Springs of Hope – A global Forum creating a new narrative for the Voice of Victims of Terrorism being held in Jerusalem March 1-4. 

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A grandfather stood before the ISIS group and was given the option of denying his faith or watching his grandchildren be slaughtered in front of him.  He denied his faith and called his minister, Andrew White, to confess. “Will God forgive me?” This was his question. When the terrorist approached the children for them to deny their faith in Jesus or else die, they joined hands and said, “We cannot deny our Jesus. We love him.” Then, they each were killed.

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This is the third day of the conference on Terror I am attending in Jerusalem. The sad reality is that we are sitting within the beginning of a movement that is coming to fruition. A group of people are intentionally killing men, women and children who do not agree with them. It is happening here before our very eyes.; just as the Holocaust happened. These are real people in real time. And, it demands a response from me, from us.

I was born during the Holocaust in 1942.  Here, I am meeting with the children of people who were born during this horrendous time or immediately thereafter. Their parents survived and lived with the trauma of PTSD.  And the impact afflicted on them as the children of Holocaust victims is and was horrendous. I met Peter (not his name) whose parents met in Auschwitz and married afterward. They all suffered and continue to suffer.  I do not know what I am going to do, but I am going to do something. 

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What I am witnessing is that there are refugee camps with children who have had no food for a month. We can begin by getting them food. My new friend, Andrew White, who is the Anglican Vicar of Bagdad told the story of a little boy who heard him speak to his school. After school the boy brought him a dollar to help the children. He shared this with many people who want the children to be fed and asked them to began sending their dollars. If you are interested in joining me, in giving this Anglican Vicar a dollar for the children, the address of where to send your donation is: 

Address: Go to website www.frrme.org: To make a donation

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You may also go online to discover information regarding Andrew, his remarkable life and the books he has written. He can no longer be in Bagdad or they will kill him. Although he remains in contact with those who are caring for one another and those in the refuge camps. He is truly on the front-line of this tragedy. His bodyguard was standing beside him as I talked with him. Andrew is the real deal, a man that can be trusted, and any and all monies donated will make it to the children. This I can assure you.

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 We cannot sit by and do nothing. Please join me in praying for these people and  what you can do.  I can give a dollar and so can you. This, at least, will be an immediate start.

If you will, join me in sending dollars for food and care for those driven out of their homes and land and will likely never return.  I will not stand by and do nothing. It is something we can do now.  This is just the beginning.  

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Unexplainable Gift

April 18, 2012

I have learned to hide
In the shadow of your wings
You’ve lifted my heart to joy
I cannot explain
I’m an ordinary man
A broken human being

When I look back my heart’s sick
I see my failure and pride
Lust for affirmations
Longing for power
I repent again today
I am new every morning

Each morning I rise
Praise God for his massive love
One who lives by his Spirit
In those who repent
Those who accept forgiveness
Who accept undying love

A gift I cannot explain
It defies logic of men
But I know one thing
I was shattered in pieces
And now I am whole again

I will seek the truth
That is a choice I can make
It is the one thing
That I have done and will do
It has brought light to my eyes

I’ve lived close to death
I have watched my love ones die
I’m angry at death
I hate it with all my heart
Only truth has brought me hope

Men’s religion has failed
A cloud, a veil hides the truth
You must look deeper
Search for yourself the answers
You will find if you will seek

Reflections written after meditating on Psalm 31; Proverbs 7; Jesus Calling; My Utmost for His Highest – 4-7-12.

When I rise in the morning, I can now visualize the places I have read about for over 50 years.  I am in Jerusalem.  I have been to the Sea of Galilee.  I have stood on Mount Carmel.  I have been to the synagogue Jesus taught in Capernaum.  I have stood on the mountain where he explained who the really happy people are (Sermon on the Mount).  I have looked up at the stars over the Sea of Galilee where he knelt before dawn broke.  I have seen these places and marveled.  What is happening inside me is a feeling of having brought the one in me (Jesus) to a most familiar place.  It has made my heart glad. 

As I have been seeking the truth about life, I have found nothing to compare with the teachings and life of the man from Nazareth.  His friendship defies human logic.  His life and resurrection have been made real as I have sought what is true.   I wanted to know who speaks to the real human struggle around the universal issues of life (death, despair, guilt and fear).  I have been led to the One relationship that brings me hope, peace, forgiveness and joy.  A daily practice continues to surprise me with new things. 
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It is Resurrection morning, we just walked back from one of the gardens outside of Jerusalem where some say Jesus rose from the dead.  There was a sunrise service with about 1500 people from every nation.  We arrived early, so we had time to read and remember.
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Dawn Breaks with Life
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The dawn is breaking
In the garden where he rose
Many gather to worship
Taking their pictures
Did you know it would be like this
Each one coming to worship
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After reading all the accounts of the Resurrection
I wrote:
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At the beginning
There were only a few there
The women were first
But the men did not believe them
The women say – ran to tell
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They ran to the tomb
To see for themselves what was true
There the empty tomb
Angels spoke resurrection
He’s not here, He’s risen
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We worship God who’s alive
Each person invited to come
One with the Father of all
His son died and rose
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Let me join you, Lord
In giving life to this planet
Help me point them to your love
God becoming man
In the person of Jesus
A joy much larger than death
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It was impossible for death to hold Jesus.  It is impossible to death to hold us.  Jesus lives in you.  We are invited to a life of joy because of the living Christ in us.  Do not be afraid or anxious.  God is with you.  Peter said in Acts 2:24 “… it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.”  That same promise belongs so us. 
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You are everything to God.  Be still and invite Him to come and hold you.  He always comes and sends his angels to join Him.  Psalm 91
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Look Ahead with Wonder

April 6, 2012

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Help me trust with all my heart
O God, without wavering
For your love is my great truth
Test me, Lord, try me
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Examine my heart, my mind
Your love ever before me
I will walk continually
Eyes fixed on your love
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Place my feet on level ground
Let no one come between us
I want you to capture my heart
My soul and my mind
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One thing I ask of the Lord
I seek it with all my heart
That I may dwell in your light
Your Living Presence
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My father and my mother
They did the best that they could
They were broken as children
Not equipped to love
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Our merciful God
Came to give relationships
That are rich and deep
A love that’s unshakable
A life that’s everlasting
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My heart leaps for joy
As I remember your words
Meditate on your promise
I look back and see
I look ahead with wonder
Expect to see your glory
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I’ll give thanks in song
Giving praise for what is true
Our God who lives in the NOW
A love that pursues
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Our God gives us strength
A massive love beyond words
God became a man
Destroyed the power of death
Gave victory to us all
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April 6, 2012.  Written in response to Psalm 26-30 and Proverbs 6.  We celebrated the Passover Seder in the home of Norma and Martin Sarvis, as we overlook Jerusalem.