MEETING GOD

There once was a little boy who wanted to meet God.
He knew it was a long trip to where God lived, so he packed his suitcase
with Twinkies and a six-pack of root beer, and he started his journey.
When he had gone about three blocks, he met an old woman.
She was sitting in the park just staring at some pigeons.
The boy sat down next to her and opened his suitcase.
He was about to take a drink from his root beer when he noticed that the
old lady looked hungry so he offered her a Twinkie.

He gratefully accepted it and smiled at him. Her smile was so pretty
that the boy wanted to see it again, so he offered her a root beer.
Once again, she smiled at him. The boy was delighted! They sat there
all afternoon eating and smiling, but they never said a word. As it
grew dark, the boy
realized how tired he was and he got up to leave, but before he had
gone more than a few steps; he turned around, ran back to the old
woman, and gave her a hug. She gave him her biggest smile ever.

When the boy opened the door to his own house a short time later; his
mother was surprised by the look of joy on his face. She asked him,
“What did you do today that made you so happy?” He replied, “I had
lunch with God.” But before his mother could respond, he added, “You
know what? She’s got the most beautiful smile I’ve ever seen!”

Meanwhile, the old woman, also radiant with joy, returned to her home.
Her son was stunned by the look of peace on her face and he asked,
“Mother, what did you do today that made you so happy?” She replied,
“I ate Twinkies in the park with God.” But before her son responded,
she added, “You know he’s much younger than I expected.”

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word,
a listening ear, and honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring,
all of which have the potential to turn a life around. People come
into our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.

Source: NN

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An email from Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son of Hamas leader (dated 26th Jan08)

Dear friends,
First of all I would like to tell you how much I appreciate your encouraging e-mails, they mean to me a lot, this letter for every one of you, individuals, institutions, churches, organizations, agents, publishers, movie makers, Christians, Muslims, Jews and whomever wrote me to support or even for other purposes.

I am very grateful to have you as friends and accept your support with tears and prayers for each one of you. Since Fox News Documentary we received thousands of emails and hundreds of thousands who visited our website, this means to us a lot and show how much people are thirsty to hear the good news and the great work of God.
Yes my friends, God is working where you can’t even expect, where every body else fail, he is totally in control his light shines in the most darkest places, his authority is above any authority and his glory lasts forever.

I can’t describe the feeling of having this huge family that God provided me when I am separated from my family, I am very grateful and appreciated. Nothing is worse than being away from family and home.

This is the time to say it loud to the world, our God is true, we are not ashamed of what we are nothing is more powerful than his love and grace, we are soldiers in his army and our powerful weapon is love, if humanity recognizes the power of love we wouldn’t be paying the high price of greed, revenge, pride and ignorance, when he drawn the map of salvation with his pure blood for us to survive we made fun of him and we still insisting to keep following other maps, we brought our planet and ourselves destruction.

Be strong my beloved friends, you are not following illusion or fables, our God is real and we are real people who are the light of the world.
Be patient my mother, I feel your pain, your tears are uncountable, I think of you and I pray for you and my little brothers and sisters, I pray for my people the sons of Ishmael, will not leave you alone in the dark, me and my brothers and sisters in Christ will shine in your world, we will follow our savior’s steps and destroy the enemy with our powerful weapon, we are armed, qualified and ready for the good fight, the devil established a kingdom of hate and darkness where the Love was born, he is threatened and shacking in front of our God’s glory we are coming and we will never leave you alone…

There will be persecution lets face it with love, without persecution we will not shine, we are not afraid our God is with us for the end of days, every knee will bow for him and we will be blessed to be his chosen ones.

Here I am my friends, have my God and have you as a great family in his body, lets not be divided, lets unify not behind leaders or churches and dominations, let’s be unified behind our only God.

I am not a hero and don’t want to be one, I am a sinner and weak person in this weak body, I have sinned and still have, when my soul will be free of this body of sin? I hope I will not wait too long. Please to forgive my sins, my cross is heavy and I need your prayers to help me carry it all the way to my Golgotha.

Thank you again and feel free to email me any time, I read your emails and they mean to me a lot, I will do my best to respond to you if not your love is bigger than mine and your ocean is much bigger than my little spring.

