OBAMA, CHICAGO, EGYPT, KASHMIR and the National Prayer Breakfast
I grew up like some of you in a very warm and loving Christian family. I learned so much from my open-hearted and open-handed parents. But somewhere along the line, presumably from the Midwestern Christian culture around me, I became a skeptic of others. I see this in so many of my friends when it comes to OBAMA.
President OBAMA’S speech at the National Prayer Breakfast was incredible. Christ-centered. Relaxed. Real. He nearly gave an altar call. But the level of suspicion remains. Is he really a believer or is he just telling the crowd what they want to hear? Well, honestly who knows (but God).
But it is our job to think the best. To believe. Not to judge the “other” but believe the best. Let’s work on that with him. He needs our support not our criticism especially when he is presenting his faith in the same Jesus you and I believe in. (I’m not suggesting you agree with all of his policies, just that you love and respect the man and the journey of faith that he’s on).
I’m off to CHICAGO today joined by Chris on Thursday. We are doing a video curriculum series with Zondervan. Please pray for this as I feel tired and this is really important. We will be interviewing some of the leading Muslims in North America. Filming me teaching in a mosque, and at Willow Creek Church. I need God’s grace, wisdom and power VERY much this week!
EGYPT. What do we say? We spent a lot of time in DC with an Egyptian member of Parliament who is a leading voice in the current opposition to the old regime. He’s an amazing man. A Muslim who is coming closer and closer to loving and following Jesus. He is very encouraged. He, along with others who I know who live there, are witnessing amazing stories of grace between Muslims and Christians. It seems like it has been in the interest of the old powers to intentionally divide the Muslim and Christian (Coptic and Protestant) communities. Seems like now may be the time for a wave of God’s spirit to rush through that nation. Don’t be distracted by the politics but keep your eyes on the One who can bring change!
KASHMIR is the Northwestern region in India, but disputed as Pakistan also claims it. Almost 100% Muslim and quite tense. Well….six months ago an American professor in the region found “Tea with Hezbollah” in the New Delhi airport. He bought it, read it and then contacted me. He invited me to come to KASHMIR to meet the leader of that area. I “countered” by inviting them both to the National Prayer Breakfast.
They came. (The professor and the KASHMIRI leader). It was a wonderful time for all. The last day, I was facilitating a time of sharing. The KASHMIRI leader shared beautifully from his heart for a few minutes. It turned out that the son of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was in the room. He is being groomed to be the next President of Pakistan.
Well, without saying too much and breaking confidence the two of them met with some other key political leaders and began a friendship that could literally change the face of that region. And it was all bathed in prayer and done in the name of Jesus.
Honestly, this is just one of the many things similar to this that happened in DC two weeks ago. It’s taken me a while to write about it, because it’s so hard to comprehend and then condense. Just be encouraged. God is working. We usually don’t see it. I have been personally moved lately with the analogies Jesus uses for his Kingdom. A mustard seed. Yeast. A pearl. A buried treasure. All either hidden or very small. But the fruit produced will last and grow! More Lord….