Week That Was Series 18: A Christian Woman's Plight - Beaten And Sentenced To Death

Daughters of Asia Bibi hold a photo of their mother who has been in prison for four years
There were many stories this past week, some of which went viral such as Miley Cyrus' twerking at the VMA and the subsequent rants and outrage that followed, and the touching photo that made its way across the internet at lightening speed of Kelly Cottle as she carried her double amputee husband Jesse on a piggyback ride during a trip to Idaho. There was also the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington where Martin Luther King Jr once gave his famed "I have a dream" speech. Another huge story this past week is was Bishop T.D. Jakes Megafest, one of the largest Christian gatherings said to have ever converged in the city of Dallas, Texas. None of these stories really moved me the way like this one I am about to talk about did.

The big headline for me is about a Christian woman, named Asia Bibi, whose story emerged of her plight and suffering as she sits in a jail cell somewhere in Pakistan since 2009 awaiting her death sentence to be executed. Her only crime it seems was drinking a cup or two of water from a well in a berry field on a sunny, hot, sweltering day.

Moment Of Inspiration - Quote On Purpose And Potential

"A dream worth pursuing is a picture and blueprint of a person's purpose and potential." ~ John C. Maxwell

Have you been entertaining the thought that God cannot use you because you do not think that you are good enough? If you have, then you are right. Why? Because on our own, none of us are good enough. The bible says, our righteousness is as filthy rags. We are sinful by our very nature, born in iniquity from our mother's womb. But here's the good news, as a matter of fact great news. You and I are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.

The Story Of How 5 Preachers Were Kicked Out Of Atlanta's 'Magic City' Strip Club

Wherever possible, this blog will bring to you Christian related news of interest, news on religion and the difficulties and issues faced with modern day evangelicals and modern day evangelism. Christ commanded the church - pastors, ministers, members of the body of Christ, and all who believe to "Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned." [condemned] Mark 16:15-16

It has been recorded in scriptures how Christ hung out with sinners. It was a huge part of His ministry. He declared it Himself, "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." (Luke 5:32) It was His strategy I believe to reach out to those who were lost, rejected and cast aside as outcasts to show them a better way of living that He had planned for their lives, if only they would believe and follow after Him. The evidence is there in scriptures to prove He was successful. The blind was made to see, the deaf made to hear, the dumb was made to speak and the lame was made to walk again.

Moment Of Inspiration - Quote On Self Discovery Through Failure

We have all encountered failure in our lives - whether it was a plan that just did not work out right, or a business deal that just went very bad. Regardless of the circumstances, it was good that we were allowed to fail. It's in those moments of disappointment and failure, you begin to discover yourself. You begin to realize how talented and gifted you really are. You know that success is closest to you than it has ever been, because you just passed failure on the way.

Prayer - Let It Rain

Dear Lord you are most high. You are royalty. Your sovereignty is one which cannot be contested and neither can you be impeached. There is no re-election for your office and your government remains forever more right into eternity. You are God all by yourself. From the rising of the sun to the going down of the same, your name is worthy to be praised. From you all our help comes - so we come to your throne of grace and mercy this day that you may fill to overflowing with your blessings the cup we hold high up to you. Do wonders in the earth in and through us, not by power, nor by might but by your Spirit.

The Week That Was Series 17 - What Is Driving Your Emotions?

"Emotions are the next frontier to be understood and conquered. To manage our emotions is not to drug them or suppress them, but to understand them so that we can intelligently direct our emotional energies and intentions....It's time for human beings to grow up emotionally, to mature into emotionally managed responsible citizens. No magic pill will do it." ~ Doc Childre

These past days, even weeks, I hardly want to listen to the news on TV or even read the newspaper. From the four corners of the world, it is becoming more and more depressing to listen to the stories that continue to emerge of heartbreak, crime, violence, suffering, oppression and the atrocities upon humanity.

Here are a couple of examples of such stories that made headlines this past week that I would like to highlight in today's column -

Former Pope Benedict Now Says To Have Resigned After God Told Him To Do So

The Catholic church awoke March 1 with no leader following the resignation of Benedict XVI, who pledged obedience to his successor and described himself as "simply a pilgrim" starting the final journey of life.

Former Pope Benedict has said he resigned after "God told me to" during what he called a "mystical experience," a Catholic news agency reported.

Benedict, whose formal title is now Pope Emeritus, announced his shock resignation on February 28 became the first pontiff to step down in 600 years.

"God told me to do it," the Zenith agency quoted Benedict as saying to a visitor to the convent in the Vatican gardens where he is living out his retirement in near isolation.

According to the agency, Benedict told his visitor, who asked to remain anonymous, that God did not speak to him in a vision but in what the former pope called "a mystical experience." 

Moment Of Inspiration - Quote On Victory

Our journey in life will always be filled with many challenges and struggles that seems like there is no end to them. In spite of them all, you must not loose hope, but exercise your faith and trust in God. Change your strategy, step up the level, make it ascend into new heights to bring you sweet victory in His name. 

Breaking Away From The Cardinal Rule? First Official Royal Baby Portrait Taken By Grandpa Michael Middleton

The Cambridge's with family pets Lupo and Tilly
It may not be what the world had anticipated for a first official portrait, but picture shows a smiling Duke and Duchess of Cambridge holding sleeping Prince George in her arms in the sun-dappled back garden in Berkshire. The snapshots were taken by grandpa Michael Middleton who seemingly snapped straight into the light. Family pets Lupo and Tilly even got in on the act. Kensington Palace said the photographs were taken with an inexpensive camera in early August while the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were staying with Kate's parents at their Berkshire mansion.  

In spite of what others may think, the pictures are charming. They are a reflection of the joy, happiness and the marital bliss that this young royal couple continue to experience. It also reflects the young approach and the normalcy to their lives that Prince William wants to bring to bear.

It's Not About The Nail - Will You Just Listen To Me?

Historically, men tend to be more driven by sight, and wanting to fix the problems and not necessarily share with their significant other how they feel about any of it. On the other hand, women tend to be more driven by their emotions. They want their husband or their significant other to take the time to just listen and to show empathy towards them. This short video is a brief illustration that it is NOT about the nail, but just being listened to. There is some humor in it as well, but the point is well taken and I believe many marriages and relationships can be saved if men only take the time to listen...

An Absolute Miracle - Paralyzed Bride Walks Down The Aisle On Her Wedding Day

EMB Editor's note: 
Call it a miracle! Call it an act of God! Inspirational! Phenomenal! A dream come true! But one bride, Stevie Beale, 24, of Toledo, Ohio, who lost feelings in both legs following a car accident in 2006, defied the odds and walked down the aisle to her groom, Jared VanAusdale, 34, with the aid of a walker and escorted by her father Al, and her physical therapy trainer. It is stories like these we love that brings us hope and increases our faith and trust in God that with Him all things are possible, when we believe!

Stevie Beale's wedding last Saturday came seven years after she was paralyzed from the waist down in a car crash, making her walk down the aisle that much sweeter.

Beale, 24, of Toledo, Ohio, walked down the aisle to her groom, Jared VanAusdale, 34, with the aid of a walker and escorted by her father, Al, and her physical therapy trainer.

It was a moment Beale says she has visualized ever since June 15, 2006, the day of the crash.

"At that point I didn't know what that meant," Beale, speaking to ABCNews.com by phone from the couple's honeymoon in Hawaii, said of her dream to walk down the aisle.

Prayer When You Are In Trouble And Distress

Dear God, we come to you as humbly as we know how, yet boldly as your word declares. We come to this place asking for your mercy and grace, especially where there is trouble, distress, and unrest in our lives. The journey gets rough, but your word is certain that you will make every crooked place in our lives straight. We encounter darkness as we journey through the valley of the shadow of death, but be it according to your word, we fear no evil because thou art with us and thy rod and thy staff shall comfort us. Let not our enemies rejoice over us because you promise to be the light even when we sit in darkness.

The Week That Was Series 16 - Is Your Spouse Really Not Your Soul Mate?

