Nabeel Qureshi – These things remain – “Faith, Hope, & Love”

Background

It has been a tough couple of days for me.
On Tuesday I realized the parting of Brother Nabeel Qureshi and I have been down ever since.
Took a mental, psychological Day Off from work yesterday.
Was able to ride the Coastline and I am just so thankful.

Comforting Words

As Ravi Zacharias said on one of his lectures, irrespective of the gifts and words of an Apologist what often wins out is Love.

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.
Link

 

Hear, O Israel : the Lord, our God is one Lord

Reunite me with my children and my family once again
For a guy in a strange place ( earth ) tends to get lonely
And, I have a lot of distress and anxiety over my little children
It feels almost like when I remember them, I melt and dissolve away
However, I have thrown away the reins and leashes controlling my affair
To the One who handle the affairs of our lives in strange and mysterious ways
He is one Compassionately forgiven, Always around me, and my source of Shelter and Refuge
With his will and support, to Him do I humbly supplicate, bessege, and turn in repentance
My God, you know how my situation is
So my master, is there relieve Close By
Oh Rewarder of the Day of Judgement, Relieve!
( Relieve)  My Concerns that keep creeping into my heart.
And, tie my rope to the rope of your pleasure, and look to me, and turn to me, so that I can turn back to you

And, overlook ( shepard) my protection take control of my support
And, strengthen my vulnerabilities when I am exposed to problems
And, inspire me to praise you throughout my life

For indeed, with your remembrance, this worldly life becomes pleasant
And, say to the servant of the most merciful and whoever comes after him
For them, is a share from the valleys of our kindness

Therefore my thoughts regarding you are beautiful
My support and lifeline ( God )

And, the pastures of my sweet tasting hopes and wishes are fertile
And, send blessings upon the prophet and his people for as love as the Nightingale sings on the Arak Tree

 

Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad

Mortal Choice

Link

Basis for True Spirituality

  1. Natural Balava
    • In regards to me two groups of people should be destroyed.  He who loves me too much that love takes him from what is correct; and he who hates me too much that hate takes him from what is correct.
    • In regards to me, it is he who follows the middle course.
      And, so be with him, and be with the great majority of muslims, because 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
  2. Mercy
    • When they found Allah they found him to of great mercy
  3. Benevolence
    • Allah is forgiven. All of them were following a “nair?” which we suppose to be good.
      You can not base a spiritual life on suspiciousness, cursing and allocating blame.
    • If you want uprightness in the world, make sure you do it in yourself.
  4. Community
    • You can not go your own
    • Benefit Inclusiveness

Scriptures

  1. Holy, yet Merciful
    • The LORD said to Moses: “Tell your brother Aaron that he shall not enter at any time into the holy place inside the veil, before the mercy seat which is on the ark, or he will die; for I will appear in the cloud over the mercy seat. ( Leviticus 16:2 )
  2. God Entreaty
    • Then Satan stood up against Israel and moved David to number Israel.
      The LORD spoke to Gad, David’s seer…
      Now, therefore, consider what answer I shall return to Him who sent me.”
      David said to Gad, “I am in great distress; please let me fall into the hand of the LORD ( 1st Chronicles 21 )
  3. God Knows
    • But God’s truth stands firm like a foundation stone with this inscription: “The LORD knows those who are his” ( 2nd Timothy 2:19 )
  4. Motives
    • but the Lord weighs the spirit  ( Proverbs 16:2 )
    • For the word of God is living and active … and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. ( Hebrews 4:12 )
  5. Moderation
    • He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city. ( Proverbs 16:32 )
  6.  Mourning
    • David Mourns for Abner
      …So all the people and all Israel understood that day that it had not been the will of the king to put Abner the son of Ner to death.
      Then the king said to his servants, “Do you not know that a prince and a great man has fallen this day in Israel? I am weak today, though anointed king; and these men the sons of Zeruiah are too difficult for me. May the LORD repay the evildoer according to his evil.”… ( 2nd Samuel 3:37-38 )
  7. Cursing
    • Curse not the king, no not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter. ( Ecclesiastes 10:10 )
  8. Laying Down Our Departed
    • The Death and Burial of Sarah
      …And Abraham bowed before the people of the land.
      He spoke to Ephron in the hearing of the people of the land, saying, “If you will only please listen to me; I will give the price of the field, accept it from me that I may bury my dead there. ( Genesis 23:13 )
  9.  Offering
    • Cost Nothing
      David Builds an Altar
      …”Everything, O king, Araunah gives to the king.” And Araunah said to the king, “May the LORD your God accept you.”
      However, the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price, for I will not offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God which cost me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver.
      David built there an altar to the LORD and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. Thus the LORD was moved by prayer for the land, and the plague was held back from Israel.
      ( 2 Samuel 24:23-25 )
    • “But cursed be the swindler who has a male in his flock and vows it, but sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord, for I am a great King,” says the LORD of hosts ( Malachi 1:14 )

