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Mosque teacher who pretended to FAINT when police arrested him over calls for extremists to attack Prince George is jailed for at least 25 years

    Husnain Rashid, of Nelson, Lancashire, has been jailed for minimum of 25 years
    The 32-year-old called on supporters to attack Prince George at his new school
    He created an online forum to offer tips on carrying out 'lone-wolf attacks'
    Rashid, what taught in a mosque, called on followers to poison ice cream
    He pleaded guilty to terrorism offences three days into his trial in London

By Stephanie Linning For Mailonline

Published: 14:39, 13 July 2018 | Updated: 19:20, 13 July 2018

This newly-released video shows an ISIS supporter pretending to faint when he was arrested by police over a string of terrorism offences.  Husnain Rashid, 32, was filmed falling to the ground when he was confronted by officers at his parents' home in Nelson, Lancashire, in November last year.  The former website designer was jailed for a minimum of 25 years today after admitting to preparing and encouraging acts of terrorism.  Woolwich Crown Court heard how Rashid used an encrypted messaging app to urge extremists to carry out 'lone wolf' attacks, including one on Prince George shortly after he started school at Thomas's Battersea, south London, last September.  Rashid posted a photo of the four-year-old son of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge alongside the chilling message: 'Even the royal family will not be left alone. School starts early.'

The Islamic religion teacher urged followers to inject ice cream with poison and to 'blow up and slaughter' fans at the World Cup in Russia this summer.  Rashid, who was in communication with a British ISIS operative in Syria, had also started to create an online magazine called the Lone Mujahid - the same name given to his Telegram channel.  Investigators believe that Rashid was setting up an operation to 'mirror' the ISIS propaganda unit in Raqqa, Syria.  Rashid had maintained his innocence at the start of his trial but dramatically changed his plea three days into proceedings and admitted to a string of terrorism offences. He was handed three concurrent life sentences today.  Sentencing, Judge Andrew Lees said Rashid had shown 'ruthless dedication to the cause', adding: 'You are in my judgment a dangerous offender. It is not possible to say when you will cease to be a danger.'

The court heard how Rashid's prolific Lone Muhajid Telegram channel operated as an 'e-toolkit for terrorism'. He is thought to have sent some 300,000 messages on the app in the 18 months before his arrest.  The media platform is heavily encrypted and 'prides itself on never having provided law enforcement agencies with any user data', allowing users to communicate without detection, a spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said today.  The posts allegedly included a recipe for the poison ricin from the Islamist propaganda magazine Inspire, how to make Molotov cocktails and napalm, and a suggestion of poisoning supermarket ice creams.   The post about Prince George showed the young royal next to a photo of his school.  Superimposed onto the image was a black silhouette of a jihadi fighter with the caption: 'Even the royal family will not be left alone. School starts early.'

Judge Lees said: 'The message was clear: you were providing the name and address of Prince George's school, an image of Prince George's school and the instruction or threat that Prince George and other members of the royal family should be viewed as potential targets.'

It also included suggestions for a wide-range of other targets, including British Army bases, shopping centres, Jewish communities and Government buildings.  Chat members also analysed the terrorist bomb attack on the Besiktas stadium, in Istanbul, in which 38 people were killed.  Chat members discussed how those who attended the match were likely to be non-Muslims and the merits of attacking a lower league football match where security was likely to be less tight.  Rashid also posted a map of Sixth Avenue in New York with the message, 'New York Halloween Parade. Have you made your preparations? The Countdown begins.'

The post was made soon after Sayfullah Saipo, had driven a truck into pedestrians in New York, killing eight and injuring others.  Rashid was arrested by officers by Greater Manchester Police on 22 November last year.  When officers raided his home, Rashid ran out the back door of the house to escape police and threw his mobile phone high into the air to avoid being found with it in his possession.  It landed over the back wall at the feet of an officer who had surrounded the house.  Officers found chats between Rahid and the ISIS news agency, Amaq, and a draft for a new online magazine which offered 'tips for the mujahideen [fighters] in the enemy lands'.  Annabel Darlow QC, prosecuting, said: 'The underlying message intended by the defendant was clear: to encourage lone wolf jihadists operating on British soil to launch an attack on those watching events in stadiums and suggesting how to maximise the impact of the attack.'   

