Sapphire Sky

February 14, 2011

What if the mountain is you?

Filed under: Ministry, praise, video — Christ Ranger @ 9:28 pm

What happens when a gifted worship minister struggles with God’s call to leave his (and his family’s) comfort and enter the foreign mission field?  Well, if it’s David Loftis with a camera and an Internet connection, it’s a new song and video about the struggle to follow God’s call and what happened when he prayed for the faith that moves mountains:

January 12, 2011

The Uncomfortable Church

Filed under: Ministry, World etc. — Christ Ranger @ 5:32 pm

It’s easy to take for granted our religious freedoms here in the USA.  While sometimes we complain about cultural hostility to Biblical truths, we must be careful not to conflate a secular humanist culture with religious persecution.  This country is still the most open, freest place in the history of humanity to practice one’s religion and pursue the face of God.  In fact, I believe comfort and not our culture is a far greater threat to the Western church.  This is an easy place to be a comfortable, sleeping Christian … to be lukewarm.  We’re a very comfortable people.  We often make a fuss because we’re “losing” the culture and our public institutions. We are not, however, losing our lives for the Gospel of Christ. 

What would it be like to be a Christian for even a week and attend church in a hell hole like Iran or North Korea? Brothers and sisters in Christ suffer and die throughout much of the world because of their faith in Christ. 

Paul Marshall reports on NRO: Iran Escalates Attacks on Christians 

North Korea tortures Christian evangelist to death after years of imprisonment: here.

Compass News reports, Lao Officials Destroy Rice Paddies, Expel More Christians 

In Somalia, a 17-year-old girl was recently killed for converting to Christianity, a so-called “honor killing.”  Nurta Mohamed Farah, who had fled her village to live with relatives after her parents tortured her for leaving Islam, died on Nov. 25, 2010.  See here

Compass Direct News reports: Muslims in Pakistan Burn, Beat Evangelist Unconscious

Voice of the Martyrs reports:

OneNewsNow.com is reporting on the State Department being deeply concerned about the rise in Christian persecution worldwide.

U.S. State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told reporters at a recent press conference on Tuesday about the rise in attacks against Christians in Africa and areas of the Middle East. He explained that the State Department is aware of a “recent string of attacks against Christians” that has created heightened concern.

Jonathan Racho, regional manager for International Christian Concern (ICC), says his organization welcomes the response of the State Department. “The statement that they made is really powerful, and we believe that it will at least raise their concern with officials of countries where Christians are persecuted,” Racho suggests.

He goes on to note a recent attack on an Egyptian church that left 21 people dead, as well as the 86 believers who were brutally killed in Nigeria. In October, a local al-Qaeda group claimed responsibility for the deaths of 53 people after militants entered a church in Baghdad. …

Full article here.

I suspect that when we meet Christ on the other side of the veil, we will learn that here in the USA, we were nearly completely unaware of the giants of the faith in our time.  The American church is comfortable.  We are not broken, bleeding, or persecuted for our faith in Christ.  Indeed, I’m afraid to ask Christ for the strength and opportunity to be worthy of His calling …



December 1, 2010

Rebuilding Noah’s Ark to Biblical Scale

Filed under: entertainment, Ministry — Christ Ranger @ 5:10 pm

Kentucky Governor Beshear, Ark Encounter Announce Plans to Build a Full-Scale Noah’s Ark : “Ark Encounter” to employ 900, expected to draw 1.6 million visitors in first year

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Dec. 1, 2010)—Governor Steve Beshear today joined the Ark Encounter LLC to announce the planned construction of a full-scale Noah’s Ark tourist attraction in northern Kentucky. Partnering with the Ark Encounter is Answers in Genesis, which is most widely known for its high-tech and popular Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky.

“We are excited to join with the Ark Encounter group as it seeks to provide this unique, family friendly tourist attraction to the Commonwealth,” said Gov. Beshear. “Bringing new jobs to Kentucky is my top priority, and with the estimated 900 jobs this project will create, I am happy about the economic impact this project will have on the Northern Kentucky region.”

 The Ark Encounter is scheduled to open in spring 2014 in northern Kentucky. Multiple sites are being considered, although property in Grant County off I-75 is at the top of the list. A feasibility study conducted by the renowned America’s Research Group has indicated that the Ark Encounter may attract 1.6 million visitors in the first year and is expected to employ up to 900 full- and part-time staff.

 The for-profit Ark Encounter project will be privately funded at an estimated cost of $150 million. The final site selection for the Ark Encounter is subject to the ability to acquire all of the land needed for the project, and the approval of certain state and local incentives and other assistance for the project.

