I do not usually post things like this on my blog, but this needs to be shared far and wide. Have you heard of Pastor Saeed? Here is some information for you:
Pastor Saeed Abedini, an American citizen, has been imprisoned in Iran for over a year for the crime of being a Christian.
I read a recent post today describing the inhumane treatment he is enduring. Beatings, waking up and finding others standing over him with knives, not being allowed necessary medicine and having to endure lice all over his body due to not being able to have proper hygiene to name several I remember.
In recent negotiations with the government of Iran his plight was ignored by our administration.
We cannot, will not, do the same.
As member of the church militant, the Body of Christ, when one member suffers we all suffer.
Our brother is suffering…and we must enter into that suffering with him and seek God’s power to free him.
This is what is being proposed:
The single loudest outpouring of support via social media to free Saeed in the history of the church.
On Wednesday December 4, every Christian with a platform, great or small, will be featuring Saeed on it and demand that our government secure his release.
We will use the Twitter hashtag #freesaeed… use it on Facebook and other social media as well.
Our scattered voices can be ignored, but if we can come together across denominational and political lines as one voice the church may break prison chains once again.
We need every single Christian to spread the word to friends, family and any media outlets.
Pastors, we need it featured on your websites and blogs.
Bloggers, we need it on your front page.
Brothers and sisters, we need your Facebook status.
We welcome any ideas to further this cause and we covet your participation and promotion.
This is an historical moment for the American church…shall we participate in it or pass?
Please feel free to copy this content or modify this content, and post it as your own on your own media! Much of this content has been taken from this blog and you can find more info at His Mercy Is New.
Encouragement for Moms Giveaway (4 winners- 1 Grand Prize Winner wins book bundle worth $120, 3 winners win a digital copy of Putting On the Spirit Ten-Minute Devotions For Busy Moms) US only Ends 12/8
I have enjoyed being a part of the Launch Team for the new book by Alexandra and Joyce Swann called The Force. The Force is the second book in The Kingdom Chronicles Series.
Like The Fourth Kingdom, The Force did not disappoint me. There is again suspense, good vs. evil, end times forces at play, and more cloning. However, in this story it is Josef Helmick creating the clones for profit and self-gratification. There is more murder, lots of intrigue and more twists and turns. The Sinclair twins, Jarrod and Joshua, play a smaller role than I assumed they would play. After they are called in to consult with the FBI on some murders they suspect Josef Helmick. Instead of the story focusing on them, however, they hire retired detective Fred Kowalski and send him off to find out what is going on. He has to travel to Dubai to investigate these murders of famous women who have been discovered murdered again and again.
There is so much more going on than just the murders of these women. Not only is Josef trying to gain control of the world, there is an evil Force that is in danger of being resurrected in the process. The murdering of the women actually plays a small role in the story as we see many other characters being introduced. As Josef gains power we again see how ruthless and evil he is, yet he is no match for the Force that is about to be resurrected.
I enjoyed The Force almost as much as I enjoyed The Fourth Kingdom. While The Force wasn't as predictable, there were so many different characters introduced it was hard to keep them straight. It seemed we were jumping story lines a bit, though at the end I could see how everything was fitting together. As I mentioned, I really did think that the Sinclair twins were going to play a bigger role as they were adversaries to Josef in The Fourth Kingdom and I was seeing them as the characters behind the power of good while Josef was being influenced by the force of evil. I also didn't expect the story to take such a sharp turn away from the Nazi storyline of the first book.
I still highly recommend The Force, but I would warn that it is not for the younger audience as there is quite a bit of murder, some of it graphic, plus talk of torture and some mention of sexual encounters. I am under the understanding that there will be another book in this series from the way the story left off and I am definitely curious as to where this is going, because I am seeing some end time story lines being possible.
Earlier this month I had the opportunity to bring you the Book Lover's Group Giveaway featuring The Fourth Kingdom and The Force by mother/daughter team Alexandra and Joyce Swann. These are the first two books in The Kingdom Chronicles Series. I stated that if you were a fan of Suspenseful Christian fiction you should give these books a try. When I was contemplating joining the launch team for The Force we were told that if we were fans of The Left Behind series or Frank Peretti we would enjoy these books. When I think of The Left Behind series I am focusing on the end times and with the Frank Peretti books I think about how battles in the spiritual realm impact our mortal lives. But more than that, I am thinking of good verses evil.
Not only were we given the opportunity to read The Force, we received paperback copies of both books. The Fourth Kingdom and The Force did not disappoint me. There is suspense, good vs. evil, a hint of some end times forces at play, cloning and so much more. Cloning is not something I ever really thought I would be interested in, but it was very intriguing to read, not ultra-scientific, but with enough information to pique my interest and keep me informed.
In The Fourth Kingdom we are introduced to Dr. Alexander Sinclair and Dr. Karl Helmick, both involved in cloning, but living in completely different worlds with completely different belief systems, yet they become close acquaintances who need each other. Dr. Sinclair is a Christian who desires to help others, while Dr. Helmick is focused on himself, monetary gain and a desire to live forever. The Sinclairs have twin sons who are born at the beginning of the book in the year 2000 and Dr. Helmick is guardian to Josef, who is "born" around the same time.
