If you are already following my other blog, WallHoleCoverings.com, then you have probably already seen a post about this painting.
If you have not seen the other post, then please KEEP READING.
Last night I finished a piece I have entitled “The Least of These.” I based it on a photo I took of a Christian worker in a Muslim-owned brick kiln in Pakistan.
My hope is to raise funds to help buy people like this brother and his family out of debt and out of this literal slavery.
So many people in Pakistan live in poverty. Of the Christians that live there, the majority of them live in abject poverty. This is not simply a matter of choice, but opportunity. With a near 98% Muslim population in a Muslim country, the Christians are not afforded the same opportunities and are often forced to do the hardest work.
Those who work at the kilns are required to have their whole families live there in horrible conditions. They live there until the debt they owe is paid off. That, of course, is the catch. Most often, even though the goal might have been to pay off a small loan for food or medical expenses (usually no more than $200), families wind up working for generations paying off accumulated fees and additional loans attached to the little salary they receive.
Working with Grace Charity Schools in Toba Tek Singh, Punjab, I will be using funds raised from the sale of this and other paintings and prints to rescue these families from indentured slavery and help them start over.
For every gift from $20-$50, I will send you a simple semi-matte print in your choice of size (5″x7″ and up), shipping included.
For every gift OVER $50, I will send you an 8.5″x11″ Sommerset Giclee reproduction print.
For any gift of $75 or more, I will send you a signed and artist-enhanced Sommerset Giclee reproduction (I will enhance the print with actual paint).
Please click on the following link to visit Wall Hole Coverings if you would like to donate. You will see a PayPal link at the bottom of the post.
Greetings and all that good stuff! This is the day that the Lord has made, so get happy!
Today (Thursday) at 9 a.m. (eastern), a video I made premiered on YouTube. The video is of a Power Point presentation, one that I delivered on Discord, but few had the chance to see.
This YouTube video contains me narrating the presentation, which also contains video of things in Pakistan.
One thing important to note, however, is that in one of the videos you will see a big bus nearly hit us head-on. We call them “killer busses,” because they don’t slow down for anything. Sadly, Victor Sammuel and his family were in an accident yesterday in volving one of these “killers.” It nearly killed them!
Only by the grace of God did Victor, Sophia, Jamal, and Zoe escape the accident without injury. The Toyota Camry they were driving, on the other hand, did not fare well. It will need to be replaced, and they don’t have insurance. If you can help toward this, let me know.
The bus never stopped, either.
Please, when you have the time, watch the PowerPoint presentation I made. I would love to hear your thoughts.
I love to drive, and I love to drive fast. As a matter of fact, every automobile I’ve owned (with only a few exceptions) has been taken up to 100mph at least once. It’s just a thing I do.
Have you ever driven on a freshly paved road? Remember when in the movie “Cars” they drove around on a freshly re-paved road and loved it? That’s the kind of driving surface that cries out for speed! I love it.
And then there was Pakistan.
Honestly, the roads in Pakistan were not as bad as some others on which I’ve driven (or ridden). The roads in Zimbabwe were pretty darn rough. They were so rough that guys would sit on the side of the road with air compressors and offer to air up your tires for a dollar. The roads were so bad that your tires would lose pressure!
Then there are also the roads where I live in middle Georgia. The paved roads are just fine; it’s the DIRT roads that are sometimes a challenge. There are a lot of dirt roads in middle Georgia.
However, in Pakistan the roads, on average, were not capable of sustaining any kind of speed. The only time that was possible was when one traveled on the main highway between major cities. That was as nice as a modern American highway.
But it wasn’t the roughness or the smoothness of the Pakistani roads that stuck in my mind. No, what contributed to my PTSD was the fact that there are NO RULES!
Oh, I know what you are probably thinking. You think that I’m overreacting. You think that it’s only because I’m used to the rules of the road in my own country, that there are rules, but I was not culturally sensitive to them.
And you would be wrong. Sorry.
Look, the only – and I mean ONLY – rule I observed over the many hours my life was put in danger was that there were two directions. In other words, when you want to go somewhere in Pakistan, you go in that direction. When you are going in that direction, you and all the other people traveling in that direction are to use only one side of the road. All the people going in a different direction are to use the other side of the road. That’s it!
