Saturday, December 13, 2008

In the Doghouse...

This has nothing to do with the Arabian Peninsula or Faith... but it's hilarious. :)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Great Blog on UAE Economics

Here's a great blog on economics in the UAE... Check it out if you're interested in following the effect of the worldwide economic downturn on the UAE... which is significant.

Emirates Economist

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Herod the Great - The Man of Four Cultures ... And His Amazing Projects (National Geographic)



I was just reading about Herod the Great and came upon this wonderful slideshow at National Geographic. He was the king in Palestine during the time of Jesus' birth. He ordered the slaughter of all the male babies under the age of 2 in Bethlehem.

I was reading the book "Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes" and learned some amazing things about Herod.  He was really a "quadruple-cultural" man.

1.  He was Arab ethnicity.  He had a brother named Yousef and brother named Faisal.

2.  He was Jewish in religious background.  His family, several generations before him, had been forced to convert to Judaism.

3.  He was Greek.  His primary language of communication was Greek and he sought to make Jerusalem a Greek-like city.

4.  He was politically Roman.  He served Ceasar in Rome.  He had sided with Mark Antony in his fight against Octavius (who later became Ceasar).   But when Marc Antony lost the battle Herod sought an audience with Ceasar.  He told him, "I want you to consider, not whose friend I was, but how good a friend I was".  Ceasar made him king of Palestine.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Ancient UAE Church and Monastery Discovered Dating from Pre-Islamic Times

There is a fascinating article in The National, a newspaper published out of Abu Dhabi. The article describes ancient ruins of a Nestorian church and monastery discovered on an island off the coast of Abu Dhabi. The ruins could date to the 4th century which is pre-Islamic (7th century).

The article is fascinating enough just when considering the finds but it's doubly interesting that the authorities are allowing the discoveries to be published and preserved. These kinds of finds are particularly sensitive in the Kingdom "next door" where freedom of worship is not allowed and the idea of a pre-Islamic "other" religion is not discussed much. The UAE is to be commended for their openness and honesty about the Christian church findings.

Here are some interesting findings related to ancient churches discovered in the countries around here...





What do you think about the idea that Christian churches and communities existed on the Arabian Peninsula before Mohammad was born?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Beams of Light on the Burj

Oh man, I have so much to blog about but have not been able to get it up here. So, to whet you're appetite for some interesting posts I thought I'd throw up an interesting picture to hold you over. I went to the Dubai Mall the other day for the first time. It's the largest mall in the world and has an amazing aquarium which I"ll be posting about soon. On the way home I stopped at signal and looked out of my window up at the Burj. Great shot with the sun beaming out from behind the cloud (clouds are rare here). Look for more good posts coming soon.

From 2008-11-16 Phone Pics

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Synchronized Spotlights Show Up on the Burj Dubai

The Burj Dubai, currently under construction near my home, has added quite a few lights and moving synchronized spotlights on several different floors. My 'point and shoot' digital camera couldn't get the video adequately but I did manage a few lowlight shots from my rooftop. Enjoy.

From 2008-11-7 Volleyball & Musical & Etc


From 2008-11-7 Volleyball & Musical & Etc

One Commenter's Ideas on Islamic Dawah (Sharing the Islamic Faith)

A frequent commenter, LDU, recently posted his thoughts on Dawah - the Arabic/Islamic word for Muslims calling those outside Islam to become Muslims.  I thought you might like to read what he had to say...

The concept of Dawah is very different to the Christian understanding of preaching or sending missionaries and Christian funded aid in war zones and what have you.

Although Dawah does cover verbal discussions that only comprises a very tiny part of it. Being a good Muslim citizen and fulfilling your civic duties is Dawah; a lady wearing a hijab is Dawah and likewise a man with a prayer cap and a beard is performing Dawah; being good to co-workers and being hospitable is also Dawah.

Allah instruct's Muslims to propogate Islam - that is no secret. The Quran mentions explicitly to let the entire globe know of Islam. I can do that by wearing a prayer cap in Iceland. Allah hasn't set a fixed definition for what Dawah is nor has he set out an exhaustive list - therefore it ends up being a merits based approach and not a "one size fits all". No Muslim caliph sent an army to Indonesia. Indonesia became Muslim because of the honest trade techniques (Dawah in itself) of the Muslim traders who travelled there.

