Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Mark 10:46-52Now they came to Jericho. As He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" Then many warned him to be quiet; but he cried out all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!" So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called. Then they called the blind man, saying to him, "Be of good cheer. Rise, He is calling you." And throwing aside his garment, he rose and came to Jesus.
So Jesus answered and said to him, "What do you want Me to do for you?" The blind man said to Him, "Rabboni, that I may receive my sight." Then Jesus said to him, "Go your way; your faith has made you well." And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.

Monday, September 25, 2006

A.W. Pink on Apostolic Prayers

"Believers should pray much...and especially according to these apostolic models, petitioning for the particular blessing they specify...By studying the prayers in these epistles and pondering them clause by clause we may learn more clearly what blessings we should desire for ourselves and others, what spiritual gifts and graces we most need to ask for. The very fact of these prayers, inspiried by the Holy Spirit, have been placed on permanent record in the sacred Volume intimates (announces) the particular favors which are to be sought and obtained from God."--A.W. Pink

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Does God Want You Rich?

Does God Want You To Be Rich?
A growing number of Protestant evangelists raise a joyful Yes! But the idea is poison to other, more mainstream pastors...I won't editorialize on read it and tell me your thoughts.,9171,1533448-1,00.html

Jesus Loves the Muslim Camel Tracks Pt. 4

Now do you understand why I love to read the Koran? The discovery that ‘Isa is the Word and Spirit of Allah, that he was the anointed promised one, and that he was sinless has enlightened me. But wait, there is more…

3:48 And He (Allâh) will teach him the Scripture and wisdom, and the Taurat and the Injil (Gospel).

Allah taught ‘Isa the holy Kitabs. Pakka Muslims read and understand all the Kitabs. Allah instructed Muhammad, peace be on him, that if he had a question about any message from heaven, that he should look for the answer among those who read the “Before” Kitabs.

Sura Yunnus 10:94 says “And if thou (Muhammad) art in doubt concerning that which We reveal unto thee, then question those who read the Scripture (that was) before thee. Verily the Truth from thy Lord hath come unto thee. So be not thou of the waverers.”

I have found the Book of Wisdom (Mesal), the Taurat, and Injil Kitabs. These Kitabs have been translated directly from the original languages and are trustworthy. A friend of mine said that reading the “Before” Kitabs makes him feel like a complete Muslim. A cow with only one leg cannot stand, but when he stands on all four legs, he is strong. A “Pakka” Muslim reads all the Kitabs.

Sura 4:136
“O ye who believe! Believe in Allah and His messenger and the Scripture which He hath revealed unto His messenger, and the Scripture which He revealed aforetime. Whoso disbelieveth in Allah and His angels and His scriptures and His messengers and the Last Day, he verily hath wandered far astray.”

Have the “Before” Kitabs been changed? The Koran says, “No!” Is Allah not powerful enough to protect His message?

Read in the Koran Sura Al-An’am 6:115-116 “Those unto whom We gave the Scripture (aforetime) know that it is revealed from thy Lord in truth. So be not thou (O Muhammad) of the waverers. Perfected is the Word of the Lord in truth and justice. There is no one that can change His words. He is the Hearer, the Knower.”

The next time someone tells you that the kitabs have been changed, ask them, “Do you have proof that the kitabs have been changed?” Their answer is always the same, “No, I do not have proof, I only heard that they have been changed.” This argument would not stand up in any court room.

3:49 And will make him (Isa) a messenger to the Children of Israel (saying): "Lo I come to you with a sign from your Lord. Lo! I fashion for you out of clay the likeness of a bird, and breathe into it, and it is a bird by Allâh's leave; and I heal him who was born blind, and the leper, and I raise the dead, by Allah’s leave. And I announce to you what you eat, and what you store up in your houses. Lo! herein is a sign for you, if you are to be believers.
This is reprinted from a booklet called Camel Tracks...Jesus is in the Koran not just as a Prophet but as God.

Camel Tracks Continued...Jesus loves the Muslim

Knowing that Allah does nothing by accident, all that Allah does is according to his perfect plan, why would Allah have ‘Isa born without a father? Has there ever been another prophet born without a father? What does this event mean to all Muslims?”

To answer these questions we must look closely at the life of Adam. In Imran 3:59, the Koran says that ‘Isa is like Adam. They were similar because each of these prophets did not have a father. Before Adam disobeyed Allah, he walked with Allah in the garden (heaven). Adam could live in Allah’s presence forever and talk to Allah because he did not have any sin, just like ‘Isa. Adam, at first, was righteous and holy because he was created from Allah’s Ruhullah. Once Adam committed disobedience to Allah, Adam became unholy and could no longer live together with Allah in the garden (heaven).

Read in the Koran 20:121: “Then they (Adam and his wife) both ate of it, so their shame became apparent unto them, and they began to hide by heaping on themselves some of the leaves of the garden, and Adam disobeyed his Lord and his nature became evil.”

Most certainly, all of us are children of Adam except one - his name is ‘Isa Masih. Apple trees produce only apples! Can an apple tree produce oranges? All humans born in Adam’s family inherit Adam’s nature. The curse of sin in Adam is being passed down among his decedents. ‘Isa is the only man who never sinned. He did not sin because he was not born in the blood line of Adam. He did not inherit Adam’s sin nature.

A friend asked me one day, “Why did Isa not inherit Adam’s evil nature through his mother, Maryam?” I answered his question in two parts. First, in the Taurat Sharif, the prophet Musa wrote that the nature of sin is passed only through the blood line of the father. Secondly, doctors tell us that when a baby is inside its’ mother, the two never share their blood. If the mother and baby’s blood ever mix, both could die. It is also known that a mother may not have the same blood type as her baby. Allah creates the baby’s blood from the man’s seed.

