Eid al Adha – As A Follower Of Jesus, It Makes Me Wonder!


Dear Muslim friends,

I am always intrigued by your “Feast of the Sacrifice” – Eid al-Adha. Like you, my Muslim friends, I am in awe of Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son out of unlimited obedience to God. That is clearly worth remembering and having a celebration. . .every year!

As a follower of Jesus, Eid al Adha makes me wonder. . .to be curious or to marvel. . .how many people. . .like these Pakistanis on their way to Lahore, Pakistan. . .traveled long, hard distances to celebrate Eid with their loved ones?


Eid al-Adha makes me wonder. . .how many lambs, goats, cows, and camels. . .will be sacrificed across the Muslim world in these days?


Eid al-Adha makes me wonder. . .how many Muslim men like these at the Vasi Ullah mosque in Allahabad, India want to obey God as fully as Ibrahim did?


How many Muslim women like these in Ahmadabad, India. . .want to obey God as fully as Ibrahim did?


I wonder. . .how fully do I want to obey God?

Eid al-Adha makes me wonder. . .how many Muslims teach their children how to pray? Like this girl in Bali, Indonesia or this boy in Pristina, Kosovo?


I wonder. . .how well did I teach my sons to pray?

Eid al-Adha makes me wonder. . .how many Muslims around the world prayed with the intensity of this Kashmiri Muslim man in Srinagar, India?


I wonder. . .how much intensity did I pray with today?

Eid al-Adha makes me wonder about these words from the Qur’an about God rescuing Ibrahim’s son by providing a lamb in substitute for him: “And We ransomed him with a momentous sacrifice” (Qur’an, sura 37, ayah 107).

Similarly, as a follower of Jesus, Eid al-Adha always makes me wonder about these special words spoken about Isa al Masih – Jesus – in the Injeel:


It makes me wonder. . .to be curious, to marvel. . .how could this one man. . .from an obscure village in Palestine. . .be “the lamb of God”. . .that takes away the sin of the world? Amazing! It was through his sacrifice, for “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins” (the Book of Hebrews, chapter 9, verse 22).

What love! What a “momentous sacrifice” – for the nations – for each of us!


This I try to remember and celebrate. . .today. . .and every day.

Eid al Adha – as a follower of Jesus, it makes me wonder!



Dear Muslim Friends,

I fully understand that Eid al-Adha is not about a substitutionary sacrifice for sins. Yes, I am fully aware that this concept is not in Islam. Nevertheless, I am filled with wonder and awe at how the Qur’an speaks of the ransom of a lamb to rescue Ibrahim’s son from certain death and how the Bible speaks of the ransom of Jesus as a lamb to rescue each of us from certain death – the punishment for our sins.

Ransom. What an incredible word.

Ransom. The price paid to free/rescue/deliver/release a helpless person from captivity or punishment.

Ransom. It speaks of great, great love.

God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. God chose him as your ransom long before the world began.” (from the first letter of Peter, chapter 1, verses 18-20, NLT. Peter was an original follower of Jesus and a crucified martyr for him).


What Are God’s “Core Values”? They Seem. . .Upside Down


Dear Muslim, Christian, and Jewish friends:

What does God value?
What does God The King value in our lives?
What does He want us to be about?

Our core values determine our compass (our direction), our calendar (our planning), our contemplations (our thoughts), and our conversations (our speech). In other words, our core values determine everything about our lives.

Core values against compass

How much more important it is to find out God’s core values!

When I was young and (more) immature, I thought these might be some of God’s “core values”:


Now? I see God and His ways very differently. Jesus – Isa al Masih, Yeshua – has taught me much about what God the King wants for His Kingdom people. How He wants us to live. It can be found in the the teaching of Jesus in the Injil in what is called “The Beatitudes” (Matthew 5:1-12):

13.06.30-TheBeatitudeLife_V2-1024x576.jpg beatitudes

I now believe – based on The Beatitudes – that the things below are high on God’s list of “core values”:

Being childlike (not childish)


Weakness vs. strength
Humility vs. pride
Dependence vs. independence
Commitment vs. halfheartedness, lukewarmness
Others vs. me-first
Service vs. selfishness
Sacrifice vs. safety
Righteousness vs. rightness
Risk vs. comfort


Going low
Sitting in the back

These values seem. . .upside down. . .at least in the way this world operates.

What do you think? What is at the heart. . .of God’s heart?