In my opinion its not a matter of inviting people to the truth. Its more of an issue of not intimidating people by preaching. If people are genuinely interested in my faith, I'd be happy to discuss it with them and answer their queries. But would i stand near a train station and hand out DVD's or would I buy airtime on national television? No.


Anyone's else's thoughts on LDU's ideas about Dawah?  Do his ideas line up with yours?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

An Amazing Expectation: Peaceful Transfer of Power

This post at RealClearPolitics.com (my favorite blog for US political info) speaks about the amazingly peaceful and gracious transfer of power that happens every time the US elects a new president. You should read the whole short post but this quote King George stood out to me.

When (George) Washington stepped aside after two terms, his old adversary King George III is supposed to have said, "If he does that, sir, he will be the greatest                               man in the world."
This really is astounding and highlights the long list of 'great men' that have served as President of the United States... 'great' not because they didn't make mistakes (they did) but because they handed power over willingly.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Quote: The Most Troublesome Person

I've had the same experience...

I have had more trouble with myself than with any other
man I have ever met.
... Dwight L. Moody (1837-1899)

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Another Neighborhood Encounter

I wrote in the last post about meeting the three guys from the mosque. Well, I was walking the dog with my wife one night last week. On the other side of the street, three men in dishdashas approached. I handed the dog leash to my wife and crossed over to greet them with a traditional Arabic greeting.

They seemed genuinely stunned and pleased. They introduced themselves and said they live in the neighborhood. Then one of the men said "That was noble of you to come and introduce yourself... many people are scared of us 'guys in white' (a reference to being a Gulf Arab person in a white dishdasha)."

It seems that many expats are reluctant to make friends with 'locals' here for one reason or another. Sometimes I think they just don't see them as people they COULD get to know. Other times I do think they're genuinely afraid because of rumors they've heard about locals not being friendly.

On the contrary, I've found locals to be extremely friendly and open to friendship. If you're an expat here in Dubai or the UAE, what's been your experience? Or, if you're a local, what's been your experience with expats?

Monday, November 03, 2008

"Door to Door" Call to Prayer

I had a interesting experience earlier this week. The doorbell rang about 7pm and I went to the gate to answer it. Three men in dishdashas were standing there. Two were older with long beards. One was younger; no beard. They asked me if I was Muslim. I replied that I was a "...Christian, a follower of Jesus". They apologized for some reason and then asked me if my neighbor was a Muslim. I replied that both on either side of me were Muslims.

When I inquired in a friendly way what they were doing they told me they were going from house to house trying to get the Muslims to pray with them. I told them I'd like to come see them at the mosque sometime and talk about faith. They welcomed me.

I think these gentlemen weren't thinking of trying to convince me of the truth of Islam but were working to get self-proclaimed Muslims to come and pray regularly at the mosque as it's required in Islam. And I've met many observant Muslims who see their role as trying to "energize" or motivate "lapsed" Muslims.

I'm glad for the introductions to these men and hope to get down to the mosque sometime in the next month.

Podcast: Round Table Discussion on Christianity and Politics



The White Horse Inn is a radio program/podcast that I enjoy listening to often. It comes out every week and deals with some issue of theology or culture related to Christianity. The guys who do the show, including Michael Horton, are not theological slouches and you have to listen carefully to follow along. But the reward is rich.

In honor of the election tomorrow I'm including links to two shows they recently did outlining a Biblical view of politics and faith for the Christian. These are not shows about 'who you should vote for if you're a Christian'. They had both Republicans and Democrats on the show and the conversations were really stimulating. Give them a listen.

Christianity and Politics; Part 1

Christianity and Politics; Part 2

Saturday, October 11, 2008

(Great) Quote: Resolved

Resolved, never to do anything which I should be afraid to do if it were the last hour of my life.
   ... Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Crossing the Street in Alexandria, Egypt

It's a real adventure crossing the street in Alexandria, Egypt. I was there back in August. Here's a close-up view of what it's like to risk your life just trying to get to the other side!

