Be still and know

May 31, 2016 by  
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“Be still, and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10.

The classic hymn “It Is Well” begins with these famous lyrics:
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
when sorrows like sea billows roll;
whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.
Have you heard the story of the man who wrote it?

god provides
The author, Horatio G. Stafford,
was a lawyer whose first major test of his faith came in 1871
when the Great Chicago Fire ruined him financially,
destroying most of his real estate investments.

Two years later, when his family had finally pieced their lives back together,
he decided to take his wife and four daughters on a vacation.
However, at the last minute, Stafford was called back on business,
so his wife and children went ahead on the ship.

A short time later,
the ship sank, killing all four of his daughters; only his wife survived.
After hearing the tragic news and setting out to travel to meet his grieving wife,
Stafford penned the classic hymn.

great is our god
How was Stafford able to write
“It is well, it is well with my soul” despite the tragedy he experienced?
And how can we remain faithful to God’s truth
even in desperate times when we feel far from Him?

The few short words of God in Psalm 46:10 will help us understand.
First God says to “be still.” In other words, don’t panic!

Sure, you may be thinking, that’s easy enough to say,
but quite tough to do when it feels like your world has been turned upside down.
That’s why God told us to “know that I am God.”

Note carefully what God did NOT say.

He did not say “Be still, and FEEL that I am God.”

He said “Be still, and KNOW that I am God.”

Regardless of how we may feel,
if we know that God is there, and that His Word is true,
we will be able to have confidence in Him and praise Him,
regardless of our temporary feelings.

Be Still
This doesn’t mean that feelings should be ignored or marginalized.
But it does suggest that feelings are fleeting and uncertain,
while God’s promises are everlasting and certain.

Therefore we must try to pray and trust based on what we know
in times of tragedy rather than primarily on how we feel.

If today you are feeling “peace, like a river”, thank God and increase in knowledge
so that you will prepare yourself for times of trouble.

And if you are instead at a time “when sorrows like sea billows roll”
don’t focus on your temporary feelings,
but focus instead on the knowledge that God loves you,
Jesus died for you, and, like Paul said as he suffered in prison,
“I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard
what I have entrusted to him until the day of his return.” 1Timothy 1:12, (NLT)

Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,

“It is well, it is well with my soul”.

– fwd: vc mathews

Baghdad Patriarch calls on Christians and Muslims to pray for peace between May and Ramadan

May 31, 2016 by  
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Muslim Christian dialogueBaghdad, May 28, 2016: Chaldean Patriarch Louis Mar Rapahel Sako has issued a prayer for peace in Iraq, Syria, and the entire Middle East that will be held next Monday (30 May).

For the prelate, prayers, not military options can “solve conflicts” in which “innocent people always” pay the highest price. Only a sincere prayer from the heart can trigger an “inner revolution” and “ensure peace.”

The patriarch said that a lot of thought went into the wording of the prayer so that it may “help and bring comfort to everyone,” Christians and Muslims. The chosen date coincides with ceremonies “marking the end of the Marian month” and “proximity to Ramadan, the holy month of fasting” for Muslims.

In an official statement on the Patriarchate website, the Chaldean Church calls on Christians, Muslims, Sabians and Yazidis to pray together for peace in Iraq, which has suffered from more than a decade of war and sectarian and confessional violence.

The interfaith ceremony is scheduled for Monday afternoon, 30 May, in the church dedicated to the Queen of the Rosary in Baghdad. It will mark the end of the Marian month, and includes prayers, psalm reading, and hymn singing.

To boost the interfaith and peace-oriented character of the event, Chaldean Patriarch Mar Raphael Louis Sako will lead the interfaith prayers along with a Sunni and a Shia religious leader. Some members of the diplomatic corps will also join the high ranking clerical leaders and the faithful.

Politicians and government officials are not expected because, as the Chaldean Patriarch put it, “they always come with [security] guards and soldiers. Their participation would distort the peace-oriented, harmony seeking character of the event,” which its sponsors want to ensure since on that day, Mar Sako hopes to “breathe only an atmosphere of peace, prayer, and meditation.”

As he presented the initiative, the head of the Chaldean Church described it as an attempt to move towards “peace for our tormented country.”

“Honestly,” he told Baghdadhope, “I could not find anything else than the prayer” as opposed to “the culture of sectarianism” that has spread throughout the country after the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime.