Zeph 3:17
17 The LORD your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing." NKJV


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

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Leadership Journal, Summer 2006

iChurch: All We Like Sheep
Is our insistence on choices leading us astray?
by Skye Jethani

I don't drink coffee but that hasn't stopped me from using the Starbucks across the street from my church as a second office. I sip my overpriced beverage in the armchair near the window. On this afternoon I was meeting Greg and Margaret*�members of our church I'd worked with closely for the last few years.

"We've decided to leave Blanchard," Greg started. "For two months we've been church shopping." Church shopping�where did that dastardly term come from? I thought while gazing out the window at the swarm of suburbanites fluttering between The Gap, Banana Republic, Barnes & Noble, and Williams-Sonoma.

"We really love Blanchard," Margaret added to soften the blow. "It's been a great church for our family, with a wonderful children's program. Greg and I really like it, but our boys are teenagers now and they prefer the music at Faith Community*." I took a sip of my preferred drink�a tall, no whip, Tazo chai latte. Maybe I should have gotten the low cal, non-fat, grande Earl Grey, with Splenda.

Margaret continued, "Faith Community has so much to offer our family, and I think it's really important to go someplace the boys like. When your kids are teenagers, you'll understand." Having played the evangelical trump card (the kids), Margaret sat back in her chair believing no further discussion was necessary.

"What are you going to do when your boys leave home in a few years?" I asked.

"I'm not sure," said Greg. "Maybe we'll come back to Blanchard."

"I hope you don't," I replied, meaning no malice. I did, however, relish the stunned look on their faces, if just for a moment. "I hope that you commit yourselves so fully to Faith Community�building strong relationships, serving with your gifts, participating in its mission�that you could never see yourselves leaving that church. I really believe God grows us most when we are committed to a community."

For the next hour we had a difficult but edifying conversation about their decision to leave. Then I prayed for Greg and Margaret in the middle of Starbucks, and watched from my chair by the window as they drove away in their SUV, a chrome fish on the tailgate.

From Lord to Label
Christian critiques of consumerism usually focus on the dangers of idolatry�the temptation to make material goods the center of life rather than God. This, however, misses the real threat consumerism poses. As contingent beings, we must consume resources to survive. The problem is not consuming to live, but rather living to consume.

We find ourselves in a culture that defines our relationships by our purchases. As the philosopher Baudrillard explains, "Consumption is a system of meaning." We assign value to ourselves and others based on the goods we purchase. One's identity is now constructed by the clothes you wear, the vehicle you drive, the music on your iPod. In short, you are what you consume.

This explains why shopping is the number one leisure activity of Americans. It occupies a role in society that once belonged to religion�the power to give meaning and construct identity. Consumerism, as Pete Ward concludes, "represents an alternative source of meaning to the Christian gospel." No longer merely an economic system, consumerism has become the American worldview�the framework through which we interpret everything else, including God, the gospel, and church.

When we approach Christianity as consumers rather than seeing it as a comprehensive way of life, Christianity becomes just one more brand we consume along with Gap, Apple, and Starbucks to express our identity.

And the demotion of Jesus Christ from Lord to label means that to live as a Christian no longer carries an expectation of obedience and good works, but rather the perpetual consumption of Christian merchandise and experiences�music, books, t-shirts, jewelry.

Approaching Christianity as a brand (rather than a worldview) explains why the majority of people who identify themselves as born-again Christians live no differently than other Americans. According to George Barna, most churchgoers have not adopted a biblical worldview, they have simply added a Jesus fish to the bumper of their unregenerate consumer identities. As Mark Riddle observes, "Conversion in the U.S. seems to mean we've exchanged some of our shopping at Wal-Mart, Blockbuster, and Borders for the Christian bookstore down the street. We've taken our lack of purchasing control to God's store, where we buy our office supplies in Jesus' name."

I Can't Get No �
During my conversation with Greg and Margaret at Starbucks, I asked how they came to choose Faith Community as their new church. "Did you pray as a family about this decision?" No.

"Did you involve your small group or seek the wisdom of an elder in the decision?" No.

"Did you investigate the church's doctrine, history, or philosophy of ministry?" No.

"Did you base your decision on anything other than what you 'liked'?" No.

Believe it or not, Greg and Margaret are educated professionals capable of making intelligent decisions. How then do we make sense of their impulsive church shopping?

Being fully formed in a consumer worldview, Greg and Margaret intuitively accepted that the personal enrichment and fulfillment of desire is the highest good. As a result, they chose the church that best satisfied their family's preferences without bothering to consult their community, the Bible, or the Holy Spirit to gauge the legitimacy of those desires. After all, in consumerism a desire is never illegitimate, it is only unmet.

People have not always lived this way. Consumers, like the goods they buy, were made not born. The advent of mass production during the Industrial Revolution created previously unimaginable quantities of goods�far more than the market needed. Manufacturers suddenly needed a way to artificially increase demand for their products. Advertising was born.

Ads became the prophets of capitalism�turning the hearts of the people toward the goods they didn't know they needed. They subtly or overtly promised more comfort, status, success, happiness, and even sex to people who purchased their wares. In 1897 one newspaper reader said that in the past we "skipped ads unless some want compelled us to read, now we read to find out what we really want."

Today, according to The New York Times, each American is exposed to 3,500 desire-inducing advertisements every day promising us that satisfaction is just one more purchase away. Rodney Clapp writes, "The consumer is schooled in insatiability. He or she is never to be satisfied�at least not for long. The consumer is tutored that people basically consist of unmet needs that can be appeased by commodified goods and experiences."

