What Hea-Woo Did in Prison

This is the story of Hea-Woo.

Hea-Woo is from North Korea.

One day, she escaped across a river to China.

While she was in China, someone witnessed to her about Jesus Christ. Hea-Woo came to know Christ as Lord and Savior, and and began learning about her new faith.

It was not long, though, before she was captured by the secret police and returned to North Korea. There, she was sentenced to a prison camp.

At that prison camp, she made a few important decisions. She decided to:

  1. Tell her fellow prisoners about Jesus.
  2. Witness to her fellow prisoners by helping them (sharing her rice with the sick, helping others wash their clothes, etc.).
  3. Begin a secret church. They met in the prison bathroom.

Her church really captured my interest.

  • Her church met on Sundays and on Christmas.
  • Without access to a Bible, she could only from what she remembered learning in China. Whatever songs or Bible verses she remembered, she would teach her tiny congregation.
  • Their singing had to be as quiet as possible to avoid detection. It was almost imperceptible.

Hea-Woo ultimately was released from the prison camp, and later escaped to South Korea.

During her time in the North Korean prison camp, she lead five people to salvation. She says, “They were on the edge of death, and I could give them the message of hope.”

You Play A Part

You may look at some people in your life and wonder what they’re doing there.

[They may not matter much to you.]

Yet, the truth is you have no idea how important they may be to your future.

[Or, how important you might be to theirs.]

God is not random. He has a Big Plan, and it has to do with people.

The people…
…who always seems to show up;
…you can’t seem to lose;
…who rub you the wrong way;
…you see everyday, yet they are strangers to you;
…you wish you could know more.

All those people. 

So, don’t ignore them.
Consider them.
Reconsider your relationship with them.
Give them your respect.
Treat them with gentleness.
Help them, encourage them, and bless them.
Look for the opportunity to love them.
Pray God’s will for their lives, lift them up when they are down.
A little time and compassion matter.

And, always remember that no matter what you might think about their life right now, or the choices they’ve made so far, God has always had a plan and a purpose for their lives.

Maybe,
just maybe,
He’s been waiting for you to play your part.  

14 August 2011

Honor Thy Mother

I want to share a video with you.

I just watched it again for the first time in seven years. It’s a video of my mother, and I hope you will watch it to the very end.

I don’t really know what inspired me to conduct an interview, but I’m sure it was the Holy Spirit. Even the questions I asked her—I sound like I knew what I was going to say. I didn’t. It was entirely off the cuff, unedited. And, I’m serious about watching to the end. I couldn’t believe the last shot. Only God!

By the way, Mother would have been 88-years-old today. Instead, of blowing out candles, though, she is in a place of incredible joy with the One her soul adores. Oh, I miss Mother daily—she crosses my mind a dozen times, or more. How she would delight in her many great-grandchildren! She would be “at the height of her glory,” as she used to say.

Yet, I would not wish her back from Heaven. Instead, I rejoice for her victory over death, and the fact that we’ll see each other again. I can’t wait to find out all she has been doing. What a life she is living now!

So, without further ado, in honor of my Mother’s birthday, I humbly invite you to watch this video. If you are in any way at all touched by what you see, will you share it? Maybe, someone you know needs to hear what she has to say. (It can be share directly from YouTube.)

Thank you for remembering Stella with me, even if you never knew her.

Blog-tober Is Ober

I was inspired to launch Blog-tober for three specific reasons.

  • After several ministry-packed months, in which I had less time than usual to blog, I felt that my blog deserved some attention.
  • As blogging is such a personal activity, and writing is my favorite, it feels pretty selfish. I have trouble making it a priority, because I always feel guilty choosing to write over some other work that somehow profits others. I thought Blog-tober would be a way to give myself permission to not feel guilty about blogging.
  • Giving myself a daily deadline, I suspected, would force me to focus less on perfection, and more on production. It’s very easy to edit a piece to death, especially when you are a very private person writing about things that are very personal.

So, How’d I Do?
I began with a five-day disadvantage, and ended with an eight day deficit. That equates to 23 posts in 31 days, and to that I say, “Not bad!” If I hadn’t gotten sick, I would have done better. I just lose all will to live, when I get a cold. [I know that’s stupid, but it’s true. I think it’s the lack of sleep, or oxygen.]

I’m very satisfied with the results of this challenge. I (almost) never felt guilty about saying, “I’m working on my blog.” I posted some things that have been in the works for so long, but I was just so uncertain they were “good enough.”  They were just sitting in that drafts folder, dying. My take-away on this point is that nothing we do for the Lord is ever “good enough,” compared to what He has done for us. Therefore, we must just humbly give Him our best. He alone will judge the worth of our offering, because only He knows the heart of the giver.

And, having a daily deadline helped a lot.

What Happens Now?
Well, I keep doing what I’m doing. I’ve taken some interest in seeing which posts were the most viewed. It gives me pause, that the post I had the most doubts about posting is the post that garnered the most views. [What was I saying about being a poor judge?]

I know I want to write more on the topic of Being His Help Meet, because each of the seven points needs to filled out a little. They are each deserving of their own post.

