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Brace yourself for a most challenging read! Article submitted by Firstfruits Music Awards song contestant Leonie Robson. In addition, Leonie is a writer for the Daily Declaration ( https://dailydeclaration.org.au/author/leonierobson/ ), an Australian Christian publication.


SYMPATHY, EMPATHY, APATHY AND OUTRAGE.


Sympathy, according to Merriman/Webster is ‘a feeling of sincere concern for someone who is experiencing something difficult or painful’.


When a friend or loved one dies, we send our sincere sympathy to the family, an expression that acknowledges our sadness for their loss and pain. We understand the humanity of brokenness and sadness that comes with loss; if we haven’t experienced this, believe me, you will. It comes to all.


The times in which we are living have really swiveled and skewed our perspective on many issues and society is, I believe, less sympathetic today than when I was growing up. I often point to the Covid assault as a real tipping point; “if you don’t get the jab, you deserve all you get” attitude was endorsed by ‘the experts’, the media and the Governments of the western world, particularly. https://dailydeclaration.org.au/.../the-australian.../ 


Even today, a beautiful young Australian girl lies languishing in a NSW hospital, https://dailydeclaration.org.au/.../its-time-for.../denied a lifesaving heart transplant because she didn’t take an experimental product that she and her parents believed could damage her fragile body even more. Some people have sympathy for her; others believe this child deserves her fate. Many other patients have died due to the Government’s sheer bloody mindedness across the ‘civilized world’.


Now we see protests against Israel, days after the slaughter of innocent non-combatants, women, children, babies and frail elderly people, spewing hatred and vitriol against the victims! ‘Serve themselves right!’ ‘Put them in the trashcan of humanity!’ One of our own Senators posed with young impressionable young people holding up signs supporting a terrorist organization.


Do I grieve for the innocent lives on both sides of this conflict? I had better, or in the grand scheme of things, I’m no better than Mereen Faruqi. Australian Senator and Deputy leader of the Greens.


How cruel our society has become. Mind you, the parable of The Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-27 gives us a glimpse into the love Jesus wants for us, compared to the wickedness and coldness found in the hearts of many.


Empathy is ‘the ability to emotionally understand what other people feel, see things from their point of view, and imagine yourself in their place. Essentially, it is putting yourself in someone else’s position and feeling what they are feeling. Having empathy enables us to build those social connections.’


While researching this word, I came across an explanation that includes a lack of empathy. Reduced empathy, seen in psychopathy, increases the risk of goal directed aggression. We are seeing a lot of that today.


It's funny what you remember from childhood; if I saw another person fall over and hurt themselves it often triggered a visceral gut reaction in my own body. It was like I could feel their hurt. Perhaps as we grow older our ability to feel another’s pain becomes dulled by experience and a certain hard heartedness. Unfortunately, we are seeing a world with a lack of empathy on many fronts. For many people, understanding https://dailydeclaration.org.au/.../as-a-christian.../ and feeling empathy for another will only occur when something tragic, trying, heartbreaking occurs in their own lives. Then indeed, as an old friend once said, ‘You have to walk a mile in somebody else’s moccasins to understand what they've gone through.’


If you have lost a family member through violence, or experienced this yourself, you will empathise with them. My father was lost in a boating accident, his body never recovered; I can empathise with similar circumstances others are going through. Mum was ‘euthanised’, https://dailydeclaration.org.au/.../vad-darkness-on-the.../ and it broke my heart for years. I can empathise with those in similar positions; you see pain and experience gives us a deep insight into life.


So, what does the Bible have to say about Compassion? https://christianfaithguide.com/how-many-times-is.../ Compassion appears approximately 145 times in the Bible. It appears in both the old and new testaments. Some verses teach us that God Himself is full of compassion and mercy. Other verses remind us of our mandate to be compassionate to others. We also read verses where Jesus himself was moved with compassion toward the people and their plight; If Jesus is compassionate, how can we not be?


Apathy according to Wikipedia is ‘a lack of feeling, emotion, interest, or concern about something. https://caldronpool.com/worldviews-and-the-building-of.../ It is a state of indifference, or the suppression of emotions such as concern, excitement, motivation, or passion. An apathetic individual has an absence of interest in, or concern about emotional, social, spiritual, philosophical, virtual, or physical life and the world. The apathetic may lack a sense of purpose, worth, or meaning in their life.’


