Friday, October 3, 2008

George Bush

I get things in my email box all the time that are forwards. Sometimes they are cute or thoughtful. Most of the time I just skim them and move onto the next email. I got one today that made me pause to think. I think it adds some perspective to George Bush and his legacy. We often blame him for everything. If the economy is bad its his fault. If a hurricane hits the US, he must have created it or the very atleast allowed it to happen. If you wake up in the morning and stubb your toe on the corner of your bed post, then he must have put the post in your way. Now I don't agree with everything he has done but I can respect him atleast for the position that he holds. It seems many people have lost respect for public officials. Much of that respect has been lost due to scandals and the like but I think my generation needs to gain a respect for the positions. We need to have people who will seek public office with a sincere heart. We need people who will take the office with respect and dignity. Anyways Im going to post the email I got below. It should give you something to think about.

There were 39 combat related killings in Iraq in January. In the fair city
of Detroit there were 35 murders in the month of January. That's just one
American city, about as deadly as the entire war-torn country of Iraq


FDR (DEMOCRAT) led us into World War II. Germany never attacked us; Japan
did. From 1941-1945, 450,000 lives were lost ... an average of 112,500 per
year.


Truman (DEMOCRAT) finished that war and started one in Korea. North Korea
never attacked us. From 1950-1953, 55,000 lives were lost ... an average
of 18,334 per year.

John F. Kennedy (DEMOCRAT) started the Vietnam conflict in 1962. Vietnam
never attacked us.

Johnson (DEMOCRAT) turned Vietnam into a quagmire. From 1965-1975, 58,000
lives were lost ... an average of 5,800 per year.


Clinton (DEMOCRAT) went to war in Bosnia without UN or French consent.
Bosnia never attacked us. He was offered Osama bin Laden's head on a
platter three times by Sudan and did nothing. Osama has attacked us on
multiple occasions. (Think about what else was going on during that time in
the Clinton Whitehouse!!)


In the years since terrorists attacked us, President Bush has liberated two
countries from oppressive regimes., has al-Qaida out of Iraq, put nuclear inspectors in Libya, North Korea without firing a shot, and captured a
terrorist who slaughtered 300,000 of his own people.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Nahum and the Bail Out

Ok you may be looking at the title of this blog and thinking to yourself what in the heck is this blog going to be about. Nahum is the name of an Old Testament book named after a prophet. The bail out of course is a reference to the financial "crisis" and the proposed 700 billion dollar bail out. So your asking yourself what do these two things have to do with each other.

Nahum (the book) is about the message of God sent through the prophet Nahum to the Assyrians whose capital was Nineveh. A century earlier, Nineveh had been at the center of the controversy surrounding God's commands to Jonah. Jonah refused to go to Nineveh but after much convincing by God, he finally went. The people of Nineveh listened to the message and turned to God who spared them. God blessed them and they were a huge empire. By Nahum's time, The Assyrian empire was a force of unstoppable might. They had conquered the Kingdom of Israel and were laying siege to Judah. Evidently they had forgotten about the message Jonah had sent them and were now a nation of evil rulers and pride. They had an army that caused every one to tremble. In the eyes of most of the world, they were a super power. But their kings became greedy and selfish. They became filled with pride. They were also beginning to get stretched thin in the regions fighting as far south as Egypt. Most importantly they had turned their back to God. So God sent the prophet Nahum with a message. This message was quick and to the point. God was going to destroy them. It was basically the same message that Jonah had brought a century earlier. But this time they didn't listen. Within 50 years Assyria would be laid waste by Babylon. Nineveh would cease to exist. In fact the destruction was so bad that for many years, archaeologists were hard pressed to find any traces of this great empire. In more recent years, archaeologists are able to piece together the last days of Nineveh.

Here is a passage from Nahum 1:2,3:
God is serious business.
He won't be trifled with.
He avenges his foes.
He stands up against his enemies, fierce and raging.
But God doesn't lose his temper.
He's powerful, but it's a patient power.
Still, no one gets by with anything.
Sooner or later, everyone pays.


