Ravi Zacharias :- Being Trapped in the quicksand of the absence of Objective Truth

Link

Ravi Zacharias interviewed by Anthony C. Hayes with the Baltimore Post-Examiner May 24, 2015.

“In every generation there is a unique voice of reason concisely arguing the verity of the Christian faith. For more than 43 years, Ravi Zacharias has been this generation’s distinctive voice; ‘rightly dividing the Word‘ while inspiring the modern apologetics movement. The Baltimore Post-Examiner recently sat down with Ravi – the founder of RZIM – to talk about his work and the challenge of dealing, both logically and lovingly, with life’s toughest questions.

BPE: You are an apologist for the Christian faith and an ardent proponent of the Christian world view. Apologetics is a term which is unfamiliar to the average layman, and yet it is an area many Christians must wade through on an almost daily basis. How do you define apologetics, and what is its relevance to the Christian believer?

Ravi: Actually, even until recent times, most Christians did not know what the meaning of the term was, unless they were involved in academia in some way. The word apologetics actually is a transliteration from the Greek, where the word is apologia. The apostle Peter says to always be ready to give a reason, an apologia, for the hope that is within you. And to do that with gentleness and respect.

The asking of questions is common to humanity. The Christian apologist’s task is twofold: first, to be able to answer those questions with gentleness and respect; and second, to clarify truth claims. Truth is often ambiguous or unclear, and people don’t understand the terms anymore, so the task of Christian apologetics in our times is very needed. C. S. Lewis used to say the question is not, as a Christian whether you do apologetics or not, but the question is whether you do it well or not. So everybody is an apologist, knowledgeably or unwittingly. Our whole ministry is geared to the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, undergirded by apologetics. Apologetics is not the substance of what we do; it is the means through which we give the substance of the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. And we do this all over the globe, in hundreds of venues a year. We have a team of about 40 some apologists, positioned in 11 countries, and we are as busy as ever.

BPE: When you say undergirding, I think about Norman Geisler using the term pre-evangelism.

Ravi: Yes, I was a student of Dr. Geisler; I studied under him in the 70’s. In fact, even as I’m speaking to you, I was with him last week. We were together as part of a program in Seattle, Washington. Yes, pre-evangelism is sort of – the Australians like to put it something like this: Bush clearing, clearing the obstacles so the listener can take a direct look at the cross of Jesus Christ. In a pluralistic society – a secularized society – in an almost hostile environment now towards things sacred, it is important how we do this and where we do this. That is what RZIM is all about.

BPE: Would you tell us about your calling into the field of Christian apologetics?

Ravi: I was born and raised in India. My ancestry goes back to the highest caste of the Hindu priesthood, the Nambudiri, which is from the deep South in Kerala. But several generations ago, evidently one of them was converted to the Christian faith. And since then, my parents became very nominally Christian; it would be better to say what they were not, rather than what they were. There was no clear understanding of what the teaching of Jesus Christ was all about.

I came to Canada when I was 20 to pursue business studies. Two years into Canada, I felt that, with my own recent conversion experience in India, that I wanted to do something other than just business. So I took the theological training. I studied in Toronto, studied in Chicago, studied in Cambridge, and my goal then came to present the Gospel of Christ to a needy society.

As I see our world right now, I have never seen greater confusion, greater loss of meaning, greater uncertainty, and greater fear of what looms in front of us. Politics has gotten out of control everywhere. Nobody sees a mascot or a leader, and everyone wants to know what really lies ahead here. But instead of thinking on the outside of all that’s wrong, the Gospel of Christ brings me inside. My life has to change, my life has to be transformed. Before asking the question of evil around me, I have to ask of the evil in me – my proclivities, my drives, my temptations, my struggles. And I believe only Christ is enough to transform my heart. And so, it’s sort of a multiplied opportunity of individual conquest. That’s the way I look at it. The Gospel of Christ, as we speak to the masses, is multiplied opportunity of individual conquest. His message conquers the individual, and life changes.

BPE: One person at a time?

Ravi: Absolutely.

BPE: Harold Bloom argues that we are becoming a Post-Christian society. Is he right, and if so, is it too late to turn the tide?

Ravi: Yes, I think this was being talked about in the cultural revolution of the sixties and seventies, where we were heading. Everett Coop, Frances Schaefer were talking about it in the United States; Malcolm Muggeridge in England; prior to that, G. K. Chesterton. If you go back, actually, as far as William Booth. He was talking about all that was looming ahead, the possibilities of travel and knowledge, gain and profit making, and so forth. Yes, we are in a post-Christian era in that the terms are not understood, but ironically, we are still living off of the bequest of its values in the West. And once those values have been expended, and we no longer have the roots from which to draw, then we will find out the ramifications of it. Nietzsche, of all people – the atheist – warned us. He said, ‘Will there be any up or down left? Who’ll give us a sponge to wipe away the horizon? Will we need lanterns to be lit in the morning hours? Will we need to invent sacred games?’ And so on.

The non-theistic and the atheistic group can very cavalierly proclaim their liberation from these, but I warn them of what Chesterton said, ‘Whenever you move any fence, always pause long enough to ask why it was put there in the first place.’ You cannot have a boundary-less existence, because your neighbor has his own boundaries, and who is going to give you the ethics between the two boundaries? If there is no objective moral law, relativism will take hold, and relativism ultimately will lead to self-destruction.

BPE: I’d like to ask you about two of your book titles, because I believe – for most thinking people – the themes cut to the chase of life’s biggest questions. The first is: Can Man Live Without God? Can he?

Ravi: This was a series of lectures I did at Harvard in 1993, I believe. And Chuck Colson was the one who phoned me and said, ‘I read about it; it’s so powerful.’ He said, ‘Please put this into print.’ I had not written ‘til then. And he encouraged me and convinced me to write, so I started writing. I took the theme from a quote by Will Durant; he said, ‘The greatest question of our time is not going to be East vs. West, North vs. South, Communism vs. Capitalism. The greatest question of our time is going to be, “can man live without God?”‘ Now, can he? The answer is: pragmatically, ‘yes’ but coherently, ‘no’. And when coherence breaks down, there’s an implosion and a self-destructive mood sets in.

For example, if there is no God, what does it mean to be human? Who are we in our essence? If we don’t know what it is to be human, what is humanism? There are seven different humanistic theories of who we are, from the one end of Huxley to Ayn Rand to Joseph Fletcher. You just have all of these various definitions from ego-centric humanism to love is the ethic; on what basis? So we are now standing with our feet planted firmly in mid-air. I would say, while theoretically a person may block God out, logically there will be a breakdown because ultimately all enunciation implies a moral doctrine of some kind. And if that moral doctrine is not absolute then the definer himself becomes undefined. That’s what we are living with – an undefined definer giving us definitions for our course, and we are being trapped in the quicksand of the absence of objective truth.

