Dozens of Christians Murdered in Nigeria in November

About 70 Christians were murdered in Nigeria in November, according to Release International.

The organization says the attacks stem from Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram, a group the U.S. government has labeled a “Foreign Terrorist Organization.” The name of the group, Boko Haram, means “Western education is forbidden.”

This weekend, Boko Haram also launched a raid on a Nigerian air force base.

“It is a big deal, it shows the capability of Boko Haram is growing,” Murtala Touray, senior Africa analyst at IHS Country Risk in London, said today by phone. “For Boko Haram to plan this attack, it shows they are a force to be reckoned with, they can take on the Nigerian army.”

In light of the attacks, Release International is campaigning for more protection for Nigerian citizens. The group is also asking for donations for emergency medical treatment and trauma workshops. They are also asking for prayer for Christians in Nigera that “will stand firm, know God’s presence and his peace, and forgive those who are trying to kill them.”

The Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom estimates that Boko Haram has killed about 900 Christians in the past year.

“We are appealing, we are pleading with you people, please help us…We are appealing to you come to our aid,” a Nigerian woman, Florence, told Christian Today. “Pray for us. All we need is prayer.”

SOURCE

What Women Want in a Godly Man (2)

Women_Want_Godly_Man

 

I saw an ad this weekend that read:

“Men, let’s be real men.”

The ad proceeded to promote a new testosterone pill. If consumed, this pill promised to boost manliness—increased sex drive, muscles and masculinity.

The most frightening thing about this ad is that it speaks some truth—in the sense that our society has managed to reduce manhood to sex drive and muscles.

I don’t know about you, but that is so ridiculously far from my definition of masculinity. The truth is, women are looking for so much more in a man than strong muscles and libido. Far more than cars, athletic ability and all the other meaningless things our society uses to define manhood, there are some things that actually define the measure of a man.

So men, go ahead and ditch the weights, the hot rods and the testosterone pills, because if you’re really trying to catch a fine woman here’s what she’s looking for:

Women are looking for so much more in a man than strong muscles and libido.

Honesty

More than any other trait, women are looking for a man who is open and honest. The thing about honesty is that it’s a sign of security. What you see is what you get, and there is absolutely nothing to hide.

Men, it’s time to stop pretending and start being real—real with your strengths, your weaknesses, your struggles. Real with your hopes, your dreams and your fears. Real with who you actually are; not who you want to be. A man who has nothing to hide becomes the safe place in which a woman can hide her heart. Now that’s straight-up manly.

Purity

We live in a society that has fooled us into thinking that women have no control over their emotions and men have no control over their eyes. I’m a firm believer that this is a lie straight from the pit of hell. It sickens me to interact with women who expect their men to fall prey to lust, cheating and adultery, as if that’s just part of being a man.

There is no doubt that we live in a world full of sexual temptation and struggles, but it is also true that we serve a God who gives us victory over our entire being—our minds, hearts and bodies. True masculinity comes when a man has enough honor and respect for the woman in his life to say no to temptations. True masculinity comes from a man who knows his weaknesses, but sets himself up to succeed. True masculinity is found in a man who says no to the expectations of this world and lives for a higher calling.

Strength

There is nothing better than a man who exudes strength. Not the muscle-rippling kind of strength, but strength of mind, heart and spirit. A strength that comes from a man who knows what he believes and stands firm for what’s right. A strength in recognizing right from wrong and confessing when he has given into the latter. A strength that is confident enough to do right, choose right and be right.

In this day of compromise, women are looking for a man who is strong enough to stand his ground and hold on to his values, his beliefs and, most importantly, his God.

Compassion

You can always recognize a real man by taking a look at his heart. Does his heart move for the things that move God’s heart? Is he broken by the pain in his life? Is he moved by the sins he’s working to overcome? Is he affected when things are not as they should be in life, in situations, in relationships?

A real man is one who allows his heart to be moved and then allows his actions to follow his heart. A man who strives for healing, restoration and resolution. A man who strives to right the wrongs around him—and the wrongs within him. Women are looking for men of compassion, tenderness and love because therein we will always find the heart of Jesus.

Women are looking for men of compassion, tenderness and love because therein we will always find the heart of Jesus.

