East Jerusalem Attacks Intensifies Shadow Wars Within the Country

The attacks during the fall of 2014 by ISIS or The Islamic State against Christians is unparalleled since the Romans lay siege against the few remaining Jews atop Engedi after slaughtering Jews across Palestine and throughout Jerusalem in the latter half of the first century

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By considering the most recent attacks, there are two primary concerns that can shed light on the dark places where the shadow warriors plan. There is darkness in the hatred fueled by lies. There is darkness in the vicious attacks that turns hatred into violence. Expats who are called to battle the shadow wars do so by bringing light to the dark places within the parameters of calculated risk.
The recent attacks in East Jerusalem bring into focus the problem that Benjamin Netanyahu has in the battle that Israel faces against lone-wolf terrorists whether they are homicide bombers or murderers out for a spree killing. The most recent attack was the brutal murder of two Orthodox Rabbis by two Arab cousins, Uday and Ghassan Abul Jamal who appear to have been neighbors of the Synagogue in the predominantly Arab southern East Jerusalem area of Jabel Mukaber. The media has picked up on the term grass-roots terrorist attacks. Such attacks have become the core of the shadow wars.
Recent reports have focused on a two-pronged problem for the Israeli government. The first is the random nature of the events carried out without what seems to be any serious pre-planning but are spontaneous attacks of opportunity fueled by systemic hatred agitated by virulent propaganda. If it were possible to stop the flow of the propaganda, it may be possible to reduce the number of attacks. The apparent lack of planning or at least any sophistication in planning is evidenced by the use of weapons at hand and targets of opportunity. It also signals something deeper. There must be a source of fuel for the fire of anti-Israeli hatred. That fuel is being supplied in large degree by known sources of anti-Israel propaganda. The most obvious means for Israel’s President to deal with them is to shut them down unequivocally. Hunting down the source of the propaganda would intensify the media driven strong-arm reputation of Israel’s security forces. As effective as such a hunt might be, the focus will be negative particularly because it will be centered on those exercising their ‘rights’ to express an opinion. The hunt for the propaganda purveyors would result as well in two other concerns:
1) The international community would have one more reason to ostracize the nation (assuming they need a reason at this point)
2) If the government shuts down one source of the propaganda another crops up. As with the Hydra, cutting off one of the many heads not only allows the others to continue to operate but it immediately springs two new ones who might take weeks for the intelligence to re-locate.
Shadow wars thrive on lies.
Re-Tooling a Previously Successful Response to the Shadow Wars
Beginning in the 1970s and through the 1980s Israel was dealing frequently with homicide bombers usually from the propagandized militant loners who sought to take a stand or make their mark against what they saw as an Israeli occupation.
It took some time and a great number of lives for Israel and the IDF and others to determine the only course of action that would effectively stop the onslaught quickly and reduce the number of civilian casualties. An automatic green light was built into the op-plan; immediately upon gaining target acquisition on the homicide bomber the first unit to engage would take him out. There was to be no discussion, no negotiation simply target acquired/threat neutralized. There are two striking differences between the two types of attacks.
1. The current attacks seem to be a blitz type assault. The assailant(s) arrive on–scene, enter and begin the attack whereas the homicide

bomber (that could be neutralized) arrived on-scene, made his presence known and then waited for a response from someone.

2. The targets of the homicide bombers appear to have been planned. That pre-planning sometimes gave the slimmest chance for the IDF to

intercept their  targets. These new assaults appear to not to be pre-planned. In the most recent attacks there was no information that would have given