From 2008-9-2 MENA - Alexandria Egypt

Missing a Good Friend: Bassam Zawadi

A good friend of mine moved from Dubai over a month ago and I'm really missing him. Bassam Zawadi is a Muslim apologist and a good friend. Work took him back to Riyadh and I'm really missing our almost weekly dinners and discussions at Chili's. ;) To honor Bassam I want to point you to video of debates he did with a Christian apologist this summer in the U.S. I confess that I've not had time to watch them all. And you must know that I disagree with Bassam on many things including the divinity of Jesus and the authority of the Christian scriptures. And I have argued against him on many occasions.

Still, Bassam is a person of good character, he's helped me understand Islam, and I would urge you to check out his work. Here is his website.

Below are the first two videos posted on youtube... there are more but I'm sure you'll find them.



Thoughts on The Sermon on the Mountain - Part 1 - Matthew 5:1-11

I'm reading through the account of Jesus' life written by Matthew, one of his followers. I hope my thoughts and comments might spark some thoughts for you.

Today I'm considering Matthew 5:1-11.

I'm struck by the thing that seems to motivate Jesus to teach his disciples - the gathering crowds. It seems like he saw the crowds and knew that he needed to clarify what his identity, leadership, and Kingdom were all about. He did this with his primary leaders. They needed to represent his Kingdom well.

He starts with a list of "blessed's". It's as if he is stating the results of being in covenant relationship with himself and with God. Those who enter into his covenant will receive blessing.

The first four blessed statements seem to be all about recognizing your own sin and unrighteousness. They involve seeing our own inadequacies before a holy and pure God. The essential qualities are poor spirit, mourning attitude, meekness, and a hunger and thirst for righteousness. As a composite, this would describe people who recognize their emptiness, unrighteousness, powerlessness, and personal brokenness. In brief: humble and honest about their spiritual condition.

The next three fit together; the merciful, pure in heart, and peacemakers. These strike me as the actions of humble people. The substance in the lives of those who have the first four inner qualities listed above.

The last two involve the the blessings that come to those who are persecuted by others for two reasons. First, those who are persecuted because they demonstrate righteousness in their lives. Secondly, those who are directly connected with Jesus. He's describing the eternal perspective that his followers must have about this life. They must live for God and be connected with him despite the persecution that he implies will necessarily come. He even encourages rejoicing and gladness in the face of persecution and this is only possible with an eternal perspective on life.

So do these things describe you? To what degree? Have you been humbled by your own inadequacy before God? Has that humility produced the actions of mercy toward others, a purity of heart only possible for those honest about themselves, or someone who works for peace between people and God and among people themselves?

Lastly, could you be accused of anything "on Jesus' account'?

Think about it.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Quote: Lack of Missions During Reformation

I love the Reformation. And I'm grateful for the Reformers. But this a sad fact that, fortunately, was corrected in time by the Reformer's own focus on the supremacy and authority of the Scriptures.

One of the results of the Reformation,... which is
somewhat difficult of explanation, was the attitude of the
Protestant Church of the Reformation to missions during the
Reformation period (1517-1650). Having themselves been
emancipated from the superstitions and slavery of a false
doctrine and a harsh ecclesiastical government, it would be
thought most natural that the Reformers and those who followed
them should promptly turn their attention to spreading these
glad tidings among non-Christian peoples; but here a strange
anomaly is found in the fact that there had been hardly any
period, in the entire history of the Christian Church, so
destitute of any concerted effort to spread the gospel in
heathen lands [as] just this period of the Reformation.

... Alfred D. Mason (1855-1923), Outlines of Missionary
History [1912]

GulfNews Report on Speeding Bus Drivers

The GulfNews featured a report on construction labor bus drivers and the racing they engage in while transporting workers to and from work. They did some semi-undercover video to show what it's like riding in one of these buses and they've interviewed some workers.

I (like all Dubai drivers) pass these buses every day on the roads. It's hard to tell if and when they're racing each other. They are imposing vehicles and they're almost almost always packed to the "brim" with workers. You'll notice the the buses have speedometers that go to 100 kilometers per hour. The speed limit on the faster roads is 100 km/hr and up to 120 km/hr. Cars are supposed to go this fast but I often see cars passing me going at least 150 to 170 km/hr. I think these cars are the biggest danger on the roads.