We learn that God is patient. Elsewhere in the Bible we are told that God is patient not wanting any to perish. I am very thankful for His patience. Often times I wonder why God doesn't punish evil more quickly but then I look at my own life and realize that everyone would perish if He wasn't patient. But there does come a point that God's patients runs out. Sooner or later He will be just.

That brings us to our present situation. The United States stands alone as the superpower in the world. We have a past of turning to God just like Nineveh. But we are also in a point where pride can take over. Corporate greed and power hungry politicians have created a mess. And we are now seeing the fruits of this corruption. Wall street is struggling and our economy is sinking.
We have a problem were the poor and homeless are being preyed upon. Politicians talk about helping the poor but really are using them as a means to power. Now we have congress freaking out and in order to fix a broken system they are going mess with it even more. This bail out might work in the short run but soon or later everyone pays.

Two things need to happen.
1. We as Christians need to be a light in our country. We can not expect to push our every belief on the country but we can hold our politicians to a code of justice, moral behavior, and integrity. We need to pray for our country and our country needs to become a place where the justice and integrity are our motto. Otherwise we will fall just like Nineveh. Every unstoppable empire in history has fallen but God's truth remains.

2. Specifically in this problem, we need to learn from the past with wisdom. Quick outs are not going to work. It is government that created this problem, more of it won't solve anything. A true free market is the moral road to take. If we let these companies that were greedy fall it might hurt the economy in the short run but it will be a deterrent for future greedy practices. The free market works itself out because people will not want to repeat bad business practices. A bail out will only prolong the suffering and eventually we will pay a lot more.



In conclusion, America can stand and fall by how we react to God's law. Are we acting justly and with integrity in how we treat other countries. Are we acting justly and with integrity in how we deal with financial problems. Or are we going to push the mistakes of greedy people into the hands of all the people? Most importantly are we going to look to God for guidance or to our own pride. If we continue to look to ourselves and pride for the answers, this financial crisis is going to be a picnic compared to the judgment eventually handed down by God.

Nahum 1: 7
God is good,
a hiding place in tough times.
He recognizes and welcomes
anyone looking for help,
No matter how desperate the trouble.
But cozy islands of escape
He wipes right off the map.
No one gets away from God.


God is good. Even in the midst of his judgment to Nineveh we see His love.
But the end is so fitting. We can't look for what appears to be the easy way out.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Walking in Islam's sandals. A book review I did for seminary.