Oh, wait… I just thought of another one. My bad.
The only other rule has to do with who has the right of way. It’s pretty simple, though. The bigger the vehicle is the more right of way it has. It’s called the “Get out of the way or die!” rule.
Now, remind me … did I say that there were essentially only two rules of the road in Pakistan? I’m sorry for misleading you. Actually, there are no rules – they are only guidelines.
Remember how I said that you only need to stay on one side of the road? That’s not entirely true. You know those lines we have in the middle of roads that separate lanes? Not in Pakistan. No, all you have is a road. YOU decide where it is on the road you want to be, depending on who is in front of you.
Here in America, we have rules regarding when it is safe to pass another vehicle. One of the rules of which you might be familiar is “never pass when there is a double yellow line.” Not in Pakistan. When someone is slowing you down, just pass them … even if traffic is coming in the opposite direction. I mean, they will move over into the dirt when they see you coming, so do what you need to do!
But there is something strange about the differences between Pakistani driving and, let’s say, the way people drive in a large American city.
For example, when I drive through cities like Nashville, Chattanooga, Augusta, and Atlanta, what I see are multiple lanes of organized and heavily regulated traffic. Here there are clearly delineated lanes, traffic lights and signs, and even plenty of law enforcement to keep a watch on things.
When I traveled on the roads of Pakistan, there were no lines, no regulations, very little law enforcement, and hardly any street/traffic lights or signs.
Yet, the whole time I was in Pakistan – no joke – I never witnessed a single accident. Not one!
THAT should make a person question a lot of things, right?
Travel down any American highway and you will see accidents all the time. Even in the most orderly and regulated settings, somebody is going to do something stupid and crash. And even if you don’t witness cars having a wreck, let somebody cut another person off and you WILL see fingers raised and maybe a little road rage.
Travel in Pakistan and you will see people weaving in and out, cutting others off, driving aggressively and pushing themselves into flow, yet you will never see anyone flipping another off or hear anyone yelling obscenities. No, what you will see is mutual respect, acceptance, understanding, and this attitude of “it’s just the way things are, so don’t get your panties in a wad.”
With all our rules, American drivers are less mature than those with no rules or regulations. Strange.
A Powerful Lesson
So, I think there is a powerful lesson to learn from all this talk about traffic. It has to do with the rules and regulations that are constantly pushed upon us and down our throats.
It’s not only America, but in most all Western nations there is this idea that the government knows best. They treat all us citizens as children, not adults, who need to have our hands held through every facet of life, especially when driving.
One of the greatest examples of this is the traffic camera. Because the government (local and otherwise) cannot trust us to drive responsibly, they put of cameras that check our speed, watch us at intersections, and generally track us wherever we go. It’s like, “I’m giving you rules to show you what you’re allowed to do, but I’m not going to trust you to make the right decisions.”
People who are treated like children will act like children.
But in Pakistan, where there are literally no lines, no lanes, no signs, no lights, and no cameras, the ones treated like responsible adults act like responsible adults – and even in the most dangerous traffic don’t have wrecks.
So, consider the following scriptures. One is from the Old Testament, while the other is from the New Testament (quoting the one from the OT).
But this [shall be] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. – Jeremiah 31:33 For this [is] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: – Hebrews 8:10
Where legalism exists, the one subject to the rules and regulations rarely makes the issues of right and wrong a matter of the heart. No, the primary response to legalism is the temptation to push the limits and/or rebel against the authority. This is why so many people who grow up in overly strict religious environments go hog wild when they get out on their own.
Yet, when people are taught what is right and wrong and eventually trusted to make the right decisions as responsible, mature adults, the “law in the heart” guides even when the cameras are missing.
DATELINE: Warthen, Georgia, USA March 26, 2022 Subject: Victor’s Birthday and Needed Books
Greetings in the Name of Jesus!
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Dr. Anthony C. Baker, the pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Warthen, Georgia. However, you can just call me Brother Anthony, or “preacher,” or whatever. I’m just a regular guy.
The reason I am writing is to ask of you something very important, and it’s something that I can testify without any reservation to its validity – Brother Victor Samuel is becoming an older man … and he needs a birthday gift.
