Fearless for Christ

Four masked gunmen charged into Mohammad Yousuf Bhat’s home on the evening of 1 July 2016, pushed his wife aside and demanded to talk to him. After he stepped forward, the gunmen escorted the 43-year-old father of three outside his home in the Kashmir Valley, India and shot him seven times, killing him. Those who worked with Yousuf describe him as being a fearless, bold and passionate believer who “would not be quiet about Christ”.

Complete article here: Fearless for Christ

Muslims, Mission and Martyrdom with Dr. Jerry Rankin

I’ve recommended and posted a few audios from this source.

This is one includes another very interesting interview worth the listening time.

The interview starts around the 7 minute 25 second point, after some banter between the podcast presenters.


This audio and the rest in the series can be downloaded from the site at the above link.
I’ve downloaded episodes to a USB stick so I can listen to them in the car on my way to and from work. I find that much more practical than sitting at the computer to hear them.

Edith Cavell: Faith before the firing squad, by Catherine Butcher

Edith Cavell: Faith before the firing squad, by Catherine Butcher.

Edith Cavell was an English nurse who helped establish a nursing school in Brussels, at a time when nursing practice in Belgium had low standards and little community respect. Cavell sought to change all of that by training young women to the same kind of standard she had learned during her own training in London and through her experience as a practising nurse in Britain. In 1907 she accepted the role of matron at the new training school in Brussels.

edith-cavellIn 1914 Germany invaded Belgium, thereby drawing Britain, allies of Belgium, into the First World War. Cavell chose to stay in Brussels with her trainee nurses and helped to look after wounded troops from both sides.

When wounded French, British and Belgian soldiers were in danger of being killed by the German invaders, she started to help the Belgian resistance to get them to safety across the Dutch border.
In August 1915 she was arrested and two months later was tried, sentenced to death and shot by firing squad.

This book tries to piece together a part of Cavell’s life that has probably been omitted from many other biographies: the way her Christian faith prepared her to face premature death.

The author looks at the religious routine Cavell followed throughout her life, first as the daughter of a Church of England vicar, and later as a continuing part of her daily devotions, following the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, and readings from other devotional books known to be used by Cavell.

Apart from Cavell’s own story, the book touches on the role of religious practice across general society, particularly within a hospital environment, where it is said that prayer and bible reading were the essential starting point of each day in the wards.
How things have changed!

Cavell was shot at dawn on the 12th October 1915.

Edith died instantly with one shot to her forehead and three through her chest.


“Her last glimpse of life on earth would be the gloomy mists of an autumn dawn in Belgium. Her expectation was that in the ‘twinkling of an eye’ she would be in the presence of Jesus.”

to the angel of the church in Smyrna

The words of the first and the last, who died and came to life.


Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.”’

Revelation 2


See also: Isaiah 44:6 and Revelation 12:13;

On IS’ Frontline. (interview on ABC Radio)

A combination of news story and wonderful testimony on this short audio interview.

Announce that you’re bound for Syria or Iraq these days and you’ll pique the interest of Australia’s intelligence community.

If you’re a Christian mission worker heading into a conflict that’s driven three quarters of Christians out of Iraq, you’ll certainly have the prayers of your friends. But they’ll also have a simple question. Why?

For pastor Steve Chong and his wife, Naomi, it was to bear witness to the victims of the Islamic State group. The Iraqi army is trying to drive ISIL out of Falluja, where about 50,000 people are besieged and facing starvation.


Celebrating Jackie Hamill: Joy Unspeakable and Full of Glory

Last month I provided a link to an article I’d posted several years ago about Jackie Hamill, a friend of mine who lost her life in the service of the Lord, after being taken hostage by prisoners in the Philippine jail she was visiting to share the gospel.

Cheryl McGrath, a regular visitor to my blog has written a very good article about Jackie here:


Martyrdom of a Friend: in the news again.

Several years ago I posted an article on my old blog about a friend of mine who had been martyred while visiting a jail in the Philippines.

Even though it happened almost 27 years ago, this morning it was in the news again, thanks to disturbing comments made by a current candidate for the Philippine presidency.

What does it say about the world when vulgarity and misogyny can be seen as traits worthy of a nation’s leader? It’s clearly a trend NOT unique to a particular candidate hoping to be the Republican candidate in the US.

If I hadn’t seen a story on the news this morning I couldn’t have understood why my old article on a mostly inactive blog, could accumulate 300 views in one day.

See may article here: http://onefiles.blogspot.com.au/2009/08/martyrdom-of-friend.html

And why it has suddenly become news again here:


Identity and Contrast: Charlie, Mohammed or Jesus?

I wonder how many professing Christians have jumped onto the “Je Suis Charlie” bandwagon – moved by emotion instead of discernment.

While we can all abhor what happened to the cartoonists and journalists from the Charlie Hebdo paper, being shocked that such a thing could happen, and while we can sympathise with the families of the victims; surely identifying ourselves with a paper that has mocked Christianity and not only Islam can’t be the right way to go.

