hope

#BringBackOurGirls: Keep Hope Alive For The Missing Girls In Nigeria

#BringBackOurGirls: Keep Hope Alive For The Missing Girls In Nigeria

I am normally reserved when it comes to social justice issues—not that I don't believe in activism, it's just I usually go about my involvement quietly or in less discreet ways. However, something has caught my attention that I can't seem to shake.

Many of you are aware of events that took place in Nigeria back in mid-April, where over 276 young girls, between the ages of 15 to 18 years old, both Christian and Muslim alike, were kidnapped by extremists simply because these girls were getting an education.

If you want to read more in depth details about this incident, New York Times columnist, Nicolas Kristof, wrote an article on this atrocity here: 'Bring Back Our Girls'

Today the Nigerian government has asked for help from the United States government. Relevant has an article on this developing story: "Nigerian President Asks U.S. to Help Find Kidnapped Girls."

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But what can we do to help advocate for these girls?

Should we keep silent and assume world governments will be on top of this? My answer is no—we need to be a voice for the voiceless, and keep hope alive for these young women! You are not helpless. You can make a difference.

 

Social media entrepreneur and social justice activist/advocate, Shaun King, recently started tweeting the names of the missing girls on his Twitter account. As Shaun has indicated in the tweet above, we need to fight for their rescue and advocate for them.

You can follow along with Shaun King's tweets here: @ShaunKing.

As a dad of two girls, I can only imagine what fathers in Nigeria are going through... As a dad of two daughters, I am outraged and sickened by this evil!

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Somethings you can do to help...

I want to encourage all my readers to take timeout of your busy schedules and read through Shaun's tweets and pray for the missing girls and remember their names. Pray for them and their families. Pray for their kidnappers, that they will release them.

If you're on Twitter, follow Shaun King (@ShaunKing) and retweet the names of the girls he is tweeting. Write your congress person and tell them you want them to get involved, and the list could go on and on...

#BringBackOurGirls: Keep Hope Alive For The Missing Girls In Nigeria

Behold, I come

sunrise-71314_1280 This poem is part of a blog post that I published this morning and thought it was worthy to repost just the poem. I have been thinking of this poem all morning. It holds such encouragement and hope to look beyond this life and this world.

You can read the full blog post here: Where, O death, is your victory?

Here is the poem:

"Behold, I come"—the darkness lightens Above all sorrow and all fear; Beyond the clouds the Daystar brightens, And our deliverance is near; The groaning earth awaits the hour When all the wrongs of time are past, And clothed with glory and with power, The King of kings shall reign at last.

—Annie Johnson Flint

Where, O death, is your victory?

sander-zelhem-green-passage So many things in this life remind me of the mortality of life - the temporal aspects of life.

When fall comes we see decay and death in creation when leaves change colour, wilt, eventually die and fall to the ground. The leaves return to the dust of the earth from where they came from.

Hope

But there is nothing more telling of this when we are confronted by death of a loved one, death of a friend, death of an aquantiance, or death of a stranger. For many death is a sobering and a sad unknown part of the human experience...

Hope in this tangible life is no hope at all. Think about what's all around us and what we experience; people, places, and things fade away and at some point are no more.

Hope is found in the resurrected Jesus, who promises life beyond this tangible kingdom. He promises not just any life, but a better life, a new life where he is making all things new.

Jesus came to bring dead people to life, make the world as it should be, and reconcile people to people and people to God.

The Apostle Paul states:

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." - 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Victory

Through Jesus death, burial, and resurrection he has provide victory over sin, death, and the enemy of humans, Satan. Jesus has provided a way for the mortal to become immortal - the perishible to become imperishable.

"For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. "When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true:

“Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." - 1 Corinthians 15:54-57

Hope is found beyond this fragile life on earth. Let nothing move you to lose heart. Don't be mislead to believe that this life is all there is. Fear and darkness will fade give way to the light of the King of Kings.

I end this blog post with this poem entitled "Behold, I Come" by Annie Johnson Flint:

"Behold, I come"—the darkness lightens Above all sorrow and all fear; Beyond the clouds the Daystar brightens, And our deliverance is near; The groaning earth awaits the hour When all the wrongs of time are past, And clothed with glory and with power, The King of kings shall reign at last.

—Annie Johnson Flint

#ihatecancer

Thoughts on Boston

location_0000_mapI am saddened by the events in Boston. The dozens injured and the growing number of fatalities cause us all to pause and reflect on how life is so fragile and how a terrible tragedy can forever change individuals, families, and a nation. When I think of Boston several things come to mind, the Boston Red Sox, a colorful fall, and the 80’s TV show called Cheers, the 70's & 80's band Boston just to name a few things. We can also think of The Boston Tea Party, Paul Revere, and The battles of Lexington and Concord (The first military engagements of the American Revolution that set in motion the creation of this great nation). In a sense, Boston is an American icon, the genesis of an American break from tyranny and the cradle of American freedom.

Monday’s tragic event will also put one other thing in our memory bank of Boston; the tragic bombings at the Boston Marathon. So much is going on right now in all our thoughts. As I write this blog post, authorities are still try to piece together what happened today. While we all speculate who, what, and why this horrific event occurred, we must all remember that there is evil in this world and evil desiring humans bent on causing destruction and mayhem.

THREE things immediately come to mind that I would like to share with the readers of this blog: 

Evil does exist... There is a malicious and murderous war of rebellion going on against the God of all the universe, the Author and Creator of all life. It is a rebellion against all that is good, lovely, true, and right. We can blame any number of people, places, and things, but the reality is it’s a treacherous rebellion against a God who loves us and wants nothing but the best for us. Sin, Death, and Satan are no respecters of men...

It will not always be this way... While God did not set the wheel of destruction and decay in motion; It was our ancestors (Adam and Eve) inability to be satisfied with all that God provided for them, and our own sinful rebellion to be fulfilled with all the Creator has intended for us. This rebellion demanded to be dealt with; and God took it upon Himself to right the wrong and set in motion the redemption and reconciliation of the universe and humankind. He sent His Son Jesus to pay the full price of our sinful rebellion against God, by dying a criminal’s death on a cross. And he, Jesus, won the victory over such and led a triumphal entry provided through his resurrection from the dead.

While we can’t fully understand why God allowed this tragic event in Boston, we can know and trust that God cares for each and everyone of those hurt by this tragedy, and that He is committed to the ultimate vanquishment of Sin, Death, and Satan. Through Jesus Christ we have the guarantee that God will follow through on His promise that all the corruption, brokenness, wickedness, and death in this world will be done away with once and for all (The victory has already been won) and that through Jesus all things will be made new (Revelation 21:5)... It will not always be this way.

hopePrayer is our lifeline to mourn and receive comfort... There is no better outlet for us to voice our fear and concern than prayer. No one has the matchless desire or power to comfort and satisfy our fears and concerns than our Father in heaven, and He does hear us and answer us... Let us lift our voices to God, who wants nothing more than to meet us at our time of need and provide all that we can hope or imagine for, especially in times of mourning over crisis and tragedy. Jesus is our hope and our salvation (Hebrews 9:28). God is a God of hope desiring to fill us with joy and peace. He wants nothing more than to fill us with a hope that is overflowing.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” - Romans 15:13