Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Morocco: Christians arrested

On Feb. 4, Moroccan military authorities raided a Christian meeting and arrested 18 people. The authorities also confiscated Bibles and personal belongings, according to The Voice of the Martyrs contacts.

“We were surprised by more than 60 Moroccan Gendarmes attacking the house [where we had just started our Bible study],” a VOM contact said. “Eleven believers (including an American), two non-believers and five children… were [held] by the Moroccan government for 14 hours.”

After 14 hours in detention, the American was deported and the others were released. Authorities kept the American’s laptop computer, along with Bibles, books, a laptop, a digital photo camera and a cell phone that belonged to the others arrested.

“It’s the first time in our current Moroccan church history that the Moroccan government used this size of a legion to attack a small Christian meeting,” VOM contacts added. “All the time they kept repeating that this was ordered personally by the new Moroccan Justice Minister [Mohamed Naciri] and by the highest level General of the Gendarmerie [Housni Benslimane].”

The Voice of the Martyrs encourages you to pray for believers in Morocco. Pray that God will protect these believers and grant them peace as they face these new challenges. Also pray that the authorities will return their confiscated belongings. Ask God to draw the persecutors into fellowship with him.

“Our Moroccan brothers and sisters have asked believers here in the US to speak out on their behalf,” said Todd Nettleton, VOM’s director of media development. “They believe international attention and pressure can make a difference in getting their possessions returned, and in protecting future Christian activities.”

VOM encourages you to write to the Moroccan Embassy at the address below to protest this abuse of religious freedom:

Moroccan Ambassador:
H.E. Aziz Mekouar
1601 21st St. NW
Washington, DC 20009
Fax: 202-265-0161

Also send an email to the Deputy Chief of Mission, Ms. Aicha Afifi, at You can contact the United States embassy in Morocco by visiting or sending an email to

Monday, February 22, 2010

Some fruit

Fruit?  In that wilderness?  Adadiah leaned back against his father’s knee, listening to the reader with some concern.

    The story had gripped Adadiah as the reader recounted the adventures.  Adadiah had especially liked the part where the thundering cavalry seemed ready to capture the people, but had been tricked and defeated.  That army had thought it was so strong but not against God!

    But the narrative had now taken the group to the edge of the land promised to them.  Adadiah was astonished that they were fearful but listened intently as the people crafted a good plan:  send in spies and see what they were up against.

    The spies had brought back fruit.  Adadiah had expected the wilderness to be rocky and dry.  The whole region seemed to him to be a desert.  He hadn’t been there, of course, but he had heard about the caves and cliffs.

    But there had been all those big juicy grapes that had made his mouth water.
    He was intrigued by the fruit, because it reminded him of another section of the story.  What was it?

    This new land had been filled with sweet fruit like some other land.  What land?

    Ah!  He had it.  When the reader had first unrolled the scroll and began reading.  At the beginning of the story.
    When God had created the world, he had made a garden filled with trees heavy with fruit.  Lots and lots and lots of fruit.  The man, Adam, didn’t have to work for his food like Adadiah and his father had to work.

    What kind of god would give his people lots of sweet fruit?

    Adadiah had heard about the gods in Babylon, even though his father scolded him for listening to the tales. They were supposed to be mighty in battle, with great strength, but they demanded sacrifices or they’d turn their power on the people.  They didn’t give anything freely.

    Who was this God who gave so much fruit?  Adadiah knew he had to learn more.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A giveaway!

My good friend Maxine over at The SG Notebook is holding a giveaway right now. Hop on over, leave her a comment, and tell her I said hi! She's committed to serving Jesus in so many ways, including through Christian gifts, so take a look at her site.

New cartoon

I'm trying an experiment here. I have linked to Jeff Larson's The Back Pew cartoons and the only place those fit on this page is at the top. I don't really like it there, but we'll see if I get used to it - or get another idea. In any case, I hope you enjoy Jeff's humor. If you'd like to use his cartoons in some way, you can ask for permission at his site.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Pray for Europe

A good friend who has worked in Europe for over 20 years send this information to me. Maybe you'd be interested, too:

"Hey friends!