In April of 1993, British electronic band Depeche Mode had a hit single with “Walking in My Shoes,” a song about experiencing life through someone else’s eyes. If the listener would just walk a day in someone else’s shoes they would face the same temptations and come to the same conclusions that the other person did. “Walking a mile in someone else’s shoes” may be a clich├ęd phrase but at its core is a real nugget of truth. It is with this truth in mind that Dr. Nabeel T. Jabbour writes his book on walking a mile in a Muslim’s shoes entitled, “The Crescent Through The Eyes of The Cross.” In this book, Dr Jabbour takes the reader into the mind of Muslims and exams the world around us. He challenges western preconceived notions about Islam and current affairs. Peeling back the mystery that has surrounded Islam in the west, he confronts the reader often giving cause to pause in argument with both the author and the reader, himself. Using composite characters of Islamic people he has met and known along with scripture from both the Koran and Holy Bible, Dr Jabbour succeeds in pushing Christians to “go beyond mere tolerance to a passion for Muslims.”
Dr. Jabbour begins the introduction of the book with a saddening description of a sculpture from Santa Fe, New Mexico.
This piece of art had two interrelated scenes back to back, separated by a door. On one side was a Native American man in a fierce snowstorm, knocking at the door of a log cabin and pleading for refuge and warmth. On the other side of the door was a warm room with a terrified mother holding a shotgun while the woman’s frightened three-year-old daughter clung to her dress. The terrified mother was refusing to open the door.
This sculpture is saddening because fear and distrust have kept the woman from giving the Native American the one thing he needs most. This sculpture is a metaphor of the relationship many Christians have with Muslims. In the west, Islam is looked upon with a sense of fear and distrust. This fear and distrust have kept many Christians from taking the gospel to Muslims in sincere and effective ways. In this book Dr. Jabbour attempts to move the reader from fear and distrust into love and passion. To go beyond mere tolerance into understanding, will help Christians become effective in ministering to their Muslim friends.
Dr. Nabeel T. Jabbour is an Arab born-again Christian who was born in Syria and lived in Egypt as a missionary with The Navigators, “ an interdenominational, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people navigate spiritually, to know Christ and to make Him known as they look to Him and His Word to chart their lives.” In addition to living among Muslims for many years, He has a doctorate in Islamic Studies. Drawing from these experiences as well as working with Muslim international students who have come to U.S. study, he has come to know and love many Muslims. He admits that a few have become his heroes including Rabi’a al- ‘Adawiyya, a slave whose famous prayer led many women to be mentored by her. In order to convey in a quickly and timely manner how Muslims feel about a number of issues, he creates a composite character of many of his Muslim friends. Ahmad Abdul Mun’im is a fictitious person but what he has to say is very real and timely. Beginning with a story about meeting Ahmad after a service that Dr. Jabbour spoke at, the reader is introduced to an Arabic student in a PhD program.
Ahmad has a small family who gave up many things to help him come to the U.S. He is very curious to learn more about America and have a multi-cultural experience while in school. After 9/11, it become harder for him to fit in and many people were either downright mean to him or just suspicious of his motives. Ahmed had met some good people who invited him to church, and he became interested in the Bible. Ahmed has many questions and it is through his eyes that the reader gets to know and love the people of Islam.
Through the course of friendship with Ahmad, Dr Jabbour is able to listen and understand Ahmad’s position. Many people are not able to understand why Muslims do not immediately become Christians after hearing the gospel. Ahmad in his last meeting with the author prepares a written statement that expresses exactly how he feels about Christians, Christianity, and the West. In his own words Ahmad explains:
One of those who tried to convert me asked me to explain to him why is so difficult for me to convert and get integrated into Christianity. My response to him was, “There are three major reasons: Your message; you, the messenger; and me, the receiver.”
Throughout the rest of the book, Dr. Jabbour unpacks two of the three areas while leaving most of “the messenger” to the addendum, which he will send to anyone in an email who has read the book.
