Liars

Khaled Hosseini

Khalid 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 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 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
        Link
  4. 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
            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.

Matthew Parris – As an atheist, I truly believe Africa needs God

Prelude

Back in March 2014, I listened in on a Ravi Zacharias, Michael Ramsden, and Nabeel Qureshi discussion at University of Uppsala ( Universitetshuset), Sweden.

Here are links to the  RZIM’s videoes:

Everyone knows these guys dig deep.  Here are some of what was shared:

Ravi Zacharias:

  • Laws
    • Moses gave 613 laws
    • David took the 613 and reduce it to 15
    • Isaiah reduced it to 11
    • Micah reduced it to 3  – “What does the Lord require of you ? But to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God”
    • One would have thought Jesus will reduce it to 1, he didn’t. He reduced it to 2 — “Love the Lord your God and love your neighbor as yourself on these 2 commandments stood all the laws”
  • Discipline your prayer life
  • An expenditure of words without an income of ideas will lead to conceptual bankruptcy
  • Learn how to define pleasure
  • Live in such a way that you will draw lines that you will not cross

Here is another of Ravi’s take on Mosaic Laws and how different Kings and Prophets have interpreted it:

Interpreting Failures, Conserving Victories
http://library.generousgiving.org/articles/display.asp?id=150

When you read the law of Moses, there are 613 precepts there. If you go 500 years past Moses to King David and read Psalm 15, those 613 are reduced to eleven. If you go a bit further to Isaiah, he reduces the number to six. A little later the prophet Micah reduces them to three: to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God. Later still, the prophet Habakkuk reduces them to just one: the just shall live by faith. And the New Testament writers repeat that one command three times over. The whole moral law is reduced to one statement: your faith in the living God. (And if you want to unpack it further, you can read James to see what faith really looks like.)

In the same video series, there is a short but important mention of Loyal D. Rue’s work.  Please refer to the Reference section and follow the link to get a summarized read on Loyal’s work.

At the end of the 2nd video, Michael Ramsden spoke about Matthew Parris’ dated opinion piece.

Matthew Parris

Here is Matthew Parris Opinion piece:

Matthew Parris: As an atheist, I truly believe Africa needs God
By TIMES ONLINE

Added: Wednesday, 07 January 2009 at 4:00 PM


http://old.richarddawkins.net/articles/3502-matthew-parris-as-an-atheist-i-truly-believe-africa-needs-god

Before Christmas I returned, after 45 years, to the country that as a boy I knew as Nyasaland. Today it’s Malawi, and The Times Christmas Appeal includes a small British charity working there. Pump Aid helps rural communities to install a simple pump, letting people keep their village wells sealed and clean. I went to see this work.

It inspired me, renewing my flagging faith in development charities. But travelling in Malawi refreshed another belief, too: one I’ve been trying to banish all my life, but an observation I’ve been unable to avoid since my African childhood. It confounds my ideological beliefs, stubbornly refuses to fit my world view, and has embarrassed my growing belief that there is no God.

Now a confirmed atheist, I’ve become convinced of the enormous contribution that Christian evangelism makes in Africa: sharply distinct from the work of secular NGOs, government projects and international aid efforts. These alone will not do. Education and training alone will not do. In Africa Christianity changes people’s hearts. It brings a spiritual transformation. The rebirth is real. The change is good.

I used to avoid this truth by applauding – as you can – the practical work of mission churches in Africa. It’s a pity, I would say, that salvation is part of the package, but Christians black and white, working in Africa, do heal the sick, do teach people to read and write; and only the severest kind of secularist could see a mission hospital or school and say the world would be better without it. I would allow that if faith was needed to motivate missionaries to help, then, fine: but what counted was the help, not the faith.

But this doesn’t fit the facts. Faith does more than support the missionary; it is also transferred to his flock. This is the effect that matters so immensely, and which I cannot help observing.

First, then, the observation. We had friends who were missionaries, and as a child I stayed often with them; I also stayed, alone with my little brother, in a traditional rural African village. In the city we had working for us Africans who had converted and were strong believers. The Christians were always different. Far from having cowed or confined its converts, their faith appeared to have liberated and relaxed them. There was a liveliness, a curiosity, an engagement with the world – a directness in their dealings with others – that seemed to be missing in traditional African life. They stood tall.

At 24, travelling by land across the continent reinforced this impression. From Algiers to Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon and the Central African Republic, then right through the Congo to Rwanda, Tanzania and Kenya, four student friends and I drove our old Land Rover to Nairobi.

We slept under the stars, so it was important as we reached the more populated and lawless parts of the sub-Sahara that every day we find somewhere safe by nightfall. Often near a mission.