"This is just a quick note to invite you to join me and boatloads of folks around the world in praying for Europe during lent (which starts tomorrow, by the way!!). So many major moves of God in the world have been preceded by concerted times of prayer in the body of Christ (think back to all that took place in the fall of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe). Well, this lent is your chance to join the body of Christ in praying for the “prodigal continent” of Europe!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

At the gate

Maybe Uncle Eli had dropped him a little roughly today but Samuel was always glad that someone carried him to the gate. He settled himself into his familiar spot, anxious for his day to begin.

Behind him, the doors of the gate rose majestically. It took several men to push wide the gigantic gates and Samuel always marveled at the ornate bronze plating illuminating the wood. These were beautiful gates and he knew that many people would soon be making their way through them into the temple.

Samuel had never seen inner part of the temple, although he often tried to imagine it. He’d understood all his life that he’d never go in. His legs were crippled at birth, making him unclean. He could never enter the temple to worship. His focus was always to learn his trade well.

“Alms!” he cried out suddenly as a cluster of people approached. Jews, he knew, were encouraged to give to the poor as part of their worship. And he heard the sound of coins clattering into his basket.

The sun was shining brightly, warming Samuel. He pushed his limp legs out to make his uncleanness even more evident.

He saw two men approaching the gate. “Alms for the poor!” he called out.

Then he heard a strong voice: “Look at us.” Samuel was confused, for he knew his uncleanness was repulsive to most. The people ignored him, tossing in a coin to meet their worship duty, before marching into the temple courts. He had learned to keep his eyes down.

“We have no gold or silver,” the man said to him. Samuel glanced at the second man and then back to the first. Why was this man addressing Samuel if he had no alms?

“But what I have, I give to you.” He strode to Samuel’s side and extended his hand. When Samuel gripped his hand, the man lifted him to his feet. “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”

Fear shook Samuel but then he realized that he was standing. His legs were no longer weak. He took a step.

“What…” Samuel couldn’t speak for a moment. And then the reality of these muscular legs filled him. He tested them. He walked, ran, jumped. They worked.

But suddenly a greater reality hit him. He could enter the temple now. He was no longer unclean.

Walking and leaping and praising God, he joined the two men in the temple to worship.

He didn’t understand fully, but he knew that this Jesus Christ had removed his uncleanness so that he could go into the presence of God.

For Samuel, the worship had only begun.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Thin Places by Mary DeMuth

Every two minutes, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted and of the millions of sexual abuse and rape victims, 15 percent are under the age of 12, according to a 2007 study by the U.S. Department of Justice. Critically acclaimed author Mary DeMuth is among the millions of adults who are victims of childhood rape and are living with the emotional scars of the haunting abuse.

DeMuth bravely shares her painful story in her new memoir, Thin Places (February 2010). Repeatedly raped by two neighborhood boys at a young age, DeMuth details her traumatic and disturbing childhood in the memoir. Raised in a broken home, she lost her biological father when she was ten and was stripped of her innocence growing up in an unstable environment where drugs were commonplace.

But Thin Places is about hope and healing more than it is about the traumatic events of DeMuth’s childhood. According to DeMuth, thin places are “snatches of time, moments really, when we sense God intersecting our world in tangible, unmistakable ways.” When she encountered the true love of Jesus at a Young Life camp in high school, DeMuth’s life trajectory changed. God reassembled the pieces of her emotionally fragile self, which initiated true healing and peace.

“Folks may wonder why I’ve spent all this time looking back,” says DeMuth, “dredging up what God sees of my story, what my eyes see. Jesus says truth sets people free. This is my way of doing that—of telling the stark truth on the page so others can be set free.”

DeMuth’s desire is to see readers set free from their family secrets. In light of that, she’s started a blog for readers to anonymously share their family secrets. Since the blog launched in February 2009, over 200 survivors have emailed their family secrets for DeMuth to anonymously post, and the blog was featured on Christianity Today’s blog, Her.meneutics. For more information, visit:

“Thin Places offers a poignant look at the development of a well-known Christian writer,” says Christian Retailing, and author Tosca Lee calls Thin Places, “brave, moving and poignant.”