First, Ahmad gives a brief description of each category. One of his greatest problems understanding Christianity is its vocabulary and content. Even when reading the Bible in Arabic it seems foreign to Ahmad because it uses distinct Christian terminology. He wonders why Christians expect Muslims to learn all of the Christian vocabulary first in order to receive the message. Another problem that Ahmad has with the message is the use of legal jargon. Christians when explaining the gospel only use a paradigm of guilt and righteousness. While this is in no means a wrong view it is not the only view of salvation in the gospel. Ahmad asks if the gospel has anything to say about shame, honor, cleanliness, and power. Ahmad also feels disrespected by Christians who make assumptions about Islam. Christians compare Muhammad to Christ and the Koran to the Bible. Christians who present the message to Islam do so with a skewed view of Islam. Ahmad’s last problem with the message is that He thinks that the Koran is more reliable than the Bible because the Koran is the exact word of God dictated to men. “Why should I leave my superior message and replace it with an inferior message that relies on a less reliable book?” he asks.
Many readers may then be faced with some criticism that is hard to swallow. Ahmad then describes why he has a problem with the messenger. For most Muslims, Christianity is synonymous with the Western world. Because of this correlation, past and present circumstances between the west and east present a huge obstacle in receiving the gospel. Ahmad begins with the Crusades. Many readers may find themselves arguing with Ahmad’s recollection of history, but to argue would miss the point. Dr. Jabbour is quick to point out that Ahmad is presenting his view and it may or may not be correct but these views are still obstacles to overcome in reaching Ahmad for Jesus. Ahmad believes that Western Christian countries sent wave after wave of armies into the Islamic east on Christian jihad. He also compares the current U.S. Middle East policy with those same crusades. He wonders, “In your neo-Crusader attitude have you unleashed Islamic fanaticism and escalated violence?” Adding fuel to the fire of crusades was the period of time when European powers colonized much of the Islamic world. This period still leaves a bitter taste in the mouth of Muslims and many wonder if the War of Iraq is another attempt at colonizing the Middle East.
Ahmad also paints a very different picture then the Western media of suicide bombers and Palestinians fighters. He has a hard time looking past the apparent contradiction of support for Jewish men who join the army and fight and the rejection of Palestinian men who use their only available weapon, their body, to fight. He even compares them to Samson. Ahmad then asks, “Why do you feel theologically closer to the Jews than to the Muslims?” For many his questions will be hard to bare. Deep convictions that many Christians hold are challenged. For example, Ahmad does not separate church from state. In Islam it is church and state. For Ahmad to accept Christianity he feels that he must accept capitalism, democracy, and many other values that the west hold dear to. He especially does not like what he views as immorality that is presented in the name of freedom of press.
In the last segment of Ahmad’s written statement he discusses himself, the receiver. Ahmad almost sadly asks why he could be expected to leave his current culture and people. He would feel like a traitor and would be ostracized from his family and friends. He expects that he would have to give up his culture and appreciation for Arabic art. He feels like being asked to convert is being asked to change his name. He asks, “How did you feel, as Americans, when you heard about the American man, John Walker Lindh, who joined the Taliban in Afghanistan and took a Muslim name?” Ahmad ends his discussion with saying that he would be committing high treason. After this meeting with Ahmad, Dr. Jabbour is left speechless and with many questions. Dr. Jabbour promises to go into greater detail in further chapters but first he will have the reader meet Ahmad’s father and see the struggles he faces.
Ahmad’s father brings an even different prospective. He is a semi-retired physician from Egypt who strives on keeping up with the world events around him. He his views have grown and changed over time into a disturbing direction. In the beginning, he was opposed to radical fundamentalism but as events have changed his opinion has too. Ahmad’s father is disturbed by recent trends of globalization and the growth of American power. While he does see some good in American values, he is fearful of the freedom of expression without limits. He watches television and is bombarded with programs attacking Islam and the prophet Mohammad. Because he is not an American citizen, he does not get to vote in American elections. This leaves him with a sense of helplessness as American leaders decide policies that many Middle Eastern countries must follow. To Ahmad’s father, it is no wonder why some people have begun taking up arms and using their bodies as weapons.
The reader will notice that many of Ahmad and his father’s objections are not theological but cultural. They associate western culture with Christianity. In other words, they are against Christendom. Christendom can be described as the places and political powers associated with Christianity. It is the geographical realm of Christian culture. Dr. Jabbour then begins to show the difference in Christendom and the kingdom of God.

