The terror group Army of Islam is behind Sunday's terror attack in the Sinai
Peninsula, a Qatari website reported on Thursday. According to the report in
the Bawaba Ash-Sharq website, Egyptian security forces investigating the attack
in which 16 Egyptian officers were killed, have concluded that Army of Islam
members carried it out. Army of Islam is an Al-Qaeda inspired Gaza-based
terrorist group that wishes to see Gaza run by Muslim Sharia law.
- Arutz Sheva
Federal health officials took steps Thursday to head off the emergence of a new
gonorrhea "superbug" that's resistant to standard antibiotics. Gonorrhea, a
sexually transmitted disease that infects 700,000 Americans a year, already has
become resistant to all but one class of antibiotics and could soon become
untreatable, federal health officials warned. The new CDC guidelines call for
withholding a potent oral antibiotic now commonly used to treat the infection.
Instead, doctors should use an injectable form to which the gonorrhea bacteria
seems less likely to develop resistance, along with a second type of antibiotic
- USA Today
North Korea is technically capable of conducting a nuclear test in as little as
two weeks, according to a study published by the Bulletin of the Atomic
Commercial satellite imagery shows an underground tunnel has been prepared for
containing a nuclear explosion near the sites used for the regime's two earlier
tests in 2006 and 2009, according to the study written by Siegfried Hecker, a
scholar on North Korea’s nuclear program at Stanford University in California,
and Frank Pabian, a geospatial information analyst at the Los Alamos National
Perfect for Pentecost!
Both of these books, filled with all the intrigue, romance, and action of any modern-day screen play, have been heralded for their literary value for centuries. But this is not their most rewarding feature. God's use of these two faithful women brings a new understanding of God's faithfulness and the importance of our faithful participation.
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"I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure." – Eric Liddell
In the movie Chariots of Fire, based on the true story of Olympian
Eric Liddell, Liddell's sister complains that he should be doing more
important things with his life than running. Liddell responds with the
above quote, basically saying that, no, God was pleased when he ran
fast. His doing what God made him to do was a blessing and a joy to both
him and his Creator. As we watch the Olympic games in London, it is
easy to see the glory of God displayed in human beings, especially when they
recognize His hand on them.
Gabby Douglas has caught the attention of America and the world for several reasons; she gets beautiful height in her leaps and flips, earning her the nickname "the flying squirrel;" she is the first African American to win the all-around gold medal in women's gymnastics (the fourth American ever to do so at all); and she loves Jesus Christ.
After winning the gold medal for the all-around, Douglas notably said, "It is everything I thought it would be; being the Olympic champion, it definitely is an amazing feeling. And I give all the glory to God. It's kind of a win-win situation. The glory goes up to him and the blessings fall down on me."
This determined young lady is an inspiration to everybody. Her dedication to God, her hard work, and her history-making win are an encouragement to those who dream of following in her steps.
Gabby Douglas is not alone, though. There are a significant number of Olympians dedicated to giving God the glory.
Jacob Wukie loved to go bow hunting as a child. He won a bow hunting world championship at age 15 and went on to compete in archery at the college level. His perseverance in his passion for archery has led him to the 2012 Olympics, where he and the U.S. archery team captured the team competition silver medal after the team had suffered a "medal drought" since 2000.
Wukie credits God with his Olympics success. He had a poor attitude after he just missed making the 2008 Olympics team. He came in 17th in the first round of trials, when the top 16 archers moved on to the next round.
"Instead of trusting God and knowing that He was in control and had a plan for me, I was anxious and frustrated," Wukie said in a Beyond the Ultimate interview. Another archer pulled out in those 2008 trials, and Wukie was able to move forward, but his attitude was negative and he continued to shoot poorly.
Wukie had given his life to Jesus as a child, and during the trials he asked God to change his heart and fix his perspective. "The Lord did change my heart, and I became genuinely excited about the future, even though I didn't know what the future held," says Wukie. "I was right where God wanted me, and, as a result, I was very content."
