Monday, October 22, 2012

Our Amazing God

I believe that many of the things Jesus said would define our world at the time of the end are certainly easily noted today.  
I don't know how much longer this earth will stand, but we know that one day,  Jesus will return in all His glory !  
Before He comes, I know that His desire is to save all who can be saved and He will reach out in every way possible to every man, woman and child!

Several years ago what I knew about Muslims could maybe have been stretched to fill a paragraph or two, but as we have been forced to acknowledge them more and more in our world view, so  has my knowledge, and happily also my understanding of them, changed and grown.

I have read more than a few books on the Middle East and specifically concerning  Muslims and their world.  I have read many  books written from a variety of  view points,  but I recently read two books that stand out as my current favourites.

I highly recommend them as 'must read books' for every believer.

One of them is called The Land of the Blue Burqa by Kate McCord (pseudonymous for protection)   The author lived for over 5 years in and among Muslims in Afghanistan to 'help them'.    She did not go with a government funded and protected organization  but under  a privately supported ministry.

Her story is sooo unique.  Not only does she give you an inside look of what it means to be a Muslim doing every life but she is an incredibly gifted writer in word and expression.   The reader is drawn alongside her and is an invisible guest listening to her conversations and thoughts, seeing through her insightful eyes.
Not only did I learn a great deal about Muslims and my heart warmed toward them but I also gained a new perspective on my own faith, why I believe what I believe and how best to share it with others.  

God is moving among Muslims.   Perhaps we, as a commissioned church, have failed to reach them and God is going Himself.   The stories we first started hearing a few years ago seemed incredible and we believed them to be unusual and rare occurrences    But those stories have become a flood and what God is doing can no longer be ignored or denied.
Jesus  is appearing to thousands of Muslims in dreams and visions declaring who He is and that He loves them.   Imams , terrorists, men/women,  Muslims from all walks of life -- God is no respecter of persons - He is appearing to them often and to many more than once.  

Visions and Dreams: Is Jesus Awakening the Muslim World  by Tom Doyle, Greg Webster,   is a  book that records stories personally known to and verified by the authors.  
Not only did the stories amaze and move me , but I also appreciated the information given to help the reader understand more precisely what the Middle East is all about.  
The book also is rare in how incredibly well it is written, its literary level reaches perfection and yet it is a very enjoyable book to read - easy to follow and understand.  
If you want your world view to be shattered and challenged and have your awe of God magnified , spend some time reading this book !   I know you will be glad you did !

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Dispelling of Shame

One day , long , long ago, a baby was born.
The baby’s birth was celebrated as only the birth of a King’s son can be.
Loving arms and affluence withheld nothing needful or desired for the baby.
His name? Mephibosheth.
A difficult name to pronounce was perhaps the first indication that an easy life was not to be for this dear child.
His loving father , however, hid hope in the meaning of the name he bestowed upon his son - ‘dispeller of shame’.
It was because of  the child’s grandfather, Saul, that the events unfolded that changed the course of his life, bringing shame upon him. 
The child was only five years old when disaster struck the house of King Saul.
When news that the battle had taken the lives of both King Saul and Mephibosheth’s father  came to the palace,  panic ensued. Fear spread like flames of fire and everyone fled for their life.
The young child’s nurse could not bear to leave her charge behind and snatched him up to carry him with her. In her frantic hurry, she stumbled and dropped him .  Mephibosheth's  legs were injured , leaving him permanently crippled.

We hear nothing more of this boy through the rest of his childhood and into his adult life until years later.
One day Mephiboseth had a visitor. Not someone he knew but a stranger, who demanded that Mephiboseth immediately accompany him. The King was demanding that he be brought to the palace to appear before him.
Mephiboseth was terrified. He knew the stories of how wickedly his grandfather had treated David and tried many times to take his life. Now David was king and obviously wanting to even the score. Take his just revenge!
Trembling , he was led to the throne of King David and there fell on his face before him in pleading tones offering himself as a willing servant!
Imagine how his trembling fear turned to disbelief - when he heard the words…. “Do not fear, for I will show you kindness for Jonathan , your father’s sake, and will restore to you all the land of Saul your grandfather ….. “ and best of all, the words …… “You shall eat bread at my table continually!”
Mephibosheth, having lived with shame all his life was unable to grasp the ‘dispelling’ of it … and questioned … “Why ? why would you do this… why even look at a dead dog such as I?”
But it was true, the King’s blessings were poured upon Mephiboseth. He was treated as one of the King’s sons, sharing the King’s table for the rest of his life. (II Sam. 4, II Sam. 9)
This story is such a beautiful picture of us , isn’t it ?
Each of us fell through Adam and Eve and were crippled under the shame of sin, fearful of the judgment we deserved.
Yet, we are called by God, chosen by Him … for the sake of His Son … exchanging our shame for His righteousness.
He calls us His sons/daughters and invites us to eat at His table forever !
“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God….” I John 3:1
“... That you may eat eat and drink at My table in My Kingdom …” Luke 22:30