One other issue. The government should penalize the companies for drivers who break the law. Unfortunately, I think it's usually the drivers themselves that get the full punishment and the companies go free. The companies need to be the ones that 'police' their own drivers. (Maybe they should check out the signs in the post office that I posted below :)

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Basic Tech Tips from David Pogue @ NYTimes.com


There's a great article about basic tech tips on David Pogue's Blog at the New York Times. It's a compilation of things that most thorough computer geeks know but the rest of us don't. Here's a sampling below. Click here to read the entire list... It might save you some time some day :)

* You can double-click a word to highlight it in any document, e-mail or Web page.

* You can enlarge the text on any Web page. In Windows, press Ctrl and the plus or minus keys (for bigger or smaller fonts); on the Mac, it’s the Command key and plus or minus.

* You can use Google to do math for you. Just type the equation, like 23*7+15/3=, and hit Enter.

* Google is also a units-of-measurement and currency converter. Type “teaspoons in 1.3 gallons,” for example, or “euros in 17 dollars.” Click Search to see the answer.

* You can switch from one open program to the next by pressing Alt+Tab (Windows) or Command-Tab (Mac).

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Post-Ramadan Mosque Sermons in Dubai

The following are excerpts from the published mosque sermons in Dubai. All the sermons are supposed to be the same and they are published on the Dubai Islamic Affairs website in English. It's very interesting and I'm grateful that they're published in English for the expats like me.

The title from this past week was "What Comes After Ramadan". (excerpts below)

"I bear witness that our Master Mohammed is the servant of Allah and His Messenger. His Lord sent him with guidance and the true religion to exalt it over every other religion though the polytheists hate it Allah says ‘O Prophet! Verily, We have sent you as witness, and a bearer of glad tidings, and a warner. And as one who invites to Allah by His Leave, and as a lamp spreading light. And announce to the believers the glad tidings that they will have from Allah a Great Bounty.’

I recommend you and my self to fear Allah the great, urging you to obey Him, and warning you of disobeying and deviating his commands for He had granted us all the blessings we have. Allah says 'And He it is Who has put the night and the day in succession, for such who desires to remember or desires to show his gratitude.'

Ramadan has ended like everything else in life. Everything reaches an end. Every living thing eventually dies. Allah says 'Everything will perish save His Face. His is the Decision, and to Him you (all) shall be returned.'

We have bided Ramadan farewell in sorrow, because it allowed us to obey. We have said goodbye with hearts full of love because it helps us to love Allah more.

Brothers in Islam, Ramadan has ended. Some people had committed good-deeds and some people had not. We must thank Allah for the blessing of understanding that Ramadan is the month of prayer, worshipping and fasting.

After Ramadan we must pray and ask Allah to accept the tasks we had performed during Ramadan. We cannot guarantee that Allah will accept what we have done.

Brothers of faith, many Muslims are used to fear Allah during Ramadan and practice Islam by praying and avoiding sins. Once Ramadan is over, they stop doing that. True believers are those who fear Allah and worship him all the time. The messenger of Allah may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him used to say 'O you who can change what is inside our hearts, do not turn mine against your religion."

Friday, October 03, 2008

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Speeding Is a Sin

From 2008-8-17 Phone Pics


I was in the Dubai post office last spring and noticed these posters that were part of a Dubai Police Department campaign against speeding. I suppose they might be effective if you have some fear of God.

As a Christian, the scriptures teach that we should obey the laws of the land, in as much as they don't command us to do things contrary to God's commands in scripture.

Romans 13:1-7 says:

"Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. 4For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. 6This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing. 7Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor."

But for the Christian there is the Gospel that tells how Jesus' death and sacrifice for us covers over all our sins past, present, and future. I'm grateful for that since I know I've surpassed the speed limit on occasion. Yet, the Gospel of Grace also encourages me to obey the laws even as I seek to obey God in thankfulness for what he's done for me in Christ.

Here's a few more pics of the posters...

