HOPE Church of Raleigh
4911 Green Road
Raleigh NC 27616

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"Remember & Pray"
As I sat down to write this article this week I began to think about two areas I need to focus my personal prayers on. Ironically, as different as they are they are very similar.

First, Memorial Day 2016 is only a few days away. Memorial Day is a day set aside by our Federal Government to remember those who have lost their lives in service with the United States Military. Veteran's Day, in November, is a time to honor our Vets, but Memorial Day is a time of remembering our fallen Vets. As a Veteran, I remember taking that oath to "protect and defend the United States of America" with my life. So many have done that since the late 1700's. Following the Civil War in 1868 the day was set aside as "Decoration Day." That evolved into Memorial Day set to be celebrated on May 30th each year. In 1968 a law passed moved the date to the last Monday in May of each year and is where this day remains.

Memorial Day for me is very special and a time to remember the sacrifice of those who have given their life to protect people and their freedom around the world. If you were to just look at deaths totals in some of our wars, here is how it would look: Civil War - 750,000, WWI - 405,399, WWII - 116,516, Vietnam - 58,209, Korean War - 54,246, American Revolutionary War - 25,000, War of 1812 - 15,000, Mexican-American War - 13,283, Afghan-Iraq War - 6,717. The number provided by the government as a total death in wars is: 1,354,664+. That's a lot of souls that have given their life so that we can live free. Say a prayer this Memorial Day thanking our Father in heaven for those who have given it ALL so that we might live.

But secondly, my mind went to another set of individuals who are also losing their lives, that being the Christians and Christian Missionaries around the world. In the headlines I see constantly these who have died and that many, at least in my opinion, don't seem to care about the fact that they too are giving their lives for their cause, that being the cause of Christ. Here is a typical headline every week for the past several years:
Persecuted Church
"ISIS Rapes, Crucifies, and Beheads Syrian Christian Missionaries, Including a 12 Year-Old Boy" (August 15, 2015 - American Center for Law and Justice article)

I could give you headline after headline, story after story of Christians killed, in Syria, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Libya, Egypt, Philippines, Indonesia, Africa, and the list goes on. We know the Church will be persecuted and suffering will be experienced by the faithful.

"And on that day a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem…" Acts 8:1. We know from scripture we will suffer trials and persecution because of the name of Jesus. From the writings of Paul, Peter, James, and John we see these truths. "…but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name." 1 Peter 4:16. Here is an exerpt from the Headline article I mentioned above. Yes, I know this is hard reading, but folks, this is happening everyday to Christians.

"The other group of missionaries, including two women, was taken to a different location.  Staring down certain death, these martyrs also refused to convert to Islam.  The two Christian women prayed aloud while being publicly gang-raped, which according to reports, caused their ISIS abusers to "to beat them all the more furiously." As relayed by the group's director:
Villagers said some were praying in the name of Jesus, others said some were praying the Lord's prayer, and others said some of them lifted their heads to commend their spirits to Jesus.  One of the women looked up and seemed to be almost smiling as she said, 'Jesus!'"
The missionaries were beheaded and their bodies hung on crosses." (August 15, 2015 - ACLJ article)

Don't you think it's time for the Church of Jesus Christ to begin fervent prayers for those being persecuted and killed because of their faith in Jesus Christ? We know this persecution will continue until Christ returns, but our prayers are needed!!!

So I would ask you all as you finish reading this article to stop for a moment and Remember & Pray giving thanks for all who have given their lives for our freedom and for their faith in Jesus Christ. Both are deserving!!! And I would ask that you continue to pray for our US military and for our Missionaries and Christian believers around the world as we continue to face evil in this lost world.

May God's name be proclaimed for His glory and His purpose by all who believe in Jesus Christ! Let it be so! Amen!
Pastor Marty
Worship, Grow, Serve
Monday May 30th
Tuesday May 31st
Wednesday May 25th
Thursday May 26th
Saturday May 28th
Sunday May 29th
8:15am - Worship Team Practice
9:30am - Worship Service
10:50am - Fellowship
11:10am - Sunday School
7:00pm - Worship Team Practice
7:00pm - Prayer Meeting
Memorial Day - Office Closed
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May 29 Judges 7
May 30 Judges 8
May 31 Judges 9
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