Like everybody else, Christians should not give in or fall into the trap of sectarianism. Instead, education must be offered to them and to anyone who is expecting a different experience.

“A prayer in the church, with women and men carefully listening the texts of our hymns and our Psalms will also help Muslims reflect,” the patriarch said. “We need a new way of thinking, a new culture, and our Muslim brothers must update their thinking for the goodness and peace we invoke are for everyone.”

Here is the text of the Prayer for peace in Iraq, Syria and the region:

Lord, we have had enough of wars, conflicts and destructions that horrify us, made us look horrible and have destroyed our world.

Killing is nothing more than a deviation from your divine plan for man to enjoy a happy life.

Please Lord, enlighten our political leaders to renew their hearts so that they can overcome their disputes and interests, sustain goodness and love, and be the tools of peace that we need more than anything else, especially in Iraq, Syria and the region.

We want to live a happy and joyful life as brothers and sisters without injustice or war, dead or wounded, displaced persons or migrants, homeless or hungry.

Mother Mary, fill our hearts with peace and love.

– asianews

Gospel for Asia faced staff exodus amid negative publicity

May 31, 2016 by  
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India, May 29, 2016: Around 50 staff – half of the total – left the embattled Gospel for Asia (GFA) mission organisation in 2015, according to an activist group. Kerala-born missionary KP Yohannan founded and runs GFA —the second largest mission group in the US.

GFA and Yohannan have faced a storm of negative publicity in the US following revelations by blogger Warren Throckmorton of financial mismanagement. It was found to have kept vast reserves in Indian bank accounts while pleading for urgent funds from donors in the US and was expelled from the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability after an investigation. It was also criticised for its practice of getting students to carry large amounts in cash from the US to India. GFA has been accused of treated staff poorly and is facing a lawsuit for fraud and misuse of charitable donations., run by former GFA workers, says its purpose is to “help individuals understand the issues surrounding GFA”. It says: “The 2015 staff exodus was not your normal attrition…If you look at how long so many of these staff had served and how much they personally invested in the work, in terms of time and commitment, these weren’t the type of people to leave over a little misunderstanding.”

Donor Be Wise says: “What people do leave over is repeat offenses that are born out of abusive patterns, they leave over a lack of trust.”

Senior staff who left included the communications leader, the church relations department leader, and the leaders of the IT, ministry partners and web departments. The leader of the IT department, whose wife also left her role as writer/editor, had served for 29 years.

Meanwhile, GFA run Delhi-headquartered Believers Church is constantly in news for all the ‘right’ reasons in India. In March, a delegation headed by Yohannan donated Rs. 1 crore to towards Prime Minister’s Ganga cleanliness campaign.

In April, Believers Church was bringing relief to the victims of Kerala temple tragedy. Early this month the church was in news for building 20 toilets in Himachal Pradesh, paying heed to Prime Minister’s sanitation project, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Two days later, the congregation reaching out to drought affected in Maharashtra’s Latur was reported.

On May 16, Believers church and Yohannan was again in news with a project for installing tube wells in 98 villages across Uttar Pradesh. On May 24, media reported the church contributing towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Skill India” Campaign, by imparting skill to underprivileged women across the country to help them earn a livelihood.

– christian today

Pastor and two women falsely accused of forceful conversion, put behind bars in a village in Madhya Pradesh

May 31, 2016 by  
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Madhya Pradesh, May 26, 2016: The beating up and arrest of a Pastor, his wife, a woman Church member and her 4 year old son in Satna, Madhya Pradesh marks the two-year anniversary of the Narendra Modi led NDA II government in India.

Pastor V A Antony (50) who is the leader of the Brethren Church in village Aber, nearly 30 kilometres from Satna city, has been ministering in the area now for eighteen years.

On 22 May 2016, Pastor Antony, his wife Prabha Antony (48), a woman Church member called Praveen Choudhary and her four-year-old son Paarth left in Pastor Antony’s car for their home after concluding the regular Sunday worship service in the village. Four plain clothes Policemen in a vehicle blocked their way and asked Pastor Antony to step out of his car. He was then slapped in the face twice. The policemen threatened him and told him not to be seen in the village again. He was also warned against conducting worship services.

“They stopped me after we had traveled about 5 kilometres, slapped me and then asked me to leave for Satna”, said Pastor Antony while narrating his ordeal to Barnabas Fund.