Now, when I say, “he needs a birthday gift,” I’m not asking that you send him a new tie or a gift card to Cracker Barrell (which he needs to experience one day). No, Victor has asked me to make it very clear that he has enough clothes, and he rarely wears ties, anyway. And as for gift certificates to restaurants, well, they don’t sell bacon in Pakistan, so don’t bother.
Seriously, though, Victor has only one request for his birthday tomorrow (the 27th), and that is for donations toward purchasing the desperately needed schoolbooks for this year. As it is right now, classes at Grace Charity Schools are having to be held back because they don’t have the needed materials.
What kind of cost are we talking about? Well, the total is around $7,000. WHAT! Yes, around $7k. I know that’s a lot for a birthday gift, but it’s not like he’s asking for a second-hand Rolex or a used Toyota. No, in celebration of Victor Sammuel’s birthday, and the fact that, somehow, he has survived another year of Pakistani traffic (which is certifiably insane), all he is asking – along with me – is that you would consider giving generously to help buy these books.
As you may know by now, I have made the trip to Pakistan to see with my own eyes the works in Toba Tek Singh and Kamalia. Folks, all joking aside, these schools are saving not only souls, but also the lives of hundreds of children. I’ve been there. I’ve seen it. The need is real.
I know Victor is notorious for asking for money. What? Did I just type that out loud? Yeah, I did. It’s like every time we turn around or click on Facebook, there he is asking, “Hey brother! How are you?” But honestly, if you were in his position, one in which 98% of your funding came from outside donations, what would you do? Part of it has to do with the culture in which he lives, but most of it comes from a sincere heart for reaching the families working in the brick kilns. He is their voice, too.
So, would you help? Would you kindly and gently twist the arm of a loved one or friend? Is there a crack in your child’s piggy bank? Is there any way you could help get these books purchased so 400 plus children can go to school, learn, and not have to stay in the fields making bricks?
You can contact me directly by calling my cell phone, texting me, messaging me on Facebook, or emailing me. You can send money yourself, or you can forward it to me using Venmo, PayPal, etc. Whatever you send and however you send it, when I receive it I will then send it via Western Union. I will pay the sending fees.
There were two main objectives that needed to be accomplished when I went to Pakistan. Those two objectives were:
To verify all that I had been told about the work and ministry of Grace Charity Schools and Pastor Victor Sammuel was true.
To encourage local pastors and fellow believers with biblical teaching and preaching.
For several years I’ve been the funnel through which many people have given lots of money to support Brother Victor and the ministry in Pakistan. People send me money via PayPal or check, then I send it to Victor via MoneyGram or Western Union. And as you can imagine, each time I would do this there would be someone wondering in what fashion I was being scammed.
Let’s be honest, funding an overseas ministry you’ve never seen in person is risky enough. However, in this day and age when people are losing their life’s savings to scammers every day, it’s no wonder I’ve been thought of as naive, to say the least.
On a side note, we are still trying to get an updated “Memorandum of Understanding” from the Pakistani government, and that is all that remains before Grace Charity Schools can be vetted by an organization called CAFAmerica.org. Once that is done, no more Western Union transfers will be necessary. But until then, I’m stuck with the hand I’ve been dealt.
But, again, that is the main reason why I felt it necessary to travel to Toba Tek Singh for myself. I needed to see what was going on so that I could show everyone else. As the photos below will show, I made it to the school (both campuses) and can testify that the work is legitimate.
The second objective, that being to encourage local pastors and believers, was met in a huge way! Not only did I get to speak at two separate pastor conferences, but I got to speak at several other places, including to a small congregation of believers in a tent right next to a brick kiln.
There are so many other things, but I don’t have the time at this moment to share them with you. However, keep coming back for more insight into this part of the world. What I have to say may surprise you 😉
Stay tuned for more. There’s a lot left to discuss 🙂
There are always going to be people who question your plans. Not even the Apostle Paul was immune from the naysaying that came not from enemies, but from his most trusted companions. That’s not saying I’m anything like Paul, but I can sympathize with him.