Det Chief Insp Will Chatterton, head of investigations for counter-terrorism policing in the north-west, said: '[Rashid] was in the process of creating an online Jihadi magazine, The Lone Mujahid, which contained advice and guidance to specifically lone wolf Jihadists.  'At the same time he was creating and managing and populating many forums or encrypted channels with colossal amounts of terrorist materials and the glorification of terrorism that went around the globe.  He was also communicating with individuals on the battlefield in Syria. We saw direct communication with someone actually fighting with Isil that included an exchange of advice and techniques.  'The sheer volume of material he created and populated, and the glorification that went alongside it, was readily available to people across the globe.'

Rashid admitted three counts of engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts, and was given a life sentence for each, with a minimum term of 25 years, and one count of encouraging terrorism.  Two further charges of dissemination of a terrorist publication were laid on file.  The offences spanned from October 2016 to April this year.
Christian / Re: Devotion
« Last post by Hannah on July 13, 2018, 10:01:20 pm »
When Comparison Kills Confidence
Jul 11, 2018 | Sharon Jaynes

Today's Truth

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”  Psalm 139:13-14

Friend to Friend

If there’s one thing I know it’s this: The measuring stick will get you stuck! Comparison is the devil’s tool that has stopped many of us gals from stepping into our God-given destinies and it’s time to  stop!  You know I’ve been camping out with Moses by the burning bush for over a year while writing Take Hold of the Faith You Long For. When we meet up with him in Exodus chapter 3, he is an insecure, stuttering recluse. He argued with God and told Him that he was not a good speaker.  But, Moses hadn’t always been so insecure. Look what Stephen said to the Sanhedrin: “Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action” (Acts 7:22).

He was powerful in speech?

That’s what The Book says.  So what happened?

Moses failed and bailed and ran away to Midian. Thought he deserved to be there. Got stuck there. He forgot his pre-ordained preparation and his God-given ability.  Oh, I wish I was sitting right there with you and we could just chat and throw around ideas. For now, I’ll just ask you this question and maybe one day we’ll sit and have a long talk.  How do you think that Moses came up with the idea that he was not a good speaker?

Here’s what I think. I think that Moses came up with the idea by comparing himself to other people he thought were good speakers.  It’s the same way with you and me. Comparison opens the door for sabotaging lies to steal our confidence, stymie our courage, and stand in the way of our contentment. Comparison puts up roadblocks along the path to fulfilling our God-given calling by setting an undefined standard of approval and acceptance.  We fear the REJECT stamp will come crashing down with wet ink that mars all of life. We fear that we are perhaps fatally flawed as confidence seeps through the holes of insecurity punctured and punctuated by comparison.  We compare our abilities to someone else’s and come to this conclusion: I could never do it like she does it. And you know what?

You were never meant to! God doesn’t need two people just alike. He has uniquely and precisely created you with specific gifts and talents to do exactly what He has called you to do. So get good at being you!  David wrote: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well (Ps. 139:13-14 emphasis added).

He knew what full well?

In these particular verses, David wasn’t praising God for the way He flung the stars in the night sky, set the spinning earth on its axis, or stocked the oceans with sea creatures of every kind. David was marveling at the magnificent masterpiece called David. Me. You. He knew that full well.  You are God’s workmanship. His masterpiece His grand finale of all creation. Do you know that full well?

You are amazing!  Paul wrote to the Galatians, “Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life” (Gal. 6:4–5, MSG).

Listen; if God didn’t put it in you, then you don’t need it to do what He has called you to do.  If God didn’t make you eloquent, then you don’t need to be eloquent to do what He’s prepared for you to do.  If God didn’t make you a good speller, then you don’t need to be a good speller to do what He’s prepared for you to do.  If God didn’t place you in a home where you were the apple of your daddy’s eye, then you don’t need to be the apple of your daddy’s eye to be all God wants you to be and do all He has planned for you to do.  One pastor said: “One of the main reasons we struggle with insecurity is that we’re comparing our behind-the-scenes with everybody else’s highlight reel.” I promise to show you the film on the cutting room floor. See, I cut them out, but God picked them back up, brushed them off, and inserted them back into the reel. “These are some of my favorites,” He explained. “The scenes you would rather no one see are the very ones that will help women see Me.”

God knows your inadequacies and your insecurities. He knows what caused them and who caused them. He saw you before you even had them. Yet He chose you before you were born for a purpose to fulfill a plan in a predetermined point in time (Acts 17:26).