Many people display apathy, but often it is really a symptom of not being able to deal with the world in which we live, the problems so evident around us make it easier for them to put their head in the sand and try not to notice. It's a form of self-protection, no doubt and easily understood as that. Sometimes it's just all too painful to look around and see what's happening.


Of great concern is the apathy displayed by the church in general over a variety of extremely urgent spiritual problems confronting every Christian whether we like it or not. In many denominations the actual tenants of Christianity are being assaulted by the woke culture that has insinuated itself into the highest places of Christendom, Franklin Graham calls out the Anglican Church in this article. https://dailydeclaration.org.au/.../franklin-graham.../  


Brave people like Kirralie Smith from ‘Binary’ have been persecuted and indeed prosecuted for their stance in protecting children from the rampant abuse of the alphabet lobby. https://dailydeclaration.org.au/.../kirralie-smith-takes.../ We should thank God for her and continue to uphold her in our prayers.


“See to it that you don't despise or think less of one of these little ones, for us I to you that the angels in heaven in the presence of and continually look upon the face of my father who is in heaven.” Matthew 18:10 amplified bible.


When confronted by anti-Christian bigotry, Anti-Semitism, the infiltration of the left’s march through our institutions, including Seminaries and churches worldwide, we are silent. Too many churches believe in replacement theology, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnfgdmJM4bYgiving little thought or care to the plight of Israel. Jack Hibbs’ podcast is well worth watching!


They have allowed the government to call the shots on many pivotal challenges confronting the Church of Jesus Christ. Towing the party line, compromising and endorsing ‘doctrines of demons’ that Paul talked about.


Keeping our heads down and our mouths shut didn't help us during Covid, the LGBTQ agendas, https://dailydeclaration.org.au/.../abortion.../ freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom to peacefully assemble. Very few churches have the intestinal fortitude to stand up as Pro Life advocates https://dailydeclaration.org.au/.../day-20-their-days.../ and raising the word ‘Abortion’ would be unheard of.


But who knows, if we keep quiet this time and don't make waves perhaps, they will leave us alone; perhaps they won't. I can understand people of the world, those who don't know Jesus Christ keeping quiet. We, however, are without excuse. The prophets, apostles and disciples down through the ages have spoken out with bravery, and many have lost their lives in doing so. https://dailydeclaration.org.au/.../anti-christian.../ What's it coming to when a Christian woman stands and silently prays in her head https://dailydeclaration.org.au/.../england-where.../ near an abortion clinic, not speaking to anyone, accosting them, trying to sway them to change their mind, but merely praying silently is arrested by police for a ‘thought crime’? https://dailydeclaration.org.au/.../dont-expect-a-church.../ 


Our days of apathy should be over! There are bigger fish to fry than keeping an oftentimes lukewarm church comfortable Sunday to Sunday.


Outrage. The Britannica Dictionary explains it as ‘Extreme anger; a strong feeling of unhappiness because of something bad, hurtful or morally wrong’.


We see extreme anger all around us today. It’s alive and well on the streets of Sydney, London, New York, Palestinian supporters in their thousands, chanting words that should make us recoil in shock. On Newcastle Harbour, not far from where we live, anger and contempt come from Climate Activists in their canoes made by fossil fuels, clothed in their neoprene wetsuits made with fossil fuels ,who will get in their cars , upload videos to social media and not give a fig for the lives they are trying to disrupt; industries that support our entire population are demonised by them as they go home to take a long hot shower and sit in front of their 65inch flatscreen TV, oblivious and ignorant to the lies pedalled by globalists and Billionaires. We hear it in the words of our young, brainwashed children on the hot topics of climate, https://dailydeclaration.org.au/.../eva.../transgender, https://dailydeclaration.org.au/.../nashville.../abortion, and of course Israel.


These rampant activists, (usually from our corrupted Universities and Colleges) https://dailydeclaration.org.au/.../our-judeo-christian.../ and social influencers lure our children from the classrooms to protest FOR their agendas, and we pay the ultimate price, seeing the mental health of our young people suffer and play out in the ultimate conclusion that life is not worth living. Too many adults decide that ending their life is the only answer to their immense pain. https://dailydeclaration.org.au/.../international-mens.../ This should fill us with righteous indignation.


