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

Tom Holland – Critique of Religion

 

Videos

  1. Did the Quran come from God?
    • Profile :-
      • Historian Tom Holland interview
        Historian Tom Holland Author, ‘In the Shadow of the Sword’.
    • Channel :- Moneer Cherie
    • Date Published :- 2017-Nov-29th
    • Link
      Link
  2. Origins of Islam
    • Profile
      • Tom Holland Where did Islam come from? The story of how it came to be established across a vast empire stretching from the Atlantic to the frontiers of China is conventionally traced back to the charisma and inspiration of a single man: Muhammad. But his story was not written until 200 years later. Join historian Tom Holland who has received death threats for challenging the long-held origins of Islam.
    • Channel :- Rancho Mirage Writers Festival
    • Date Published :- 2017-Feb-17th
    • Link
      Link

 

In-depth

Did the Quran come from God?

  1. Source
    • God or Culture
      • Persian and Roman in 7th Century
      • Has stories borrowed from Roman, Christian folk tales
      • Christian
        • Moses
        • Virgin Mary
      • Alexander the Great
    • Why it matters
      • If not from God, then one has to understand it in human terms
      • Historian of Antiquity
      • Seem Rigor
      • If not becoming a Muslim and dealing in Theology and not in History
  2. Needs
    • The people of the time needed a backdrop of religion to bind together what was happening
    • Binding Philosophy
    • Anything that happens is seen as coming from God
    • Arabs said too themselves “What is going on
    • The process the writing got shaped into religion
  3. Christianity & Islam
    • Born out of same melting point
  4. In the West
    • 1970 and 1980s

Life & Rap

Background

Craig Mack passing takes one back at rise and rising.

And, how it will play out for each of us.

Videos

  1. Craig Mack
    • Videos
      • YouTube
        • Craig Mack and His NEW RAP – The Video – See it LIVE!
          Link
  2. Trevell Coleman
    • Videos
      • YouTube
        • ABC News – Nightline
          • Former Bad Boy Artist G-Dep gives Interview from Prison
        • Steph Lova
          • Black Rob Discusses G-Dep Murder Confession
          • Profile
            • In this exclusive clip, Steph Lova asks Black Rob about G-Dep’s infamous murder confession. Black Rob breaks down how G-Dep felt and why he did what he did
          • Link
            Link
        •  djvlad
          • G-Dep Explains Confessing to Murder: “I Didn’t Feel Free and Clear”
            • Profile
              Former Bad Boy artist, “G-Dep,” also known by his real name, Trevell Coleman, spoke to DJ Vlad about why he decided in 2011 to confess to a murder he committed during a robbery attempt in 1993. Although, the rapper had gotten away with the crime for almost 18 years, he says it didn’t feel that way to him, “I didn’t feel free and clear.” He explained, “Every day, I was faced with this memory and this heinous act, that really didn’t have to happen.”Listen to the full interview above to hear about his time in prison and what he has planned for the future.
            • Link
              Link
  3. Loon
    • Videos
      • YouTube
        • Why Loon Left Bad Boy
          Loon 2 Amir is a Documentary Short about the transformation of Chauncey Hawkins, better known as Bad Boy Rapper extraordinaire Loon, from a life of discontentment as a Hip Hop star to a life of peace in faith as Amir Muhadith.
          Channel :- West Dawn Media
          Published On :- 2010-Jan-17th
          Link
        • Loon talks about Islam and the music industry right before going to prison
          Former Badboy artist Loon speaks about his experience converting to Islam, and why he’s not making music any more right before going to jail
          Channel :- R Lyfe Visuals
          Published On :- 2009-Dec-12th
          Link
        • Rapper Loon – When people ask me about Jay Z
          I Don’t play “ask me about Jay-Z”. I play my Sahabaa Rookie Card.
          Channel :- Ibaadur Rahmaan
          Published On :- 2012-May-14th
          Link

 

In depth

G. Dep

Night-line

Former Bad Boy Artist G-Dep gives Interview from Prison

  1. I don’t see any other way out except me dying

 

G. Dep Says ‘Burden Is Lifted’ After Confessing To Murder!

  1. Betrayed by the last person anyone will ever suspect himself

Reference Work

  1. Loon
    Link

Life in Ministry – The CareTakers – 2017/Dec

 

As I attested in an earlier post it is mostly grandmothers and mothers raising the children of those locked in.

And, so our interaction is mostly with women.

 

A Big Brother & Twin Sisters

About 3 years ago, Wifey and I drove about an hour to go drop off this particular gift.  The lady and I had made arrangements over the phone a couple of days earlier and I felt I needed a feminine persuasion to lighten the mood and draw us closer.