 “We are very pleased to be a part of this new project,” said Ken Ham, president and founder of AiG and the Creation Museum. “AiG has been blessed to see the Creation Museum host over one million guests in three years. Based on our experience and success operating the large, state-of-the-art Creation Museum, our board believes the time is right to partner with the Ark Encounter in building a full-scale Noah’s Ark. We hope that this fun and educational complex called the Ark Encounter will become another popular tourist destination for the state.”

 In addition to the full-size Ark, the complex will include a Walled City much like was found in ancient times, live animal shows, a children’s interactive play area, a replica of the Tower of Babel with exhibits, a 500-seat 5-D special effects theater, an aviary, and a first-century Middle Eastern village.

 To showcase the “green” construction methods and materials that will be used, the complex will also include a Special Events Area for large gatherings, highlighting some of the Leader in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building techniques used to construct the Ark Encounter.

 One of the factors in getting the Ark Encounter to launch the Ark project at this time was a November 2009 CBS News survey, which revealed that the remains of Noah’s Ark would be the greatest archaeological discovery of our day. CBS News stated: “CBS’ 60 Minutes news program, in conjunction with Vanity Fair magazine, recently conducted a web survey asking which archaeological discovery people would most want to see made next. The response: Noah’s Ark (43 percent); Atlantis (18 percent); Amelia Earhart’s plane (16 percent); Nixon’s lost tapes (13 percent); and Cleopatra’s barge (5 percent).”

 The report continued: “Noah’s Ark continues to capture the imagination of the general public, and this interest spans all social, religious and economic segments. The Ark and the flood is one of the few historical events which are well known in the worldwide global circle.”

 Following the release of the article, the Ark Encounter group became even more convinced about the viability of the project. It will be assembling virtually the same team that designed and built the Creation Museum, and have these same talented staff design a full-scale Noah’s Ark.

 For information on the Ark Encounter, see www.ArkEncounter.com

July 29, 2010

Witnessing 101

Filed under: Ministry, Uncategorized — bigbluelab @ 1:24 pm

July 24, 2010

Faith in Action – Son Jong Nam, aged 50 RIP

Filed under: Ministry, World etc. — Christ Ranger @ 5:17 pm

A loyal servant to the North Korean government, until NK police beat his wife and forced abortion in her 8th month of pregnancy because she had the audacity to complain about the policies of Kim Jong-il.  They fled to China.  She died shortly thereafter of cancer.  Through the loving witness of a missionary, Son Jong Nam put his faith in Christ.

Instead of rejecting God and the land of his birth and his countrymen, he embraced Christ and devoted his life to giving words of hope to his suppressed countrymen.  Returning to North Korea to preach the good news of Jesus Christ, Son Jong Nam was repeatedly imprisoned and abused.  Now reported tortured to death by the communist regime of Kim Jong-il.  Full story here

Martyred  at age 50 for spreading the gospel.  He enters his reward.

May 4, 2010

Christ in Action …

Filed under: Ministry — Christ Ranger @ 5:09 pm

God is greatly using Samaritan’s Purse to bring relief to Haiti’s impoverished quake victims.  The relief provided by Samaritan’s Purse includes the following:

  • Shelters: 
    • over 500 completed
    • strategy to build 1,200 each month
    • 7,500 is the goal – should be completed by the end of October
    • Haiti’s president said the shelters have been the best thing to happen since the earthquake
  • Medical
    • Baptist Haiti Mission (medical outreach of Samaritan’s Purse) has had over 9,600 patient contacts
    • Their clinic in Cite Soleil has treated over 2,600 patients
    • Nearly 30 pallets of medical supplies have been sent
  • Water/Sanitation
    • Installed 20 water filtration systems, each of which can provide enough water for 3,000 people daily
    • 149 shower stalls installed
    •  211 hand washing stations constructed
    • 681 latrines constructed
  • Rubble Removal
    • Over 34,000 metric tons of rubble removed in Grand Goave and Leogane
    • 1,292 local Haitians employed by cash for work trash/debris removal (40%  women)
  • Non-Food Items
    • 12,672 Jerry Cans
    • 29,940 Blankets
    • 2,200 Flashlights
    • 2,000 Mosquito Nets
    • 1,000 Kitchen Kits  
  • Supplies: Samaritan’s Purse has flown supplies into the country on 21 flights, including six planes chartered by Samaritan’s Purse. They have also sent two cargo ships loaded with emergency relief and rebuilding items. 
  • Staffing: Samaritan’s Purse has sent 185 staff members and non-medical volunteers to Haiti. They have also sent 90 medical staff members and volunteers, and 22 chaplains from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s Rapid Response Team have worked with their team on the ground.  Over 1,200 national staff have also been employed.

