God has a reason for allowing things to happen.
We may never understand His Wisdom,
But we simply have to TRUST HIS WILL.
Are You Not Afraid?
A man just got married and was returning home with his wife. They were crossing a lake in a boat, when suddenly a great storm arose. The man was a warrior, but the woman became very much afraid because it seemed almost hopeless:
The boat was small and the storm was really huge, and any moment they were going to be drowned. But the man sat silently, calm and quiet, as if nothing was happening.
The woman was trembling and she said, “Are you not afraid?”. This may be our last moment of life! It doesn’t seem that we will be able to reach the other shore. Only some miracle can save us; otherwise death is certain. Are you not afraid? Are you mad or something? Are you a stone or something?
The man laughed and took the sword out of its sheath. The woman was even more puzzled: What was he doing? Then he brought the naked sword close to the woman’s neck, so close that just a small gap was there, it was almost touching her neck.
He said,” Are you not afraid?”
“He put the sword back and said, This is my answer”. I know God Loves me, and the storm is in His hands.
SO WHATSOEVER IS GOING TO HAPPEN IS GOING TO BE GOOD. If we survive, good; if we don’t survive, good, because everything is in His hands and He cannot do anything wrong.
- fwd: alwyn fernandes
Islamic State fighters release elderly Christian hostage in north-eastern Syria but intense fighting displaces Christians in Aleppo
Syria, 25 June, 2015: Four months after he was taken captive by Islamic State (IS) fighters in north-eastern Syria, 70-year-old Francois Sawa was safely released on 16 June and is in good health. In Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, Christian families are fleeing their homes after horrific fighting killed at least ten people, most of them children, and injured a further 150 on 15 June.
Just a few days later, two Armenian Christian men were also tragically killed in a mortar explosion in Aleppo on 20 June. One of the men who died was a visiting pastor from Armenia who had arrived only two days earlier. “All our congregation members are in agony,” said Dr Jany Haddad, Barnabas Fund’s partner on the ground in Syria, as he relayed the news.
With fighting coming from four fronts, thousands of Christians have fled the city in terror. Local Christians told Barnabas that there are now between 45,000 and 90,000 Christians living in Aleppo, down from an estimated 465,000 in 2010. At least 30 people were killed and many others injured only in the last week in Aleppo with bombing and shelling occurring almost daily. The situation across Syria is one of extreme concern; IS forces have again attacked parts of the north-eastern city of Hassake as well as the northern city of Kobane on Thursday (25 June).
The release of Francois Sawa puts the number of those still being held at 227. One of 253 Christians abducted in IS raids against the mainly Christian villages that are clustered around the Khabur river, Francois Sawa was taken from his home village of Tel Shamiram on 23 February. Little has been heard about the situation of the Christians who remain hostage to IS. Twenty-three of the captives were released at the beginning of March and two elderly women were freed on 25 May.
Despite the fact that IS militants have been forced out of the villages in the Khabur area, the area remains unsafe. Islamists have destroyed many of the homes and churches and some have been booby-trapped. Barnabas has been helping to care for 1,200 Christian families who were forced to flee their homes after IS raided the villages.
But the situation for Christians in Syria is extremely precarious. Kidnappings such as the ones that took place in the Khabur area villages have led many Christians to decide to leave their beloved country in search of safety abroad.
Barnabas Fund is working with the Polish government, the Polish charity Esther Foundation, and local Polish churches to rescue Syrian Christians in extreme danger. Through our Operation Safe Havens, we are flying them to Poland and paying for their basic needs for one year, while Polish churches welcome them, and help them to find accommodation and jobs.
- barnabas team
Pakistan, 25 June, 2015: The Organization for Legal Aid in Pakistan successfully petitioned at the end of May to have Mumtaz Masih recovered from unlawful detention by his Muslim employer, who had forced him into bonded labour.
Originally, Masih borrowed 200,000 Pakistani rupees (roughly £1,400) from a local Muslim in July 2013. In exchange, Masih had to take care of his farms and animals. As part of the agreement, Masih was required to remain on his employer’s property at all times except once a month when he would receive payment and could go home to visit his family. In July 2014 the employer stopped paying Masih, banned him from home visiting, and effectively turned him into a slave.
Masih’s wife, Alishba Bibi, became concerned about her husband’s absence and sought help. After a habeas corpus court case on 29 May, a court official was directed to find Masih, who was found on his master’s property in a locked room where he had been held for the last three days.