He easily made the 2012 U.S. Olympic archery team, and he, Jake Kaminski and Brady Ellison won the silver medal in the team competition this Saturday. Wukie believes that God's will for him is to keep training and improving in archery, "…[B]ut regardless," he said, "I will be living my life for Christ, seeking to know Him more, and seeking to be used by Him to influence the lives of those around me so that they might know Him as well."
William Reid Priddy:
Reid Priddy is on his third Olympics, and at age 35 is considered an old man in U.S. men's volleyball. Like Eric Liddell, Priddy believes that God is glorified by his hard work and striving to be the best he can be with the talents he's been given.
"I believe that God is most glorified when I use the gifts He has given me to the best of my ability, whether I am on international TV or just training," Priddy told Beyond The Ultimate.
Priddy won a gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The men's volleyball team did well this year too, though they lost to Italy in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.
Priddy credits God with using volleyball to make him a better man in all aspects of his life. He gives 110 percent to the game, not for personal glory, but as part of seeking excellence in everything he does, from playing on the volleyball court to living at his home with his family. He believes our goal as Christians should be "to pursue greatness (no matter what you are doing) in the name of God and clinging to the strength He provides. Not with the end goal of winning - though it can be a goal and is part of the process - but rather to become more like God and glorify Him."
Those who serve God do not always win. Sometimes we Christians fall short of the "best" according to the world's definitions. Serving God is not a magic good luck charm. It doesn't guarantee success. It does mean we give Him everything out of our love and dedication to Him. We work our hardest, and then we trust Him with the results. We praise Him whether we win or whether we lose, letting Him work His work in our lives whatever happens.
Seattle native high jumper Jamie Nieto cleared the 2.29 meter jump at the Olympic games this week, the same height as the three co-third place winners, but because he'd had more earlier misses than the three bronze medal winners, he fell to 6th place. He thus lost his last chance at an Olympic medal. At 35, Nieto will be too old to compete in Brazil in 2016 (barring Abraham-like miracles). At Athens in 2004, he also lost the tie for bronze because of his earlier misses - to Jaroslav Baba of the Czech Republic.
Yet, Nieto has reached the Olympics and has succeeded despite his being the oldest on the U.S. high jump team. "Your only limitations are what you believe them to be, and as long as you put God first, you can achieve all things through Him," Nieto posted on his website.
He told the Christian Post, "I need God in every aspect to help me move forward in my career and being here at the Olympics is a testament."
These are just a few of the Christian Olympians competing for the U.S., and this list does not even touch on the non-American Christians at the London Olympics.
Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce called her home church in Jamaica on Sunday to thank the congregation for their prayers. Fraser-Pryce won the women's 100-meter final on Saturday with a time of 10.75 seconds. "I am just excited and if I never knew how powerful God was, I found out yesterday," she said. She has hardly kept her faith in God a secret.
Then there is Leo Manzano, who carried flags for both Mexico and the U.S. when he stood Tuesday in honor of the silver medal he'd won in the 1,500 meters. While he lives in the United States, he says his "roots are still in Mexico."
Manzano's dependence on God comes out constantly in the things he says. He gives God the credit for his victory in London, especially in his ability to race into second place at the very end of the race, despite the blood that oozed down his leg from spike wounds. He calls his final kick ability his "amazing gift from God."
"My legs just felt like they were bricks," said Manzano. "But really something inside me said, 'Keep going; keep going; keep pushing; keep pushing.' As I was coming down the track, I definitely prayed. I said, 'God give me the strength to push through,' and I definitely felt a surge of energy drawn from my body. The next thing I know I'm in second."
"It's been a long time," Manzano said. "I've been on five U.S. teams now. It's finally my turn. Last year, I came off the track, and I was limping off. From that to this, I couldn't ask for more."
Men and women from across the world are competing for medals, demonstrating not just their own abilities, but the amazing beauty and power of the human body and spirit. We are the treasures of God; He made us for excellence, and He is glorified when we push to the limits the talents He has given to us. When we recognize that our gifts are truly from Him, we get to enjoy the blessing of knowing His direct influence in our lives and His joy in us. We get to feel His pleasure.
