Monday, September 29, 2008

The final two days of prayer for Ramadan 2008...

...today's link:
Caribbean Suriname = 20% Muslim

...tomorrow's link:
Ahmedabad India: Economically marginalized Muslims in Gujarat State

You know, these may not be the final prayers. The 30 Day organization may post follow-ups. I'll link to them, if so.

Thanks to all who are praying/have prayed.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I am very bad at updating the prayer links!

I hope everyone is following along at the home page for the prayer effort.

Prayer for September 26--Oops! I made a mistake! The prayer I listed for day 25 was for day 26! So, in place of the proper day 26 prayer, I substitute the skipped day 25 prayer:
Modern Tanzania: Changing Times among the Rangi People

Day 27 -- this is yesterday's prayer. And this is prayer for the day I really, really hoped people would pray because the 27th day of Ramadan is the Night of Power. I'm sorry I forgot to post the link (AND I forgot to pray myself!)
SAT-7 Kids: A new TV channel for the children of the Arab world

And for Sunday, September 28:
Outreach forbidden in Africa's Comoros Islands -- 98% Muslim

One of the things I like about prayer is that, even if we forget or are unable to pray about something before or during the time it is happening, we can always pray about it later. We are limited by time and space, but God is not.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A Game Father Jim Tucker used to play...

...at his now defunct blog, Dappled Things.

Random iPod Playlist.

1. (We Like the) Cars that Go Boom - Old School Players
2. I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) - The Proclaimers
3. Wannabe - Spice Girls
4. Animaniacs Main Theme Title
5. God Is In Control - Twila Paris
6. One Man Gets Around - Charlie Peacock
7. The Marriage of Figaro Overture - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
8. Star Trek: Voyager Main Theme
9. O For a Thousand Tongues - Urbana '96 Worship Team
10. Short Skirt/Long Jacket - Cake

The rules, for bloggers who want to play:

Get your iPod or media-player of choice, select your whole music collection, set the thing to shuffle (i.e., randomized playback), then post the first ten songs that come out. No cheating, no matter how stupid it makes you feel!

Also, as a courtesy, you may want to provide links to a place where the songs can be downloaded. The Urbana '96 CD is no longer available from InterVarsity Christian Fellowship :-(

I have been very bad at updating the Ramadan prayers!

Wednesday, September 17:
The Mazandarani Muslims of Iran

Thursday, September 18:
Aleppo, the Second Largest City in Syria

Friday, September 19:
Indonesia's Minangkabau Peoples

Saturday, September 20:
Murshidabad, India: The land of the Nawabs

And, because my Courage group meets tomorrow and I won't have time to update my blog--

Sunday, September 21
Islam in Dearborn, Michigan (my home city!)

Watch the video about Dearborn near the bottom of the page. It's so cool to see places in that video that I drive by quite often! If anyone reading this blog is ever in the Detroit area (Dearborn is a suburb of Detroit), drop me a line and I'll be happy to show you around and take you to the best Middle Eastern restaurants. Al Ameer, shown in the video is one of them. They bring you fresh pita bread right out of the oven...mmm, delicious! And the pickled turnips! My mouth is watering right now. In fact, there are two such restaurants within a five minute walk of my house. I think I'll go to one of them for dinner later!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I have internet access again!

Here are yesterday's and today's Ramadan 2008 prayer links:

Tuesday, September 16:
The Massalit in Darfur.

Wednesday, September 17:
Iran's MazandaraniPeople.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A Recent Conversation

At one of the hospitals I deliver to, I recently ran into two guys and a girl, all three apparently Christians, discussing their romantic lives.

First guy: "Yeah, I still haven't found the right woman. Looks are important, but I'm really looking for someone with good character."

Girl: "I always tell God I just want the man He wants me to have."

Me, butting in: "I always tell God, 'It doesn't matter if she's ugly and really fat as long as she's rich!"

Third guy, without missing a beat: "Yeah, 'cause 'Prosperity shall cover the multitude of chins!'"

Theory confirmed!

Near one of the hospitals I deliver to frequently is a Big Boy restaurant. It's in a college town, and so has lots of college-age employees. Lots of college-age male employees. Lots of good-looking, college-age male employees.

I developed a theory about their hiring manager, and tested it out on a recent trip to that restaurant.

Me, to my waiter: "This is an odd question, but is your hiring manager a divorced woman or gay man?"

Waiter, laughing: "He's a gay man. That's pretty good insight."

Me: "Not really. There ain't a lot of women working here."

Yes, theory confirmed.

My ISP is down for a few days.