What does God value?
What does God The King value in our lives?
What does He want us to be about?

Da’wah – Is It Your Duty? Will You Be Held Accountable For It On The Day Of Judgment?


Dear Muslim friends,

I am curious today. Is dawah – inviting non-Muslims to Islam – required of you? Is it truly your obligation – your “duty,” as this graphic above says?

And if you don’t do dawah, will you be held accountable for it on the Day of Judgment?

I see many things on the internet about dawah – many efforts of Muslims around the world to invite non-Muslims to Islam:

World-Largest-Global-Dawah-Day-Announced.jpg dawah

Globla-messenger-day.jpg dawah

WYG-GDD-Poster-FB.png dawah

For me as a follower of Jesus – a Christian – it is most definitely my duty to call people to follow Jesus. It is called, “evangelism,” and comes from the Greek word for sharing “Good News.” It is required of me to invite all people to put their faith in Jesus as their Savior who loves them so much that he died for their sins. And yes, it will be brought up on the Day of Judgment for me.

But. . .having said all this, I want you to know some things that are very important:

* I don’t do evangelism primarily because it is my duty.
* I don’t do evangelism primarily because it is required of me.
* I don’t do evangelism primarily because I will be held accountable on the Day of Judgment.

I do evangelism – I share the Good News – because:

* I love Jesus and he told his followers to evangelize in very nation (the Injil, Matthew 28:19). Because I love him, I want to obey his commandments (the Injil, John 14:15 and John 14:23)
* I love people and I don’t want anyone to go to the hellfire. The thought of that grieves my soul so much! And. . .I know it grieves the heart of my loving God even more (the Injil, 2 Peter 2:9 and 1 Timothy 2:3-6).
* I love truth and I believe we can only be forgiven of our sins and go to Paradise through the sacrifice of Jesus. We can’t do enough good works to get to Paradise – no one can. But God has mercifully made a way. A bridge. It is Jesus. He is the way to Paradise (the Injil, John 3:16 and John 14:6). This I believe to be the absolute truth.

And so my dear Muslim friends, I hope you will feel free to practice dawah on me – to invite me to Islam – because you love me and you believe it will save me from hellfire.

And I hope you will allow me to do the same – to evangelize – to spread the Gospel (means “Good News”) of Jesus Christ. To share it honestly and respectfully with you – because I love you and I don’t want you to be in hell either.

I am not an Arab but I believe this proverb:

Picture1.png evangelism in the desert

I have found water and it is not right to be silent.

I love you, my Muslim friends. I really do.

But God loves you so, so much more. He really does.

And this is why I share this Good News with you today. . .

A Friend Died. . .Where Is He Now? Where Will You And I Be?


Dear Muslim friends,

A few years ago I learned that a friend, Steve, passed away.

It was kind of. . .shocking. More than that, it was. . .painful.

We had not seen each other for several years since my wife and I had traveled to Steve’s home in another state. I had tried to e-mail him a few times after our last time together but never got a response. It seemed a little strange but we were not what you might call “close” friends. We had contact only once a year or so through a call, a card, or an e-mail. Like too many other friends, we got busy, didn’t see each other for years, and slowly – imperceptibly – we drifted apart.

But then I had a bad feeling about Steve. I wanted to try again to reach him. Somehow, I just wondered if he had died.

I “googled” his name and found several websites with his obituary.

He had indeed passed away. In 2009. A year after we last saw each other.

It is usually always sad for me when someone dies. My friend, Steve, was not that old. 61 years of age.

But learning about Steve’s death was more than sad. As I said, it was very painful. Why? Because I wondered, “Where is he now?”

october10_wheredopeoplego.jpg die

To some of you, that might be a foolish question to think about. Even a waste of time. What is done is done. Like all of us, he lived. . .and. . .he died. Now he is in God’s hands. You might think it is silly to think about “where he is.”

But it isn’t silly to me. You see, I care very, very deeply about the eternal destiny of people.

Others of you might be wondering, “Was he a good person? Didn’t he believe in God?”

Yes, basically, Steve was a good person. And yes, he believed in God (or I should say, he believed in the existence of God)

So, some of you might think, “Enough then! Let it be!”

But I can’t.

I’m going to tell you the reason why Steve’s death bothers me – the reason why I care when anyone dies.

It is much of the reason for why I get up in the morning.
It is the topic of so many of my conversations.
It is how I spend my time. . .my money. . .my energy.

