Monthly Archives: September 2012

The Man who Cried – Hebrews 5:7-10

I heard him in his room at noon, at night
Asking God for wisdom, grace and light.
Unrelenting passion filled his heart,
Trusting God would answer from the start.
Praying hard: he sought, he groaned, he sighed . . .
That’s how I’d describe the man who cried.

I saw him kneeling early in the morn
Calling out for sinners he had warned.
Simple words of power touched his lips,
Wetted eyes released their salty drips.
Bowing at the throne while others slept . . .
That’s how I’d describe the man who wept.

I heard his voice beside the young man’s grave
Telling friends about the Lord who saves.
Hugging those who mourned, his soul could hear
Every sadness, quiver, sigh, and tear.
Hurting when folks hurt; he sympathized . . .
That’s how I’d describe the man who agonized.

I saw him in the garden full of praise
Singing psalms with arms and hands upraised.
God had answered his request at last:
Fruit had come, so he would break the fast.
Thanking God just like a little boy . . .
That’s how I’d describe the man of joy.

Categories: Evangelism, Humility, Prayer | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Path to Persecution

Persecution is least easily received when from those you love. Yet continuing to love the persecutor is crucial to learning obedience, hence enjoying God’s love. Jesus learned obedience through the things he suffered at the hands of his own people for:

1. Healing on the Sabbath as well as other days.
2. Loving, not condemning, the nations.
3. Forgiving sin.
4. Not going through the ritual of cleansing off the “defilement of the world” for common meals.
5. Associating with sinners.
6. Clearing out the temple and condemning the temple hierarchy.
7. Acknowledging that he was the Son of God.
8. Receiving unfaithful followers.

If we follow Jesus in these, at some point, we will likely be persecuted. It will not be easy, but we can proceed in the confidence that Jesus has gone before us.

This year, join in praying for the persecuted church:

November 11, 2012. Vote for the Kingdom of God!

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Prayer paved the way

From Kankan to Ypsilanti

At one point, the Mande Peoples ruled over much of West Africa in an empire that spanned centuries.

Every church bulletin includes a prayer list: names of the sick, those without jobs, friends and family who are traveling, church staff, and, oh yes, the missionaries. Some remember to pray for those on the list. Some even pray for a blessing on all the missionaries.

Others take the time to pray specifically for the individuals, the sick and those away from their homeland for the express purpose of telling others about Jesus Christ, and the difference following Him and His teachings can make in anyone’s life.

In 1997, through the church he attended at the time in Indiana, my son, Mert, learned of the Mande, a people group in West Africa. He included them when he prayed for individual missionaries in their specific country. He not only prayed, he researched the needs of the people and followed events and missionaries in the area.

In 2000, he left Indiana, but he kept the Mande mission outreach in his prayers – even when he heard little about them.

In 2005, he moved to Michigan where he rides the city buses and prays for opportunities to meet new people on the bus. Sometimes, he shares Bible verses that catch his attention.

One day’s reading touched on Paul’s visit to Rome as a prisoner and his greeting to the Jews, “You will be ever seeing, but never perceiving. Ever hearing, but never understanding. Lest you turn from your sin and be healed. …” That evening, Mert shared those words with the man sitting beside him.

“That is so true for me,” the man said. “I have trouble seeing, trouble hearing, and trouble thinking.”

“Go to the elders of your church and ask for healing,” my son said.

“I am a Muslim.”

“Oh, where are you from?”

It turned out that the man, Reggie, came from West Africa – from the Mande people group for whom Mert continued to pray.

After briefly sharing the Good News with him, Mert noted his contact information and, a couple of weeks later, he visited Reggie.

Reggie expressed his belief in Jesus as the Son of God, asked prayer for his family and began reading the Bible.

After visiting him a couple of times, Mert and a friend arrived one day to discover that the entire apartment complex was empty. No one knew where anyone had moved.

Turning to leave, they spotted a business card for Reggie’s mother’s hair-braiding salon. It took a bit of hunting to find the place, but they did. It was hidden behind a simple glass door at the end of a narrow hallway.

Reggie’s mother, Sarah, talked about her family and accepted prayers of blessings for her in Jesus name. Over time, she introduced them to other Mande people in the area. Sometimes Mert brought Bible story books he had received which were in her language, Gospel recordings or copies of the “Jesus” film in Sarah’s native language to give to her and her friends.

