Posts Tagged ‘Family’

Twenty one year old Shafia and her family were outcasts in their Pakistani village.  They were poor, and many of their Muslim neibhbors scorned them because they followed Jesus Christ.  People called them chura, which means ” lowcaste sweeper” . They were considered the lowest of the low. In Shafia’s village Muslim men harassed Christian girls. Shafia’s brother Rafi publicly confronted them. Months later, he was killed.

The family wanted to prosecute Rafi’s killers, but they needed help.  A man named Masood offered to file the neccessary paperwork for them.  Masood asked Shafia to sign some papers for the case. but later, she discov ered it was a marriage certificate. Masood bragged the two were now married, and Shafia enrage Masood by disputing the marriage.

On Sept. 25, 2007, Masood kidnapped Shafia at gunpoint. He locked her in an upstairs room of his house. He beat her and raped her repeatedly.   Masood told her, ” If you convert to islam, I will stop beating you.” But she stayed strong telling him, ” Christianity is my religion, not Islam.  I am a Christian, and if you want to kill me  then kill me, but i will not accept Islam.”

After four months in captivity, Shafia found the door unlocked one day while Massood was at work. she fled to her family. The family’s situation was desperate.  They had to pay to file a legal case against Masood. They had no money, so they borrowed $217. To pay the , all 11 members of the family worked at a brick kiln, making bricks 12 hours a day.

” Daily in the evening we had a prayer meeting at home with my family. i felt strong in my faith when we read the  Word,” Shafia said.

Shafia and her family ar free from their debt of labor today because of Voic e of the Martyr’s fund. Mondey from the fund paid Shafia’s debt and allowed her family to purchase a rickshaw.  Now the family has a taxi business and they earn enough to take care of their needs.  With her dept paid,, Shafia is living a normal life in her village.  She still attends weekly prayer meetings and continues to stand for her beliefs.

This is a story shared by the Voice of the Martyrs, and is taken from their pulciation ” Praying for a RESCUE”. 

Check out tomorrow to hear the story of the second women, the title of the article is two women.

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Everyone has the need to be needed. Everyone has the desire to be wanted by others. Everyone has the compulsion to be appreciated and significant. That is human nature, and don’t say that it is necessarily wrong, or bad. However it is when it gets a certain point I begin to wonder why we are the way that we are. Being significant is a tricky thing, why is a person significant and not another? Albert Einstein, Napelon Bonaparte, Kurt Vonnegut, or Samuel Clemons. All of these men are significant. But many of us, dare say it a majority of us, will never reach the significance of these individuals; myself included. What makes these individuals significant? Is it something that I can take and learn from them to apply to my own life? Perhaps. There are things that I can learn from them that could help me be a better person. But being significant? I don’t know that is something that I think that we have to value on a more individual basis. If I don’t like to write stories about the Mississippi River then I can not be as significant as Mr. Clemons. If I do not want to conquer a large land mass then I can not be as significant as Mr. Bonaparte. If I don’t like scientific theory then I can not be as significant as Mr. Einstein. It I didn’t enjoy creating science fiction stories then I can not be as significant as Mr.Vonegut. So how can I be significant? Perhaps I can be as significant as I can be. But who am I? That is something that each one of us has to answer for ourselves. Each one of us is different, each one of us is significant for who we are. Some of us are fathers, some of us are brothers, some of us are sons. But not all of us are sons, not all of us are brothers, not all of us our fathers. The difficult thing about determining our significance is that it is as addictive as tobacco, and that is from personal experience. Valuing your significance is very often can begin by being big battle with pride, envy, jealousy or any other host of green eyed monsters. Your own significance is never an issue until you start looking around at other people. The moment that you look at others and start comparing yourself to others is when your significance becomes a problem. To everyone living in the state of Ohio I am completely insignificant. I am nothing. But to everyone who lives in my house. Who works in my office or for my company. To those who I serve with at my church. To them I am not inisignificant, I am valued. But why is it in human nature that no matter how many good things we have in life we always look at the others that we don’t have. Everyone wants to be significant, but when it matters when don’t pay attention to the ones that we are significant to already. We focus more on the things that others are valued for and ignore the those that already value us as important.

