Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Kenneth Cragg, The Call of the Minaret, 3rd Ed. 1956 (2000). Oxford: One World. p 307.
Monday, December 28, 2009
Friday, December 25, 2009
|Sharon's Christmas Prayer|
by John Shea
She was five,
sure of the facts,
and recited them
with slow solemnity
convinced every word
they were so poor
they had only peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
and they went a long way from home
without getting lost. The lady rode
a donkey, the man walked, and the baby
was inside the lady.
They had to stay in a stable
with an ox and an ass (hee-hee)
but the Three Rich Men found them
because a star lited the roof
Shepherds came and you could
pet the sheep but not feed them.
Then the baby was borned.
And do you know who he was?
Her quarter eyes inflated
to silver dollars,
The baby was God.
And she jumped in the air
whirled round, dove into the sofa
and buried her head under the cushion
which is the only proper response
to the Good News of the Incarnation.
The Cultivation of Christmas Trees (1954)TS Eliot
1 There are several attitudes towards Christmas,
2 Some of which we may disregard:
3 The social, the torpid, the patently commercial,
4 The rowdy (the pubs being open till midnight),
5 And the childish---which is not that of the child
6 For whom the candle is a star, and the gilded angel
7 Spreading its wings at the summit of the tree
8 Is not only a decoration, but an angel.
9 The child wonders at the Christmas Tree:
10 Let him continue in the spirit of wonder
11 At the Feast as an event not accepted as a pretext;
12 So that the glittering rapture, the amazement
13 Of the first-remembered Christmas Tree,
14 So that the surprises, delight in new possessions
15 (Each one with its peculiar and exciting smell),
16 The expectation of the goose or turkey
17 And the expected awe on its appearance,
18 So that the reverence and the gaiety
19 May not be forgotten in later experience,
20 In the bored habituation, the fatigue, the tedium,
21 The awareness of death, the consciousness of failure,
22 Or in the piety of the convert
23 Which may be tainted with a self-conceit
24 Displeasing to God and disrespectful to the children
25 (And here I remember also with gratitude
26 St. Lucy, her carol, and her crown of fire):
27 So that before the end, the eightieth Christmas
28 (By "eightieth" meaning whichever is the last)
29 The accumulated memories of annual emotion
30 May be concentrated into a great joy
31 Which shall be also a great fear, as on the occasion
32 When fear came upon every soul:
33 Because the beginning shall remind us of the end
34 And the first coining of the second coming.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
When radical Muslims claim the US has declared war on Islam, it smacks of mirror imaging. It is Muslims, not secular Americans, who view wars in a religious context and fight in the name of Allah, wrongly assuming the rest of the world is trapped in a similar mind-set.
From the CSM.
Monday, December 21, 2009
Jaffarian, Michael. ‘The Statistical State of the North American Missions Movement, from the Mission Handbook, 20th Edition’ in IBMR Vol 32:1, Jan 2008, pp 35-38.
Charles Amjad-Ali suggests that much of the difficulty faced by Muslim thinking today is because “Islamic political theory developed during the heyday of such an Islamic state with multi-cultural, social, national, and tribal affiliations, they have had difficulties with the ‘modern’ concept of nation-state for their emphasis has always been on state-nations, i.e. a single Muslim state encompassing the entire umma with many nations in it. […] So one of the greatest difficulties Islamic theorists face is how to deal among the Muslim states themselves as this falls outside the pale of their doctrinal structures” (Amjad-Ali 9).
Amjad-Ali, Charles. 1996. ‘Setting the Agenda: Contemporary Challenges to the Development of Theology in the Context of Islam’ in Developing Christian Theology in the Context of Islam, Christine Amjad-Ali ed. Rawalpindi: Christian Study Centre, pp 1-20.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
One of the Theban Martyrs who were converted by Egyptian Christians. Ammon, along with Ingenes, Ptolemy, Theophilus, and Zeno, were guards during the persecution of Christians in the reign of Emperor Decius. During the torture and trial of these prisoners, Ammon and his fellow guards were converted to Christ. They cheered the faithfulness of the Christians under torture and urged them to endure in their courage. As a result, Ammon and the others became prisoners. They were beheaded displaying the same Christian constancy.
HT to Catholic Online.
Friday, December 18, 2009
Have you thought about Tajikistan lately? Have you considered the possibility that God designed you and formed you in your mother's womb to be a light and witness to the peoples of this nation? If not, please discuss the topic carefully with God.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
1) More workers
2) More collaboration: missions agencies working together
4) Prayer, Signs and Wonders, and Spiritual Warfare
5) Socio-political change: the fall of Communism, globalization, urbanization, the rise of Islamic governments and shari'a
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
For those who balk at the notion that governments should control family sizes, just wait until the growing human population turns twice as much pastureland into desert as is now the case, or when the Amazon is gone, the elephants disappear for good and wars erupt over water, scarce resources and spatial needs.
Read more: http://www.financialpost.com/story.html?id=2314438#ixzz0ZJk3GLVL
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Wednesday, December 09, 2009
Saturday, December 05, 2009
What was your first exposure to Christianity or Jesus or the Bible or any of those things?HT to Dar al Masih. Read more HERE.
Samira: Well, my first exposure was when I was six and had a vision of the Virgin Mary. And at the time I didn’t know who Mary was or who Jesus was or who Muslims were—I didn’t know anything about anything. I was in a mountain place, it was dark, I fell and I couldn’t get up. And there was this huge rock, this lady came from behind the rock, she was all in white, and she held my hand and picked me up and said that she was Mary. And when she held my hand something stayed with me and I just loved her and I asked my mother who she was and she said she was the mother of Prophet Jesus, as Muslims knew her. And I just knew since then that I wanted to be where she was which was the church. And then when I was nine I learned about St Bernadette, there was a movie called The Song of Bernadette and that is when I received my calling into ministry because I knew that my life belonged to the church. And that was the place to go to [inaudible]. And the interesting [thing] about that is I didn’t know anything about Jesus and—or the Bible. It was all the love of the church through the Virgin Mary.
Friday, December 04, 2009
From HERE. The main portion of the article is about the recent flooding in Jeddah, which doesn't even have a sewage system.