investigators any direction to send them for a pre-emptive strike.
The Israel population has been an effective part of the stemming the tide of homicide bomber operations by immediately reporting anything suspicious. On more than one occasion, a local citizen seeing something even remotely suspicious warned those in the area and notified authorities. Those precious seconds were the difference between an effective intervention and a deadly attack. The question becomes, “Is it possible to help citizens identify this new threat quickly enough to make an educated report to authorities?”
The Arab-Israeli citizens have lived within a conundrum. They live freely and openly in a society that they are told they should hate. They live in a country from whom they hold a passport, a citizenship, and see as a homeland that has provided all of their basic needs including healthcare throughout their lives. As an Arab they are told they must hate these people who are their neighbors, co-workers, and friends. The people who are telling them these things have never provided for them any of the necessities just described. They have never provided even a modicum of such stability to their kinsmen who live outside of Israel but within the Palestinian controlled regions.
In 2013, there were an estimated 1,658,000 Arab Israeli citizens (also called Palestinian Arabs in Israel) which is almost 21% of the total Israel population. For the most part they peacefully co-exist. This, we are certain, drives the Palestinian leaders crazy; hence, the continual on-slaught of Israel hate propaganda. What the Arabs, who are not Israeli citizens, need more than a propaganda pushing proletariat are real leaders who genuinely care about their people. Perhaps then the grass-roots events will be more productive than destructive. Until that happens, the President of Israel will always be battling a shadow war.
AN EXPAT RESPONSE to THE SHADOW WARS
The Apostle Paul makes the case for the work that he does and the effort that he puts forth. He does not waste his time nor his effort with things that are futile. He gives his full strength and devotion to the work. The analogy is from his first letter to the Corinthians. Paul writes, “Therefore, I run thus; not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.” He also explains that when a soldier prepares for war he must be free of those things that would distract him from the battle. A distracted soldier puts himself, his squad and the objective at risk.
Expats that are missionaries are residing within a country where they have chosen to live for the purpose of serving Christ and His church. Their objective is cause enough to willingly risk their safety and perhaps that of their family. Dr. Riggs makes it very clear in his work: “In Times of Crisis” the biblical principles and countless examples by giants of the faith which show that when risk taking is necessary, they are calculated risks. Knowing that God has called you to a particular people and He has asked you to serve in areas of unrest during times of increased trouble; His promises to be with you always are very clear. The Bible never guarantees physical safety but rather informs His followers that they should not fear what man can do to them. True Christians can know that their eternal safety is secure. There remains two primary considerations with which every expat living in troubled circumstances must wrestle.

1. How does my staying when times are explosively unsteady balance against my first responsibility to my family? (This does not specifically

require that the expat have children with them on the field but there are extended family members as well to be considered.)
2. How does my staying or my leaving impact the national believers with whom I work?
a. Am I putting them in more danger, being a westerner affiliated with them? Am I painting a target on them, so to speak, if I stay?
b. If there is no risk of added danger, does my leaving negatively affect the Gospel message?

The attacks during the fall of 2014 by ISIS or The Islāmic State against Christians is unparalleled since the Romans lay siege against the few remaining Jews atop Engedi after slaughtering Jews across Palestine and throughout Jerusalem in the latter half of the first century. More Christians have been murdered for their faith in the Twentieth Century than in all the 19 previous centuries combined. The 21st Century is setting a trend that will cause it to far out-distance even the 20th Century for violence against Christians. At the same time, when Christians become targets of terrorists, it is important to remember that terrorists kill indiscriminately.
It matters not to them whether Islāmic children are killed or Jewish as well as Christian women and children. Their desire to control by striking such intense, paralyzing fear into the hearts and minds of the public precludes them having any heart for those who are dying.
There is but one complete solution to the Shadow Wars. Never will the Israeli President be able to stem the flow of the lies being spoken and printed about Israel. No matter how well trained, how fast the response or how actively the citizens of Israel become in aiding the authorities to stop the homicide attacks; they will continue – though hopefully at a reduced number. The only possible source of peace from the Shadow Wars is from the One who is the light of the world, the Prince of Peace. “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

Sometimes God Says…

Aaron made his way into my study and quietly took a seat in the leather chair just across from the corner of my desk. Without saying a thing he sat. I could see him from the corner of my eye; he was watching me work, waiting patiently for me to acknowledge him so he could say what obviously was on his mind.

In times past, we have had an opportunities to learn wonderful lessons from the off-hand comments of our children and now our grandchildren. Simple words that drive a theological truth home so strongly yet so innocently. Those moments seem to always happen when it is unscripted. It happened again just a few days ago.

