life, liberty, and the pursuit of Jesus
Category Archives: God
What is compassion? Mr. Webster says, ” sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it”. I believe that last part is key. Along with the desire to alleviate we should have an action plan in place of what exactly are we going to do about it. It doesn’t have to take a lot of our time, with 4 kids 12 and under who has a lot of time, but I do think we all need to do are part to make the world a better place and stop being so selfish.
As a father and husband the “others” that are of most importance to me are my wife and children. When their distress is taken care of then I can move on. For now the priority is my own house. God has given me responsibility to take care of these 5 others first.
I am convinced now more than ever that the reason I am alive and still on this earth is because our God is an awesome God and also because from the time I was born people were praying over my life. Some people prayed specifically for me because they knew the situation I was in, while others who did not know me had an impact on my life that they may never realize. Some are prayer warriors and intercessors, some are evangelists and church planters but most are normal people who shake your hand, smile and say those simple words, “I am praying for you”.
Our purpose in this place is to pray for and love on folks. Sometimes it may be a tough love but it is not our job to convict (See John 16). There are certain things that we are commanded to do and it is not a long list. In Matthew 22 Jesus tells the people there are only two commandments and both of these commands contain the word love.
As you go about your day pray for everyone that comes to your mind. There are many examples in scripture of people who prayed constantly (1 Thessalonians 5 , 1 Samuel 12 , Colossians 1 ). In addition if you have the chance to speak with people first you should listen more than you speak and second when you do speak make it words that are uplifting and edifying. Plant those seeds. With time and the power of the Holy Spirit they will grow and flourish.
Some of my friends and I have been talking, off and on, over the past two years about writing music. We have done a little bit here and there but after yesterday’s sermon from Pastor Mike it is time to take action. Here are some great ideas from Adam Russell over at indigenous worship about songwriting. I hope that when we look back at 2011 this time next year that we can say it was a year we started to take action. Be Intentional!
My friend Pastor Scott Hobbs has a wonderful post about the “new” things God has for us. While I was reading and meditating on his words and the words from Isaiah I was struck by the fact that sometimes these “new” things can pass us by and we won’t even notice them until it is too late. In many places throughout the Bible you will find the words “seeking”, “watching”, and “waiting”. These are all things we must do as well as be in constant communication with God so that we will not miss these new, wonderful, and exciting things that HE has planned for us. Don’t miss it!
why do we worship?
because our God is an awesome God and even though the best we can do is nothing but filthy dirty rags to Him we are made Holy in His sight but the blood of His Son Jesus!
I will continue to worship with everything I have not because I feel that He will “like me more” if I do but because He is worth it. It is not something I have to do, it is something I get to do.
I will worship the Almighty God. The Creator of Heaven and earth. I hope the others will see the fire and have the desire to come along with me but if they don’t that is their choice.
Calling all musicians. Check out this article on playing skillfully. I think it is mucho importante! I know that I need to practice more so that I can be a better musical tool in the toolbox of the church. Sometimes I hear people say why do we have to practice so much? If the Holy spirit is in it , it will just come together. While I do believe that is true and definitely can happen I also believe that we need to take some responsibility and sharpen our skills whether we play an instrument, sing, or do all the technical stuff behind the scenes. We do not want to be a distraction especially when we are leading others into worshiping the Almighty Creator of Heaven and Earth. Click here for Peter Park’s article
Here is a great animation to go along with a great song. Watch and Listen!
Tolerance or Conquest? You Decide.
Muslim groups are proposing a 13-story $100 million mosque in the most prominent spot in America – the heart of downtown New York City near the World Trade Center site.
Is this mosque a sign of America’s tolerance, or is it a sign of Muslim conquest?
The past may hold answers:
In 630, Muhammad led 10,000 Muslim soldiers into Mecca and turned the pagans’ most prominent spot, the Ka’aba, into the Masjid al-Haram Mosque.
In 634, Rightly Guided Caliph Umar conquered Syria and turned the Christians’ most prominent spot, the Church of Job, famous for being visited by Saint Silva in the fourth century, into the Mosque of Job.
In 637, Caliph Umar conquered Hebron and turned the second-most prominent spot in Judaism, the Cave of the Patriarchs, into the Ibrahimi Mosque. (This was repeated by Saladin in 1188.)
In 638, Muslim generals Amr ibn al-As and Khalid ibn al-Walid conquered Gaza and turned the prominent fifth-century Byzantine church into the Great Mosque of Gaza.
In 638, Caliph Umar conquered Jerusalem. In 691, Caliph Al-Malik ordered the Dome of the Rock built on the most prominent spot in Judaism, the Temple Mount, followed by Caliph Al-Walid building the Al-Aqsa Mosque there in 705.
In 651, Muslims conquered Persia and turned Zoroastrian temples in Bukhara and Istakhr into mosques.
In 706, after Muslims took Damascus from the Byzantine Empire, Caliph Al-Walid turned the prominent Orthodox Church of St. John the Baptist into the Umayyad Mosque.
In 710, Gen. Muhammad bin Qasim conquered Pakistan, defiled the prominent Sun Temple in Multan, which house the great idol “sanam,” and erected a mosque.