As the book progresses the authors alternate between The Sinclairs and Dr. Helmick over at Doppelganger Genetic Cloning Facility. Their children are introduced to each other, but there is no friendship involved. From the start Jarrod and Joshua Sinclair can sense the evil surrounding Josef, who is also seen as a spoiled brat who gets everything he wants. Josef on the other hand sees the twins as weak because they care about others. As Josef gets older he is taken under the wing of Dr. Helmick unlike any of the other boys at Doppelganger who have been "adopted" by Helmick.
While the basic premise of the book is obvious, there is cloning going on at Doppleganger though not just of cattle, there is so much more that we find out as the story unfolds. Why is Helmick cloning and who is he cloning and how is Josef really related to Helmick? Nazi Germany plays a big roll in the story and Dr. Sinclairs wife is very educated in the history of the Nazi's and World War II.
It is easy to tell where the book is going from the beginning, though there is still enough suspense plus twists and turns to keep it interesting. There were times I wanted to yell at the characters to have them open their eyes as to what was going on in Helmick's cloning facility. As much as I thought I knew what was going to happen in the book, the ending still caught me by surprise. The Fourth Kingdom was quite a wonderful read, one I had a hard time putting down. The only concern I had was how fast it jumped forward in time. In just 360 pages we travel 21 years.
I would highly recommend The Fourth Kingdom to anyone who enjoys Christian Suspense.
Disclosure: I received a copy of The Fourth Kingdom as a member of the Launch Team for The Force. I did not receive any other compensation. Receiving these books did not influence my review and I was not required to write a positive review.
The holidays are upon us, that festive time of year that some love and some actually seem to hate. Christmas is such a joyful time of year to celebrate our Saviors birth, God's gift to mankind. These days, however, there is such a war on this beloved holiday. It wasn't until just recently that I realized that there are two extremes. There are those (such as atheists) who want nothing to do with the holiday because it is focused on Jesus, but there are Christians who think it is wrong to celebrate because they feel it is from a pagan background. I have even seen someone post that if you celebrate Christmas you are breaking 8 of the 10 commandments (or more). To tell you the truth, I knew there was a war on Christmas, I just didn't realize Christmas was getting battered from both sides so much.
I had the opportunity of being on the launch team for the book The War on Christmas edited by Bodie Hodge and I have been reminded of the importance of keeping our focus on Jesus at Christmas time.
This paperback book is full of wonderful, informative articles presented with eye-catching images including maps, charts and photographs. In this book you will "Find the truth about Christmas and the Christian's response to a culture that seems to be declaring war on traditions and the Bible!"
The book is divided into 5 sections in addition to the introduction and conclusion, they are:
What About Christmas? (Which covers such topics as what Christmas is about, whether it is a pagan holiday, when Jesus was born and a helpful timeline of events surrounding Christ's birth.)
Confusion and Misconceptions (Which covers such topics as the X is Xmas, the three kings and whether the angels would have sang.)
It's All Baby Jesus (Which covers such topics as the creator in a manger, why we need the babe and the significance of his name.)
How Christmas Came to Be (Which covers such topics as the what that Christmas star was, the importance of the virgin birth and whether Mary remained a virgin, plus some very informative information on what the real nativity would have looked like.)
The War on Christmas (Which covers why creation is important to Christmas, the problems with bringing Santa into our celebrations, the significance of why Jesus came to our world starting at Genesis and understanding the reason why Christ is being taken out of Christmas.)
There are those who want to be able to celebrate the holiday without reference to Christ. They are fine with Santa Claus and trees and for a reason to party and exchange gifts, but they don't want to hear about Christ, the reason for the season. They don't want to be reminded of him through Christmas carols or Nativity scenes or even the name Christmas. I love that the book brings up the fact that even by using the term "Happy Holidays" we can turn this back to God as the word "holiday" means "holy day."
This book does a wonderful job explaining the importance of keeping Jesus in Christmas. Additionally, the case is made for sharing the truth of the Bible from the very first verse. Jesus coming was foretold in the very first book of the Bible and the entire Old Testament points to Him. Not only has the culture turned hostile to Jesus, but the church itself has fallen away from taking the truth of the Bible literally.
When I first started reading the book I didn't realize it was comprised of articles written by different authors. I couldn't understand why there seemed to be an overlapping of information, but when I realized it was a compilation I was able to enjoy it more.
The book confronts the question as to whether Christmas is a pagan holiday. I definitely learned some things I didn't know in chapter 4 "The Origin of Christmas: Isn't Christmas a Pagan Holiday?" The main point they bring up is that "There is nothing inherently wrong with celebrating a Christian holiday at the same time the pagans celebrate." We need to make sure our focus is on Jesus and the reason why he came. It is so important not to leave Jesus as a babe in a manger, but to remember that he came as Savior of the world.
