Alone

It’s just sad when the voices stop and it’s just a silence of real sounds.

It’s sad when the voices are just distanced.

It’s just sad when you’re alone.

It’s not for long.

Long Way Out

I spoke to lots of people today. It’s always a pleasure to engage the minds of the youthful. I envy the youthful energy and the time they still have in their lives. 🙂 Grin… it is one thing to live for the sake of living, it is really another to live for the reason of life.

Practically, it shows itself. No regrets.

Tomorrow, there will be a Christian Fellowship on the topics of “Creation and Providence” and how it relates to us. Hope those who are curious, will come for the discussion and talk on the matter. Life is way too short to merely live out for the now. We should spend the time asking for the ‘why’s and the ‘how’s of this single shot at life.

Room 3-1 or 3-2 at 1.30pm. 🙂

Must Read Disaster!

You got to read this article… really, really worth reading. Never knew how dangerous something so simple could be. And yes, this makes for exciting fiction plot lines! 🙂

On the morning of August 22, 1986, a man hopped onto his bicycle and began riding from Wum, a village in Cameroon, towards the village of Nyos. On the way he noticed an antelope lying dead next to the road. Why let it go to waste? The man tied the antelope onto his bicycle and continued on. A short distance later he noticed two dead rats, and further on, a dead dog and other dead animals. He wondered if they’d all been killed by a lightening strike – when lightening hits the ground it’s not unusual for animals nearby to be killed by the shock.

Soon the man came upon a group of huts. He decided to see if anyone there knew what had happened to the animals. But as he walked up to the huts he was stunned to see dead bodies strewn everywhere. He didn’t find a single person still alive—everyone in the huts was dead. The man threw down his bicycle and ran all the way back to Wum….

Continue reading the whole article here, http://www.neatorama.com/2007/05/21/the-strangest-disaster-of-the-20th-century

Amazing!

Starcraft 2

It’s been a very sick weekend. I’m still feeling under the weather. Sigh.

But, good news is that finally, Blizzard Entertainment is building the next installation of its Starcraft franchise. At long last. Head over to www.blizzard.com for the latest and some movies on the game.

Image-Bearers: Where Did It Go Wrong?

I have no idea why, but I think it is about time the tone becomes more serious… in a place where so many purported Christians are housed, the level of Christ-bearing is exceptionally low. From this week’s CF newsletter:

Dear friends,
We are image-bearers, whether we like it; of our family, our society, our education institutions, our company… our Creator. Therefore, even in dealing with assignments and examinations, there is a very real reality of Christ exaltation which students often just ignore. Ignorance is NOT bliss in this context. It is sinfulness.

( 1Co 10:31 …whatever you do, do all to the glory of God )

How does Christ want you to face your examinations and to glorify Him? What is the USE of worshipping Him on Sunday, but just throwing Him away for the other 6 days, especially in things where it counts, where others see you as an image-bearer? So much for the glory of God in your exams?

Join us and let’s listen from what God has to say on this at room 3-1 or 3-2 at 1.30pm tomorrow, Friday, 18th May 2007 for the answers. Questions are most welcomed.

Soli Deo Gloria.

(end quote)

ML was mentioning that this generation of professing Christian youths are really quite different from the previous one. We thought we were bad enough already! Hahaha… but this is in tandem with the signs of the age as was expounded by Christ in His ministry on earth.

Soli Deo Gloria indeed.

WikiLeaks – Whistleblowing 2.0

Wikileaks is developing an uncensorable Wikipedia for untraceable mass document leaking and analysis. Our primary interests are oppressive regimes in Asia, the former Soviet bloc, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, but we also expect to be of assistance to those in the west who wish to reveal unethical behavior in their own governments and corporations. We aim for maximum political impact; this means our interface is identical to Wikipedia and usable by non-technical people. We have received over 1.2 million documents so far from dissident communities and anonymous sources.We believe that transparency in government activities leads to reduced corruption, better government and stronger democracies. Many governments would benefit from increased scrutiny by the world community, as well as their own people. We believe this scrutiny requires information. Historically that information has been costly – in terms of human life and human rights. Wikileaks will facilitate safety in the ethical leaking movement.

http://wikileaks.org/

This will fail eventually… due to “information overload”. Unless they have more people involved in vetting the documents.

But worth a look. Really.

Reading Day

Sick Days are like Reading Days to me. You just can’t do anything on the computer for long, and you can’t go out, you can’t eat your favourite foods. So you just read and absorb. Not much thinking.

I’m aiming to finish at least one book. Moderate sized one.

