Archive for the ‘Life Story’ Category

Morning Prayer

by Colin Dexter

by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a key leader in the Confessing Church in Germany during the 1930s-40s. He very quickly recognised the evils of the Nazi regime and refused to compromise with its ideology. In April 1943 he was arrested and imprisoned, and he was finally executed in April 1945, weeks before the end of the Second World War. His writings are highly valued and respected, not least the collection of his Letters and Papers from Prison which give a very personal insight into the faith and character of this remarkable man of God. The prayer below was written as part of a collection of ‘Prayers for Fellow-Prisoners’ at Christmas 1943.

O God, early in the morning I cry to you.
Help me to pray
And to concentrate my thoughts on you;
I cannot do this alone.

In me there is darkness,
But with you there is light;
I am lonely, but you do not leave me;
I am feeble in heart, but with you there is help;
I am restless, but with you there is peace.
In me there is bitterness, but with you there is patience;
I do not understand your ways,
But you know the way for me.

O heavenly Father,
I praise and thank you
For rest in the night;
I praise and thank you for this new day;
I praise and thank you for all your goodness
and faithfulness throughout my life.

You have granted me many blessings;
Now let me also accept what is hard
from your hand.
You will lay on me no more
than I can bear.
You make all things work together for good
For your children.

Lord Jesus Christ,
You were poor
and in distress, a captive and forsaken as I am.
You know all man’s troubles;
You abide with me
when all men fail me;
You remember and seek me;
It is your will that I should know you
and turn to you.
Lord, I hear your call and follow;
Help me.

O Holy Spirit,
Give me the faith that will protect me
from despair, from passions, and from vice;
Give me such love for God and men
as will blot out all hatred and bitterness;
Give me the hope that will deliver me
from fear and faint-heartedness.

O holy and merciful God,
my Creator and Redeemer,
my Judge and Saviour,
You know me and all that I do.
You hate and punish evil without respect of persons
in this world and the next;
You forgive the sins of those
who sincerely pray for forgiveness;
You love goodness, and reward it on this earth
with a clear conscience,
and, in the world to come,
with a crown of righteousness.

I remember in your presence all my loved ones,
my fellow prisoners, and all who in this house
perform their hard service;
Lord, have mercy.
Restore me to liberty,
and enable me so to live now
that I may answer before you and before men.
Lord, whatever this day may bring,
Your name be praised.

Amen.

Source: Bethge, E. (eds.) (1953) Dietrich Bonhoeffer Letters and Papers from Prison: An Abridged Edition. London: SCM Press Ltd

TESTIMONY FROM JAPAN

by Colin Dexter

Bible translator murdered

by Colin Dexter

One of the first Bible translators for the Aghem people in Cameroon has been murdered during an attack on his village. He is the second member of the team killed in recent months.

Benjamin Tem was one of the original cohort of trained translation workers on the Aghem Bible translation project. He helped his people to read and discover the life-changing message about Jesus; through his efforts many started studying the Bible in small groups, hearing God speak to them in their own language for the first time.

He died on the night of 20 October, during an attack in the village of Wum.

Wycliffe.org.uk

The Crime of believing Jesus?

by Colin Dexter

“May the persecution and imprisonment that I endure glorify the name of Jesus Christ,” were the words spoken by Roksari Kanbari, an Iranian convert to Christianity, moments before she reported to the authorities to begin a one-year prison sentence on 14 October.

The 61-year-old wife and mother spoke in a short video in which she said she had been arrested by agents of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence for “the crime of believing in Jesus Christ”.  

Barnabus Fund

My heart was changed

by Colin Dexter

Du was one of China’s millions of migrant workers,leaving his rural town for the city-chasing work and a decent income. But urban life was grim ; Du ended up working in a factory, despondent and lost.

One day he found a pocket sized Bible on a bed in his dormitory. Someone had left it behind. Du picked it up and started to read. “I realised I had been blinded by atheism to see only the physical world and material things ” he said.

My heart was changed and I committed myself to the Lord.

He added ” I may not have great wealth in this life , but I know I have no lack in the one true God.

wordinaction Bible Society winter 2019

Atheist to Christ

by Colin Dexter

Miracle in the minefield

by Colin Dexter

In some Central Asian countries the bible is banned. One group of brave Christians was trying to deliver Bibles across the border into another country. The border was highly guarded, so they had to find a place with no watchtowers. They eventually found a gap with a path to cross.

For two months they were able to take Bibles into that country. Then one day they were caught by the border patrol.

“How did you enter the country?” the soldiers asked. “Where are you from? How did you get here?” They pointed to the path.

“No , you cannot have come that way,” they said “That’s a minefield”

For two months they had been walking through a minefield! The guards let them go. “If Allah has protected you we cannot imprison you” they said.

Open Doors March 2019

A testimony for our lives

by Colin Dexter

Polycarp, bishop of the church of in Smyrna.

His martyrdom stands as one of the most well documented events of antiquity.

Polycarp’s martyrdom is [a] historical reality. He died for one reason—his unyielding faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ.

Yet Polycarp’s well-recorded death is only one of many lives that were given to reveal and proclaim the truth of Jesus Christ.

In light of the cruel and torturous deaths of the first and second generation Christians, all theories that Christianity is a fabricated myth, created for the personal gain of its followers, must be rejected.

Even today, many will die for a belief, but none will die for a lie. God allows the deaths of His saints not because He is a helpless or indifferent Lord, but because their deaths are powerful declarations of the free gift of life that is offered to us through the Person of Jesus Christ.

If you have any doubts about the truth of Christ as revealed in the Bible, reexamine the biblical text in light of the wilful deaths of nearly all of its writers, men who were eyewitnesses to Christ’s life and ministry.

Polycarp, like many other Christians to this day, was only able to die for Christ because he lived for Christ. His life was radically transformed by the work of the Holy Spirit—the desires, worries, pains and fears of this world no longer bound him. Polycarp’s life and death provides an inspirational example for all Christians.

He gave his earthly life for Christ, and in the midst of his sacrifice, he gained eternal life.

(Theopedia.com)

Billy Graham’s final public message

by Colin Dexter

When Dr. Graham turned ninety-nine last November, his son Franklin released a video that turned out to be his father’s final public message to the world. Here is my transcription of Dr. Graham’s message:

“I’ve been praying that we might have a spiritual awakening. But I think that becomes possible only as individuals surrender their lives afresh and anew to Christ and live the Christian life wherever you are.

“First, we do everything we can to follow in the steps of Jesus. We’re to live a life in which we love one another, we help one another, we live according to what Jesus lived.

“The Holy Spirit is the one that helps us live that new lifestyle, which is one of love, gentleness, and patience, and all of these things that are the fruit of the Spirit.

“Secondly, you read his word every day-the Bible. I know it’s very difficult, but you need to start somewhere and I suggest you start with the Gospel of Luke in the New Testament, and in the Old Testament start with the very first verse-‘In the beginning, God.’ And study those passages.

“And the third thing: go to your knees and pray, until you and God have become intimate friends. I cannot describe to you the joy and the peace that he gives to you as a result of that daily routine that you have in prayer.”

The day I gave my life to Jesus Christ

by Colin Dexter

3 November 2009 will always be a special day. Its the day i gave my life to Jesus Christ. Once an atheist a liar a cheat and an addict i can look back and be thankful that life is no longer like it was 4 years ago and truthfully say life with Christ is an amazing adventure. It is not always easy i go through the same struggles as any man but God never lets me down when i am weak he is my strength he has blessed me with so much and i know there is so much more to come.  MH