The biblical examples of Isaac and Rebekah, Ruth and Boaz, and Mary and Joseph, even Adam where God took a rib from his side to form his wife Eve, indicate that God is lovingly involved in whom we specifically marry in life. And for decades, many including those of us in Christiandom have lived with the idea that our spouse is our soul mate. Some have actually said words like, 'I am in search of my soul mate,' or 'I am married to my soul mate.' But in a recent viral blog article, a wife (Hannah) claimed that her husband is not her soul mate, and that God does not have "the one," your perfect spouse, entirely chosen from the beginning. 

It hardly seemed romantic. For many, I believe, a surprising twist to what we've always heard. It was at the time of her first wedding anniversary, that she set out to challenge common romantic notions and declared to the world through a post that her husband in not her soul mate.

Life Is The Sum Of All Your Choices

Life is filled with the numerous choices that we make everyday. Some are considered major, others not so significant at all. It may be something as simple as going to the grocery store, the barber shop, beauty salon, a walk in the park or something major such as buying a property, a car or even getting married to the love of your life.

In social media, we make choices daily - from Twitter, to Facebook, Google +, Pinterest, My space, Wordpress or Blogger. What to write? Who to follow? Whose blog to leave a comment on? Whose post to re-tweet and re-share? Many followers, they read your blog posts, agree with what you shared, were blessed and inspired by it, only to walk away without taking one single action. It's a choice. But as each one of us make our decisions, it will be good to remember we are the ones that have to live with the consequences and results of each choice.

3 Steps That Lead You To Contentment

by Brooke Obie, DistrictDiva

"What will make you happy?" That's the question a young pastor began his sermon with recently. He gave us a few moments to think and I began typing away on my iPad a short list of things that would do the trick; a steady income, benefits, a book deal, a life God would be pleased with...But the pastor didn't wait for the congregation to finish our thoughts. "If you have an answer to that question," he interrupted, "you will never be happy."

It was shocking to hear out loud, bu the truth often is. He's right: as long as we believe there is something we don't already have that can make us "happy," we'll always feel the discontentment ache. And an ill-content life is a miserable one.

Who's That Lady?

by Aisha Z. Adams (c) 

The Isley Brothers sang a popular song back in the day, which people danced to, snapped their fingers and bobbed their heads to. We didn’t know particularly who they were referring to, but we liked the beat! The song “Who’s That Lady?” became a theme song back in 1964. In the Bible, it talks about a” lady” who had a blood disorder for a long time. Luke 8:43 says “A lady in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding, and she could find no cure”. 

Now how do you think she felt as a woman? How about uncomfortable, embarrassed, or ashamed, and the list goes on and on. Leviticus 15:25-29 (NLT) says “If a woman has a flow of blood for many days that is unrelated to her menstrual period, or if the blood continues beyond the normal period, she is considered unclean. Remember she couldn’t even be with her husband; and she missed out on a lot of those “all white parties”. This “lady” spent all she had on doctors and specialists, to try to put an end to this ongoing disease, but nothing happened. Instead of getting better she grew worse. 

Moment Of Inspiration

The Week That Was Series will return to its regular schedule on Saturday August 17th 2013. In the meantime, here are some inspirational moments. Do enjoy!
"I will attract into my life what I am not what I want." ~ Dr. Wayne Dyer

A Transformed Life And A Move In The Right Direction

I often think about how fragile life is. I liken it to a flower that blooms, covered with glossy, beaded dew drops in the morning, but by the time the storms of life, the challenges, family related issues, sickness, death of a loved one, and everything else that comes to it each day, the moisture evaporates from it and life fades away into the sunset. None of us are invincible. We are not larger than life, though a few may think that way. We are human first and everything else after. And regardless of how well put together our plans are, life gets in the way of them.

It was Gabrielle Roth that once said, "Your body is the ground and metaphor of your life, the expression of your existence. It is your Bible, your encyclopedia, your life story. Everything that happens to you is stored and reflected in your body. In the marriage of flesh and spirit divorce is impossible." 

While I do agree with the inference she made about our body, its expression, and the analogy of it being our encyclopedia, I would for this occasion, and to make a point differ in part with the latter part of the statement in saying that "In the marriage of flesh and spirit divorce is impossible." That may be true for some, but for others, myself included, flesh and spirit are in constant disagreement.