We arrived and were let in.  Met the twin granddaughters and the grandson.  Wifey was able to lubricate the conversation the way women are able to and it was really the best exchange that year.

As I looked at the drop offs this year, I found one that appears likely destined to the same family.

Arranged for a drop off.  Upon arriving was told that gifts were only for the twins as their older brother had aged out at nineteen.

Was sure to leave a gift cert for him.

 

Connection Made through Facebook

There is so much cost to having someone on the inside; the family loses that income. Additionally, they have to set aside tiny amounts and place them in the provision Accounts of those inside.

With sky high rental costs, often our targeted demographics have to move quite a bit.

Addresses and Phone number change midstream.

As I looked at the beautiful gifts purchased by our congregation, I knew I could not leave a particular set of gifts undelivered.

Yes, sometimes we hold gifts for years thereafter.

But, not this one.

They were packaged and paired for two sisters.

I tried reaching their mother through the phone number that we were provided, but “NO GO”.

I thus took to Facebook and tried to find the name.  The last name is common.  But, not the first.

Was able to locate her.

Sent her a Facebook text.  Did not hear back from her till the following Monday.

The next Sunday was a bright and sunny day;  just the right day with a thin winter air that is easy to walk and dress lightly in.

Dropped off the gifts and caught a glimpse of the beautiful toddler girls.

 

 

The lady that Adopted Two Children

Last year I met Ms. R.  The gift was for her grandson.

On the day I attempted to make the delivery she was out of town.

And, so she asked us to just put it in the mail.

Trusted her grandson with gift certs.

This year, our Church, again drew her.

I called her and we quickly deepened conversation into familiar spirits.

I asked if it was OK to pray and she obliged.

She continued that she has a Government Job that pays handsomely and that she does not need help buying gifts for her grandson.

But, he likes to receive something from his Dad.

She insisted that she has to recompenses us.  And, she will do so by adopting two of our kids.

As her son’s Angel was picked by a fellow Government worker as Ms. R, I explained that she is picking a worthy Angel that did not just need a present,  but prayers as well.

A couple of weeks ago, Ms.  R and I resumed our conversation.  I asked if she is is still interested in adopting the Angels and she replied Yes.

In between I lost my phone, but she persisted in calling me.

The first call I received upon getting a replacement phone was hers.

She had moved and we arranged to meet at a close by train station.

Dropped off the gifts and instead of given us two gift certs back, she gave us three.

What an exchange, gave one received three.

 

The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett

There was a family with two girls, One girl wanted the book “The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett” and the other “Bow & Arrow“.

We had a church member deliver the gifts with a replacement for the book.

A few minutes later Ms.  Denise came by with the Book.  She was not happy that we had exchanged out her gift.  She had placed so much into it and she even added a “Heart Pendant“.

The next weekend called the lady and made arrangement to drop off the book.  She hesitated fervently that the gifts were already delivered.  I said Yes, but the delivery was missing the one item the daughter explicitly requested.

As I delivered the gift she confessed that her granddaughter was not so happy that we did not oblige her initial gift request.

The grandmother tried to explain things away by saying that her Dad only has an opportunity to give us a gender and an age and we just were not able to get her what she wanted.

The young girl insisted that we asked her for what she wanted and she was affirmative with her request.  Grandmother promised to take her to the bookstore after Christmas.

I was happy that Ms. Denise followed through.

Wrong Address

There was gifts destined for the Central Valley.   One of the gifts needed to be splitted off between grandparents and a mother.

The mother called and said the gifts for the grandparents never arrived.  I replied that we were done for the year and we were unable to make up the difference.

She pleaded with me, but I was unrelenting.

About a week later I finally made it to the mailbox.  And,  God behold, the parcel was in there waiting for me.

I called her back and apologized for my unbelief.  She shared with me that they know the intended street very well and that she and grandmother drove back and forth a few times and know that the address I had did not exist and that she knew that I will receive the package back eventually.

AMIN AHSAN ISLAHI :- The Blessings of Spending in the Way of Allah

Link

Spending in the way of Allah  is a great virtue. It occupies paramount importance in divine religions. All Prophets of Allah emphatically urged their followers to spend in the way of Allah. In this article, we shall take a brief look at some of the blessings of spending in the way of Allah.