So let’s let go of comparison and take hold of our God-given uniqueness!  You’re amazing!
Parenting of all Ages / What if Your Child Is Gay?
« Last post by Philippa on July 13, 2018, 09:33:43 pm »

What if Your Child Is Gay?
Russell Moore -
July 8, 2018

My denomination is dealing these days with a pastor in California who reversed his position on homosexuality. The pastor said that his shift coincided with his 15-year-old son’s announcement that he is gay.  This is a situation every Christian should think through, now. As I’ve said before, at stake on the issue of a Christian sexual ethic is the gospel of Jesus Christ. But what if, sitting across from you, is your child or grandchild?

You will, without a doubt, have someone close to you in your family come out as gay or lesbian, if not already, then sometime in the future.  How should a Christian parent or grandparent respond?

One of the reasons this is such a crushing experience for many is because they assume that their alternatives are affirmation or alienation. I either give up my relationship with my child or I give up the Bible. The gospel never suggests this set of alternatives, and in fact demonstrates just the opposite.  Every child, whether gay or straight, is oriented toward sin, and so are you. If your child or grandchild says he or she is gay, you shouldn’t act shocked, as though you are surprised your child might be tempted toward sin or that you find your own sinful inclinations somehow less deserving of God’s judgment.  Your child’s point of temptation doesn’t mean that your entire relationship with him or her should be defined by that. We don’t affirm what the Bible says is wrong simply because someone we love is drawn toward it, whether that’s “straight” fornication or gay relationships.  At the same time, that doesn’t mean your entire relationship is now to become a sparring match over Romans 1.  Ironically, those who cut off all relationship with a gay child buy into the narrative of the Sexual Revolutionaries, that every aspect of one’s identity is defined by sexual orientation and activity.  As a Christian, you believe this person is made in the image of God, and thus worthy of love, regardless of how far away from God or from you.  First of all, consider what your child is telling you.  He or she could be saying that this is an identity, from which they refuse to repent. That will require a different sort of response than if the child is saying, “This is how I feel, so what do I do?”

This will change the way you respond, but what doesn’t change is your love and care for this child.  Don’t panic, and don’t reject them.  Say explicitly that you love that child, no matter what, and mean it. Your relationship wasn’t formed by the child’s performance, and that won’t start now.  If your loved one is a Christian, spend time over the years discipling him or her about what following Christ looks like. Jesus isn’t shocked by his or her temptations, and will not leave him or her alone to fight them.  The path toward chastity and fidelity to Christ is a difficult one, and your child or grandchild will need you and the church and the great cloud of witnesses to cheer him or her on as they walk a path that can be lonely in a world that too often defines sex and sexuality as ultimate in life.  If your loved one isn’t a Christian, express your love, keep the relationship going and be a gracious gospel witness.  God never promises us that our children or grandchildren will all walk the way of Christ. Every wandering son or daughter needs to know that if the moment of crisis comes in his or her life, there’s a house waiting with a fatted-calf party ready to go, welcoming the wanderer home.  One of the reasons this is so hard for some parents and grandparents is because somehow we assume this issue to be merely a “culture war” issue, and not a gospel issue. As such, parents are often perplexed as to how to deal with this in their families because they think this is about them.  They wonder if others will judge them, as though they did something to “cause” this.  That’s ridiculous, and it leads people ultimately either to reject biblical teaching to keep their kids or reject their kids (and their gospel witness to them) for the sake of appearing to keep the biblical teaching.  At the root of all of that is pride, and I don’t mean that in the sense of “gay pride” but in the sense of carnal self-seeking. That’s a temptation for all parents, not just for those of gay children. We’re tempted to see our children as reflections of ourselves, and we’re tempted then to keep up our image.  Crucify that temptation.  God calls us to holiness and to encourage one another to holiness. The Bible is clear that this means fleeing from sexual immorality, and that includes same-sex sexual activity (1 Cor. 6). God also calls parents to love their children.  Be clear about your convictions, and at the same time don’t exile your child from your life. If we sacrifice grace for truth or truth for grace, we’re sub-Christian. 
Pets / Brain Scans Reveal What Dogs Really Think of Us
« Last post by Philippa on July 13, 2018, 09:16:35 pm »

Brain Scans Reveal What Dogs Really Think of Us
By Theresa Fisher | Nov. 20, 2014

In the 30,000 years humans and dogs have lived together, man's best friend has only become a more popular and beloved pet. Today, dogs are a fixture in almost 50% of American households.  From the way dogs thump their tails, invade our laps and steal our pillows, it certainly seems like they love us back. But since dogs can't tell us what's going on inside their furry heads, can we ever be sure?