Ultimately, I’ll post what I post, because it’s my blog. I write on some heavy topics, because I feel inspired by the Holy Spirit, or convicted. I know that testimony matters, and God has given me one. He means for me to share it. And, my blog is one means by which to do that.

Thanks For Reading.
I’m sorry you have to endure ads. I’m always surprised that anyone bothers to click and read my blah, blah, blah, and it really means a lot to me when you react or comment. One reader shared a post and someone commented on her share. Something had stuck with them that was meaningful to them. That definitely made my day, and blessed me a lot. Like I said, I’m very private. It isn’t easy to share such personal information. However, our testimonies are not meant to be stored in the attic of our memories. They are meant to be shared, or they really aren’t a testimony at all, are they?

I just want to close with the quote that is this blog’s raison d’être :

saxophonewife-header-e1541054278725.jpg

Thanks again, friends.

 

 

Hey, Jude

We must not take our salvation in Christ for granted.

“I must write…urging you to stoutly defend the truth that God gave once for all to hHis people to keep without change through the years.”

Once we are saved, yes, we are never required to say the Prayer of Salvation (Romans 10:9), again. However, that doesn’t mean we have permission to compromise Christ’s righteousness through our sin.

“Some godless teachers have wormed their way in among you, saying that after we become Christians we can do just as we like without fear of God’s punishment.” 

However, once we have believed, our life is meant to be an ever-growing, living testimony of that confession.

“But you, dear friends, must build up your lives ever more strongly upon the foundation of our holy faith, learning to pray in the power and strength of the Holy Spirit. Stay always within the boundaries where God’s love can reach and bless you.”

If your life today is not a living testimony of Christ, I hope you’ll stop and pray. Repent. Be restored to a place of right standing with Christ. It is possible, you know, to fall away from that great Salvation Christ won for you on the cross at Calvary. I don’t think you want that to happen.

Scriptural reference:
The Book of Jude (KJV)
The Book of Jude (TLB)

 

What Hea-Woo Did in Prison

This is the story of Hea-Woo.

Hea-Woo is from North Korea.

One day, she escaped across a river to China.

While she was in China, someone witnessed to her about Jesus Christ. Hea-Woo came to know Christ as Lord and Savior, and and began learning about her new faith.

It was not long, though, before she was captured by the secret police and returned to North Korea. There, she was sentenced to a prison camp.

At that prison camp, she made a few important decisions. She decided to:

  1. Tell her fellow prisoners about Jesus.
  2. Witness to her fellow prisoners by helping them (sharing her rice with the sick, helping others wash their clothes, etc.).
  3. Begin a secret church. They met in the prison bathroom.

Her church really captured my interest.

  • Her church met on Sundays and on Christmas.
  • Without access to a Bible, she could only from what she remembered learning in China. Whatever songs or Bible verses she remembered, she would teach her tiny congregation.
  • Their singing had to be as quiet as possible to avoid detection. It was almost imperceptible.

Hea-Woo ultimately was released from the prison camp, and later escaped to South Korea.

During her time in the North Korean prison camp, she lead five people to salvation. She says, “They were on the edge of death, and I could give them the message of hope.”

Is Selfish Sam Sadistic?

In a post from 2016, What An Apology Isn’t, I wrote about Selfish Sam.

Recently, reports of Selfish Sam have reached my ears, again. It is news of behavior that can honestly be described as not only selfish, but actually sadistic. I thought it was appropriate to share this post, again.

CLICK HERE

Guest Post from TSP: “The Question of Authority”

A guest post from The Saxophone Player. Feel free to comment, or leave questions. He will be glad to respond.