Cancer Cure – The Premise of DCA

I’m sick… can’t even talk much at the moment. Whispering (which is rare for me). Sigh… anyway, what struck me with this interesting opinion (OPINION… Note that word there!) piece is the content of ‘hope’ laced in it. Here’s a quick excerpt from the short letter:

Here’s the deal. Researchers at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada found a cheap and easy to produce drug that kills almost all cancers. The drug is dichloroacetate, and since it is already used to treat metabolic disorders, we know it should be no problem to use it for other purposes.

Doesn’t this sound like the kind of news you see on the front page of every paper?

The drug also has no patent, which means it could be produced for bargain basement prices in comparison to what drug companies research and develop.

Scientists tested DCA on human cells cultured outside the body where it killed lung, breast and brain cancer cells, but left healthy cells alone. Rats plump with tumors shrank when they were fed water supplemented with DCA.

Again, this seems like it should be at the top of the nightly news, right?

Cancer cells don’t use the little power stations found in most human cells – the mitochondria. Instead, they use glycolysis, which is less effective and more wasteful.

Doctors have long believed the reason for this is because the mitochondria were damaged somehow. But, it turns out the mitochondria were just dormant, and DCA starts them back up again.

Full letter can be read from here

What is interesting to me is the allusion that people (rephrase that… organisations) don’t really care about a cure that is non-profitable. This assumes that all organisations are only out for profiteering and that alone, which is really a bit too far fetched. Granted that organisations are not saintly too… but that just seeks to shift from one end of the pendulum to the other. No, organisations do have some social responsibility, especially in our day and age, it is a competitive advantage to be CSR minded, at least to the mind of the consumer.

The writter obviously forgets that many pharmaceutical companies do give out cheap vaccines and medicine at a lost in order to be seen to be CSR.

Nevertheless, there were adequate sources located at the bottom of the article to search up the topic for ourselves and draw our own conclusions.

I just might. If I have the energy. Yawn.

Update on the Situation in Malatya on Tortures (2nd):

Thanks to Stephen Lewis for alerting me on the latest update on the news from Malatya… too many contradictions are appearing at this stage to know what is the true story. But it is good to know that the originators of the story have updated the news with the latest.

I guess the best place to go for Malatya news would be http://www.izmirprotestan.org. I’m sorry… I have been too busy, even now… look at the time!… to even do a decent search on the validity of the news given.

Anyway, the main facts are clear… Christian persecution. May God save souls!

——————————————————————

Dear friends,

This past week has been filled with much sorrow. Many of you have heard by now of our devastating loss here in an event that took place in Malatya, a Turkish province 300 miles northeast of Antioch, the city where believers were first called Christians (Acts 11:26).

On Wednesday morning, April 18, 2007, 46 year old German Christian and father of three Tilmann Geske prepared to go to his office, kissing his wife goodbye and taking a moment to hug his son and give him the priceless memory, “Goodbye, son. I love you.”

Tilmann rented an office space from Zirve Publishing. Zirve was also the location of the Malatya Evangelist Church office. A ministry of the church, Zirve prints and distributes Christian literature to Malatya and nearby cities in Eastern Turkey. In another area of town,35 year old Pastor Necati Aydin, father of two, said goodbye to his wife, leaving for the office as well. They had a morning Bible Study and prayer meeting that some other believers in town would also be attending. Ugur Yuksel likewise made his way to the Bible
study.

None of these three men knew that what awaited them at the Bible study was the ultimate testing and application of their faith, which would conclude with their entrance into glory to receive their crown of righteousness from Christ and honor from all the saints awaiting them in the Lord’s presence.

On the other side of town, ten young men all under 20 years old put into place final arrangements for their ultimate act of faith, living out their love for Allah and hatred of infidels who they felt undermined Islam.

On Resurrection Sunday, five of these men had been to a by-invitation-only evangelistic service that Pastor Necati and his men had arranged at a hotel conference room in the city. The men were known to the believers as “seekers.” No one knows what happened in the hearts of those men as they listened to the gospel. Were they touched by the Holy Spirit? Were they convicted of sin? Did they hear the gospel in their heart of hearts? Today we only have the beginning of their story.

These young men, one of whom is the son of a mayor in the Province of Malatya, are part of a tarikat, or a group of “faithful believers” in Islam. Tarikat membership is highly respected here; it’s like a fraternity membership. In fact, it is said that no one can get into public office without membership in a tarikat. These young men all lived in the same dorm,all preparing for university entrance exams.

The young men got guns, bread knives, ropes and towels ready for their final act of service to Allah. They knew there would be a lot of blood. They arrived in time for the Bible Study, around 10 o’clock.

They arrived, and apparently the Bible Study began. Reportedly, after Necati read a chapter from the Bible the assault began. The boys tied Ugur, Necati, and Tilmann’s hands and feet to chairs and as they videoed their work on their cellphones, they brutally tortured our brothers for almost three hours.

Neighbors in workplaces near the print house said later they had heard yelling, but assumed the owners were having a domestic argument so they did not respond. Meanwhile, another believer Gokhan and his wife had a leisurely morning. He slept in till 10, ate a long breakfast and finally around 12:30 he and his wife arrived at the office. The door was locked from the inside, and his key would not work. He phoned and though it had connection on his end he did not hear the phone ringing inside. He called cell phones of his brothers and finally Ugur answered his phone. “We are not at the office. Go to the hotel meeting. We are there. We will come there,” he said cryptically. As Ugur spoke
Gokhan heard in the telephone’s background weeping and a strange snarling sound.

He phoned the police, and the nearest officer arrived in about five minutes. He pounded on the door, “Police, open up!” Initially the officer thought it was a domestic disturbance. At that point they heard another snarl and a gurgling moan. The police understood that sound as human suffering, prepared the clip in his gun and tried over and over again to burst through the door. One of the frightened assailants unlocked the door for the policeman, who entered to find a grisly scene.

Tilmann and Necati had been slaughtered. Ugur’s throat was likewise slit and he was barely alive. Three assailants in front of the policeman dropped their weapons. Meanwhile Gokhan heard a sound of yelling in the street. Someone had fallen from their third story office. Running down, he found a man on the ground, whom he later recognized, named Emre Gunaydin. He had massive head trauma and, strangely, was snarling. He had tried to climb down the drainpipe to escape, and losing his balance had plummeted to the ground. It seems that he was the main leader of the attackers. Another assailant was found hiding on a lower balcony.

To untangle the web we need to back up six years. In April 2001, the National Security Council of Turkey (Milli Guvenlik Kurulu) began to consider evangelical Christians as a threat to national security, on equal footing as Al Quaida and PKK terrorism. Statements made in the press by political leaders, columnists and commentators have fueled a hatred against ‘missionaries’ who they claim bribe young people to change their religion.

After that decision in 2001, attacks and threats on churches, pastors and Christians began. Bombings, physical attacks, verbal and written abuse are only some of the ways Christians are being targetted. Most significant is the use of media propaganda.

From December 2005, after having a long meeting regarding the Christian threat, the wife of Former Prime Minister Ecevit, historian Ilber Ortayli, Professor Hasan Unsal, Politician Ahmet Tan and writer/propogandist Aytunc Altindal, each in their own profession began a campaign to bring the public’s attention to the looming threat of Christians who sought to “buy their children’s souls”. Hidden cameras in churches have taken church service footage and used it sensationally to promote fear and antagonism toward Christianity.

In an official televised response from Ankara, the Interior Minister of Turkey smirked as he spoke of the attacks on our brothers in Malatya. Amid public outrage and protests against the event and in favor of freedom of religion and freedom of thought, media and official comments ring with the same message, “We hope you have learned your lesson. We do not want Christians here.”

It appears that this was an organized attack initiated by an unknown adult tarikat leader. As in the Hrant Dink murder in January 2007, and a Catholic priest Andrea Santoro in February 2006, minors are being used to commit religious murders because public sympathy for youth is strong and they face lower penalties than an adult convicted of the same crime. Even the parents of these children are in favor of the acts. The mother of the 16 year old boy who killed the Catholic priest Andrea Santoro looked at the cameras as her son was going to prison and said, “he will serve time for Allah.”

The young men involved in the killing are currently in custody. Today news reported that they would be tried as terrorists, so their age would not affect the strict penalty. Assailant Emre Gunaydin is still in intensive care. The investigation centers around him and his contacts and they say the case will fall apart if he does not recover.

The Church in Turkey responded in a way that honored God as dozens of believers and pastors flew in as fast as they could to stand by the small church of Malatya and encourage the believers, take care of legal issues, and represent Christians to the media.

When Susanne expressed her wish to bury her husband in Malatya there were many complications. However, in the end Tilmann was buried in an old Armenian graveyard on April 20th.

Ugur was buried by his family in an Alevi Muslim ceremony in his hometown of Elazig on April 19th, his believing fiance watching from the shadows as his family and friends refused to accept in death the faith Ugur had so long professed and died for.