As I sat in my study, surrounded by work, without any particular agenda or even focus; I was visited by my oldest grandson, Aaron. Not only is Aaron my oldest grandson, he is my first grandchild. Now in 2nd grade, Aaron has gotten to a point where he is thinking through some of the most complex concerns for adults by seeing them with the innocence and simplicity of a young boy. President Ronald Reagan once said, “They say the world has become too complex for simple answers. They are wrong. There are no easy answers, but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right.”1 Perhaps it is due to Aaron’s young age that his outlook is simple because there is no real question about whether or not one should do what is morally right.

Aaron made his way into my study and quietly took a seat in the leather chair just across from the corner of my desk. Without saying a thing he sat. I could see him from the corner of my eye; he was watching me work, waiting patiently for me to acknowledge him so he could say what obviously was on his mind. When I finally turned my attention his way, he looked at me and matter-of-factly asked, “Is it true that sometimes when you pray to God that sometimes God says ‘No’?” I affirmed for him that his thought was right on the mark. His look was one of satisfaction that what he thought to be true was true. At least, in his eyes, if his grandfather said it was true, it must be. I considered digging a little deeper to find the source of his question; but I know my grandson pretty well and I know his expressions. If there was another concern there, he wasn’t giving away a ‘tell’.  I was fairly certain this was one of ‘inquiring minds want to know’ moments.

I could not help but remember an episode of M*A*S*H, the iconic television series of the 70’s and 80’s which continues on in syndication. In the episode Quo Vadis Captain Chandler, a young bomber suffers a head wound and believes he is Jesus Christ. The staff of the hospital, certain that he is simply Captain Chandler with a mental issue, still cannot help but be drawn to his simple, peaceful, way. The camp chaplain is particularly engrossed in theological discussions with him. The psychiatrist, a Jewish major approaches him and Christ, as presented by Chandler, notes that he and Sydney Freeman have not met yet. Major Freeman asks, “Is it true that God answers all prayers?” Chandler, a look of sad resignation on his face, as a tear trickles down his cheek… he replies, very quietly,, “Yes, sometimes the answer is ‘No.’”2

In chapter 5 of the Gospel of Mark, the story is told of a man who had been out of his mind, living naked among the tombs; the villagers terrified of him. When the demon possessed man saw Jesus the demons immediate bowed before Him and begged not to be destroyed. In an apparent act of compassion even toward the demons Christ sent them into a herd of swine which then ran headlong into the sea. The villagers immediately pleaded with Jesus to leave them alone and to go away; which Jesus did. We should be careful for what we ask of God. As Christ was entering his boat to leave, the man freed of the demons asked to go along with Him but the Bible informs us that Jesus’ answer was ‘No.’ Jesus had something else for this man to do. Jesus said to him, “`Go away to thy house, unto thine own [friends], and tell them how great things the Lord did to thee, and dealt kindly with thee; and he went away, and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how great things Jesus did to him, and all were wondering.”3

The Bible never tells us what eventually happened in Decapolis. It was clear that when Jesus said, ‘No’ it was because He had something else of importance for the Kingdom to be done. There was a role and place for that one man that only he could fill. Has God said ‘No’ to you lately? Look closely at your request. Is it blocking something else that God might have for you?

In a theological discussion the priest and Captain Chandler were considering Judas Iscariot. Chandler (as Christ) said, “Being Judas, he could do nothing else.” Sadly, it seems Judas was born into this world for the horrid purpose of betraying Christ. Every person born into this world have been molded by the Potter as God explains to Jeremiah the prophet as recorded in Jeremiah 18. “I go down [to] the potter’s house, and lo, he is doing a work on the stones, and marred is the vessel that he is making, as clay in the hand of the potter, and he hath turned and he maketh it another vessel, as it was right in the eyes of the potter to make.”4

Paul writing his letter to the Romans recorded in chapter 9, declares “But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?”5

From 1954 to 1960 Americans were educated in the life and times of the manager of the General Insurance Company, Jim Anderson and his family, wife Margaret and their children, Betty, Bud and Kathy. Jim Anderson was played by veteran actor, Robert Young who went on some years later to play the role of Marcus Welby, M.D. In this 1950’s view of the ‘typical American life’ viewers came to understand that the title of the show was in fact the premise upon which every episode was built, “Father Knows Best.”6     

Without being trite or giving more due to the writers of a 1950’s sitcom than they deserve; Christians have come to realize that when it comes to matters of everything of any consequence (and for all those with little or no consequence in the grand scheme of things) our Heavenly Father knows best. And… sometimes, our Heavenly Father says, “No.”       