From 2008-8-17 Phone Pics


From 2008-8-17 Phone Pics

NYTimes Article and Slideshow on Young Muslims in Dubai

From Desktop


There is a fascinating article and accompanying slideshow on the New York Times website that came out a few weeks ago. The article really rings true to me as I have contact with young Muslims in Dubai. At least check out the slideshow here.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Quote: Docetism and Islam

One attempt to reconcile the Gnostic doctrine [of the
unreality of evilness] of matter with the apostolic teaching
about Christ was the theory that the body which our Lord took
at His coming into the world was not a real body but a phantom
one. He only seemed to inhabit a material body, and from the
Greek word dokein ["to seem"], people who held this theory
were known as Docetists. But if Christ's incarnation was
unreal, His death and resurrection were also unreal; and the
whole gospel message was thus evacuated of its truth and
power: one unhappy legacy of this short-lived phase of
Christian heresy remains to bedevil Christian witness to
Muslims up to the present day. For when the Koran says of
Jesus that "they did not kill Him, nor did they crucify Him,
but they thought they did," we may infer that Muhammad was
indebted for this idea to a Christian source tainted with
Docetism.
... F. F. Bruce (1910-1991), The Apostolic Defence of the
Gospel [1959]

Monday, September 15, 2008

Early Morning Surprise: A Beautiful Falcon

Late last week I was driving the kids to school and, in the neighborhood nearby, I passed a man holding a beautiful falcon on his arm. After dropping the kids off I raced back to find the man in a 4x4 with the falcon hooded and perched on the backseat. I inquired about the bird and found the man was a driver employed by his owner who had gone back into the house. He was not going come back out as he had gone to bed and the driver was taking the falcon to the vet for a checkup. I'm guessing that the man was a local Emirati who had his bird with him at a Ramadan tent overnight and he was going to sleep since he might have been up most of the night. This is a common practice for some Emiratis during Ramadan since they are fasting during the day but can eat during the night.

Falconry is, historically, a very popular sport on the Arabian Peninsula. Here is a video of falcon hunting from Sheikh Mohammad's website.

This bird was one of the most beautiful I've ever seen. Very impressive.

From 2008-9-11 Phone Pics - Falcon


From 2008-9-11 Phone Pics - Falcon


And this picture is from about 5 years ago when I went to Sheikh Mohammad's (different than the current ruler) majlis.

From Sheikh Mohammad & Falcon

Modified: Cartoon of Prophet Moses and Pharaoh

Some of you may have noticed that I recently included a humorous cartoon about Moses, Pharaoh, and the Ten Commandments here. There were some anachronisms (aspects of a historical scene that were not present during the time period pictured or written about - i.e. a wristwatch on a caveman) and inconsistencies as compared with the Biblical accounts. I thought the cartoon was funny, interesting, and I didn't take it too seriously.

But a Muslim friend of mine noticed the cartoon entry here and kindly warned me that government and/or religious authorities in this region could view the posting of the cartoon about Moses as sacrilegious and offensive... perhaps as offensive as a cartoon about Prophet Mohammad.

So I've altered the cartoon to remove the image of Moses. I hope that anyone offended by the cartoon would please accept my apology. No disrespect or offense was intended. Here is the new cartoon image:


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This entry and the advice from my friend have caused me to ponder the ever-present possibility of offending other's deeply held religious views. Things that I believe most definitely might offend people. I think this is possibly true for everyone no matter what you believe.

And there are aspects of what I hold to be true that I am not willing to hide or deny even if others feel that they are offensive. But the cartoon itself doesn't represent anything about which I'm willing to be willfully or knowingly offensive.

I think the Gospel itself is the only thing I'm willing to not hide or keep to myself.

As advice to my Christian friends, if there are others you are offending ask yourself the question: Is it my manner or character or is it the Gospel which is offending others around me?

And Christians, if you are offended by others by what you consider to be mocking, trivializing or demeaning Christ and the Gospel, then I encourage you to consider Christ and his response to offense and insult:

1 Peter 2:21-23

To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. "He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth." When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Random Funny Video

This video had me in tears. Extremely funny. But you have to know American Football and... have a weird sense of humor :)


Pre-Game Coin Toss Makes Jacksonville Jaguars Realize Randomness Of Life

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Wanna Buy a Luxury Yacht?

Back in Dubai... where luxury yachts are advertised like shampoo, phones, or chewing gum. These Ferretti yacht ads are being advertised all up and down Beach Road.

I guess that says something about the percentage of the population with lots of disposable income.

Only in Dubai :)

From 2008-9-4 Phone Pics


From 2008-9-4 Phone Pics

Friday, August 29, 2008

Quote: Don't Trample The Smallest Work of Grace in Anyone

Busy in Alexandria... Here's a great quote for you to ponder.