Writing is a cathartic experience for DeMuth, and remnants from her past influence her books. They are infused into her nonfiction parenting advice as well as her fictional characters and plots. Her literary fiction features gritty story lines and touches on the dark subject of abuse. Her first novel, Watching the Tree Limbs, featured a 9-year-old girl who was raped by a neighborhood bully, and the Defiance Texas Trilogy examines the emotional pain that results from the disappearance of a young girl in Texas. DeMuth talks about these writing projects in Thin Places. “Writing [Watching the Tree Limbs] is a thin place where I see
God’s desire to heal me,” says DeMuth, “and I understand that He loves me no matter what emotions I express.”

About the Author:

Mary DeMuth
Author and speaker Mary DeMuth helps people turn their trials to triumph. Her books include Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God; Building the Christian Family You Never Had; Watching the Tree Limbs; Wishing on Dandelions; Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture and the first two books in the Defiance, Texas Trilogy: Daisy Chain and A Slow Burn.
National media regularly seek Mary’s candid ability to connect with their listeners. Her radio appearances include FamilyLife Today, Moody Midday Connection, Point of View and U.S.A. Radio Network and is frequently featured on Chuck Colson’s BreakPoint. She has published articles in In Touch, HomeLife, Writer’s Digest and The Writer.
Mary lives with her husband Patrick and their three children in Texas.

Learn more about Mary at

Thin Places
Release: February 2010
Soft cover, 224 pp., $14.99
ISBN: 031028418X

Monday, February 8, 2010

A free Kindle!

The previous post is a true story that I've recounted in part for a contest to publicize Mary DeMuth's new book, Thin Places. You can enter the contest as well. Please follow this link to find the rules. The winner will receive a Kindle Reader.

Tomorrow, I'll post information about Mary's book which deals with the journey from hurt to healing. Mary's love of Jesus shines through her work. Return tomorrow for a peak into her latest work.

Restoring what the locusts had eaten

Most women love the lure of flowers, an evening stroll, the attention of a suitor.

I was wooed in those summer months. I deserved no courtship. I had chosen a silent separation; in my reckoning, my Bridegroom had not done his part.

The miscarriage happened in March. On a summer camping trip, with a time for quiet and reflection, my heart began to expand. I missed my Lord. I felt his warm breath as he called my name. I opened my Bible and began a slow climb out of a black hole.

I did not understand my loss but I was reminded that I was loved by the Creator of the universe. My soul soared like the eagle.

Invited to speak at our church’s Christmas tea in early December, my joy expanded when I discovered I was pregnant again. I felt certain that God was restoring what had been lost.

But I gave the long-anticipated speech knowing that life was draining away. I was desperate not to lose the relationship. My cry that weekend was that my Lord not leave me.

I had once hoped that my friends or family would comfort me during the one-two punch of miscarriage. But the Bridegroom never left my side. He whispered my name and drew me back. He kept his part of the covenant: He never left me.

He repaid me for the years the locusts had eaten a year later when our son was born. As the prophet Joel said, I praise the Lord’s name for he worked wonders for me.

Tebow ad

Since I highlighted the Tebow ad controversy last week, I thought I'd include the actual ad today. Do you think a few people over-reacted to rumors and assumptions? I'd say the ad is a nice celebration of life and family. Take a look:

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Super Bowl uproar

I didn't mean to discuss the Super Bowl too much this week, but in case you've missed the uproar over the Tebow ad scheduled to air during the Super Bowl, here's a video clip about that:

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Our family enjoys watching professional football and, although we're primarily Denver Bronco fans, we're looking forward to the Super Bowl. I am always glad to hear professional players who honor God. Here's a clip from the New Orleans Saints quarterback, Drew Brees:

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Monday, February 1, 2010


I began this blog nearly three years ago to connect my passion for writing with my passion for my Savior. I have posted over 700 essays examining Christian issues, ideas and my own passions.

God is directing me in a new way and I'm still exploring how that will look. I have clearly heard his call to write stories. I am currently working on a novel based loosely on the book of Ruth.

How that impacts this blog, I still have to explore. But expect to see more posts about fiction, writing, and God's great stories.

And we'll see where the journey takes me.