Love you all
Your brother
Mosab Hassan Yousef “Joseph”

“If you catch hell don’t hold it, if you’re going through hell you don’t stop!” – Ron Kenoly

Press Release: Gaza Crisis

In the name of Allah, Most gracious, Ever Merciful Press Desk Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat International 16 January 2009 PRESS RELEASE As the war in Gaza nears its fourth week, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat takes this opportunity to condemn the continued attacks which are leading to a humanitarian disaster. Innocent men, women and children are losing their lives on a daily basis due to the brutality of the occupying force. Whatever action is being taken is wholly disproportionate and cruel. The world Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad has cautioned that the current conflict in Gaza could yet escalate further. He said: “I have always said that if fairness and justice does not prevail then the world is facing a grave disaster. If we wish to save our future generations from the horrific effects of war then we must act now and with justice. Otherwise, I fear, the current situation may not remain limited to just one or two countries but could escalate into a global war, the result of which would be truly devastating. ” It is of note that during the current crisis the majority of the Muslim world has remained silent and it has been left to academics, politicians and various organisations in the West to condemn what is happening in Gaza. The Muslim world should be grateful to all of them for displaying the courage and conviction to speak out against such atrocities. Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said: “The cruelty of the Israelis is progressively increasing. Indeed many people who had previously offered their support are now turning against them. Those countries who remain silent are actually assisting with this cruelty.” The Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat views with utmost concern the growing humanitarian disaster that is occurring in Gaza. The community is committed to alleviating this suffering. Commenting upon this, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said: “The situation in Gaza is getting worse and worse. We see that innocent children, women and the elderly are being killed on a daily basis. The United Nations and other organisations such as Save the Children have been given limited access to provide aid. Members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat should individually support such organisations to the best of their ability and on a collective level our own charity, Humanity First, will also do so.” The Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat wishes to be clear that it is a peaceful community who harbours no political agenda or ambition. It wishes only to serve the world by spreading its message of peace. Amidst the current conflict, the community’s motto of, ‘Love for All, Hatred for None’, is ever more resonant. The community desires and prays for peace in Gaza and in all other troubled parts of the world. Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad continued: “May God protect and safeguard the world from self-destruction and calamity. May peace prevail and may the world be saved from all forms of war and terror.” The Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat also wishes to remind all concerned, that in the past whenever the name of Islam has been used to justify any form of terror or extremism, the Jamaat has always condemned such acts without hesitation and it will continue to do so in the future. In this respect the Jamaat is forever guided by the Qur’anic injunction that ‘There should be no compulsion in religion’. End of Release Further Info: Abid Khan, Press Secretary AMJ International (press@…) / (UK) 07795490682 http://www.alislam. org

Abrahamic faiths on birth of Jesus

The full text of a Christmas message from Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

The full translation of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Christmas message that will be broadcast on Channel 4 tonight:

“In the Name of God the Compassionate, the Merciful.

“Upon the anniversary of the birth of Jesus, Son of Mary, the Word of God, the Messenger of mercy, I would like to congratulate the followers of Abrahamic faiths, especially the followers of Jesus Christ, and the people of Britain.

“The Almighty created the universe for human beings and human beings for Himself.

“He created every human being with the ability to reach the heights of perfection. He called on man to make every effort to live a good life in this world and to work to achieve his everlasting life.

“On this difficult and challenging journey of man from dust to the divine, He did not leave humanity to its own devices. He chose from those He created the most excellent as His Prophets to guide humanity.

“All Prophets called for the worship of God, for love and brotherhood, for the establishment of justice and for love in human society. Jesus, the Son of Mary, is the standard-bearer of justice, of love for our fellow human beings, of the fight against tyranny, discrimination and injustice.

“All the problems that have bedevilled humanity throughout the ages came about because humanity followed an evil path and disregarded the message of the Prophets.

“Now as human society faces a myriad of problems and a succession of complex crises, the root causes can be found in humanity’s rejection of that message, in particular the indifference of some governments and powers towards the teachings of the divine Prophets, especially those of Jesus Christ.

“The crises in society, the family, morality, politics, security and the economy which have made life hard for humanity and continue to put great pressure on all nations have come about because the Prophets have been forgotten, the Almighty has been forgotten and some leaders are estranged from God.

“If Christ were on earth today, undoubtedly He would stand with the people in opposition to bullying, ill-tempered and expansionist powers.

“If Christ were on earth today, undoubtedly He would hoist the banner of justice and love for humanity to oppose warmongers, occupiers, terrorists and bullies the world over.

“If Christ were on earth today, undoubtedly He would fight against the tyrannical policies of prevailing global economic and political systems, as He did in His lifetime.

“The solution to today’s problems is a return to the call of the divine Prophets. The solution to these crises is to follow the Prophets – they were sent by the Almighty for the good of humanity.

“Today, the general will of nations is calling for fundamental change. This is now taking place. Demands for change, demands for transformation, demands for a return to human values are fast becoming the foremost demands of the nations of the world.

“The response to these demands must be real and true. The prerequisite to this change is a change in goals, intentions and directions. If tyrannical goals are repackaged in an attractive and deceptive package and imposed on nations again, the people, awakened, will stand up against them.

“Fortunately, today, as crises and despair multiply, a wave of hope is gathering momentum. Hope for a brighter future and hope for the establishment of justice, hope for real peace, hope for finding virtuous and pious rulers who love the people and want to serve them – and this is what the Almighty has promised.

