Monthly Archives

October 2011

IDOP 2011

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After a four year absence from the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church Radio broadcast, Mission Network News is again featuring a special this year. Why has MNN been away for so long?  It’s not because we don’t care about the persecuted church.

Mission Network News never wants to put a broadcast on the air for the sake of putting a broadcast on the air. Our desire is similar to our radio broadcast, we want to present a broadcast that will change hearts and lives. Our desire for IDOP is to provide music that coincides with the persecuted church. We want to have a speaker that will challenge Christians to step out of their comfort zones and do something for God, no matter what the cost. We also want to provide a time of prayer for hot spots in the world where persecution is taking place every day.

This year, Mission Network News will again be broadcast the IDOP Radio broadcast features music, message and prayer from persecuted church believers. We’ll have music from some of your favorite Christian artists, Carl Moeller will present a message about the privilege of persecution, plus Christians from around world praying for their nation where it’s a challenge to simply be a Christian.

If you’d like to hear this radio broadcast, encourage your local radio station to air it. It’s free and will be available on our website for a free download, or stations who have the Amb-os system will have it available on their system on November 7.

Remember, the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church is Sunday, November 13. Also, if you’d like to remember to pray for the persecuted church every day, get a “One With Them” barbed wire looking rubber wristband. It’ll not only remind you to pray for persecuted Christians worldwide, but will be a great conversation starter.

Christmas dreaming

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I have a (perhaps unhealthy) obsession with Christmas. As I write this, I am listening to Louis Armstrong sing “Cool Yule.” I have not one but THREE Christmas stations on my Pandora radio station list, and I have been listening to Christmas music since about July–regularly since September. I taped a big snowflake to my computer screen yesterday, and contemplated taking out my red and green paper chain for decoration. I decided against it, as my desk is pretty central to the office. Don’t want to raise too many eyebrows.

My passion for the holiday season is so severe that I’ve taken a considerable amount of time to think about why I am this way over the past few years. I’ve discovered there’s just something about Christmastime. There is something pure, warm and delightful that surrounds the Christmas season that I constantly long for and can never quite describe.

The following is an email I wrote about a year ago this time to a friend who shares my deep love for the season:

I feel as though I write about this every single time I write you a letter or send you an email, but that is only because I know that you are the one person who truly understands my bizarre and pressing obsession with the wonder that is Christmas. I know I might eat my words about the weather, but right now I want nothing more than to watch the snow fall outside my window as I work and gaze into the cold night sky. I want to sit by a fire and forget that there is so much to do and so much begging for my attention. You know, I think my constant longing for Christmas has something to do with the peace and calm that it represents. There is no running around at Christmas. Ok, I know that’s not true; there are shopping and relative visiting and holiday parties to attend among other things. But on the best of Christmas nights, the house is warm, joy blankets every room, and sweet peace provides me with the invitation to just sit and soak it in. Every time I begin to get overwhelmed with life I run back to that beautiful place that is Christmas, remembering that there will again be a time that I can breathe and forget the numerous things that seem to tear life from my arms. I think what I’m really chasing after is (to borrow the old adage) the Christ that is found in Christmas.

The more I reflect on it, the more I realize the reason I burn to be near a fire with snow falling outside and family all around is indeed rooted in an innate desire for Christ, the Prince of Peace. Christmas feels like home. Christ feels like home. Christmas–to me–represents rest. Christ gives us rest. Christmas is about love. God is love. It’s all the “magic,” if you will, encompassing the birth of God into humanity. And I cannot get enough–no matter what month it is.

So indulge me. Take a minute to listen to your favorite carol, and reflect on Christ’s incarnation on the earth, when he left all that is good and pure and holy to dwell among all that is evil and tainted and sinful. Take a minute to rest in the immense promise God gave us by humbling himself on earth, not only coming here, but living to someday die for all of us. Reflect. Rest. Rejoice! You too might find we could all use a little more Christmas in our lives.