Get this fascinating history of Islam and the United States: Bill Federer’s “What Every American Needs to Know About the Quran”
In 784, after the conquest of Spain, Emir Abd ar-Rahman turned the prominent Visigothic Christian Church of Saint Vincent into the Great Aljama Mosque of Cordoba.
After the conquest of Egypt, Caliphs al-Mamun (813-833) and al-Hakim (996–1021) turned prominent Coptic Christian churches and Jewish synagogues in Cairo into mosques.
In 831, Muslims conquered Palermo, Sicily, and Asad ibn al-Furat turned the prominent Church of Saint Mary of the Assumption into the Great Mosque of Bal’harm.
In 1193, Muslims conquered Delhi, India, and Qutbuddin Aibak turned the Red Citadel in Dhillika, the most prominent spot of the last Hindu rulers, into the Qutb Minar Mosque.
From 1250-1517, Mamluk Muslims controlled the Golan Heights and used the ancient Synagogue of Katzrin as a mosque.
In 1387, Turkish Muslims conquered Thessaloniki and turned the Katholikon Monastery and the Church of Aghia Sophia, which housed the relics of Saint Gregorios Palamas, into mosques, as Symeon of Thessaloniki recorded:
“The greatest number of the buildings of the churches fell to them, of which the first was the Holy Church of the Savior. … These were trampled underfoot and the infidels rejoiced in them. … Most of the religious buildings in the city were despoiled, while altars were demolished and sacred things profaned.”
On May 29, 1453, Sultan Mehmet II conquered Constantinople and turned the great Byzantine church, Hagia Sophia, into the Ayasofya Mosque. The largest church in Christendom for a thousand years, the church’s four acres of gold mosaics were covered with whitewash and Quran verses.
In 1458, Sultan Mehmet II conquered Athens and turned the Greeks’ most prominent spot, the Parthenon on Acropolis hill, into a mosque. When Venetian Gen. Francesco Morosini drove the Muslims out in 1687, a cannonball hit the gunpowder stored in the mosque, blowing it up.
In the 15th century, Ottoman invaders turned Saint Clement’s Macedonian Orthodox Monastery in Plaosnik, Balkans, into the Imater Mosque.
From 1519-1858, Muslim Mughal rulers gained control of India and turned over 2,000 Hindu temples into mosques, including demolishing the Temple of Ram Janmabhoomi in Ayodhya, the birthplace of Rama, and replacing it with the Babri Mosque.
India’s Mughal Muslim ruler, Jahangir (1605-1627), wrote in Tujuk-i-Jahangiri:
“At the city of Banaras a temple. … I made it my plea for throwing down the temple … and on the spot, with the very same materials, I erected the great mosque.”
In 1543, Hayreddin Barbarossa’s 30,000 Muslim troops wintered in Toulon, France, and turned the prominent Toulon Cathedral into a mosque.
In 1570, under Sultan Selim II Khan, Muslims conquered Paphos, Cyprus, and Gov. Mehmet Bey Ebubkir turned the prominent Christian church into the Great Mosque of Paphos.
In 1571, Muslims invaded Famagusta, Cyprus, and turned Saint Nicolas Cathedral, a rare Gothic church, into the Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque, and Saint Sophia Cathedral in Nicosia, constructed in 1228, into the Selimiye Mosque.
In 1588, Sultan Murat III turned the Eastern Orthodox Church of Saint John the Forerunner in Constantinople into the Hirami Ahmet Pasha Mosque.
In 1781, after having conquered the Old City of Acre, Ottoman Muslims turned the Roman Catholic church built by Crusaders into the Jezzar Ahmet Pasha Mosque, where a hair from Muhammad’s beard is preserved.
(Column continues below)
In 1923, Muslims expelled Greeks from Turkey and turned Orthodox churches into mosques.
In World War II, Nazis allied with Bosnians and turned the prominent Artists’ Gallery Museum in Zagreb, Croatia, into a mosque.
In the 1950s, Muslims expelled Jews from Arab lands and turned synagogues into mosques.
Algerian Muslims warred against French colonial rule till France pulled out in 1962, after which the Cathedral of St. Philippe was turned into the Ketchaoua Mosque. Violence against Jews caused 30,000 to flee and the Great Synagogue of Oran was turned into the Mosque Abdellah Ben Salem.
In 1974, Turkish Muslims invaded northern Cyprus, and prominent Greek Orthodox churches were turned into mosques.
In 1981, Muslim immigrants to the Netherlands converted Amsterdam’s historic Catholic Sint-Ignatiuskerk into the Fatih Mosque, and a synagogue in The Hague into the Aksa Mosque.
On Sept. 11, 2001, Muslim terrorists attacked the most prominent spot in America, the World Trade Center. In less than 10 years, the number of mosques in New York City has skyrocketed to over 140.
In light of history, reasonable citizens have a right to question if the mosque proposed at Ground Zero is a sign of America’s tolerance, or a sign of Muslim conquest?
Here are some new lyrics:
Oh God I give you all of me
I run to you
Like the river runs to the sea
Let the fire burn like never before
Let it consume me
More and more and more
I want to be free from me and full of You.
This is a great sermon by a guy named Pete Wilson. He delivered a wonderful story about Joseph and how God is in control but sometimes the details, as we see them, can be a little scary. Please check it out here.