This constant manufacturing of desires has created a culture of overindulgence. Obesity, sexual promiscuity, and skyrocketing credit card debt are just a few signs. Although lack of self-control has always plagued humanity, for the first time in history, an economic system has been created that relies on it. Now, if people began suppressing their desires and consuming only what they needed, our economy would collapse. To prevent this, satisfying personal desires has become sacrosanct.

During World War II, for example, the government severely restricted public consumption of certain goods needed for the war effort. Following 9/11, however, Americans were repeatedly told that to refrain from buying, traveling, and continuing our lifestyle was tantamount to "letting the terrorists win."

For consumers, fulfillment of desire is the highest good and final arbiter in making decisions�even deciding where to worship.

Kingdom Competition
It isn't difficult to see the incompatibility of consumerism with traditional Christianity. Scripture champions contentment and self-control, not endless pursuit of personal desire. Unfortunately, teaching and modeling these Christian values is not a high priority in most churches. In fact, many churches use the same techniques pioneered by consumerism to draw people through their doors.

Roger Finke and Rodney Stark, co-authors of The Churching of America, 1776-1990, argue that ministry in the U.S. is modeled primarily on capitalism, with pastors functioning as a church's sales force, and evangelism as its marketing strategy. Our indoctrination into this economic view of ministry may prevent us from recognizing how unprecedented it is in Christian history.

According to Finke and Stark, the American church adopted a consumer-driven model because the First Amendment prohibited state-sanctioned religion. Therefore, faith, like the buying of material goods, became a matter of personal choice. And "where religious affiliation is a matter of choice, religious organizations must compete for members and � the 'invisible hand' of the marketplace is as unforgiving of ineffective religious firms as it is of their commercial counterparts."

This explains why marketing strategies and secular business values are pervasive in today's ministry�we're in competition with other providers of identity and meaning for survival. We must convince a sustainable segment of the religious marketplace that our church is "relevant," "comfortable," or "exciting." (One billboard in my area proclaims, "Kids love our church. It's FUN!") And we must differentiate our church by providing more of the elements people want. After all, in a consumer culture, the customer is king.

When I arrived at Starbucks to meet with Greg and Margaret, I first went to the counter to order a drink. The simple menu on the wall is deceptive. There was a time when ordering coffee meant regular or decaf, cream or sugar. Today, Starbucks provides literally 20,000 beverage permutations.

While enjoying our drinks of choice, Greg and Margaret proceeded to explain how Faith Community Church had multiple services, including Saturday, so they could choose a time that fit their busy schedule. Blanchard only has three services�all on Sunday morning. The youth group had multiple worship teams for their son, a drummer, to play on. Ours only has one. And, because Faith Community was "way bigger" than Blanchard, it had more to offer Greg and Margaret too.

Ironically, they had come to Blanchard years earlier from a smaller church. What goes around comes around, I guess.

Decisions, Decisions
One of the core characteristics of consumerism is choice. With each new option, the shopper is better equipped to construct his unique identity. Customization, creating a product that conforms to my particular desires, has driven businesses to offer an ever-increasing number of choices. This trend is seen most clearly in the iPod. No longer is a listener required to buy an entire CD to enjoy just one song. You now have instant access to millions of songs, and download them individually for a personalized playlist. The demand for more choices also drives modern churches. The goal is to provide religious consumers with as many individualized choices as possible. The latest permutation is "video venues."

At one church, upon arriving each family member can choose the worship setting that fits their personal desire. Simultaneously, grandma can sing hymns in the traditional service, mom and dad can enjoy coffee and bagels in the worship cafe, and the teenagers can lose their hearing in the rock venue. The value of shared experience and congregational unity is drowned out by consumerism's mantra of individual choice.

"The inspiration for what this church is doing," one journalist reports, "comes from a place where freedom of choice and variety are celebrated: the American shopping mall." To which the pioneering pastor responds, "I am very comfortable with a consumer mindset and use that tool to help reach people."

To Meet, or to Discipline Desire?
Consumers demand options, but this poses a problem. Formation into the likeness of Christ is not accomplished by always getting what we want. In ages past, choice was not heralded as a Christian's right. In fact, relinquishing our choices by submitting to a spiritual mentor or community was prerequisite to growth in Christ. Believers were guided through formative and corrective disciplines�most being activities we would never choose if left to our desires. But surrendering control ensured we received what we needed to mature in Christ, not simply what we wanted.

In consumer Christianity, however, church leaders function as religious baristas, supplying spiritual goods for people to choose from based on their preferences. Our concern becomes not whether people are growing, but whether they are satisfied. An unhappy member, like an unhappy customer, will find satisfaction elsewhere. As one pastor enthusiastically said, "The problem with blended services is that half the people are happy half the time. With a video venue, you can say, 'If you don't like this service style, try another one!'"

Ironically, this demand for choice that has fueled the consumer church may ultimately be its undoing. According to George Barna's book, Revolution, 20 million Americans are no longer satisfied with the options available at institutional churches. Instead they're "choosing from a proliferation of options, weaving together a set of favored alternatives into a unique tapestry that constitutes the personal 'church' of the individual."

It's the logical conclusion of consumer Christianity: iChurch.

The new breed of Christian consumers, Barna's "revolutionaries," customize discipleship the way iPod users customize a playlist. They might find encouragement at a community support group, worship at a Third Day concert, listen to a podcast sermon, and read about the topic of the day at the Christian bookstore. While the church as we've known it fades into memory like vinyl LPs.

Divine Butler
Ultimately, our greatest concern should not be consumerism's erosion of the church, but the commodification of God himself. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, most of the food, clothing, tools, and furniture people used was made at home or by someone nearby. Every item had a story and person attached to it that was known by its user. A rocking chair had value not only for its comfort, but because Uncle John made it.