Let’s always reaffirm our children and young people that there is hope and purpose in their lives, and point them toward the Saving Grace found in Jesus. https://dailydeclaration.org.au/.../from-marxism-to.../ 


We are in a battle against wickedness and it’s accelerating. Paul clearly tells us that ‘we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers of wickedness in high places.’ (Eph 6:12) This is a Spiritual war, a war that’s raging for the souls of humanity and our children are a prime target of Satan. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54Cfd5d11Xs 


Even non-Christians are appalled at the state of the deterioration of society. They are paying the price for speaking out! The Government of Ireland has set its sights on one of her favourite sons. I’m giving you a link to ‘The Rubin Report’, in this YouTube video Dave Rubin gives a cross section of opinions from people like Elon Musk and Connor Macgregor, and topics like unfettered immigration to Europe, the election of populist leaders like Geert Wilders in the Netherlands, and Argentina’s Javier Milei. It’s an interesting hour. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_crUFUCOLU&t=39s 


We know the term ‘Righteous anger’ and I’m sure we are all feeling it sometimes. (Ps 4:4, Eph 4:17-27, Ps 37.) Our stomach churns and tears leak from our eyes. How do we reconcile all that we are seeing, knowing that even speaking out opens the door to ridicule, judgement and being tagged as some kind of religious zealot?


Thank God we have seen peaceful gatherings in support for Israel! Pro-Life rallies continue to increase in numbers. Finally, our farmers are protesting the climate lunacy decimating prime agricultural lands.


I’m including this link to an article written by the amazing James MacPherson, because frankly, I’m barely able to string a sentence together https://dailydeclaration.org.au/.../will-the-west-admit.../ compared to James’ writing ability. Like him, I ask the question; will we admit we are in trouble with a capital T?


Individually and corporately, what are we prepared to put up with, stay silent on, and acquiesce to? What are we prepared to stand for, speak out against, pray against, and have some righteous indignation about?


The ultimate choice is ours.


This challenging but excellent and thought provoking piece was written by Leonie Robson. Leonie is a Christian singer songwriter and together with her husband Ivan, are contestants of the Firstfruits Music Awards. To check out their YouTube channel, ‘The Latter Rain’, please visit: https://www.youtube.com/@thelatterrain...leonieandi7887



The 13th December '23 was the first episode, season 1, of ‘Firstfruits Exclusives’. This live weekly TV show, is a collaboration between Firstfruits Music Awards (FMA) and PAAM TV UK (PAAM). Its purpose is to provide a global platform and a voice for emerging and independent Christian singer songwriters and musical artists. With excess of 52,000 Facebook followers, the PAAM TV and radio networks have acquired a solid reputation for providing the very latest gospel news together with being strong advocates for supporting the next generation of Christian artists.


This first episode featured Nigel Swaby (Founder) and Eric Reverence (Ambassador & Non Executive Director) of the FMA. During the show, Nigel explained about some of the issues facing independent Christian artists and the circumstances surrounding his strong conviction to establishing this initiative. To quote him directly, “It’s about levelling up the playing field, giving the unknown artist a voice and support, establishing a global movement of like minded Christian singer-songwriters, those who understand that their Gospel music gifting is a vehicle to reach the world for Christ!”


This show will be aired live each Wednesday at the same time with the last episode for season 1 concluding on 13th March ’24. The next set of interviews taking place on 20th December ’23 will be with Cyndi Aarrestad from Saskatchewan in Canada and Dewaynega George from Guyana in South America. Having penned in excess of 2,000 songs during her career, Cyndi can only be described as someone who is totally plugged in to God. Dewaynega on the other hand is a young and gifted songwriter, whose music can only be described eclectic and very addictive.


To watch this episode click here.


Do you ever watch the news, the headlines, hear the statements of the Politicians and leaders? The celebrities vying for their snapshot of relevance, their moment to shine and proclaim their ‘wisdom’?

Do you find yourself despairing at a world going bat-guano crazy before our very eyes?

Take heart, there is hope! Rejoice in the fact that you may just be ‘Peculiar’!

Peculiar; it’s a funny, peculiar word.