In personal expressions

Brother Nabeel, you encouraged and emboldened so many.

Great Lord of Hosts, you have given us and always give us your best.  Ever so often  you do ask for our best, as a qualifier of a great pledge on your part.

Though young, yet weaned, as Hannah did centuries before “we turn Nabeel over to you Lord”.

We are accepting that “No one knows the things of God, except God’s Spirit.” 

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

Michael Ramsden – 2017

 

Videos

  1. MICHAEL RAMSDEN – Apologetics and Discipleship
    • MICHAEL RAMSDEN – Apologetics and Discipleship
      Filmed on 2 March 2017, at the open church leaders’ meeting at Nations Church, Dunedin during the Ravi Zacharias Dunedin Visit in 2017
      Published on :- 2017-May-14th

      Link
  2. The Peace Process
    • The Peace Process – Michael Ramsden
      We often lose our internal sense of peace not necessary because of things people have done against us but because of the things we have done to our selves
      Published on :- 2017-Jan-29th
      Link
  3.  Jonah
    • Michael Ramsden on Jonah 1: 1-16, “God speaks”
      “Do you really want to hear the word of the Lord? What if the word of the Lord tells you what you do not want to hear?” Hear Michael Ramsden’s Bible exposition on the first chapter of Jonah, given on day 1 of Presence 17, the IFES European Student Evangelism Conference.
      Published on :- 2017-May-25th
      Link
    • Michael Ramsden on Jonah 2: 1-11, “God does not give up”
      “God can turn around any situation.” Hear Michael Ramsden’s Bible exposition on the second chapter of Jonah, given on day 2 of Presence 17, the IFES European Student Evangelism Conference.
      Published on :- 2017-May-2nd
      Link
    • Michael Ramsden on Jonah 3:1-10 “A merciful God”
      “When we place the little we have into the hands of God; he can change the world.” Hear Michael Ramsden’s Bible exposition on the third chapter of Jonah, given on day 3 of Presence 17, the IFES European Student Evangelism Conference.
      Published on :- 2017-May-2nd
      Link
    • Michael Ramsden on Jonah 3:1-10 “A merciful God”
      “When we place the little we have into the hands of God; he can change the world.” Hear Michael Ramsden’s Bible exposition on the third chapter of Jonah, given on day 3 of Presence 17, the IFES European Student Evangelism Conference.
      Published on :- 2017-May-2nd
      Link

 

Indepth

MICHAEL RAMSDEN – Apologetics and Discipleship

  1. We can not serve two masters
    • If you try to have it both ways, you will find you have too much of God to enjoy the pleasures of the world. And, too much of the pleasures of the world in you to enjoy the pleasures of God
    • You gonna lose in both spectrums
  2. Apologetics
    • Appears 26 times in the scripture
    • Paul’s calling is to give a defense of the scripture
    • Philosophical arms of Theology, or the theology arm of philosophy
      • Neither can be scripturally sustained
  3. Festus Interrupts Paul’s Defense
    …King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know you do.”
    Then Agrippa said to Paul, “Can you persuade me in such a short time to become a Christian?”
    Short time or long,” Paul replied, “I wish to God that not only you but all who hear me this day may become what I am, except for these chains.”… ( Acts 26:28 )