BPE: The second title is: Jesus Among Other Gods. You grew up with a Hindu background which teaches there are 330 million deities. Other faiths, of course, have their own deities and prophets. What makes Jesus different?

Ravi: I think that’s the toughest question on which to respond. I did not personally grow up a Hindu; my ancestors were Hindus. I came from a nominal Christian background, but all of my friends were either Hindu, Buddhist, Jainist, or Sikh. I had no Christian friends growing up. My cricket team, my tennis team, all my schoolmates; it was always the same. And so I was immersed in it. So, yes, the 330 million deities is based on the fact that Hinduism is a fairly widely embracing system of thought. But they believe in two indisputable truths. Number one is that every birth is a rebirth and the law of Karma applies. It’s a pantheistic world view, as is Jainism, as is Buddhism, as is Sikhism. They’re all pantheistic. What makes Christianity different; very uniquely so? If I could give just four categories in which it is different.

Number one – our origin. We are created Imago Dei: in the image of God. So we have an intrinsic worth of reflected splendor. No world view will tell us we have the image of God within us. They either make us divine or make us so far away from the divine that we can’t even get close. In Islam, the distance is unbridgeable.

Number two – the incarnation. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us full of grace and truth says the Bible. The concept of grace is distinctive to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. No world view, no religion – carte blanche – no religion talks about reaching that communion with God without your works. You earn it. Whether its karma or it’s Islam talking about your good deed having to outweigh your bad deeds. These are not pejorative descriptions. These are actual and fair descriptions. You ask the Muslim how do you get there? The good deeds will have to outweigh the bad deeds. You ask the Hindu, how do you ultimately attain Nirvana? He will say Karma will have to be paid. You ask the Christian: the prodigal son comes home, and the father runs out to receive him and forgive him. The grace that God gives is unique to the Christian faith. So you’ve got creation, incarnation and transformation.

The third is the new birth that Christ gives to you that is engendered by the power of God. The new hungers, the new desires. The goal of Buddhism is not to desire anything. The goal in Christianity is to hunger and thirst after righteousness. That hunger comes to you from the transformation of the work of Jesus Christ. The goal is not union with any personal absolute but (four) communion with God himself. So that in the creation, the incarnation, the transformation and consummation, the Christian faith is unique.

BPE: You’ve traveled around the world and fielded questions from people from all walks of life. Are there any common questions which stand out?

Ravi: Yes, I think so. More so, at least now, than it ever was because of the education which has taken the west by many younger minds. It’s interesting that when I was growing up, I never ever remember thinking of the problem of evil and suffering; never thought of it. It’s the given in those cultures. You see misery, you see misfortune, you see pain, you see suffering. It’s all part of the fatalistic way of looking at life.

There’s a very famous film in India called Mother India, and one of the songs there says “If I come into this world, then I have to live. If living means drinking poison, then I have to drink it.” That was the Indian philosophy; that’s what we had to live with. But the problem now has become a real question because people are seeing their children’s strife; beheadings; the decimation of human life. The desecration of human life.

So the question of where is God in all of this? That’s the question and it’s a very fair question. Can I really explain an all powerful and all loving God in this kind of a milieu with this kind of a context. That’s the toughest question, it’s that question of exclusivity. How can there just be one way. But existentialists believe with our youth, the most common question is one of meaning and purpose. Where do I find meaning in life? How do I come to significance? You know, where there’s an inner contentment. It used to be where if you had the money and the car and this and that, you would be all right, but some of the loneliest people in the world are those who have it all. Where does one go then when you have it all and still haven’t found meaning? I would say the problem of evil and suffering, exclusivity and meaning are the three largest questions which come up.

BPE: You recently spoke at McLean Bible Church in Vienna, Virginia, and at the C. S. Lewis Institute Banquet in Washington D.C. What themes did you address at these events?

Ravi: (At McLean) I was asked to speak on the problem of evil and pain. It’s very hard to do justice to that subject in one talk, so I just took the approach of Job and what he faced and how he dealt with it. But I have dealt with it more exhaustively in a recent book, which I co-authored with one of my colleagues from Oxford – Vince Vitale – called “Why Suffering?

At the C. S. Lewis Institute, they asked me to speak about ‘Standing in the Gap.’ How do we as Christians stand in the gap between a hungering and skeptical world, and the proposition of truth in the person of Jesus Christ. How do we do that? My description is, how do you reach a generation that listens with its eyes and thinks with its feelings? That’s the way that I phrase the question to myself. Because it’s no longer just a logical argument. They see with the their eyes, they are watching, and that means the Gospel ought not just be heard but also seen; by the young especially.

BPE: I wonder if you would share some of your thoughts on Lewis’ life and his work.

Ravi: My thoughts on C.S. Lewis? You know, every now and then there emerges a skilled writer who is so unique that there will never be a duplicate. I think the same applies to Billy Graham. Billy Graham’s incredible strength was in combining the simple and the sublime. But there was an anointing to him when he got up and spoke; people listened. C.S. Lewis’s ability was to bring together the two poles of philosophical integrity and the beauty of storytelling. That was his, so he could write Mere Christianity, and tens of thousands have read it and responded to it, or he would write the Narnia Chronicles, and children would sit on the edge of their seats being told the story.

Lewis was mainly a moral philosopher, and moral struggles are inescapable in every culture. I think Lewis’ own dramatic conversion from his search, as told in Surprised by Joy and allegorically in The Pilgrims Regress, reveal his strength. How he told it in story form and in allegoric form. So when he died in ‘63 actually , it’s ironic because it was November 22nd – obscured by the fact that the same day President Kennedy was killed. Lewis, Kennedy and Huxley all died on the same day. So Lewis’ death sort of went unnoticed, but today when I do studies at Cambridge and walk past the bookstore, I could see his books stacked front and center. He taught at both Cambridge and Oxford. So Lewis is not replaceable. We can do our best to emulate him, but there was only one C. S. Lewis.

BPE: I have to ask you, though, because I heard you say in one of your lectures, regarding the question ‘will there ever be anyone to replace Billy Graham?’, you noted that even as the apostle Stephen was being stoned, Paul was in the crowd.

