34 thoughts on “Rants! and Raves! 10-21-17

  1. πŸ™‚ I got up this morning and “Mrs. Oswald Chambers” showed up on my Kindle.
    Actually it was late last night. I am presently reading “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus” The story of a convert from Islam. Interesting read.

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  2. I have no explanation for the weirdness of Amazon and the scarcity of books. Baker couldn’t explain it either and suggested I send folks elsewhere looking for the book. Hopefully those of you who wanted her have got her now. If not, send me an email.

    πŸ™‚ We get to go home. We left SFO evacuees and landed at O’Hare as homeowners on Wednesday. That was a relief.

    😦 Our community is broken in so many ways. We’ll have plenty of opportunity to listen, weep and grieve–for a long time to come.

    πŸ™‚ Lovely days at Wheaton. Met many splendid people–some of whom I had corresponded with.

    πŸ™‚ Everyone seemed to like my book, which is nice, but so very odd people have actually read it now. LOL The curious life of a writer.

    πŸ™‚ You’ve all been so supportive, accept some of those accolades for yourself. It takes a website to raise a writer . . . LOL

    😦 Kitten has spent two of the five weeks we’ve had her living in five different spots with a changing variety of people, cats and the dog. Not sure what she’ll think upon returning to her rightful home today. My daughter-in-law thinks she’ll be relieved to have plenty of space to run around and no more little hands reaching for her!

    πŸ™‚ Probably made some new friends; heard a powerful talk about Oswald Chambers, Race and Grace yesterday which left us with much to think about.

    πŸ™‚ Some days my life seems so ridiculous . . . but, always, God is good!

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  3. Chas, I read that “Seeking Allah” book a few years ago, and if I recall correctly I was quite disappointed–I wasn’t convinced he actually understood Christianity and actually fully turned away from Allah. I may be thinking of a different book, but I think it was that one.

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  4. I liked both those books, Chas. πŸ™‚

    I think you must be thinking of another book, Cheryl.

    😦 Loved ones who don’t know the Lord.

    πŸ™‚ Our incredible weather. We enjoyed temperatures in the seventies yesterday. They were not a record, but are twenty degrees above normal. What a respite from the cold we know is coming. OTOH, I am looking forward to some cozy winter days to do some things that are perfect for those kind of days.

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  5. Kathaleena, I definitely had at least some sense of that in that book, but I think it may have been another one that really saddened me, left me thinking the author (or the one being profiled, I don’t remember if it was biography or autobiography) hadn’t really met Christ or it wasn’t expressed well if he had. But I do know that book, too, was some disappointment to me.

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  6. πŸ™‚ The foundation work on my house has finally begun — 6 months after when I’d hoped it would, but it’s getting done; so far no unexpected complications (other than it may have messed up the electrical in my bedroom directly above the demolition area); and one piece of good news — not all of the nearly 100-year-old foundation was broken and crumbling and had to be removed, the lower part of it was still solid. The (unknown to me) bathroom leak (that required the new bathroom last year) was likely the culprit over the years. If that hadn’t been going on … Oh well, spilled milk, water under the bridge/house now I suppose.

    😦 It’s all wearing me down after a year and a half. Good to get all of it done, but … What an ordeal that’s taken so much longer, cost so much more money (even trying to go ‘cheap’ sans fancy contractor) and resulted in so much indoor and outdoor chaos that still isn’t put back together. It often feels like it’ll never end. I’m tired.

    πŸ™‚ 😦 Trying adjust to the new reality at work — heavier, more hectic workloads, fewer people, more stress, crankier (than normal) editor. But this week was better than the one before. Maybe we’re adjusting to the new normal. 😦 What else can we do?

    πŸ™‚ Seeing the happy ending (for now, maybe just a rest stop to change cars?) of what’s been Ms. Michelle’s wild ride. Wheee. Did I ever tell you all how much I hate roller coasters? And breathing all that heavy smoke at the bottom of those stomach-dropping dips … cough/cough. Gratifying, though, that this last stretch has been so celebratory with the new book release and all the fun that’s gone with that.