“Two out of the four seated in their vehicle had met me outside the Church after service the same morning along with three Hindu extremists, and had asked me  ‘not to conduct Church service in the village, as there are no Christians here’. The Hindu extremists accused me of carrying out forcible conversions in that area,” added Antony.

“The men had begun to shout and abuse me in the vilest language but the policemen with them intervened and they left the premises soon,” Pastor Antony narrated.

“The plain clothes policemen, who had slapped and threatened me and asked me to leave for Satna, kept chasing my car all the way in their SUV. Soon another car joined them, which was full of activists of Bajrang Dal and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (a right-wing, Hindu nationalist, paramilitary, volunteer organisation). The three men who abused me outside the Church were also among them,” said Pastor Antony.

The Christians were stopped again a few kilometres from Satna. “I was once again stopped and forced out of my car and along with my wife, our Church member and her son. We were taken to Kotar police station”, said Antony.

“We reached the police station to find a group of affluent senior political and religious leaders from the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Bajrang Dal already waiting for us”, said Antony.

In no time a First Information Report (FIR) was registered against the Christians, by Prashant Gupta, a local resident of Kotar, Satna and two of his friends Hemraj Verma and Rambhan Adivasi. Charges were framed against V.A. Antony, Prabha Antony and Praveen Choudhary under Indian Penal Code section 295A, which states, Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings or any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefsand under Sections 3/4 of The Religious Institutions Prevention of Misuse Act 1988.

“Astonishingly the FIR was registered against the three and they were produced before the Court and sent to judicial custody on a Sunday! The influence and political clout of the extremists is evident in this case”, said Chandra Kant Shourie, a senior Christian leader who runs a school in Nagod, near Satna.

“One of the Hindu extremists who was accusing me outside the Church that morning, handed over to the police a poster of ‘Ganesha’ (Hindu god), torn into pieces, and accused me of tearing the same”, said a still traumatized Antony.

Antony was also accused of “luring the three Hindu men on the pretext of giving them money and jobs to convert to Christianity and subsequently giving them a ‘bath’ in the river near Udhav Dham on 21st April 2016. They further alleged that instead of the National Flag the Christians were flying the flag of Christian religion”.

Antony told Barnabas Fund that he had not known these three men previously, or even seen them before, and “all these allegations levied on me are false”.

The child, Paarth, was handed over to his father around six in the evening and Antony, his wife Prabha and Praveen Choudhary were sent to jail at seven on the same evening.

After their bail plea was rejected in at the lower court, the pastor along with the two women was released on bail on 24 May 2016 from the Sessions court.

Pastor Antony and Prabha have a 21-year-old son and a 19-year-old daughter.

Pastor Antony recollects that in 2004, a Sunday service was disrupted by a mob of Hindu extremists and he along with some church members was severely beaten. But no court case was filed against him.

“I was threatened by some extremists in Aber around 3 months ago to not to conduct church in Aber. I never thought that they would go to such an extent with false allegations and putting us in jail,” said Antony.

When Barnabas Fund asked Antony if this incident has gripped his heart with fear, he said, “Surprisingly we were very courageous. We had no fear or tension, nether when I was beaten or taken to the police station nor when we were put in the jail. The peace of God was always ruling our hearts and we felt that God was in control of the situation”.

“I was concerned for my Church worshippers and their safety. I didn’t want anyone to be harmed,” said Pastor Antony.

“It is clear that this is a deliberate and malicious vendetta perpetrated against Mr. Antony and his colleagues, in order to suppress and intimidate and prevent him from practicing his Christian beliefs, which he holds to be true. It is noteworthy to mention here that he is an Indian citizen under the Constitution of India. It is a point of deep concern that the police and the administration are held hostage by a certain group of powerful people, who are able to instigate mobs to violence and anarchy, and use that threat against the police and the administration to prevent them from carrying out their duties in the interest of justice and good governance and protection to all citizens of India”, said Chandra Kant Shourie.

– barnabas team

It takes a village: Where religious harmony defies years of Kashmir strife

May 31, 2016 by  
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Kashmir, May 30, 2016: A Hindu temple and a Muslim shrine in this lush green village of south Kashmir have stood close to each other for centuries as pillars of communal harmony, unshaken by the nearly three-decade-old Islamist conflict in the state.

About 100 km from Srinagar, Manzgam has largely been an area of peace despite the separatist insurgency that peaked in the 1990s in the rest of the valley and saw a mass exodus of Pandits.