Ravi: Yes, but you see, you never replace a person, but you can succeed a calling. Persons are wired together uniquely. I’m a Christian apologist; I have apologetics built into me. The way God has hardwired me is to be Ravi Zacharias. And Ravi Zacharias will always be Ravi Zacharias. But there will be some more brilliant and capable apologists who will come after me. They will bring a package all their own. That’s the uniqueness of what God distributes as gifts. And so with Lewis, and people like Tolkien and Chesterton and Muggeridge, you never truly replicate a person; you can fill a position and get someone else who takes on that role. I think Billy Graham would be the first one to say that. I don’t know in Billy’s case if just one person can do that. I think there will be many voices who, in a confluence of efforts, will bring that same message. I think that is God’s uniqueness.

BPE: I know that people always ask you, ‘What is the first question you will ask God when you get to Heaven?’, but have you ever considered what you might ask Satan if you had a chance? Not that you’d get a straight answer from him.

Ravi: I would say to him, ‘If you knew the scriptures which you quoted, what on earth were you thinking would be any other end to you than where you are now?’ To quote the scriptures and know that your destiny would be in the control of the supreme power of the universe, what on earth were you thinking? I think I will know the answer to that is: The seduction of power and the deception of evil will always lead you in a wrong headed direction.

BPE: Is there a Bible passage which has been especially meaningful in your life?

Ravi: My favorite Bible verse at various stages of my life, when I first came to know the Lord, Psalm 37:5, ‘Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he will bring it to pass.’ Now as I’ve seen life transformed, it’s Romans 1:16, ‘I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation.’ I see that replicated every day; the transformation of lives, from prisons to everywhere.”

Liars

Khaled Hosseini

Khaled Hosseini is my favorite author and his book, the Kite Runner speaks to me more than any other.

The Kite Runner

“there is only one sin, only one. And that is theft. Every other sin is a variation of theft. When you kill a man, you steal a life… you steal his wife’s right to a husband, rob his children of a father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone’s right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness… there is no act more wretched than stealing.”

He obviously does not think lying is fundamental, but that stealing is.

Christianity

Scripture

  1. Genesis
    •  You will not certainly die, the serpent said to the woman ( Genesis 3:4 )
  2. Leviticus
    • Do not steal, Do not lie, Do not deceive one another ( Leviticus 19:1 )
  3. Psalm
    • O LORD, who shall sojourn in your tent? Who shall dwell on your holy hill? He who walks blamelessly and does what is right and speaks truth in his heart; ( Psalm 15:1-2 )
    • For the Lord is right; and all His works are done in truth ( Psalm 33:4 )
    • I hate and detest falsehood ( Psalm 119:163 )
    • …The LORD has sworn to David A truth from which He will not turn back: “Of the fruit of your body I will set upon your throne.
      “If your sons will keep My covenant And My testimony which I will teach them, Their sons also shall sit upon your throne forever.”
      For the LORD has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His habitation.…
      ( Psalm 132:12 )
  4. Proverbs
    • Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart. ( Proverbs 3:3 )
    • The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy. ( Proverbs 12:22 )
    • An honest witness does not deceive, but a false witness pours out lies. ( Proverbs 14:5 )
    • Eloquent lips are unsuited to a godless fool— how much worse lying lips to a ruler! ( Proverbs 17:7 )
  5. Ecclesiastes
    • Keep this in mind: The Teacher was considered wise, and he taught the people everything he knew. He listened carefully to many proverbs, studying and classifying them.
      The Teacher sought to find just the right words to express truths clearly.
      ( Ecclesiastes 12:9-10 )
  6. Job
    • The righteous also shall hold on his way, and he that hath clean hands shall be stronger and stronger. ( Job 17:9 )
  7.  Isaiah
    • I did not speak in secret, in a land of darkness; I did not say to the offspring of Jacob, ‘Seek me in vain.’ I the Lord speak the truth; I declare what is right. ( Isaiah 45:19 )
    • Truth is nowhere to be found,
      and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey.
      The Lord looked and was displeased
      that there was no justice.
      ( Isaiah 59:15 )
  8. Daniel
    • But I will tell you what is inscribed in the book of truth: there is none who contends by my side against these except Michael, your prince. ( Daniel 10:21 )
  9. Malachi
    • The law of truth was in his mouth, and unrighteousness was not found in his lips; he walked with Me in peace and uprightness, and did turn many away from iniquity. ( Malachi 2-6 )
  10.  Hosea
    • Ephraim has surrounded me with lies, Israel with deceit. And Judah is unruly against God, even against the faithful Holy One. ( Hosea 17:2 )
  11. Zechariah
    • These are the things that you shall do: Speak the truth to one another; render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace; ( Zechariah 8:16 )
  12.  Zephaniah
    • They will do no wrong; they will tell no lies. A deceitful tongue will not be found in their mouths. They will eat and lie down and no one will make them afraid.” ( Zephaniah 3:13 )
  13. John
    • Jesus and the Samaritan Woman …”God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.” ( John 4:25 )
    • “If I were to testify on my own behalf, my testimony would not be valid.
      But someone else is also testifying about me, and I assure you that everything he says about me is true.
      In fact, you sent investigators to listen to John the Baptist, and his testimony about me was true.
      Of course, I have no need of human witnesses, but I say these things so you might be saved.
      John was like a burning and shining lamp, and you were excited for a while about his message.
      But I have a greater witness than John—my teachings and my miracles. The Father gave me these works to accomplish, and they prove that he sent me. And the Father who sent me has testified about me himself. You have never heard his voice or seen him face to face, and you do not have his message in your hearts, because you do not believe me—the one he sent to you.
    • So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine;
      and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”
      They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, ‘You will become free ‘?”…
      ( John 8: 31-33 )
    • You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. ( John 8:44 )
    • The truth is, a kernel of wheat must be planted in the soil. Unless it dies it will be alone – a single seed. But its death will produce many new kernels — a plentiful harvest of new lives ( John 12:24 )
    • Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. ( John 14-17 )
    • The Promise of the Holy Spirit …However, when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. For He will not speak on His own, but He will speak what He hears, and He will declare to you what is to come. He will glorify Me by taking from what is Mine and disclosing it to you. Everything that belongs to the Father is Mine. That is why I said that the Spirit will take from what is Mine and disclose it to you.… ( John 16:14 )
    • Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
      As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.
      And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.( John 17:17-19 )
    • “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” ( John 18:37 )
  14. Acts
    • Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? ( Acts 5:3 )
    • Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. ( Acts 20:30 )
  15. Romans
    • Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. ( Romans 1:24-25 )
  16.  Ephesians
    • Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. ( Ephesians 4:29 )
  17. Colossians
    • Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices ( Colossians 3:9 )
  18. 1st Corinthians
    • This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.
      The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.
      The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments
  19. 2nd Corinthians
    • For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory ( 2 Corinthians 4:6 )
  20. Hebrews
    • For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and ha fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? ( Hebrews 10:26-29 )
  21. 1 Timothy
    • This and this only has been my appointed work: getting this news to those who have never heard of God, and explaining how it works by simple faith and plain truth. ( 1 Timothy 2:3-4 )
    • Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. ( 1 Timothy 4:2 )
  22. 2 Timothy
    • But God’s truth stands firm like a foundation stone with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and “All who belong to the Lord must turn away from evil.” ( 2 Timothy 2:19)
    • Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth (  2 Timothy 2:25 )
    • holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. ( 2 Timothy 3:5-7 )
  23. Ephesians
    • Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.
      ( Ephesians 4:15 )
  24. 2 Thessalonians
    • He will use every kind of evil deception to fool those on their way to destruction, because they refuse to love and accept the truth that would save them. ( 2 Thessalonians 2:10 )
  25. Philippians
    • And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and all discernment.
      So that you can discern what is best, that you may be pure and blameless
      for the day of Christ
      ( Philippians 1:9 -10 )
  26. 1 John
    • …By this we can be sure that we have come to know Him: if we keep His commandments. If anyone says, “I know Him,” but does not keep His commandments, he is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone keeps His word, the love of God has been truly perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him:… ( 1st John 2:3-5 )
    • But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.
      Those people belong to this world, so they speak from the world’s viewpoint, and the world listens to them.But we belong to God, and those who know God listen to us. If they do not belong to God, they do not listen to us. That is how we know if someone has the Spirit of truth or the spirit of deception. ( 1 John 4:6 )
  27.  Titus
    • I have been sent to proclaim faith to[a] those God has chosen and to teach them to know the truth that shows them how to live godly lives.
      This truth gives them confidence that they have eternal life, which God—who does not lie—promised them before the world began.
      And now at just the right time he has revealed this message, which we announce to everyone. It is by the command of God our Savior that I have been entrusted with this work for him. ( Titus 1:1-3 )
    • …not paying attention to Jewish myths and commandments of men who turn away from the truth. To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled. They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed. ( Titus 1:14-16 )
  28.  James
    • Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. ( James 3:1 )
  29. 2 Peter
    • But there were also false prophets in Israel, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will cleverly teach destructive heresies and even deny the Master who bought them. In this way, they will bring sudden destruction on themselves.
      Many will follow their evil teaching and shameful immorality. And because of these teachers, the way of truth will be slandered.
      In their greed they will make up clever lies to get hold of your money. But God condemned them long ago, and their destruction will not be delayed.
  30.  Revelation
    • The Lamb and the 144,000 …These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they are virgins. They follow the Lamb wherever He goes. They have been redeemed from among men as firstfruits to God and to the Lamb. And no lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless. ( Revelation 14:5 )
    • Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. ( Revelation 22:15 )

