Tag Archives: book of encouragement

Review of God’s Double Agent by Bob Fu

100_1399When we read about martyrs, it is easy to think of Isis spreading terror among the Christians in the Middle East.But China has been undergoing persecution for many years. In fact, Bob Fu, the author of China’s Double Agent, says that Christianity in China is under the worst attack now since the Cultural Revolution.

http://www.bobfu.net/2014/10/christian-today-china-facing-worst.html

I picked up this book at the library because I’d heard before about ChinaAid, the organization Bob Fu founded, which provides relief to Christians and others who suffer human rights abuses in China. His own story of coming to faith in Christ was a miracle.

Fu was a university student, trying to get an education so he could help his impoverished family. He became one of the leading organizers of the student demonstrations for democracy in Tienanmen Square in June, 1989. I remember the horror I felt the day I heard of the students gunned down by their own government when they peacefully demonstrated for freedom.

In this book, I found out that Bob Fu was one of them. He was a dynamic leader at his university, garnering support for the cause and had many friends. But after the disastrous massacre by the government, suddenly he was abandoned by all  and under government surveillance, being forced to write confessions. Only one person stood by him, and he was ready to commit suicide.

It was then someone handed him a tract with the testimony of a Christian in class one day so they could get him to stop crying. One thing led to another and Fu found Jesus in the midst of his despair. Thus, Bob Fu’s life was never the same again.

The rest of the book tells of his evangelism, escaping China and founding ChinaAid while living in Philadelphia with his wife. He shares how he intervened on the behalf of many others being persecuted, and used his influence in the highest levels of the United States government.

This book tells it like it is about the Communist government in China. How they persecute and enforce their population control, for example, and how people “disappear.” It is not safe or easy to be a Christian in China, yet he states that the Chinese people are hungry to be able to trust after living under threat for so long. He said: “…Chinese culture, especially after sixty years of communisim and wave after wave of class struggle, is desperate for trust.” (page 331)

I was privileged to meet a fellow believer whose story was shared in this book. At a Voice of the Martyrs conference last October, I met Sarah Liu, who was tortured with an electric prong by the government in prison. I did not know how badly she suffered at the time, reading about it in this book helped me to gain a knowledge of what our fellow brothers and sisters are undergoing even at this very hour.

God worked miraculously in Bob Fu’s life, and through his organization, many others in China have been helped and they continue to speak for the persecuted there today. Persecution is real, and happening more today than any other time in human history. If you would like to know more about the persecuted church you can find out more about them here:

http://www.chinaaid.org/

You may sign up for their email newsletter there as well. You can also learn more at the Voice of the Martyrs website as well:

http://www.persecution.com/

Though most of us cannot go to China to help, we can pray and give our aid and support to our beloved brothers and sisters there. I recommend reading God’s Double Agent as it will enable understanding of how things really are in the nation of China.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Review of Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow

Talk100_1293  about living in anxious times! Finding this wonderful book by this trusted Christian author was a real treat for me the other day. Many years ago, when I was a new wife and mother to be, a lady at our Bible Baptist church stood up at our young mother’s class and give a book review of another book by Linda Dillow. (That one was called Creative Counterpart,and it was my first taste of the concept of the wife’s role of godly submission to her husband.) Since then, I have been blessed to know other godly ladies who have helped teach me my Biblical role as wife and mother, and I view Mrs. Dillow as one of the pioneers of the movement.

Linda Dillow is a mother, a grandmother, the wife of a theologian (Dr. Jody Dillow- Grace School of Theology) and missionary who spent time behind the Iron Curtain with her husband and family when Communism was still the mode of government in Poland and Romania. She and her family risked their lives to teach people who had so little by American standards. But in many ways they were richer than us, because they knew that all they needed was Jesus.

I am guessing Linda Dillow wrote this book because she knew of our tendency as women to worry. If you know me, one of my biggest challenges in life is overcoming my tendency to worry and become anxious about things. The one thing about worry is that once you give in to one thing it seems to give way to five more things to worry and fret about. It can debilitate your entire life. It has mine at times in the past. That is why I am so glad that Scripture tells us in Philippians 4 that we don’t have to worry about even one thing. But the only way we can do that is if we get to know our God and how trustworthy and reliable He is, and bring every worry and concern to Him constantly.