My life is about helping people find Jesus so they can know where they will be when they die.

1 John 5-13 That Ye Know Ye Have Eternal Life red

Steve’s death bothers me because. . .

I don’t think he knew Jesus. I don’t think he put his faith in Jesus as his Savior, though I asked him to. He wanted to trust his own good works to get to Paradise.

Being good is important. . .but it won’t get you to Paradise.

09fbdf092dfb5d2ba17ca8dfdbd467f1--repentance-quotes-forgiveness-scriptures.jpg forgiven

We need forgiveness. We need our sins washed away and we don’t have the power to do that, no matter how much we pray, fast, give, or go on a pilgrimage.

Like you, I believe Isa – Jesus – was a great Prophet. But I also believe he was – and is – so much more.

I believe with all my heart that Jesus is the one bridge to Paradise. I believe he is the only bridge God has provided for forgivenss of our sins.

Isa – Jesus – boldly and unequivocably said about himself:


If you put your faith in the sacrifice of Jesus for your sins, you won’t have to fear hellfire. Your family and friends won’t have to wonder when you die:

“Where is he, where is she, now?”

I plead with you to pray, “Jesus, I know that I am a sinner. I know God is too holy to allow sin in His Paradise. I have tried to be good but I know I can never be good enough. I fail continually and I fear hellfire. I deserve hellfire. But I am asking that you would see fit to forgive me for everything I have done that is not God’s will and for not doing everything that is God’s will. Wash me. Wash my sins away so that I can hear these words from you (in the Injil, Luke 5:20):


Thank you, Jesus, for loving me so much. . .that you would actually die for me. You would die in my place. For my sins. Thank you. For eternity, thank you. . .

Palestinians With Keys To Their Homes: Can They Ever Go Back?

Nakba.jpg keys

Dear Muslim friends,

I have been blessed to travel to Palestine several times. I loved the holy sites. I loved the food. But most of all. . .I loved the people.

I remember seeing around Palestine a symbol of both tragedy and hopethe key.

2013-05-20-p36bigkey (1).jpg key

The key: the symbol of tragedy for displaced Palestinans who lost their homes in the Nakba (Arabic for “disaster” or “catastrophe“) of 1948. More than 700,000 Palestinian Arabs fled or were expelled from their homes during the 1948 Palestine war.

The key: the symbol of hope that one day these dear people might be able to have “the right of return” to their homeland and to use those keys to once again enter their homes and live there in peace. It is the right to the property they themselves or their ancestors left behind or were forced to leave in what is now Israel and the Palestinian territories.

I grieve for these people in their deep and unjust losses. And. . .I pray for them.

Look at the sadness etched into their old, wrinkled faces – these people who lost it all – as they still hold the keys to their homes.


palestinian-refugee-keys.jpg key

de75e93153a71c69b4bbd67adf88a40b.jpg keys

pal lady w key.jpg keys

DSC_7436.JPG keys

nakbakey.jpg keys

i12_14188916.jpg keys

130605-nakba-survivor.jpg key

6a00d834522bcd69e201538e7ff4fc970b.jpg keys

The Injil says there is another One who holds keys. His name is IsaJesus. The Injil says He is:

“the Holy One, the True One, who has the key of David (Dawood), who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens.” (Revelation 3:7)

I believe Isa – Jesus – grieves for the Palestinian people! I believe He prays for them. Tragically, most Palestinians will never regain their homes. But I believe that Jesus is even now taking His keys and opening doors, doors that no one – no one – can shut. (you can read more about this below)

c0a42b4644c646ef9f1b2b81bbc8a506_18.jpg keys

Postscript: my dear Muslim friends, I must tell you about one more mention of Isa – Jesus – holding keys in the Injil. He says:

“Don’t fear: I am First, I am Last, I’m alive. I died, but I came to life. . . See these keys in my hand? They open and lock Death’s doors, they open and lock Hell’s gates.” (Revelation 1:17-18)

Amazing! Jesus claims to hold the very keys that determine whether you and I will be in Hellfire or Paradise. Only He can open the doors to Paradise for you and no one – no one – can shut those doors!

Do you long to be in Paradise? To have your eternal home there?

There is an even greater tragedy than the Nakba (as tragic and terrible as that was) – the tragedy of spending time in hellfire when Jesus has the keys to allow you into Paradise.