Actually, yes. Thanks to recent developments in brain imaging technology, we're starting to get a better picture of the happenings inside the canine cranium.  That's right scientists are actually studying the dog brains. And what the studies show is welcome news for all dog owners: Not only do dogs seem to love us back, they actually see us as their family. It turns out that dogs rely on humans more than they do their own kind for affection, protection and everything in between.  The most direct dog brain-based evidence that they are hopelessly devoted to humans comes from a recent neuroimaging study about odor processing in the dog brain. Animal cognition scientists at Emory University trained dogs to lie still in an MRI machine and used fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) to measure their neural responses to the smell of people and dogs, both familiar and unknown. Because dogs navigate the world through their noses, the way they process smell offers a lot of potential insight into social behavior.  The scientists found that dog owners' aroma actually sparked activation in the "reward center" of their brains, called the caudate nucleus. Of all the wafting smells to take in, dogs actually prioritized the hint of humans over anything or anyone else.  These results jibe with other canine neuroimaging research. In Budapest, researchers at Eotvos Lorand University studied canine brain activity in response to different human and dog sounds, including voices, barks and the meaningful grunts and sighs both species emit. Before this study, we had no idea what happens inside canine brains when humans make noise.  Among other surprising findings, the study revealed marked similarities in the way dog and human brains process emotionally laden vocal sounds. Researchers found that happy sounds in particular light up the auditory cortex in both species. This commonality speaks to the uniquely strong communication system underlying the dog-human bond.  In short: Dogs don't just seem to pick up on our subtle mood changes they are actually physically wired to pick up on them.  "It's very interesting to understand the tool kit that helps such successful vocal communication between two species," Attila Andics, a neuroscientist and lead author of the study, told Mic. "We didn't need neuroimaging to see that communication works [between dogs and people], but without it, we didn't understand why it works. Now we're really starting to."

Behavior research supports the recent neuroscience too. According to Andics, dogs interact with their human caregivers in the same way babies do their parents. When dogs are scared or worried, they run to their owners, just as distressed toddlers make a beeline for their parents. This is in stark contrast to other domesticated animals: Petrified cats, as well as horses, will run away.  Dogs are also the only non-primate animal to look people in the eyes. This is something Andics, along with other researchers, discovered about a decade ago when he studied the domestication of wolves, which he thought would share that trait. They endeavored to raise wolves like dogs. This is a unique behavior between dogs and humans dogs seek out eye contact from people, but not their biological dog parents.  "Bonding with owners is much more important for dogs than other pets," said Andics.

Scientists have also looked at the dog-human relationship from the other direction. As it turns out, people reciprocate dogs' strong feelings. In a study published in PLOS One in October, Massachusetts General Hospital researchers measured human brain activity in response to photos of dogs and children. Study participants were women who'd had dogs and babies for at least two years. Both types of photos sparked activity in brain regions associated with emotion, reward, affiliation, visual processing and social interaction. Basically, both furry and (typically) less-furry family members make us equally happy.  Dog-lovers have committed a few notable gaffes in interpreting dogs' facial expressions, e.g., assuming the often documented hangdog look signifies guilt, an emotion that, most behavior experts agree, requires a multifaceted notion of self-awareness that dogs probably don't have.  But, as with family, our instinctive hunches about dog behavior are often correct.  "Sometimes our intuition about what's going on inside dogs' heads is dead-on," said Laurie Santos, the lead researcher at Yale's Canine Cognition Center. "Like, that dogs are seeking out help from us and that's true based on studies which is different from even their closest relatives, wolves."

The precise wish or worry lurking in a dog's doleful look may not always be clear. But we can relish the fact that we know our pets love us as much as we hoped, maybe even more. Even if they're not full-fledged children, they see us as family. And to us? Well, they'll always be our babies.
Christian / 6 Ways the Church Can Help Those Struggling with Depression
« Last post by Philippa on July 13, 2018, 08:54:55 pm »

6 Ways the Church Can Help Those Struggling with Depression
Christina Fox

I don't often remember the details of conversations with people. It would be nice if I did. Then I'd not be so surprised when my husband leaves for ten days of business. ("Don't you remember? I told you I'd be gone on an extended trip.") Actually, no, I don't remember, because I can't even remember what I did yesterday.  But there is one conversation I do remember. It's one that still haunts me. And I remember it in great detail.  I went to see my midwife for my visit following the birth of my first child. I had numerous health problems after the delivery, and hoped she would help me resolve them. I can still picture the room, where I sat, and my son asleep in his carrier on the floor.  She looked at me with concern and said, "I wonder if you might be suffering from postpartum depression."

