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Showing posts from March, 2011

Heaven Is For Real

By Mitiku Adisu   Heaven is for real. Jesus said so! ( John 3:13 ) Heaven Is For Real is the story of a visit supposedly to heaven of a 3-year-old [some accounts say 4-year-old] eight years ago as told to his dad. The book is now at No.1 on The New York Times paperback bestseller list. The widespread appeal could be attributed to two potent combinations of events. One, it is an evidence of how hungry men and women are for the transcendent. Two, this is a story [and stories do wield uncanny power over us] and the fact that the story is told by a 3-year-old [representing for us a yeaning to regain a lost innocence]. Add to this the workings of the book publishing world, advertizing agencies, and all the tubes and webs you can think of – all diligently demanding their share of this newest of phenomena and you get a glimpse of what is going on. This and similar books could serve as a good diversion from economic uncertainties and social and natural upheavals coming at us from ev

What Happened to Heaven?

What Happened to Heaven and Is Gandhi There? Source: WSJ Something strange has happened in evangelical churches over the past generation. Not in every congregation, but in the main, sermons devoted to the grim prospect of hell have become rare, and even talk of heaven is muted. Many have noted this development without making much impact. Along comes Rob Bell, founding pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in Michigan. His "Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived" is now ranked No. 8 on, and it has been generating controversy since before its release earlier this week. "There are a growing number of us," Mr. Bell writes on the first page—"millions"—"who have become acutely aware that Jesus's story has been hijacked by a number of other stories, stories Jesus isn't interested in telling. . . . A staggering number of people have been taught that a select few Christians will spend forever in a peacef

Japan Earthquake

credit: 15,000 are feared dead or unaccounted for and 300,000 left homeless. Just like that. A devastating earthquake and then a tsunami. A massive body of water removing, engulfing and tossing about any object in its path; it appeared the edifices we thought were unshakeable had no chance against the forces that were unleashed. Here are few scriptures to help us articulate prayers of need and hope. Ed. The seas have lifted up, O LORD, the seas have lifted up their voice; the seas have lifted up their pounding waves.   Psalm 93:3 The mountains saw you and writhed. Torrents of water swept by; the deep roared and lifted its waves on high. Habakkuk 3:10 As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.   Psalm 103:15-16 Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12 Show me, O LORD, my life's end and

Doing the Right Thing the Wrong Way

Doing the Right Thing the Wrong Way By Mitiku Adisu The recent outcry over violence against Christians in Jimma region of southwestern Ethiopia is an object lesson on the danger of doing the right thing the wrong way. Clashes in Ethiopia are not new phenomena and have persisted for centuries [with varying intensity, of course] the most memorable of which was the one that Ahmad Gragn (born c. 1506—died 1543) visited upon our nation. A sense of history is what we need in times like this to not overstate documentation of events. Joined to this is the attempt on the part of some to suggest an idyllic environment existed between [Orthodox] Christians and Muslims until Protestant Christians came along. That there is a culture of relative tolerance between Christians and Muslims is a fact of life. However, that should not preclude the reality and importance of fundamental differences, the knowledge of which could increase mutual understanding and respect for the other. The first

Non-profit Adoption?

Adoption Slowdown in Ethiopia Mobilizes All God's Children International [AGCI] The recent plan by the Ethiopian government to slow international adoption by 90% has triggered a call to action by All God's Children International (AGCI), the Portland based non-profit adoption and orphan care agency. Working with the Joint Council on International Children's Services, AGCI is encouraging everyone who cares about the welfare of children to sign the online petition. More here . Few facts about ACGI: here   here  [scroll to page 8] here  and here Previous blog post here .

Attack on Ethiopian Christians Continues

[UPDATE] The total of churches burned down so far have risen to 41 [28 of which are Kale Heywet churches]. Over 2,000 people have been displaced and are in shelters in Ako, Jimma, Dimtu and Derbo. The Evangelical Churches Fellowship reported the incidence to government officials but little action has been taken to stop the violence. The fundamentalist crowd is estimated at 10,000. Local p olice are standing by watching and not fulfilling their duties. More here .

Attack on Ethiopian Christians

Below is news we received from Ethiopia of militant Islamic groups attacking Christians and burning down churches. We have withheld names to protect their identity . Ed. [BEGIN] Islamic groups attack Ethiopian Christians After a four-year break, Muslim fundamentalists are once again attacking Christians in Jimma region, 300km west of the capital Addis Ababa. The attack took place in different locations starting 2 March 2011. According to local church leaders, several churches and Christian homes have been burned down. Location and number of Churches burned: Asendabo - 3; Chiltie - 1; Gilgel Gibe - 1; Nada - 4; Dimtu - 2; Uragay - 1; Busa - 1; Koticha - 1. [total: 14] Name and number of evangelical churches attacked are as follows: Ethiopian Kale Heywet church - 8; Mekane Yesus - 2; Muluwengel - 2; and Adventist - 1. Over 35 Christian homes have also been burned down in broad daylight and families displaced to the backwoods. Church leaders reported that children and women are greatly a

Is Adoption a Temptation?

Ethiopia to Cut Foreign Adoptions by Up to 90 Percent Source: VOA Ethiopia is cutting back by as much as 90 percent the number of inter-country adoptions it will allow, as part of an effort to clean up a system rife with fraud and corruption. Adoption agencies and children’s advocates are concerned the cutbacks will leave many Ethiopian orphans without the last-resort option of an adoptive home abroad. Ethiopia’s Ministry of Women’s, Children’s and Youth Affairs has issued a directive saying it will process a maximum of five inter-country adoptions a day, effective March 10. Currently, the ministry is processing up to 50 cases a day, about half of them to the United States. A copy of the directive provided to VOA says the reduction of up to 90 percent in cases will allow closer scrutiny of documents used to verify a child’s orphan status. Ministry spokesman Abiy Ephrem says the action was taken in response to indications of widespread fraud in the adoption process. "What we have s