Category Archive for: ‘Trip Updates’
I recently asked people which Arab country they would most like to visit. I got about 60 comments in a few hours with the “winners” being Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq and Egypt. Of course that started a mini-debate about whether Palestine was a real country or not… (Which is funny since it’s Israel that doesn’t have a constitution or defined borders). But anyway….Read More
It also raised the question of what makes a country an “Arab” country. There are really only two ways to answer that: 1. The predominant language is Arabic. 2. They belong to the Arab League – which has 22 nations (all who predominantly speak Arabic).
An amazing trip to the Middle East. This is worth a read. Here are some snapshots:
We were with the Hezbollah #2 (who we always see). He’s functionally the top guy as the #1 guy has been in hiding for 4 years. We are in his office in Tyre, southern Lebanon. We’ve had three and a half hours of great discussion. The President of Iran, Ahmadinejad, has just landed in Lebanon hours earlier (more on that in a bit). As usual, I ask the Sheikh if we can pray for him before we go and he says “Of course.” I asked one of my pastor friends to pray. He is overcome by the Holy Spirit, falls to his knees in front of the Sheikh, and through tears, prays. We lay hands on the Hezbollah leader and sense the presence of God in the room. An amazing moment etched in my mind.
My first thought (after “Oh my goodness, my friend looks like he’s kissing the guy’s feet”) was, “We are in the presence of The King. Jesus is here. How cool….”
The next snapshot was later that same day as we were hosted by an extremely wealthy Muslim background businessman who has seen visions of Jesus. Our friend Brad broke out into song on the guitar, and while they thought he was doing a mini-concert, he led in prayer through worship. Again, we physically experienced the presence of God in that house (which backed up against the Prime Minister’s house). I asked if the host and his wife would stand in the middle so we could gather around and pray for them. I gave them a bit of instruction: “Don’t pray, just be still. We will pray for you.”
They did, and we did – tears all around.Read More
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.Read More
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:
- Remember to pray for me as I address about 1000 Muslims in Chicago on the 26th.
- 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!