    • Long discussion and what is the aim?
      • Agrippa
        • You want me to become a Christian
        • Do you really think you can convince me that quick?
      • Michael Ramsden
        • I do not want to get involved in that textual debate
  4. We need Christians in all the fields
    • Archaeology
  5. Difficult Questions
    • And, here are some of them
      • God allow suffering
      • Loving God Judge people
      • Why is he not more obvious
      • Wars and genocide in the Old Testament
      • Why are so many Christians Hypocrites
    • What joins all these questions together
      • They are all moral complaints against God’s character
  6. If those moral questions persists, it is difficult to give oneself over to a God whom we hold moral complaints
  7. To believe in Christ, you have to place your faith in him, but if you have doubt inclusive…
    • He is morally wrong
    • Fundamentally unjust
    • God has an inner conflict within himself
  8. Moral complaints about the Church
    • Hate people
    • Judge people
  9. Technical and Scientifical Complaints
    • Even those who hold technical complaints about God, dovetail into moral complaints
      • God is
        • A tyrant
        • Scientific critique

Biblical Hermeneutics – Does the idea of being “born again” have a root earlier than John/Peter (or Jesus)?

Question

In Stack Exchange – Biblical Hermeneutics, Soldarnal asked whether the idea of being “Born Again” has roots earlier than John 3:3, Jesus conversation with Nicodemus.

Link

 

Comment-er

ScottS, who has an “M.A. in Bible Exposition, Master of Divinity, and Ph.D. in Biblical Studies with a concentration in Systematic Theology” took a good swing at it and traced it back to Job.

Answer

Here is his proposed answer.

Nicodemus Should Have Known from the Old Testament

That the Old Testament is the source of the doctrine is confirmed by Christ Himself, for Nicodemus was supposed to have known these things. A slightly larger context helps see this:

Jn 3:3-10 (NKJV)

3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again [or “born from above,” see below], he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh [i.e. of woman], and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit [i.e. of God]. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” 9 Nicodemus answered and said to Him, “How can these things be?” 10 Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things?

Verse 10 clearly indicates that Christ expected that Nicodemus should be following Christ’s previous statements because he was one of those that taught Israel the scriptures. So the concept certainly is not “new” with Jesus, but rather one contained in Israel’s teachings. However, that does not mean it is found as directly stated in the OT as what Christ is stating here.

Clarifying Christ’s Meaning

So Christ introduces the “born again” concept to the discussion and links it to the Jewish expectation of the kingdom of God (v.3). The phrase “born again” in the Greek is two words.

The first word is that typically used for one’s birth, an aorist passive form of the verb γεννάω (gennáō), to “be born” (BDAG).

The second word is ἄνωθεν (ánōthen), translated in the NT only in John 3:3 and 3:7 as “again.” In most uses of the NT, it means “from above” (including Jn 3:31; also Jn 19:11; Jam 1:17, 3:15, 3:17) or “from the top” (Mt 27:51; Mk 15:38; Jn 19:23). Occasionally it is a time reference (in context), and so “from the first” or “from the beginning” (Act 26:5). The Luke 1:3 usage is debated whether it should be a time reference or a source from above reference. Gal 4:9 it is usually untranslated, considered to be intensifying the typical word for “again” in that passage, πάλιν (pálin).

It is (1) the fact that Christ does not use the common word for “again,” πάλιν, in John 3, and (2) his paralleling of flesh/Spirit as sources of the two births that leads me to believe the better translation in all of John 3 is that used in v.31, “from above.” The idea of “again” was probably favored because of Nicodemus’ reply in v.4, where a repetition of a natural birth is inquired about (but even so, such is to him obviously an incredulous idea.

So the “born from above” Christ is referring to is a Spiritual birth, as he clarified in vv.5-8.

Therefore, to look for what Christ was referring to in the OT, we need to find references that (1) refer to the insufficiency of the fleshly birth, and (2) the necessity of the spiritual birth, especially as relates to the kingdom of God.

The Need and Remedy are both Understood in Job

The idea that the first, natural birth from a woman is insufficient is expressed in the book of Job.

Job 15:14—“What is man, that he could be pure? And he who is born of a woman, that he could be righteous? (cf. Job 4:17)

Job 25:4—How then can man be righteous before God? Or how can he be pure who is born of a woman?