Humility

What raises a man up more than any other earthly thing is his ability to humble himself. A real man doesn’t need to talk up who he is, because his life does that for him. He can put away the talk, because a man of humility is focused so much more on his walk. He is quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry because he has put away his “rights” for the right to be selfless, loving and full of grace.

The greatest example of humility is found in the manliest man: Jesus. A man who laid down his rights and made Himself nothing in order to be an example of undying love and affection to the bride who won His heart. Real men seek to do the same.

This is exactly the kind of man who I allowed to win my heart. While I can safely say that he’s nowhere near perfect, he is a man who strives to uphold honesty, purity, strength, compassion and humility in his life and in our marriage.

Women, it’s time to expect more from men, and then, to wait patiently until you see these qualities at work in his life. Don’t you dare settle for less.

Men, it’s time to say no to the lies that are being poured into your brains. You are worth far more than that. Your masculinity is defined by so much more than you think—and that is what is truly attractive in our eyes.

May God continue to work in the lives of our men, that by His grace they would strive to carry the traits that reflect nothing less than the heart of Jesus.

Now that, my friends, is what I call a manly man.

SOURCE

What Men Want in a Godly Woman (1)

Men_Want_Godly_Woman

 

“Single 27-year-old male, searching for a life-partner. Her best qualities must be external appearance and sexual appeal. Superficiality is welcomed. Preferably someone who is lacking in goals, neglective of dreams and aimless in direction to allow for me to become center stage. Would prefer to keep conversation entirely shallow—limited to pop culture and materialism.”

I can pretty much guarantee an ad like this wouldn’t draw much attention from females. In fact, if this were an actual ad, it would make most women cringe.

But the ironic thing is that though this ad seems so irreverent and disrespectful, it is often these very lies we are fed through movies, music and pop-culture as the way to a man’s heart. And many times as women, we believe those lies and try to measure up to a standard we were never meant to follow.

Just as women are not satisfied in defining a real man by his muscle mass and sex drive, real men are shifting their perception of what they are looking for in a woman. As women, we’re often told that our value and the quality of our relationships are directly tied to our sex appeal. But sex appeal has little value in the equation of a healthy and meaningful relationship.

Here are some qualities Godly men have told me they’re looking for in their brides-to-be:

Realness

It’s sometimes hard to believe being “real” is attractive to a man. It’s easy for women to look at the billboards and magazines that fill our minds with airbrushed beauty and enhanced bodies and think that being “real” makes you less than the others.

But I’ve found that real men are attracted to a woman who reveals her natural self.

This “realness” manifests itself partially in physical ways. Obviously, looking good is not a bad thing, but there is something about the beauty of a real woman that far exceeds the plastic Barbie version of ourselves so many women strive for and believe in.

Of course, men are not simply looking for a woman who is real with her appearance, but real with who she is. When it comes to attracting a real man, there is no need to pretend. They’re not looking for a woman who pretends to be into sports, cars, sex or anything else she thinks her man wants. They are looking for a woman to be fully herself—personality, quirks, deficits and all. Ladies, these are the things that make you unique and set you apart from every other woman.

Confidence

There is something about a confident woman that exudes beauty and attraction to a man.

There is something about a confident woman that exudes beauty and attraction to a man. A woman who is confident knows who she is and what she believes, and holds onto that in her interactions with others. She believes in herself, and knows she is valuable standing alone. She’s not defined by her relationship status, her physical appearance or her sex appeal.

She doesn’t buy into the lies that her value is dependent on what she does, but rather, who she is. Because a woman of confidence is aware that her value is rooted in nothing else but who she is in Christ, there is no need to flirt around or flaunt her stuff.

Flirting and flaunting will definitely attract a certain type of man to your side, but you’ll have to keep flirting and keep flaunting your entire life to keep his interest. A real man will be attracted to you because of who you are, not what you have to offer him. And just continuing to be yourself will be all you need to do to keep him there. That’s what healthy relationships are meant to be.

Beauty

Most men will tell you it’s important for them to be attracted to their significant other. But sometimes we as women misinterpret this to think that the way to a man’s heart is by achieving supermodel status. We beat ourselves up emotionally, physically and mentally trying to fit into a mold we were never meant to fill.