For Reggie, a boxer, Mert found an autobiography of George Foreman that included his testimony of faith in Jesus.

This year in March, Ahmed, a religious leader, moved into the area, and Sarah introduced him. They began talking about the Word of God. Ahmed introduced Mert to a professor of the Mande people’s language whose father had created an alphabet for the people and written numerous books in their language.

In August, searching his Internet resources for a Bible in his friend’s native language, Mert found a linguist who had been living in the West African country and was working on translating the Bible for this people group. The linguist accepted an invitation to visit the transplanted folks from his adopted country over the Labor Day weekend.

From the translator and a website, Mert learned simple greetings in the Mande people’s language to use at the local ethnic grocery store, where he met more folks who spoke the language.

Preparations and prayers for the translator’s visit included printing 20 copies of the portions of the Bible he had translated, scheduling as many visits with various Mande folks as possible and distributing copies of the translation.

But, God had bigger plans.

The folks at the beauty salon, the grocery and around the neighborhood invited the translator and Mert to the annual gathering of immigrant Mandes. This fall that gathering just happened to be in the area.

The number of people at the convention was 150-200. By invitation, the translator gave a short speech and blessings of peace.

“The atmosphere was electric,” Mert said. The translator became the unexpected star of the convention as conventioneers asked to have their pictures taken with him. Learning that he was a Bible translator, the host said, “We are Muslims.”

“I know, but doesn’t the Koran say that you are supposed to read the Law and the Gospel?” the translator politely acknowledged.

Before he left, the translator received an invitation to speak on the international radio broadcast in the West African dialect. He plans to revisit the folks in Michigan before he returns to his work in the West African country.

For Mert, the weekend gave testimony to him that God is answering prayers for this people group.

(Written with Mert Hershberger)

This blog first appeared in Joan Hershberger’s Wednesday Column in the El Dorado News-Times in Union County, Arkansas.

Categories: Evangelism, Islam, Missions, Prayer | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

You Can Never Awaken a Man Who Is Pretending to be Asleep

I believe that this is an honest assessment of the current situation in the world. Islam is a lie. Muhammed is dead. Violence marks both like vultures to a carcass. The Good News is: Jesus did not kill to bring peace, he died in our place to take away our sin and rose to give new life according to the Scriptures. Check out the Bible links above to see if what I said is true. – Mert Hershberger

The White House and media response to the events in the US embassies in Egypt and Libya can be characterized by the fact they speak like they have never seen Sharia mob justice before in their lives. Or, at least, you would think that from the knowledge and wisdom they display in their analysis.

For the last 11 years since 9/11, we have watched the same events unroll in the Islamic world and the same response come from our so-called leaders in the government, media, schools and the pulpits. The establishment view: Those Muslims are extremists, not real Muslims. We should be careful not to offend the religion of peace. When Muslims are offended by movies, Koran burnings and Mohammed cartoons, it is our fault.

The clue phone is ringing, pick it up. Here are the clues:

The murder of intellectuals and artists who criticize Mohammed is Sunna. Sunna is the perfect example of Mohammed’s life. When Mohammed captured Mecca, he first prayed, then he destroyed all religious art and then he issued death warrants for the artists and intellectuals who had opposed him. There are only two new facts in the Koran, a derivative work. The first new fact is that Mohammed is the prophet of Allah, and the second new truth is that if you don’t believe he is prophet of Allah, you can be killed.

Violence is what brings Islam success. In Mohammed’s life, he preached the religion of Islam for 13 years and garnered 150 new followers. When he went to Medina and became a politician and a warlord, when he died every Arab was a Muslim. Jihad violence was what made Islam successful. If Mohammed practice jihad, Muslims must use the technique of jihad.

Hello establishment experts, the black flag is not an Al Qaeda flag. The black flag with the Shahada, “There is no god, but Allah and Mohammed is his prophet” and the swords goes back to the Golden Age of Islam in Baghdad in the 9th century. (The establishment professors never tell you about this jihad aspect of the Islamic Golden Age.) This jihad flag is ancient.

Current news is that Ambassador Stevens was raped before he was killed. If so, then this is pure jihad doctrine. The rules for rape of captured Kafirs (unbelievers) are Sunna. At the conquest of the Jews in Khaybar, the Hadith are explicit that captured Kafirs can be raped.