THE QUESTION OF AUTHORITY
by Doug Gregan

The most astounding thing about the subject of Christians drinking alcohol is the narrow focus that both sides of the discussion tend to stay on.
The spiritual root of drinking is one of authority, and friendship with the world; neither of which do I ever hear discussed. The very nature of an intimate relationship with God is one of increased presence, resulting in increased holiness. This question of whether or not a Christian should drink, or if drinking is sin, is shallow and weak. The real question should be:
“Why aren’t Christians more Christ-like?”
We are called out from among them, to be separate. Friendship with the world is enmity with God, and brings us under the authority of the world and its spirit. The spirit that drives alcohol is undeniably of the world, and under the authority of Satan. There is no man or woman alive who can tell me of a time when drinking brought them into a greater intimacy with Christ, drove them to love God more, or brought them into greater holiness and sanctification.
Does not the scripture tell us from beginning to the end that He is calling us out and unto Himself? Consider Romans  6:18-22:
“You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves.
“Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness.
“When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death!
“But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.” (Romans 6:18-22, NIV)
This is the key to the whole issue, whether it be drinking, watching anything that exalts the flesh, gluttonous eating, dressing like the world, or engaging in any behavior that opens the door for the flesh to be strengthened.
“What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death!” (Romans 6:21, NIV)
And, it does result in death.
Complacency, laziness, a lack of sensitivity to the Holy Spirit, a lack of compassion towards those who don’t, can’t, or won’t “handle” the same things you can—it is all death. It produces a self-righteous, self-centered attitude evidenced by the countless defensive comments that come up in these type of discussions.
Then, there is the subtle, but incredible importance of spiritual authority mentioned in verse 16:
“Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey, whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?” (Romans 6:16, NIV)
Those who drink are yielding a measure of their spiritual authority to the flesh and to the Devil. Alcohol, by it’s very nature, deadens sensitivity to Holy Spirit and weakens our ability to control the flesh as we should.
The angry man is more susceptible to anger.
The lustful man is more vulnerable to lust.
The proud man is prone towards pride.
The depressed man more inclined toto be depressed.
The jealous man more easily made  jealous.
And, on it goes….
This all takes place when one “walks in his freedom to drink.”
I’ve served in prison ministry for fourteen years and cannot begin to tell of the devastation and carnage left in the wake of alcohol. This includes Christians, men and women becoming casual with drinking, declaring their freedom to do so. I have yet to have a drug addict tell me that their addiction was not preceded by alcohol use.
Yet, we proudly demand and defend our right to drink. It is sad and shameful. The Devil mocks and laughs at the impotence of the Church to touch our generation with Christ-like love, life, and POWER. We would do well to heed the call of James 4. After exposing the Lord’s attitude towards worldliness, James says in 4:7-10:
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.” (James 4:7-10, NIV)
I understand fully the emptiness of imposing restrictions and not trusting in the transforming work of the Spirit to bring about abundant life, balance, and control. The emphasis of my sharing is on the yoking of ourselves to spiritual forces and influences we have no business being in agreement with. Light has no agreement wih darkness. Consider 1 Corinthians 6:12:
“All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” (1 Corinthians 6:12, KJV)
We interact with this verse only on the level of the substance or behavior in question, but it transcends that. It speaks to every spiritual dynamic that is associated with those elements.
Where are those who are broken, weeping between the porch and altar, for the souls of those bound and enslaved? One can defend the biblical right to eat and drink. I get that. But, who can show me a man who is ministering in power and authority, yet allows himself to be brought under the authority of the spiritual forces connected to these worldly elements? They are not profitable. We will never step into the realm of darkness, addiction, and brokenness with any authority to bring genuine deliverance, if we are yoked to these things.
Should this be the shining prize I declare to the addicted and their broken family? “One day, you’ll be able to drink in freedom, like I do.”
I am deeply concerned by the absence of genuine discipleship that prepares God’s people to be ambassadors of reconciliation, walking in the power of God to bring the lost, broken, and hurting into freedom. Please, take a few minutes to read Ephesians 4:11-27, and prayerfully consider the life you are living today.
I welcome your comments and questions.

You Scream, I Scream…Um, guys, we all really need to stop.

 “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1, KJV)

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but harsh words cause quarrels.”
(Proverbs 15:1, TLB)

A soft and gentle and thoughtful answer turns away wrath,
But harsh and painful and careless words stir up anger.”
(Proverbs 15:1, Amp.)

A gentle response defuses anger, but a sharp tongue kindles a temper-fire.” (Proverbs 15:1, MSG)

For Movie Lovers

I love movies. Don’t get me started.

One of my favorite childhood memories is staying up late on Friday night with my sisters to watch old movies on TV.  We’d gather our pillows and blankets and sit as close to the TV as possible, so we could keep the volume as low as possible in order to wake-up our parents.

If we could manage to stay awake,  there were usually three movies worth watching between few channels we had to pick from—back in the day. There was never anything objectionable, either. They didn’t show that kind of stuff of TV back then.

Nowadays, it’s very different. I still love movies, but they are often rather offensive.  Even movies with a PG-rating use words and images I don’t like. It’s so disappointing. I don’t want to sit down for a pleasant evening with my husband and be exposed to things that I have to repent for later.

Well , we have discovered something new and awesome: VidAngel. It’s AMAZING! I love it! You have total control over what you see, so that you can decide for yourself which words or images need to go. I love the selection, the price, and—most of all—not having to hear the Lord’s name in vain. Or, seeing people do things on my TV screen, that I’d never want to watch them do in real life.

It is also really easy to use, and movies are only $1.

Now, I am sharing this awesome service for three reasons: I believe it’s great, I believe we need to protect ourselves and our children, and if five folks sign-up we can earn a year of free movies.  That would be pretty cool, right? Conversely, anyone who signs up has the chance to earn free movies, too.  There is deadline, though. So, you have to act fast. This is the link to click: https://www.vidangel.com?vip=5vv6kcyi

For your own sake, though, I hope you’ll sign-up. I was hesitant to sign-up for something new, that no one I knew used, but this video is convinced me to go for it. It depicted exactly how I felt, every time I heard certain things. I thought, “Wow, if I can protect myself, why shouldn’t I try it out?? And, of course, there are the images. I think words hit me the way the images hit the Saxophone Player, so for his sake it seemed like a no-brainer. (Of course, neither of us need to hear or see any of that stuff.)

Well, I am off to hear the Saxophone Player actually play the saxophone, so I better get going. I will close with a little video I secretly recorded of his practicing scales.