When I made known my desire to go to Pakistan, as I said before, not one single person within my circle of friends and family approved. No, it was more like, “Yeah, riiiight.” And when they were not laughingly questioning my sanity, they were outright warning me that I would probably be killed or kidnapped – then killed.
But like when Paul knew that it was God’s will for him to go to Jerusalem, even though everyone advised against it (Acts 21:12-14), I knew that it was God who was opening the door for me to make this trip.
But how did I know? This is a question that deserves discussing.
How was I so sure that God was leading me to visit Pakistan? How could I be sure that it wasn’t my own desires, my thirst for adventure, or some deep-seated need to prove myself? Granted, the adventure was compelling and there was certainly a need to prove something about myself, but I also wanted to “prove” God!
As a pastor, people look to me for spiritual guidance. They look to me for answers regarding the Bible and how one’s faith can be applicable to life. Yet, when the rubber meets the hot asphalt, most Christians forget from where I power comes. The average Christian keeps the battle-winning Captain of the Lord of Hosts relegated to the cute stories told in Sunday School and forgets that He is still the Conquering King. Therefore, it’s no wonder they were worried for me – they were forgetting Whom they served!
I’ve been forced to put my God to the test in the past, and He was faithful as He promised. I’ve also witnessed Him supernaturally deliver me from a would-be killer who had planned to put a bullet in my head (while I was delivering pizza in Hopkinsville, KY). And, honestly, it’s because of these things, and others, that I kind of felt like young David when he was questioned about going up against Goliath (1 Samuel 17:34-37).
Friends, do you serve the living God that delivered David from the lion, the bear, and Goliath? Do you serve the God who delivered His people out of Egypt? Do you serve the God who opens prison doors? Do you serve the Mighty God who told Joshua, “Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest (Joshua 1:9)”?
If you do – if you serve the God of David, Daniel, Moses, Joshua, etc. – then maybe you can understand the frustration and indignation I felt. If this trip was being orchestrated by the true and living God, then I believed without a doubt that He would take care of me.
But once again, was this trip put on my heart by God, or was I just seeking a thrill?
I guess the answer is simple to me, but unless you know what it’s like to walk with the Lord for a while it might sound crazy. What it amounts to is a legal term I learned when my youngest daughter competed in mock trial – “preponderance of evidence.” In other words, knowing the will of God for one’s life rarely comes down to one thing or another, but a combination of things, even a culmination of affirmations.
Consider the following points:
There was definitely a need in Pakistan
I have been supporting a ministry for years, even risking my own reputation
A plea was made for me to come
There was a clear and distinct objective my going would accomplish
There had been much prayer
My original feelings were a big “NO!”, but my heart became burdened over time
A sense of urgency existed
Not going would only serve to relieve me of danger, but the ministry abroad would only suffer
Now, more than ever before, my position and reputation could prove invaluable to others in need
People were willing to give generously when they knew I was actually going.
My going would have a direct impact on life and death circumstances involving hundreds of children.
I was never, ever, not once afraid or intimidated, nor did I doubt that God would provide the means to do everything that needed to be done.
I wanted people to see the God we serve is still the God of the Bible and Joshua 1:9 still applies!
It wasn’t one thing; it was multiple things! And on top of all that, when we seek to walk in the Spirit, not in the flesh, His desires become our desires.
Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. – Psalm 37:4-5 KJV
But there’s one more thing. God could have stopped this trip many times. I even asked Him to stop me from moving forward with it if it was against His will. Yet, doors kept opening and I could do nothing less than walk forward till they closed.
Stay tuned! Next time I will address the actual objectives this trip to Pakistan was meant to accomplish.
The looks on the faces were not encouraging. When I told my wife and family, including my friends and church family, that I felt God wanted me to visit Pakistan, no one – not one – smiled with approval.
As a matter of fact, it was at least four or five years ago that Pastor Victor Sammuel of Grace Charity Schools asked me to come see the work there in Toba Tek Singh, a small town in the Punjab district. But when he first asked me to visit, the reflection of my face in a mirror would have mirrored the ones I was now seeing. You know, the kind with raised eyebrows and a slightly tilted head?
“I’ll pray about it,” was my typical response. But the actual prayers were more like: “God, did you hear what Victor asked me to do? Can you believe him? That would be crazy! I have NO desire to go there, and I don’t think YOU want me to go, either.”