Today, as I sit in my favorite armchair at Starbucks enjoying my tea, I have no idea who assembled the chair, who grew the tea leaves, who designed the cup�I barely know the guy with the nose ring behind the counter who poured the hot water. Consumerism has stripped the goods I use everyday from their context�they have no story or value apart from my consumption of them.

Tragically, consumerism has led us to commodify parts of God's creation, too. Sexuality, for example, is commodified through pornography and prostitution. Human life is commodified when we begin thinking a person has a right to live only when wanted.

In our society the only value something or someone has is the value I give it. It should surprise no one that in our culture God also has no value apart from what he can do for me.

Christian Smith, a leading sociologist of religion at the University of North Carolina, after five years of researching the spiritual lives of American teens, concluded that the faith of most teenagers, including those who attend evangelical churches, is MTD: Moralistic Therapeutic Deism. Smith explains:

"By 'moralistic' I mean being good and nice. � By 'therapeutic' I mean being primarily concerned with one's own happiness in contrast to focusing on glorifying God, learning obedience, or serving others. Finally, by 'deism' I mean a view of God as normally distant and not involved in one's life, except if one has a problem one needs God to solve. In other words, God functions as a combination divine butler and cosmic therapist."

Most teenagers hold this self-centered perception of God because it is the faith most American adults have as well. This god of consumerism shows no resemblance to the Consuming Fire described in Scripture. People may say they believe in Jesus, but the archaic Lord, who calls forth sacrifice, promises suffering in this life, and demands obedience for his glory, the one Barth described as "wholly other" is not what they have in mind. They're thinking of the Jesus that adorns t-shirts and SUV tailgates.

Any resentment I had toward Greg and Margaret quickly waned. Like many others at my church, they were simply doing what they had been formed to do. I may as well be angry at a fish for swimming. Immersed in a consumer culture, Greg and Margaret were simply living like consumers. The truth is I failed Greg and Margaret. I failed to teach them that the core values of consumerism are incongruent with the Christian life. That making choices to satisfy immediate personal desires is not the goal of life.

The church does not exist to supply comfort, ease, and convenient services to religious consumers. And God is not a commodity that exists to make you feel better.

Perhaps I failed Greg and Margaret because I was too busy being a spiritual barista, not a pastor protecting Greg and Margaret from the 3,500 wolves in sheep's clothing they encounter every day. Whatever the reason, because of my failure, that responsibility now rests with the leaders of Faith Community Church.

Skye Jethani is assistant teaching pastor at Blanchard Road Alliance Church in Wheaton, Illinois.

* Names have been changed.

Camel Tracks Post 3


3:42 And (remember) when the angels said: “O Maryam! Verily, Allah has chosen you, and made you pure, and has preferred you above the women of the creation.

3:43 O Maryam! "Be obedient to your Lord and bow with those who bow (in worship).

Before the Injil Sharif was written, there was a period of 400 years in which the people of the Scripture did not have a prophet to speak to them. Allah’s people had reached the bottom of the pit of despair and hopelessness.

It was at this dark moment in the history of the world, Allah did something very unusual. He spoke through the angel Jibrial to a young virgin woman named, Maryam. The angel told her that Allah chose her for a special assignment. But first, Maryam was to reaffirm her calling as a true Muslim. She was told to totally submit herself in obedience to Allah.

3:44 This is of the tidings of things hidden. We reveal it unto you. You were not present with them when they threw their pens (to know) which of them should be the guardian of Maryam, nor were you present with them when they quarreled thereupon.

The Koran lets us look into the activities that took place in heaven among the angels. It appears that all of the angels wanted to be given the assignment to be the guardian angel in charge over Maryam. To settle this issue, the angels cast lots to see who would be given the assignment.

In no other place in the Koran do we read of this much excitement taking place in heaven. Allah was about to do something very special for all the people of the world; something that has never been done before or since.

3:45 (And remember) when the angels said: "O Maryam! Verily, Allâh gives you the glad tidings of a Word from Him, whose name ‘Isa Masih (Jesus Messiah), the son of Maryam, held in honor in this world and in the Hereafter, and one of those brought near to Allâh."

Ayat 45 is the announcement to Maryam that she had been chosen to give birth to the prophet Isa. Muslims around the world have two names for ‘Isa. We call him “’Isa Kalimatullah” (Word of Allah) and “’Isa Ruhullah” (Spirit of Allah). Why do we call Isa by these two names?
The answers are in Surah Al-Imran 3:45 and Surah Ambiyaa 21:91. Allah said that He would put his Word into Maryam. What or who is Allah’s “Word?” To better understand this, read Surah Ambiyaa 21:91 “…and she (Maryam) guarded her chastity, therefore We breathed into her of our Spirit and made her and her son a sign for all people.” Why do we refer to ‘Isa as “’Isa Kalimatullah” and “’Isa Ruhullah?” The Koran makes it clear, ‘Isa is the Word (Kalim) and Spirit (Ruh) of Allah. No other person or prophet carries these titles.

Allah’s “Word” and “Spirit” that was placed inside Maryam became flesh in the form of a baby. He told Maryam to name the baby ‘Isa Masih. Masih means “the anointed or promised one.” 758 years before the birth of ‘Isa, the prophet Isaiah wrote, “…a virgin will conceive and his name will be called, ‘Immanuel’ (Isaiah 7:14). “Immanuel” is a Hebrew word meaning, “Allah with us.”

‘Isa would be honored by all people in this world and forever in heaven and he would be one of those nearest to Allah Himself. The Koran paints a picture of ‘Isa for us. He is Allah’s Kalim, Ruh, promised anointed one, and “a sign for (all) the nations” (Ambiyaa 21:91). When we want to go somewhere that we have never gone before, we look for a sign to guide us. Where will we go if we follow ‘Isa?

3:46 "He will speak to the people in the cradle and in manhood, and he will be one of the righteous."

