Saturday, December 20, 2014

prayer diary Saturday 20 Dec 2014 (day of discipline and self-denial)

Then Mary said, ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’ 
Luke 1. 38

Reflection:
Our Lady said 'yes' to God despite all the risks she ran in the society she lived in. Why do we then so often say' no' to him when the risks are so small and the rewards for saying 'yes' so great?

Friday, December 19, 2014

prayer diary Friday 19 Dec 2014 (day of discipline and self-denial)

When Zechariah saw the angel, he was terrified; and fear overwhelmed him. But the angel said to him, ‘Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard.' 
Luke 1. 12,13

Reflection
Zechariah was a righteous man yet he trembled before God's messenger. How much harder must it be for those who reject all that is holy to stand in the presence of God himself when the time comes?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

EGYPT: CHRISTIAN CONVERT FACING MALTREATMENT IN PRISON

a Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) press release

Christian Solidarity Worldwide has received confirmed reports that Bishoy Armia Boulous, an Egyptian convert to Christianity who is currently serving a prison sentence, is being mistreated in prison.

Bishoy Armia Boulous, formerly known as Mohammed Hegazy, is being held in Tora Prison, Cairo. His lawyer has informed CSW that Mr Boulous is being held in solitary confinement in a cell designated for those awaiting capital punishment. Prison staff are abusing him verbally on account of his religion and are also abusing him physically; including breaking his glasses and making him walk barefoot to hearings in Minya Misdemeanour Court. There are unconfirmed reports that Mr Boulous has begun a hunger strike in protest at his detention and maltreatment.

After originally being imprisoned in December 2013 on allegations of  'sectarian strife', Mr Boulous was released then re-arrested on the same day in July 2014. He was working as a correspondent for El-Tarek TV, a Christian TV channel, when he was arrested and his camera was confiscated. The arrest document from the Head of the Intelligence Police in Minya Province stated: 'It came to our knowledge that a convert from Islam is photographing the demonstrations.' Mr Boulous' solicitor asserts that in reality these charges were precipitated by his client's attempt in 2007 to change his religious designation in his national ID card.

CSW's Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said, 'We continue to have serious concerns about the charges brought against Bishoy Armia Boulous, as well as the unacceptable mistreatment he is being subjected to in prison. Mr Boulous was merely doing his job as a camera man when he was arrested. Moreover, the charge levelled against him lacks substance, adding credence to assertions that he is being mistreated because of his earlier attempts to seek official recognition of his conversion. The new Egyptian constitution states in Article 64 that freedom of belief is absolute, and in Article 9 the State undertakes to ensure equal opportunity for all citizens without discrimination. We call on the Egyptian Ministry of Justice to urgently investigate the mental and physical abuse Mr Boulous is receiving in prison, to adhere to the constitution by dropping any charge he faces in connection with his religious status or conversion, and to release him.'

For further information or to arrange interviews please contact Kiri Kankhwende, Press Officer at Christian Solidarity Worldwide on +44 (0)20 8329 0045 / +44 (0) 78 2332 9663, email kiri@csw.org.uk or visit www.csw.org.uk.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) is a Christian organisation working for religious freedom through advocacy and human rights, in the pursuit of justice.

prayer diary Thursday 18 Dec 2014 (day of discipline and self-denial)

All this took place to fulfil what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: ‘Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son.' 
Matthew 1. 22-23

Reflection:
God chose as his Mother not a Queen, or a person of wealth and power, but a woman of great holiness, a woman obedient to God's will. We also must strive to be holy if we would welcome the Christ-child into our hearts at this time.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

prayer diary Wednesday 17 Dec 2014 (day of discipline and self-denial)

So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David to the deportation to Babylon, fourteen generations; and from the deportation to Babylon to the Messiah,fourteen generations. 
 Matthew 1.17

Reflection
Do your eyes glaze over when you hear the genealogies of Jesus in the Gospels read? You're probably not alone! But these accounts are important, for they stress the continuity of the Old Testament with the New and how the promises made by God to his Chosen People were fulfilled in Christ.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

haiku: by my window

by my window two starlings, 
    drinking
        from the gutter

prayer diary Tuesday 16 Dec 2014 (day of discipline and self-denial)

“Son, go and work in the vineyard today.” He answered, “I will not”; but later he changed his mind and went ... the second ... answered, “I go, sir”; but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?’ 
Matthew 21.28-31

Reflection:
Any willfulness from the early part of your life matters not at all in the face of later obedience to God's will. It is never too late to change your ways.