"But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;" - Jesus (Matthew 5:44)
Nobody is certain what caused Wade Michael Page to start shooting people at a
Sikh temple outside Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Sunday morning. His rampage killed
six people, critically injured three more, and ultimately ended when he turned
his gun on himself. It was a senseless, destructive act that appears to be
connected to white supremacist ideology; Page belonged to two white power music
bands, End Apathy and Definite Hate. He identified himself as a Northern
Hammerskin, a racist skinhead group connected with violence.
In every town and community in the world, people can be found who are angry and looking for somebody to blame. Wade Michael Page chose to blame non-whites. He ended seven lives that day and did deep harm to countless others.
The response of the Sikh community has been encouraging. They have not called for vengeance; they have remained calm, showing compassion and supporting one another. Their temple was reopened on Thursday, and members of the community and volunteers ventured into it.
The Sikhs are a religious group that do not follow either the teachings of Hinduism or Islam, although they are often confused with Muslims because of the turbans they wear on their heads. The Sikh religion teaches that there is a single God over all the world's religions and reflects the eastern influence of its roots in the Punjab region of South Asia. It teaches that there is a cycle of reincarnation culminating in a final human form, and that by living a virtuous and honest life and turning away from sin, a person will one day merge with God. It is notable that the Sikhs treat men and women as equals and reject rituals like fasting, pilgrimages, superstitions and idol worship.
Love Your Neighbor:
As peaceful as the Sikh religion is, these people do not know the freedom from their sins that Jesus Christ offers. We know that the Sikhs are precious to God as well, and that they need the truth to set them free. Those who believe that white supremacist ideas have anything to do with Christianity have no real understanding of what Christianity truly is. Had Page known Jesus Christ, had he been filled with the love of God and a sense of God's power in his life, he could have handed his griefs and frustrations over to God and trusted Him to handle things. Apparently, Page did not know how to do that. Instead, he took out his anger on a group of strangers going to their place of worship on a Sunday morning.
Nobody appears to know why Page chose the Sikh temple as his target. The Sikh Coalition reacted to the tragedy by speaking out about the Sikh concept of Charhdi Kala or resilience. "The Sikh spirit ... resists fear/ego/anger and compels us to fight for justice for all," the Coalition tweeted. "We are not victims. We are Sikhs."
Washington Post columnist Rahiel Tesfamariam's reaction to the shooting was to panic at the unseen hosts of sleeping hate-group cells she believes are waiting to shed the blood of non-whites everywhere. She declared, "It reflects the fact that racial hatred is as American as apple pie, and it requires systematic solutions to address it. Hate is an eminent threat in America and it must be fought on American soil with the same persistence used to combat foreign enemies."
If that were so, the book To Kill A Mockingbird and The Cosby Show sitcom would never have been so greatly beloved by the American public. Jackie Chan would never make audiences of millions laugh and the country would never stand for Hispanic and Jewish Supreme Court justices, let alone a black president. If Tesfamariam were right, Americans would approve of the shooting of the people at the Sikh temple. Instead, Americans across the country are grieved that innocent people were attacked in a senseless act of terror. "The majority of people have been standing behind us," said Ravi Singh at the Sikh Religious Society of Palatine in the Chicago area. "It is not an attack against the Sikhs. It is an attack against humanity."
Tesfamariam's response to the attack was to call for greater cultural diversity training in schools. Even if such questionably valuable "training" were shoved onto teachers' already overloaded plates, however, there would certainly be students who would slip through the cracks, just as they do in all the other subjects - just as Wade Michael Page missed basic American cultural concepts like freedom of religion, being a good neighbor, and not shooting unarmed civilians.
We do not need more cultural diversity training in America, and we do not need to fear neo-Nazis patrolling our streets and playing angry music in basements. We do need to love our neighbors. As we do so, we can show the compassion and reality of Christ to the patient but hurting Sikh community. We can also demonstrate a better way of life to the angry and frustrated Wade Michael Pages among us, and perhaps unwittingly prevent the next horrific attack.
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