Please my friends, please ask Jesus to use His keys to Paradise for you! Ask Him to forgive you of all your sins. He died for them and He has the keys. For you. For me. For all who will put their faith in Him and His sacrifice.

As always, I love you, my Muslim friends.

I really do.

Revelation 1.18.jpg keys

What Have You Experienced On The “Night Of Power”? (Laylat al-Qadr)

Dear Muslim Friends,

I am curious, as a Christian (who loves Muslims!), what have you experienced on the “Night Of Power” (Laylat al-Qadr) during your lifetime?

Truly, one of the aspects of Islam that intrigues me greatly is this time during Ramadan known as the “Night of Power”

For my non-Muslim readers, Islamic tradition holds that the Night of Power is the night that the first revelation of the Qur’an was sent down to Muhammad. Muslims are instructed to “seek” the Night of Power during the last ten days of the thirty days of Ramadan, particularly on the odd numbered nights (the 21st night, the 23rd night, etc.).

It is reported that Muhammad said:

“Whoever stays up (in prayer and remembrance of Allah) on the Night of Qadr, fully believing (in Allah’s promise of reward) and hoping to seek reward, he shall be forgiven for his past sins” (hadith from Sahih Bukhari).

The Qur’an, Sura (chapter) 97, says of the Night of Power:

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
We have indeed revealed this message in the Night of Power.
And what will explain what the Night of Power is?
The Night of Power is better than a thousand months.
Therein come down the angels and the spirit, by Allah’s permission, on every errand.
Peace! Until the rising of the morn!


Muslims worldwide spend the last ten nights of Ramadan in solid devotion, retreating to the mosque to read Qur’an, reciting special supplications, and reflecting on the meaning of Allah’s message to us. It is believed to be a time of intense spirituality, when the believers are surrounded by angels, the gates of heaven are open, and God’s blessings and mercy are abundant. (http://islam.about.com/od/ramadan/a/leyla_qadr.htm)

As I close this post, may I ask questions of you, my Muslim readers:

*** Do you believe you have ever found/experienced the Night of Power?
*** How would you know if you did?
*** If you found the Night of Power, do you believe all your sins were forgiven?
*** If your sins were all forgiven, how would you know?
*** If your sins were all forgiven, could that forgiveness be lost or forfeited by later sins?

Thanks for reading and as always, I love you, my Muslim friends!


Postscript: the greatest – the most powerful – night of my life was May 28, 1966. That amazing night found me, even though I wasn’t looking for it (what compassion and mercy!).

On that night, I experienced an unbelievable powerthe power of God in forgiving my sins. A kind man simply read one verse of the Bible to me. It was John 3:16. I will never forget the change and the new life that came to me on that night.

Whether you call yourself a Muslim or Christian, I pray for each one of us to experience that kind of power.

Have You Had A Dream Or Vision Of Isa – Of Jesus? (The Man In White)

16bb773a7edf67fab7be7e6f7a53d9e1.jpg hands of jesus

To all my dear Muslim friends around the world,

Have you ever had a dream or a vision of a “man in white,” especially during Ramadan?

The Injil describes such a vision:

“Six days later Jesus took Peter and the two brothers, James and John, and led them up a high mountain to be alone. As the men watched, Jesus’ appearance was transformed so that his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as light.” (Matthew 17:1-2)

C_03a-photo.jpg hand dream of Jesus

Dear Muslim reader, maybe you have had a dream or vision of Isa – of Jesus. Many Muslims around the world have seen Him this way and they say that they have never known such love. If you see Him, I pray that you will respond to His amazing love – for you!

If you have a dream or vision of Jesus, seek out a follower of Jesus to talk to. Look for an Injil to read and learn more about the Prophet Jesus and his love. And then pray that you might know, “Is this truth?”

As always, I love you, my Muslim friends. . .

Ramadan Mubarak, Dear Muslim Friends!


Dear Muslim friends around the world,

I know you have been in Ramadan for several days but I never wished you a blessed Ramadan until now. I pray for you in these remaining days that you and your family would be blessed by God.

As you seek God in this special time, may He hear your prayers. . .and may you hear His amazing voice.

A Nepalese Muslim boy offers prayer during Eid al-Fitr celebrations at a mosque in Kathmandu

I pray you will see God in new, amazing ways. I pray you will understand His love for you – a love so great we can never fully comprehend it (Ephesians 3:16-19), a love that was proven through God sending His beloved Jesus as a sacrifice for your every sin (and mine). I pray you might even experience something Muslims all over the world are experiencing: a dream or vision of Isa – Jesus – the man in white. (Wow! I would like to have one of those too!)