Residents credit the calm in the area to the two 600-year-old shrines.

The Hindu temple is dedicated to Mata Kheerbhawani — a revered Hindu deity — while the Muslim shrine was named after the 15th century Sufi saint Baba Qiyaam-ud-Din whose teachings of peace are still being followed by Kashmiris, irrespective of their faith.

That is perhaps why every year Muslims and Pandits throng the shared space to celebrate the annual festivals of the religious figures.

Muslims prepare kheer — a rice pudding offered to seek the blessings of the goddess — and serve it to Hindus during the annual fair of Kheerbhawani. And when it is time to celebrate the veneration of the mystic saint, Hindus come in droves to be with Muslims.

Both events are held on separate dates every year but locals say they also visit the shrines occasionally.

“This village is the best example of communal harmony…though Muslims are in majority, we never let our Pandit brothers feel that,” activist and lawyer Arshad Baba, who lives in the village, told IANS. “This is a decades-old divine bond no one can break.”

The harmony doesn’t stop there. Many villagers say they have allowed their children to understand each other’s religious teachings.

Just a kilometre away from the shrines is an English medium high school run by an Islamic group where a dozen Hindu children study not only science, history and mathematics but also Islamic teachings alongside Muslim kids.

Mohamadiya Salfia Institute, according to villagers, has some 400 students and has been a source of communal harmony in the village.

“We are very happy that our kids are learning something different apart from their basic subjects,” said Pradeep Kumar, 78, a Hindu villager.

Kumar, a retired government employee, said there was no harm in learning new things and definitely not if it is about peaceful Islam.

“Our kids are learning about Islam and it will help them to form their own opinions and understand something they won’t learn at home,” he added.

Kumar said when militancy erupted in the early 1990s and Pandits were driven out of their valley homes, at least half a dozen Hindu families in the village chose to stay back. He said it was possible only because of their Muslim neighbours who “formed human-chains around our houses to protect us”.

He said “where in the world do you see people from another community putting their lives at risk to save others?”

Abdul Rashid Laway, a village body member, echoed the sentiments. “We have time and again requested those who migrated from this land of love to come back… this land belongs to both of us…”

Laway said that during festivities they come here and, “instead of staying at the well-furnished premises provided by the Mata Kheerbhawani temple, they prefer to stay with us… but we want them to be back here permanently,” Laway said.

– ians

IS target specifically Christian district, killing five

May 31, 2016 by  
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ISIS executions of ChristiansSyria, May 26, 2016: Islamic State has attacked an area of North East Syria that is almost exclusively populated by Christians, killing at least five people.

Jihadists stormed the area near the Miami restaurant in Qamishle City’s al-Wusta neighbourhood shouting “Alahu Akbar” (God is great) and “ISIS is here to stay” while firing shots with handguns and lobbing grenades. Although, Assyrian security forces shot and killed two suicide bombers before they could detonate their suicide belts, one suicide bomber was able to detonate his belt near the Miami restaurant and Dominos’ Pizza killing three Christians.

Qamishle has been one of the most important centres for Christians in Syria and had an estimated 40,000 Christians before the war, half of whom are thought to have now fled. Most of the population of the al-Wusta district are Assyrian, Armenian or Syriac Christians. This is the third time since December that Islamic State terrorists have targeted cafes and food outlets in this district.

A few days later other jihadists, possibly linked to Islamic State, killed at least 140 people after they set off a series of bombs in the coastal towns of Jableh and Tartous that had previously been regarded as relatively safe. These appeared to be aimed at the Awalite sect linked to President Assad that IS regards as non-Muslims.

Some analysts have suggested that as Islamic State starts to lose territory in Iraq it is focusing increasing attention on targeting minorities in Syria, including Christians. Last week we reported how jihadists from Islamic State targeted a town near the city of Hama that is populated only by Christians and Alawites, killing an as yet unspecified number of men, women and children, with the women being raped before being slaughtered. This is the latest episode in the ongoing jihadist genocide that aims to remove all non-Muslims from Syria.

– barnabas team

By George, Pope honours movie stars for education support

May 31, 2016 by  
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Vatican, May 31, 2016: Pope Francis has awarded medals to George Clooney, Salma Hayek and Richard Gere in recognition of their contributions to a Vatican education project, reports AP in The Catholic Herald.

The Hollywood stars were in Rome on Sunday at an event for the Scholas Occurentes (Schools Meet) global educational initiative that Pope Francis launched.

