Helpful series of articles on 9/11 including this by RC Sproul on how ‘when we were given a wake-up call ten years ago on 9/11, we pushed the snooze button and went back to sleep.’
An extraordinary story of a mother who is aiming to become the heaviest woman ever to live by deliberately risking her life and the welfare of her children. Fame at any price?
Great article from Martin Saunders in today’s Guardian on faith-based youth work
What an encouragement to have 15 minutes on Sky news to hearing how the gospel is changing lives and how Christians are working in our communities to bring hope and transformation!
Toby Young in the Telegraph blogs on how Michael A. Nutter, the Mayor of Philadelphia is responding to rioting in his community. Makes for interesting reading a quite a contrast to our politicians.
Our politicians talk about puinshing criminal behaviour but seem unwilling or unable to face up to the issues in our communities that lie behind such blatant criminality. Is the issue that our politicians are afraid to lead on the heart issues facing our communities?
I am so grateful to God for the privilege of growing up in a stable environment and a loving home. I fear for our children who live with the consequences of broken homes and absentee fathers who feel no responsibility for the care, nurture and training of their children. The issue is not single-mothers who are doing all they can to raise their children but absent fathers who are not. God has given us the family for a purpose – our politicians need to do more to rebuild the fabric of society.
Last night we saw the collapse of law and order on the streets of many parts of London and Birmingham. As Christians how do we respond?
1. We pray for those in authority (1 Timothy 2:2) that they may know how to deal with the unpredictable and escalating violence and lawlessness. For all in government at the local and national level as they prepare for the coming nights ahead.
2. We are not surprised by the events of the last few nights (although we are saddened and shocked) because as Christians we recognise the doctrine of total depravity when we see it. The actions of last night are not an indicator of social deprivation but of total depravity the doctrine which Wayne Grudem in his systematic theology defines as follows;
‘because of the fall and our own wilful sinfulness all mankind are thoroughly corrupt and completely evil. We are restrained from living out our corruptness to its fulness by God’s common grace.’
When the restraining power of the conscience within and law and order without are removed people are capable of committing great evils.
3. We thank God for his restraining hand that has kept our nation from a break down of law and order on countless occasions in the past. When we live at peace we are getting better than our sins deserve. When our streets are safe we remember how good God is to us and we do not take his common grace for granted. We pray that God in his mercy will restore law and order.
4. We pray for churches in the communities affected that they may speak out against such acts of evil and be salt and light. We pray in particular for those who run youth groups and clubs that interact with youth caught up in the events of last night that they may lead them to true repentance and faith in Christ.
5. We thank God for the bravery of many Police officers who have risked their lives to protect our streets. We see the image of God in their selfless acts and in their restraint. We pray for many who are working extra hours and have had annual leave cancelled to defend us.
6. We pray for those who committed these acts. That the Spirit of Christ may convict them of their sin and lead them to seek God’s mercy and forgiveness.
7. We pray that justice will be done and seen to be done in the arrest of those responsible
Paul writes in Romans 13:2-3;
He who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted and those who do so will bring judgement on themselves.
8. We pray for those who have lost their livelihood or their homes and possessions. That believers would be comforted and supported in their loss and that the church may act decisively to bring relief to those in their distress.
9. We pray for all Christians that they may have opportunity to speak of Christ, sensitively and wisely, in their places of work and communities today. That we may
10. For the longer term we pray for our cities and in particular the inner cities where disaffection and dissatisfaction with life leads to lawlessness, criminality, to violence and to gang culture. We pray that gospel men and women will plant churches and develop ministries to see these young men and women won for Christ.
11. We pray for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and the establishment of his kingdom; for the time when he will remove all wickedness and evil from our world and for his perfect and good rule to be established in our world.
The truly brave and selfless act of an ordinary hero – what we learn from events in Sydney yesterday
Yesterday in a wealthy suburb of Sydney the most terrifying events were unfolding. An 18 year old woman was disturbed in her own home by an intruder who placed a suspected explosive device round her neck.
It took the Police 10 hours to remove the device which mercifully turned out to be a ‘very, very elaborate hoax’.
The Police confirmed that a note was attached which warned that any attempt to call the police would result in the device being detonated.
The story is horrifying. But even in the midst of such darkness there is also a story of extraordinary courage and sacrifice.
Two Officers who were on general duties in the area that day responded when the woman called the Police.
“What they saw was a very distressed young lady with what we believed to be at the time an improvised explosive device attached to her body,” Mr Murdoch, New South Wales Police Assistant Commissioner, told Fairfax radio.
The young female officer, Constable Karen Lowden, stayed with Ms Pulver for the first two hours whilst her colleague evacuated the area.
“She was not wearing any protective clothing or equipment, she wasn’t trained as a negotiator, but she made the decision herself, this young officer, to stay with Madeleine and make sure she tried to remain calm and she wasn’t left alone, provided moral support for her, and she did an outstanding job in that regard.”
That this Police Officer choose to risk her own life for a stranger is an inspiring example of the fact that we still see the image of God in the lives of ordinary people.
The BBC website reports
“The New South Wales Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione commended Constable Lowden for her “truly brave and selfless act“.
Mr Scipione said he had spoken to the officer and congratulated her. “She is a humble, quietly-spoken woman who did not see herself as a hero,” he said.”
As Christians we mourn over such a shocking example of depravity in our world and we marvel at the extraordinarily ‘selfless act’. We find in it the echoes of Christ’s work of selfless humility and maybe too we can take this opportunity to remember that the call of duty is that we too be willing to lay down our lives in the service of our great Commissioner even as we humbly serve.
The murder of so many young poeple in Norway on Friday was a national tragedy and evil beyond words. What could ever lead a man to kill in such a way? There has been a great deal of speculation regarding the motives of Anders Behring Breivik. Even the BBC suggested earlier on in its reporting that he was influenced by extremist Christian views.
Now that Brevik’s 1500 page manifesto has been poured over the idea that he was in any meaningful sense a Christian is clearly false. Here are a few articles worth reading or passing on to any who may have concerns that Christianity lay at the heart of such a tragedy.
Anders Breivik is not Christian but anti-Islam by Andrew Brown of the Guardian
Breivik’s Manifesto Denies True Faith in Jesus by Nicola Menzie in the Christian Post
The Norway Massacre: Born of Ideology or Belief? by Arnie Fjeldstad
Terrorist proclaimed himself ‘Darwinian,’ not ‘Christian’ on World Net Daily
This official White House photo was taken during the operation against Osama bin Laden. A reminder of the responsibility of governing.
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority.
1 Timothy 2:1-2
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