‘Isa’s birth was to be a message to the entire world and he was to be one of the righteous. How righteous was ‘Isa? Allah told Maryam, in Surah Maryam 19:19, that ‘Isa would be “a faultless son.” The Injil Sharif teaches us that ‘Isa never killed anyone; he did not have a love for money; he never married; he spoke out against corruption among the religious leaders; he prayed every day; he fasted for 40 days and nights in which he did not eat anything at all; and he taught us to love our enemies. If ‘Isa ever committed a sin, then he would have ceased to be Allah’s Kalimatullah or Ruhullah and he could not have gone to heaven to be with Allah. Through ‘Isa, Allah showed the world how “Pakka” Muslims should live their lives. This would be a wonderful world if we all lived our lives like ‘Isa.

3:47 She said: "O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man has touched me?" He said: "So (it will be) for Allâh creates what He wills. When He has decreed something, He says to it only: "Be!" and it is.

Maryam was shocked at the news that Allah gave her. She said to Allah, “How can I have a baby when I am not married and no man has ever touched me?” Allah was very patient with Maryam. He answered her, “I am Allah; it is easy for me to do what I wish.”

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingSome days are like this! Even at the House of Prayer! Who is that bald man in a dress shirt? Is he praying? Crying? Or hurling?

Win A Free Blog Make-Over Click Here

Information on how to enter:- Send an email with your name and blog address to Entries will be accepted from 7:00pm EST on Thursday 9/14/06 until 11:59pm EST on Friday 9/22/06.

*Bonus* - Mention this contest in a post on your blog and receive 5 extra entries into the drawing!The winner will be announced here on Saturday, September 23rd, 2006


Does The Koran Call Jesus More Than A Prophet? Read it for your self

Camel Tracks Post 2
AL-IMRAN 3:42-55

As I was reading the Koran in my mother tongue, I came upon a passage that flooded my heart with hope. You too can experience this same hope after you seize the truth of Surah Al-Imran 3:42-55. It hurts my heart to know that not everyone has eyes to see this truth. I pray that Allah will open your eyes to recognize truth.

Read Surah Al Maidah 5:83: “And when they listen to what has been sent down to the messenger, you see their eyes overflowing with tears because of the truth they have recognized. They say; “Our Lord! We believe; so write us down among the witnesses.”

Who are the “they” in this ayat? Who are the people that are able to recognize Allah’s truth? We will find the answer in Surah Al-Imran.

I have read Surah Al-Imran 3:42-55 more than 100 times. Each time, I feel the same joy that I received the first time I discovered the Truth in this passage. The discovery I made is nothing new. Many people in history have made the same discovery because their eyes were also opened to the Truth. Each day, hundreds of our Muslim brothers’ eyes are being opened by Allah as they read Surah Al-Imran 3:42-55. Those who understand this Truth call themselves “Pakka” or “Complete” Muslims.

Allah is confirming the Truth of Al-Imran 3:42-55 by speaking to many Muslims through dreams. A recent worldwide survey was conducted of 600 “Pakka” Muslims. Out of 600, 150 said that they became “Pakka” Muslims through a dream where a messenger of Allah appeared to them and confirmed the truth of Surah Al-Imran 3:42-55. Some “Pakka” Muslims have had dreams where they saw and heard the prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, confirm the Truth that is presented in this booklet. In one of the holy kitabs, an ayat says, “You shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall set you free.” Do you want to know the Truth and be set free?

Please take the time to open your Koran and read for yourself, ayat by ayat, this wonderful passage. I have provided you with my explanation of each ayat. I pray that your eyes will be opened and you will understand this Truth and join the Pakka Muslim movement.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Timeless Thoughts For Us To Ponder

Would our church pass the Keith Green Test? Then again, how many churches would pass this? Our friend, Tomas from Chile read this the other day and sent it to Jason and I. It’s amazing that the words Green wrote from 20 some years ago, are still so relevant today:

“Our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction”. 1 Tess 1:5

"If the Holy Sprit left the churches in your town, would you ever know the differences? How would you tell? Would the church programs stop? Would the services change? Would the youth group be any different? How about the singles group? Our the Christian concerts? What about the spaghetti feed? Could a slick evangelist still bring people down the aisle through guilt? Could a persuasive pastor still get big offerings to pay for the stained glass windows, the organs and the buses? Could a sly charismatic still speak in tongues anytime he wanted to? Could a fundamentalist still quote his scriptures just as well?. It seems we don’t need the Holy Spirit in our churches anymore. We’ve got everything we need to make the machinery run smoothly. But look at our individual lives. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never needed the Holy Spirit in my life more than I do now. I need him to supply my every need, hour by hour, minute by minute. God wishes to bring true Holy Spirit – led revival to every city, to every church, including yours. The Holy Sprit wants to be so evident in the churches that if He suddenly leaves, everything would change and everyone will notice.The path to this kind of revival is through repentance and humility. Repentance from our hypocrisy, humility in that we can recognize we can do nothing apart from Him.Without this kind of revival, we can kiss our cities, our states, andour nation good bye. Judgment will come this land. There will come a time when being a Christian will cost your life. Nobody wants to hear this message. No one wants to believe our nation has lost its moral fiber. More than ever, in the midst of our decay, God calls us to make a stand for holiness, righteousness, and faith in the midst of a perverse generation. More than ever God calls us to pray for our families, our cities, our country, our churches, our pastors, our elders.Get down on your face and let the rivers pour out of your eyes and repentance pour out of your heart. Get before the throne of God and intercede. Grab hold of God and implore Him to sweep through our land with revival – true revival, not that which is dreamed to in the heart of man.If we pray, God will hear, but will we pray?"