Accepting Who You Are - Flaws, Limitations, Weaknesses And All....

But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?'" (Romans 9:20 NIV)

It is a very bad thing when harsh, and mean criticisms about us come from our family members, friends, co-workers or even people in general; but it is even worst when the criticisms about ourselves come from our own mouth. The latter speaks volume to our mind set, our though pattern and even what's in our heart. Secretly, I believe, we protest against our Creator. We want answers - God why did you appoint unto me such and such ends and purpose and has brought me into being in such a manner and under such circumstances? We look in the mirror and utter 'foolish' words such as:-

7 Reasons Why Pastors Should Be Careful What They Say In Public

Editor's note: In this article, the author offers a balanced critical view on a trend, that while good natured, could be doing some damage as well. EMB opted to share it so that it can create more dialogue in your personal ministry networks while it encourages you to use your leadership platforms and forums wisely when speaking about your wife and women in general.
Pastor, Your Wife Might Be "Smokin' Hot," But... by Jeff Fischer

It seems like the phrase "My smokin' hot wife" is coming into mainstream Christianity now. I have heard a number of preachers uses the phrase from the pulpit, especially when they are sharing messages on sex.

And have you seen this video (below) of a pastor at a NASCAR race praying, thanking God for the racetrack, the racing teams, the cars, the drivers, the cans of Sunoco fuel and his smokin' hot wife? 

When pastors talk about their wives as "smokin' hot" or call attention to their physical beauty in a sermon, I think they are:

Prayer - We Are God's Workmanship

Dear God we are mindful that our mere existence today is through the workmanship of your hands and the power of your words. You created us in your image and after your own likeness, and made us a part of your wonderful family. The very breath that we breathe is yours. It is truly an honour and for that we are grateful. As we gather at your feet, may your Spirit work within us to bring about change and transformation in our lives. You have endowed us with power from on high to speak life life, hope, healing, courage, strength and everything that our hearts desire according to your word, purpose and plan for us. Thank you for your love - your love never fails. Thank you for your faithfulness, even when we are not. Thank you for your divine protection and your blood covering over us. We claim victory now in Jesus name, amen.

The Week That Was Series 15 - The Sentencing and The Extraordinary Strength, Grace And Tenacity Of Kidnapping Victims

Michelle Knight in the courtroom August 1st 2013
It takes an extraordinary amount of grace, strength, courage and tenacity to face your kidnapper and the one who for a decade repeatedly raped your body, and took your dignity, your self-worth and your self-esteem. Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight are the new faces of women empowerment! They have thus far, displayed such mastery of bravery and they continue to give hope to the many other families who are still awaiting the return of their missing loved ones.

As we say in Christiandom, I say also to them and their families, it's time to take back by force all that the Devil stole from you! Take back your life, take back your peace, your joy, and everything else that he illegally took from you so that you are no more victims, but victors! No more defeated, but rising with glorious triumph over death, hell and the grave. No more oppression and affliction, but exuberance, strength and a new opportunity for the highest quality of life that you were wrongfully denied for all these years. You are now back in control, you are in the driver's seat, and that is what I call empowerment!

The Only Thing Perfect In Church Is The Unadulterated Word

There are many today who are hung up on religion. Some are stuck in tradition and there is often times the notion or the belief that being in the sanctuary every Sunday morning and evening, every bible study discussion, every prayer meeting and every life-net group meetings makes us holy and perfect. That is far from the truth.

There is absolutely no such thing as a perfect church and the only thing perfect with church is the unadulterated word of God and the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The reason there will never be a perfect church on this earth is because people who make up church are imperfect.

Now I can tell you, I have been in church for most of my entire life. I've been a part of the imperfection. When you look at me, I admit I am not perfect and will never be as long as I live in this broken, marred and sinful world. Neither will you. I have made my share of mistakes. Occasionally, I fall down and yes, I bruise my knees. I have found myself at the bottom, with my belly up and sometimes belly down needing the grace and mercy of God like I've never needed anything else before.

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