In my mind, I thought: This is not depression. I know depression. I've diagnosed it and treated people for it. This is fatigue and stress.  How can the church community help those with depression?

1. They can help by knowing one another.

When we know each other beyond the simple, "Hi. How are you? How was your week?" then we'll know when someone is struggling.

We'll notice when they've missed church. We'll see the fatigue and sadness etched across their face. When we take the time to know one another well in the church, we'll know when one part of the body is suffering, because we'll feel it too.

2. They can help by serving in practical ways.

When someone is depressed, there are many practical details of life that are hard to do. Fellow brothers and sisters in Christ can volunteer to babysit. They can prepare meals. They can drive their friend to the doctor or counselor. They can take over ministry duties for a while. In these ways and more, the church can serve the hurting.

3. They can be present.

The church ought not to shy away from or abandon the hurting, nor should the church fear the depressed person's emotions. They don't have to know what to say or how to make the depression go away. But they can be there for their depressed brother or sister. They can listen. They shouldn't say pithy statements about how they'll feel better if they pray or read the Bible more. People who are hurting don't need advice. They don't need a spiritual to-do list. They don't even need a theology lesson. Rather, they need to know they are loved and cared for.

4. They can encourage and help their friend get the care they need.

The church can encourage the hurting to get help from a wise counselor and seek a medical evaluation. They can offer to drive and/or accompany them to their appointments. And they can remind them that even the giants of faith in church history have struggled with depression (such as C.H. Spurgeon).

5. They can remind them of the Man of Sorrows.

This is something my pastor did for me. He helped me lift my eyes to see Christ, the One who knows what life is like in this sin-stained world. Jesus took on our frail human flesh and lived a life of poverty, sorrow, and pain. He knew temptation, grief, abandonment, fear, and rejection. He cared about the suffering of my life so much so that he entered into it, living the perfect life I could not live, dying the death I deserved, and rising from the dead so that I would have life eternal. Jesus Christ, the Man of Sorrows, is my hope both now and in the future. For me, this truth brought light to dark places.

6. They can be patient.

Some people struggle with depression for long seasons. Some battle with it their entire lives. It's important that the church sticks with them. It's not like getting over a cold. As the church, we need to patiently walk beside the hurting as long as it takes.  Depression is lonely. It's isolating. It's also deceptive. Those who suffer with depression need the body of Christ to walk alongside them, lifting them up when they can't do so for themselves. May we be believers who know when someone in the church is hurting and care enough to journey with them in the darkness. After all, it's what Jesus did for us. How can we do no less?
Christian / Re: Devotion
« Last post by ezel on July 10, 2018, 09:50:16 pm »
Keep Going!
Jul 10, 2018 | Mary Southerland

Today's Truth

So, let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.  Galatians 6:9

Friend to Friend

The story is told of a great pianist who was scheduled to perform for a small country town. Everyone in the town was excited since they rarely had the opportunity to hear a famous musician. A young  mother was especially excited. Her son had been taking piano lessons and showed great promise. However, he hated to practice. His mother was hoping that if her son saw the great pianist perform, he would be motivated to take his music more seriously.  The night of the concert finally arrived, and it seemed as if everyone in town had come. As the young mother settled her son in his seat, her attention turned to the crowd pouring in. Everyone was dressed in their finest, and a buzz of excitement filled the concert hall. No one noticed the little boy as he slipped out of his seat and made his way down the aisle toward the stage. No one noticed the little boy as he walked onto the stage, climbed up on the piano stool and began to play “Chopsticks.”  The concert hall fell silent as every eye turned toward the stage. People began to yell, “Where is that child’s mother? How did he get on stage? Get him down immediately!”

The guest artist was standing in the wings, getting ready to make his entrance when he heard the shouts and saw and heard the little boy. Grabbing his jacket, the great pianist ran onto the stage, came up behind the little boy and placed his masterful hands on the keyboard beside the hands of the small child. The little boy was startled but did not move as the man whispered in the boy’s ear, “Don’t stop. Don’t quit. Keep going.”

