8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.
9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.
11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.
12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!
As an American I-and all who share the same freedoms-appreciate the privilege of so many things that should be a standard way of life throughout the globe, but I also realize that I often take everything for granted. It’s so easy to feel a sort of entitlement of the gifts of God and the things that patriots have given their lives for, both past and present. The freedom of speech, the right to vote, and all the opportunities that are present in America for employment are just a few of the many privileges we enjoy here. But there is one I am most happy for and that is freedom of religion. It is that very freedom that allows me to express my heart here on this page, and openly pray and read my Bible in public. For thati an most grateful.
Unfortunately, that is not so in a large portion of the world. Iran is one of those places where freedom to choose and express ones own religious views are not acceptable. A man named Saeed Abedini found this out the hard way. He is an Iranian-American pastor from Idaho whom converted from Islam in 2000 and has been loyally and lovingly serving The Lord ever since. Saeed has a heart for his culture and has put his faith to action and spent some years in the early 2000’s establishing house churches in Iran. In fact, he is credited with establishing about 100 house churches in 30 Iranian cities with more than 2,000 members.
Saeed Abedini was placed on house arrest at his family’s home in Iran for a few months when suddenly he was violently taken from their residence and thrown in an Iranian prison where he was held in solitary confinement for weeks at a time. Rations scarcely given and beaten under interrogation with the intent to cause Saeed to recant his faith in the One true God. These beatings have resulted in serious untreated injuries to the point where infections have set in, yet with no medical attention. As a convert to Christianity he is considered to be “unclean” so doctors and physicians have refused to treat him for his illnesses.
Through all this he has boldly and courageously refused to give up the name of Christ. What an inspiration he has become especially to us whom think WE have it bad. We don’t know the half of it, yet this man stands strong on the hope of The Lord. In recent weeks Pastor Saeed Abedini has made a small paper cross to hang in His cell for in remembrance of the birth, life, and death of our savior Jesus of Nazareth, but the guards at the prison threaten him to take it down. He refuses to denounce the name of Christ still amongst all the danger and pain that He suffers.
Am I just trying to tell you a sad story to evoke empathy for a fellow man? Am I trying to encourage those whom have it better than he not to complain and grumble? NO! This is a call for ACTION! There is a fellow man; a fellow American; a fellow child of God in need of prayer and support and we mustn’t just sit back and thank God we’re not him. Pray for Saeed Abedini my brothers. He has a wife and two wonderful children whom all miss him deeply. They need prayer my brothers. Pray for them! Tell others of his situation and the courage he has displayed. Let it be an example to our daily lives and not be so self-centered that we miss opportunities to share God’s love with those around us.
Pray for him and the many others that are in his situation. To find out more visit http://savesaeed.org/
Sign the petition to #beheard and #savesaeed !
I love Christmas time and all the beauty that goes with it. The trees, the holly, the lights, the Christmas carols. But one particular Carol I have noticed goes a bit under the radar I think. You’ve probably already read the title of this entry so you probably also already know that I’m talking about “the little drummer boy.” It’s a very catchy song with all the “pa-rum-pum-pum-pum”s and all, but that’s what causes the message to get lost a bit in the shuffle.
Let’s look at the song with out all those little hooks. Basically, I just copied and pasted the lyrics and deleted the lines that said “pa-rum-pum-pum-pum,” which clarifies the message dramatically.
“Come they told me
A new born King to see
Our finest gifts we bring
To lay before the king
So to honor Him
When we come
I am a poor boy too
I have no gift to bring
That’s fit to give our King
Shall I play for you
On my drum
The ox and lamb kept time
I played my drum for Him
I played my best for Him
Then He smiled at me
Me and my drum”
Oh my goodness! This is a picture of God’s divine love for us through the birth of His Son. We have nothing to offer God but ourselves and He desires nothing less, and nothing more. Our talents are to be used to shout His praises; our time is to be spent serving Him; our love is meant for Him; our bodies should display His grace. He wants you and nothing else. After all He did purchase us with His blood.
Merry Christmas and God bless you all!