True Attachment with God

The greatest benefit of spending in the way of Allah is that it establishes a strong bond between a person and his Creator. A man’s heart generally lies where his wealth is. If he hides away his wealth in some secret place, he finds himself thinking about that very place all the time. In case of investment in a business or a company, he cannot help being pre-occupied with the continued viability of the investee. In short, what is evident from practical experience is that man’s heart is affixed to his wealth. Keeping in view the foregoing explanation, it can be asserted that anyone who spends in the way of Allah would find that he is in an everlasting communion with God since he has entrusted Allah with his wealth. In this regard, Jesus  is reported to have said:

“Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Mathew 6:20-1)

Stronger Ties with the Society

The second benefit which spending in the way of Allah  affords the spender is that it helps him establish unfailing ties with his society. A little deliberation here will reveal that this achievement is not of less significance. Rather, it is one of the two pillars upon which the whole structure of religion is based. These two pillars, namely: prayer and spending, are a pre-requisite in order to make a person a true servant of God. The first pillar helps in developing a true relationship with the Almighty. And the second inculcates a deep-rooted connection amongst the members of the society. Hence, both play an unsurpassed role in nurturing and developing the persona conceived by the Quran. It is precisely for this reason that Salah (the prayer) and Zakah (alms-tax) find mention in the Quran side by side. For example, in the initial verses of Surah Baqarah, what immediately follows the mention of Salah is spending in the way of Allah.

As pointed out earlier, these two pillars in fact constitute the foundations upon which the entire structure of man’s relationship with the Creator and His creation is erected. Consequently, one can safely conclude that the fabric of the Shariah too is based upon the prayer and spending. All ancient Semitic religions regard both these pillars as the origin of righteous conduct. Once someone asked Jesus  about the great commandment in the law, Jesus  enlightened him by saying:

‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind’. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’. On these two commandments hang all the law and the Prophets (Matthew, 22:37-40)

The best possible way to demonstrate affection towards a neighbor is to sympathize with him and help him out financially whenever he is in trying circumstances. Just as Salah is the only befitting way man can express his love for the Almighty, the only appropriate manner he can exhibit his appreciation for his neighbor is to spend for him whenever he is in need.

Both things apparently seem distinct and separate yet if are viewed from a holistic perspective the love of the neighbor would appear to be the direct outcome of the love of God. Anyone who loves God would certainly care for His creation since He has analogously regarded the whole mankind as His own children. Man is so created that whenever he loves someone he instinctively falls in love with everything related to him as well. So, when a person loves Allah he surely feels affection for His Creation and this affection ultimately results in spending to ease the sufferings through which the ‘children’ of his beloved Allah may be going.

The brimming love that man feels for Allah is the natural consequence of his sentiments of gratitude. When he observes carefully around himself the providence and power of Allah, he finds himself engulfed by the bounties of his Gracious Creator. This realization, on the one hand, gives rise to the sentiments of worship which naturally prompts him to offer the prayer and, on the other hand, induces him to be as much generous as possible to mankind since he has become cognizant of the fact that everything he possesses has been bestowed upon him generously by Allah alone.

It can therefore be concluded that the love for humanity is an offshoot of one’s love for God and that both provide a rock-solid base for religion. While the former stands at the core of all human rights, the latter is the stream from which all religious obligations spring forth. Anyone who can willingly spend his wealth for others cannot be assumed to be careless when it comes to discharging other moral obligations. The only person who can be presumed to be the best member of a society is the one who has done away with his undue love of riches, because should this love prevail, it would awfully obstruct the normal flow of righteous conduct. The Holy Quran alludes to both situations in the following words:

“So, he who gave in the way of Allah and was god-fearing and believed in the good outcome [in the Hereafter], We shall, indeed, take him to [a fate] of delight. And he who was a miser and was indifferent and belied the good outcome [in the Hereafter], We shall, indeed, take him to [a fate] of affliction.”(92:5-10)

Spending nurtures Wisdom (Hikmah)

The third benefit of spending is that it is like food and water for all the other religious obligations and creeds. It helps, on the one hand, all those righteous deeds which are yet feeble and have shallow roots in our soul and, on the other hand, it strengthens all beliefs which have not yet gained sound basis in our heart.

This stability and depth of all virtues and beliefs in a person is exactly what the Quran describes as Hikmah (wisdom). From certain indications of the Quran we may construe that the key to this wisdom is indeed spending in the way of Allah. At one place, the Quran delineates the benefits of spending in the following words:

“Satan threatens you with poverty and bids you to conduct unseemly. Allah promises you His forgiveness and bounties, and Allah cares for all and He knows all things. He grants wisdom to whom He pleases and he to whom wisdom is granted receives indeed a benefit overflowing.”(2:268-9)

Only that spending brings this benefit to the spender which has been carried out in order to please Allah alone and to reinforce what is yet feeble in heart. Therefore, the parable described just before the above quoted verses begins as:

“And the likeness of those who spend their substance seeking to please Allah and to strengthen their souls.”(2:265)

The part ‘to strengthen their souls’ implies that they spend in the way of Allah contrary to the ill wishes of their heart so that they can overcome all the impediments, which stand in their way to being a Godly person. The reward that God promises them in return is that He will of surety bless them with His bounties and bestow upon them the treasure of priceless wisdom.