As the little boy began to play again, the great pianist began to play as well, composing a beautiful counter melody to “Chopsticks.”  I know some of you are ready to give up and quit. Some mountain is standing between you and the dream you thought was sure to become a reality. You think God has lost track of where you are and what you are going through. He hasn’t.  I know you don’t understand why a loving God would allow so much pain to saturate this broken world and perpetuate such loss and hurt. I don’t either. But God’s ways are so much higher than my ways, and His thoughts are for my eternal good not my temporary comfort. I am banking on eternity. I am counting on the character of God and His heart of unconditional, unmerited, and undeserved love. God’s forgiveness gives me the strength to get out of bed each morning, and His peace is my comfort in the dark, lonely night. Like you, I sometimes ask God why He has allowed a circumstance to exist. I have questioned His favor and allowed fear and worry to make me doubt His plan. And I have to tell you that I can now look back and see so many of the question marks yanked into exclamation points in my life. I am so thankful He said “no” to so many of the prayers I desperately wanted Him to answer with “yes.”

He is God. He is able and He is more than enough.  No matter where you are today, know He is with you and that His heart is for you. Don’t quit. He is not angry with you. You are His daughter, the apple of His eye and His cherished child. Don’t give up. Right now, surrender all of your pain to Him. Shed your tears, knowing He will collect them all and one day pour them back into your life as a refreshing rain of restoration and healing. Keep going. Ask your questions, knowing Heaven is not in a panic and that your God really is who He says He is and that He will do what He has promised to do. He simply waits for you to trust Him.
Christian / Re: Devotion
« Last post by Daffy on July 10, 2018, 09:25:13 pm »
The Master Planner
Jul 09, 2018 | Arlene Pellicane

Today's Truth

From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose. What I have said, that I will bring about; what I have planned, that I will do.  Isaiah 46:11

Friend to Friend

It all started with an advertisement for piano lessons.  My husband James, who was a little rusty on the piano, needed some help to play a song at a friend’s  wedding. He grabbed the community flyer and made an appointment for his first lesson. The piano teacher was a bit surprised since usually her students were kids. She decided to schedule the lesson when her husband could be home. After all, she didn’t know if my James was a nice man or a crazy person!  James not only received excellent piano instruction, he became friends with the instructor Claire and her husband. Since our children are the same ages, we all became fast friends. Piano lessons turned into meals together, kids’ birthday parties, and family bike rides. Together Claire and I have watched our kids grow out of diapers and walk into middle school. I invited Claire to church and her family has been attending for years. And when school is in session, Claire and I pray together with a group of moms for our kids and their schools.  Who knows if Claire and I would have ever met if it wasn’t for that first piano lesson?

What if James’ friend hadn’t asked him to play the piano at the wedding?

James would have never picked up Claire’s advertisement in the first place.  Friend, God is in the details. He is the master planner. He can even move through piano lesson signs! He can move through who is sitting next to you on the train. He can move through who your kids or grandkids go to school with. He is working to fulfill His purpose and plan in the world and for your life.  Just recently, Claire and our Moms in Prayer group read our key verse together: “From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose.”

The proceeding verse Isaiah 46:10 says, “I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’”

The phrase “make known the end from the beginning” speaks of the omniscience of God which means He is all-knowing. He knows the whole story of your life, even before it happens. God alone can declare how history will end because He is in charge, actively intervening to accomplish His plan for the nations and for His people.  God is in control of your life. Nothing is too big or too small for Him. If He can summon a bird of prey, He can order the details of your life too. He will provide everything you need whether it’s a good friend, financial help, physical health, or even a piano lesson.
Christian / Re: Devotion
« Last post by Daffy on July 10, 2018, 09:16:34 pm »
You’re More Than a One-Talent Girl
Jul 06, 2018 | Sharon Jaynes