I'm posting this from my parents' computer. Since the ISP might be down until early next week, I'm updating the prayer links through

Prayers for Day 12 of Ramadan.
Kairouan, Tunisia: Oldest Islamic City of Northwest Africa

Prayers for Day 13.
The Aimaq of Afghanistan and Iran

Prayers for Day 14.
A Great Opportunity in Bangkok

Prayer for Day 15.
The Kanuir, living in Nigeria, Niger, and Chad

Thursday, September 11, 2008

And lest we forget:

Day Eleven of Ramadan 2008

The Ismailis and their Leader.

Today We Remember...

Today, We Remember…


I still remember vividly the attacks of September 11, 2001. I was at work, not listening to NPR, or any radio show/station, which was very unusual for me at that time of day. Someone from the office came out into the warehouse and told us about the first plane hit. I didn't realize even then how serious the situation was, and delayed turning on the radio until the second plane hit. I don't remember which came first, the plane crashing in Pennsylvania or the Pentagon attack, but I called my mom after they both occurred. She was still sleeping at the time. After she said "Hello", I told her what was happening and to turn on the television. I kept listening to the radio all day. My dad went home from his job to be with my mom, and my sister and her three children went over there, too. I wish I had joined them, but nobody from my workplace went home, and, even though I really wanted to be with my family, I stayed at work, not that we got very much done that day.

I remember thinking, "The World Trade Center is hit, two planes crashed into it and the towers are burning, some people have already died, but they're evacuating and it will turn out okay for most of the people today."

Then the towers fell.

I don't even know how to describe the sinking feeling I got in my gut when that happened. There was a Lutheran church not far from my workplace, so I called their office and asked if they were open for people to come pray. The lady on the phone told me that they had just decided one minute before I called to open the church up for prayer. So I went for a while. When I got back to the warehouse, my boss told me he was surprised that I came back. I'm not sure why my co-workers were not as affected as I was by what happened, but it hit me hard. My boss took it better than any of us did, but he'd spent twenty years in the navy and had been in combat. Some of my co-workers, and I must admit that I'm still somewhat upset over this, decided that their news source for the day was Howard Stern!

Many Christians, myself included, hoped that America would wake up and turn back to God, but that didn't really happen. Many New Yorkers have been affected and have re-prioritized their lives, concentrating more on God, friends, and family, but there wasn't a wide-spread spiritual renewal in that city, either. Our churches were packed for only a few weeks.

It seems that God intended through this tragedy, not a loud and general triumphant "revival" for the United States of America, but "the hidden sanctification" of a few souls. Of course, we see only a small portion of what goes on, and we cannot know whom God changed through that event, or for what purpose. Sometimes, it takes a generation or two for God's plan to become evident. I think of Mr. Edward D. Kimball, a Sunday School teacher at Mount Vernon Congregational Church in Boston, Massachusetts, I believe. Mr. Kimball never did any thing "extraordinary" in his life, but one day he led D.L. Moody to Christ. And look at Louie and ZĂ©lie Martin – ordinary Christian parents who gave birth to a Saint (and whose cause for sainthood is being explored). Perhaps something like that will come from the 9/11 tragedy. Who knows?

In the meantime, let us pray for the United States.

O God, I ask, in the Holy and Powerful Name of Your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, that You will bless America by bringing the Christians in Her to repentance for our sins. May we reject and renounce the materialism in our lives, the selfishness, greed, and gluttony with which we fill our days. May we seek to know and love You, and seek to know and love our neighbors, and welcome them into Your family. May we remember that true riches are found in virtuous lives lived for Your glory, and that the riches of this world are given to our stewardship to further Your kingdom. And that even being good stewards builds Your kingdom. May we live courageous lives of charity and chastity in the public square, and, lest people think that we are so great and not You, may we be unafraid to speak of Jesus, His death, burial, and resurrection, what He means to us, how He changes us, how He loves u, and how He loves our fellow-citizens.

As we approach this election, may You guide our hearts and minds that we may vote for people and policies that are in accord with Your eternal and unchanging law. And may we remember that our hope does not lie in who our President is and which political party controls the Congress and what judges are on the Supreme Court, but our hope is in Jesus Christ and in Your promises to us through Him. May we remember that, in addition to voting into government men and women of character and integrity who will support the passing of good laws, that we must serve our family, friends, and neighbors. May we remember that it is more important for us to support crisis pregnancy centers than it is to protest public funding of Planned Parenthood. May we remember that is more important to befriend the men at the gay bar down the street than it is to boycott companies with domestic partner policies. May we remember that it is more important to visit the abandoned persons in nursing homes than it is to ensure adequate government oversight of the facilities they live in. May we remember that people are much more important than politics (but may we never forget that politics is important, too).