See also here, here, and here.

Last week, the Creation Museum celebrated its ONE MILLIONTH visitor … and in less than three years.  God continues to bless the ministry of Answers in Genesis.

Trans World Radio has announced a radio ministry to equip youth pastors in China, where there are over 500 million people under the age of 18.

Door 43 (Distant Shores Media) is providing technical support for the delivery of stories of the Bible in the Lusoga language (Uganda) over the Internet and to mobile phones anywhere in the world that a Lusoga speaker happens to be.  Slowly but consistently, Door 43 is working toward creating an international resource pool of open source discipleship and Biblical resources.

April 22, 2010

World Cup Outreach

Filed under: Ministry, sports, video, World etc. — Christ Ranger @ 9:23 pm

In 48 days THE GAMES BEGIN !  The Olympics may involve more nations, but I suspect no event attracts more attention world-wide than the World Cup.  Mark your calendars for June 12 – that’s the USA’s first match … and we get England! Let’s give the hooligans something to holler about.

South Africa is sponsoring the Cup this year and hundreds of thousands of tourists will be traveling there to view and cheer.  There will be plenty of opportunity to meet and engage people from the world over. In response to this opportunity, Nations Touch is gearing up to reach people at the Cup with the Gospel of Jesus Christ using … soccer balls!  Very clever outreach.  Please consider supporting their effort.  See details at Nation Touch’s World Cup Project.  

Go USA!

March 18, 2010

New Paradigm Ministry: Door43

Filed under: Ministry, Uncategorized — Christ Ranger @ 12:03 pm

I have some friends and client that recently started an exciting, next-generation ministry called Door43.  The ministry is missions based, with a view of using the internet and a Christian creative commons to create discipleship tools for minority language groups in limited access countries.  I can see the ministry expanding to include major language groups as well.  The tools and content will be free of charge and released under a Creative Commons license, giving anyone, anywhere, the freedom to translate, adapt, edit, improve, re-purpose and redistribute the tools for any ministry need, without any legal concern or copyright infringement. Door43 is working to establish an open-membership network of Christians to create and translate content for use all over the world. The internet site will provide an on-line workbench that uses a wiki engine as a platform for drafting, discussing, editing, refining and distributing open discipleship tools.  Door43 is somewhat like a cross between Facebook and Wikipedia.  This is exciting, 21st Century missions work.  Please  consider joining their team through prayer, getting the word out, and if you’re able, by financially supporting this fledgling ministry effort.

March 10, 2010

I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ – massive campaign

Filed under: culture, encouragement, entertainment, Ministry — Christ Ranger @ 8:29 pm

Answers in Genesis has rolled out the “I Am Not Ashamed” campaign, featuring “I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ” message.  It’s a media blitz – television, YouTube, blog, internet, Facebook, Twitter, TV, newspaper, billboards … it’s a massive campaign.  You can see it all here.  I encourage you to email the YouTube videos and post them on your FB account.  At the center of it is a “living” Bible where people contribute their rendition of Biblical passages.  Submit a video of you and/or your family reciting your favorite (or most obscure) chapter in the Bible.  There are really cool billboards, see them here, that feature “The Bible speaks for itself on _____,” where the blank may be abortion, racism, marriage, etc.  You can sponsor a billboard to include listing your church or ministry on it.  All very cool stuff.  Pray that this media blitz introduces millions to the Gospel and that souls are saved, and please spread the word!

March 9, 2010

Christ in Action

Filed under: Ministry, Uncategorized — Christ Ranger @ 6:01 pm

Doug Phillips (Vision Forum) flew down to Haiti shortly after the devestating earthquake.  In response to the tragedy, Doug and his family took action soon after they arrived.  They are coordinating adoptions between Haitian orphans and families in the US.  They’re also providing ministry support so that these orphans learn that in addition to these new parents who love them, the children also have a father in heaven who loves them and offers them the free gift of eternal life.  Follow the details of what Doug, his family and Vision Forum are doing at his blog here , and please say a prayer for them and for these children who have at such a young age already known such hardships.

February 2, 2010

Ken Ham’s State of the Nation Address

Filed under: culture, Ministry, politics, economy, etc. — Christ Ranger @ 10:45 pm

This should be a good watch Feb. 16 at 8pm est.

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