Dr. Jabbour defines the kingdom of God as:
• The invisible rule of God
• The expansion of the gospel irrespective of who rules the land,
• Living with Christ like attitudes and behaviors
The question is asked, “Are Christians confusing the kingdom of God with Christendom?” What is more important to God? Dr. Jabbour challenges the reader to think outside of Christendom. He describes the growth of the church in China as it is persecuted. A simple reminder is given that Christians are called to be Christ like in every situation. It is a challenge to reprioritize the reader’s goals towards the kingdom of God, to live an example of Christ in the midst of persecution. The main point in the challenge of Ahmad’s father may not be to agree with him but to spend time listening. The western world is very quick to speak but slow to hear. If Christians are willing to listen and understand Muslims view point they will be strengthening a bridge that will be able to carry the truth of Christ to them.
The reader is introduced to Ahmad’s sister who also brings a unique perspective. The western media are very quick to denounce what they view as sexism and mistreatment of women. Ahmad’s sister, Fatima, is the first to recognize that sadly there are people who claim to be Muslim who mistreat women just as there are some men in the west who do it to. She is also quick to point out the many advances that women have made in Islam. She points to great leaders in Islamic history including Khadijah, the first wife of Mohammad. One point in particular that she wants to point out is the wearing of the hijab. She takes great pride in wearing it and does not feel oppressed. She feels a sense of empowerment in knowing that she is not treated as a sex object. She also does not reject arranged marriages but understands the importance that family plays in the lives of a committed couple. Her parents will choose wisely with the input of their daughter. Most importantly, she points out verses in the Koran that teach equality and opportunity for both men and women.
Now that Ahmad and his family have given their views on many things, Dr. Jabbour begins the process of breaking it down and shedding Christian light onto it. To begin with, the author makes some assumptions. He first assumes that the reader’s loyalty is to the Great Commission and the kingdom of God. He also assumes that moderate Muslims will be more open to the gospel to than extremists. Another assumption is that it is all Christians’ responsibility to behave justly with love and humbleness while believing the sovereignty of God. The final assumption is that most Muslims are moving into one of two directions, moderation or extremism. It is this last assumption that is the most vital. If Christians are to be effective in reaching Muslims then they must work to move Muslims towards moderation. Christians must remove the outer wrapping from the gospel that keep moderate Muslims from becoming Christians and push Muslims to the extreme end.
As having been shown from Ahmad’s perspective, Muslims pay closer attention to the cultural trappings of Christianity. They are fearful that they will have to leave behind all of their culture and jump headlong into Christendom. Will they have to give up their Arabic name and family? These outer garments of the gospel are really just cultural elements that are not essential. But for fear of losing Christendom, many Christians do not present the gospel in a way that is culturally accessible to Muslims.
The scriptures are then opened for the reader and presented to show an alternative to cultural Christendom. Dr. Jabbour points to such important passages as Matthew 5: 13 where Jesus talks about being the salt and light of the earth. Another important passage is John 17 in which Jesus prays that his followers would not be taken out of the world but would be sent into it. Christians are called to reach past ethnocentrism and into the world. The reader is then given two scripture examples from the Old Testament representing ethnocentrism and mission living. The first example is of the captivity of Israel in Egypt. When Israel first came to Egypt they had a friend in leadership. But instead of integrating with Egyptians and being the light, they chose to live in exclusion. Four hundred years later, they were still outsiders and looked upon with suspicion. This resulted in the enduring of slavery until God rescued them. The second example comes from when the people of God were exiled in Babylon. In the book of Daniel, the Israelites were not able to live outside of Babylonian life but were integrated into its structure. Even with this integration, people like Daniel did not compromise in respect to God but because of their willingness to engage the culture, God moved the king of Babylon to praise him. “It is a challenge to live in the world and not be of the world “
Using this idea of integration and contextualization, how should Christians present the gospel to Muslims? Paradigms play an important part in this process. The Western world has focused on a legal paradigm when presenting Christianity. In doing this, they have limited the message of the good news. While it is true that the cross represents forgiveness and freedom from guilt, it also has other dimensions. Dr. Jabbour suggests that these other dimensions might be more effective in reaching Muslims. In particular, the cross is able to bring honor from shame. The shame and honor paradigm plays a huge role in Islamic culture. Many times family discipline involves shaming children when they are wrong. This is an element that Muslims can understand and appreciate. They are able to see the shame in the cross. In fact, Islam goes out of the way to remove the cross from its belief because of this shame. If Christians are able to show how Jesus took upon Himself the shame of the world so that they might have honor, it will go a long way in reaching them.
Lastly, Dr. Jabbour addresses Ahmad’s final obstacle to the faith. For many years, Christians have expected Muslims to drop all ties to Islam and become Christianized. While it is true that in order to follow Christianity one must leave behind teachings that are contradictory to the gospel, for Ahmad, Islam is much more than a religion. It includes his family, his heritage, his language, and culture. Should he be expected to leave his culture and join the “holy huddle” that many Christians live in? Ahmad has seen many times people who claim to be former Muslims, denouncing Islam and its culture.
Once again, Dr. Jabbour points back to the Bible for an answer. This time the answer comes from a curious text. Using 1 Corinthians 7:17-25, the reader is given a new and insightful look at a passage mostly about marriage. The passage is instruction for new believers who are in a marriage to an unbeliever. Paul instructs the believer to remain in the marriage out of love and hope that their partner may become a believer themselves. Paul is instructing the person to remain in the situation in which they found themselves. Using this wisdom, Dr. Jabbour says that new converts from Islam should remain in their culture. They should not remove themselves from the situation but become the salt and light to those around them. In doing this, they will reach their family and others who will not be reached by an outsider. This suggestion is both controversial and hopeful at the same time. Muslim background Christians are able to use familiar Islamic names for Jesus and the prophets. They are able to spread the love of Jesus from the inside.
The message of this book is ultimately love. Many people who read this book will find themselves challenged to see the world through a different lens. The western notion of Christianity is confronted all the way through. Readers will find themselves arguing against some of the assumptions that the composite characters make. Some of the hardest teachings come against Christendom. An allegiance to political powers is confronted and a mirror is shown to the west. By doing this, a transformation will occur in the heart. The internal struggle to listen to Islamic concerns should cause an outpouring of love for the Muslim world.
Not only does the book bring change of heart, it also offers practical advice on reaching Muslims. The chapters on integrating into the culture and becoming examples to Muslims will provide much insight into reaching this mysterious world. Christians are able to see Muslims as people who need Christ. They are able to see bridges that can address the concerns of Muslims. Advice about presenting the Gospel in paradigms important to Muslims is an example that all Christians should heed. God has used Dr. Jabbour to present a case for loving and reaching Muslims. The author has succeeded in his goal of moving the reader to compassion. By challenging and confronting western notions and giving a peep into the mind of Muslims, Dr. Jabbour has opened hearts for Muslims. Walking a mile in Ahmad’s sandals will give the reader reason to pause and to contemplate justice and love. This book has truly taken the time to look at Muslims through the eyes of the cross.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Im back! Similarities and Differences between Christianity and Islam

