Greetings from Stephen Andrew Missick
This is a picture of me with Mort Petrushansky to my right and a local Indian pastor to my left.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Well, another year has past and I think it is fitting to reflect upon the past year. This year I did a mission trip to India back in February and did a lot of preaching there. I went to Hyderabad with Mort from Congregation Shalom. I also started working on my Doctorate of Ministry from Houston Graduate School of Theology. I am still in the National Guard serving as a chaplain and my rank is that of captain.
This year I went to an Assyrian-American Convention. It was in San Diego. While there I was able to visit my distant cousins Johnny and Lois. The visit with the Assyrians was very productive. I also met with Aramaic scholar Jan Magiera. I was also able to visit with my brother and his new wife when he visited Nashville. It was good to go back to Nashville, where I grew up, to see my family there. I also went to the major pro-life rally in Austin this year.
I did a couple of video programs with Rosalie Jerome "The Voice of the Word" and "Hanukkah and the Hammer of God" for "The Crossover" program. (The Program is available on youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVNT3G8OHlg.)
I also visited with Assyrian National Broadcasting in San Jose California. We recording a program and I met with Ninus, the owner of the studio, who is a nice guy. See the interview: http://youtu.be/aMglKf9hC1I. http://www.anbsat.com/
My "The Language of Jesus: Introducing Aramaic" is continuing to sell well. This years new books include "The Quest for the Historical Moses" and "The Four Principles of Moderate Islam." The book about Moses is written to address archeology and the Exodus in history. I feel that radical Islam is one of the most serious threats in the world today. To combat radical Islam, I have defined what Moderate Islam is. (The Four Principles are no religious violence, Sharia law is a personal lifestyle choice with no legal force, the complete equality of all religions in Islamic countries, and the repudiation of any form of punishment for those who chose to leave Islam.) I also finished "The Hanukkah Comic and Coloring Book" which tells the story of 1 and 2 Maccabees in comic book form. The story of Maccabees is the story of the fight for religious freedom and I think it is a fascinating and relevant story.
I think it is also important to reflect on news and what is going on around the world. First, let us look at the Good News. The ultimate good news is that God loved the world so much that he sent his only begotten son, so that whosoever would believe in him, should not perish, but attain life eternal. Some other Good News is the fall of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. It is disheartening to see the rise of Islamic extremism and the decline of Middle Eastern Christianity. Not only did the Moslem Brotherhood collapse in Egypt, by the end of the year the government of Egypt labeled it as a terrorist organization. It is very unlikely that the Moslem Brotherhood will be able to take over Egypt again. They have proven that they do not have the answers. When we see all the violence carried out in Islam's name, I think that sometimes we do need to answer violence with violence, however, sometimes we should find effective peaceful means to respond. We need to find ways to delegitimize the violent ideology of radical Islam. Unfortunately, leftists sympathize with the radical Muslims and look upon them as an "aggrieved peoples." It is the Coptic and Assyrian Christians who are being killed for their faith in Christ that we should sympathize with and not their killers. The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt has done an excellent job of discrediting and de-legitimizing themselves. It breaks my heart to see Christians die for their faith, but finally, despite the decades long media black-out, people are hearing about the persecution of Coptic Christians. Other good news includes the success of the "The Bible: The Epic Miniseries." It was widely viewed and now we are going to see more Bible movies, which includes Russell Crowe's "Noah," "The Son of God," and Christian Bale's "Exodus." There are also two movies on Mary coming out "Mary of Nazareth" and "Mary: The Mother of Christ." It is good to see the Bible message encountering the world.
On the other hand, we see a disturbing threat to religious freedom and speech in the censoring of Phil Robertson of "Duck Dynasty" for preaching the Gospel and quoting Scripture, "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortionists, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." (1 Corinthians 6:8-12). Thankfully, Phil was reinstated. (Considering how much money the network is making from his program, it isn't surprising. What is surprising to A&E, is that a program intended to mock southerners and Christians is successful. I think Americans are hungry for programming that is wholesome and provides traditional values. There is so much filth on the airways now.) Earlier we saw attempted censorship of Kirk Cameron also for preaching the Gospel. It was also encouraging to see the 95 year old Billy Graham boldly preaching the uncompromised Gospel of Jesus Christ on his birthday during his nation-wide televised evangelistic outreach.
