Thursday, February 28, 2008

Because They Hate by Brigitte Gabriel

I've almost come to believe that any book on the threat of Islam is a must read. This one is no different.  The most poignant point Gabriel makes seems to be a common one among this genera.  It is that one need not wonder if the author is telling the truth, or has an agenda. No, the authors I've read are not simply asking us to listen to the them, they are asking us to listen to the  Muslims pouring out of their hate filled Friday morning pep-rallies, yelling Death to America.

Miss Gabriel is not only informative but she also draws you into the drama of a young life lived through a small nation's transition from peace to civil war. The first half reads much like an auto-biography in which she chronicles her life in a small-town in Lebanon. Lebanon's Civil war placed her in a bomb shelter from age 10 to 17. She later found work at a news agency in Israel, where she met her American husband and moved to the U.S.

I would recommend this book to the person not possessing the gumption to sit and read a 200 or so page documentary on the threats posed by militant Islam. Gabriel puts forth a human element in the Middle Eastern conflict as she describes daily life in a war torn country from a child's perspective. She, and her family, are touched in every way by war.  All receive injuries, she looses her first love to a bomb blast, sniper bullets are a daily reality, and they learn to survive, even though it meant eating weeds just outside of their shelter.

Perhaps the most enlightening aspect of the story is the contrast of cultures Gabriel is able to present. For although she was raised as a Christian, she was still raised in an Arab culture which meant that she was raised to hate Jews. But when her mother was seriously injured by shrapnel she found herself in an Israeli hospital where she received her first taste of Israeli life and compassion. Much of the remainder of her story is intertwined with comparisons of Arab and Western cultures. It is this comparison with an inside perspective that gives this book its biggest punch.

Also visit Mrs. Gabriel's activist organization American Congress for Truth (ACT).

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Giving part II

Tigers got my back, one of my all time favorite blogs, just did an article on giving. I was going to leave a comment but decided to write a post. So I named it "Giving part II".

Since the beginning of "The Church", it seems that it has been misunderstood. There was a time when this bothered me dearly, but as I walk, struggle, climb, claw, and sometimes stroll along this path called life, things become more and more clear. Well of course the Church is misunderstood.

I think key to Jon's post on giving is his heart. Strange enough, three people could give the same amount, make the same sacrifice to do so, and have three different motivations. One could give for the purpose of receiving some blessing from God; another to assuage some personal guilt; while yet another could give out of a simple willingness to be obedient.

So who is the focus of the first person that gave?... or the second? I would say it is the giver himself. Ultimately it is not giving at all put a purchase, or an investment if you will. There's no obedience; just a plan or strategy. But Jon spoke of giving and expecting nothing in return. How can a man buy his salvation from a Holy and Just God anyway? No, he gave out of obedience, and that obedience not to a slave driver, or bully, but rather to an also Merciful and Holy God.

To a world who's God is money, this makes no sense. It begs the question: "what's in it for me?". While the Robert Tiltans of the world live large preying on this idolatry, others hold the "Gospel for Prophets" up as a hollow and shallow excuse to comfort themselves in their own rejection of God, and his son Jesus who is their only hope.

Man looks on the outside, but God looks at the heart, so ultimately the heart and its motivations is key to everything the believer does; a fact that has and always will cause the world to misunderstand His Body.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

What to Say When, You Don't Have Nothing to Say

Well i'ts like... I don't know man. You know? It's kinda like, you know man? Like, I don't know: like this is freaking me out man; like, you know man? Hey, like dude..., like see what I'm sayin? Like man you know what i'm tryin to say man, like I don't know man; you know? Hey, like you know man, like what I'm tryin to say man, like... like... like... whatever man, that's all I'm tryin to say man; it's like what-ever dude.