Scholas Occurentes works in 82 countries with 400,000 schools and other education institutions, aiming to bring together children from different cultures and religions.

Clooney, Hayek and Gere agreed to be ambassadors for one of the foundation’s arts projects.

The meeting in the Vatican Synod Hall involved testimonials, music, videos and a question and answer session.

In response to a question from a young person, Pope Francis said he had never considered following Benedict XVI into retirement.

“I never thought of quitting being pope, or of leaving because of the many responsibilities,” the Pope said.

Francis has previously said he envisioned a short papacy before going on “to the Father’s house,” but he has never specifically ruled out following in the Pope Emeritus’s footsteps. Benedict XVI retired in 2013, the first pope to step down in 600 years.

– cns

Are Muslims converting to Christianity faster than Christians converting to Islam?

May 31, 2016 by  
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Muslim-Christian relationsU.S, May 13, 2016: Former Miss USA Rima Fakih made headlines earlier this month when it was announced that the first Muslim winner of the American beauty contest was converting to Christianity in advance of her May 15 wedding.

While widely syndicated, the conservative media watchdog entity NewsBusters ran a story noting that many established news sources shied away from the Fakih story.

“Fakih is nowhere to be seen on the networks these days. The Washington Post, another former Fakih devotee also declined to mention her conversion,” wrote Mairead McArdle of NewsBusters.

“Considering that Fakih’s Muslim ethnicity and faith were an integral part of her popularity and the controversy surrounding her Miss USA title, the media is uncannily quiet on her profession of Christianity.”

Others, however, have argued that the coverage of Fakih’s conversion is disproportionate, noting that more Christians are converting to Islam than Muslims to Christianity.

“It is a fact that Islam is growing rapidly in the West. In the U.S. alone the number of Muslims has risen dramatically, from about 10,000 in 1900 to 3 million or more in 1991,” noted Arab World Ministries, a contributor to CBN.

“Most of this growth is due to recent immigration and the high birth rate of Muslims (five children per family on average), rather than to conversion. Still, the number of those who convert to Islam is significant.”

So is Fakih’s conversion story less common than the stories of people like Muhammad Ali, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, or Cat Stevens?

A difficult question

Tracking the number of Muslim converts to Christianity is a difficult task, according to Albert W. Hickman of the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary.

In an interview with The Christian Post, Hickman explained that “Muslim converts to Christianity are far more likely to face adverse consequences than are Christian converts to Islam.”

“These can range from the loss of a job and social and familial ostracism to beatings, imprisonment, and even death,” said Hickman.

“As a result, many Muslim converts to Christianity keep their conversions secret — certainly in Muslim-majority countries, but also in Western and other countries with religious freedom due to concerns about the consequences their conversions might carry for family members back home.”

Hickman added that because of this “even historically Christian communities in Muslim-majority countries can be ignorant of or have little knowledge about the populations of Muslim converts to Christianity in their countries.”

“Thus, it is likely that the number of Muslims who convert to Christianity each year is underestimated,” continued Hickman. “This is less likely to be true for the number of Christian converts to Islam, as they would in general face less opposition.”

Possible examples of this would be the West African nation of Mauritania and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. While Mauritania and Saudi Arabia officially declare 100 percent of their citizens Muslim, both are known to have small non-Muslim populations.

The Christian Post reported last year that the Saudi government passed a law that imposes the death penalty on anyone who is caught with a Bible or found to be smuggling Bibles into the country.

A question of safety

The greatest complication for assessing the number of Muslims converting to Christianity in Islamic nations is the concern over safety.

“Many of these converts keep their new faith a secret. Some of them are fairly isolated, not knowing any other Christians,” noted Hickman.

“Others are part of house churches that consist exclusively of secret converts; these individual house churches can be part of networks that are quite extensive, although most individual members might be unaware of exactly how extensive.”

Violence against Christian converts is connected to the rising tide of violence against Christians in the Islamic world, according to persecution watchdog group Open Doors USA.

Each year, Open Doors releases a “World Watch List” tracking the most intolerant countries in the world for a Christian to live. The list looks into multiple factors, both of a social and state-sponsored nature.

While each year since the list’s inception atheist dictatorship North Korea has sat at No. 1, Muslim-majority countries dominate the overall rankings.