Although bonded labour is illegal in Pakistan, many poor Christians live and work in similar situations.
- barnabas fund
New Delhi, June 24, 2015: The Congress party on Wednesday accused the NDA government at the Centre of “blatantly” trying to “destabilise” elected Congress governments in the north-eastern states by using terror groups to upset the law and order situation.
“The (union) Home Ministry and the Minister of State (MoS) for Home Affairs are directly involved in creating law and order problems in the north-east,” Congress leader V. Narayanasamy claimed while briefing media persons at the All India Congress Committee headquarters here.
Nayaranasamy is the Congress leader in-charge of the seven northeastern states of which four — Mizoram, Manipur, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh — are ruled by it.
“Some terror groups are very close to the Minister of State (MoS) for Home Affairs (Kiren Rijiju). In Arunachal Pradesh, Rijiju is directly involved in such activities to destabilise our government. They are trying to destabilise the democratically elected governments. The Home Ministry, MoS Home and BJP President Amit Shah are involved in this. All this is happening with the approval of PM Narendra Modi,” charged Narayanasamy.
Rijiju, however, called the allegations “a joke”.
“This is a joke and should not be taken seriously at all. There is no point in paying heed to any comments from any person who does not have any support from the people,” Rijiju told IANS.
Rijiju, who was in Ladakh for an event and got to know about the allegations made by Narayanasamy through some of the BJP leaders, said: “No one would take Narayanasamy’s comments seriously as he was talking without any proof.”
Rijiju said he would call a press conference on Thursday and give a strong reply to the false charge levelled against him.
“Even media is not going to believe the allegation made by the Congress leader. No one should make casual remarks on the militancy issue in northeast as it is a very critical issue,” he told IANS.
Narayanasamy, however, said the Congress party will raise this issue in parliament and outside it. MLAs of the Congress party were being threatened using terrorist outfits to switch over to the BJP, thereby destabilising the state governments, a statement issued by the Congress in-charge said.
“Ever since the BJP government has come to power, the Centre has been blatantly trying to destabilise duly elected Congress governments in the north-eastern states,” the statement added.
He said the government was unabashedly using their power at the Centre and “through the political heavyweights in Delhi, the BJP is trying every trick to attain instability”.
“These blatant efforts at destabilisation are not only threatening to divert the democratic will of the people, but have also created a security issue in the area after a long time,” he said.
The senior Congress leader said the lives of security personnel were at risk on a daily basis and the people of the region were living in constant fear.
“While Prime Minister Narendra Modi is talking about high moral values and cooperative federalism, on the other hand, BJP President Amit Shah is indulging in disturbing duly elected Congress governments in the north-east,” said Nayaranaswamy.
“The central government has appointed governors from RSS background who are acting as destabilising agents and be it the home ministry or the DONER ministry, all are working in tandem with the sole aim of grabbing power through the backdoor,” he said.
Narayanasamy said the Naga peace talks failed because of the home ministry’s failure to carry all the terrorist outfits to the negotiating table and try to resolve the vexed issue.
“R.N. Ravi, interlocutor for the Naga talks, is said to be unhappy over the breakdown of the ceasefire agreement with the NSCN(K) and is believed to have conveyed to the Prime Minister’s Office about alleged ‘mishandling’ of the Naga rebel group by the home ministry,” he said.
“NSCN-K withdrew from the peace talks because of Rijiju’s comments that he would not engage with terror groups like them,” he said.
New Delhi, June 26, 2015: The government, which has been criticized for targeting NGOs, Wednesday said that there was no order against Caritas India, an organization which is affiliated to the Vatican.
A Home Ministry spokesperson while referring to news appearing in a section of media claiming that Caritas India has been put under “prior approval category”, gave details of the case and said the NGO had been remitted Rs 1.6 crore by the Netherlands-based donor which had been stopped, Press Trust of India reported.
“A Netherlands-based foreign donor agency Stichting Cordaid has been placed under prior approval category on August 6, 2012. Any inward remittance from this agency to any Indian NGO will be credited only after clearance from the Ministry of Home Affairs,” the spokesperson said.
He said a reference was received from Standard Chartered Bank’s New Delhi branch seeking clearance for crediting of an inward remittance of Euro 2,30,000 (Rs 1.6 crore) from the Netherlands donor agency in favour of Caritas India, which is an NGO working in India registered under FCRA, 2010.
“Comments of security agency were sought and on the basis of the inputs received from them the matter is under consideration in the Ministry,” he said.
