Thursday, January 10, 2013

THYME Magazine

Citizen Journalism with a Better Flavor

Volume V, Issue III

Leadership Often Unheralded

The 'other' weekly news magazine is presenting Chris Christie of New Jersey as "The Boss" [click to read]. Calling him the: "Master of Disaster," TIME seems determined to build Christie's cred as a "reasonable" politician. Sadly, for some of us the 'disaster' that Christie is the master of might be the public appearances with the President [1.] (right before the election), that look more like campaigning than compassion. Also, revelations that Christie's wife presided over a charity for Sandy victims that may have failed to actually deliver funds to the intended recipients have come to light [2.].

A Profile in Quiet Courage

In contrast, one of our good friends has just experienced tragedy in the form of possible arson. His response to a situation most of us would have a very hard time with is challenging. Earlier this morning I wrote:

"We think of the dangers faced by our brethren in places like Nigeria and thank G-d for our relative safety. Yet one has to look at the series of malicious actions toward this fine church in Stuarts Draft and see that effective Christianity is not without opposition anywhere it is practiced.

Lives are changed through the ministry of people like Pastor Chuck Balsamo and, more importantly, by the people he mentors.

We wonder why horrific crimes, such as occurred in a small Connecticut town, happen. We've tried to construct a post-faith model for our society and are reduced to external regulation because we dare not address the issues of the human heart.

Pastor Chuck and his flock are dedicated to life-changing ministry to the heart. The Gospel of Christ is powerful and effective. Through Christ, people experience transformation. I rejoice in that fact, for it is my experience as well. Some in our world, unfortunately, find that very upsetting."

 Here is what Pastor Chuck wrote, still feeling the freshness of this tragedy:

"Dear G-d, please give a change of heart to people who do these things… and please protect our church from further attack. Please protect the beautiful, loving, and compassionate people of our congregation… and give us courage to continue with our mission… to make this community and world a better place. I still thank You for making me the pastor of Destiny Family Center. Our vision is clear and our future is bright. I thank You for our fire department and those who risked their lives for us again tonight. Bless them, and their families as they’ve willingly placed themselves in harm’s way for us.

I feel humbled. I don’t know what to think. So, I pray… with hope in my heart to a G-d who cares more than anyone can ever imagine. Amen."

 He continues:

"Thank you all for your many prayers and kind comments to us. What a blessing it is to feel the love of G-d, through friends, in times like this. Please continue to respond with G-d’s love.

Things can be replaced.

Our mission and our focus has nothing to do with things… it is about making a forever difference in the hearts and souls of people… our families, friends, and even our enemies. This fire is further evidence of the need for churches, and good-hearted Christian people.

This fire inspires me to care for people more, not less. It makes me more so thankful to G-d for saving me from the person I could have become. It compels me to reach out to corrupted people when they are young… before they end up hurting others and themselves. To the people of Destiny Family Center, and to all who feel hurt with us…

Please respond with us by deciding to make a greater difference with your lives this year, than any other year of your life.

Our church has always been known for reaching out to people who are at the lowest rock bottom… to the drug dealers and addicts and people who are fresh out of jail, and those who are fresh out of divorce, and every kind of destruction imaginable. May we continue to do this, no matter what happens to us in the process. Love is greater than hate. Mercy is greater than judgment.

Today is another beautiful day to be alive and shining for Christ. G-d bless you all!

Keep The Dream Alive,

Chuck Balsamo"

Please read Pastor Chuck's Original Letter [click to read] and pray about how YOU can make a greater difference today!

Iranian Pastor on Front Lines of Faith

American Pastor Saeed Abedini, who is being held in one of Iran’s most abusive prisons because of his Christian faith, faces a new challenge.  His case was just transferred to a judge who is notorious for violating human rights.

Follow His Story [click to read] and PRAY!

“Prison is a test of faith. I was always worried that the storms of this life would break the ship of my faith, but when you stand steadfast, the storms are like a nice breeze. Nothing can break my faith. These walls have created more fervor for me to love others through sharing the Gospel, but more than that, the walls have deepened my love for my Savior. I feel the prayers of all who are praying for me.” -- Saeed Abedini


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