Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sunday Hymn

"I Stand Amazed in the Presence"
Charles H. Gabriel

I stand amazed in the presence
Of Jesus the Nazarene
And I wonder how He could love me,
A sinner condemned, unclean.

How marvelous, how wonderful
And my song shall ever be.
How marvelous, how wonderful
Is my Savior's love for me.

For me it was in the garden He prayed,
"Not my will, but thine"
He had no tears for His own griefs,
But sweat drops of blood for mine.


He took my sins and my sorrows,
He made them His very own;
He bore the burden to Calv'ry,
And suffered and died alone.


When with the ransomed in glory
His face I at last shall see,
'Twill be my joy thro' the ages,
To sing of His love for me.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Do you trust God? Would you ever forsake Him? Before you answer this question...take some time to meditate on this question. Search your heart. Do you have complete faith in Christ?

What if someone came to your house in the middle of the night and injured your loved ones, they were crying out in pain, you see one on the ground dead in a pool of blood, your spouse looks in your eyes with blood pouring out of their body.

For one man... this is reality.

Please read.

KURUM, Nigeria — As she lay on the ground after being shot and then slashed with a machete, Dune James Rike looked into her husband’s tear-filled eyes and asked, “Is this the end between us, so we shall not be together again?” Pastor James Musa Rike told Compass he held the hands of his dying, 35-year-old wife and told her, “Hold on to your faith in Jesus, and we shall meet and never part again.” Muslim extremists who attacked Kurum village, in the Bogoro local government area of Nigeria’s Bauchi state, had already killed two of the couple’s children in a rampage that began Wednesday (May 4) at midnight. Rike, pastor of a Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN) congregation in Kurum, next heard the cries of his 13-year-old daughter, Sum James Rike, a few yards away. “I rushed to my daughter, only to discover that she too was cut with a machete on her stomach, and her intestines were all around her,” he said. “I held her hand and began to pray, knowing she too was about to die. She told me that the Muslim militants told her they would kill her and “see how your Jesus will save you.” The girl told her father that she responded by telling them that Jesus had already saved her, and that by killing her they would only be making it possible for her to be with Him. Pastor Rike prayed for her as she died. Shooting and setting homes on fire, the Muslim extremists killed 12 other Christians in the attack. Bauchi police reported 16 people dead – one man, three women and 12 children. Pastor Rike said that when the attackers reached his house, they tried to force their way into their bedrooms. “I opened a backdoor, and we ran out into the dark night while the militants pursued us,” he said. “They shot my wife and two of our kids as they tried to escape.” Pastor Rike said that after killing the two children, Faith James Rike and 1-year-old Fyali James Rike, the assailants cut his wife’s abdomen with a machete. “I was shocked at what I saw,” he said. “I knew my wife would not last long, and the only thing I did was to encourage her to hold on to her faith in Jesus.” The Muslim extremists set more than 20 houses ablaze before leaving the village, he said. Pastor Rike and his son survived the attack, and he said his adopted daughter, Whulham James Rike, was injured and receiving treatment at the General Hospital in Bogoro. He said five others others were also receiving hospital treatment. Among those killed, church sources said, were Murna Ayuba; Angelina Ezekiel; Dorcas Sunday; Asabar Toma; Rhoda Joseph; Dhunhgwa Zakka; Bukata Amos; Ishaku Amos; Kalla Amos; Amos Daniel; Samidah Joel; and Changtan Joel. The Muslim jihadists also stole money and the other valuables from the Christian village as they withdrew, church sources said. The area has a history of sectarian violence, and the attack follows the death of hundreds of people in Bauchi and other northern states last month after Muslims rioted over the April 16 election of a Christian, Goodluck Jonathan, as president. He defeated a Muslim candidate, Muhammadu Buhari. Saying more than 200 church buildings were burned, Christian leaders in northern Nigeria have called for a federal probe into the violence, in which Christians mounted counter attacks. Northern Nigeria climbed to 23rd place in 2010 from 27th in 2009 on Christian support organization Open Doors’ World Watch List of nations with the worst persecution. The church where Pastor Rike ministers has about 30 members and has been in existence for more than 50 years. Those killed were members of the three churches in the village – the COCIN church, St. John’s Catholic Church and an Evangelical Church of West Africa congregation. Pastor Rike said the incident has strengthened his faith in Jesus. “Whatever is the situation, I will never forsake Christ,” he said. “All human beings are created by God, and our attackers must know that they need to abandon anything that will lead them to destroy creations of God.” (CDN) (This was taken from "The Church Report" reported May 11,2011)

As I sit here, tears overflowing my eyes, I can barely speak to tell my children to pray for this man and the others affected.

What would I do if I were in this situation?

Reading this story I am quick to say I would not deny Christ. I would like to think I would have great faith and face this trial like this man...but would I? I have to question myself.