An official of Caritas India, however, said the case was related to last year when the organisation was notified by the bank concerned.
“We made it categorically clear that if the government had objection over the donor agency, we will not take the money at all. Therefore, no such amount has been debited to our account,” the official said.
The government has been cracking on various NGOs and has so far cancelled 15,876 licences of these entities under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act after the NGOs allegedly failed to submit their annual returns and complete other anomalies.
All the organizations were given proper notice by the Foreigners’ Division of the Home Ministry with adequate time to reply before their FCRA licences were cancelled, official sources said.
Mumbai, 25 June, 2015: For the past four days, the rev. Gigi P. Paul, president of Faith Gospel Mission, has been locked away in a prison in Chhattisgarh on the basis of false accusations made by some Hindu radicals.
Yesterday a court denied him bail. The new hearing to decide his release was scheduled tomorrow. Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), told AsiaNews: “The tiny Christian community continues to live without freedom of religion and the increasing intolerance is creating problems of public order.”
The Pentecostal pastor was born and raised in the district of Pathanamthitta in the State of Kerala. After completing his theological studies at Bible school, he moved to the north of India. Since 1991 he has worked in the district of Bastar in Chhattisgarh.
Here, in addition to guiding the community of Faith Gospel Mission, he is also the dean of the Faith Bible Training Centre, Director of Faith Child Development Centre and president for the Chhattisgarh Indian Pentecostal Church of God, the largest Pentecostal denomination in India.
“Rev. Gigi’s arrest took place on 22 June, just three days after the attack on a Salesian Sister “. This climate of intolerance is related to Chhattisgarh Freedom of Religion (Amendment) Act 2006, the State anti-conversion.
“The measure – he said – is a tool of intimidation and abuse against the Christian minority. In some districts, the Christian students of the ashram are not allowed to participate in Sunday Mass. In Mahasamund an official has banned Christian missionaries from being called ‘father’ by their students”.
Megachurch Pastor Joel Osteen: Muslims attend his Church & that his books sell a lot in Muslim countries
Texas, June 23, 2015: Evangelical Christian pastor Joel Osteen shared in an interview this week that “a whole group of probably about 50 Muslims” recently visited his nondenominational megachurch in Houston, Texas, and indicated that his inspirational messages on “how to live a great life” resonate with people “in Muslim countries.”
“I have Muslims that attend our church and my books sell a lot in Muslim countries as well,” Osteen said during an interview with Jeremy Hobson for the “Here and Now” radio program published online Monday.
Hobson had mentioned that he heard Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel express the opinion that Christianity and Judaism had not done “a good enough job keeping an open conversation with Muslims” in the U.S. He then asked Osteen if he has conversations with Muslims, which prompted the preacher to share that he “certainly” does.
“You know, I don’t know, I don’t get too deep in those kinds of things,” Osteen added, “but our ministry is about reaching out to everybody, and so you know, I do have those conversations.”
“I had a whole group of probably about 50 Muslims here at the service about two weeks ago, sitting right on the front row. They came, and we have good, good relationships. And I think part of our ministry is, our main theme is Jesus says love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as you love yourself. And I don’t try to put people in a box — OK, they’re Jewish or they’re Catholic, they’re this or they’re that. I just say, ‘you know what, they’re somebody that God’s put in our path for us to love,’ and that’s our philosophy,” he added.
Osteen also touched on immigration, the End Times and the intersection of politics and religion in his interview with ‘Here and Now,” which you can listen to in the audio player below:
Osteen previously has shared that his messages are not only attractive to Muslims, but to atheists as well.
In a 2014 “Larry King Now” interview, King asked the megachurch pastor, also known for his megawatt smile: “Why would an atheist be a fan?”
“I think what they like, Larry, the principles that we teach is from the Scripture but they can help anybody you know, to reach dreams or to forgive or to have a good self-image,” Osteen said. “I know that I’m not a traditional pastor in terms of I’m just going down teaching scripture by scripture, because a lot of what I would teach is just how to live a great life.”
Another view on why Osteen might be so popular with those outside of his conservative Christian faith was recently presented in an opinion essay published in the Jewish Journal.
“He does not proselytize in a loud, Bible-thumping sort of manner. Instead, with a calming, reassuring voice, he delivers words of faith, hope and optimism based on a biblical foundation,” wrote the author, who identified as “Jewish, and intend to remain Jewish.”
