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Monday, April 19, 2010

Right to Worship






Today; what is so special about it for me? I rose this morning with a heart full of peace and joy. The sun has been bright all day and the view has been clear and unobstructed. I felt elated in my heart for the chance to worship today. I spoke my love and joy aloud to the Lord and a peace came over me. I took my time this morning, not rushing the day. Avoided the “hurry up, we have to leave or we’ll be late for church” argument.
I felt alive and well as I walked in the double doors. I took my seat and sang my praises to God. My mind was clear from all outside thoughts; “What will we have for lunch?” “Wonder what time is it?” “What other things are on the agenda for today?” I was completely focused on the Word. My mind was free from distraction. As the final prayer closed the sermon, I snuck a peek at the clock to make sure it was really 12:00. Time flew this morning in Church and I honestly was not ready for its end.
I told my husband today how grateful I am to worship Christ. I have the freedom each day to pray as I choose, read Gods word, post blogs and witness via technology, and attend church services. It is a fundamental human right that can easily be taken for granted. Because we live in a country where punishment for our Christian beliefs is not a threat, taking this freedom for granted is a fleeting thought.
But what about those people who are punished for their Christian faith? What about the ones who are experiencing persecution as a daily reality?
The Bible tells us that John the Baptist was beheaded for his courageous preaching against King Herod’s disloyal marriage. James, Jesus’ brother was murdered for his unrelenting decision to stand for Christ. King Herod killed James, John’s brother by sword because of his faith; such barbaric acts for that era in our history. Would it surprise you to know that these and harsher kinds of persecutions and horrific acts still occur today? And because they do, what efforts are being done to bring awareness and stop these cruel acts against Christians?
Open Doors USA, is an organization that shares each year a breakdown of countries where being a Christian is a threat to someone’s life. Countries where people are made to leave their homes, kidnapped, threatened with prison or death, under constant surveillance, beaten, sent to labor camps, or executed; all in the name of Christ.
Open Doors provides leadership training, community developments, distribute Bibles and resources to the persecuted, and more. There are many ways that you can become involved with Open Doors. Follow this link to find out more and how you can help. http://www.opendoorsusa.org/content/category/2/23/153/
For a list of more organizations serving persecuted Christians, please go to
http://www.persecutedchurch.org/
Remember, just because we have our freedom to pray in public, attend services, hold studies in our homes and share God with others, doesn’t mean there are not those suffering for their beliefs.

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