Unfortunately, overall, 2013 has been a bad year for freedom of religion and freedom of speech. The federal courts have moved to legalize "homosexual marriage" and polygamy. I have told people that you cannot have one without the other and accurately predicted that the left would take up the cause of bigamy next, as they have. (At least left-wing judges have, and certain media such as CNN, which published an article advocating polygamy.) We have also seen very disturbing reports of religious persecution of Christians in the military and by the Veterans Administration. This is the natural consequence of the advocating of political homosexuality by the government and is also something that I feared would happen. (I believe in tolerance but this political homosexual movement doesn't. They want to silence all those who disagree with them.) Also, these issues are a natural consequence of the results of the presidential elections of 2008 and 2012. Unfortunately, many Americans don't value their freedoms anymore. These social evils and this decadence doesn't bode well for the future of our country. We are also seeing greater intolerance for traditional and biblical morality. I think that it is important to note that the oath of office and the oath soldiers take is to the Constitution of the United States and not to any elected officials. We are entering into an era in which the elected officials represent a threat to the Constitution. I am very concerned about Obamacare, which mandates that Christian organizations pay for abortions and birth control. This is a serious violation of religious liberty. The Supreme Court is useless and now serves as a rubber stamp for the White House. I think this year-2014-is pivotal for the future of America. It is possible, in the next to election cycles, to have a course correction and restore freedom in this country. However, while I do not support the Democrat party, it is evident that the Republican Party is also hopelessly corrupt. Unfortunately, we have a two-party system in America, so the Republican Party is the opposition party we, who love our country and our constitutional liberties, have to work with. I hope to be politically involved this year, and I also hope to work with other conservatives to stand for our traditional values against the political establishment of the Republican Party. I hope there is a "grass roots" uprising that I can be a part of. Unless this country takes a course correction this year-our I fear constitutional republic is doomed.
I am concerned about the situation in Syria and the challenges faced by Assyrian Christians. In Syria this year, the Aramaic Christian village of Maloula, was taken by radical Islamists-twice. I appeared on American Family Radio-"Focal Point" with Bryan Fisher http://youtu.be/fDmt2GdzMh0. Christians have been targeted by radical Muslims in the Middle East. Many Assyrian Christians in northern Iraq are also fleeing the region. While in California I spoke to Father Bazzi, of Saint Peter's Chaldean Church and he told me that their church receives hundreds of destitute Iraqi Christians every year. This year we also need to remember Pastor Yousif Nader-Khani, who was imprisoned for his faith in Iran but has been released and Pastor Saeed Abedini, an American citizen, who is still imprisoned for his faith in Christ in Iran.
I am organizing "Aramaic Christian Ministries" in order to create awareness for the Aramaic and Assyrian Christian heritage and awareness concerning religious persecution of religious minorities in the Middle East.
I also worked on outreach this year, including this advertisement for my book in "Charisma Magazine." I also have tried to start a website www.stephenmissick.com.
I thought that I should also include this picture of two unlikely friends. My pit bull dog Diesel and my cat Seymour. Both are rescues. Diesel was my neighbor's dog. He was ran over. The neighbor didn't want to take him to the vet. After suffering with a broken leg for over three weeks-they let me have him. It was too late to save his leg by that time. So, if you noticed he is a three-legged dog. Seymour is a very friendly cat and loves people and dogs. He often sleeps with Diesel as can be seen above. Seymour was a stray. I discovered him with horrific injuries. I took him to the vet and had him fixed. I am amazed at how well he healed. I thought he was going to die! Both of these animals are big sweethearts. I know people fear pit bulls, but Diesel doesn't have any meanness in him. Diesel can actually get around fine on three legs and can even run as fast as he ever could. Obviously, Diesel was neglected so I have taken care of him, to some extent, since he was a puppy. I also have another cat name Daisy, but she doesn't get along very well with Diesel or Seymour, but they don't fight often. Daisy, of course, was also a stray.
Christmas was busy. I visited with my sister in Temple and then my brother in San Antonio.
Looking ahead to 2014!
I am very optimistic about this New Year. I think that we shall see positive change ahead. I think that we are also going to see political change. Obama has taken this country to left field, it is time to move back to the center. I think many American's want to move back to the center as well. However, there are also foreboding signs. Some people have noticed that there are two "Blood Moons" this year. The first falls on Passover and "Easter" and the other during the Biblical Fall Festivals. I do think that we will see more global conflict this year. I am concerned about Iran's pursuit of a nuclear bomb and I think this issue will come to a head.
It also looks like I might finally be involved in a serious relationship with a woman soon! I have friends, but I don't want to discuss relationship issues until the relationships develop in such a manner to warrant it.
I start off this year by promoting my art, comics and books at Space City Comic Con-at Galveston!
So, what else will I be doing? I will be busy with the doctoral program. I will be implementing a project, probably in 2015, in which I work with local Assyrian Christian to develop and educational program and try to create awareness about the Assyrian (Aramaic) Christian Heritage and issues with religious persecution in the Middle East. I do have "Post 9-11 G.I. Bill" which will help with one year, but I hope I can find some scholarships as well.
Of course I am always working on projects! I hope to finish an illustrated re-telling of the story of Moses this year. Another project is the story of the "other" worshipers of Yahweh. The Jews worshiped Yahweh, but it looks like Yahweh was also worshiped by Arabians (such as Job) and Arameans from the Sinai to the coast of Lebanon, to the city of Hamath. Joram, an Aramaic prince of Hamath, whose name means "Yahweh is exalted," is mentioned as forming an alliance with King David in 2 Samuel 8:10. Recent archeological records tell us more about these non-Jewish worshipers of God from ancient times. Most of these peoples were not descendents of Abraham. I may also be working on the story of St. Thomas in India and a teaching on the Life of Jesus.
To see my list of books (all available from Amazon.com) check below
PO Box 882, Shepherd, Texas, 77371
YOUTUBE CHANNEL: www.youtube.com/aramaic12
King of Saints Tabernacle
2228 FM 1725 Cleveland, TX 77328 (281) 592-4104
God bless you all this New Yea