Today's Truth

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.  2 Peter 1:3

Friend to Friend

In my last devotion, we looked at the parable of the talents, or rather the parable of the three choices. We saw a landowner that gave one servant five talents, another servant two talents, and another  servant one talent.  As you read that devotion, (and if you didn’t, please click on and read it first) I wonder if you saw yourself as a one-talent girl. Perhaps you’re thinking that God hasn’t given you much to work with. He did, after all, entrust the servants with talents “according to their ability.” You look at what other folks are doing for God with their five talents and think that yours doesn’t really matter much anyway. Nothing could be further from the truth.  It could be that the servant with the five talents started out with one talent a few years back. The master saw what he did with that one—how he turned it into two. Then when he went on his next trip, the master gave that servant two talents, which he turned into four. So on this particular journey, the master entrusted this servant with five!  If we don’t use what God has given us because of fear, then He will not entrust us with more. It could very well be that He will take away what He’s given us and give it to someone else who has the courage to use her gifts and talents to accomplish her God-given purpose.  There’s always a bit of fear when it comes to taking a step of faith, but step we must! Don’t let the fear win. It’s not worth it.  I always thought a talent was just a few pieces of silver or gold. Boy, was I wrong. In biblical days, a talent referred to the largest unit of currency at the time. It was the heaviest or largest biblical unit of measurement for weight, equal to about 75 pounds or 35 kilograms. The one who possessed five talents of gold or silver was a multimillionaire by today’s standards. Some calculate a talent to be equivalent to twenty years’ wages for the common worker.  So even though the one servant only received one talent or bag of gold, it was still no paltry amount. And again, I’m not turning this into a teaching about money. I don’t think that was what Jesus was doing either. He was teaching us about being good stewards of what God has entrusted us in every area of life.  God will never call you to do something that He will not empower and equip you to do. How sad when we hide what He has entrusted to us because of fear. If you have your talent hidden in the ground, dig it up. Once the landowner in the parable came home, it was too late for that servant with the one talent, but it is not too late for you.  I’m glad that the biblical term for what Jesus was teaching about is called talents. The NIV translates it as “bags of gold.” But when I see the word talents I can better associate it with God-given gifts and abilities. You have been given talents! Even if you think that you have been given only one talent, you have been given one.  Don’t let fear keep you from using what you have. Invest what God has given you in other people, and watch your investment multiply right before your eyes. Then when your day comes, God will say, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your master.”
Suicide / Suicide: Let's Talk About It
« Last post by Daffy on July 10, 2018, 09:04:56 pm »

Suicide: Let's Talk About It
Courtnaye Richard

Where are you today?

Because I don’t know 100% what made you choose to click onto this post, but no matter what, I'm glad you did. Maybe it’s because you want to know more about the topic. Maybe it’s because you’ve noticed the rise in suicide lately. Maybe it’s because you’ve lost someone that you know who was very dear and close to you. Maybe you’re looking for answers of how to help someone who is suicidal. Or maybe because you’ve either considered it or you’re considering it right now. Wherever you are, I want you to keep reading.  Right now, I don't know if you've noticed or heard, but suicide is on the rise. After researching stats myself, for Americans in 2015, there were more than 44,000 with one suicide happening every 12 minutes. Those numbers have risen since then. But it’s also rising for Christians. So there is a concern for both non-believers and believers. That’s why I believe the Lord has laid this upon my heart to write about it during this time.  So again, where are you today?

Let's talk about it. Are you depressed?






Feeling hopeless?

Are you suicidal right now or have you been there before?

Personally, I’ve been there. When I was a young adult, while in my early 20’s I considered it. Was I a believer?

Yes. Did I love God?

Yes. But my thoughts and sense of not going on was weighing on me heavily.  So, I understand the feeling. I understand the thoughts. I understand the despair. I understand the sense of hopelessness. But I also realize that I'm here to tell this story because I made a choice to put the pills down. No doubt, I was in a pretty dark and lonely place at the time even as a Christian. But the drive to live beyond my tough circumstances, combined with my faith proved stronger. I overcame the hurt feelings, the negative thoughts, the despair and hopelessness by the grace of God. So if you’re there now you can too.  God loves you. Actually, He loves all of us. The Bible tells us in Romans 8:38, “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.”

This is about God’s love for us. (Listen to this song after you finish reading this post "Reckless Love")  I want to say here that if you’re considering suicide, I really want to encourage you to press on and endure unto the end as the Bible instructs. If things are tough at this very moment, know that nothing that is happening to you is beyond God’s supernatural help. He’s right here. As believers, He promises that He will never leave you, nor forsake you. And if you're a non-believer, He's totally pursuing you right now. Either way, He is here.  So if you’re hurt, broken, depressed, anxious, sick, or uncertain, hold onto God’s word that says, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. The righteous face many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time.”

Let Him rescue you (also, if you know someone who needs to be rescued, hold onto this verse, believe it, and pray for them as well).  It’s not over. God has a beautiful plan for your life (and their life) here and in heaven. So instead of thinking or pondering on letting everything and everyone go, renew your focus on the things to come and live out this verse from Philippians 4:8 which says, “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”

Fix your eyes on Jesus.  And I encourage you to do what 1 Peter 4:7-9 states, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering.”