Some of the information contained in this book was already known to me, such as the fact that Jesus was probably not born on December 25th. The book gives some different scenarios of when he may have been conceived and born, but admits that we can't know for sure. Some feel if we don't know the date we shouldn't be celebrating on a date that was chosen to pacify pagans in the early church. I have to admit, this is something I still struggle with, and I am not sure this book has sufficiently answered this question for me. It is definitely something I want to continue researching.
Whether or not it is right to celebrate Christmas on December 25th is still up in the air for me, however, I did love that the book delved into explaining how traditions we think we know as Biblical may not even be accurate. Here are a few little tidbits that you may think you know the answer to; however, when you actually delve into the Bible and know the culture from Biblical times you will discover that the traditions have been based on inaccuracies.
True or False: The Bible says that Mary and Joseph spent the night in a stable.
True or False: The innkeeper told Mary and Joseph there was no room for them in the inn.
True or False: The Bible says there were three wise men.
and one last one
True or False: Mary was in labor when she got into town, so Joseph had to take whatever lodging he could get.
The answer to all of these questions, as explained in the book, is "false."
These are not the only "facts" that are addressed, but it opened my mind to the fact that we focus too much on tradition around Christmas and not enough on Biblical truth. There are so many of the trapping of modern Christmas that are based on pagan traditions. In our family we try to stay away from these blatantly pagan symbols, such as the Christmas tree and Santa. I was a little disturbed that the book stated, "Why not take the distorted pagan elements of Christmas and change them to biblical elements to honor Christ?" I would rather make sure we are honoring Christ without adding pagan elements. Maybe others will feel comfortable adding in such things, but I feel if we are truly going to celebrate Christ in Christmas we should focus on Him and the fact that he came as God's gift to the world.
As you read this book this holiday season you can discover important truths about Christmas that will help to enhance your celebration of our Savior's birth if you so choose to celebrate.
You can purchase the book from the New Leaf Publishing Group for $17.99 by going here.
Disclosure: I received a copy of The War on Christmas in exchange for my honest review. I received no further compensation. This did not in any way influence my review. I only recommend products I use personally and feel will be a good products for my readers.
Thank you to every one who has stopped by, whether this is your first visit or you have been a faithful ongoing participant!
We would love for you to stop by each of the co-hosts and follow us, then feel free to add your links to any or all of the following linkies.
We also randomly choose a Featured host each week from the Lovin' The Readers linky. This week we are featuring Heidi from Heidi's Wanderings.
Here's what she has to say:
"My name is Heidi, and I've been blogging for a little over a year. I blog about everyday life, and the things that are part of everyday life. You might see a post about music, books, movies, a letter to a famous dead person, or a review of a great product or a recipe, or just simply things I am thankful for in my life. Variety is the spice of life, and that's what you will find on my blog. " You can also find Heidi over at Here's The Best.
Don't forget to link up to the Lovin' the Readers Hop if you would like a chance to be a Featured host next week. Please comment with a way to contact you, especially if there is not an obvious way mentioned on your blog. We would love to include a little write up about you and your blog in the next week's Lovin' The Weekend Blog Hop post, including a link to your blog. And you will get to include the linky codes on your blog. Sound fun? We're looking forward to getting to know our readers better.
Here's how this blog hop works. We would appreciate it if you would follow Tots and Me, An Ordinary Housewife and Snack Cups and Smiles. And please don't forget to visit our Featured Host. If you no longer have GFC please follow in some other way. After that there are three different linkies you can link to. Whichever one you choose to link to, please grab that button and share it on your blog (the codes are on Tot's and Me's sidebar). We'd love it if you could tweet or in some other way share about this blog hop, the more people who know about it, the more potential visitors and new followers of your blog. We'd love to meet some new friends this weekend.
Some people are more interested in just increasing their numbers, while others really want people who appreciate their blog and want to keep up with their posts. So, there are two separate blog hop linkies.
The third linky is for you to link up your giveaways.
If you are interested in increasing the number of followers to your blog via GFC, Linky Followers, email, Twitter, Facebook or Google+ link up here. We will follow you back if you follow us (just note which one you are linking to):
If you are interested in gaining followers to your blog who will read and comment and truly find an interest in your blog, link up here:
If you have family friendly giveaways to link up, here's your spot. Please make sure to include an end date for your giveaway.
We are so glad you stopped by. Please leave a comment if you link up and we will be sure to stop by and follow back.
I am a stay at home mom. I have always wanted to teach, started college with a major in Early Education, but ended up staying home with my son (which turned into staying home with my 2 sons and daughter). Years later ended up with an Associates Degree in Human Services. Which helped me get a director's position at the Montessori I was working at. I am now staying home with my 3 young children. While my older children are off in public school we are homeschooling. I am doing what I always dreamed of doing, teaching!! I feel this is where God has led and willed me to be. I will be here to "Train up [my children] in the way [they] should go: [so] when [they are] old, [they] will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6