“We believe Jesus Christ will return, together with one of the children of the revered Messenger of Islam and will lead the world to love, brotherhood and justice.

“The responsibility of all followers of Christ and Abrahamic faiths is to prepare the way for the fulfilment of this divine promise and the arrival of that joyful, shining and wonderful age.

“I hope that the collective will of nations will unite in the not too distant future and with the grace of the Almighty Lord, that shining age will come to rule the earth.

“Once again, I congratulate one and all on the anniversary of the birth of Jesus Christ. I pray for the New Year to be a year of happiness, prosperity, peace and brotherhood for humanity. I wish you every success and happiness.”

Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/dec/25/ahmadinejad-christmas-message/print

Evangelical foreign policy is over — By Andrew J. Bacevich

Like our current president, Obama is a professed Christian. Yet whereas George W. Bush once identified Jesus Christ himself as his favorite philosopher, the president-elect is an admirer of Reinhold Niebuhr, the renowned Protestant theologian.

Faced with difficult problems, conservative evangelicals ask WWJD: What would Jesus do? We are now entering an era in which the occupant of the Oval Office will consider a different question: What would Reinhold do?

During the middle third of the last century, Niebuhr thought deeply about the complexities, moral and otherwise, of international politics. Although an eminently quotable writer, his insights do not easily reduce to a sound-bite or bumper sticker.

At the root of Niebuhr’s thinking lies an appreciation of original sin, which he views as indelible and omnipresent. In a fallen world, power is necessary, otherwise we lie open to the assaults of the predatory. Yet since we too number among the fallen, our own professions of innocence and altruism are necessarily suspect. Power, wrote Niebuhr, “cannot be wielded without guilt, since it is never transcendent over interest.” Therefore, any nation wielding great power but lacking self-awareness – never an American strong suit – poses an imminent risk not only to others but to itself.

Here lies the statesman’s dilemma: You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. To refrain from resisting evil for fear of violating God’s laws is irresponsible. Yet for the powerful to pretend to interpret God’s will qualifies as presumptuous. To avert evil, action is imperative; so too is self-restraint. Even worthy causes pursued blindly yield morally problematic results.

Niebuhr specialized in precise distinctions. He supported US intervention in World War II – and condemned the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that ended that war. After 1945, Niebuhr believed it just and necessary to contain the Soviet Union. Yet he forcefully opposed US intervention in Vietnam.

The vast claims of Bush’s second inaugural – with the president discerning history’s “visible direction, set by liberty and the Author of Liberty” – would have appalled Niebuhr, precisely because Bush meant exactly what he said. In international politics, true believers are more dangerous than cynics.

Grandiose undertakings produce monstrous byproducts. In the eyes of critics, Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo show that all of Bush’s freedom talk is simply a lie. Viewed from a Niebuhrean perspective, they become the predictable if illegitimate offspring of Bush’s convictions. Better to forget utopia, leaving it to God to determine history’s trajectory.

On the stump, Obama did not sound much like a follower of Niebuhr. Campaigns reward not introspection, but simplistic reassurance: “Yes, we can!” Yet as the dust now settles, we might hope that the victor will sober up and rediscover his Niebuhrean inclinations. Sobriety in this case begins with abrogating what Niebuhr called “our dreams of managing history,” triggered by the end of the Cold War and reinforced by Sept. 11. “The course of history,” he emphasized, “cannot be coerced.”

We’ve tried having a born-again president intent on eliminating evil. It didn’t work. May our next president acknowledge the possibility that, as Niebuhr put it, “the evils against which we contend are frequently the fruits of illusions which are similar to our own.” Facing our present predicament requires that we shed illusions about America that would have offended Jesus himself.

Obama has written that he took from reading Niebuhr “the compelling idea that there’s serious evil in the world” along with the conviction that evil’s persistence should not be “an excuse for cynicism and inaction.” Yet Niebuhr also taught him that “we should be humble and modest in our belief we can eliminate those things.” As a point of departure for reformulating US foreign policy, we could do a lot worse.

 

Andrew J. Bacevich, a professor of history and international relations at Boston University, is the author of “The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism. ”  

Interventionism, Not Muslims, Is the Problem — by Jacob G. Hornberger

One of the popular post-9/11 sentiments has been the one that holds that Muslims are bent on conquering the world. The notion is that Muslims hate Christianity and Western freedom and values and that such hatred is rooted in the Koran and stretches back centuries. Thus, the United States has been drawn, reluctantly, into a war against Muslims. That’s why U.S. forces are in Iraq and Afghanistan, the argument goes — to defend our freedoms by killing Muslims over there before they get over here and kill us.

I sometimes wonder whether the people who have this mindset have reflected on the ramifications of their belief.

