Monthly Archives: March 2014

Weekly Scoop 3/28

Friday means time for the Weekly Scoop. Here are a few links for some great reading over the weekend.

It has been almost 13 years since the twin towers fell. Here is the story of One World Trade Center: http://time.com/world-trade-center/

Here is a great video on being raised without all the “stuff” that this generation has: Were you born in the 60’s, 70’s or 80’s?

As the father to a little girl, so many of these hit home: Things little girls wish their daddies knew.

Want to start journaling? Here are a few reasons you should as well as how to start: Journaling 101.

I do not always read Matt Walsh’s blog, but when I do, I am typically not disappointed. Here is a response to a feminist.

Did science just make a discovery that points to God? It appears that way. But even if science discovered something that claimed there was no God, would it affect your faith? Does this big bang breakthrough give evidence for God?

One of the most important questions in the world is “Who is Jesus” because how you answer the question determines everything about your life. Here, Bono gives his answer to the question.

For pastors, church leaders, volunteers and even regular church attenders, here is a great link on how to make visitors feel welcome. 7 ways to connect with visitors.

Lastly, this video by David Platt is challenging because it comes around the question of what if we truly were as enthusiastic about Jesus as we were about some of the other things in our lives? This parable hits home.

Thanks for taking the time to check out the Weekly Scoop. Feel free to share this through Twitter, Facebook or email with others you believe would benefit from any of the above articles.


A Muslim’s Journey to Christ

seeking-allah-finding-jesus

Have you ever wanted to take a journey inside the mind of a Muslim? Have you ever found yourself wanting to sit down and have a conversation with a person of Islamic descent and ask him/her why they believe what they believe? Have you ever found yourself simply wondering why does it matter what god or God you believe in, because don’t all paths lead to the same place? If any of these questions have ever crossed your mind, then you need to pick up this book. Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus is one of the best apologetic books of the Christian faith I have read in a number of years. The amazing thing is this book is written from a Muslim’s perspective.

However, maybe you have not asked any of the questions mentioned above. Maybe you have never even had a conversation with someone from another faith background. If that is you, then this book is for you as well. Simply put, this book should be read by any Christian in order to gain a better understanding of how we can and should live out the Gospel and be the Church God instituted.

Nabeel Qureshi was a devout Muslim. He grew up in a family of devoted Muslims. From the time he was born, his parents did everything they could to raise him as a Muslim. And for most of his young life, he was a devout Muslim. Nabeel was trained in how to defend Islam and it was not until college where he befriended someone who was just as devout a Christian as he was a Muslim. Throughout most of his life, whenever Nabeel encountered a Christian, he was prepared to show them how foolish their beliefs seemed. In most instances, Nabeel was able to get his point across and would leave the Christian with more questions than answers. Thus, when he began college, he had never had his faith tested to the point where he decided to take a deeper look at what he claimed to believe. It was in his freshman year at ODU that Nabeel befriended David Wood. His life would never be the same. In spite of all of their differences, they became friends and it was this friendship that would lead Nabeel to begin questioning everything he had ever learned and been taught regarding the Muslim faith.

This book is not only a personal account of Mr. Qureshi’s journey, but it is a book that helps guide Christians to a deeper understanding of what it is Muslims really believe; and not just about their own faith, but what they believe about Christians as well. This is what makes Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus a necessary book for basically any Christian.

In the beginning of the book, Nabeel presents 3 purposes for writing this book (p. 17-18):

  1. To tear down walls by giving non-Muslim readers and insider’s perspective into a Muslim’s heart and mind.
  2. To equip the reader with facts and knowledge, showing the strength of the case for the gospel in contrast with the case for Islam.
  3. To portray the immense inner struggle of Muslims grappling with the gospel, including sacrifices and doubts.

Each purpose is accomplished with ease. Through reading this book, the reader is taken on a journey that stirs the heart and mind. I constantly found myself questioning whether or not I would be able to refute any of the arguments against Christianity that Nabeel presents in this book. If we as followers of Christ are to be the witnesses to the world that we should be, then we should be putting forth the effort to learn what we believe and why we believe it. If we only know what we believe, and not why or how to back up what we believe, then we will fail at being the light of the world.

One of the biggest points of tension in this book is the relationship with his family, and especially parents. One of the things Christians do not understand is that when a Muslim comes to put their faith in Christ, most of the time, they lose any and all relationships with family and friends who are Muslims. We as Christians do not understand this because for most Christians, we keep our close relationships even though we might believe differently than they do. This is not the case for Muslims. In some instances around the world, when a Muslim comes to faith in Christ, it is permitted for them to be killed and is seen as a mercy killing. Nabeel is very open about this struggle and how hard it was for him to be willing to put his relationship with them second to his relationship with Christ. Even today, his relationship with his parents is “tumultuous” as he describes it (p. 286). His parents did not even come to his wedding because of his choice to become a Christian. This book is a great example of how the cost to become a follower of Christ truly is great, but it is worth it.

With that said, go pick up a copy for yourself and a family member or friend. This book is an easy read but you will be greatly strengthened in your faith and learn how to defend your faith in Christ along the way.

In compliance with regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, I received a complimentary copy of by Zondervan in exchange for this review.


