Thought For Today

Sir Winston Churchill, who led the United Kingdom during the second World War once gave this excellent advice for anyone facing problems, big or small:-

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity but an optimist does much better – he sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

I couldn’t have put it better myself!

With many joy-filled blessingss

Geoffrey

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Pastor Stands Trial – Jailer Saved

Pastor Victor Bet-Tamraz is expected to stand trial soon, five months after his arrest by security forces for ‘participating in an illegal gathering’ as he celebrated Christmas.

He has been released on bail, but has had difficulty in finding a lawyer willing to act as his defence counsel; some lawyers have experienced a backlash after representing Christians in court.

It is believed that 92 Christians were imprisoned in Iran at the start of the year – but God is using these Christian prisoners to bring the gospel to their captors. When Noushin*, a house church leader, was arrested, she had the boldness to speak about Jesus to her interrogator – and he and his wife gave their lives to the Lord.

*name changed for security reasons
PLEASE PRAY: –
• For Pastor Victor Bet-Tamraz to find a good lawyer and receive a fair trial
• For God’s presence to give peace and courage to the Christians who remain imprisoned, often in horrific conditions
• For God to use these prisoners to lead many of their captors to Christ, just as Paul and Silas led their jailer and his whole household to Jesus as recorded in the book of Acts.

18 JAILED IN TWO MONTHS

Another 18 Iranian converts to Christianity have been jailed during the past two months for ‘evangelism and establishing house churches’, reports Mohabat News. Between them, their sentences amount to 23 years and nine months in jail. Some of the converts intend to appeal to a higher court.

Lisa Pearce
CEO Open Doors UK and Ireland

For more information about Open Doors please visit:-

http://www.opendoorsuk.org

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

Thought For Today

Are you feeling a little downhearted about the way your life is going, or uncertain about how everything will work out for you in the future?

Even if there can be no instant solution to your problems remember what Joshua 1: 9 says:-

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

This is a wonderful thought which will surely bring you great comfort and hope.

May God bless you mightily in everything you say and in everything you do

Have a beautiful weekend

Geoffrey

Travelling Light

My thought for today comes in the form of a poem by Margaret Ingall:-

It’s good to travel light through life,
Too much can weigh you down,
So cast away the tiresome things
That make you fret and frown.

Abandon grumps and silly gripes,
Forget the fears that blight,
If you just hold the things you love,
Your heart’s forever light.

Are you travelling light or are the stresses and strains of your life weighing you heavily down?

Love most certainly makes the world go round – and round and round and round!

There is a poem which begins, “If you think you are beaten you are”……..your mind is a very powerful tool and how you think and respond to all circumstances, even adverse ones, determines how much you will enjoy your life.

So, think on, are you travelling light? And, if not, what can you do to make it so?

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

Iran Sentences 18 Christians to Prison for their Faith

It is being reported by the Christian Post that Iran’s revolutionary court is believed to have sentenced 18 Christian converts to prison for their faith in a new crackdown on Christianity in the Islamic Republic, a report said.

Fox News noted that the charges include evangelism, propaganda against the regime, and creating house churches to practice their faith. It added that the total sentences come close to 24 years, but it’s not known how many years each individual received, due to the lack of transparency in Iran’s judicial system.

“The cruelty of Iran’s dictatorial leaders knows no limits,” said Saba Farzan, the German-Iranian executive director of Foreign Policy Circle, a strategy think tank in Berlin.

A number of the imprisoned Christians were arrested in 2013, and sentenced in accordance with Article 500 of the Islamic Penal Code, which penalizes threats to Iran’s clerical leaders.

Morad Mokhtari, an Iranian convert to Christianity who fled the Islamic Republic in 2006, added: “Iranian religious authorities prefer that they [converts to Christianity] leave Iran because the authorities can’t control them,” Mokhatari said. “Just their name is evangelism. Imagine someone says he’s a Christian and has a Muslim name.”

Christians in Iran make up a tiny minority of the 78 million-strong population, and often face persecution from the government. Watchdog group Open Doors lists the country at No. 7 on its World Watch List of nations where Christians are most heavily targeted for their faith.

Open Doors points out on its website that almost all Christian activity in Iran is considered illegal, “especially when it occurs in Persian languages — from evangelism to Bible training, to publishing Scripture and Christian books or preaching in Farsi.”

It added: “In 2014, at least 75 Christians were arrested. More Christians were sentenced to prison and pressure on those detained increased, including physical and mental abuse.”

Iran’s human rights record has faced great scrutiny, especially in light of a historic nuclear deal it reached earlier this year with the U.S. and other Western nations, which promises to lift international sanctions on Iran in exchange for restricting its nuclear program.

The American Center for Law and Justice and other groups have said that the deal should not be finalized until Iran shows clear signs it is willing to improve its treatment of Christians — and release the American Christians it currently holds in its prisons, including pastor Saeed Abedini.

U.S. Senator Mark Kirt, R-Ill., has added in a statement: “The Iranian regime’s systematic persecution of Christians, as well as Baha’is, Sunni Muslims, dissenting Shiite Muslims, and other religious minorities, is getting worse not better,” Kirt said.

“This is a direct consequence of President Obama’s decision to de-link demands for improvements in religious freedom and human rights in Iran from the nuclear negotiations.”

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

When the Lightning Flashes!

Eight year old Susan loves to go hop-skipping down the road outside her home.

But one winter’s afternoon a violent thunderstorm seemed to come out of nowhere, and her mother, realising her daughter had disappeared from view, jumped into the family car and drove slowly down the road in search of her.

The storm had by then reached new heights, with thunderclaps and flashes of lightning, when she suddenly caught sight of her daughter stopping every so often, turning her face to the heavens, and giving a beaming smile.

“Susan, whatever are you doing? asked her mother as she quickly approached her.

“Oh, don’t worry, Mummy,” Susan replied. “God wants me to give Him my biggest smile – look, thats His new flash camera and He’s taking my photograph every two minutes!”

Isn’t that a lovely thought?  We need never be afraid of thunderstorms and lightning again. Just know that whenever the lightning flashes that is our Father God taking our photograph.

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

Choices – An Inspirational Video

For my blog today – something different.

I came across this truly inspirational video about CHOICES which I would like to share with you all:-

I hope and pray that you make all the right choices today

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey