Replace the old with the new…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome

Therefore I say this—indeed, in union with the Lord I insist on it: do not live any longer as the pagans live, with their sterile ways of thinking.  Their intelligence has been shrouded in darkness, and they are estranged from the life of God because of the ignorance in them, which in turn comes from resisting God’s will.  They have lost all feeling, so they have abandoned themselves to sensuality, practicing any kind of impurity, and always greedy for more.  But this is not the lesson you learned from the Messiah!  If you really listened to him and were instructed about him, then you learned that since what is in Yeshua is truth, then, so far as your former way of life is concerned, you must strip off your old nature, because your old nature is thoroughly rotted by its deceptive desires; and you must let your spirits and minds keep being renewed, and clothe yourselves with the new nature created to be godly, which expresses itself in the righteousness and holiness that flow from the truth.

Two natures, old and new, opposite in structure and function are presented to produce an awareness of who the believer is.  Knowledge of who one is and what the significance of that is for them takes the individual into a victorious life despite the circumstances that may surround them.  The old nature has lost feeling and so seeks it in experiences, in sensuality, leading those who possess the old nature into a life of impurity and they are always seeking more.  There is a lack of knowledge of who they can be in Christ, they are in darkness and separated from God, the one they resist.  There is an if; a BIG if; “if you really listened to him (Jesus), and were instructed about him…then you must strip off your old nature.”  Why?  Because it is thoroughly rotted by its deceptive desires.  The old nature itself is deceptive; is deceiving.

Recognition of what one once was and what one is changing into assists in the taking off and putting on.  This involves choices, decisions, actions on the part of the believer.  They are not passive waiting for something to happen.  Being renewed involves new thoughts changing the manner in which the mind thinks.  First the old, destructive thoughts must be recognized.  They are then rejected and replaced with new thoughts that encourage and build up the individual.  These can be found in scripture.  The believer is not left without resources and the believer must practice with what is perfect.

Pray – Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You.  Show me the way I should go, for to You I lift up my soul.  Rescue me from my enemies, the thoughts so destructive that come unbidden and attempt to stay, O, Lord, for I hide myself in You.  Give me the thoughts from scripture to ward off the attacks.

Repent – I repent for entertaining the former thoughts that lead to deception and are lies.

Ask – Teach me to do Your will for You are my God; may Your good Spirit lead me on level ground.  In Your unfailing love, silence my enemies…

Yes – Destroy all those harassing me, for I am your servant.

Sources: Ephesians, Psalm 143

Bend our hearts…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome

Hosea and Psalms are the inspiration:

When Israel was a child, I loved him; and out of Egypt I called my son.

Look at a parallel between Israel leaving Egypt for a new land where they can worship the Lord their God in freedom and  those who settled this continent joining the native already here following a call out of a place where their worship was restricted.  They sought freedom to worship God as scripture taught.  And the Lord took a child-like faith and loved them, bringing them here.

Then the changes crept in like snakes in the grass.  The more they were called to holiness the farther from it they strayed.  Gods of increase, gods of self-indulgence became their idols.  They gave homage to their increase.  God says, “Yet it was I who taught (them) to walk; I took them by their arms.  But they did not know that it was I who was healing them, who was guiding them through human means with reins made of love.  With them I was like someone removing the yoke from their jaws, and I bent down to feed them.”

He goes on to say, “He (they) will not return to the land of Egypt, but Ashur (a great barbaric nation) will be his (their) king, because they refused to repent.  The sword will fall on…cities, destroying the bars of…gates, because they follow their own advice.”

And there is a move to “return to Egypt” with the creation of a one-world government; no longer separate but equal, free from any oppression outside the nation, or sovereign leadership.  The reason for this attempt to return to Egypt is “they follow their own advice.”  There is no seeking of God; asking of His wisdom, only reliance on the strength of the nation itself and the mindset of humanism.

God states further, “My people are hanging in suspense about returning to me; and though they call them upwards, nobody makes a move.”  Word goes out to return to the God of the Word, not a man-made creation of God.  Who hears, who has ears to hear, eyes to see, a mind to know and who returns?  He states, “…how can I give you up, or surrender you?…My heart recoils at the idea, as compassion warms within me.  I will not give vent to the fierceness of my rage, I will not destroy…for I am God, not a human being, the Holy One among you; so I will not come in fury.  They will go after the Lord, who will roar like a lion; for he will roar, and the children will come trembling from the west. They will tremble like a bird as they come…, like a dove… and I will resettle them in their own houses.”  ( emphasis mine)

There is a remnant even today, even here, who faithfully seek the face of the Lord.  There are those who enter the holy place to intercede for this nation.  There are some who faithfully follow the precepts of the whole counsel of God as given to us, in love, to live expectantly of His redemption.

Teach me, Lord, the way of your laws; keeping them will be its own reward for me.  Give me understanding; then I will keep your Word; I will observe it with all my heart.  Guide me on the path of your commands, for I take pleasure in it.  Bend my heart toward your instructions not toward selfish gain.  Turn my eyes from worthless things; with your ways, give me life.  Fulfill your promise, which you made to your servant, which you made to those who fear you.  Avert the disgrace which I dread, for your rulings are good.  See how I long for your precepts; in your righteousness, give me life.

This prayer can be the call to all who believe that God is God, that he loves His people as He says and that he will take charge where they cannot.  His righteousness is made available to all through Christ.  He is not human but the Holy One.  He will respond to those who turn, who reject self-indulgence for self-control, who place their trust in Him not in the creation of their own hands.

Disclaimer:  if ads are appearing anywhere on this page it is because they are placed there by WordPress not by me.  I have read the information on ads and in order to be ad free now, Word Press charges a fee.  I apologize for any inconvenience these ads may cause you and if they are inappropriate please message me.  Thank you, gracie

Open our ears…

 

Reblogged from:

http://tamhodge.com/dear-16-year-old-me-in-the-abortion-clinic/

 

Dear 16 year old me in the abortion clinic…

June 18, 2015 | Posted in: Abortions, Forgiveness

Dear 16 year old me. It’s 28 years, almost to the day, from where you are sitting right now. I see you there. I see you in your white paper gown that you’ve struggled with all afternoon, trying to prevent it from opening and exposing your bare self. I see you sitting there, even in the gown, still bare.

A part of me feels like you can hear me. Or, at least, you sense me. I can see it in your eyes. You’re looking around the room, searching for something, but you can’t find it. It’s me. You’re searching for your voice. I know you want to get up and run. I know you are afraid. I know you feel alone. I know you know what to do but you’re too afraid to do it.

I know deep down you don’t want to do this. I understand.

You are going to wake up soon and you will be in a tremendous amount of pain. You will physically hurt. You will hurt a lot. Oh, how I wish you could hear my voice right now. Because the physical pain pales in comparison to the heart and emotional pain you will carry with you.

I see you waking up. I see you crying. I see you holding your tummy. Yes. Yes, you did it. No. No, it isn’t there anymore. It’s gone.

I want so badly to hold you. I know no one is holding you. I know no one is going to hold you. I’m sorry you’re alone. I’m sorry you feel alone. But you’re not. I’m there. God’s there. You don’t know it… but we are.

You need to know that you’re going to have a very tough journey. You’re going to be very mad at yourself. The amount of shame will feel heavier than anything you’ve ever felt before. You will hurt in ways that you will never understand.

You will think about this day forever. You will find yourself rubbing your tummy, crying, wondering…

You will have triggers. You will have reminders. It will never go away.

Can you hear me? Why can’t you hear me? I want so badly for you to hear me.

You can’t see it now, you don’t want to… I know, but your life is going to get better. Though the memory of that day will never, ever, go away. You’re going to relive the day you spent in that white gown. You’re going to relive it often. It will always be a part of who you are.

But one day you will learn about grace and forgiveness. One day you will learn about true love. Hold onto that. Tuck that away in your heart, because there will be days when the hope of that moment will be all you have.

Tam, you need to know that I forgive you. And I will forgive you when you’re back in that gown next year, too. I understand why you’re doing this. You really believe you have no other option. Why can’t you hear me…

I will be here waiting for you, and you will soon see that forgiveness and redemption will hold your heart and you won’t be alone any longer. You will find that one day, the choice that you are making now, will somehow help another young girl not make the same decision. And though that doesn’t make what you’re about to do right, it will at least give those little ones a beautiful legacy.

But still, I wish you could hear me…

 

The Voice of Adonai is not silent…….

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome

Psalm 29

 

Give Adonai his due, you who are godly;

Give Adonai his due of glory and strength;

Give Adonai the glory due his name;

Worship Adonai in holy splendor.

 

The voice of Adonai is over the waters;

The God of glory thunders,

Adonai over rushing waters,

The voice of Adonai is power,

The voice of Adonai in splendor.

 

The voice of Adonai cracks the cedars;

Adonai splinters the cedars of Lebanon

And makes the L’vanon skip like a calf,

Siryon like a young wild ox.

 

The voice of Adonai flashes fiery flames;

The voice of Adonai rocks the desert,

Adonai convulses the Kadesh desert.

The voice of Adonai causes deer to give birth

And strips the forests bare–

While in his temple, all cry, “Glory!”

Adonai sits enthroned above the flood!

Adonai sits enthroned as king forever!

May Adonai give strength to his people!

May Adonai bless his people with Shalom!

 

Matthew 7:13

Go in through the narrow gate, for the gate that leads to destruction is wide and the road broad, and many travel it; but it is a narrow gate and a hard road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

 

We hear Adonai in the turbulent, violent wind. Who of us can create such a force? Even the man-made destruction uses materials already formed by our Creator! David gives voice to the largeness and power of God and Jesus tells us in response to David’s praise and blessings that many will find a broad path–no hurdles here–and few the narrow path that is hard and gives training in strength building. Those in the temple cry ‘glory!’ for they have overcome, gained strength and life with peace.

Our body is the temple of the Lord God Almighty:

imagesAPL9I9U0

 

It is good to remember our purpose is always to give praise to God; in the difficult, painful times as well as the good, peaceful times. Job stated; ‘the Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away; blessed be the name of the Lord.’ A recent letter from Saeed praises God and tells us that he prays for America! This is the narrow way. This is strength building. This is overcoming. Can we do any less…

 

It is time to raise our voice; our collective voice. We will raise it to praise and glorify our God no matter who cries ‘offense!’, or threatens violence if we speak. We will raise it to decry the evil in the land and call for action to restore the righteous laws that bring peace. We will raise it to defend the innocent, combat the oppressor and free the oppressed. The oppressor uses today’s technology to spread terror. Let us use it to spread peace, call for justice and action to free the prisoners of evil. We join with the voice of God to condemn the evil in our land!

 

An update on Saeed:

Urgent Update on Saeed:

It is truly heartbreaking to know that one day after I spoke in front of our congress Saeed was beaten by fellow prisoners. Saeed’s father was not able to see Saeed last week because of a holiday in Iran, but today he was truly shaken to learn of the beating that Saeed had endured. Saeed’s father was also treated horribly and harassed by the prison guards and staff and could only visit Saeed for a short time…

As I shared in front of our congress last week, the Iranian government might turn up the heat in the furnace (as in Daniel 3), but Saeed refuses to deny his faith in Jesus Christ and continues to be a witness in that dark prison. Jesus is with Saeed in that fiery furnace. Saeed wants you to know that he has felt your prayers in his darkest moments. Thank you.

Please continue to keep our family in your prayers during this very difficult time.

God Bless.

Naghmeh

 

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Cleaning up…

 

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Joshua 11:1-11

 When Jabin, king of Hazor, heard of this, he sent to Jobab king of Madon, and to the king of Shimron, and to the king of Achshaph,

 and to the kings who were in the northern hill country, and in the Arabah south of Chinneroth, and in the lowland, and in Naphoth-dor on the west,

 to the Canaanites in the east and the west, the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, and the Jebusites in the hill country, and the Hivites under Hermon in the land of Mizpah.

 And they came out with all their troops, a great horde, in number like the sand that is on the seashore, with very many horses and chariots.

 And all these kings joined their forces and came and encamped together at the waters of Merom to fight against Israel.

And the LORD said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them, for tomorrow at this time I will give over all of them, slain, to Israel. You shall hamstring their horses and burn their chariots with fire.”

So Joshua and all his warriors came suddenly against them by the waters of Merom and fell upon them.

 And the LORD gave them into the hand of Israel, who struck them and chased them as far as Great Sidon and Misrephoth-maim, and eastward as far as the Valley of Mizpeh. And they struck them until he left none remaining.

 And Joshua did to them just as the LORD said to him: he hamstrung their horses and burned their chariots with fire.

 And Joshua turned back at that time and captured Hazor and struck its king with the sword, for Hazor formerly was the head of all those kingdoms.

 And they struck with the sword all who were in it, devoting them to destruction; there was none left that breathed. And he burned Hazor with fire.

 

As those who are anti-God in spirit are found, they are completely destroyed. The Lord gave them into the hand of Israel.

 

“…And the LORD gave them into the hand of Israel,…”

 

The Lord fights for them; gives the instructions and Israel obeys. He does the same for us. The Holy Spirit reveals those things within us that are anti-God or potentially anti-God. Anything that has the self/mankind/humanity mentality has the potential for being anti-God. It is the work of the Holy Spirit within us that reveals these to us and then it is for us to follow His instructions to rid our lives, our minds of whatever He has shown us. The battle for the Israelites is getting bigger and more intense as they continue to have victory in following God’s commands. That is possible for us as well. As the Spirit reveals more and more to us it often gets more difficult and more intense for us. We want to keep some things. We see them as ‘harmless’ and ‘insignificant.’ But if the revelation comes from the Holy Spirit, it is anything but harmless and insignificant. It is best to keep in mind that this is the work of the Holy Spirit in us and we are not entrusted with the job of ‘cleaning up’ others. That is the work of the Holy Spirit in them.

 

We do well to remember that the Israelites were to completely destroy what had the potential to come back and infest them. When they didn’t they were chastened and saw that which was not of God begin to grow among them. We need to be vigilant of the encroachment by the thinking that comes from the ways of the world and that are not of God. However, again,  we can so easily get caught up in trying to clean each other of that which he is working out in us; that is not our job, it is the work of the Holy Spirit. Our part is to be found faithful to live the life of victory and overcoming and share the Word of God.

Disclaimer:  if ads are appearing anywhere on this page it is because they are placed there by WordPress not by me.  I have read the information on ads and in order to be ad free now, Word Press charges a fee.  I apologize for any inconvenience these ads may cause you and if they are inappropriate please message me.  Thank you, gracie

A Holy Priesthood…

 

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

1 Peter 2:5 and Malachi 2:1-17, 4:2

1Pe 2:5 you also as living stones are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

 

Mal 2:1- And now, O priests, this command is for you.  If you will not hear, and if you will not set it on your heart to give glory to My name, says Jehovah of Hosts, then I will send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings. And indeed I have cursed it, because you do not set it on your heart.   Behold, I am rebuking your seed; and I will spread dung upon your faces, even the dung of your appointed feasts. And one shall lift you up to it.   And you shall know that I have sent this command to you, to be My covenant with Levi, says Jehovah of Hosts.   My covenant with him was life and peace, and I gave them to him for fear; and he feared Me, and he is awed before My name.   The Law of Truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips. He walked with Me in peace and uprightness, and turned away many from iniquity.  For the priest’s lips should guard knowledge, and they should seek the Law at his mouth; for he is the messenger of Jehovah of Hosts.  But you have turned out of the way; you have caused many to stumble at the law. You have corrupted the covenant of Levi, says Jehovah of Hosts.  Therefore I have also made you despised and low before all the people, just as you have not kept My ways but are lifting up faces in the law.   Is there not one Father to us all? Has not one God created us? Why do we act deceitfully, each man with his brother, to profane the covenant of our fathers.  Judah has dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem. For Judah has profaned the holy place of Jehovah, which He loves, and has married the daughter of a foreign god.  Jehovah will cut off from the tents of Jacob the man who does it; stirring and answering; or offering a food offering to Jehovah of Hosts.  And this is a second thing you have done, covering the altar of Jehovah with tears, weeping, and groaning, yet not facing toward the food offering, and taking it with delight from your hand.  Yet you say, Why? Because Jehovah has been witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously; yet she is your companion and your covenant wife.  And did He not make you one? Yet the vestige of the Spirit is in him. And what of the one? He was seeking a godly seed. Then guard your spirit, and do not act treacherously with the wife of your youth.  Jehovah, the God of Israel, says He hates sending away; and to cover with violence on his garment, says Jehovah of Hosts. Then guard your spirit, and do not act treacherously.  You have wearied Jehovah with your words. Yet you say, In what have we wearied Him? When you say, Every evildoer is good in the eyes of Jehovah, and He delights in them; or, Where is the God of justice?

 

Peter speaks to us. All believers entering into a new covenant with God under Christ are given the commission to be a holy priesthood. We have an awesome responsibility to be light in a dark world. We are covered by the blood of Christ as we stand before God. We are covered with His righteousness. In gratitude to Him for what we receive we then act in love toward God and fellow-man. In that place we have the commission to minister to; to serve; to share that which we have with those in need. Speaking not only in physical terms but also in spiritual terms; those around us have physical and spiritual needs that we can meet if we will stay alert to the Holy Spirit’s leading. What are the duties of a priest but to listen, assist, share the Word of God, advise in holy counsel, bring those seeking into the presence of God? And that priest bears additional responsibility to stand clean before God. What a responsibility! It should humble us all. That said, the question is… Are we found faithful?

 

In Malachi, God gives warning…do we heed it? Do we pick up our share of the responsibility of the church of Christ or do we leave it for another? Do we seek God’s face, in prayer and through scripture to hear his voice, know his word?

“… For the priest’s lips should guard knowledge, and they should seek the Law at his mouth; for he is the messenger of Jehovah of Hosts. …”

We do not do this alone, for that we are not capable. We do this through the work of the Holy Spirit within us, on us and through us. It is not our work but His; we are the willing vessels.

 

If we avoid our part in the work of the Kingdom of God we fall prey to the actions of those who cause the unbelieving world to hate us, to despise us, to call us on our hypocrisy.

“guard your spirit, and do not act treacherously….”

Mal 2:17 You have wearied Jehovah with your words. “

There are many who name the name of Christ who also weary not only God but us all with their words. Their words are not kind, gentle, exhibiting self-control, loving; they do not demonstrate the fruit of the Holy Spirit. And they grieve God and His people.

 

“…you have turned out of the way; you have caused many to stumble …” “… You have corrupted the covenant of Levi, says Jehovah of Hosts.   Therefore I have also made you despised and low before all the people, just as you have not kept My ways…” “… Is there not one Father to us all? Has not one God created us? Why do we act deceitfully, each man with his brother, to profane the covenant of our fathers. …”

These are the words of God to His priesthood, to his people, to his church…do they fit us as a group today?, as individuals today? It is time to do some serious searching of our actions and words. It is time to immerse ourselves in the Word of God so we know when something is not right, so we can truthfully judge the words of others, not a judgment of passing sentence, but a judgment of knowing truth from lie, knowing that which has been distorted to please a perverse generation from what is true to God’s spoken Word. We are responsible to know the difference; knowing the difference gives us the ability to walk righteously before God and man; knowing the difference gives us the ability to share truth not lies, kindness not name-calling or scorn, gentleness not harshness…

 

“… you say, In what have we wearied Him? When you say, Every evildoer is good in the eyes of Jehovah, and He delights in them; or, Where is the God of justice? …”

Today do we hear evil called good and good called evil? What is the cause? Have we been faithful believers or do our actions justify some of what we hear? It is time to be light, not darkness. It is time to be the children of God. It is time to be found faithful.

“…But to you who fear My name, the Sun of Righteousness shall arise, and healing will be on His wings. …”

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Standing in the gap…

Re-blogging.  Seems it continues to apply to this day and time.  Are we praying?  Are we standing in the gap with Christ?

Ekekiel 22:17-31

The word of the LORD came to me, saying, 18 “Son of man, the house of Israel has become dross to Me; they are all bronze, tin, iron, and lead, in the midst of a furnace; they have become dross from silver. 19 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: ‘Because you have all become dross, therefore behold, I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem. 20 As men gather silver, bronze, iron, lead, and tin into the midst of a furnace, to blow fire on it, to melt it; so I will gather you in My anger and in My fury, and I will leave you there and melt you. 21 Yes, I will gather you and blow on you with the fire of My wrath, and you shall be melted in its midst. 22 As silver is melted in the midst of a furnace, so shall you be melted in its midst; then you shall know that I, the LORD, have poured out My fury on you.’ ”
23 And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 24 “Son of man, say to her: ‘You are a land that is not cleansed [fn1] or rained on in the day of indignation.’ 25 The conspiracy of her prophets [fn2] in her midst is like a roaring lion tearing the prey; they have devoured people; they have taken treasure and precious things; they have made many widows in her midst. 26 Her priests have violated My law and profaned My holy things; they have not distinguished between the holy and unholy, nor have they made known the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they have hidden their eyes from My Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them. 27 Her princes in her midst are like wolves tearing the prey, to shed blood, to destroy people, and to get dishonest gain. 28 Her prophets plastered them with untempered mortar, seeing false visions, and divining lies for them, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD,’ when the LORD had not spoken. 29 The people of the land have used oppressions, committed robbery, and mistreated the poor and needy; and they wrongfully oppress the stranger. 30 So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one. 31 Therefore I have poured out My indignation on them; I have consumed them with the fire of My wrath; and I have recompensed their deeds on their own heads,” says the Lord GOD.

Pasted from <http://www.blueletterbible.org/tools/printerFriendly.cfm?b=Eze&c=22&v=1&t=NKJVP>

Is there anyone who can stand in the gap?  The list of offenses continues levied against Israel for which the wrath of God will fall.  The offenses include making all things being the same; there is no distinction between that which is holy and that which is common;

“…they have not distinguished between the holy and unholy, nor have they made known the difference between the unclean and the clean;…”

there is robbery and the destruction of individual’s lives and livelihood; there is the oppression of the poor and needy; there is the cover up of the sins of the religious leaders; there is the cover up of the sins of the leadership of the people; there is the killing of people for personal gain.

“… to destroy people, and to get dishonest gain…”

Sounds like today’s headline news!! Extortion, robbery, mistreating the alien in the land, oppression of poor and weak all show up in today’s news.  How shall our land escape a similar event?  The Lord looked for someone to stand in the gap. Gap is defined in BLB as a breach in the wall, a broken wall, bursting forth.  The imagery that creates is something was contained behind the wall and now it is escaping, and now there is no denying that it exists.  Like a broken pot with a candle inside and now one can see the light pouring forth.  What now pours out for all to see is the evil in the land.  It is so pervasive there is no denying it. Can there be one who like the little boy, put their finger in the dyke to hold back the flood that threatens to engulf all of mankind?  There is evil in the land, will it engulf all in the land?  Who can stand in the gap and hold back the forces of evil?  That one individual who would build a wall between the sins so obvious and a righteous God.  We have that one in our Lord Jesus Christ. He stood in the gap between our sins and our Creator so that we would not be destroyed.  What of our nation, our planet, our world, time, space and place?  Is there someone to stand in the gap, someone who will pray for the oppressed, the unborn slaughter, the starving of people for gain, the mistreatment of the aliens in our land; someone who will work to right the wrongs the general population wreaks upon each other? Who will spread the word of Christ and his salvation from the consequences of that sin?  Who will fight for justice?