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  7. πŸ™‚ Ah, the Dodgers. After nearly 30 years, in the World Series again. I was young when that happened last. πŸ™‚

    😦 Yes, the state of our particular nation on this earth. Hard to know what to make of it all anymore, so I’ve quit trying to figure it out. Reminding myself to trust only in Him, that all things are ordained and are as He intends for His good purpose; the good, the ‘bad’ and the in-between.

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  8. Donna, I think two things happened
    The depression came in 1929. It wasn’t the first one in our history. But FDR was elected.
    FDR was the worst thing to happen to America because he was political savvy and convinced people that the government could solve their problems.
    Then the fifties came. We then had a generation of young people who didn’t have to worry about the future. It was going to be handed to them like everything else was.
    Combined with the Vietnam war, it divided the country into two camps that exist today.
    I’ve said this before:
    I supported the war at first. However, at the Naval War college I asked some officers, “How do you know when you’ve won?” We were trying to keep the world “Free” from communism.
    But you can’t make people free. Only people can make themselves free if given a chance.
    But I believe history, when this generation is past, will determine the Obama was our worst president of all-time.

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  9. Cheryl, Nabeel Qureshi, the protΓ©gΓ© of Ravi Zacharias, was the man who wrote Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus. Nabeel died earlier this year at age 34 from stomach cancer. There does not seem to be any doubt in the mind of those who knew him that he knew Christ. You must be thinking of another book.

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  10. 😊 We took a lovely drive south through Florence CO yesterday…70 degree weather with gold, red, orange, yellow leaves blowing in the wind. Haunted a few antique shoppes and did not purchase one item! A beautiful day indeed
    😊 Daughter in the midst of mid-terms…downright giddy she is seeing the light at the end of the tunne…graduation Dec 15…what she does with that English degree is anyone’s guess 😜
    😊 Biddy
    ❀️ πŸ™πŸ»Holding Kizzie close

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  11. Roscuro, I remember who he was (and his death); but I expected the book to be a good book on the stark difference between Islam and Christianity from someone who had seen both, and didn’t end up finding it a book I’d recommend or reread. The exact details elude me, but the sense of disappointment doesn’t, nor the sense that it wasn’t clear enough that he had “found” Jesus and lost Allah–whether he didn’t explain the gospel well, didn’t distance himself from Islam well, or what, I don’t precisely remember. I love Ravi and expected to really love this book, but didn’t.

    But it’s a very, very difficult subject on which to write, and I did see a clear testimony when I read about his death when he died.

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  12. Cheryl, the name of Allah is simply the Arabic name for God. It is an undeniable fact that Arabic speaking Christians use Allah for the name of God, just as they use the same name for Jesus, Isa, in Arabic as the Muslims do [In my studies on Middle Eastern History, one of the Palestinian Christians mentioned was named Isa al-Isa, which reminded me of how Spanish speakers name their sons Jesus]. Muhammad, after all, claimed to be purifying the religion that he said Jews and Christians had corrupted, so he would use the same word for God as the pre-existing Arabic Church did to lend legitimacy to his movement. A former Muslim who has become a Christian may speak in much the same way a former practitioner of Judaism would speak, the way my uncle and great uncle used to speak, about how their belief in the Yahweh of Judaism was changed by their meeting with the Messiah, Yeshua. They didn’t have to stop using the name of Yahweh. A convert from Islam or Judaism to Christianity does not have to repudiate the name of God as those who worshipped Zeus or Thor or Krishna or any other of the panoply of pagan deities do.

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  13. The word for God in Wolof is Yalla, clearly derived from the Arabic. I know for a fact that no one expects a Wolof convert to stop using the word Yalla to refer to God when they become a Christian. There isn’t another word in the language to signify the Creator of heaven and earth. Similarly, we wouldn’t expect someone whose converted from Mormonism to stop using the English word for God or tell someone who has come to Christ out of the Jehovah’s Witness cult to stop using Jehovah (Yahweh is probably a more accurate transliteration of the Hebrew word than Jehovah, but after all, Jehovah is used in the King James Version and no one would say it is a heretical translation).

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  14. Roscuro, that isn’t what I am saying. I’ve heard arguments on both sides of whether or not a Christian in the Middle East should use “Allah” for God–and the argument that to me is most convincing, in the “no, they should not” is the idea that to Muslims “Allah” cannot be translated, but is God’s name in any language (much like Yahweh being God’s name–no, it is decisively not a Jewish name for God, but the name God Himself gave to believers). With that in mind, I’m inclined to say let Muslims have the name “Allah”; to avoid potential serious confusion, that is the name of their god, and we don’t use it. But I know opinions differ on that, and that was not what I was saying.