 

1 Kristol, William and Michel Makovsky “The Obama Complex” The Weekly Standard February 10, 2014  p 10

        2 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0638393/

       3  http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mark5&version=YLT

      4   http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=jeremia18&version=YLT

      5  http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans9&version=NKJV

    6   http://sharetv.com/shows/father_knows_best?utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=father%20knows%20best%20tv%20show&utm_campaign=Bing+Campaign

Ascension to Royalty

“I have a diagnosis: You’ve come down with a case of Ascension to Royalty – osis!”

Rev. Ross L. Riggs, D Min. True North Ministry

From the days of the earliest kingdoms, in lands far across the globe, intrigue, the lust for power, the plotting of unscrupulous persons and often the murder of those who stood in the way of an elevation to the throne were the hallmarks of the ascension to royalty. When Joseph’s brothers, all sons of Jacob, patriarch of Israel, learned of God’s plan to anoint Joseph as ruler, they plotted to kill him; eventually selling him into slavery and telling their aging father that Joseph was dead, mauled by wild animals. Entire families have been decimated to clear the way for a rival to take over the throne.

 

In 2 Chronicles chapter 22 is the story of Ahaziah, Athaliah, Jehosheba and Joash. Ahaziah had been an evil king following in the idol worship by his predecessor, King Ahab. Ahaziah’s kingship was jealously guarded by his mother, Athaliah. When she learned that her son had been killed “…she proceeded to destroy the whole royal family of the house of Judah… But Jehosheba took Joash son of Ahaziah and stole him away from among the royal princes who were about to be murdered and put him and his nurse in a bedroom… He remained hidden with them at the Temple of God for six years while Athaliah ruled the land.”[i]

 

The Roman Empire fared no better. The evil among the ruling class was known across the Roman world. The famous line from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, when the ego maniacal Caesar looks into Brutus’ eyes, even as his lifeblood flows from the stab wound inflicted by Brutus; he says,
“Et tu Brute?”[ii] 

 

“Good” King Henry IV of France around 1600 survived at least 12 assassination attempts until finally succumbing to a stab wound by a fanatical Catholic who believed that Henry was too much a ‘Calvinist’ to hold the throne of France. Even so, Henry’s son succeeded him.

 

In the early period of the Turkish Ottoman Empire (from the 14th through the late 16th centuries), the Ottomans practiced open succession, or what historian Donald Quataert has described as “survival of the fittest” not eldest, son.”[iii] The Turks, though not the only group to use violence as the path to the throne, were certainly known for their brotherly approach to it. The practice of fratricide, first employed by Mehmed II, soon became widespread. Both Murad III and his son Mehmed III had their half-brothers murdered. The killing of all the new sultan’s brothers and half-brothers (which were usually quite numerous) was traditionally done by manual strangling with a silk cord. As the centuries passed, the ritual killing was gradually replaced by lifetime solitary confinement in the kafes (“Golden Cage”) from which escape was impossible.

 

