Category Archive for: ‘Carl’s Thoughts’

  • Loving Bin Laden

    My two Lebanese Muslim friends and I waited in the hallway of the dark building for about five minutes before someone walked through the door and said “Follow me.” We did, and found ourselves in a room adorned with yellow and black Hezbollah flags and big, soft armchairs. And we waited.

    It was at this moment when it hit me what we were doing. We were meeting with an enemy of my country. Probably illegal – I think I had forgotten to check that little detail. (I’m not much for details.) We were surrounded by men with AK-47 machine guns, in an unfamiliar city, in an unknown building, meeting a man I’d never seen, who didn’t know why I was there. Other than that – all was good.

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  • Yemen and the Spread of Al Qaeda

    April 1983 – a scared 20-year old landed, all alone, in Sana Yemen – two days late because he had been “detained” by the police in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, so the man who was supposed to meet him, wasn’t there.

    That person was me. I was there to help rebuild some Yemeni villages which had been destroyed in the Christmas earthquake of 1982. I didn’t know anyone there, I didn’t speak Arabic, and I knew nothing about rebuilding stone houses – other then that, I was ready to go.

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  • Are you afraid of Muslims?

    Are you afraid of Muslims? Most are. For some good reasons too. The recent attempted bombing has made people nervous to fly again, not to mention, the daily bombings in Iraq, Afghanistan or Pakistan.

    Ask yourself these question to determine your Fear Factor (be honest):

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  • Take Jesus Back

    I encouraged the 1000 Muslims from around America at the Muslim American Society annual conference to “take Jesus back.” I reminded them that Jesus was from Nazareth, not Tulsa. And that he was probably 5 foot 8 with brown skin and a big hooked nose. That he looked more like the Arabs sitting on the front row than he did me. (They liked that).

    I retold the parable of the Good Samaritan and how provocative it would have been in his day. And I finished with Luke 4 – Jesus’ “mission statement.” And how interesting that everyone loved his speech until he pointed out that the Prophet Elijah went to a widow in Zarapheth (modern day Lebanon) and that Elisha healed the leper from Syria. Then they tried to kill him.

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  • Merry Christmas and Arab TV

    Chris and I and our three kids want to wish each of you a wonderful and merry Christmas. We hope it’ll be wonderful, with or without lots of presents.

    Two other quick things:

    1. Remember to pray for me as I address about 1000 Muslims in Chicago on the 26th.
    2. And I will release the video of me speaking on Hezbollah TV on the 28th. It wasn’t easy, but we got a decent quality live video of my whole talk (5 minutes) to the nation of Lebanon when we were there in November. It went out to the whole region on their satellite station as well. So when I get back, we’ll have a chance to post that. Should be interesting!

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  • Would the Good Samaritan Fight?

    I was recently asked a great question: If the Good Samaritan had shown up when the robbers were still beating the man, would he have intervened?

    It’s a good question without a simple answer. Yes! No! Maybe? It depends? It’s hard to know for sure since that’s not what happened, but we could make some educated guesses. First, my overall philosophy on how to frame the answer: We look at the life and teachings of Jesus (big surprise, eh?)! But seriously, many theologians, when asked about retaliation or defense in a physical manner, resort to the Old Testament for their answers.

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  • …and they want to kill you?

    Several times over the years, I’ve been in sticky situations. In jail in Saudi. In Jail in Lebanon (twice). Taken at gunpoint in Iraq. Threatened with a gun in south Lebanon. Kicked out of Lebanon twice. Had our van windows broken out by an angry mob – when we were in the car. My wife has been spit on and cursed at. We know what it feels like to have an enemy want to hurt us.

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  • God is Great, Beer is Good and People are Crazy

    Billy Currington has a country song with that title. Is it true? The first part is for sure – God is Great! And personally, I think there’s not much better than a tall cold one on a hot day as you watch the football game with friends! But is it true that “people are crazy”? Well, have you ever known any? People, that is. I’ve known a few, and….well….uh…it MIGHT be true.

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  • When the Rest of the World Prays

    Do Christians own exclusive rights on prayer? Does God only hear those of us who have submitted ourselves to him and follow Jesus? Or would He hear, and even answer, the prayers of a sincere unbeliever?

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  • An Amazing Story

    I saw my Muslim Arab friend sweating as he talked to my other friend, a fine conservative-minded evangelical Christian. It looked like the two had locked horns and were in a battle to the death.

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