The Jews would not willingly tread upon the smallest piece
of paper in their way, but took it up; for possibly, they say,
the name of God may be on it. Though there was a little
superstition in this, yet truly there is nothing but good
religion in it, if we apply it to men. Trample not on any;
there may be some work of grace there, that thou knowest not
of. The name of God may be written upon that soul thou
treadest on; it may be a soul that Christ thought so much of,
as to give His precious blood for it; therefore despise it
not.


S. T. Coleridge (1772-1834), Aids to Reflection, "Moral and Religious Aphorisms," XXVIII [1825]

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Off to Alexandria, Egypt

My apologies, again, to those of you who check in here from time to time. I'm back on the road again and with little internet access. I'm off to Alexandria, Egypt and I'll be back middle of next week. I hope to start posting more then.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The First Week Back in Dubai

We returned to Dubai just 7 days ago. Whenever I return to the US I notice things in Dubai... first impressions all over again. Here's what has stood out to me despite the the mental haze that jet-lag creates.

1. It's really hot and extremely humid here. (Yes, worse than Memphis or Houston)
2. You need sunglasses here. The sun is blinding.
3. So many things are white or beige... buildings, sand, etc. (see point #2 above)
4. So many nationalities.
5. Traffic is so awful you avoid driving whenever possible.
6. Construction and cranes as far as the eye can see.
7. The newspaper is full of advertisements... almost as much ad space as newscopy.
8. You become more aware of world events - like the recent death of a famous Palestinian poet or the murder of a famous Lebanese singer in Dubai.
9. It's really hot and extremely humid. (Did I say that already? :)

I'm glad to be back though... Marhaba Dubai!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Old Testament Cartoon

Almost home to Dubai... just a few more days. And in the meantime I'll throw you a odd piece of humor with a Bible trivia twist.

This cartoon is from Mike Peters and it's titled Mother Goose and Grimm. Here is his website. Go check it out.

The cartoon below is an obvious reference to America's judicial branch resistance to public postings of the Ten Commandments. Numerous places have ruled it to be unconstitutional because it favors one religion over another. The cartoon below obviously includes Moses and Pharaoh of Egypt.

But here's the trivia twist... Can you tell me in what way this cartoon misrepresents Biblical history?

Let me know what you think in the comment section.

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Quote: The Virtue of Rising Early

Hmmm. Maybe I should set that alarm a little earlier :)

If you were to rise early every morning, as an instance of
self-denial, as a method of renouncing indulgence, as a means
of redeeming your time and of fitting your spirit for prayer,
you would find mighty advantages from it. This method, though
it seem such a small circumstance of life, would in all
probability be a means [toward] great piety. It would keep it
constantly in your head that softness and idleness were to be
avoided and that self-denial was a part of Christianity... It
would teach you to exercise power over yourself, and make you
able by degrees to renounce other pleasures and tempers that
war against the soul.

William Law (1686-1761), A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life, ch. XIV [1728]

Quote: Inoculated with Christianity...

We have all been inoculated with Christianity, and are
never likely to take it seriously now! You put some of the
virus of some dreadful illness into a man's arm, and there is
a little itchiness, some scratchiness, a slight discomfort--
disagreeable, no doubt, but not the fever of the real disease,
the turning and the tossing, and the ebbing strength. And we
have all been inoculated with Christianity, more or less. We
are on Christ's side, we wish him well, we hope that He will
win, and we are even prepared to do something for Him,
provided, of course, that He is reasonable, and does not make
too much of an upset among our cozy comforts and our customary
ways. But there is not the passion of zeal, and the burning
enthusiasm, and the eagerness of self-sacrifice, of the real
faith that changes character and wins the world.

A. J. Gossip (1873-1954), From the Edge of the Crowd [1924]

Been Traveling Abroad Lately...

I apologize for the long absence of entries in the blog. I've been traveling for over a month now and will likely not have much time to blog until mid-August. That's bad for viewership :) But not much I can do about it. I'll throw some pics and quotes to you in the meantime.

Here we are below in the French Alps. Glaciers behind and below us. Amazing views of God's creation. Psalm 19:1..."The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands."

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Shaikh Zayed Mosque - Abu Dhabi - Part 13

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Ok... I showed my favorite shot two times :( Talk to you soon.