You are not alone in the fight. But do fight. Fight against our great enemy Satan with everything within you. Remember, he’s like a roaring lion and he’s a thief. Jesus said in John 10:10, “The thief comes to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

Jesus brings life. And He’s also fighting for you.  In addition to these verses, please reach out and call someone. Talk to someone that you can trust. Ask them to pray for you and with you. Just don’t give up. Even if you’re reading this right now, I want to tell you that this is God reaching out to you. I’m just a vessel. But He knew that you would be reading this right now. And it’s simply because He loves and cares for you so much and all that concerns you. So, press through this.  There is also a hotline that you can call to speak to someone right now. It’s the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 and they’re open 24/7. So please pray and pick up the phone. Also, if you know someone who has committed suicide, I want you to know that my deepest sympathy and prayers go out to you and the families and friends. Truly.  Lastly, I want to tell you this.  You matter.  You are loved.  You’re worth it.  You are here to make a difference for others.  You were created on purpose and for a purpose.  If God is for you, who can be against you.  You are His. And He is yours.  Jesus loves you and He died for you, so that you could have life.  We need you to survive.  And as I always say at the end of each one of my posts.  Remember, Jesus is coming back soon! And those who endure unto the end shall be saved. So let’s be ready from the Inside Out!


Former glamour model reveals how the trauma of losing her baby and having her millionaire fiancé walk out on her almost led to her becoming ISIS's new White Widow

    Kimberley Miners feared she could have become the next White Widow jihadist
    Jihadists targeted Bradford mum during 'low' period and later brainwashed her
    Ms Miners, 29, shared propaganda after she was befriended by Naweed Hussain
    Hussain, an IS recruiter, urged her to join him in Syria before she was arrested

By Alexander Robertson For Mailonline

Published: 16:02, 25 June 2018 | Updated: 16:24, 25 June 2018

A former glamour model has revealed how breaking up with her millionaire fiance and then losing their baby almost turned her into a British jihadi bride.  Kimberley Miners said she was befriended and later brainwashed by ISIS terrorists who targeted her while she was 'in a bad place' following a miscarriage.  She claims jihadists monitored her social media before grooming her as the next White Widow after Sally Jones, the British mother who became an IS poster girl.  The 29-year-old says she began posting images about videos about the war in Syria following a holiday to Turkey, a pattern which was then exploited by an ISIS recruiter.  Speaking to This Morning, she said: 'When I was in Turkey I kept thinking I’m partying here while over there a war is going on.  When I got back home I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I started sharing videos, and people must have seen I had an interest and they got in contact with me.  I started to get friend requests from ISIS fighters. I felt part of something.'

She was soon befriended online by notorious ISIS recruiter Naweed Hussain, who urged her to join him in Syria where she could 'help the cause'.

Hussain lavished her with attention and made her feel special during a low period after she had lost a baby and split up with her millionaire fiance.   Miss Miners added: 'Because I had just came out of relationship and had recently lost a baby I was pretty low and because these people befriended me I felt accepted.  I spoke every day to them and it felt like a friendship. While it’s going on you don’t realise, it’s that involved, I thought they were my friends.  It wasn’t until I got arrested that I realised that I was basically bait and was getting used.'

She later discovered Hussain, who was originally from Coventry of Pakistani heritage, was grooming up to ten other women online.  'At first it was general chit chat, she said. 'Then he sent videos of what he said was really going on and it went from there.  It moved from friendship to “hi babe, how are you?” He asked me to go to Turkey and help. Now it’s quite scary to think what would have happened if I went.  He said “if you come you will go into a house, if you don’t marry me we will find you a husband”. I was brainwashed and obsessed.' 

His messages urging Miss Miners, who had a young child, to join him in Syria were uncovered by MI5 and she was arrested.  But in January she was told she would not be charged after admitting being ‘taken in’ by Hussain’s drive to groom a new generation of UK jihadi brides.  Miss Miners, from Bradford, who has appeared topless in a tabloid newspaper, had embraced Islam and began using the name Aisha Lauren al-Britaniya.  She also wore a full veil and posted online images of Muslim women brandishing rifles.   Hussain fled to Syria in 2015 and was later killed in a drone strike.  Sally Jones, a former punk rocker from Chatham, Kent, went to Syria in 2013 with her son Jojo, nine, to join IS after meeting a British jihadist online.  She is thought to have been killed in a US drone strike last year.
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