The writer added: “… I have to admit that there were times when I felt that pastor Osteen had put his finger on the pulse of my current challenges, and offered comments that gave me some degree of immediate solace.”
Osteen’s messages and sermons are not a hit with everyone, particularly other conservative Christians. Critics have for years claimed that Osteen’s messages are too focused on positive thinking and personal prosperity, and light on sin and repentance. The Texas pastor, whose popular inspirational and self-help books include Your Best Life Now, You Can, You Will, Every Day a Friday, and Become a Better You, has responded on more than one occasion to such criticism.
“There’s enough pushing people down in life already. When they come to my church, or our meetings, I want them to be lifted up. I want them to know that God’s good, that they can move forward, that they can break an addiction, that they can become who God’s created them to be,” Osteen said in one television interview.
Osteen welcomes about 52,000 worshippers weekly to Lakewood Church, according to a press release from his ministry. The church also says that it is “one of the nation’s most racially and socioeconomically diverse” and that its pastor reaches millions of people through his television program that airs in more than 100 different countries.
- christian post
Because of noise the Worker did not hear his Call.
To draw Attention, the Supervisor threw a 10 Rupee Note in Front of Worker.
He picked up the Note, put it in His Pocket & Continued to Work.
Again to Draw Attention the Supervisor threw 500 Rupee Note & the Worker did the same.
Now the Supervisor picked a small Stone & threw on the Worker.
The Stone hit the Worker.
This time the Worker looked Up & the Supervisor Communicated with Him.
God from Up, wants to Communicate with Us… but We are Busy doing our Worldly Jobs.
Then, he give Us Small Gifts & Big Gifts… We just keep them without looking from Where We Got it.
We are the Same.
Just keeping the gifts without Thanking him,
We just say
We are LUCKY.
And when we are Hit with a Small Stone, which We call PROBLEMS, then only We look Up & Communicate with him.
That is why it is said, He gives, gives n forgives
And We get, get n forget.
New Delhi, June 19, 2015: In the run up to the International Day of Yoga on June 21, K M Shareef, the Popular Front of India (PFI) chairman, on Friday requested all sections of the society to refrain from mixing religious and political agenda into Yoga and other physical fitness practices.
“Since Yoga has evolved into thousands of variants as it prevails today, those who insist adding ‘Suryanamaskar’ to it are led by motives other than that of physical well-being of the people. The ongoing Yoga campaigns by the government with the Hindutva outfits acting as key players have brought in apprehension among minorities because of the religious fervour added to it,” Shareef said in a statement.
He pointed out that this is happening in spite of the official position that Suryanamaskar would not be part of Yoga demonstrations. He cited that some ‘Yogasanas’ have been included in the Physical Education programme of Popular Front of India since its declaration in 2007 and its members did not relate the same to religion or politics, Muhammad Arif Ahmed, PFI’s director, Media and Public Relations, informed in the statement.
“Publicising and demonstrating Yoga and other forms of physicals exercises were carried by Popular Front as part of its annual campaign ‘Healthy People, Healthy Nation’ during these years,” Shareef sought to remind and added, “These campaigns were well received by the minority communities proving that now they have shown apprehension only when majoritarian festive mood is being created by Hindutva groups in the name of popularising Yoga.”
Shareef has also announced the decision of PFI to hold its annual ‘Healthy People, Healthy Nation’ campaign for the year 2015 during October 1-15, the release added.
Belgium, June 19, 2015: Ten years back Feroze and Sameer Khan opened their yoga centre in Brussels, starting initially in the auditorium of the Indian embassy. Today, they are household names in the European Union (EU) circles on yoga.
In a run-up to the International Day of Yoga on 21 June, Sameer Khan led a special yoga session in Berlaymont, the headquarters of the European Commission, in the Belgian capital on Thursday. Among those who participated was Cecilia Malmstrom, the EU’s trade commissioner.
Feroze and Sameer Khan hail from Pune and learnt their yoga from the famed BKS Iyengar. They are certified yoga trainers from the Bikram Yoga College of India in the Los Angeles and are affiliated yoga instructors at the European Commission since 2006.
As Feroze Khan heads to New Delhi to participate in the International Conference on Yoga being organised to mark the International Day of Yoga, analysts opined that their role in extending India’s soft power in Europe will certainly be acknowledged.
The elder Feroze is now successfully running Bikram Yoga centres also in Frankfurt in Germany. He has developed a very large following and has taught more that 15,000 students in groups and through individual classes.