Through these rhetorical questions, both righteousness and purity are understood to be impossible for one merely “born of a woman.”

But Elihu gives the answer to these questions in his statement to Job:

Job 33:23-30

23 “If there is a messenger for him, A mediator, one among a thousand, To show man His uprightness, 24 Then He is gracious to him, and says, ‘Deliver him from going down to the Pit; I have found a ransom’; 25 His flesh shall be young like a child’s, He shall return to the days of his youth26 He shall pray to God, and He will delight in him, He shall see His face with joy, For He restores to man His righteousness27 Then he looks at men and says, ‘I have sinned, and perverted what was right, And it did not profit me.’ 28 He will redeem his soul from going down to the Pit, And his life shall see the light29 Behold, God works all these things, twice, in fact, three times with a man, 30 To bring back his soul from the Pit, That he may be enlightened with the light of life.

Notice how the theme in this passage also parallels Christ’s later statement in John 3 about his death. He is the “mediator” to “show man His uprightness” of Job 33:23. He is the “ransom” found (v.24). Through this mediator, one is made new from above, both physically (flesh, v.25) and spiritually (righteousness, v.26), which newness comes by a person’s repentance (v.27) and is a redeeming from the spirit going down into the pit (i.e. grave, v.28), and a bringing of the flesh “back” from the grave (v.30).

Note the similar themes between Job 33 and John 3 (some of these connections are more direct, some more conceptual… I leave it for each one reading to decide how well matched conceptually the parallels I show are):

 

Job 33:23-30 John 3
A messenger v.23 Christ’s witness v.11, v.32-34
A mediator v.23 The Son from heaven as mediator v.13-16
Show uprightness v.23 Christ recognized as godly v.2, above all v.31
Deliverance from pit v.24 No perishing v.15, salvation v.17
Ransom v.24 Son is given v.16
Flesh like a child’s v.25 Born again v.3-8
Return to youth v.25 Born again v.3-8
Redeemer prays to God v.26 [no parallel found]
God delights in Redeemer v.26 God with Christ v.2, loves Son v.35
Restores righteousness v.26 Believer not condemned v.18
Admission of unrighteousness v.27 Belief is key v.15-16, 18, 33
Redemption from going into Pit v.28 Believers not perish, have eternal life v.15, 36
Redeemed one’s life sees light v.28 Doers of truth go to light v.21
Three works of God for man v.29 [no parallel found]*
Redemption back from the Pit v.30 [no parallel found]**
Enlightenment by life v.30 Doers of truth deeds enlightened v.21

 

 

  1. * Unless the three works are as messenger, mediator, and judge, all ideas seen in both Job and John
  2. **Resurrection is not forefront in John 3, but both the concept of eternal life (v.15-16, 36) and experiencing the kingdom (v.3, 5) have that as a background necessity.While exploring potential parallels between Job 33 and John 3 is intriguing, for the question here, the passage in Job (especially v.25) is speaking of a change like a new birth, and it ties to the resurrection from the grave (v.30). These ideas are tied more directly to the Spirit and kingdom in later revelation…

 

Sourced

Sourced to ScottS as posted in Stack Exchange / Biblical Hermeneutics.

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

Sermons & Discussions – 2017-February

 

Sermons

  1. Damon Thompson
    • Damon Thompson–Superbowl Sunday, 2014
      Published on :- 2017-Feb-2nd
      Added On: 2017-Feb-06
      Link
  2. Chuck Missler
    • Q&A April 29th Kim Clement Interview
      Chuck Missler and Ron Matsen take a moment to host a guest, who has been the centre of much conflict here on the internet. Chuck and Ron invited Kim Clement on to their weekly QA show, and the answers Kim gives may surprise a lot of you. This was broadcast on the 29nd of April 2015.
      Published On:- 2015-Apr-30
      Added On: 2017-Feb-06
      Link
    • Chuck Missler Revelation Session 16 Ch-10 11 The Two Witnesses
      Published on :- 2013-Sept-4th
      This is session 16 out of 24 sessions.
      I have all 24 sessions of this very interesting bible study of Revelation.
      Link
    • The Woman and the Man Child
      Link