However, time and association have a way of replacing apprehensions with burdens. As the Lord allowed me to be in a unique situation which caused me to become more and more involved with the work there in Pakistan, the more familiar I became with the needs. Yet, as I would share what I learned with others, skepticism remained. Honestly, I couldn’t blame them.
Even when I told the deacons in the church where I pastor that I wanted to go, their skepticism became evident when they immediately began discussing the possibility I was walking into a trap! “How do we know Victor Sammuel is who he really says he is?” one asked. “How do we know you’re not being set up?”
I didn’t. But I trusted God.
And that’s one of the main reasons I wanted – I needed – to go to Pakistan! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to defend myself for giving to a ministry I’ve never seen in person and a man that continually asked for money. If for no other reason, going to Pakistan would either clear Victor Sammuel’s name and my reputation for discernment, or it would confirm the skeptics were right all along and I had been snookered.
Hopefully, finding out I was being scammed would be the worst that would happen. But as everyone knows, Pakistan isn’t known for its Christian-loving hospitality. A lot worse could happen, especially since I would be going it alone.
Stay tuned for the next post! I will continue to unpack the story of my once-in-a-lifetime trip to the land of “killer busses.”
It is 1:27 in the morning, and I just finished preaching to the congregation in Pakistan. It was a sweet time of fellowship with brothers and sisters 10 time zones away.
This time I told Pastor Victor that I would provide to him a transcript from which I would preach so that he would be able to know exactly what I said. But that being said, having a transcript made things easier for me, too. As some of you may understand, it is not at all easy to preach through an interpreter.
So, doing the best I could with the little time I actually had – because a 10-minute sermon can take 15 minutes to translate – I preached a sermon on the Rapture. Honestly, it was a VERY SIMPLE sermon, one which was meant more to encourage the believer than convince the skeptic.
After all, how many unbelievers do you expect to show up to a Christian service in a 98% Muslim country?
I hope the following sermon transcript encourages you, too (even if you didn’t vote for Trump – LOL).
Good morning, brothers and sisters, I am so happy and honored to be worshipping with you today.
It is also my honor to have been asked by Bro Victor to preach to you each Sunday the rest of this month.
When Bro Victor asked me if I would preach each Sunday in February, I asked him what it was that he thought I should preach.
That is not something I normally do; I normally never ask another man what I should preach, only God.
But this time, because your pastor knows you better than I do, I wanted to hear what you needed or desired to hear from God’s Word.
So, today I am going to talk about something that should be an encouragement to all of us… to every Christian in every country… This morning I am going to talk to you about the Rapture of the Church.
I am going to ask Bro Victor to read to you my opening text…
1 Corinthians 15:51-53 – Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal [must] put on immortality.
This year in America we had a very controversial election. According to the numbers reported, this year more people voted than ever before – the most for a Republican candidate, the most for a Democrat candidate.
Unfortunately, many Americans just like myself think something was not right.
We look at the crowds President Trump had at his campaign rallies, then compare them with the tiny crowds Joe Biden had, and it’s very hard to believe that more people voted for Biden than Trump.
So, when people ask me, “Anthony, do you think the election results were manipulated?” I say, “Yes, I do.”
Now, the problem is that anyone who thinks like I do these days is laughed at and mocked. It is now being said by some people that those who voted for Trump should be sent away to re-education camps!
They even say that Trump voters are as crazy as Christians – and as dangerous – for believing in a “fairytale,” a “myth,” even a “lie.”
This should come as no surprise to us, for Jesus said that His followers would be hated by the same people that hated Him. Those who mock the name of Jesus will mock Christians, too.
But what do people think of you and me when they ask if we believe in the Rapture of the Church? Should we be surprised if they laugh at us?
Just like those of us in America who think something went wrong with the election, they will laugh at us and say, “Show us the evidence!”
But this is nothing new, for they have been saying the same thing for 2,000 years! Saint Peter wrote about these people…
2 Peter 3:3-4 – Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as [they were] from the beginning of the creation.
But let me tell you, dear church, that things have not always gone on the same from the day of creation. For one thing, everything changed when a Virgin gave birth to a Child and called His name Jesus!