    Many times when I read a Christian book that claims to present the Gospel, it actually falls short of saying what is needed for salvation. For instance, I recently read a criticism of some popular author (who it was isn’t the point; I’ve seen this same thing in my editing on more than one occasion) that in her claims to present the Gospel, she doesn’t really mention sin or the wrath of God or the Cross, but says something like “God loves you so much that Jesus came to earth and showed us his love; if you are sick of living your own way, then turn your life over to Jesus.” I made up that particular example, but I have seen similar wording many, many times. That is not the Gospel. If you have no mention of sin, the cross, or repentance, then you do not have the Gospel. It may have been something like that that bothered me in this book, I really don’t recall. Reading the reviews of the book I am prompted to remember that the specific visions that he claimed pointed him to Christ troubled me, and didn’t seem to align with how God communicates with people (using imagery from a false religion, some of it at least borderline blasphemous). But I don’t recall that being my biggest problem with the book. At any rate, I did find it fairly worthwhile reading, just not worth rereading or recommending.

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  15. Cheryl, the dreaming of dreams has featured in many conversion stories from Muslims who came to follow Christ. I would point out that Joel’s prophecy that old men would dream dreams and young men and maidens would prophecy was fulfilled by the coming of the Holy Spirit. We in the West can say the time for signs and wonders is behind us, but I would recall that the speaking in tongues was recorded as happening three different times in Acts, and each of those times it was signifying that a specific group – Jew, Samaritan, and Gentiles – was also included in the body of believers. In light of Scripture, the dreaming of dreams by Muslims, who are raised to think of themselves as being born Muslim as a Jew is born a Jew, which convince them come to Christ seems fitting, echoing the events of the book of Acts. I understand that Western Christians, in our world dominated by logic and science have trouble with the idea that dreams could play an important role in conversion, but Qureshi and others like him come from a very different culture, one in which dreams may have more significance than logical arguments. Since we know from Scripture that the Holy Spirit uses dreams, and furthermore, since we see that these conversion dreams are not used to add to Scripture, but rather have a limited function in serving to convict the individuals who have them, then I think there is some room for thinking them to be valid for that limited purpose.

    About the imagery from a false religion, quite often the imagery of false religions seems to imitate the imagery of the true religion, rather than vice versa. The Bible has many metaphors and images that can find their equivalents among pagans – the other week in Medical Anthropology, the lecturer was discussing the staff of Asclepius from Greek mythology, the one with the snake wrapped around it, that is now used to signal a medical person in badges and uniforms, and I was thinking how similar it was to Moses’ bronze serpent. Let me illustrate further by using a famous pagan image that was recently destroyed by ISIS, that of the Assyrian winged bulls of Sennacherib. Has it never struck any of you how similar those bulls were to the description of the cherubim Ezekiel and also of the cherubim whose wings sheltered the Ark in Solomon’s temple? Like the unnecessary controversy over eggs at Easter and trees at Christmas, we sometimes make assumption about imagery having pagan associations when it is quite possible that the imagery is entirely neutral in and of itself.

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  16. As to not using the name Allah because Muslims use it, it is rather unfair to ask Arabic Christians to give up the name their ancestors used before Muhammed was ever born. I think English speaking Christians should refrain from dictating to the Christians of other tongues about what words to use. English is a very new tongue in the world of languages and the word God itself is of Germanic pagan origin. Not that that is really a problem, after all, the writers of the Greek New Testament used theos, which was of Greek pagan origin and they translated Yahweh to the Greek kurios (Lord) when quoting from the Old Testament, so it obviously does not matter to the Holy Spirit about the origins of words for the Supreme Being, but it should remind us that English speakers don’t have the high ground when it comes their word for God.

