Rhe’s Bookshelf: The Global War on Christians

Summary: One of the most respected journalists in the United States and the bestselling author of The Future Church uses his unparalleled knowledge of world affairs and religious insight to investigate the troubling worldwide persecution of Christians.

From Iraq and Egypt to Sudan and Nigeria, from Indonesia to the Indian subcontinent, Christians in the early 21st century are the world’s most persecuted religious group. According to the secular International Society for Human Rights, 80 percent of violations of religious freedom in the world today are directed against Christians. In effect, our era is witnessing the rise of a new generation of martyrs. Underlying the global war on Christians is the demographic reality that more than two-thirds of the world’s 2.3 billion Christians now live outside the West, often as a beleaguered minority up against a hostile majority– whether it’s Islamic fundamentalism in the Middle East and parts of Africa and Asia, Hindu radicalism in India, or state-imposed atheism in China and North Korea. In Europe and North America, Christians face political and legal challenges to religious freedom. Allen exposes the deadly threats and offers investigative insight into what is and can be done to stop these atrocities.

Review:  Make no mistake, this is a rather intense book on a rather intense subject. It is not one that I would normally pick up, but the title intrigued me.  John L. Allen Jr is an associate editor with the Boston Globe.  He specializes in the Catholic Church and stories along those lines.  He has also written several other books.  I’ve always been intrigued in issues of Christian persecution.  Its’ something that happens frequently all over our country (and world), but not something I feel gets discussed in the open or by the media.  While I realize this is not only a heavy topic, but a slightly controversial one to be discussed on my blog, it is none the less a very good book.  It is well researched, well written and thoughtfully presented.  Whether you agree with the topic at hand or not, it is still a very good book and one that, if added to your knowledge base, could further your education on religious issues in the world – and not just the persecution of Christians.

4 out of 5 Stars

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The Art of Saying No

This has been a long long lesson in my life, a lesson that I think I’ve had to relearn as I’ve gone through different stages of my life.  Sometimes I have a really hard time saying no.  I want to be and am often the person that gets brought in on things because I’m reliable and I do things right the first time.  Its not even about tooting my own horn, you probably are that person too.  Its part of who you are right?  You might also be the person that cares what people think of you, in the sense that you don’t want people to be disappointed with you and it eats away at you.  Sometimes I still feel like that girl, and I know when its happening to me.  I call one of my bff’s in particular (she’s like me) and we talk about what we’re thinking and about how ridiculous we are.  Its kind of like a mini therapy session and I love her for it.  Where’s this all going?  Well, Sunday during our small group I was having a conversation with a mom about saying no.  A light went off behind her eyes and I knew….I knew she was just like me.

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keeping this smile on his face is priority #1!

I said before that I go through stages of relearning, but it was about 6 years ago when I had my biggest revelation.  My oldest wasn’t very old and if you’ve read my blog before you would have read about my struggle with PPD after his birth.  It was during this time that I was struggling with finding the balance in my life.  I knew that I was doing too much but I was hugely conflicted about what my role was, is, should be.  It was a disaster.  A group of us were discussing the different ways we use our gifts and how we are working in the church.  One person flat out told me that what I was doing wasn’t enough and I needed to be doing more.  I was crushed and I turned to another friend and poured my heart out.  It was then that my revelation was on its way, in the voice of my friend.

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Friends get you through the toughest times!

We need to find the best way to use our gifts so we don’t go crazy.  I believe that we are called to serve. Yes!  But I also believe that we are all called to serve in different ways, at different times, and to use our gifts to serve.  There is no way that I believe that God would want me to sacrifice my children, my home and my husband to put myself in every job out there.  At the time I was part of the worship team, serving as a table leader for MOPS and pregnant with my second.  My husband was never home and I was pushing myself too hard.  I wasn’t succeeding at anything and it was taking its toll.  I needed to be able to say no and be okay with that.  It didn’t matter what anyone else thought.  It only mattered what was in my heart and in my home, and my relationship with God.  Once I centered myself a huge burden was taken from me.  So, I decided to go where I thought I was best suited, the nursery.  My kids were with me, I could do it whether the hubby was around or not and I had fun.  The ladies that were in there were so wonderful to me and my children.  
Find your gift, find how to use it in a way that fits into the stage of life your in.  It doesn’t have to be the same all the time.  It might work for you forever.  And guess what, that’s okay!!!  Being a mom can be hard enough without us putting this immense pressure on ourselves to be everything to everyone all the time.  Its not physically healthy, mentally healthy or spiritually healthy.  We have to find our role in life, in the home and in our life of service.
Do you struggle with this as I do?  How has saying no been beneficial in your life?!

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