Over the weekend, the news reported that IS (ISIS) chopped off the heads of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians because they were Christians. Unfortunately, the IS agenda is to kill anyone who doesn’t agree with their religious / political agenda. While I’m extremely outraged at the actions of IS, I shouldn’t be surprised by these actions. In the broad scope of history, it happens fairly often (depending on the country) that Jesus’ followers get persecuted & martyred. Before Jesus was crucified, He told us that this stuff would happen, but it’s unsettling nonetheless.
Here are some take aways:
*being a follower of Jesus doesn’t immunize us from hardship nor persecution.
*how we treat people who persecute us is very important – Jesus talked clearly about turning the other cheek.
*lets pray for our family of believers throughout the world that the Holy Spirit would help us to be strong & faithful followers of Jesus.
I’ve been keeping up a little bit here & there about Meriam Ibrahim, a young woman in Sudan who was sentenced in May to hang for renouncing Islam, as she had married a Christian man. Earlier this year, she delivered a baby while in prison, awaiting her execution. Thankfully, the Sudanese government agreed to release Mrs Ibrahim and when she tried to fly out of Sudan yesterday, she was detained along with her husband and two children. The Sudanese gov’t is saying that she doesn’t have the proper paperwork & it seems that no one has heard from her since being detained yesterday.
My point in bringing Mrs Ibrahim to your attention is to ask you to pray for her & her family – for protection, for favor & safety. As a follower of Jesus, she’s part of our family & it’s super important to keep each other in our prayers!
Today, Maya Angelou passed into eternity. Dr Angelou was 86 years old and achieved so many things that if I were to attempt listing them here, someone would likely be offended that I left out something important. She was a writer, artist, teacher, mother, grand mom, activist and LOTS more! She grew up in a tumultuous time and totally swam against the current, which is one reason why I want to honor her today. As I looked through some of her writing, I thought it would be fitting to share this poem she wrote as encouragement to those who endeavor to walk in Jesus’ footsteps:
I’M A CHRISTIAN By Maya Angelou When I say… “I am a Christian” I’m not shouting “I’m clean livin.” I’m whispering “I was lost,” Now I’m found and forgiven. When I say…”I am a Christian” I don’t speak of this with pride. I’m confessing that I stumble and need CHRIST to be my guide. When I say… “I am a Christian” I’m not trying to be strong. I’m professing that I’m weak and need HIS strength to carry on. When I say… “I am a Christian” I’m not bragging of success. I’m admitting I have failed and need God to clean my mess. When I say… “I am a Christian” I’m not claiming to be perfect, My flaws are far too visible but, God believes I am worth it. When I say… “I am a Christian” I still feel the sting of pain, I have my share of heartaches So I call upon His name. When I say… “I am a Christian” I’m not holier than thou, I’m just a simple sinner who received God’s good grace, somehow.
Please forgive me – I was informed that Dr Angelou did not write the preceding poem. Rather, it was written by Carol Wimmer. I’m sorry for making this mistake, but would like to honor Dr Angelou, nonetheless. She was an amazing person & her numerous & diverse achievements will be treasured for decades to come. Again, I apologize for my mistake.