Quotes

  1. Cutting It Straight with H.B. Charles Jr. [ Link ] & [ Link ]
    • Do not ever let their reaction control your faithfulness to the text ( Segment :- 20 thru 23 Minutes)
    • Preaching without a firm conviction and their can be no power in that preaching ( Segment :- 35-37 Minutes )
    • Error thrives in ambiguity. Playing around the margins.  One position is just as good as the other
    • We are living in very critical times
    • Satan’s great strength is that his lies make sense
    • Apologetics demands familiarity
    • Familiarity with the genuine lets one identify the counterfeit; for most people that is how they should reach the truth; they should not have to play around on the other side
  2. R. Albert Mohler, Jr
    • Can be assured that his weak and evasive non-answer to this reporter’s question will put him at very little risk for arrest. But then, pandering prophets are rarely at much of a risk from the public anyway. There was no conviction in his answer; no clear declaration of biblical truth; no Gospel, no judgment, and no promise. Just a non-answer with a smile. Pathetic . . . simply pathetic.
  3. Ravi Zacharias
    • The Hebrews gave to the world the moral categories. The Romans gave to the world the legal categories. The Greeks gave to the world the philosophical categories. The pursuit of the Hebrews was light. The pursuit of the Romans was glory, the glory of the Roman empire. The pursuit of the Greeks was knowledge. Now this is fascinating. The apostle Paul was born a Hebrew, a citizen of Rome, and studied in a Greek city. In 2 Corinthians 4:6 he writes, “For God, who said, ‘Light shall shine out of darkness,’ is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ”.
    • Truth is what guides our lives. If we don’t know God’s truth, we will unfortunately ground our life and existence in a lie. Ravi Zacharias said “ The fact is, the truth matters – especially when you’re on the receiving end of a lie.” A life grounded in truth is stable, strong and deeply rooted.
    • Intent has to precede content. To him who does not love the truth. To give him the truth is to multiply the reasons for misinterpretations
    • Narrowness means that I can not identify my own truth.
    • Truth by definition will always be restrictive. Truth will always have its boundaries.
    • Taking it a step further, the three tests for truth must be applied to any worldview: logical consistency, empirical adequacy, and experiential relevance. When submitted to these tests, the Christian message is utterly unique and meets the demand for truth.
    • A man rejects God neither because of intellectual demands nor because of the scarcity of evidence. A man rejects God because of a moral resistance that refuses to admit his need for God
    • I came to Him because I did not know which way to turn. I remained with Him because there is no other way I wish to turn. I came to Him longing for something I did not have. I remain with Him because I have something I will not trade. I came to Him as a stranger. I remain with Him in the most intimate of friendships. I came to Him unsure about the future. I remain with Him certain about my destiny. I came amid the thunderous cries of a culture that has 330 million deities. I remain with Him knowing that truth cannot be all-inclusive.
    • Every other person who is at the heart of any religion has had his or her beginning either in fancy or in fact. But nevertheless, there is a beginning. Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem was a moment preceded by eternity. His being neither originated in time nor came about by the will of humanity. The Author of time, who lived in the eternal, was made incarnate in time that we might live with the eternal in view. In that sense, the message of Christ was not the introduction of a religion, but an introduction to truth about reality as God alone knows it. To deny Jesus’ message while pursuing spirituality is to conjure an imaginary religion in an attempt to see heaven while sight is confined to the earth. That is precisely what Jesus challenged when he said, “I have come that [you] may have life” (John 10:10). His life spells living. Your life or my life, apart from Him, spells death
  4. Kill the Messenger, a movie
    • Now that you know the truth, you will be faced with the most important decision of your life. And, that will be what to do with it.
  5. Pastor Paris Reidhead
    • Ruling Religion is pragmatism. If it works, it is true. If it succeeds, it is good. The test of all truth is if it works.Ten Shekels And A Shirt by Paris Reidhead )
  6. Chuck Missler
    • The only barrier to truth is that you already have it.
  7. Christopher Yuan
    • My Response to the Closing of Exodus International (full)  ( Link )
      • Whether Christians agree or disagree with Chambers’ statements and apologies, it is true many Christians view homosexual sex and same-sex romantic relationships to be worse than any other sin and treat LGBT people with disdain. This is truth at the expense of grace and does not reflect Gospel-centered living. We must repent of this hypocrisy. Churches encourage compassion toward unreached people groups (Muslims, ethnic minorities in Asia, tribes in South America), the poor (homeless, Dalit), and the needy (those sexually exploited, those living with HIV/AIDS), but do little to reach out to one of the most unreached people groups in America—LGBT people. Is not the Gospel to be proclaimed to all people?
  8. John Paul Jackson
    • Truth involves the motive for doing it. Fact involves just what you are doing.
    • Draw people into small groups. They don’t want you to hear.
  9. C.S. Lewis
    • But, Pain sometimes gives the only opportunity the bad man can have for amendment. It removes the veil; it plants the flag of truth within the fortress of a rebel soul….
  10. Eliza Farnham
    • The ultimate aim of the human mind, in all its efforts, is to become acquainted with Truth
  11. Anais Nin
    • Truth is something which can’t be told in a few words. Those who simplify the universe only reduce the expansion of its meaning.
  12. Kahlil Gibran
    • In battling evil, excess is good; for he who is moderate in announcing the truth is presenting half-truth. He conceals the other half out of fear of the people’s wrath.
    • Always you have been told that work is a curse and labour a misfortune. But I say to you that when you work you fulfill a part of earth’s furthest dream, assigned to you when that dream was born, and in keeping yourself with labour you are in truth loving life…
  13. Charlie Sheen
    • Regardless of their saltless reputations I also led with condoms and honesty when it came to my condition. Sadly my truth soon became their treason as a deluge of blackmail and distortion took centre stage in this circus of deceit ( Link )
  14. Jon Foreman, Switchfoot
    • Art is to remain in that tension and tell the truth.
  15. Ross Perot
    • If your wife can not trust you, who can