Increase in Wealth

The fourth benefit of spending in the way of Allah  is that it augments the wealth of the spender. The Quran says:

“The parable of those who spend their substance in the way of Allah is that of a grain of corn: It grows seven ears and each ear has a hundred grains. Allah gives manifold increase to whom He pleases and Allah cares for all and He knows all things.”(2:261)

The Quran sheds light upon this fact in the following words as well:

“Allah blights usury and augments what is spent in His way.”(2:276)

This spending no doubt will bear fruit in the Hereafter but in this very world the person who spends in God’s way enjoys a fabulous increase, for the needy people who are helped pray for their benefactor. And, as these people are pitiful, they much deserve that their prayers be granted by the Merciful Master. From some Ahadith, we find that even the Angels of God pray for such a person:

“The Prophet said: ‘Every day two angels come down from Heaven and one of them says: ‘O Allah! Compensate every person who spends in Your cause’, and the other [angel] says: ‘O Allah! Destroy every miser’.”(Bukharī: No. 1374)

It is, however, to be noted here that this ‘increase’ in no way means that the spender would find his safe overflowing with wealth or that his bank balance would increase or that the value of his property would augment overnight. Rather, it implies that the optimal benefit one can attain from the use of wealth is afforded to the person who spends in Allah’s way. The benefit his wealth brings to mankind, others’ wealth cannot undertake to fetch; the contribution his wealth helps make to the welfare of the society, others’ wealth fails to make; how he succeeds to please the Lord, others remain unsuccessful; the profound respect and love he earns in others’ hearts, others obnoxiously obsessed with piling up their riches cannot even visualize and, above all else, peace of mind, the spiritual elevation and satisfaction that he drives from this spending are in fact blessings which have eluded many grand emperors of this world.

Source: Message of Islam – Amin Ahsan Islahi

Continue reading

Church in Society ( 2017-Oct )

Background

Again, this is an area, I will rather not go.

Yet, it is one that stirs our conscience and thoughts.

And, that is reason enough to see what people are saying and why they are saying it.

Predication

Introduction

We all have our own bias and depositions.

And, it is best to lay them bare ahead of time.

Most of my comments will be based on what I have heard from others prior to anything that I will cover in this post.

It is often useful to have some foundational predisposition as that lessens the opportunity to be swayed within each decision point.

Even better when commentators are not even speaking specifically on the new material.

Earlier Words

  1. Damon Thompson
    • Sometimes God places something in our heart, but unfortunately so much  of what has gone out in the Prophetic World was not undergirded in scripture
    • And, so I, Damon Thompson, need the foundation of Scripture
  2. Neil Ellis
    • This is a Church of matured faith
    • You have been preaching, but you were fearful of how the preaching will be accepted
    • Sometimes the Devil magnifies things and makes them appear more than they really are
    • Sometimes as a pastor what makes us press even though there is “Hell on the Outside” is that we are satisfied that we have the confidence of the people inside
    • Can the Lord trust you, and can the Bishop/Leadership depend on you?
    • Free your Spirit, but challenge your people
    • A faith that has not been tested, is a faith that can not be trusted
  3. Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
    • Sotomayor was asked to explain her remarks from a 2001 speech in which she said she agreed that “there is no objective stance but only a series of perspectives — no neutrality, no escape from choice in judging.”  She told the committee that, in every case, the two opposing parties view the facts from vastly different perspectives. “You can’t just throw up your hands and say I’m not going to rule,” she said. There is a choice in judging, which means “you have to rule.”

Videos

Here are some of the videos that I will later comment on.