Its been a while since I have posted anything on here. Ive been busy with work and taking a seminary class. I am still working on recovering from anxiety but I am feeling much much better. Anyways I wanted to post a blog comparing Christianity and Islam. I also wanted to describe some ways that Christians can reach Muslims for Christ. For many people, Christianity and Islam seem like two completely opposite religions, but in truth they have many things in common. As Christians, we can use these commonalities as bridges to reaching Muslims.
Christianity and Islam both trace their lineage back to Adam, Noah, Moses, David, and Jesus. With that said, they hold many of the same historical narratives found in the Bible, including a literal creation and the flood. Many Muslim scientists have researched and debated against evolution and for creation. Both Christians and Muslims are in awe of God's sovereignty and power. True wisdom is the fear of the Lord. Both believe that God is just and will punish evil and reward good. We both hold a high view of our respectable scriptures. The ten commandments are very much alive in Islamic teaching. The first pillar of Islam is very similar to the first commandment. Jesus holds a very important place in Islam. We both believe that Jesus was born of a virgin and is the Messiah. We both believe that He lived a perfect life and will return one day.

We differ however on the facts that matter most, namely that Jesus in the One True God in the Flesh. Jesus is not just another prophet but is the actual God in human form come to redeem His creation. While Muslims hold a high view of God's justice, in my opinion they do not hold a high enough view. For Muslims, God can just forgive whoever as he pleases with no real reason. That would be completely unjust. To write off sins, without any punishment makes God into a liar and a unfair judge. The Bible teaches that the wages of sin are death. If God doesn't keep his word than, He is a liar. Christianity teaches that God is true to His word and punishes sin. He however is loving and took the punishment upon Himself. At the cross, God showed He is both Just and Loving, King and Friend.
Islam denies the deity of Christ and the sacrifice He made on the cross. It also teaches a wrong view of the trinity. Islam teaches that we view Jesus, God, and Mary as the trinity. I believe that has a lot to do with how Christians began idolizing Mary and the Saints in the period of Mohammad's life. Islam like Christianity also teaches that Christ will return but Islam teaches that Christ will knock down all crosses (end Christianity) upon His return and institute Islam everywhere.

To reach Muslims, we must begin with God's eyes. We must pray to see them like He does. We need to have the love of Christ abiding in us. An old saying goes, They wont care how much you know until they know how much you care. Developing friendship and seeking opportunities to change misconceptions they may have about Christianity. Many Muslims feel that if they are to accept Christianity they they must give up Arabic names, become die hard conservative capitalists and give up every aspect of their culture. We can also build bridges by pointing out their worship for God and showing our motives when we worship. Nothing will win them over to Christ, better than living a life of love motived by the joy of a relationship with God. We must see them as a person first and foremost. We can then ask them about what the Koran says about Jesus. Once we are friends with them we can be free to show them our faith in more detail.