Batman, Superman, Spiderman, Wonder Woman, etc. etc, etc.  There are hundreds of super heroes.  Each one of them is unique in what they can do and why and how they help the world around them.  Why do we love super heroes because we all want to be the one that swoops in with that special ability, the cool one liner and saves the day.  But have you ever noticed how superheroes always have a price to pay for that?  They have to loose the girl, keep the secret identity, live a solitutude life. 

We all want the flash of being the hero. The one wearing the mask and the cape.  The one that has the awesome power or ability, the one that has all the cool tools and toys.  But you know what is really being a hero?  Making a decision to do what is right, being there for your family, being the one that lifts someone else up to the forefront when they do something great.  That takes more courage and strength than even superman had. 

Don’t desire to be batman, be a man of character. A man of value.  A man of purpose. A man of honor.  In today’s world. And stay true to those words when the world comes to do battle with you. These are the heroes.  Why not desire to be a hero?

What a Blessing

Posted: July 17, 2008 in Family Update
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So tonight I come home from work and look at the lawn that needs cut.  But I just don’t have the time.  I need to get inside and change clothes and visit with my wife and daughter before returning to the youth services at church where I serve as a leader.  In the short conversations with my wife that I have in the few fleeting minutes I jokingly ask her a question.  “Does it make me insane that I thought about skipping church to cut the grass. Not because it needed it because it did, but because both of my neighbors on either side cut their lawns today. So it makes our look twice as bad. ”  Sounds like keeping up with the Jones’ right?  And the whole time I had already planned to cut the yard tomorrow night when I got home from work. 

After making the statement my wife reminds me that we have family coming down for a visit in the evening. And I tell her that i will get it done and have it squared away and should be wrapping it up by the time that they get here. So I change my clothes and head off to church. 

A couple of hours later I come home from the youth services and as I turn into the driveway I look down the front yard. I saw the tracts of the lawn mower.  At first glance I tell myself that it is the tracts from I cut it last week and I caught a glimpse of it as the sun was fading and I was turning into the driveway.  Then I pull into the driveway and look dead out over the front lawn. It is cut.  I pull the car in the garage and walk back out to look at the front lawn.  The side of the house and the front lawn have been cut.  I couldn’t believe it.  I had to walk into the garage and put my hand on the lawnmower just to make sure it had been used.  The whole time I am thinking that a neigbhorhood kid has come over and was trying to raise money and my wife paid him five bucks to cut the grass or something.

So I walk into the house set my Bible down and call out to my wife. She is in the bathroom giving our daughter a bath.  I walk in and ask what happended to the lawn. Not hello, not how are you, how was the evening.  Let’s get to the important stuff. What happened to my lawn?  My wife calmly and plainly looks at me and says that she cut it.  I am floored. I didn’t know what to say.  In our nearly six years of marriage my wife has not once helped me due yardwork.  Mainly because I wouldn’t let her I was to particular about how I wanted it done.  She tells me that she just wanted to see if she could do it.  She tells me that she was cutting the grass and our daughter had her toy lawnmower cutting another area.  I am sorry I ddin’t get to see that. I graciously thank her and ask how much she actually cut, and tell her what I thought had happened. 

I then turn around and take the dog out and walk the yard. My wife has done a wonderful job! She cut the entire front yard and did it well!

Then I come back in and I am helping get my daughter ready for bed.  As part of our nightly routine I take our daughter to the bathroom while my wife takes the puppy, dog number two, out for one last bathroom break before bed.  While I am helping my daughter in the bathroom I thank her for helping mommy cut the grass.  And then the secret is let out!

My three year old daughter looks across the bathroom at me and says that her and mommy didn’t want me to have to cut so much tomorrow and miss grandma coming for a visit. It had nothing to do with wanting to see if she could do it.  I just have the best wife!

I have the most wonderful wife in the world that helps me even when I don’t have the sense to ask for it.  Who gives without seeking credit or thanks.  So thank you honey! I love you very much! And don’t know what I did for God to grace me with such a blessing to have you as my wife!

Do we need a sign for that?

Posted: June 21, 2008 in Family
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Tonight my wife, my daughter and myself walked into one of our favorite restaraunts.  Now I am not going to say what restaraunt it was because some of you might know it.  Let’s just say that is our favorite Chinese buffet. 

On the front door is a sign saying ” Parents please keep an eye on your children at all times”.  Now from the restaraunt’s point of view this is probably a neccessary sign.  Inside the restaraunt they have a huge pond that has the really big gold fish. This pond is big enought that it has a bridge that you can walk across to get to the other side.  It just screams for kids to come play in it.  And obviously many have headed the call.  But the sign, parents please keep an eye on your children at all times.