The world went on like normal for thousands of years until the King of the Universe, the Living Word of God, became flesh!
John 1:1-2, 14 KJV – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. … And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
This was the First Coming of Jesus Christ! The fact that Jesus came to earth the first time is all the evidence I need that he will return again.
For you see, for thousands and thousands of years a Messiah was promised, even as far back as the Book of Genesis when Eve rejoiced at having a man child.
Throughout the Old Testament we read of One who would be our Kinsman Redeemer, our Great Shepherd, our Fountain in the wilderness, our Rock in the storm, and the Servant who would suffer for the sins of mankind (Isaiah 53).
The Messiah was promised, His birth, His life, and His death… especially His resurrection… were all prophesied, and it all happened just as we were told it would!
Acts 1:9-11 KJV – And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
Did you hear that last part? This SAME JESUS shall so come!
Jesus told us that He would return. Do I believe Him? Yes, I do!
As the Apostle Paul said, one day a trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised, and we who are living will be caught up! We will be snatched up, like pulling a fish out of the water! We will be taken out, like pulling a cork out of a bottle!
In the blink of an eye, when the trump of the Lord shall sound, we shall be “caught up,” raptured to be with Jesus!
IF I can do nothing else this morning, dear church I want to encourage you!
You live in a world that hates you for what you believe, for you believe in grace, not works.
You believe in freedom, not slavery.
You believe that all men and women, boys and girls, are made in the image of God.
You believe that God became flesh, that Jesus died for our sins, and that He rose again.
You believe in Jesus, yet you are mocked, you are laughed at, you are hated.
But you and I have a HOPE! Our HOPE is not in our good deeds.
Our HOPE is not in how many times we pray or in what direction we pray.
Our HOPE is in Jesus! Our HOPE IS Jesus!
And one day, whether we live or die, one day He will receive us unto Himself!
Listen to what the Apostle Paul wrote to encourage the church at Thessalonica:
1 Thessalonians 4:13 – But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
Some people are full of sorrow and fear because they don’t know where they will go when they die, but you know! You have hope in Jesus!
1 Thessalonians 4:14-15 – For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive [and] remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
You see, Paul was trying to encourage the Church, for many thought that those who had already died would never see the return of Jesus. But Paul said that not even death would prevent the Christian from receiving a resurrected body!
1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 – For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
Did you hear that? Those are the words of COMFORT! That is TRULY encouraging! One day, we don’t know when, but one day a trumpet is going to sound…
Do you believe that?
One day the Lord Jesus is going to descend from heaven with a shout! Do you believe that?
One day we will be caught up, taken out of this world, and given a new body fit for eternity in heaven!! Do you believe that?
Then, church, be COMFORTED WITH THESE WORDS! HALLELUJAH!
Do I believe that Jesus is coming again? Yes, I do.
Do I believe that at any moment a trumpet could sound and I could be raptured out of this world to be with Jesus? Yes, I do!
And why do I believe that? Because God keeps His promises! If Jesus came the first time as promised, then I believe He will come again just as He promised.
The only thing is that none of us knows when, so we must always be ready to meet Him.
Are you ready to meet Jesus? Are you ready to meet God?
Please be sure you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, dear friend. For if the trumpet doesn’t sound, we are also promised something else, that it is appointed unto man once to die, and after that the judgement (Heb. 9:27).
You could die today, even before the rapture, and you want to know your soul is right with God.
Brother Victor, I will now give the service back to you.
This morning, as we go to church to worship our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and thank Him for entering this world as a child, born of a virgin, only to one day die for us that we might receive the gift of eternal life through faith in Him, think on the following message I received this morning from a pastor friend in Pakistan…
“Brother we are dying here
they are killing us
please pray for us”
That was it…just three lines of text on Facebook Messenger.
Inside Bethel Memorial Methodist Church, Quetta, Pakistan
Earlier today a Methodist Church was attacked by two suicide bombers while the congregants were inside celebrating the birth of Christ. The attack was meant to be a message, one that was meant to strike fear. For some, I’m sure it worked. Thankfully, neither bomber was able to get inside the building, and only one was able to blow himself up at the entrance, so only around 10 people (including children) died, as opposed to the 400 who were in attendance.
