In today’s gospel Jesus laments the lack of faith in his contemporaries: ‘Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you that kill the prophets and stone those who are sent to you! How often have I longed to gather your children, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you refused!’ As a antidote to this, a recent Premier Christian Media reflection of Dr Micha Jazz focuses on “A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.” (Luke 6:45)
I am very often shocked and surprised at my reactions, both internal and external. I am horrified at how I can move from a peace-loving and promoting practitioner to entertaining feelings of deep anger towards a perpetrator of some crime or other. I remember hearing of the shooting in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in June 2016 and feeling sadness and compassion for the victims and their loved ones in equal measure to the anger and desire to strike back at the shooter and the way of life he reflected.
While it may prove relatively simple to establish the psychology behind such conflicting emotional responses, what does it reveal about the reality of my true heart? How deeply has the kingdom of God taken root within my soul? It is a question I have carried for a long time, for I am conflicted by the extremes of my reactions to events and to people.
Jesus speaks of accumulating kingdom treasure in the heart. In the secular world wealth is generated over time and slowly accumulates. From such financial resources a business is able to determine future investment and may expand and increase the rate of its wealth creation. So how might I, as one who is in the business of serving God, find the way to accumulate kingdom wealth within my heart? Surely such wealth would prove the treasure house from which I might draw down the appropriate resource to meet the challenge and opportunity of life’s many unsavoury realities.
I am learning that all of life is a potential school of kingdom savings. My experience reveals it’s easier to waste kingdom investment opportunities than to make the effort to bank them for future use.
QUESTION: How do you react to the challenges life presents to you?
PRAYER: Lord, you told us that our hearts would be where our treasure is, so help me store my treasure in the kingdom of heaven.
TODAY I GOT A FUNDRAISING EMAIL FOR CHRISTIANS IN IRAQ. IF YOU ARE ON PAYPAL YOU MIGHT LIKE TO CONSIDER DONATING…
Last Friday, ISIS (Daesh) terrorists attacked Kirkuk. I wrote to you about this tragedy last week, but unfortunately not many mainstream media channels are talking about this.
Several of our team members were there just a few months ago. We were with the Christian communities who took shelter there from Islamist persecution. We prayed together, we took selfies, we laughed, and we shared hope.
Today I’m writing to ask you, again, to help our persecuted friends and others who are suffering terror and persecution:
On Friday, James Hernandez, a CitizenGO team member who has traveled to Kirkuk several times, managed to connect Haiba, a Christian refugee student in Kirkuk. Haiba sent James a live update about their situation:
“We can’t go out. Daesh is at the end of our street . . . The noises of the shots and the bombs can be heard very close . . . we are hidden in a room which is about 7×2, without water, or light . . .”
For 18 agonizing hours, the students remained hidden and silent.
As of today, Thursday the 27th, our friends are safe. Thank God! But the area remains highly dangerous and the have again have lost everything… They quickly fled from Kirkuk to Erbil, a city that seems safer for now.
They had to flee again. Because of this…
Photo credit: Archdiocese of KirkukThis is what happened to one of the buildings where our student friends were staying. And look at the picture on the right… Seven refugees who lived in that room told Eduard, our CitizenGO Country Manager from Germany:
“We were with the Islamic State in the same room. They sat on the beds and did not know or feel that we were hidden beneath . . . God made them blind!“
It’s awesome. I don’t know what to tell you…
The only thing I can say is that, after this, today more than ever, please consider what you can do to help our persecuted brothers and sisters, and all those who suffer there.
We know these people personally. Many from CitizenGO—perhaps even you personally—have sent these children financial aid through your generous donations, or you have signed campaigns demanding international support to save them. Some CitizenGOers have even joined us on our missions to Iraq.
Please, if you can make a donation right now of 15€, 35€, or 50€ (or whatever amount you think is appropriate):
Your gift will go directly to helping those who are persecuted and to raising public awareness of their plight. Thank you for continuing to support those who are suffering!
All the best,
Caroline Craddock and the CitizenGO team
P. S. You can also make a gift through PayPal: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&item_name=Citizengo en&hosted_button_id=WMD8NFT9WKSZY&lc=us If you are a believer, please pray for our friends who are in harm’s way, and for all who are suffering terror and persecution. I’ve attached my email about this same subject below, in case you’d like to see it…
— MY EMAIL FROM LAST WEEK —
“I wish there were only 20 attacks monthly in Baghdad. In Baghdad, since 2003 until now we have between 40 and 120 attacks every month. And across the country we have an average of 20 attacks daily… To get an idea of how many that is, multiply… 20 attacks x 365 days of the year x 13 years already…”
Father Montes, the priest at Baghdad’s Cathedral, went on to emphasize that these constant attacks are not limited to Iraq—this is also happening in Syria, in Nigeria, and in other places where they have “the same kind of stories.”
I met Father Luis Montes in Madrid. He came to the #WeAreN2015 International Congress, “We All Are Nazarenes.” He came to give a voice to those who are suffering and don’t have a voice.
Speaking for the voiceless… those who keep suffering and dying every day. Sadly, the West remains largely silent.
That’s why I’m sending you this email. I know that neither you nor I will accept this tragedy in silence, without doing something.