Must Read Monday, 5-6-2019 International news, 13 Reasons Why, Justin Bieber and my anniversaryMay 6, 2019
India and Mozambique are reeling in the aftermath of devastating cyclones. Pray for those affected by cyclone Fani in India as they seek to begin recovery efforts in the midst of what is forecast to be a great heat wave. And for the people of Mozambique, pray for the necessary resources to be identified and positioned to meet the need of people who have now endured two successive storms: Idai and Kenneth. Let us not grow weary in doing good nor fatigued in our compassion.
What I’m calling the real Game of Thrones….here are several international headlines about heads of state and real volatility on the world stage –
- Royal baby in Britain, 7th in line for the throne, born to Prince Harry and Meghan Markel.
- Thailand’s new king was inaugurated as throngs hailed “long live the king,” who they regard as a living deity
- Japan’s new emperor introduced – he too is regarded as a living deity although the former emperor, his father, is not yet dead
- Sudan – a populist uprising to see non-Islamist and non-military civilian government needs our prayers
- Venezuela – the hoped-for peaceful transition from Maduro to Guaido needs our prayers
- Iran – the United States has deployed a carrier and bomber task force to the Perian Gulf amidst intelligence information that Iran was planning action against American personnel in the region. Pray for a de-escalation as Iran views foreign forays into the Persian Gulf as aggressive threats to its regional rule.
- China: three things on this front – one is tariffs related to the U.S. and the impact of one Tweet on global financial markets, another is human rights violations related to the Uighars and another is China’s 1000 year plan for world domination. (I told you there was a Game of Thrones theme here. While Christians may point to the Millennial reign of Christ here, the Church also needs a 1000 year plan for the here and now. What’s your church’s 1000 year plan?)
- South Korea alleges that North Korea’s firing of short range missiles were in violation of agreements and that the projectiles fired were a new variety of weapon.
- Israel and Hamas have a ceasefire agreement after a very bloody weekend. Hamas fired more than 700 missiles from Gaza into Israel, killing 4 and injuring more than 270. Israel responded with airstrikes targeting Hamas and its leaders. These targeted assassinations had collateral damage – the 23 people killed included at least three civilians.
Life headlines and storylines
- Kansas Supreme Court issued ruling last week that is the most egregious pro-abortion decision in America to date. Arguing that the Declaration of Independence and the concepts of natural, inalienable rights are the underlying basis of the right to an abortion, the court ruled dismemberment abortion a legal right.
- Heartbeat bills provide opportunity for positive engagement in the abortion debate
- Trump admin implements conscience protections for medical personnel who oppose abortion
- Researchers find a credible connection between the dramatic rise in teen suicide and the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why. I have a resource for parents and educators here.
My 8th anniversary is tomorrow! Jim and I have learned a lot about God, grace, marriage, parenting…so much…in our eight years of marriage. Thankful for each and all who have shared – and are sharing – this journey with us.
One more thing…
In his latest Instagram post, Justin Bieber encouraged his 111 million followers to look to Jesus for all things in life. He pointed his followers to Jesus whether they’re dealing with problems at home, in relationships or struggling with mental health issues.
He wrote: “Fight for what you love and who you love don’t let fear and anxiety win..god has not given us a spirit of fear but of power love and of a sound mind!”
Admitting, “I haven’t believed the truth about myself I haven’t believed I am loved I haven’t believed I am forgiven it’s a hard thing for me to wrap my head around,”
And then he confessed, “Jesus has given me freedom and the pursuit of getting to know his character is never ending,” Bieber explained. “Gods character never changes he is the same yesterday now and forever. He is always good!”
He demonstrated a willingness to be vulnerable before God, assuring others that “God isn’t afraid of your pain and your brokenness he actually welcomes it.”
Reciting Matthew 11:28, Bieber said, “Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest!” Then he exclaimed, “These are words from Jesus! There is hope and it’s in him!!”
Say what you might about the 25-year-old and his music, but surely we can all celebrate the way in which he is using his influential platform to declare the goodness of God in the midst of personal struggle.
Bieber assured his followers of the love and goodness of God, saying, ““He loves and cares for you! For God so loved the world that He gave his only son so that whoever believes him won’t die but have eternal life!” You and I recognize that as a reference to John 3:16, which Bieber then explained, “You are that whoever and he accepts you as you are!! He loves and forgives you and welcomes you into his arms every time you mess He is a perfect and loving God who adores you!”
You may recall that back in March, Justin Bieber publicly asked for prayer. He admitted he was having mental health struggles and asked his fans to pray. His update on that journey was also posted on Instagram where he said, “I’m getting there one day at a time. If you’re going through it, don’t give up.”
How are you using your social media to encourage others in Christ today?
Maybe we should follow Justin Bieber.