To a real man, beauty and attraction are defined by so much more than physical appearance. I’ve met tons of men who are completely turned off by women who are gorgeous on the outside, but hollow on the inside.

Real men are looking for a woman who displays true beauty, a beauty that cannot be enhanced, made up or airbrushed. They are looking for a woman who resonates with the beauty of kindness, compassion, humor, strength, love, joy and gentleness.

Believe it or not, real men are more interested in the size of a woman’s heart and mind than the size of her waist. It’s ironic then, that our society pressures women into keeping their focus on the external—the things that matter very little at the end of every relationship.

Passion

Let me clarify: There is a huge difference between a passionate woman and an overly emotional woman. The first is the kind men flock to, the latter is the type they run away from and never look back.

 

Real men are looking for real women who will reflect to them the qualities of a loving God.

If there is one thing that I hear again and again from men, is that women need to be less emotionally driven. This may be a gender stereotype, but as much as I hate to admit it, they might be on to something. Emotions are such a valuable part of human beings, for men and women alike. But a huge problem arises when women (or men) let their emotions take the lead. It’s important for us to be driven by what we know and balanced by what we feel. Feelings alone should never lead the way.

But now that we’ve discussed what passion isn’t, here’s what it is: Being passionate means living a life that is purposeful, allowing your heart and life to be guided by things that are meaningful and invested in things that are good. It means having goals, believing in dreams and holding on to your values. It means being defined and propelled by justice, mercy, forgiveness, charity and grace. It means striving for healing in your own life and in the world around you.

Living a life of passion is important, because that passion will seep into every part of your life—relationships included.

It’s time to redefine the qualities we as women think we need to have to impress a man. It’s time to say no to the draw of sex appeal and begin to believe true admiration from men to women comes only when we begin to respect ourselves. Real men are looking for real women who will reflect to them the qualities of a loving God—a God who has made us to be confident, passionate, genuine—and beautiful in every way. May we as women strive to reflect Him in all that we do.

SOURCE

Iranian Christian Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison Freed

Mostafa Bordbar, 27, has been released after just three months.

An Iranian Christian sentenced to 10 years in prison has been released after three months.

Mostafa Bordbar, 27, was released Nov. 3 from Tehran’s Evin Prison after charges of participating in an “anti-security organization” and “gathering with intent to commit crimes against Iranian national security” were overturned.

Bordbar was arrested in December last year during Christmas celebrations with friends and sentenced in July. The Oct. 30 appeals court hearing cleared him of all charges.

Iran has come under increasing pressure from the international community to improve its human rights record, including its number of political prisoners or other prisoners of conscience, such as the more than 40 Christians behind bars.

In September, two Christians were released, a decision welcomed internationally. Mitra Rahmati and Maryam Jalili were nearing the end of their sentences, and were released just ahead of new President Hassan Rouhani’s first address to the U.N. General Assembly in New York.

The U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Samantha Power, took to Twitter on Sept. 18 to hail the release of prisoners from Iran’s jails. “But it’s far from enough,” she wrote. “Those missing or unjustly detained, including Amir Hekmati, Saeed Abedini, and Bob Levinson, must be returned home.”

Hekmati is awaiting retrial in Iran on espionage charges. Levinson was kidnapped in Iran in 2007 and is believed to remain in government custody. Meanwhile, Abedini, an Iranian-born U.S. citizen and pastor serving eight years in prison for his missionary work, has written to Rouhani asking for justice and freedom.

At least 300 Christians have been arrested in the past three years in Iran, with the most common charges being actions against public security and propaganda against the regime. Many of these Christians were arrested while taking part in “house churches,” small meetings of Christians who gather to worship and pray together.

“In bringing about these charges against Christians, both the government and the judiciary have made an error of law and fact because Christian gatherings either at homes or churches are mainly formed for Christians to worship together and to read and study the Bible, not to change the regime, and they do not have a goal of any political activity. So these are wrong judgments,” human rights lawyer Attieh Fard told the United Nations Human Rights Council last month.

Fard urged Rouhani to make good on his promises to the U.N. in New York by releasing the 42 Christians known to be in jail and the 45 awaiting trial.

Bordbar’s victory in court comes one week after another four Iranian Christians lost their own appeals, having been convicted of similar charges.

c. 2013 World Watch Monitor

Publication date: November 5, 2013