Keith Green

Thanks to Jason and Krista

Andrew Murray On Jesus' Seminary Program

Jesus never taught His disciples how to preach, only how to pray. He did not speak much of what was needed to preach well, but much of praying well. To know how to speak to God is more than knowing how to speak to man. Not power with men, but power with God is the first thing. Jesus loves to teach us how to pray.

Camel Track's...Jesus is in the Koran

Camel Tracks


I am grateful to King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, Islamic Founda-tion, and others who are translating the Arabic Koran into all languages of the world. I feel blessed as I read the Koran in my mother tongue. Since less than 20% of Muslims around the world speak Arabic as their mother tongue, my heart is sadden-ed as I realize that most Muslims rely on someone else to explain the Koran to them. In other words, they hear the messages in the Koran through the eyes of another. Today, this is not necessary.

Allah wants YOU to understand His messages. How can we obey Him if we do not clearly understand what Allah says? Muslims living before the prophet Muhammad understood what Allah said because Allah spoke to them in their language. This story illustrates the need to clearly understand Allah’s messages:

An Arabic owner of a garment factory in India wrote a letter in Arabic to the factory workers telling them that they should stop making red shirts and start making yellow shirts. In addition, for their hard work, they would receive a bonus at the end of the month if they worked hard. The Arabic owner spoke neither Urdu nor Hindi, but his office manager spoke Arabic, Urdu, and Hindi.

The Indian office manager read the letter in Arabic to the factor workers and then placed the letter on the table in front of the employees. The employees were happy to receive the letter, but did not change from making red shirts to yellow ones. When the factory owner found out that his factory was still making red shirts, he was very upset with the manager and the factor workers. He decided to hire a new factory manager and new workers. The Arabic owner wants to work with people who clearly understand his orders. In addition, he is willing to bless those obey his orders with a bonus.

Do not miss out on Allah’s blessings. Do not rely on someone else to tell you the message of Allah. Please find a Koran translated into your language and together let’s find a treasure that will change your life.

For the next few days I will be posting sections from "Camel Tracks", which is a great tool for reaching Muslims for Christ. Muslims are coming to the Lord, even in this time of great turmoil.

War on Worshippers of the Cross...We shall break the Cross and spill the wine

Vatican tries to calm Pope row as militants vow war
By Stephen Brown and Philip PullellaMon Sep 18, 7:32 AM ET

Al Qaeda militants in Iraq vowed war on "worshippers of the cross" and protesters burned a papal effigy on Monday over Pope Benedict's comments on Islam, while Western churchmen and statesmen tried to calm passions.

The statement by an umbrella group led by Iraq's branch of al Qaeda came after the Pontiff said on Sunday he was deeply sorry Muslims had been offended by his use of a medieval quotation on Islam and holy war.

"We tell the worshipper of the cross (the Pope) that you and the West will be defeated, as is the case in Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya," said a Web statement by the Mujahideen Shura Council.
"We shall break the cross and spill the wine ... God will (help) Muslims to conquer Rome ... (May) God enable us to slit their throats, and make their money and descendants the bounty of the mujahideen," said the statement, posted on Sunday on an Internet site often used by al Qaeda and other militant groups.

In Iraq's southern city of Basra, up to 150 demonstrators chanted slogans and burned a white effigy of the Pope.

"No to aggression!," "We gagged the Pope!," they chanted in front of the governor's office in the Shi'ite city. The protesters also burned German, U.S., and Israeli flags.

A speech by Pope Benedict last Tuesday was seen as portraying Islam as a religion tainted by violence, causing dismay among Muslim states where some religious leaders called it the start of a new Christian crusade against Islam.

The Vatican has instructed its envoys in Muslim countries to explain Pope Benedict's words on Islam.

Benedict's new Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, said the Holy See's nuncios (ambassadors) in Muslim countries would be visiting government and religious leaders.
French President Jacques Chirac refused on Monday to criticize the 79-year-old Pontiff, but called for a more diplomatic use of language.

"It is not my role or my intention to comment on the Pope's statements. I simply want to say, on a general level ... that we must avoid anything that excites tensions between peoples or between religions," Chirac said on Europe 1 radio.

"We must avoid making any link between Islam, which is a great, respected and respectable religion, and radical Islamism, which is a totally different activity and one of a political nature," Chirac added.


The head of the world's Anglican church, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, defended Benedict."The Pope has already issued an apology and I think his views on this need to be judged against his entire record, where he has spoken very positively about dialogue," said Williams, the spiritual leader of 77 million Anglicans worldwide. Williams told the BBC that all faiths could be distorted, and the Pope was simply giving an example of that. "There are elements in Islam that can be used to justify violence, just as there are in Christianity and Judaism."

In Iran, a government spokesman said on Monday Pope Benedict's regret was a "good gesture" but not enough. The Pope had referred to criticism of the Prophet Mohammad by 14th century Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Palaeologus, who said everything the Prophet brought was evil "such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."

Questions had been raised on whether a papal visit to Turkey in November could go ahead, but the government, while calling his remarks "ugly," said there were no plans to call it off.

The Pope, head of the world's 1.1 billion Roman Catholics, said the quotation did not represent his personal views, but failed to satisfy some Islamic groups seeking a full apology.

In Somalia, an Italian nun was killed on Sunday in an attack one Islamist source said could be linked to the dispute. A Vatican spokesman hoped the killing was "an isolated event."
A senior Chinese Muslim expressed anger over the Pope's comments, Xinhua news agency said on Monday. This was in contrast to Chinese reticence over last year's publication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in a Danish paper that sparked violent Muslim protests elsewhere in the world.

"In his speech, Benedict insulted both Islam and the Prophet Mohammad. This has gravely hurt the feelings of the Muslims across the world, including those from China," Xinhua quoted Chen Guangyuan, president of the Islamic Association of China, as saying. China insists its Catholics belong to a state-backed church that does not recognize the Pope's authority. Muslims are also under state control.