Ravi Zacharias – Sermons & Discussions – 2018/Feb

 

Videos

  1. Ravi Zacharias on Roman Catholicism
    • Is Roman Catholicism a cult? – Ravi Zacharias at Texas A&M’s Veritas Forum
      Dr. Ravi Zacharias answers the question, “Is Roman Catholicism another example of how unity does not equal uniformity within the Christian community or is it at its core a derivative of true Christianity?” at Texas A&M’s Veritas Forum on
    • Videos
      • Video #1
        March 19, 2014.
        Channel :- Fiat Lux
        Published on :- 2014-March-20th
        Link
  2. Ravi Zacharias talks about Joel Osteen
    • Profile :- Ravi Zacharias talks about Joel Osteen and it’s not good. God Bless You Ravi keep up the good work.
    • Videos
      • Ravi Zacharias talks about Joel Osteen
        Channel :- Johnny OnTheSpot
        Published On :- 2018-Jan-4th
        Removed On :- 2018-March-10th
        Link
      • Ravi Zacharias Drops TRUTH Bomb on Joel Osteen & his followers
        Channel :- The Vigilant Christian
        Published On :- 2018-Feb-6th
        Added On :- 2018-March-10th
        Removed On :- 2018-August-8th
        Link
      • Ravi Zacharias talks about Joel Osteen
        Channel :- TVC Faith
        Published On :- 2018-Feb-22nd
        Added On :- 2018-August-8th
        Link
    • More
      • The full video is From “The 2007 Ligonier National Conference with Ravi Zacharias, Albert Mohler, R.C. Sproul, and R.C. Sproul Jr.
        • Mohler, Sproul, Sproul Jr., and Zacharias: Questions and Answers #1
          Link
  3. Ravi Zacharias 2017 – Death of Truth Decline of Culture
    • Videos
      • Ravi Zacharias 2017 – Death of Truth Decline of Culture – DECEMBER 2017
        Channel :- Christian Sermons
        Date Published :- 2017-Dec-15th
        Link
  4. Ravi Zacharias and Dennis Prager with Jeff Foxworthy The Death of Truth, The Decline of Culture Q&A
    • Videos
      • Ravi Zacharias and Dennis Prager with Jeff Foxworthy The Death of Truth, The Decline of Culture Q&A
        Channel :- Bryan Caron
        Date Published :- 2017-Oct-17th
        Date Demoted :- 2019-Feb-6th
        Link
    • Audio
      • Audio #1
        Channel :- Worship Online Live!
        Published On :- 2018-June-14th
        Link
  5. Ravi Zacharias 2017 – Living A Life Used By God – DECEMBER 2017
    • Videos
      • Living A Life Used By God
        Channel :- Christian Sermons
        Date Published :- 2017-Dec-18
        Link

 

Nabeel & Michelle Qureshi – “The Wind and the Waves still know his name”

Quotes

Michelle Qureshi

Link

The Wind and the Waves still know his name

You cannot walk this alone

Nabeel Qureshi

He is sovereign and I love him

Link

Hazem Farraj

God has not changed

Link

 

Videos

  1. Nabeel Qureshi
    • God is a God of Love
      Nabeel’s word from a video made by Nabeel Qureshi’s great friend, David Wood
      Published On :- 2017-Sept-26th
      Link
    • His Prayer before passing away
      Channel :- CBN News
      Published :- 2017-Sept-18th
      Link
    • NABEEL QURESHI (1983-2017) – VLOG IN 4 Minutes
      Channel :- Natha
      Published :- 2017-Sept-18th
      Link
    • Vlog 24 – Ayah and Mark Mittelberg
      In this unnecessarily emotional video, I discuss some thoughts that arose after the visit of my good friend Mark Mittelberg and give you a quick glimpse of my daughter Ayah
      Channel :- NQ Ministries
      Published :- 2017-April-13th
      Link
  2. Michelle Qureshi
    • Vlog 30 – Michelle’s Thoughts and Advice
      In this video I ask my bride Michelle some questions about this season of life, and some thoughts to share with others going through similar situations.
      Published On :- 2017-May-23rd
      Link
    • Vlog 44 – A More Glorious End
      Published On :- 2017-Sept-26th
      Link
  3. Amir Yunas
    • A Tribute to Nabeel Qureshi
      Nabeels Life summarized by his true childhood friend. I Don’t promote the teachings of Nabeel whatsoever, however, this is childhood friend, and I feel sad, so I shared my heart. NOTE: Please turn ON subtitles to get a translation to the Arabic Poetry. At the end of my few words is a photo tribute to Nabeel’s Life and the translation to the Arabic Poem.
      Published On :- 2017-Sept-18th