I am ashamed to say I am so weak I would probably fail. Would I deny my Christ if five men stormed my house holding my family hostage, threatening to kill them?

Oh Father, give me great faith!

This story is not alone. There are many Christians who are suffering for their belief and faith in Christ. Moms in jail, away from their children, husbands being beat in their cells, children being tortured in front of parents to "make them deny their Lord".

Oh you, Christian, please be in prayer for our sisters and brothers in Christ. They need and covet our prayers.

Wouldn't you?

If you would like to read updates, stories of our fellow brethren, if you would like to help them, please check this site out:

Voice of Martyrs

They will send you weekly updates concerning the needs.

Let's join forces and pray for them...for one day...this family...could be could be mine.

Oh Jesus, may you grow me so strong in faith that I could say without a doubt...
“Whatever is the situation, I will never forsake Christ."

Saturday, May 7, 2011


I'm not sure how this will go over, but I've hijacked my wife's blog. I've hacked into her cyber-corner to publish to the world something that she would never allow me to do otherwise. You see, her humility would prevent her from allowing me to divulge myself of this little pleasure. So forgive me for my betrayal and thievery and hear me out.

Mi Fresita (Christina Kay, Queen Christine, Tina, Mrs. America, or whatever you may know her by), is my beloved wife and blessing from God. She has been such a blessing to me and our children. I just want to take a little time to express to you what she means to me and our children.

I won't bore you with platitudes about her being perfect, for only one has ever been perfect, and that one is Christ, the beloved Savior and Lord of my wife. She is so in love with and so unwaveringly dedicated to Christ, that she has served as a convicting example to me since I met her in 1995 on a mission trip to the Bahamas. I' won't lie and tell you that she doesn't have weaknesses or faults, but I can tell you that her failures have proven to be the very things that allows Christ to shine through her. I have watched her grow in faith, and her faith has always been something about her that I admire. Her childlike faith has always been simple, but so very strong. It is evident that in her weakness, He is made strong - she exemplifies this!

If I were to go through all the things I have learned from watching her life, it would be far too much for a blog, but let it suffice to say that because of her encouragement, we have five beautiful children and a family life that I would have missed out on, if left to my selfishness. As I study in Genesis 2 and see the help that God made for Adam, meet for him and the calling God gave to him, I can honestly tell you that her life has aided me in understanding the far reaching ramifications of that. She is a beautiful fit for me, what I needed as a partner and help in living for the glory of God.

Submissiveness is what adorns a godly woman in the scripture (1Co 11:15), and she is surely shorn with subjection to me as her covering. I have felt her prayers. Even when I have failed, she has been faithful to hold me up before the Lord and pray for me. When she could have ripped me to shreds and put my faults before me, she has loved me and served me. When she could have talked to others about my need to lead our family spiritually, she gently encouraged and lovingly let me know of her desires to be one with me in spiritual things. Actually, her submissiveness has been harder at times to deal with, because it convictingly reveals to me my great need for submission to the Holy Spirit - I am responsible and my wife looks to me to lead her. Who is sufficient for these things?! But my loving wife believes in the God that can do it through me, she loves me and longs for me - WOW!

What a momma! She is so dedicated to our children. She is so zealous to see them come into a loving and trusting relationship with the almighty God. She faithfully puts the Word of God before them. We agreed to focus more on godliness and character in our home school, and she puts this priority before them consistently. She is the epitome of what it means to nurture in the admonition of the Lord. And love kids? When we met in the Bahamas she spent her whole time with the children. Her love for children has never faded. As Zechariah grows older, she longs to have another little one in our home. She looks at the joy that each of our children brings and only wants more blessing from the hands of our Lord. She is sensitive to the weaknesses and specific needs of all of our children. She talks with each of them and asks them probing questions about sin and struggles. She prays with them and for them in specifics. What a wonderful mom!

She sacrifices, she serves, she loves, she submits, she gives herself to me completely. I could go on and on, but I must stop - she will be back from the store soon and I can't get caught!

Hear from our kids:

Kaylyn - My mommy is a good mother. She loves the Lord a lot!

Caleb - Mommy is the best mom ever! She is very sweet.

Katie - I like my mommy a lot because she is such a nice mommy.

Elijah - My mommy is good!

Zechariah - MAAAAH-Mee, MAAAAH-Mee (That says it all!).

Me - Well, you've heard a lot from me, but let me add, I find her mesmerizing, beautiful, (I promised I wouldn't go there, but) hot, sweet, sensitive, and precious. She is as fragile as when I met her.

God help me to be a protector and provider for her, give me strength to lead her and grow in spiritual unity with her.




