Wednesday, June 13, 2012

PERSECUTION -- PAST AND PRESENT

As I often say now, "Life Gets Complicated!"  I'm showing it to you now, after the 3 years since I officially put it on.  Wanted to share it again.  Lots of the info is on my heart.  One of my main heart places for about a dozen years.  Here it goes.  Bless you.
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Something came up today, talking to someone on the phone, yammering on a parking lot.  Have not shared this for a long time.

To begin with, this photo of Benjamin in Soroti, Uganda, is an indicator of the word "persecution".  He was grabbed by rebels and forced to do sinful and dangerous actions.  He was beaten horribly and was made to carry small, injured children who were dying.  He was not the only one Jill and I interviewed or visited in December, 2003.  Damaged bodies, broken hearts... as young as 10 years old.  Many of them Christian kids.  [Listening to them, touching them, broke our hearts, too.]

What I remembered today, while reading many news bits on-line and hearing so much recently from young people... and not-so-young ... gave me the strong impression that we are headed for trouble.  Some will agree with me; some will not.

This is my story:

During the summer of 1969, while living in San Mateo, California, expecting my first child, home alone most of the time, the Lord laid an assignment on me.  He said, "Read the book....".   I don't even remember why or how I had them in the apartment, or how I had access to more of them, but somehow it came to pass.  I read, and read, and read-- again and again.

The books were stories of persecution.  At that time, of course, most were connected to World War II, Christians who had preached and taught and protected many, many others.  And many pastors were imprisoned and tortured and executed.  One of the most famous was Dietrich Bonhoeffer.  He still is, even though he was executed April 9, 1945, right before the war ended.

The reason this hit me today was the Lord laid the first book back on me a couple days ago.  I have read it many times.  It is God's Smuggler by Brother Andrew -- the founder of Open Doors.  

Another book I read in 1969 was Tortured for Christ by Richard Wurmbrand, the founder of Voice of the Martyrs.  

Although I read others, these were the main ones for a couple more years.

The next book the Lord dropped into my life was written in 1971 by Corrie Ten Boom, The Hiding Place.  The book was very good, but filled with heartbroken aspects that her family went through while protecting the Jews in the Netherlands.  And then she and her family forced into concentration camps, many dying. The huge blessing for me was that in 1972 Corrie arrived at our church to speak on a Sunday evening, and then the next day was sharing to at a small women's group at a home. I was amazed to see this woman and hear her teaching, preaching, and sharing stories from her own mouth.

I have read many books based on persecution over this past 43 years. Today, while warning and discussing this very issue with a couple of younger generation godly-oriented folks, He tapped me again and whispered, "Read the books." 

With His reading assignment, it was a reminder again today that I need to be prepared to deal with whatever comes down our path and help others who are suffering or are simply not prepared.

That's where I am.

Yes, I will post; yes, I will keep in touch; yes, I will work on other books I'm writing and editing.  Yes, I will be a First Responder at murder sites and a Bhutanese refugee helper. Can't not do my other God-jobs.  [AND I'll clean my house and take care of my yard and do all the normal life-oriented necessities.]

But here are the first insights pouring forth from me to you:

Keep your heart; open your soul.  Seek the Lord.  Follow His instructions as they flood into you.  Be alert and prepared.

Nothing else matters. 

Tell Me a Story

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Whew!!! I agree.... Niki

Shandra Harris said...

Thanks for the reminder of how blessed we are in the great USA.

Hazel Moon said...

I am reminded that our persecution here in the USA is only the tip of the iceberg. People fired from their job because of their faith, others loosing their business because they refused to bake a wedding cake for sinful persons. Children taught sinful practices in public schools because the law says they can, and our Christian children are also exposed to this. Terrorists bombing buildings and towers here in the USA are a form of persecution. Shootings of USA Christians in their own church are only the beginning. May God bless you as he directs you, and thank you for sharing your heart with us here at Tell me a Story.

Saleslady371 said...

I'm glad you reposted this - very timely. We must hold on to the gospel, live it and preach it regardless of the destruction of our economy, nation, rulings, laws. Jesus is our only hope. Let that be our writing focus.

You bless me,
Mary