      Link
  4. Nabeel’s Dad
    • Vlog 33 – A Very Special Guest: My Dad!
      In this Vlog I introduce my Abba, give a clarification on my shirt, and an update on my health 🙂 Immunotherapy on Monday!
      Published On :- 2017-June-9th
      Link
  5. Ravi Zacharias
    • Ravi Zacharias Eulogy at Nabeel Qureshi’s Funeral
      Published On :- 2017-Sept-21st
      Link

 

pInterest

  1. Daniel Adeniji
    • Nabeel & Michelle Qureshi
      Link

Frank Schaeffer – “You won Mom. I believe”.

 

Background

A few years ago, I heard Ravi Zacharias speak on the Schaffer family.

To paraphrase he said “though Francis Schaeffer is the the Apologist in the family, it was his mother, Edith’s love, that finally wore Frank down“.

Ravi made sure to say the column appeared in a liberal news outlet, Huffington Post.

Story

Link
Edith Schaeffer 1914 – 2013 RIP

My mother Edith Schaeffer died today. She was the author of many books on family life and spirituality and co-founder with my father Francis Schaeffer of the evangelical ministry of L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland. She has just gone to be with the Lord, as she would put it. She died at home which was her wish.

I last talked to Mom yesterday. Rather she slept as I talked. A few days before my granddaughter Lucy was on my lap and we were talking to Mom via Skype. That day she was awake.

Mom’s face filled the screen and she was looking at us on the laptop placed on the covers of her bed. I last had been with her in person two years ago when I’d spent ten days with her. Before she was bedridden (about four months ago) we’d talk on the phone and after that we’d Skype.

I’ve been talking to her every day for the last several weeks knowing she was slipping away. Since I care for my two youngest grandchildren, Lucy (4) and Jack (2) five days a week they have often been there when “Noni,” as her grandchildren and great-grandchildren called Mom was on the screen with us.

During one of the last calls when Lucy and I talked to her last week, Mom was beautiful with her silver hair in a ponytail and her red hair band and matching shawl. Trapped in a body she’d lost control of, it took all of her formidable willpower to acknowledge our love. She had a feeding tube in her nose and was slipping in and out of consciousness. Five minutes after we hung up she would not remember the conversation. But in the moment when I said “I love you,” she nodded back and was fully aware.

Mom was staring earnestly into the laptop screen her nurse had set up so we could talk via Skype. My four year old granddaughter Lucy whispered “Does she have her perfume on?”

“Your great grandmother always wears perfume. So I bet she does,” I answered.

I kept reminding Mom of who we were, speaking rather slowly and loudly, “This is your son, Frank, and I have my four year old granddaughter, Lucy, on my lap. Can you see her Mom? This is John’s daughter. John was our Marine. Remember praying for his safe return from Afghanistan? God answered your prayers, Mom. Say hi to your great-granddaughter Mom.”

When I asked if she knew we loved her, Mom acknowledged us with a slight nod and whispered “Yes.” Those turned out to be her last spoken words to me.

Mother was three thousand miles away in Switzerland. We were in Massachusetts. She was ninety-eight and dying. Lucy is four years old and thriving. We were in my home in the studio/office I’d built out of the old woodshed. We were surrounded by piles of manuscripts including, a stack four feet high of the twenty-three drafts of a new novel I’m working on. Lucy had your feet up on the top of the pile. My paintings were leaning in deep clusters against the walls and were hanging on every surface. The ubiquitous smell of turpentine and linseed oil was in the air. Mom had always loved that smell. When I was a kid she’d walk into my room, breathe deeply and say “I just LOVE the smell of paintings!”

Before that day’s Skype chat with Mom, Lucy and I had been conducting imaginary orchestras while listening to Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto in G, full volume. Lucy launched an impromptu recitation of the Twenty Third Psalm, saying it all the way through. We’d also been looking at the weird and wonderful art of Pieter Brueghel the Elder and Lucy and Jack loved his pictures of sixteenth century peasants, beggars, and his apocalyptic fantasies. So even though Lucy and had never met my mother and were like ships passing in the night we were actually having a very Edith Schaeffer day.

Mom’s great-grandchildren were growing up loving what she’d loved: words, art, music, gardening, cooking and playacting. Mom was unable to speak any longer but she was nevertheless communicating with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren every time they were read to, listened to music or when we painted together.

Since she couldn’t talk I read to Mom and Lucy out loud from one of her own books: Mei Fuh – Memories from China. My grandchildren love the book. Lucy knows it almost by heart.

As usual we had to skip the “sad part” Lucy never let me read, about how Adjipah the gardener ate Mom’s goldfish. Mei Fuh was the last of many books Mom authored and her one and only children’s book. Mom had been born to missionary parents in 1914 and the book was about her growing up in a missionary compound until she moved back to America at age six.

During the last Skype call Lucy made last week she asked Mom if she was “still upset about Adjipah eating your fish?” Mom tried to smile but with her teeth out and the tube taped to her nose her smile showed up in her eyes and not so much on her lips.

I felt bad that Lucy was seeing Mom at her most vulnerable to the ravages of age. So while we talked to Mom, I opened an album of pictures of her and whispered, “See how beautiful your great-grandmother really is? Look!”

Lucy nodded and said loudly to the screen “You’re beautiful, Noni!”

Mom heard Lucy and moved slightly and managed of a hint of a crumpled smile. Then Lucy said in a loud awed whisper,

“She heard me! She nodded! She smiled!”

I placed my hand on the laptop screen and showed Lucy that when the lower part of her face was hidden from the bridge of her nose up to her eyes and silver hair, Mom still looked like the lovely pictures in the album.