In November of 2008, modern science unraveled the mystery of the murder of one of the last emperors of China. The murder, over one hundred years old in its setting, was ready for a resolution. Mystery writers have been ahead of the curve for some time realizing that if the method of doing the dastardly deed is that of poison, one might expect that it will been orchestrated by a femme fatale. And that appears to be the case in the murder of Guangxu who ascended to the Chinese throne in 1875, around age 4. Because of his youth he was under the watchful eye of his biological aunt, the Empress Dowager Cixi who arranged to adopt him just before he became emperor. Even when Guangxu was in his twenties he remained, to a degree, under the thumb of his driven aunt. As he sought to modernize China, she found a way to have him placed under house-arrest in 1898 where he remained the rest of his life and she, Empress Cixi maintained the throne. In 1908 Cixi knew she was soon to die. Investigators believe that she feared Guangxu would retake the throne on her death, so, it appears; she poisoned him! Former Emperor Guangxu was dead at the age of 36. Empress Cixi, however, committed the murder for naught for within 22 hours, she died at the age of 74. Upon her death, a new emperor was named, and Puyi ascended the throne at the age of 2. Within a very short time the Peoples’ Revolution took place and Communism fell to be the lot of the Chinese people. “The revolution ended with the abdication of the ‘Last Emperor Puyi (who was only six years old) on February 12, 1912, that marked the end of 2,000 years of imperial rule…”[iv] (Note on Puyi’s age added by author)

 

In the United States of America, shortly after the Revolutionary War, a Constitutional Convention worked diligently to lay the foundation for the new Republic. There was pressure for George Washington to become the first king or some other fashion of ruling monarch, which he thankfully turned away. The Office of President of the United States remains, however as close to royalty as can be held in the U.S. with the amount of prestige, honor and standing that is given the person who holds that office. Whether it is the total access of the motorcade or a right to supersede any event in the country by executive privilege, the perks of the position are many. According to a NY Times article in 2011 “some analysts believe that President Obama, who raised and spent about $750 million in the 2008 campaign, will come close to $1 billion in the 2012 campaign…”[v] A November 2012 article reported that Romney and Obama combined to spend $2 billion on the campaign.[vi]

 

Every position of royalty that has ever been filled by some personality, whether obsessed with themselves or serving gallantly on behalf of the people they represent, has commonalities. Each is temporary, finite and restricted by the ruler’s own mortality. There is but one, and only one, who has ever deserved all of the honor and glory of the highest of all royals, ever in time. And it was that one, the single highest of all royalty, the King of kings and the Lord of lords who loved and cared for his people so much that he was willing to give it all up so that he might save them. The Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Philippi explaining that of Christ Jesus, “Who being in the very nature of God did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in the appearance as a man, humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross. Therefore God exalted him to the highest place, and gave him the name that is above every name.”[vii] The Apostle Paul used the example of Christ to encourage his readers that they should consider Christ’s example and “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interest of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.”[viii]

 

Can you imagine, if just for a moment, what our world, our nation, even our cities would be like if those who hold powerful offices took on the humility of Christ? He loves His people so very much that He was willing to turn His back on every great joy of being the exalted God, Creator and Master of the universe and beyond so that He could reach out to the lowliest of the low and give them His righteousness, to impute upon them His holiness. And He did it all so that each person who accepted His gift could live throughout eternity with Him, enjoying all the abundance of every spiritual blessing!

 

As citizens of our country, our local cities or states, we cannot even get an appointment to speak to most of those in public office much less to have them seek us out, in our home, at our employment (unless they are campaigning en masse for our votes) to learn how they can be of service to us. That brings to mind a term that one does not hear much any longer, public service. There are accounts as to how, as recently as President Lincoln in the 1860’s, the Chief Executive of our nation would hold sessions each week, if not sometimes daily, where his office door was open and, though still in an orderly fashion, citizens could come and present their concerns or questions directly to the president. It was expected that this public servant was there to help them and, more often than not, each received a response if not immediately, within an appropriate amount of time.

 

Sadly, some of our mega-churches in the U.S. and abroad have become so large that it is difficult, if not impossible, to gain time to speak to the senior pastor. Mission organizations have become so modeled after the hierarchy of the world business model that you cannot get an audience with the president or CEO without jumping through several hurdles. Even some in the mission who have some responsibility of supervision or administration have elevated themselves in such a way that even getting a reply to a letter or e-mail is difficult. When Christians have done that in such a way within their organizations, how can it ever be expected that those same folks will do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit and focus on reaching out to the most humble of the lost? Hopefully, the percentages of these folks in organizations are smaller than those who are still there with a desire to help.