My Man,

I am shocked you posted this. Tears whelm my eyes as I read it. Such a wonderful gift you have given me by declaring your love to "the world".
I thank you for all the sweet, kind words you have said to me. Anything you or anyone sees in me is not of myself, but of the Lord, for He had not chosen me, my sinfulness would be even greater than it is and all I do would be for selfish reasons.

I count myself being the most blessed one with a godly husband like you. Your influence on me spiritually continually aids in my growing in the Lord. I thank you for all your patience through the trials I have gone through. Your gentle hand around my shoulder or on my leg, the tears staining your shirt, the cries of frustration you have endured yet you softly remind me of God's providence. The times you rejoice with me in accomplishing goals. For encouraging me when I fell like I will fail.

I DO love you MORE!!! ...It is true! ;)

Your Fresita

My Blessings, Little Ducklings,

I count it a privilege to be your mommy. Each one of you bring a smile to my heart in different ways. I never imagined being a mommy would be so joyful. God uses you to sanctify me, and show me sins I never knew I had a problem with.

Thank you for the kind deeds you do for me...picking flowers, heart shaped rocks, cards, wanting to help in the house, gently reminding me, in love, when I am not honoring the Lord with my tone of voice. Thank you for taking care of me when I become ill, for not complaining when I make vegetables ( at least most of the time), wanting to clean the toilets.

I love each of you dearly and pray daily and earnestly for you. My greatest desire is to see you grow into men and women who love the Lord with all your heart, mind, and soul. Seek him, my precious ones, serve Christ.

I love you!!!

Your Mommy

Monday, May 2, 2011

Sobered by the Death of Osama Bin Laden

With the news of the death of Osama Bin Laden, I am sure the tv's are filled with reports, it's the talk of facebook, the death has made the headlines of all newspapers, reporters are feverishly working on an article for their next issue in magazines.

It's the "talk of the town".

I have heard people are in the streets rejoicing and celebrating over Bin Laden's death.

I am thankful for our military and the intelligences for their hard work and perseverance in finding the man who planned out many attacks killing thousands of people here in America, and other soils. I am thankful to all of their families who sacrifice their loved ones time so our country can be free.

Though his death will never bring back loved ones lost, I am sure many are thankful "justice" has been done.

This is a historic event for America, which will go down in history.


I also believe this is a time to be humbled.

Humbled? Yes, you read that correctly.

Osama was a terrible, wicked person. So am I. So are you.

I know! I KNOW!!! He killed thousands of people and we haven't!

So why am I placing others on the same level as Osama?

Let me ask you a few questions...

Have you ever cheated on a test? Looked upon a person in lust?

Have you ever gone to a movie on Sunday or to a ball game?

When you were young, or even now, not listened to and obeyed your parents?

Have you ever been so mad at someone you felt hatred in your heart?

Have you ever used God's name as a curse word?

We all have been guilty of each question I asked. These questions are based on the 10 Commandments from God's Word (Exodus 20:3-17).

I am guilty of not keeping these commandments. I have broken all 10. More than once.

I haven't killed thousands of people, but I have had bitterness in my heart.

Today, Osama Bin Laden is in hell. If the Holy Spirit had not changed my heart, and I died, I would be right there with him.

Why did he choose me and not Bin Laden? Nothing but grace.
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is a gift from God; not of works, lest any man should boast." Ephesians 2:8-9

If it were not for the work of God in my life...His could be me who was out there plotting evil acts upon others.

It could be you.

I know some who read this, are not christians, yet you live a "good" life. You work hard, nice to others. Giving. Trustworthy. You even might go to church once in a while. OR every Sunday.

Yet you do not trust, believe and have faith alone in Christ. Some believe Jesus came to the earth and died on the cross, but is he your Lord? Is He your everything?

Our sin is so great. Everyone of us was born a sinner. We all were born capable of the evil acts of Osama Bin Laden...and worse.

Yet because of reasons not of our own understanding, Christ has shown us mercy. Even the unbelievers.

God has restrained us by His gracious hands and has kept us from being as wicked as we could be.

Just like Osama, we sin.

We will all die one day and go before God. We all deserve the wrath and curse of God.

Only if we truly repent, turn away from our sins, seek Christ, believe and trust in him... will the blood of the Lamb cover our sins and we will be welcomed into the heavens with our dear Lord.

For those of you who do not have Christ in your life, He is not Lord, Ruler of your will also come before God, Creator of all things. You will be judged......just like Osama. Good works won't help you out.

"And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God...who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and the glory of His power" 1Thessalonians 1:7-9

I am truly humbled that I am a child of God. That He has so graciously kept me from being just like Bin Laden. I am humbled I am not getting what I deserve...the wrath and curse of God...eternal punishment in hell, not only physically, but even worse...without the grace, mercy and presence of God.

May we, on this historical day of the death of Osama Bin Laden, be mindful of the grace God has shown in our own lives and be eternally grateful...