From time to time I’d ask, “Mom, do you remember that?” about this or that detail of her childhood and she’d open her eyes a bit wider to signal that she did remember. Any mention of her early years that got the biggest response. The neural pathways were shutting down and the last remaining seemed to be the memories of her life as a young child. The little girl who had once been Mom was looking at us through a thicket of memory loss and confusion. I reminded her of the five week trip she took back to China with my wife Genie when Mom was in her eighties. In the early 1990s they’d traveled for 5 weeks to Mom’s birthplace in Wenchow, on the coast of southern China.

Amazingly, given the communist “remake” of China and the destruction of everything old and beautiful that blocked “progress,” Genie and Mom found the mission compound still as it once was. Mom was welcomed by the people living in her old home and that allowed to wander through the buildings. Genie said that Mom remembered everything from the dusty courtyard where she had played, to the thick gate with the little barred window she used to look through while wishing that she could go into the street and join the passing processions during festivals.

I knew that each Skype call might be the last time I’d see my mother alive. So each time we talked I thanked Mom for her love and the terrific creativity she’d shown in how she raised her children. Reading Mom her book reminded me of the many hours my mother had read so many wonderful books to me out loud. She was such a glorious reader.

After about half an hour of sitting on my lap watching Mom sleep, wake and sleep again as I read to her, Lucy went to my easel and painted. A few minutes later she cheerfully called out to the screen; “This is a painting for you Noni! I’ll give it to you in heaven since you’re going to die before I see you.” Lucy said this very matter of factly with no fear, as if she was mentioning that she’d soon be seeing her great-grandmother someplace very ordinary. I don’t think she heard Lucy, but if she did, Mom would have liked what she said because my mother was nothing if not a believer in a literal heaven.

When the two hours or so we spent with Mom concluded Lucy was sitting up on a high stool in the kitchen while I was putting on her boots for the walk back to Lucy’s house.

“I’m so sad my mother is going to die soon, “ I said.

“You will be alright Ba,” Lucy said.

“How?” I asked.

“You have me,” she quietly answered and put her arms around me.

I trust my mother’s hope-filled view of death because of the way Mom lived her life. Mom first introduced me to a non-retributive loving Lord who did not come to “die for us” to “satisfy” an angry God but came as a friend who ended all cycles of retribution and violence.

Mom made this introduction to Jesus through her life example. Mom was a wonderful paradox: an evangelical conservative fundamentalist who treated people as if she was an all-forgiving progressive liberal of the most tolerant variety.

Mom’s daily life was a rebuke and contradiction to people who see everything as black and white. Liberals and secularists alike who make smug disparaging declarations about “all those evangelicals” would see their fondest prejudices founder upon the reality of my mother’s compassion, cultural literacy and loving energy.

Just before Christmas of 2010, Mom and I sat down together during a ten day visit and I told her about my (then) latest writing project that turned out to be “Sex, Mom and God” (the third in a trilogy of memoirs that began with “Crazy For God.”) I told her about the book in detail—including that I was going to “tell the truth and let the chips fall where they may, Mom.”

With a flash of her old self and a familiar defiant head toss, Mom said, “Go ahead; I don’t care what people ‘think’ and never did!” Given her memory problem, I should add that before it developed and before her eyesight failed, she read my other equally “scandalous” writing, including my novels and nonfiction works, which also drew heavily from memories that to some people might have seemed too private to share.

Mom wasn’t “some people.” I once got a letter from one of my mother’s followers telling me that, having just read my novel Portofino (a work of humor where the mother character, “Elsa Becker,” is like my mother in some ways), she was sure it would “kill your mother because of the hatred for Jesus that drips from your SATANIC pen!” Coincidentally, that fan letter (received in the early 1990s before I was using e-mail) arrived in the same post delivery as a note from Mom asking me for another dozen signed hardcover copies of that book so that my mother could send out more to her friends. Mom’s follower had signed her letter “Repent!” My mother signed her note “I’m so proud of you.”

Besides a loving God and her steadfast support for the arts — even when she disagreed with some of my writing — here’s who else my mother introduced me to: Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Haydn, Brahms, Schubert, Tchaikovsky, Handel, Schumann, Chopin, Mendelssohn, Debussy, Verdi and Vivaldi. She made them my friends. They are still my friends and companions and I have made them my children’s and grandchildren’s friends too. And that is my tribute to her example.

Here are some other people amongst others my mother taught me to love: da Vinci, Duccio, Giotto, Vermeer, Degas, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Van Eyck, Van Gogh, Botticelli, Breughel, Michelangelo and Monet. They are still my friends and companions and I have made them my children’s and grandchildren’s friends too. And that is my tribute to her example.

My mother read to me and introduced me to Shakespeare, Louisa May Alcott, Jane Austen, Anne Bronte, Susan Fennimore Cooper, Emily Dickinson, George Eliot, Mary Shelley, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Beatrix Potter, E. Nesbit, Louis Carroll and A. A. Milne and… Woody Allen, amongst others. They are still my friends and companions and I have made them my children’s and grandchildren’s friends too. And that is my tribute to her example.

Here’s what my mother showed me how to do by example: forgive, ask for forgiveness, cook, paint, build, garden, draw, read, keep house well, travel, love Italy, love God, love New York City, love Shakespeare, love Dickens, love Steinbeck, love Jesus, love silence, love people more than things, love community and put career and money last in my hierarchy of values and — above all, to love beauty. I still follow my mother’s example as best I can and I have passed and am passing her life gift to my children and grandchildren not just in words but in meals cooked, gardens kept, houses built, promises kept, sacrifices made, and beauty pointed to.

My mother read me hundreds of books out loud, took me everywhere with her, provided order and beauty for her children from the mundane like scrubbing floors spotless on her knees and keeping our home orderly and clean, even when she had “no time” and was writing her book, to serving every meal I ever ate at home as a child with candles and flowers on the table and making the simplest family time an event. (Thank God we had no TV and Mom wasn’t ever distracted by a cell phone or the internet from being a mother and of course her children were allowed to connect with the actual physical world hands on because we were lucky enough to grow up in the pre internet/electronic filtered age of false second hand “experiences.”)

Mother taught me that sex is good, stood by me and my young wife Genie when we were foolish and got pregnant as mere (very unmarried) children ourselves, backed every venture I launched from movie making, to being an artist and writer, stood with me when I dropped out of the evangelical religion altogether, stuck with me even when I denied her politics and turned “left” and “went progressive.”

Mom spent every dime she had on keeping her family together through family reunions and setting her example of putting family first. She stood with her sometimes abusive husband as he became famous in the American evangelical ghetto, though she well knew that she was the stronger partner in her always productive, sometimes lovely though at other times disastrous marriage.

