Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Cambodia

My very best friend in high school moved away to Hawaii of all places. There she met her true love and they married once she graduated. This was in the late 1970's and early 1980. She and her husband eventually met a couple who had escaped to Hawaii from the Killing Fields in Cambodia.

The Cambodian couple's name is Keat and Sally Kove. Remarkably, after working very hard in the U.S. for several years, the Koves returned to Cambodia to take the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ there. Cambodia was ravaged by communism and is still living in the wreckage left by wicked people.

Today Keat and Sally Kove are laboring for the Kingdom of God. Last year when my friend's family came for a wonderful visit, we got to see their pictures from a trip over to Cambodia. A little while ago my friend's husband talked to us about the great need for missionaries there. They need people who will come help them in every way including teaching English. They need short and long term help. If you or someone you know is able to consider this, check out the Kove's website at http://www.cambodiachurch.org/ to see the history of the ministry, the conditions of Cambodia, what the needs are there, and perhaps how you can help.

----posted by Queen Lucy

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Byzantium

Byzantium is a book written by Stephen Lawhead and it follows the life of Aidan who is a monk in Ireland. He starts out on a pilgrimage to Byzantium with his fellow monks, who are bringing a gift to the emperor. Aidan goes expecting his death based on a dream he has before they leave. Along the way he is captured and made a prisoner of the Vikings and then enslaved. He is taken by the Vikings on a raiding trip to Byzantium as the Vikings, driven by greed wanted to plunder the ‘city of gold.’

After a strange turn of events where the Vikings end up being employed by the emperor, Aidan is on his way to take part in a meeting between a Byzantium official and an Arab Amir. During the course of events, the party Aidan is with is betrayed and Aidan along with the surviving Vikings, are put into the silver mines as slaves. There he meets the surviving monks from their original pilgrimage who also were betrayed. During this time Aidan starts to lose faith in God and believe God is not caring or just.

After Aidan is freed, he helps free his friends and goes to enact revenge on the person who betrayed them. Eventually, after getting his revenge he goes back to his homeland and monastery. There, his previous Viking master and, now, good friend helps to renew Aidan’s faith in God. Afterwards, he goes and ministers and preaches to the Vikings for almost all of the rest of his life. He dies at a ripe old age in Byzantium on his third pilgrimage there.

This book shows God’s sovereignty in Aidan’s life in the fact that the events that Aidan thought were acts of cruelty by God, actually brought about the conversion of many Vikings, renewal of his own faith, and the spreading of God’s church. This book also showed what life was really like during that time period although the author went into too much detail a few times. I thought that this was a really great book overall and showed God’s continual faithfulness even when we, in our sinful nature, become faithless.


Posted by ME

Monday, November 3, 2008

Disappointment

As we approach election day, no outcome will shock me as much as the actions of two particular men that my husband and I have highly respected. I will not mention names, because my intent is not to slander. My intent is to express my shock and disappointment.

These men are well known leaders within the Reformed faith. One of them our family sat under his preaching for many years. During that time he was very clear and direct when discussing political elections. He would say, from the pulpit, that our job was to vote righteously and to choose a man that was upright, not perfect, but one seeking to obey God and to uphold our Constitution. He would encourage us to vote righteously even if it meant we would suffer loss because obedience is better than sacrifice. That we were never to vote for the "lesser of two evils" because it was still evil. He would tell us that if we could not find such a candidate that we should not vote because having a clear conscience before God was better than doing the wrong thing. He would exhort us to trust God, that He was sovereign over nations and that our obedience would bring His blessing and He could do the impossible.

But in the last weeks, he has changed his mind apparently. Now there is rhetoric and justifications. Now he is saying that he is not voting for a person but an "outcome". That any person we elect is a sinner (so does that then mean it is okay to vote for anyone? because everyone is a sinner?) That it is okay to vote for a woman since Deborah was a judge in the Bible. (Which I suppose if carried to its rightful conclusion would mean that it would be appropriate for any woman, even his own wife, to run for political office.) And his opinion holds great sway and it has greatly influenced this other man.

I cannot adequately express my great dismay and disappointment. We watched the movie "Luther" Friday evening and my heart begs God to send us one modern day nutcase like Luther. He was terrified of lightning so much that he promised God to become a monk. Yet before men who could burn him at the stake, he boldly proclaims that the Word of God is more important than his life or any one's opinions. He will not budge but insists on holding fast to the Scriptures. He does not shift as the sand but stays true to God's Word.

So that will become my prayer. Just one Luther. Just one leader who does not shift or change. Just one who can shake up American Christendom and bring Reformation to our land. Just one who, though not perfect, is not swayed by opinions or power. Just one who our great grandchildren will look back and say, "it was he whom God used to bring the reformation to America."

O God of earth and altar, bow down and hear our cry.
Our earthly rulers falter, our people drift and die;
The walls of gold entomb us, the swords of scorn divide;
Take not Thy thunder from us, but take away our pride.

From all that terror teaches, from lies of tongue and pen,
From all the easy speeches, that comfort cruel men;
From sale and profanation of honor and the sword;
From sleep and from damnation, deliver us, good Lord!

Tie in a living tether, the prince and priest and thrall;
Bind all our lives together, smite us and save us all;
In ire and exultation aflame with faith, and free,
Lift up a living nation, a single sword to Thee.

------By G.K. Chesterton, 1906, copied from the Cantus Christi

---posted by Queen Lucy