Friday, November 7, 2003

November 7, 2003

9:49 PM I bought a new bike yesterday, but I don’t have it yet. It’s on order from the factory and should arrive by Thanksgiving if all goes well. So I won’t say anything more about it, except that I couldn’t have purchased it without a very nice and totally unexpected gift from some friends who specified that they wanted me to use the money to by a new bike. And of course, I didn’t want to disappoint my friends so that’s why I’m getting a new bike. And I promised to be more careful than I have been, which I will be. 9:45 PM Tonight we attended a very special birthday for a very special girl. Hannah Mayrant turned three yesterday, but we had her birthday party today. I remember when her parents brought her back from India two years ago. She was so tiny and so shy. That’s all changed now. She’s all grown up (at least for a three-year-old) and she’s full of life and loves to tease. Tom served us raspberry ginger ale, a drink guaranteed to grow hair on your chest, and Cath made a lovely chocolate cake with yellow frosting. Hannah is still sort of scared of me—but they say she talks about “Pastor Ray” when I’m not there. I couldn’t get her to ride up and down on my legs, but she did want me to help her open one of the big presents. It’s the first real birthday party I’ve been to in a while, and we came home smiling. 1:54 PM An editorial in Christianity Today reminds us that persecution is a holy word that should not be used lightly:

Incidents of torture and bloodletting are too common in the non-Western portion of Christ’s church, which constitutes 70 percent of global Christianity. According to the World Evangelical Alliance’s Religious Liberty Commission, 200 million Christians today live with serious persecution–threatened with prison, violence, and other actions–for their faith.

7:59 AM Don’t forget that Sunday is the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. We start with a prayer breakfast tomorrow morning followed by a film tomorrow night. Dr. Scott Hafemann of Wheaton College speaks on Sunday morning, and we wrap things up with a panel discussion and writing postcards to imprisoned Christians on Sunday night. 7:20 AM Christians and Muslims: Can we all get along? The Washington Times discusses the dismal historical record. The Chapel in Akron (a church very similar to Calvary—only much larger) found itself at the center of controversy recently over this very issue. Christina Odone makes a strong case for Christian boldness, despite opposition and ridicule. Meanwhile, Christian missionaries in Egypt face a recent crackdown that includes arresting Muslims who have converted to Christianity.

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