Necati’s funeral took place in his hometown of Izmir, the city where he came to faith. The darkness does not understand the light. Though the churches expressed their forgiveness for the event, Christians were not to be trusted. Before they would load the coffin onto the plane from Malatya, it went through two separate xray exams to make sure it was not loaded with explosives. This is not a usual procedure for Muslim coffins.

Necati’s funeral was a beautiful event. Like a glimpse of heaven, hundreds of Turkish Christians and workers came to show their love for Christ, and their honor for this man chosen to die for Christ. Necati’s wife Shemsa told the world, “His death was full of meaning, because he died for Christ and he lived for Christ… Necati was a gift from God. I feel honored that he was in my life, I feel crowned with honor. I want to be worthy of that honor.”

Boldly the believers took their stand at Necati’s funeral, facing the risks of being seen publicly and likewise becoming targets. As expected, the anti-terror police attended and videotaped everyone attending the funeral for their future use. The service took place outside at Buca Baptist church, and he was buried in a small Christian graveyard in the outskirts of Izmir.

Two assistant Governors of Izmir were there solemnly watching the event from the front row. Dozens of news agencies were there documenting the events with live news and photographs. Who knows the impact the funeral had on those watching? This is the beginning of their story as well. Pray for them.

In an act that hit front pages in the largest newspapers in Turkey, Susanne Geske in a television interview expressed her forgiveness. She did not want revenge, she told reporters. “Oh God, forgive them for they know not what they do,” she said, wholeheartedly agreeing with the words of Christ on Calvary (Luke 23:34).

In a country where blood-for-blood revenge is as normal as breathing, many many reports have come to the attention of the church of how this comment of Susanne Geske has changed lives. One columnist wrote of her comment, “She said in one sentence what 1000 missionaries in 1000 years could never do.”

Many Christians in Malatya will most likely move out, as their families and children have become publicly identified as targets to the hostile city. The remaining 10 believers are in hiding. What will happen to this church, this light in the darkness? Most likely it will go underground. Pray for wisdom, that Turkish brothers from other cities will go to lead the leaderless church. Should we not be concerned for that great city of Malatya, a city that does not know what it is doing? (Jonah 4:11)

When our Pastor Fikret Bocek went with a brother to give a statement to the Security Directorate on Monday they were ushered into the Anti-Terror Department. On the wall was a huge chart covering the whole wall listing all the terrorist cells in Izmir, categorized. In one prominent column were listed all the evangelical churches in Izmir. The darkness does not understand the light. “These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also.” (Acts 17:6)

Please pray for the Church in Turkey. “Don’t pray against persecution, pray for perseverence,” urges Pastor Fikret Bocek.

The Church is better having lost our brothers; the fruit in our lives, the renewed faith, the burning desire to spread the gospel to quench more darkness in Malatya …all these are not to be regretted. Pray that we stand strong against external opposition and especially pray that we stand strong against internal struggles with sin, our true debilitating weakness.

This we know. Christ Jesus was there when our brothers were giving their lives for Him. He was there, like He was when Stephen was being stoned in the sight of Saul of Tarsus. Someday the video of the deaths of our brothers may reveal more to us about the strength that we know Christ gave them to endure their last cross, about the peace the Spirit of God endowed them with to suffer for their beloved Savior. But we know He did not leave their side. We know their minds were full of Scripture strengthening them to endure, as darkness tried to subdue the unsubduable Light of the Gospel. We know, in whatever way they were able, with a look or a word, they encouraged one another to stand strong. We know they knew they would soon be with Christ.

We don’t know the details. We don’t know the kind of justice that will or will not be served on this earth.

But we pray– and urge you to pray– that someday at least one of those five boys will come to faith because of the testimony in death of Tilmann Geske, who gave his life as a foreign Christian in Turkey, and the testimonies in death of Necati Aydin and Ugur Yuksel, the first martyrs for Christ out of the Turkish Church.

God bless our bethren in Malatya and the surrounding countries there.

Duclod Man – The Story of Autism on the Net

Both stories (part 1 & 2) were very interesting. Particularly chilling is the reference to:

Janis also told me that Rick was sent to a state hospital for two weeks when he was 13. No one can quite remember why he was sent or knows what happened to him there. But being sent back, Allen told me, is Rick’s biggest fear.

Interesting tale of a man sending letters to gay/bisexual students and how one lady tries to get to the bottom of it.

Read it here: http://www.advocate.com/print_article_ektid42749.asp and http://www.advocate.com/print_article_ektid44931.asp.