For the 2016 World Watch List, majority Muslim nations like Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, and Somalia were among the top 10; others like Saudi Arabia, Libya, and Yemen were found in the top 20.

“At its heart, the sharing of information on Muslim converts to Christianity, especially in Muslim-majority countries, involves building relationships of trust between those who lead the movements and those who want to know about them, so that no one is endangered and so that reporting methodologies yielding accurate information are utilized,” said Hickman.

– christian post

Little boy’s explanation of God

May 30, 2016 by  
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Out of the mouths of the Babes–
(Which means -Young and inexperienced persons often can be remarkably wise )

I certainly don’t think an adult could explain this more beautifully!

It was written by an 8-year-old named Danny Dutton, who lives in Chula Vista , CA . He wrote it for his third grade homework assignment, to ‘explain God.’ I wonder if any of us could have done as well?
(and he had such an assignment, in California , and someone published it, I guess miracles do happen!)

‘One of God’s main jobs is making people. He makes them to replace the ones that die, so there will be enough people to take care of things on earth. He doesn’t make grownups, just babies. I think because they are smaller and easier to make. That way he doesn’t have to take up his valuable time teaching them to talk and walk. He can just leave that to mothers and fathers.’

‘God’s second most important job is listening to prayers An awful lot of this goes on, since some people, like preachers and things, pray at times beside bedtime. God doesn’t have time to listen to the radio or TV because of this. Because he hears everything, there must be a terrible lot of noise in his ears, unless he has thought of a way to turn it off.’

‘God sees everything and hears everything and is everywhere which keeps Him pretty busy. So you shouldn’t go wasting his time by going over your mom and dad’s head asking for something they said you couldn’t have.’

‘Atheists are people who don’t believe in God. I don’t think there are any in Chula Vista . At least there aren’t any who come to our church.’

‘Jesus is God’s Son. He used to do all the hard work, like walking on water and performing miracles and trying to teach the people who didn’t want to learn about God. They finally got tired of him preaching to them and they crucified him. But he was good and kind, like his father, and he told his father that they didn’t know what they were doing and to forgive them and God said OK’ And God did not let Jesus stay in the grave, but raised him from the dead

‘His dad (God) appreciated everything that he had done and all his hard work on earth so he told him he didn’t have to go out on the road anymore. He could stay in heaven. So he did. And now he helps his dad out by listening to prayers and seeing things which are important for God to take care of and which ones he can take care of himself without having to bother God. Like a secretary, only more important.’

‘You can pray anytime you want and they are sure to help you because they got it worked out so one of them is on duty all the time.’

‘You should always go to church on Sunday because it makes God happy, and if there’s anybody you want to make happy, it’s God!

Don’t skip church to do something you think will be more fun like going to the beach. This is wrong. And besides the sun doesn’t come out at the beach until noon anyway.’

‘If you don’t believe in God, besides being an atheist, you will be very lonely, because your parents can’t go everywhere with you, like to camp, but God can. It is good to know He’s around you when you’re scared, in the dark or when you can’t swim and you get thrown into real deep water by big kids.’

‘But…you shouldn’t just always think of what God can do for you. I figure God put me here and he can take me back anytime he pleases.

And…that’s why I believe in God.’

– fwd: josephette nazareth

BJP protests outside Sonia’s residence over Batla statements

May 30, 2016 by  
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New Delhi, May 30, 2016 : The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday staged a protest outside Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s residence over party leader Digvijaya Singh’s statement terming the Batla House encounter as “fake”.

“The Congress and especially Sonia Gandhi have always been double-faced. When the Batla encounter took place, the Congress leader said the encounter was fake,” BJP leader Satish Upadhyay said.

“We demand an apology from Sonia Gandhi. The Congress should not play the politics of dividing the nation,” Upadhyay said.

Delhi BJP media coordinator Praveen Shankar Kapoor demanded that the Congress should apologise for maintaining that “the encounter was state-managed”.

The Batla House encounter took place on September 19, 2008, during the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) regime, against IM terrorists hiding in a house in Jamia Nagar of Delhi. Two suspected terrorists were killed in the shootout, while two other suspects were arrested.

Encounter specialist Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma, who led the police action, was also killed in the incident.

Last week, Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh stuck to his earlier stance that the Batla House gunfight was “fake”.

Recently, a video footage telecast on a TV channel claimed that one of the suspects, Bada Sajid, who reportedly had escaped on the day of incident, was seen in an “IS video”.

– tcn

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