Tuesday Laughs

Hey everyone, it’s Tuesday and many of you could use something to make you laugh. Well, check out these links:

Crip Walk with Irish Jig

Ravers dancing to Benny Hill

These should be able to give you a laugh to make it through your Tuesday.


Weekly Scoop 3/14

Time for the weekly scoop. This post features articles that I have come across throughout the week that if you have some time set aside this weekend to do some reading, check these out.

First off, if you are like me, you are often tired. Here are some ways to not get more sleep, but to get better sleep: The science behind sleep.

I needed this post. I am not very good about this and was definitely challenged after reading: 10 reasons why handheld devices should be banned for children under 12.

Another post for parents, this one from Orange Parents. Kids asking “why” all the time can get old and annoying, but as this post points out, it is a good habit for them: Why kids should always ask why.

Matt Walsh responds to another abortion argument: I am afraid of this indisputable pro-choice argument.

Too often in Christian circles, we hear people say “well God will never put more on you than you can handle.” I do not believe this to be the case, and here is a post from the Gospel Coalition on the subject as well: God gives me more than I can handle.

Thanks for checking out the Weekly Scoop. Feel free to share this with friends or anyone you feel would benefit from this post. Let me know if I missed something you enjoyed reading recently. Check back next Friday for another edition of the Weekly Scoop.


Review of A Godward Heart

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In Christian circles, John Piper needs no introduction. If you are a Christian, chances are you have heard of him. He has written numerous books on various topics. He would easily be considered one of the leading theologians of this time. He is a sought after speaker, teacher and writer. From the first time I heard him speak at Passion One Day in 2003 on a farm in Texas, I have loved what God has used him to produce. From Desiring God to When I don’t Desire God, his books are worth the time. Though they might be deep and hard to understand at times, they are books full of truth from God’s Word.

A Godward Heart is a compilation of 50 short devotionals from various other works by Piper. It is arranged in such a way, as the front of the book says, to help you “Treasure the God who loves you.” So often, in our walk with the Lord, we go through periods where our heart for the things of God weakens. It is not that we do not care about our walk with the Lord, life just happens and sometimes gets in the way and ultimately distracts us from what truly matters. This book will help you through times like this while also strengthening your hunger and desire for the things of God.

Topics range from “How is God’s Passion for His Glory not selfishness” to “Rebellion of Nudity and meaning of clothing” to “Christian’s voting” and “How the cross conquers Satan’s work.” Needless to say, this short book will be a great addition to your devotional life and most readings can be completed in 5 to 10 minutes. So if you are looking for a supplement to your devotional life, check out A Godward Heart. You will be challenged, encouraged, enriched and your walk with the Lord will be renewed.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review as a part of their Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest review.


Weekly Scoop 3/7

scoop

 

It’s Friday which means it is time for the Weekly Scoop. Here are a few links I believe you should check out.

A great look into the brevity of our lives and a proper perspective on it: You are going to die and so might your dreams.

The people at churchleaders.com always post encouraging and thoughtful articles. This one hits home with how many people leave the church: Why I quit the church, and what brought me back.

Another article from churchleaders.com. This article looks into how churches should react towards people who darken their doorsteps, and how those reactions can impact people: Two lesbians walk into a church.

Larry Poole quit tithing years ago. Here is why.

Why the bachelor is basically emotional porn. A great article by Debora Fileta: Emotional porn.
Have you wondered what your body language is saying? Here are some ways to improve your body language.
I have never heard of this blog before this week. Here are 9 things great leaders say every day.
If you subscribe to Relevant Magazine, here are some articles you should check out. If you do not subscribe to Relevant, you should, if only to read these two articles: Your calling isn’t meant to be easy and 5 Things you should never say to your wife.
Lastly, for those of you who like feel good stories, check out this video: He started something you know, but may not know the real story.
Thanks for checking out the weekly scoop. Feel free to share this with others who you feel would benefit from these articles.

God’s Word

Moving is not small endeavor. This past weekend my wife and I experienced this firsthand as we moved to Clifton Forge, VA. We are here to continue our ministry at Temple Baptist Church in Covington, VA where I serve as the youth pastor. We are excited to be have a place to call our own for the next year and look forward to seeing what God does in the church and in the youth group. I am praying for God to move in a mighty way. I would covet your prayers as well.

With that said, this morning as I was catching up on my reading plans on YouVersion, I read the following from Billy Graham’s reading plan titled

Day by Day with Billy Graham

and I wanted to share it with you.

Meditate on Scripture

Many of the difficulties we experience as Christians can be traced to a lack of Bible study and reading. We should not be content to skim through a chapter merely to satisfy our conscience. Hide the Word of God in your heart! A little portion well digested is of greater value to the soul than a lengthy portion scanned hurriedly. Do not be discouraged because you cannot understand it all. Go on reading. As you read, the Holy Spirit will enlighten the passages for you. Reading the Bible has a purifying effect upon the heart and mind.

How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. (Psalm 119:9 ESV)

Daily Prayer

Let the enlightenment of the riches of Your Word sink deep within my soul, Lord.

I hope this encourages and challenges you in your daily walk with the Lord. If there is any way I might pray for you please let me know.