There is a child’s television program that features a young cartoon girl whose mother is a doctor.  The child imagines herself a doctor to her stuffed animals that seem to come to life and talk to her as she plays make-believe. In the  process, this young ‘Doc’ will usually come up with an interesting diagnosis for whatever is ailing a given stuffed animal or toy. The diagnosis is then recorded, with the help of her stuffed hippopotamus nurse, into the Big Book of Booboos. Well, when it comes to many in the church today and for some mission agencies, as the cartoon ‘Doc’ would say, “I have a diagnosis: 

            You’ve come down with a case of Ascension to Royalty – osis!”

 

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS

A quick view across history, as we have taken here, has shown that selfishness, ambition, malice, ego and just plain ol’ pride has led to the most horrific of results in the worlds wherein the ‘royals’ reside. How awful to consider that rather than living out the example that Christ gave us, some in Christianity have fallen into the trap of what the world sees as power and authority. It comes to light as avarice and a loss of vision for service above self. We must follow the admonition of the Apostle Peter to “Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God so that He may exalt you in due time.”[ix]


[i] II Chronicles 22:10-12 The Life Application Bible (NIV) Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton IL 1991

[vii] Philippians 2:6-9 The Life Application Bible (NIV) Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton IL 1991

[viii] Philippians 2:3-5 The Life Application Bible (NIV) Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton IL 1991

[ix] http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Peter+5%3A6-9&version=NASB

 

 

Preying for Each Other

RIGGS MINISTRY MINUTE: When there’s only a minute for ministry. www.docriggs.com 16 August 2012

Yesterday morning I took our dogs out for their walk and as I returned I saw this lady sitting on our garage door. As if she were deep in her morning meditations, she sat motionless waiting for her prey to get within reach of those long front claw-like arms.

According to Wikipedia the general type of mantises are “ambush predators. They camouflage themselves and stand perfectly still. Then they just wait for their prey to stray too near. When a target does get close enough, the mantis then  strikes  at remarkable speed, in fractions of the time it takes people to blink. Some ground and bark species, however, pursue their prey. Prey items are caught and held securely with grasping, spiked forelegs. The praying mantis usually holds its prey with one arm between the head and thorax, and the other on the abdomen. Then, if the prey does not resist, the mantis will eat it alive. However, if the prey does resist, the mantis will eat its head first, and then carry on with the body in pieces.”[i]

If you are a regular reader of Ministry Minute first, Thank You! Second, you are no longer surprised get a somewhat different approach to ministry than perhaps with some devotional reading you have done!

The praying mantis got me thinking. I wonder how often prayer requests or prayer chains are more about spreading some good gossip more than they are about really praying for the person. Before long you might have someone prey-ing for you rather than praying for you! Now, before anyone begins to speculate, “No, I have not recently been the subject of such (of which I am aware). I’m just thinking out loud here.” The Apostle Paul had a concern for those in the first century church that they were falling in to the snare of gossip. In his letter to young Pastor Timothy, he speaks of those who have cast off what they first believed and “…they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.”

You see, the praying mantis first camouflages itself and remains perfectly still. Gossip is the same way, camouflaged as concern for the person of whom they are about to share some juicy piece of information as a ‘prayer request.’ Then, the mantis, once it has its prey in its claws two things can happen based on the action of the trapped prey. If it doesn’t resist, it is eaten alive. Perhaps if a person who is gossiped against doesn’t speak out against the lies, they are consumed by the gossip about them. Perhaps their ministry is torn apart and cannot continue. If the prey does resist, the mantis bites off its head to stop the resistance. If the gossip analogy is accurate, then the target of the gossip, if they speak out and defend themselves, they may be cut off at the head.  Idle gossip becomes vindictive slander with a purpose to destroy that which it has targeted. Gossip is death to a ministry.

Paul was concerned about such behavior and we should be also. Be on the look-out for praying that is really preying. Speak only good one for another in order to build up and not tear down. The praying mantis is cute from a distance and you can even hold it. The little fellow just seems scared but if you could see its face…

Hebrews 12:12

“Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down and the feeble knees.”


[i] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mantis  accessed 15 August 2012