I will be posting more in the future on this topic.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A dark week

This week began last sunday with a great day at church. The morning service was good. It was especially good to see my brother Josh step in at the last moment and lead worship. He did a great job and I was proud of him. After church I went with a group called the vine to give out sandwiches and drinks to some people at the city mission. It was really good to be able to put my faith in action. Then the sunday night service was amazing. Our pastor has been starting a new series based on Mark Bells Nooma videos. They are very educational help start group discussion. The sunday was great over all. And thats when the evil attacked. Sunday night, I laid down to go to sleep and found my mind racing. I couldn't stop thinking about everything. I am usually a very calm person but some reason my mind began attacking itself. I couldn't stop thinking about a movie I had watched. There was nothing in the movie that made me upset but my mind just wouldn't shut off. Thats when all hell broke lose. For some unknown reason my mind began panicking. I began to worry that I would never be able to sleep. My heart beat increased and before I knew it I thought I was going to die. I couldn't breath, I couldn't see straight, and I couldn't shake the feeling of imminent death. Every time I would close my eyes, visions of people dieing would come into my mind. I finally went for help and my parents helped calm me down. With the help of a tylonel pm I was able to go to sleep. But then the morning didn't bring help. I woke up feeling on edge. I found that the only respite from anxiety was by staying in bed asleep. Tuesday night, I had another panick attack. On Wednesday I went to the doctor, and he gave me some medication to help with anxiety. It is now sunday, and I am still struggling. Everytime that I start to feel ok, I start to wonder if I am indeed ok, and that restarts the cycle of anxiety. But the good news is this, I have not been alone through this week. My parents have been more than supporting as I have gone through this week. They have been there as I have broke down crying for no reason. They have been there when I just knew I was going crazy. My brothers have both been supportive as well. One thing this week, Satan has been using this time to attack me about my past. I have done a lot of stupid things in my past that I regret more than anything, and Satan has been playing them in my head. But there is good news, God has forgiven me. The bible says, that Whoever Jesus sets free is free indeed. I am free and I am forgiven. So as I am waiting on the medication to kick in and help lift a bit of the anxiety, I am still going to praise God. God is still good and great. No matter how dark I feel, I want to praise Him.
Also as a side note, my pastor (whose blog can be found on my links to the right) has been very helpful to. I was able to talk to him today and he reminded me of God's grace and His love. It is also good to be reminded of that.

Anyways, the reason I wanted to kind of air all this out there, is I hope that if there is someone else out there who is going through anxiety or panic attacks that they will know that there are other people like them. I also want you to know the truth of the gospel. No matter what you have done, God is most powerful and merciful to forgive you and give you a new start. If you have any other questions feel free to leave comments or email me at movieguyjoe@gmail.com
BTW please pray for me as I am still struggling really bad with all this anxiety and panicking.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Antichrist?




So the other day, I watched several videos on youtube saying that Barrack Obama is the antichrist. Now of couse, the videos were full of misinformation and half truths, but they did get me thinking. I won't got as far as to declare Obama the anti-christ, but I will say that he is a very bad choice. He is the most liberal senator in the senate and would gladly put an end to capitalism. A lot of his ideas are old outdated ideas about wealth redistribution. It is about taxing the rich, just because they are rich. He talks of hope and change, but his real message is government dependent living. JFK once said, ask not what your country can do for you. Obama's message is demand all you can from your government.
But the scary thing, is his rise to worldwide fame. His cult like status among the electorate. Just today he spoke to thousands and thousands in Germany. I will applaud him on his cunning use of media. The media have been eating out of his hand. Some of the photos from his road trip have been downright inspiring works of art. It is creepy. The following news story is about Obama's campaign plastering the western wall in Jerusalem with campaign posters. This is disrespectful and would be something that the anti-Christ would do.

The real problem for me with Obama, is that he shows how easy it would be for a very evil person to rise to power in our world. I do not know if Obama is as evil as alot of the conservatives make him out to be, but I do know that the path he is taking is scary.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Great interview

Here's a great interview with my presidential candidate