you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the Lord’s victory. He is with you’. (2 Chronicles. 20:15-17) .

How to make myself be still? That’s my challenge.

If you’ve learnt how to do this please post some tips below.

I’ve added a link to an old familiar song that has been rising up in my spirit to strengthen my heart to be still during this battle. Listen to it and let praise rise up in your heart in whatever circumstances you find yourself in today, knowing the battle is not yours, but belongs to the Lord.  Its incredible how in being still you can hear the battle march!

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! His love endures forever! 

The Struggle goes on

Struggles and storms

Pioneer church planters Masih das and Sarita are still being held in prison where they’ve been since 22nd July because a 10 year old child in their hostel was brutally murdered.

They have been working in quite a remote part of India’s Hindu heartland amongst the Santhali tribe for 15 years. All their good work for the Kingdom of God has come screeching to a halt. They have been beaten and tortured along with some of the children. News has been very hard to get. Their son Aman has only been allowed to visit each of them in the men’s prison and women’s prison twice, for just five minutes each time. Through those visits we have Continue reading

No Borders

(FILES)US Border Patrol agents Colleen Agle and Richard Funke (L) patrol the border between Arizona and Mexico at the town of Nogales in this July 28, 2010 file photo. Twenty thousand new border patrol agents, hundreds of miles of fencing, billions of dollars in drones, radar and sensors: US lawmakers are proposing a militaristic remedy to staunch illegal immigrant flow from Mexico. The Senate is expected June 24, 2013 to green-light the most important amendment yet to the landmark immigration bill, but the measure -- designed to placate Republican concerns about security -- would ensure that the border region is one of the most highly policed zones in the Western Hemisphere. AFP PHOTO/Mark RALSTON

In the Kingdom of God there are no borders, just one world wide, passport free, fellowship zone – a bit like the euro-zone but worldwide and where everyone is related to each other, off springs of the same Father (but different mothers!). Life in this invisible Kingdom is glorious, so different to life in an earthly nation with borders and passport controls and visas and refugee camps and prejudice and isolation and loneliness.

When one of our brothers or sisters in this borderless Kingdom suffers then we all feel it, even if they are on the other side of the world. When Masih das and Sarita had their whole life turned upside down by one act of wickedness, a world wide wave of care, concern, love and prayer flowed into northern India. Two months earlier another Christian church planter like Masih das was on his way to a village a few miles from Ghatsila to preach the gospel when he was also attacked by Hindu extremists. Deepak was stripped, beaten for Continue reading

Its time to put on the armour

armourPaul knew that the Christians at Ephesus were in for a fight. He had warned their elders before his arrest and imprisonment that:

   ‘ I know full well that false teachers, like vicious wolves, will come in among you after I leave, not sparing the flock’. (Acts 20:29).

He wanted to prepare them to be able to stand against the onslaught which was about to come. Perhaps the Roman soldier who was standing guard nearby caught his eye, and his armour gave him the perfect illustration to help us grasp what standing our ground through the gospel really involves.

When we were in Romania recently, encouraging believers there, we were given a plaque with what Paul wrote to the Ephesian Christians on it, and a picture of armour, having no idea how soon we would need to actually put it on ourselves  ‘ Use every piece of God’s armour to resist the enemy in the time of evil, so that after the battle you will still be standing firm’. (Ephesians 6v13)

The battle for the release of Masih das and Sarita from a hell hole of a prison and the future of Bethany House and the new churches planted in the tribal area was, and still is, very intense. Masih das and Sarita are still Continue reading

God’s Smuggler

masih das.jpg2We received a very precious note smuggled out from the prison where Masih Das and Sarita are being held. They apologise for not being able to see us yet but say ‘we hope this problem will soon pass’.

Such an incredible sweet spirit after all they have been through. They knew 15 years ago when they said yes to God’s call to go to the villages of Ghatila that it would be costly, the people gripped by witch craft, speaking a language they didn’t know and eating food not like mother Continue reading