As we pray for America, asking that Your kingdom be furthered in Her, may we remember that Your kingdom will last for ever, whereas our nation will endure but for a time. May we remember that Your kingdom transcends all earthly kingdoms, and may we therefore pray for all people in all nations on earth. May we remember our brethren in Iraq who suffer at the hands of the Muslim majority of their country because of their witness to You. May we remember that Iraqi Muslims are not our enemy, but are prisoners of war; indeed, prisoners of THE Enemy, casualties in THE War. May we remember those who are oppressed by wicked rulers, those who are exploited by uncaring employers, those who are slaves, those women and children subjugated by the sex industry, those suffering from AIDS and other incurable diseases, any person who is in any situation that makes it difficult for them to believe that a good God exists. And, as we fight oppression, exploitation, slavery, the sex trade, disease, and darkness, may we remember, once more, that those who are guilty of these crimes are prisoners of THE Enemy and casualties of THE War. And may we remember that the darkness and evil in their hearts is in ours, too.

O God, fill us with Your love and grace that we may be concerned with Your glory. Change us that we may be fit instruments to spread Your kingdom. May Your Spirit fill us over and over, again and again because we are leaky vessels. May we love and respect and cherish Your Name, and may our hearts be consumed by You.

Amen.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Oops! I forgot to update the prayer links yesterday.

Here's the prayer link for Sunday, September 7:

What are the Challenges for New Believers?


And for today, Monday the 8th:

Division in Ghana

Also, please pray for my dad as he is attempting to win a Muslim gentleman to Christ. The Muslim man is trying to convert my dad at the same time to Islam. There's no danger of my dad renouncing his faith in Jesus Christ, but he does want wisdom in how to proceed with this situation.

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Day Five Challenge...

...Winning the Bugis (people groups) of Indonesia (for Christ).

Still working on Catholic missions sources. I had two disappointing and three delightful conversations in the last two days as I've researched this topic. More on that later.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Let us keep bombarding the Throne of Grace...

...on behalf of our Muslim brethren.

Wednesday, September 3, Day Three of Ramadan 2008.

Let us pray for the Bakhtiari people of Iran.

Dear Readers, have you ever thought about "adopting" someone, like St. Therese of Lisieux did? She decided to pray for a convicted killer named Henri Pranzini, sentenced to death by beheading. Not only did she pray for this man's soul, she offered sacrifices to God for a move of His grace in Pranzini's life so that he would not enter Eternity outside of Christ. When Therese heard that Pranzini kissed the crucifix before he died, she knew God had granted her request.

We, too, can adopt individuals, praying for their salvation. And we can adopt entire people groups! There are thousands of people groups in this world that have little or no Christian outreach among them. Perhaps you cannot go to them and tell them about Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection and what those things mean to them and for all of humanity, but you can learn about and pray and sacrifice for these peoples. Here are some web sites to help you*:

Joshua Project

People Groups

Caleb Project

I'm researching Catholic resources and will post them when I get them.


*Sadly, these are all Evangelical web sites. Let us also pray that many Catholic religious orders and lay apostolates will catch at least as great a vision for missions as our Evangelical brethren have!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Today is the second day of Ramadan

30 Days of Prayer focuses prayer on Saudi Arabian Tribes.

Specifically, the Shahran tribe, one of the largest tribes in Arabia.

Follow the above link to learn more and to pray for the intentions given. [Catholics use the term "prayer intention(s); Evangelicals use the term "prayer request(s).]

By the way, you can get the booklets 30 Days Hindu Prayer Focus and 30 Days of Prayer for the Voiceless at this web site: http://30daysprayer.com/.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Ramadan begin's today.

As promised, here is the first of the daily posts for the 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim world.

Please follow the link for the Day One Prayers--Marriage in Tajikistan

Also, on the main 30 Days page, I found a link to this site: 30daysfire.net. It has great articles like

God's Love in the Qur'an (PDF) and some other articles in both PDF and RTF form (I don't know how to use RTF, so I didn't link to any of those articles).

And on the 21st Day of Prayer, millions of people around the world will be praying for my city!

Pray for our Muslim brothers and sisters to find the love of God through Jesus Christ. Pray for God to send more laborers into the harvest of Muslim lands; especially that more religious and lay Catholic missionaries will go to serve in creative ways. Muslims have a great respect for the Blessed Virgin. Pray that they will have visions of her and that they will see her pointing to Christ, saying, "Do whatever He tells you."