Mom treated everyone she ever met well, spent more time talking to “nobodies” than to the rich and famous who flocked to her after her books were published and became bestsellers. Put it this way: through my experience of being a father (of 3) and grandfather (of 4) I’ve finally been able to test Mom’s life wisdom and spiritual outlook and found out that she was right: Love, Continuity, Beauty, Forgiveness, Art, Life and loving a loving all-forgiving God really are the only things that matter.

Each time I pick up my little grandchildren (or hug Genie’s and my grownup grandkids) and pray for wisdom about how to pass on the best of what I was given I know it is my mother’s example speaking to me. I never go to a classical concert or walk into a museum without remembering how Mom saved her money to take her children to hear the great music played by the great performers and helped me to learn that creativity trumps death.

I never say “I love you” to my wife Genie, to my children Jessica, Francis and John or to my son-in-law Dani or daughter-in-law Becky, let alone to my grandchildren Amanda, Benjamin, Lucy and Jack without remembering who showed me what those words mean.

Mother was a force to be reckoned with, a whole energetic universe contained in one trim little female frame, and she used that force entirely for good.

Memories—

Mother in the garden at dawn weeding and watering her wonderful flowers and vegetables… Mother typing up a storm while writing her thousands of letters and dozens of books… Mother so pleased that her good friend Betty Ford invited her to the White House to swim laps with her in the White House pool… Mother so please she’d met BB King at one of his concerts when she was 91… Mother praying with me every night before turning out the light as she let me in on her best secret: the universe is not a hard cold lonely meaningless place but a cosmos full of love… Mother never making a sarcastic remark about her children or anyone else and the life-long self-confidence that gave me… Mother deep in conversation with cab drivers and giving her books away (and money, personal phone numbers and her home address) to hotel maids and other total strangers she decided she could help… Mother taking impractical detours to look at something lovely… Mother always late for everything and praying out loud over meals long, so long, at table as she forgot that for the rest of us prayer was mostly a ritual though for her it was an endless conversation with the eternal… Mother cleaning up my vomit after I took drugs as a young wayward teen and then fixing me poached eggs on toast as if I was 3 again… Mother buying me art supplies… Mother’s horror at the “harshness” as she put it, of so many evangelical religious people and the way they treated “the lost” and her saying that “no wonder no one wants to be a Christian if that’s how we treat people!”

Maybe everything has changed for me theologically but some things haven’t changed. I’m still thinking of Mom’s eternal life in her terms because she showed me the way to that hope through her humane consistency and won. Her example defeated my cynicism.

Mom understood me and tried to speak when I said my last “I love you.”

I knew what she was trying to say. It’s the phrase she spoke most to me over my 60 year journey on this earth so far. I answered her thought, and I said, “Thank you, I know you love me and I love you too Mom.” The day before Mom died my last words to her were “I want you to know your prayers for your family have been answered. I credit every moment of joy to your prayers.”

I’ll miss her voice. I learned to trust that voice because of the life witness that backed it up. I know I’ll hear her voice again. You won Mom. I believe.

Listening

Listening to …

Beautiful Message By Nabeel Qureshi (Defense of Christianity)
Link

Prayer & Meditation

Forward

My pastor just started a month long series on prayer.

Everyone seems to be on the same page lately.

I suppose that it is how it is supposed to be.

Yet, the convergence is kind of scary.

Others

Here are some other voices on the same chord:

  • David Platt
    • Videos
      • The Role of Desperate Prayer in Relenting Wrath
        • Video #1
          Added:- 2015-Sept-25th
          Link
  • Bill Johnson
    • What do you do when your prayers aren’t answered
  • Jim Cymbala
    • My house shall be called a house of prayer
      • Videos
        • YouTube
          • My House Shall be called a house of Prayer
            Published On :- 2012-Oct-11th
            Link
  • Ray Stedman
    • How Prayer Works
      • Videos
        • Youtube
          • How Prayer Works
            Link
  • Shane Idelman
    • A Pastor’s Thoughts from John McArthur’s Strange Fire Conference
      • Videos
        • YouTube
          • A Pastor’s Thoughts from John McArthur’s Strange Fire Conference
            • Video #1
              Channel :- SermonIndex.net
              Published On :- 2013-Oct-20th
              Link
          • Another Response to Strange Fire Conference by Shane Idleman
            • Video #1
              Channel :- SermonIndex.net
              Published On :- 2013-Nov-11th
              Link
  • Tim Keller
    • Postmodernism Tim Keller at Desiring God ( Added on 2015-09-15 )
      • Videos
        • YouTube
          • Postmodernism Tim Keller at Desiring God ( Added on 2015-09-15 )
            Link
  • J.C. Ryle
    • A Call to Prayer  ( Added on 2015-Sept-21 )
      • A Call to Prayer (Christian Audiobook)
        • A Call to Prayer
          Link
      • Transcript
        • Links
          • Transcript #1
            Link
  • Ravi Zacharias
    • Answering the Biggest Objections to Christianity by Dr Ravi Zacharias (   Added on 2015-Sept-24 )
  • Paul Washer
  • Robert Morris

Special Mention

Jezebel

Robert Morris

  • Discerning the Jezebel Spirit
    Added on :- 2015-09-14
    Link
  • STOP tolerating Jezebel spirit – Robert Morris
    Link
    Uploaded on : 2011-Apr-07
    Added On: 2016-12-01

John Paul Jackson

Addendum

David Platt, Added on Sept 11th, 2015

Link
David Joseph Platt  is currently the president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board, and he is also the author of the New York Times Best Seller Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream. He released a follow-up book, Radical Together: Unleashing the People of God for the Purpose of God in April, 2011.  And in February, 2013, he released Follow Me: A Call to Die. a Call to Live.  Platt recently founded a resource ministry, Radical.net, dedicated to serving the church and making disciples of all nations.

He also served at Edgewater Baptist Church in New Orleans and resided in a parsonage when Hurricane Katrina hit, flooding the parsonage.

At the age of 26, Platt was hired to lead the congregation of The Church at Brook Hills, and he became known as the youngest megachurch pastor in America. He said, “I believe that God has uniquely created every one of His people to impact the world. Some may count it as idealistic, but I believe it is thoroughly biblical, rooted in Psalm 67:1-2, yet covering Scripture from beginning to end. God is in the business of blessing His people so that His ways and His salvation might be made known among all people.”

He holds to a continuationist view, meaning that the Biblical gifts of the Holy Spirit did not cease with the apostles and are operating today for the edification of the church.

Adieu

In closing, I sign off with the words of one Kiki Sheard…Hear This.