C_03a-photo.jpg hand dream of Jesus

God bless you, dear Muslim friends.

I love you.

Much more importantly, Jesus loves you and gave his life for you (John 3:16).

Ramadan Mubarak!

ramadan_mubarak_by_rizvigrafiks (4)

I Don’t Promote “Christianity” – I Promote JESUS!

(Dear Muslim Friends, you are always welcome to read every post I make on this blog – it is primarily for you! So. . .read on if you like, but this post is specifically directed to my “Christian” friends who may not agree with or understand my last post.)

Dear Christian Readers,

Some of you may be confused about my last blog post (Am I Trying To Convert Muslims Into “Christians”?). Maybe I can clarify a little bit here.

If I am speaking to someone who self-identifies with being a “Christian,” I am not afraid or ashamed to be known as a “Christian” myself. But in my friendships and conversations with Muslims, I do not promote “Christianity.” I do not promote being or even becoming a “Christian.”

Let me explain before you think me a heretic! I realize that “Christian” is a Biblical word and thus an important word but. . .it is only used 3 times in the entire New Testament (Acts 11:26, Acts 26:28, and I Peter 4:16). Because it is a word used in the Bible, maybe we need to simply define it or redefine it. However. . .

It is my firm opinion that redefining the word “Christian” is a very, very daunting task. Why? Because so many Muslims in the world today equate the word “Christian” with a lot of things that would shock and dismay us. In their minds, some Muslims still equate modern day “Christianity” with the atrocities of the Crusades. Some link “Christianity” to the U.S. military incursions into Iraq and Afghanistan (which many see as “Christianity” attacking Islam) or the killing of Osama bin Laden. Some equate “Christian” with “America” or the West.They think America is a “Christian” nation (my wife and I run into this all the time in the Middle East). They see Hollywood movies and even link “Christianity” to what they see there – violence, immorality, abortion, divorce, drunkenness, drug useage, swearing, lack of care or honor for the elderly, on and on.

Let me ask you, what is a Muslim to think when they see rap singers from Western countries spouting f-words in their lyrics and rapping about doing drugs, beating women, and killing people. . .but also wearing huge crosses? And what is a Muslim to think when they see a very famous American female singer singing sexually explicit lyrics, dancing provocatively, and wearing a cross. . .but not much else?

If you were a Muslim, wouldn’t you ask the questions, “Is that ‘Christianity’?” “Are those people ‘Christians’?”

Just from these few examples of real misunderstandings (and there are more), can you see how the word “Christianity” is not a positive word in the minds of so many Muslims? Can you see how we need to strive to learn how each other thinks about words?

Because of these misunderstandings, I prefer not to use or promote the words “Christian” or “Christianity” with my dear Muslim friends.

So. . .what do I promote?

I promote JESUS. I promote FOLLOWING Jesus. I promote being his DISCIPLE.This is what I believe he wanted.

Depending upon which translation you use, the word “disciple” is used in the New Testament between 230 and 260 times – obviously far more than the word “Christian”!

I share with my Muslim friends that Jesus is calling all of us (no matter what religious label you go by) to be his disciples – to follow him.

Following Jesus means we are willing to: do anything for him, say anything for him, go anywhere for him, suffer any loss for him. To be completely, unreservedly, devoted, dedicated followers of his. To give him undivided allegiance as our Savior and our King.

Our Muslim friends are absolutely right when they point out that the Bible does not specifically say that “Christianity is the true religion.” What it does say over and over and over however, is that JESUS is the true path – the bridge – to heaven. Jesus himself said he was the way, the truth, and the life. That no one could come to God except through him (The Gospel of John 14:6). That is what we should promote. Better yet, that is who we should promote!

So I promote being a disciple – a follower – of Jesus. If I must have a label to describe my faith, that is what I prefer.

Finally, let me say that no “religion” or religious rules can cleanse a person’s heart or change them from the inside out. No “religion” can take away all their sins or free them from their fear of the Day of Judgment and Hell.

But someone can. Jesus can.

Following Jesus can set a person free.

Trusting in Jesus’ sacrifice can make a person clean on the inside. Forgiven. . .of every sin.


ONLY Jesus.

And that is why I don’t promote “Christianity.”

I. . .promote. . .JESUS. . .only JESUS!