Is that a message that should be said.  Should that not be a foregone conclusion.  Or is that an issue that as a nation, and as a world we have allowed to become a problem.  We don’t watch our children. We allow them to be entertained by television. And never ride a bike.  We allow them to learn how to play a video game before they can play T-ball.  We have not kept our eye on our children at all times and now they are growing up and other things are keeping an eye on them.

Our children are our future.  I know it is a corny saying that is used way to much, but none the less it is true.  If we don’t raise them up in a Godly manner, instructed by the Bible and prayed over constantly then we aren’t keeping an eye on our children. And our enemy is keeping an eye on them. He is waiting for us to look away so that he can pounce in like a lion.  And he will keep an eye on them as he devours them.

So the restaraunt sign is my message. Parents keep an eye on your children at all times. 

I have a Daddy

Posted: June 15, 2008 in Family Update
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My all time favorite television show, above Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, and anything else is the televisin M.A.S.H.  I can watch it all day, everyday.  And on Father’s Day I think of one particular episode when Hawkeye learns that his father is going in for a difficult surgery. Half way around the world Hawkeye is going crazy, desperatly trying to get speak to his father, or at least learn of his status.  Throughout his turmoil Charles Emerson Winchester, III sits with him.  He tries to help him and work with him to see him through this difficult time. During the course of the conversation Charles shares about his relationship with his father, or his lack there of.  He listens to Hawkeye talk about his relationship with his father and learns that Hawkeye has a different, and a deeper relationship with his father.  Charles makes the statement, ” Where I have a father you have a dad.”

Five years ago my wife and I bought our very first home. It is a small little home that sits on a little more than an acre of land. It is beautiful. It sits atop a very small hill, that slopes down to a creek that is surrounded on both sides by tall oak, and maple trees.  I love my house, and we bought it brand new so this is our house and no one elses.  Like alot of new homes the yard was seeded before we bought it. And of course they covered the grass seed with straw.  It is a good way to keep the birds from getting to it and allowing it the oppurtunity to grow.  Yet once the grass starts to grow you have to remove the straw and rake it all up. 

So here I am a box of lawn and leaf bags, my brand new rake, ready to tackle my first yard project in my new home.  My father calls me before I head outside to begin work and asks me what I am doing. I tell him what I am getting ready to do and we talk for a few minutes and conclude the call.  So I head out into the yard to begin what I arrogantly thought would be a quick and easy job.  And I job that I thought I could simply, and efficently do without help.

Two and a half hours later I have barely gotten past the halfway point and I have about forty five minutes of daylight left.  I stop for a breather as the sweat is pouring down my face.  I look to the left and look to the right as I stood at the base of that gently slopping hill. And seeing how much I had left my heart sank.  I was just ready to loose heart when I look back up the hill and see my dad standing at the top of the hill wearing work clothes and a rake in his hand.

I am utterly surprised.  He has driven forty five minutes to my house to come and help his arrogant and prideful son finish the project that he knew would be more than a one man job.  So he jumps in and we are able to nearly finish the project. We got close enough that the next night I was able to finish in about twenty minutes.  Where as all have a father, I have a dad!

To all fathers, have fathers day! But especially to my dad. Happy Father’s Day! Thank you for all that you have done throughout my life, and all that you did and I never knew you were there. Thank you for the example that you set, and the encouragement you provided.  Thank you for being my dad!

An Ending with A Smile

Posted: May 24, 2008 in Family Update
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Cousins meet for the first time.Well I just got home and had the oppurtunity to spend the day with my daugher. But not just my daughter but her new cousin, Linda as well as her mother and father.  It was so wonderful to spend a day with her.  I swear I think her face must be hurting right now as she never stopped smiling all day long.  She is a wonderful child that I loved spending the day getting to know.  And one of the most awesome things is that she doesn’t know the first word of English but she was able to not only communicate with me but with my daughter.  To watch two children that can’t share a word together spend the day laughing and praying was wonderful.  Well maybe they could share a few words together.  After spending a few days talking to my daughter about Madison not being able to speak English, Madison did what most children now a days would do.  She reverted to her knowledge from Dora.  All day she talked about the words that she knew from Dora and was looking for a way to send it.  It was a wonderful day with my brother and his family. A day that I am very thankful to be a part of.