But how does this affect my day? How would it affect yours? Are you even planning on attending a worship service? While there are Christians who are attending corporate worship services in places where their spiritual enemies are literally trying to kill them, do we take advantage of the complete freedom in America to congregate, or do we shun it? “Forsake” it?
How does the above message from my brother in Pakistan affect my preaching? My worship? Do I go about my day as usual? Or, do I recommit myself to the seriousness of the call to “take up your cross and follow me”?
“Brother we are dying here.”How long before we start dying HERE? With Islam on the rise, and with very few who are willing to challenge its destructive works-based theology for fear of being labeled “islamophobic,” how long before suicide bombings become more common-place than shootings?
“Please pray for us.” How long before we realize ALL of us stand in need of prayer? How long before we repent of our Laodicean lukewarmness? How long before we take seriously the calls from our brothers and sisters enduring persecution and pray for them? In reality, we should be asking them to pray FOR US!
Our churches will be relatively empty, today. Our post-modern, social-justice-minded, hedonistic society will go about this morning without a thought of God, while those who call themselves “Christian” will blend in with them. The relatively few who do attend worship services will hardly consider the rare privilege of worshipping in peace without the fear of being blown to bits while singing “Silent Night.”
Yet, somewhere in another land, there will be followers of Jesus Christ who will not be intimidated or deterred, bravely walking into proverbial lions’ dens. As the Hebrew children who refused to bow before Nebuchadnezzar’s statue, there will be some who will pray for deliverance from the furnace, but continue to worship Jesus and not bow down to Allah, even if the fire is inevitable (Daniel 3:18).
As I sit here writing this, my mind is drifting, daydreaming (except it’s 9:06 pm) of tomorrow’s short bus-driving day.
No, now I’m eating tapioca pudding. My wife said, “You’d better eat this pudding Haley bought for you, or her feelings will be hurt.” I said, “I forgot about it!” Tapioca pudding is a favorite of mine, but for the life of me I have no idea what a tapioca is. A fish egg? Fat ball? Jello turd? I have no idea, so don’t tell me.
Anyway, tomorrow school gets out early for Christmas and New Year break. Woo hoo! Three weeks of doing honey-do lists, entertaining guests, and getting up later! Woo hoo! Three whole weeks with no pay! Exciting.
What’s the point? Well, if I don’t write so much it will be because I’m busy while on vacation, that’s all.
Random (sorta) Comments
It’s now 10:50 pm. People stopped by for a visit (that’s life in a parsonage). I’ve eaten a sandwich. Had a Coke float deezert (just spelled it the way it sounds). Time to get back to this post before I go to bed.
Cuba. I’m not too sure what’s the right response. I hate what Communism has done to that Island. I don’t trust anything Obama says regarding Cuba. I would love to have some Cuban cigars. Just sayin.
Order my book. Please, order my bus book – you’ll love it. It’s funny with some solid spiritual content, but not overbearing. Buy some copies to give away.
Logos Bible Software. I have Logos 5 (with more stuff than I’ll ever use). Why do upgrades have to be so expensive? Why separate module options for different denominations? Doesn’t that sorta go against the idea that the Bible is what it is? I don’t get it, other than it must be a money grab. Not impressed, I am. Disappointed, frankly.
Clothes on dogs. Do dogs know what doggy clothes are? If not, why does my daughter’s dog love to put on clothes? Something ain’t right.
Forgetful wife. Why is it when I am the last one downstairs, like right now, my wife forgets everything she needs upstairs and then hollars at me and tells me to bring them when I come up? I just find it oddly convenient how she doesn’t seem to forget all these things when she is the last one downstairs. Again, just sayin.
Pakistan. Last, but definitely not least, my heart breaks for the people of Pakistan. My blood boils when I think of those who killed all those children and adults. I wonder who in the Taliban, or whatever, thought killing 100+ children would make for good PR? I wonder how the scumbags are enjoying their flaming-hot virgins?….wait….. What I meant to say was, I wonder how the scumbags are enjoying the hot flames of hell? Probably came as a shock.
Good night everybody. Say your prayers – and save one for me.