 

Indepth

Damon Thompson

Damon Thompson–Superbowl Sunday, 2014

  1. Opening Prayer
    • As the eye of almighty Yahweh roams the earth, I believe Tenessee
    • Whatever you want to do there is a Yes in us
    • Rock us in our comfort
    • Wherever you are
  2. Verse
    • Acts 12:1
      • About that time Herod the king laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church.
        He killed James the brother of John with the sword,
        and when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. This was during the days of Unleavened Bread.
        And when he had seized him, he put him in prison, delivering him over to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out to the people.
        So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church.
        Now when Herod was about to bring him out, on that very night, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood next to him, and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, “Get up quickly.” And the chains fell off his hands. And the angel said to him, “Dress yourself and put on your sandals.” And he did so. And he said to him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.”
        And he went out and followed him. He did not know that what was being done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision.
        When they had passed the first and the second guard, they came to the iron gate leading into the city. It opened for them of its own accord, and they went out and went along one street, and immediately the angel left him. When Peter came to himself, he said, “Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.
  3. Where we are
    • Killing apostolic expression of Church
    • No teaching of tithing as we would rather be  liked, then  for the congregants to be blessed
    • No teaching about Spiritual Authority
  4. Sleeping
    • It was not an idle threat had they already killed James
    • But, Peter knew the intercession of the Church was destined to change the Apostolic expression of the Kingdom
    • We have killed the Apostolic expression of the faith, as it will sometimes keep you in Church till 2 O’Clock

 

Chuck Missler

Chuck Missler Revelation Session 16 Ch-10 11 The Two Witnesses

Mysteries of God

Mysteries of God – Part 1

mysteries-part1

Mysteries of God – Part 2

mysteries-part2

Mysteries of God – Part 2 – Mystery of Godliness – 1st Timothy 3:16

mysteries-part2-mysteryofgodliness-timothy3-16

Nabeel Qureshi

Background

Here is one area that I was first acquainted with late last year.  And, that is Nabeel Qureshi’s fight with Stomach Cancer.

I did not really want to touch it, until he himself is more open and forthcoming about it in the Public Space.

Please join me in praying and seeking God’s complete healing on him, his family, and the ministry, RZIM – Ravi Zacharias International Ministry, that he is part of.

 

Moving from Carefully to Clearly…

nabeelqureshi-carefulandclearly

 

Sermon

  1. Nabeel Qureshi: Fulfill Your Ministry – Biola University Fall 2016 Commencement Address
    Published On:- 2016-Dec-20th
    Added On: 2017-Jan-06th
    Link
  2. Nabeel’s Vlog 008 – Partial Healing
    Nabeel Qureshi vlog blog video cancer update
    Published on : 2016-Nov-17th
    Link
  3. Nabeel Qureshi on Islam & Cancer
    Published On :- 2016-Sep-19
    Added On :- 2017-Jan-06th
    Link
  4. Nabeel’s Vlog 012 – My Visit to Bethel Church
    Published On :- 2016-Dec-22
    Added On:- 2017-Jan-04
    Link
  5. Nabeel Qureshi – Reading the Scripture and Helping Others
    From the YouTube video – “Does Unscripted Oral Proclamation Account for the Short Ending of Mark’s Gospel
    Published On :- 2017-Jan-05
    Added On:- 2017-Jan-06
    Link
    The full video is available here
  6. Uppsala University Open Forum with Ravi Zacharias
  7. Nabeel Qureshi Reports Something ‘Remarkable’ in His Fight Against Cancer
    Christian apologist Nabeel Qureshi, who has been battling advanced stomach cancer, reported last week that his tumor is completely gone.
    “What has happened is remarkable,” he said in a Facebook vlog Friday. “The primary mass of the tumor, what was in my stomach, is now gone”
    Published On :- 2016-Nov-22
    Added On:- 2017-Jan-4th
    Link
  8. Engaging Islam: The Gospel & Nabeel’s Testimony
    Published On :- 2012-July-24
    Added On:- 2012-Dec-23rd
    Link