The mob is a manifestation of the Sharia and the umma (the Islamic community). Notice that when a fatwa is issued, such as the famous fatwa by Khomeini against Salmon Rushdie for his artistic work The Satanic Verses, the fatwa is not to be fulfilled by the Islamic police. No, the murder is to be carried by any member of the umma. This is vigilante justice, Sharia justice, mob justice. Pay attention to how often Muslims riot to make political gain.

The shortest hadith is: war is deceit. So here come all of the “good” Muslims to explain how the murder and riots are not real Islam. And they are so upset about what Arabs are doing at the US embassies. But, they still can tell us that Islam is the religion of peace, without a single trace of irony.

The idea that we should not blaspheme Islam, Mohammed or Allah is pure Sharia and the position of the OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation). It seems that none of the establishment experts have the foggiest idea of what Sharia blasphemy entails. Not believing that Mohammed is the prophet of Allah, that a woman is a second class citizen, that jihad is part of Islam is all blasphemy. Critical thought is blasphemy. The Golden Rule is blasphemy. Any well-founded religion can survive blasphemy, except Islam, and that is the reason it is forbidden. But the worst part of this travesty is the refrain from Obama and Hillary that we should subvert our freedom of speech to the demands of the Sharia. The Sharia is Allah’s law and our Constitution is a document of ignorance to be removed from the world. So say the imams and Obama and Hillary.

And now for the last tired response from the apologists: those violent people are an extremist fringe. NO! The mobs are main-line Islam.

You can awaken a man who is asleep, but you will never awaken a man who is pretending to be asleep. That is the reason that we find our experts in the government, media, education and the pulpits to be such dhimmis. They have refused to learn a single thing about Islamic doctrine and history since 9/11. But, cheer up! When the dhimmis write about the beauty of Islam and how the Kafirs are wrong, read the comments. You will find that the common man knows far, far more about Islam than the experts. The higher you go, the less they know.

Bill Warner, Director, Center for the Study of Political Islam
copyright (c) CBSX, LLC,

Categories: Good News, Islam | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Seek My Face” – The Heart of God.

Sadly, many times translations of the Bible overdo it on occasion. They add in words or alternate words that would be best kept a little closer to the text. Happily, these are rare. Psalm 27:8 is one instance where a literal reading of the present Hebrew text gives the clearest and most profound reading. I am using The Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia 1990.  The simplest rendering of Psalm 27:7-9 is as follows: 

Hear, O Lord, my voice when my voice cries

Have mercy on me and answer me.

“My heart says to you, ‘Seek my face.'”

Your face, O Lord, will I seek.

Don’t hide your face from me.

Don’t turn in anger from your servant.

You Have lived as my help.

Don’t leave and don’t abandon me,

O God, my Savior.

This is a Psalm of David. Psalm 27:8a is where translators mess up: essentially God is answering David. He says, “Seek my Face.” David has been seeking God and talking about building a house for God. Here David hears from God and God is saying Seek My Face. It is the Heart of God: I.e. the core of the creator wants us to look to the source of our visage. The Image is to reflect the Face of God. So then the Mirror cries out for God to look at the Mirror. What is neat about this simpler translations than the circumlocutions in modern English versions is that it helps us understands what Acts 13:22 is about when David is called a Man after God’s Own Heart. David is someone who obeys God in that He seeks the face of God. He realizes that he is a king, but he wants the smile of the King of king on his life for the King’s smile gives life.

Life is simple: we are to obey God’s intention & heart which is communicated through his voice&  the Word: God wants us to seek His face.

Where is that face found? In the person of Jesus Christ. As we reflect on Jesus, we actually are conformed more and more into the character of the Annointed. Through suffering, the Spirit begins to ooze out of our lives and into the lives of those around us, bringing healing. The effect of this healing is hope & comfort. It is a healing of our future as well as a soothing from past pains.

When an individual saint or corporate church meets God at the point of reflecting His glory, we are humbled and He is honored. Peace flows. Love goes where man cannot. Our God reigns on high and with the lowly in heart. The meek inherit the earth at this juncture of crying out to God & hearing His voice.

More than minds meet. We receive the Mind of Christ. The Kingdom of God is at hand. The Lord almighty is at work. The Eternal comes infinitely near.

Hallelujah!! Amen.

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