Thursday, May 25, 2017


Most of us are familiar with the story of the 21 Coptic Christians from Egypt who held fast to their faith and were beheaded by ISIS in February, 2015.

But did you know that only 20 of them were actually Copts from Egypt?  Did you know that one of the martyrs was from Chad, and he had not been a Christian prior to the day of his beheading?

Although this story was previously reported, I had not heard it before this week.

But at this week's World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians hosted by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, a Coptic leader shared the account.

It is a remarkable story.  All 21 men had been working in Libya when they were kidnapped by ISIS.

The Coptic Christians were given a choice to deny Jesus or die.  They refused to deny Him, knowing it would cost them their heads.

When the terrorists ordered the man from Chad to deny Jesus or die he answered, "their God is my God," thereby sealing his fate.

That is how moved he was by the faith of these Christians.  Their refusal to deny their Savior, even at the point of death-literally at the point of a knife to their throats- moved him to make a profession of faith. One that would cost him his head as well. 

The man had not been a believer.  All he had to say was, "I don't believe in Jesus" or,  "Jesus is not the Son of God," and he could walk away a free man. He would be with his family again.  He would not die a brutal death.  He would live to see another day.

Instead this man chose to proclaim "Go ahead and behead me,"  Your god is not my God  Their God is my God."

That is the power of the gospel, and that is how we overcome Satan, by not loving our lives to the point of death.  (Revelation12:11) May our Lord strengthen His people with these words.

Thursday, May 4, 2017


One morning I noticed that the only tree on our front lawn was dying. Something was wrong.  We had tried for years to plant other trees but failed. Our only survivor was  a little Japanese Maple tree and  this morning it  was loaded with Japanese beetles chewing on its leaves.  I was sick.

My first thought was to pray.  But what to pray?  As I started to praise the Lord for the little tree,  the beetles would rise up and stand at attention.  When I stopped, they continued to chomp. I got mad. The authority of Jesus rose up in me."In the name of Jesus, you Japanese beetles  have to bow and leave.  This tree belongs to the Lord and you have no right to it.  At the cross He won back what Adam lost. The earth is the Lords, and the fulness thereof. We rule now in the Name of Jesus."

For the next week I faithfully prayed and declared the victory of the cross over the little tree. The Japanese beetles were stubborn.  They were trying to ignore me, but still stood at attention when I praised the Lord.  It was getting fun to watch.  Then one day they were gone.  The little tree became our "resurrection tree."  It has now been forty years,  and no bugs have dared to touch it.
I witnessed for myself the power and authority I have in the Name of Jesus.  He rules over His creation and at the Name of Jesus everything that has breath, praises the Lord. The enemy may have power to deceive, but no authority to rule. Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of the Father!