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Safe Place with Ruth Graham

Safe Place with Ruth Graham

Martyrs

posted by Ruth Graham

We have heard that 21 Coptic Christians died at the brutal hands of ISIS over the weekend. They are martyrs for their faith.

As I was having my devotions this morning the words of an old hymn written by Frederick Faber came to  mind:

 

Faith of our fathers living still

In spite of dungeon, fire and sword:

O how our hearts beat high with joy

Whene’er we hear that glorious word!

Faith of our fathers holy faith!

We will be true to thee till death!

 

Our fathers, chained in prisons dark,

Were still in heart and conscience free:

How sweet would be their children’s fate,

If they like them could die for Thee!

Faith of our fathers holy faith!

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We will be true to thee till death!

 

Faith of our fathers

We will strive

To win all nations unto thee,

And thro’ the truth that comes from God,

Mankind shall then be truly free.

Faith of our fathers holy faith!

We will be true to thee till death!

 

Faith of our fathers

We  will love

Both friend and foe in all our strife:

And preach thee too as love knows how,

By kindly words and virtuous life.

Faith of our fathers holy faith!

We will be true to thee till death!

 

These 21 martyrs were true ’til death.

The last verse is the hard one – to love both friend and foe. We are commanded to love our enemies. That does not mean to be weak. We have a God-given duty to protect our homeland and families from the evil that is crouching at our gate. And it is evil – pure and heinous evil – straight from hell itself. These militants, radicals, have one thing on us – they are committed to what they believe!

Am I that committed to Jesus? Are you?

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Appeasing the gods.

posted by Ruth Graham

I arrived back in the US Wednesday afternoon after traveling almost 20 hours from India – literally half way around the world. It was  a marvelous, fascinating, exhausting trip. A host of wonderful memories of sights and sounds.

Last Sunday as we drove to the tent (a temporary, bamboo structure covered with cloths of many colors) where the convention was held we saw people beginning to gather. The tent was set up in dry rice paddy fields – very flat except for the dried mud berms that separate the paddies – like high speed bumps. It had a real festival atmosphere. There was excitement in the air.

The ladies dress in such beautiful colors! But they were gathering from every corner – East, West, North and South – they told me 40,000. A beautiful sight. It reminded me of the verse in Luke, “And He will send His angels and gather His elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.” They were gathering. With that many people you would expect it to be noisy and raucous. It wasn’t – it was quiet, orderly and peaceful. They sat on the ground quietly, patiently, packed in tightly – maybe sardines would give you a clearer picture!

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The convention is their annual event – each church builds its own tent for sleeping and eating and fellowship times. It was a city of tents – I would loved to have seen it from the air. I was amazed.

In brief, I came away from India with a profound sense of gratitude for all Jesus has done for me. I do not have to appease my God. He loves me and sacrificed His only Son so that I might be free from the bondage of  sin and have a personal, intimate relationship with Him. He loved me. I need not live in fear.

What a profound message for the dear people of India.

As it would happen as I got on the plane in DC to go to India my iPhone gave me this message, “your phone has been disabled”. Great. No camera! But my assistant had hers so when she is ready she’ll forward them on to me and I will post them for you all.

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Great joy to see the Himalayas from the Bhutan border. Magnificent. And what I saw were just the foothills!

We serve a magnificent God Who loves us and has provided the way for salvation. No sacrificing to Vishnu, Brahma, Shiva, Durga, Mahadeva…etc.  Over 6000 gods. We serve the one true God who paid it all for us. Hallelujah!

 

 

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India

posted by Ruth Graham

Tomorrow, I leave for  10 days in India. I have never been to that part of the world so am looking forward to it greatly. We are going up near the Bhutan border…way north in the tea growing capital – but the weather will be very pleasant – in the 50s and 70s. I am hoping to get a glimpse of the Himalayas while there.

I hope I have packed the right clothes, medicines and gifts! I am allowed two suitcases – neither can weigh over 50 lbs. They don’t.

India has always seemed so exotic – because it is! It is so far away and has such delicious foods – I happen to love curry. However, rice does not like me. And I cannot drink the tea if it has caffeine. I hope they will not be offended.

I am to speak at least 4 – 5 times to a very large crowd – they tell me 30,000 or so. I cannot imagine. I have never spoken to that many people at one time but I know for me, I have to prepare as much for 30 as I do for 30,000. The culture is very different. I have had an Indian friend “vet” my messages so nothing will be misinterrpreted. I will have a translator. Hopefully, he or she will improve the messages.

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We plan to visit Mother Teresa’s Sisters of Charity and hope to have the privilege of speaking at The Carey Memorial Church in Calcutta. William Carey, called the “father of modern missions” took the Gospel to India in 1893 and had a hand in the modernization of India. He served India until his death.

Because of my mother’s parents, I have missionary blood! So I am always thrilled to see what God is doing elsewhere in the world and want to be used in a small way. I always come home with a renewed burden to do more.

Please pray for us – I am taking a friend with me. The trip has been organized by Advancing Native Missions of Charlottesville. A marvelous organization dedicated to finding and  supporting indigenous missionaries around the world. As of March, I will serve on their Board. I have never been involved with a group that prays, loves, serves in such a humble, Christ-like way. It is a joy just to be around them. The leadership is incredible – special folks who live out the idea of “servant leadership”.

This trip is taking me way outside my comfort zone! Far away from home and friends and family. But it is also an exciting new adventure and I will be depending on God in every way!

I am not sure I’ll have Internet connection…if I do I shall post news and photos – otherwise I will do it when I get  back!

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Irritations

posted by Ruth Graham

When confronted with something unpleasant or difficult how do you react? Do you try to eliminate it? Control it? Distract yourself? Talk to others about it? Get angry? Have a pity party? If you are normal you probably do a little of it all. And the longer it goes on the more intense the reaction gets.

For instance if my plane is delayed. If it is for a few minutes that isn’t a big deal. But if it causes me to miss my connection then it becomes an issue. I cannot eliminate the problem but I can try to control the situation by calling my travel agent to get me on another flight. I may buy a magazine to distract myself for a while. I may grumble about it with other passengers waiting in the area – commiserate. And if the airline isn’t forthcoming with new information I may get angry and may let the airline representative know it! The delay is messing up my whole day and my plans so I will begin to feel sorry for myself.

Ever have one of those days? We all have.

It’s the little things that can undo you. The sand in the gears. Frustrating. Maddening.

And yet I am convinced that it  is at times like that, that we come to see what we are made of.  We can turn on others or we can turn to Jesus for help. He can, you know.

 

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