Whenever we entered a territory worked by missionaries, we had to acknowledge that something changed in the faces of the people we passed and spoke to: something in their eyes, the way they approached you direct, man-to-man, without looking down or away. They had not become more deferential towards strangers – in some ways less so – but more open.

This time in Malawi it was the same. I met no missionaries. You do not encounter missionaries in the lobbies of expensive hotels discussing development strategy documents, as you do with the big NGOs. But instead I noticed that a handful of the most impressive African members of the Pump Aid team (largely from Zimbabwe) were, privately, strong Christians.

€Privately,€ because the charity is entirely secular and I never heard any of its team so much as mention religion while working in the villages. But I picked up the Christian references in our conversations. One, I saw, was studying a devotional textbook in the car. One, on Sunday, went off to church at dawn for a two-hour service.

It would suit me to believe that their honesty, diligence and optimism in their work was unconnected with personal faith. Their work was secular, but surely affected by what they were. What they were was, in turn, influenced by a conception of man’s place in the Universe that Christianity had taught.

There’s long been a fashion among Western academic sociologists for placing tribal value systems within a ring fence, beyond critiques founded in our own culture: “theirs” and therefore best for Anathema€; authentic and of intrinsically equal worth to ours.

I don’t follow this. I observe that tribal belief is no more peaceable than ours; and that it suppresses individuality. People think collectively; first in terms of the community, extended family and tribe. This rural-traditional mindset feeds into the €œbig mana€ and gangster politics of the African city: the exaggerated respect for a swaggering leader, and the (literal) inability to understand the whole idea of loyal opposition.

Anxiety – fear of evil spirits, of ancestors, of nature and the wild, of a tribal hierarchy, of quite everyday things – strikes deep into the whole structure of rural African thought. Every man has his place and, call it fear or respect, a great weight grinds down the individual spirit, stunting curiosity. People won’t take the initiative, won’t take things into their own hands or on their own shoulders.

How can I, as someone with a foot in both camps, explain? When the philosophical tourist moves from one world view to another he finds – at the very moment of passing into the new – that he loses the language to describe the landscape to the old. But let me try an example: the answer given by Sir Edmund Hillary to the question: Why climb the mountain? €œBecause it’s there, he said.

To the rural African mind, this is an explanation of why one would not climb the mountain. It’s… well, there. Just there. Why interfere? Nothing to be done about it, or with it. Hillary’s further explanation – that nobody else had climbed it – would stand as a second reason for passivity.

Christianity, post-Reformation and post-Luther, with its teaching of a direct, personal, two-way link between the individual and God, unmediated by the collective, and unsubordinate to any other human being, smashes straight through the philosophical/spiritual framework I’ve just described. It offers something to hold on to to those anxious to cast off a crushing tribal group-think. That is why and how it liberates.

Those who want Africa to walk tall amid 21st-century global competition must not kid themselves that providing the material means or even the know-how that accompanies what we call development will make the change. A whole belief system must first be supplanted.

And I’m afraid it has to be supplanted by another. Removing Christian evangelism from the African equation may leave the continent at the mercy of a malign fusion of Nike, the witch doctor, the mobile phone and the machete.

References

References – Noble Lie

References – Matthew Parris

Ravi Zacharias

Background

Ravi Zacharias is a Christian Apologist.

For a long time, I thought that meant someone who is apologizing.  Later on I found out that it is actually anchored on a greek word, Apologia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apologetics
Apologetics (from Greek ἀπολογία, “speaking in defense”) is the discipline of defending a position (often religious) through the systematic use of information. Early Christian writers (c. 120–220) who defended their faith against critics and recommended their faith to outsiders were called apologists.

The term apologetics etymologically derives from the Classical Greek word apologia. In the Classical Greek legal system two key technical terms were employed: the prosecution delivered the kategoria (κατηγορία), and the defendant replied with an apologia. To deliver an apologia meant making a formal speech or giving an explanation to reply and rebut the charges.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_apologetics
Christian apologetics (Greek: ἀπολογία, “verbal defence, speech in defence”) is a field of Christian theology which aims to present a rational basis for the Christian faith, defending the faith against objections. Christian apologetics has taken many forms over the centuries, starting with Paul the Apostle in the early church…

Biblical Basis
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_apologetics

Several biblical passages have historically motivated Christian apologetics. R. C. Sproul, quoting the First Epistle of Peter ([1 Pet3:15]), writes that “The defense of the faith is not a luxury or intellectual vanity. It is a task appointed by God that you should be able to give a reason for the hope that is in you as you bear witness before the world.” The verse quoted here reads in full: “but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.”

I hope you have a good Internet Access and you can listen in on some of the sermons / discussions listed below.

References

References – Apologia

References – Ravi Zacharias – Videoes