For example, if Muslims in general are at war with the United States, then why shouldn’t Americans be out killing Muslims here in the United States? After all, when a nation is at war, isn’t it permissible to kill the enemy? Isn’t that what war is all about?

The reason that proponents of this view don’t start killing Muslims here in the United States is very simple: Deep down, they know that the killers will be indicted by their very own government for murder. They will then be prosecuted, convicted, and sentenced to serve time in a federal penitentiary for murder.

Let’s carry the ramifications overseas.

If the United States is at war against Muslims, then why not start with ousting the Muslim regime in Iraq and installing a Christian or Jewish regime in its place? Yes, I said Iraq. Believe it or not, the U.S. invasion of that country succeeded in installing an Islamic regime, a regime which, by the way, has closely aligned itself with the radical Islamic regime in Iran.

A second-choice candidate for invasion, occupation, and regime change would be Kuwait, another country run by an Islamic regime. Since Saddam Hussein’s forces were easily able to conquer the country, it should be a piece of cake for U.S. forces.

A problem arises however. Once the United States effects regime change in Iraq and Kuwait, installing Christian or Jewish regimes, what about the millions of Muslims in those two countries? Sure, their governments would no longer be Islamic but what about the millions of people living there? Wouldn’t they still be the enemy to Christians and the West? Wouldn’t they still be bent on world conquest? What should be done with them? Perpetual incarceration in concentration camps? Mass executions of all Muslims?

And what about Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, and all the other countries in which people are predominantly Muslim. You know — the Islamic countries that are the recipients of billions of dollars in U.S. foreign aid. Does the U.S. government invade those countries too, effect regime change, and incarcerate or execute the millions of Muslims living there?

During the Cold War, people used to say the same thing about the communists that we’re now hearing about the Muslims. The communists were coming to get us, and some Americans were even looking under their beds for communists. In fact, 58,000 American men were sacrificed in Southeast Asia because U.S. officials claimed that Vietnam was the central front in the war on communism. With a military loss in Vietnam, the dominoes would start falling, they told us, with the final domino being the United States.

Yet, the U.S. did lose in Vietnam, and yet the dominoes didn’t fall. It turned out that those 58,000 American men died for nothing. Today, U.S. officials even travel to Vietnam as tourists. Americans are freely trading with the people who were supposedly going to invade the United States and take over the IRS and the public schools.

Ironically, throughout the Cold War there was nary a mention of the Islamic threat to the West, even though proponents of that view today claim that the Muslim threat stretches back many centuries. In fact, the irony of ironies is that during the Cold War the U.S. government even entered into partnerships with Muslims, including Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, and various Islamic regimes in the Middle East. No one accused U.S. officials of treason for entering into agreements with the enemy.

It’s true that Muslims have fundamental differences with Christians and the West, and vice versa. But those types of differences ordinarily do not cause people to kill people who have different values. Most Muslims are no different from Americans in the sense that they simply wish to live their lives in peace, practice their faith, raise their families, and be left alone. They don’t like it when some foreign government tries to interfere with their way of life, just as Americans don’t like it when some foreign government does that to them.

What all too many Americans, unfortunately, will not permit themselves to see is that that is precisely what the U.S. government did in the Middle East, especially when the Soviet communist bugaboo evaporated in 1989. As a result of U.S. interventionism in the Middle East, especially the interventionism that resulted in large number of deaths (e.g., the sanctions and the no-fly zones), what began as differences in values rose to the level of anger and rage that induced some people to seek vengeance through violence.

Thus, rather than ceasing its policy of interventionism after 9/11, which is what the U.S. government should have done even while pursuing the perpetrators through criminal-justice means, it did the very worst thing possible — it continued and even expanded its policy of interventionism in the hope of killing those whose differences with America’s values had risen to the level of rage as a result of U.S. interventionism. Not surprisingly, that only fueled more anger and rage.

So, what should the U.S. government do now? It should do what it should have done after 9/11: Exit Afghanistan and Iraq and the entire Middle East. Bring all the troops home.

Would this quell the anger and rage against the United States? Not all of it but certainly much of it. As I said above, most people simply want to live their lives in peace.

After all, look at Vietnam, where the U.S. government killed more than a million people. Once U.S. forces exited the country, the Vietnamese left the United States alone.

While there is the ever-present risk that there will still be some people who will still want vengeance, their numbers will be relatively small. While they will constitute an ever-present threat of terrorism, that’s the price that must be paid for past interventions. What’s important to note is that continued interventionism can never solve that problem — it can only make it worse.

When governments go awry, it is up to the citizenry to straighten out their course. The problem is not Muslims or Islam. The problem is the U.S. government and, specifically, its foreign policy of interventionism. Bringing an end to that policy will restore a sense of peace and harmony not only to the American people but also the people of the world.

 

 

Jacob Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. Send him email.