About 100 Indonesian Muslims protested peacefully over the Pope's remarks outside the Vatican embassy in Jakarta on Monday.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Obsession (trailer)

This is a fair documentary on RADICAL Islam. The Islamic community needs to rise up against RADICAL JIHADIST that want to destroy the West & Israel. Pray for Muslims. Visit this website to get the whole movie:

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Richer Than You Think! Where Is Our Treasure?

We are told to count our blessings. Yet, we so easily spend our days counting our neighbors blessings. Trying to keep up with the neighbors has robbed us of so much. The global rich list will tell you how rich you are compared to the rest of 6+ billion people on the planet.

Luke 12:16-27
16 And He told them a parable, saying, "The land of a rich man was very productive. "And he began reasoning to himself, saying, 'What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?'
"Then he said, 'This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 'And I will say to my soul, "Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry."' "But God said to him, ' You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; andnow who will own what you have prepared?' "So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God." And He said to His disciples, " For this reason I say to you, do not worry about your life, as to what you will eat; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. "For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. "Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom nor barn, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds! "And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life's span? "If then you cannot do even a very little thing, why do you worry about other matters? "Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. "But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You men of little faith! "And do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not keep worrying. "For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek; but your Father knows that you need these things. "But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you. " Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.
" Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves money belts which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near nor moth destroys. "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

States I Have Visited

We have all been somewhere? These are states that I have visited in my short life. How about you? You can make your own just click on the title link. It does countries too. My country least is currently limited to Canada so I didn't make one. It turns out this was too big for my blog template. So I removed the map. Try it for yourself.

What's The Soundtrack of Your life

In Revelation we discover one of the prominent details around God's throne is that it is covered in music. Maybe this is one of the reasons music so stirs the human spirit. We who were created in His image are moved by something that moves Him.

Robert Coleman citing the Poet Carlyle who wrote "Let me make a nations songs, and I care not who makes the laws." Coleman continues saying: "his point is well taken, for those thing we spontaneously sing about, more than anything else, have a way of shaping our minds, just as in time they reveal what is uppermost on our thoughts."

The reality that God has chosen to cover His throne in music is astonishing and powerful.

"You shall surround me with songs of deliverance." Psalm 32:7

"He will rejoice over you with gladness...quiet you with His love, with singing." Zeph. 3:17

In The Evidential Power of Beauty, Thomas Dubay quotes Michael Platt saying, "music reaches the passions without passing through the mind...those who have devoted no study whatever to listening to it are moved by it..."

Thomas Dubay said, "music...sparks a thirst for the Divine." Biologist Lewis Thomas made this comment concerning professional musicologists, for whom he professes "the greatest respect, haven't a ghost of an idea about what music is, or why we make it and cannot be human without it, or even -- and this is the telling point -- how the human mind makes music on its own before it is written down and played." Thomas adds, "the biologists are no help here, nor the psychologists, nor the physicist's, nor the philosophers, where they are these days. Nobody can explain it. It is a mystery, and thank goodness for that."

"Then you will sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, making music to the Lord in your hearts."

How does music move you towards worship?

Monday, September 11, 2006

September 11Th

Where were you on September 11, 2001? How has it affected you?

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Many Will Come In My Name

Luke 21:8-11

8 And He said: "Take heed that you not be deceived. For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am He,' and, 'The time has drawn near.' Therefore do not go after them.

9 But when you hear of wars and commotions, do not be terrified; for these things must come to pass first, but the end will not come immediately."

10 Then He said to them, "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.

11 And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Whom Shall I FEAR?

Ps 27:1-5
27:1 An Exuberant Declaration of Faith A Psalm of David. The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?
2 When the wicked came against me To eat up my flesh, My enemies and foes, They stumbled and fell.
3 Though an army may encamp against me, My heart shall not fear; Though war may rise against me, In this I will be confident.
4 One thing I have desired of the LORD, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD, And to inquire in His temple.
5 For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.NKJV

People who are Part of IHOP

Reaching People For Jesus at The TurningPoints of Their Lives

Danny and Rhonda Calhoun reside in Kansas City, Missouri. They have four beautiful daughters and a wonderful son-in-law. In 1995, they founded a ministry called Harvest Home, which reaches out to the poor and needy with food, clothing and other necessities. In doing so, they demonstrate the Father's love to a hurting world. In 2000, they opened their first home for girls called The Father's House. In Feb. of 2005, they purchased their second home, which will be used for abused and neglected children.

Danny and Rhonda are the directors of Mercy, Food and Clothing, a partnership between Harvest Home and the International House of Prayer in Kansas City. They also serve on the Management Team and in the prophetic ministry at the International House of Prayer. Rhonda is an instructor at the Forerunner School of Ministry on various topics among which are: the Father Heart of God, the Song of Solomon, the Cry of the Poor and the Prophetic.

Rhonda the author of four books: The Bride, a bestseller which is a beautifully written allegory based on the Song of Solomon. The heart-stirring book, Blessed Are the Poor, a gripping collection of real-life stories from her and her husband's ongoing ministry to the poor. Her third book, Simon Peter and the Master (volume one) ignites the heart as it so vividly portrays the ministry of Jesus as seen through the eyes of Simon Peter as he awaits execution. In Rhonda's newest book, Simon Peter and the King (volume two), Peter proclaims Christ's Lordship as he bears witness to the One, True and Faithful Sovereign Lord.

Rhonda's international teaching ministry presents the unique connection between Jesus's love for the poor and His desire for intimacy with His people. She speaks from a background of having grown up in poverty and abuse where she encountered a loving heavenly Father who absolutely adored her. Because of the Father's extravagant, healing love, Rhonda has a passionate desire to share the love of the Father, His Son and the Holy Spirit with the body of Christ.