This book gives practical encouragement from her own life and how God got her through many dangerous and tremendous trials with her children and facing dangers as a missionary, tests with misunderstandings with others, staying underground from the Communist government while ministering in Eastern Europe, etc. As I read the book, I felt like she was a friend chatting with me from her heart to mine. The book includes practical suggestions for dealing with “what if” thoughts and “if only” thoughts. Those are just the kind of thoughts that get me caught in the worry game.

My copy was originally published in 1998 but updated in 2007. There are 12 chapters in the book and at the end is a study guide that could be used for a small group of women. One thing I really liked about each chapter: at the conclusion of each she gave a character sketch of different women she met while ministering through the years. Some of these women’s testimonies were amazing.

For example, Mrs. Dillow described a woman named Eva from Communist Poland. This Christian woman was used to living practically as a gypsy with nothing wandering from place to place for years. She even washed her baby daughter’s diapers by hand. One day, she came to visit the missionary at her apartment and refused to use her modern conveniences when she did so. Eva said that Western women have “so many things that they don’t need God.” (page 84, Calm My Anxious Heart)

I felt deeply convicted after reading that. How easy to forget Him when we have everything. But through the trials we go through, He draws us back to Himself. This book offers wise counsel from an older woman to a younger woman (as in the verses in Titus 2:3-5) on how to grow close to God when situations come that tempt our hearts and minds to become anxious.

I highly recommend this book for women of all ages.

Leave a comment

Filed under awareness of the poor, Bible, Bible instruction, family relationships, grandmothers, missionaries, mothers, overcoming worry, Titus 2:3-5

Review of Time Travelers of the Bible by Gary Stearman

I just finished this massive 500+ page book by Gary Stearman and received so much encouragement, I wanted to share it. Don’t be intimidated by the page length, for the print type is large enough that the pages went by quickly for me. I kept telling myself as I read it, “I want to read this again.”

The main emphasis that I received from this book was how God exists outside the boundaries of time. He is not limited to past, present and future as we are, but to Him, He is already existing in eternity. As believers in Christ, though we have to live our lives in the time dimension, it is possible to have our lives strengthened by the knowledge that God sees us already there with Him in eternity, that there is a purpose for our pain, and that our losses will be compensated one Day.

I learned so many new things reading this book, for example, that there is a symmetry to time, and how the time that was lost in Joshua’s long day in Joshua 10: 11-14 probably corrected later in the time of Hezekiah when the clock was turned back in II Kings 20: 9-11.

Another thing I learned was that the book of Isaiah makes an outline of each book of the Bible. There are 66 books in the Bible, and 66 chapters in Isaiah.Each chapter corresponds with the number of the book that it goes along with. Chapters 1-39 have been noted to be quite different from the remaining chapters 40-66 in the book of Isaiah. (Isaiah 40 begins with “Comfort ye my people.”) Chapter 40 corresponds with the beginning of the New Testament, the book of Matthew, the very first gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Comfort did not come until Messiah arrived!

Stearman also shared that when Christ appeared in post-resurrection form, He existed in more dimensions than the four the rest of us exist in, and that explains how He could walk through walls, and appear and disappear at will. He also explains about the size of the New Jerusalem, how massive it will be, and how our chief end now is to prepare for that next life.

To those who have suffered from losses in life, I believe this book will give geat encouragement to look forward in eager expectation to our life in the eternal state. For our lives here are passing by like a shadow, but then the shadows will flee away.

There is much more, but I have given you a few examples to whet your appetite! Read the book and be encouraged.

Gary Stearman is on the program “Prophecy in the News,” founded with the late J.R. Church. He also is pastor of Grace Fellowship Bible Church in Oklahoma City.

Leave a comment

Filed under Bible, Bible instruction, devotional, heroes of the faith, Uncategorized