  1. Paula White
    • Trump’s spiritual adviser: More devout than you…
      Donald Trump’s spiritual adviser, televangelist Paula White, spoke to CNN’s Erin Burnett in August about the Republican presidential nominee’s faith and the phone call that kicked off their friendship.
      Channel :- CNN
      Published On :- 2016-Oct-20th
      Link
    • Inauguration
      • Meet The Woman Who Many Call President Elect Donald Trump’s Spiritual Adviser | NBC Nightly News
        Critics have slammed her as a charlatan, but in a rare interview with NBC’s Anne Thompson, Paula White defends her message and gives insight into the president-elect’s beliefs.
        Channel :- NBC News
        Published On :- 2017-Jan-19th
        Link
    • Jim Baker
      • Two Corinthians’ Gaffe Was ‘A Setup
        • RWW News: Paula White Says That Trump’s ‘Two Corinthians’ Gaffe Was ‘A Setup’
          Published On :- 2017-August-23th
          Link
      • Opposition to God
        • RWW News: Paula White Says Opposition To President Trump Is Opposition To God
          Published On :- 2017-August-21st
          Link
  2. Pastor Jamal Bryant
    • Pastor Jamal Bryant – The problem with Paula White…
      Published On :- 2017-August-25th
      Link
  3. Roland Martin
    • Roland Martin To Paula White: Be A Prophetic Voice And Don’t Just Be A Profitable Voice
      Roland Martin rips Pastor Paula White for her partisan comments about Donald Trump: Be a prophetic voice and don’t just be a profitable voice.
      Published On :- 2017-August-23th
      Link

 

Leadership

Seated Under

Those in leadership do not always get to take a day off.

Not only does what they think matter, but also how they got there.

I have grown from listening in person or via youtube to the people listed above.

And, that makes me forever grateful.

Influencing Capital

The further we grow, the more influencing capital we personally have and have access to.

After long and hard battles our role will be examined; especially if our role is seen to have moved the needle towards an unexpected end.

Unfortunately it is not just our choice that is examined, but the totality of our live.

Circumference of Relationships

Relationships often covers so much space.

And, some of those spaces overlap and are not necessarily disjointed.

And, so even within a body, for instance Faith community, uniformity does not necessarily translate to conformity.

People sometimes reach different conclusions and they should be free to do so.

This is more so where there are personal relationships with those that are being discussed.

 

In Essentials Unity, In Nonessentials Liberty, In All Things Charity

Link
Philip Schaff, the distinguished nineteenth-century church historian, calls the saying in our title “the watchword of Christian peacemakers” (History of the Christian Church, vol. 7, p. 650). Often attributed to great theologians such as Augustine, it comes from an otherwise undistinguished German Lutheran theologian of the early seventeenth century, Rupertus Meldenius. The phrase occurs in a tract on Christian unity written (circa 1627) during the Thirty Years War (1618–1648), a bloody time in European history in which religious tensions played a significant role.

 

Sola Scriptura

  1. Laws of Social Responsibility
    If ever you take your neighbor’s cloak in pledge, you shall return it to him before the sun goes down, for that is his only covering, and it is his cloak for his body; in what else shall he sleep? And if he cries to me, I will hear, for I am compassionate.
    You shall not curse God, nor curse a ruler of your people. ( Exodus 22:27-28 )
  2. Paul Before the Sanhedrin
    • But those standing nearby said, “How dare you insult the high priest of God!”
      “Brothers, Paul replied, “I was not aware that he was the high priest, for it is written: ‘Do not speak evil about the ruler of your people.’”
      ( Acts 23:4-5 )
  3. David, Saul, Jonathan, & Mephibosheth
    • And Mephibosheth the son of Saul came down to meet the king. He had neither taken care of his feet nor trimmed his beard nor washed his clothes, from the day the king departed until the day he came back in safety. ( 2nd Samuel 19:24 )
    • He answered, “My lord, O king, my servant deceived me, for your servant said to him, ‘I will saddle a donkey for myself, that I may ride on it and go with the king.’ For your servant is lame. ( 2nd Samuel 19:26 )
    • He has slandered your servant to my lord the king. But my lord the king is like the angel of God; do therefore what seems good to you. ( 2nd Samuel 19:27 )
    • For all my father’s house were but men doomed to death before my lord the king, but you set your servant among those who eat at your table. What further right have I, then, to cry to the king?” ( 2nd Samuel 19:28 )
    • And the king said to him, “Why speak any more of your affairs? I have decided: you and Ziba shall divide the land.” ( 2nd Samuel 19:29 )
    • Mephibosheth said to the king, “Let him even take it all, since my lord the king has come safely to his own house.” ( 2nd Samuel 19:30 )

Summary

In summary I find myself always returning to a couple of words :-

  1. Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad
    • Allah’s hand of protection is with the maintenance of unity, you should beware of division.
    • The one isolated from the group is a prey to Satan, just as the one isolated from the flock is a prey to the wolves
    • You can not base a spiritual life on suspiciousness, cursing and allocating blame.
  2. Abraham Lincoln
    • I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day.”

Closing

Love never fails … for we know in part and we prophesy in part.