"If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered." - Proverbs 21:13 Visit their website:

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

One-Raspberry Holocaust

Leader's Insight: One-Raspberry HolocaustNew gifts from the death camps, plus a new book on quitting church to follow Gordon MacDonald, Leadership editor at large

My youngest grandson (aged 10) and I went to Boston a few days ago and walked a part of the Freedom Trail. Along that path you encounter the New England Holocaust Memorial: six equally-distanced 54-foot glass towers (I'm guessing 15 feet square). Coming closer you realize that the glass is etched (bottom to top, in very orderly fashion) with the numbers (not names) that were tattooed on the arms of the six million Jews (and others) who died in the death camps during World War II. Smoke slowly rising from the base of each tower reminds the visitor of how most of them died.

As the two of us took in this specter, a young couple next to me suddenly dissolved into sobs. Seemingly unaware that anyone was near them (and there were many of us), they embraced and kissed each other so passionately that it seemed as if they desired to become one flesh. Frankly, there was nothing sexual about their frenzy. Rather, it appeared that the towers, the smoke, and the etched numbers had stirred a mutual grief (or fear) deep in their souls. Could the dreadful history rehearsed at this holocaust memorial be repeated again some day and involve them? Was that what they were thinking? Given the evil surging in our world right now, why isn't that a reasonable concern? There are holocausts going on right now, aren't there? Darfur, Eastern Congo, and the almost-civil-war in Iraq come to mind.

In each tower at the New England Holocaust Memorial, superimposed on the dreadful lists of numbers, are brief personal statements made by certain death camp survivors. Two haunted me above all the others. (You can find them and all the others on the website, which is to say that you ought to go there and look at the pictures and read the personal statements for yourself.)
"Some Catholics," one survivor, Aime Bonfas, wrote, "including Father Amyot, invited me to join them in prayer. Seven or eight of us gathered, secretly of course, in the shed used as a lavatory. In prayer we laid before God our suffering, our rags, our filth, our fatigue, our exposure, our hunger, our misery."

And another, Gerda Weissman Klein: "Ilse, a childhood friend of mine, once found a raspberry in the camp and carried it in her pocket all day to present to me that night on a leaf. Imagine a world in which your entire possession is one raspberry and you give it to your friend."

When life is whittled down to a few short, suffering days, a secret prayer meeting held at great risk becomes a main event. Apparently sectarian identities and doctrinal loyalties mean little to people sharing a common death sentence. Lift the death sentence, however, and prayer meetings are soon eclipsed by ball games, e-Bay, and seven-day workweeks. Too bad.

Then there is that death-camp gift given to Gerda Klein. With all our resources and with so many acquaintances is it possible to ever know the literal ecstasy experienced in the giving and receiving of something as miniscule, yet so valuable, as one raspberry—mounted on a leaf—to a friend.

Quitting church to follow Jesus: A friend of mine (in the interest of self-disclosure), Ian Morgan Cron has just written a book called Chasing Francis (published by NavPres, 2006). I'd call the book rather edgy. In fact, I applaud NavPress for having the courage to publish it.
A young megachurch pastor (who reminds me of a younger version of me) discovers that he can no longer keep up the pretenses of a deep faith and passionate church leadership, and he interrupts his sermon one day to tell this to his congregation. And then he walks out.
And, in effect, he doesn't stop walking until he retraces the steps of St. Francis and discovers a whole new way of following Jesus. I read this book marking something on almost every other page. I would say my friend, Cron, has done just about the best job I've seen of explaining the usefulness of a so-called postmodern view of Christian faith. I'd like to be part of a church that his hero ends up proposing.

File this under "Things one thinks about after eating a bad piece of meat": We've seen a handful of athletes grounded this summer because of suspicions regarding performance-enhancing drugs (steroids, testosterone, etc.). It occurred to me that this may be why there are any number of preachers and leaders in the church today who are so much better than the rest of us: It has to be performance-enhancing drugs! An executive pastor (speaking off the record) told me that these drugs come from a secret clinic in the Swiss Alps. Here in New England we have never heard about this. I think you have to live in Illinois, California, or the Deep South.
I smell scandal, and I am proposing that we establish an Evangelical Performance Enhancing Drug Accountability Agency (EPEDAA), whose agents would periodically tap e-mail and phone conversations and take surprise on-site samples of you-know-what (just before Sunday services—even better just before the offering). I know these are questionable activities, legally speaking, but these are dangerous times, and we've got to level the playing field.

Anyway, by doing this we'd really know who is being truly anointed by the Holy Spirit and who should get an asterisk beside their *attendance figures.

The only bumper sticker that has caught my attention recently: Don't believe everything you think.
Pastor and author Gordon MacDonald is chair of World Relief and editor at large for Leadership.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Temptation - Vineyard Church

Grace allows us to get back up when we fall down. When you fall, don't camp their but reach out to God and you will be lifted up.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Its A Blogger Thing! A Word Cloud

This is kind of cool. It's a "word cloud" that takes the most common words found on your blog and turns them into this.

Wanna try? Click the link on the Title Bar and type in your blog address and see what it comes up with. Then come back and link it back in the comments for others to see.

Mary Has Chosen The Good Thing!

Martha, only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen that good part. Luke 10:42
Ps 27:4 The one thing I want from God, the thing I seek most of all, is the privilege of meditating in his Temple, living in his presence every day of my life, delighting in his incomparable perfections and glory.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Paul's Prayer for the Church of Ephesus

My Prayer for you,

For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms....

You can pray it for your family, friends, and church too! We can never go wrong praying the scriptures over those we love and ourselves too!