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  17. 😦 Expensive car problems this week, especially having the transmission replaced
    πŸ™‚ I have been setting aside money from every paycheck since I got the car to be prepared for something like that
    😦 The amount I had saved up wasn’t nearly enough
    πŸ™‚ While I don’t like using credit cards, at least it gets me back driving my car and I can hope to get the credit card paid off in a few months (not just the car repairs but the dog’s surgery this summer)
    πŸ™‚ They had a loaner car I could use in the meantime
    😦 The CD player in the loaner car didn’t work – it accepted my CD but wouldn’t play and wouldn’t give it back
    πŸ™‚ One of the mechanics was able to remove the audio system from the loaner car when I brought it back and get back my CD undamaged, which is good because it’s not mine, it’s from the library
    πŸ™‚ Got a lot done today (shopping, laundry, yardwork, cooking)
    😦 Tired, but still have more to do (washing dishes)
    πŸ™‚ Then I get to sleep, and it being Sunday, I won’t have to be up until 6:30. (Weekdays I get up at 5:40.)

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  18. Although … A good friend & former roommate’s oldest daughter married into a practicing Muslim family (originally from Bangladesh) and her son-in-law has, on several occasions tried mightily to convince her that the Allah they worship at the mosque is the same as the God she worships at her Roman Catholic Church.

    She’s not very theologically savvy, so was understandably confused and ready to be persuaded.

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  19. convince ‘her,’ being my friend. I suspect the daughter has long since converted but hasn’t told her (strongly Catholic) mom or dad.

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  20. It is not up to me to decide whether someone is a Christian or not if they say they are. It is all between them and the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
    I don’t particularly care for someone telling me what a good Christian they are. I like to think if they are a β€œgood” Christian I will figure it out on my own.
    All that being said I think it is safe for me to assume we are all Christians here.

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  21. I very much enjoyed the book, “Seeking Allah…” and believed he is a brother. He gave a very clear picture of how it is for many, turning from one to The One.

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  22. My Catholic cousin says the Catholics just think of us as their poor misguided relations. Maybe saved but just barely, and probably destined for an extended time in purgatory.

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  23. Did I mention that son has signed for his school textbooks by writing the name Jesus Christ in the cover? Nobody commented on it, though I would consider it a problem if you want to hold somebody accountable for the book. It did not amuse me but neither does it confuse me. I am under no delusions that he is God. Merely a confused pathetic human being.

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  24. Mumsee, from what you have said about son, I doubt even he thinks he is Jesus Christ. It seems more like something someone who enjoys being as contrary as possible would do, just to see if they could get away with it.

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  25. DJ, the answer to the Jew or the Muslim who says that they worship the same God is that they cannot, because they do not know the way to God, which is only through Jesus Christ. The distinction between a Christian and a Jew or Muslim isn’t the word they use for God, but the way they seek to approach that God. The scribes and Pharisees of Jesus’ day used all the right words and knew the law of God, but Jesus told them they were of their father the devil because they rejected Him.

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  26. Both my friends’ daughters no longer attend the RC church in which they were raised and schooled. The one has (if not formally, for all practical purposes) converted to Islam and the other I’m not sure about. Sweet, loving and responsible girls, both of them, they were raised well.

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  27. Roscuro, I have heard about many Muslim converts who had a dream of Jesus coming to them; I understand that, and believe it to be true. Have you read the book in question, by the way? Because the dreams in it were far more complicated than that, and needed a book and some interpretation to decode them.

    I’ve never questioned his salvation, or intended to do so.

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  28. My friend’s son-in-law is of the view that it is the same God — which I think sounded persuasive to my friend for a while. Logical, right? He argues very passionately for that viewpoint, saying ‘no big deal,’ we all worship the same God (whether the name is different or not). Mass or Mosque, it’s all part of the same big picture.

    My friend bends over backward to embrace this Muslim/Bangladesh family, of course, which is now intrinsically intertwined with her via her daughter and, now, her 3 grandchildren whom she absolutely adores. It gets complicated, as a result, and with my friend being Roman Catholic I don’t think she has the biblical or sound theological background really to counter those kinds of arguments. She’s smart but is often ruled and led by the heart, especially with anything having to do with her beloved daughters.

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  29. She wrote some lavish praise in one of the scrapbooks she showed me last summer about how wonderfully spiritual they all were in the family, how they were such glowing examples to us all of how to follow God. I kind of gave her a look, said something about, well, ‘wrong’ god, and she said “I know” but again, she’s committed to making this blended family work which I appreciate in terms of the contradictions she’s going through.

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