A dictionary explanation I discovered:

‘Different to what is normal or expected, odd, curious, eccentric’.

A Biblical explanation is vastly different!

Here we find: ‘A sense of particular treasure.’

Happy to go with the latter!

Let’s look at what God is saying to us in His Word.

Exodus 19:5, AMP. Now therefore, if you will obey My voice in truth and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own peculiar possession and treasure from among and above all peoples; for all the earth is Mine.

Deuteronomy 14:2 AMP. For you are a holy people (set apart) to the Lord your God, and the Lord has chosen you to be a peculiar people to Himself, above all the nations of the earth.

Deuteronomy 26: 17-19 AMP. “You have openly declared the Lord this day to be your God, (pledging) to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, and His precepts, and to hearken to His voice. And the Lord has declared this day that you are His peculiar people, as He promised you, and you are to keep all His commandments; And He will make you high above all nations and in fame and in honour, and you shall be a holy people to the Lord your God, as He has spoken.”

Oh sure, I hear you say. That’s the OT and the law.

1 Peter 2:9-10 AMP. “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a dedicated nation, (God’s) own purchased, special people, that you may set forth the wonderful deeds and display the virtues and perfections of Him Who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light. Once you were not a people (at all), but now you are God’s people; once you were unpitied, but now you are pitied and have received mercy.”

A target for ridicule, righteousness is peculiar in this world.

When we endeavour to uphold the principles and precepts of the Kingdom of God, we attract criticism; we can be accused of being unloving, but it’s because we are acutely aware of God’s love for our fellow man that makes us want them to see! We stand as advocates for life, from conception https://dailydeclaration.org.au/2023/07/06/dr-anthony-levatino-abortionist-to-pro-life-doctor/ to natural end of life https://dailydeclaration.org.au/2023/08/11/oh-canada-10-tragic-facts-about-canadas-euthanasia-regime/. As Christians we must be Pro-Life; God is.

We stand against the LGBTQI+ ideologies that attempt to sexualise our children, deforming their bodies and their minds, because God made man in His image, male and female he made them. https://dailydeclaration.org.au/2023/09/06/seven-network-transgender-regret-detransitioning-documentary/. We stand for freedom, because Jesus Christ has set us free. (Yes, even mankind is free to choose Him or not).

We stand for righteous government, because God’s plans and purposes for mankind are good, not evil (that’s Satan) We sign petitions, submissions, walk at Pro-life events and peacefully protest and pray at freedom rallies, standing against the sinister agendas of Globalists and Marxists.

We stand as stewards of the earth, but do not allow ourselves to be bewitched by the new climate change cults. https://dailydeclaration.org.au/2023/03/24/greta-thunberg-theology-doctorate-helsinki-university/

We believe in the truth of the Word of God, the Bible, and the truth that “I Am the Lord, I change not” holds true. https://dailydeclaration.org.au/2022/07/12/woke-churches-erasing-women/ The Woke church is a mirror of the church of Laodicea, Lukewarm and losing its spiritual and moral compass. https://dailydeclaration.org.au/2022/12/14/the-new-book-of-woke-spells/

Feeling misunderstood?

Therefore, to the world and even to other Christians, we are a peculiar people; we are not loved for our stance by them, yet we pray for their eyes to be opened. Time is short.

We are, however loved by God, Who first loved us, and gave His life for us.

We pray for life, our children and friends, those we don’t know to find Salvation in Jesus; we pray that the true Church of Jesus Christ will arise and stand in righteousness, not a mouthpiece for the anti-Christ agendas sweeping the human race to a decadent misery. We pray for righteous Government in our countries and across the world. https://dailydeclaration.org.au/2023/09/05/an-indian-genocide-the-present-day-extermination-of-indias-christians/. Pray for the persecuted church, as Christians are the most persecuted religion in the world.

And one more thing; Rejoice in our peculiarity! It’s a badge of being God’s particular treasure.

Titus 2: 13-14 AMP. “Our Saviour Jesus Christ, Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous for good works.”

Remember – We have been purchased through the blood of Christ and belong to Him!


This excellent piece was written by Leonie Robson who is a song contestant and part of the Firstfruits Music Awards family.

To listen to some of Leonie and her husband Ivan’s song click here:


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