Maybe one of the publications main achievements was to be equally insulting to all religions and in being so, in a roundabout and unfortunate way, have shown up the thing that sets Islam apart. Followers of THAT religion were the ones to be moved to extreme and deadly violence against the publication to avenge their ‘prophet” in the name of their god.

britain Why would anyone be surprised by this? Have they forgotten about the death sentence placed on Salman Rushdie in 1989 (a sentence that remains, with an increased reward offered to the one who carries it out)? Have they forgotten the many who were murdered for their association with Rushdie and his book The Satanic Verses?

1347713064047Have they forgotten those murdered during other protests about movies and previous cartoons that have depicted Mohammed in a less than flattering light?

These threats and actions may have been endorsed by a minority of Moslems in the west, but they have been a sizable and vocal minority not afraid of making their extreme views clear. In Australia protestors openly carried placards calling for the beheading of those who insult “the prophet”. In Britain those who “mock Islam” were to be butchered. And while the sentence against Rushdie was issued from Iran, it was done so at the instigation of Moslems in Britain.

The Charlie Hebdo murders were nothing new and I think it would be naive to think they will be the last. It doesn’t matter how many millions march in peaceful protest through city streets, no matter how many clever cartoons are drawn in response (and some HAVE been very good) those consumed by the Islamist ideology of ISIS, Al Queda, Boko Haram and countless other similar groups won’t be moved at all and will continue with their evil acts.

While we are assured those actions are not sanctioned by the broader Moslem communities in the west, there is a large enough number of professing Moslems around the world (including an active minority the west) who do sanction such actions. That is something that few seem willing to admit, being afraid of “alienating” the moderate Moslems and potentially pushing THEM towards extremism.

To me that attitude could seem patronising, but strangely, despite the fact that Moslems in Iraq and Syria are the main victims of Islamist extremists like ISIS, Moslems in the west also make the same kind of claims – that victimisation of Moslems by non-Moslems causes the embracing of extremism.

On the same day as the Charlie Hebdo murders, it was reported that a Saudi Arabian court sentenced a blogger to 10 years jail and 1000 lashes because of things he wrote on his blog. (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/11/flogging-global-outrage-saudi-arabia-silent ). [remember, Saudi Arabia: the home of Islam and its “holiest” sites. ]

Also, Christian ministry Open Doors reports Islamic extremism is the main source of persecution of Christians in 40 of the 50 countries.

Consider the contrast:
How do the above examples compare to the treatment of Moslems in the west?
Are Moslems prevented by law from peacefully practising their religion?
Would Moslems face execution for blasphemy should they speak out against the west’s religion of secularism? (Or Christianity or Buddhism or any other religion practised in the west)?

Consider the contrast:
The Paris gunmen:

“we have avenged the prophet”


“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you (Matthew 5)



Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? (2 Cor 6)

…remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. These are sensual persons, who cause divisions (Jude)

Protect Middle Eastern Christians. (article from International Christian Embassy Jerusalem)


At a press conference on Monday (13 Oct 2014) in Jerusalem, prominent leaders of major Jewish and Christian global organizations announced an historic joint initiative calling on world leaders to take urgent, determined actions to halt the brutal persecution of Christians in the Middle East.

“The current plight of Middle East Christians is heart-breaking and even western churches have to do more to bring the suffering of our fellow believers to the forefront worldwide,” … . “But to have a prominent global Jewish leader lend his voice to this moral call for protecting the region’s persecuted Christians is unprecedented in modern times. We welcome all others of goodwill who will take a stand now for these vulnerable ancient Christian communities.”

“Just as Christians defend Jews against anti-Semitism, just as Christians support Israel, we Jews have an obligation to speak out against the growing persecution of Christians in many parts of the world,”.

“Islamist extremists have launched a full-fledged assault on our Western values, on our civilization, and Jews and Christians must work hand in hand to defeat this threat. For too long, the world has remained silent in the face of this evil. We must act before it is too late,”

Complete article here:


“What kind of god are we worshipping?”

From Voice of the Martyrs.

 Most of us have seen the graphic images of bombed out Syrian cities and citizens killed by chemical weapons. But amid these stories of chaotic civil war and tragedy is another, less publicised story. Christian churches in Syria continue to spread hope in the face of hopelessness, holding high not a political or denominational banner but the banner of Jesus Christ – the only path to salvation and peace with God. Before the outbreak of war, an evangelical church in one of Syria’s largest cities held several services a week for worship and prayer.

Today, it holds twice as many services, and most are standing-room only.



More than 70 Muslim families have turned to Christ in an area of Syria where only a dozen or so Christians existed 18 months ago. A former mullah who watched Muslim radicals from different Islamic sects kill each other while shouting “Allah is great!” began to wonder, “What kind of god are we worshipping?” Then he visited a church and learned about the God who doesn’t demand killing, but rather sacrificed His own Son for our sake. His heart was moved to follow Jesus.

A woman who had been paralysed for 10 years from a stroke testified that she was healed after a Christian friend prayed for her in Jesus’ name. After experiencing His power, she gratefully committed her life to the Jesus who heals.


See full article here: http://www.vom.com.au/news.asp?pid=1&id=1437

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