Afghanistan – Things You Never Think Of

by Shahe Nahler

When you live outside of Afghanistan, you have such a different life, lifestyle, and perspective than someone who lives inside Afghanistan.

I was born there but live here. Often in my days I have been a “perspective bridge” for those who are here to be able to understand those who are there.

Current events have once again changed perspectives for all of us.

Things you never think of if you live here instead of there.

Continue reading:

Lieutenant Macy Theriot Shares her Testimony

I was given the fortunate opportunity to become friends with Macy when she was serving in Fargo. She shared her wonderful testimony with the Salvation Army War Cry, which I am re-blogging here:

No Longer Neglected, Unwanted, Unloved by Lieutenant Macy Theriot

Is it Possible to Forgive?

By Jon Kauffman

12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. Matthew 6:12

September 29 was my spiritual birthday. Many years ago, I decided I wanted to follow Jesus. I expected Jesus to fill my heart with joy when I prayed to accept Jesus as savior. Nothing happened.

A few years later, on September 29, I was praying the Lord’s Prayer. I prayed: And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

Suddenly it became clear to me I was an unforgiving person asking for forgiveness. I was upset with one of my best friends about a minor offense. I could not forgive him. I asked Jesus to help me forgive and Jesus filled my heart with joy.

I have had to forgive people for various minor offenses over the years. But how do we forgive someone who has done great harm to us? Perhaps murdered our child or loved one.

I have read stories about people who have forgiven their child’s or brother’s murderer. Corrie Ten Boom forgave the Nazi for torturing and killing her sister.

Many people have endured far greater pain than I have endured and have forgiven their abuser.

I recently read “The Bearer, Forgiving As Christ, by Dr. William Ury.

Dr. Ury shared steps to forgiveness written by Korean Evangelist Billy Kim.

Billy Kim writes,

First, read 1 Corinthians 13 for seven days in a row…read that chapter, the love chapter, seven days in a row with no one else in mind but the one who has wronged you.

Second, pray for that person for seven days. Don’t talk about the sin. Don’t bring up the sin. Just simply pray for that person.

Third, say nothing negative about that person for seven days.

Fourth, refuse any negative thought about that person for the week. Pray “Holy Spirit, dispel any negativity. I’m not going to have that. I’m going to think about this person in light of 1 Corinthians 13 and I’m going to pray for their best in you. I want Your life in their life.”

Fifth, enumerate as may positives as possible about that person. There may not be many. There may only be one. But there has got to be at least one. Think about that thing. Dwell on that positive. Let that positive permeate your mind Pray for God’s best in their life.

Sixth, listen with interest or compassion to someone who is extremely self-centered. This is close to our concept of discovery. Letting somebody else into your life that is as self-centered as you may have become due to the wrong done to you can be quite illuminating. If I’m listening to somebody who is really bothersome or preoccupied with self-pity, then maybe I can comprehend why the original infraction occurred. This is a great way of leveling out, of identifying with sin, and saying I forgive because, without divine grace in my life, I would have done the same thing.

Seventh, do a good deed each day for seven days on the behalf of the person you don’t like. Write a note. Send a card. Buy a lunch. Offer an affirmation on the way past them in the hall. Whatever it might be, stroke that person in a sweet kind of way for seven days and see what results in your heart.1

Forgiveness is Possible.

1Page 129, The Bearer, Forgiving As Christ, by M. William Ury.

Edited: 10/9/2021

Copyright © 2021 by Jon Kauffman. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted when used to further the Kingdom of God. Permission is gladly given to re-blog this post.

Did Jesus Mean That Sometimes His Disciples Should Kill Their Enemies?

Ron Sider Blog:

Did Jesus Mean That Sometimes His Disciples Should Kill Their Enemies?

Falling water and colorful rocks at Baring Creek. Copyright © 2021 by Leon Kauffman

Reasons Christians Give to Say Violence by Christians is Legitimate

In which an Afghanistan veteran reflects about Afghanistan

I greatly appreciate Stephen and his wisdom. This is a soldiers view of the war in Afghanistan, Operation Enduring Freedom.

Thoughts from the Catholic Cave

I’m sitting in front of my computer in the living room of our 1,500 square foot suburban home, our 11 month old son playing with his toys on the floor beside me. He looks up occasionally to smile or babble loudly. I have the day off from work and my wife is taking a much-deserved daycation from the daily grind of mothering and homemaking. Today it’s just Peter and me. The curtains and shades are pulled back, the front door is open, and sunlight fills the house. I have little toleration for artificial indoor lighting when it’s bright outside. It’s another 90+ degree day with low humidity. I love hot weather, especially dry heat. It reminds me of Texas, Arizona, and Afghanistan. I maintain that the hottest part of the day is the best time to go running.

I decided to write and publish some current thoughts about Afghanistan, however…

View original post 2,029 more words

Dr. Douglas Petrovich to Publish books

Dr. Douglas Petrovich has written two excellent books that help us understand the origin of the Hebrew language and offer evidence of Israel in Egypt prior to Moses and the Exodus.

Dr. Petrovich is holding a fund raiser to ensure publication of these two important books.

Origins of the Hebrews (OOTH)

The World’s Oldest Alphabet (TWOA)

Douglas Petrovich presenting in his lecture series. (© 2020, Patterns of Evidence LLC)

Introduction to the Author and the Project

Welcome to the fundraising campaign for Origins of the Hebrews (OOTH) and The World’s Oldest Alphabet (TWOA), two books written by Dr. Douglas Petrovich, Professor of Biblical History and Exegesis at The Bible Seminary in Katy, Texas. Professor Petrovich is a biblical scholar, historian, archaeologist, Egyptologist, and epigrapher who specializes in the Israelite sojourn in Egypt and the world’s oldest alphabetic script, which was originated by Joseph’s sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, who developed this pictographic script by taking 22 signs from the hieroglyphic sign list and using them to represent the consonants in their alphabet. This invention led to our alphabet, which allows you to understand exactly what I am writing.

This campaign is being launched to reprint TWOA: Hebrew as the Language of the Proto-Consonantal Script, which was published in 2016 but went out of print in the first few months of 2020. At that time, the publisher (Carta, Jerusalem) was planning to reprint the book, but with the onset of COVID, their sales plummeted, because the majority of them come through foreign tourists who buy their books in Israeli and Palestinian shops. COVID obviously brought a halt to tourism, so TWOA was not able to be reprinted. Carta finally just approved the reprinting of TWOA, but they do not have the capital to pay for the printing. Hopefully, this campaign not only will lead to the printing of TWOA, but it will help to revive Carta, even if not completely.

TWOA features the translation and biblio-historical importance of 15 proto-consonantal Hebrew inscriptions dating from 1840-1446 BC, which falls within the 430 years during which biblical chronology requires that Jacob and his descendants resided in Egypt, before the exodus. The book also includes a section on Sinai 115 and its mostly-Middle-Egyptian caption that reads, “6 Levantines, Hebrews of Bethel the beloved,” which was inscribed by Joseph’s son, Manasseh, under his Egyptian name, Hebeded. Sinai 115, by far, represents the oldest attested non-biblical reference to the Hebrew/Israelite people (1842 BC).

Professor Petrovich’s second book, OOTH: New Evidence for Israelites in Egypt from Joseph to the Exodus, is being published for the first time. OOTH is a companion volume to TWOA, and it offers the results of groundbreaking research that provides evidence of Israelites in Egypt from Joseph’s day until the exodus, under Moses. This evidence exists in the form of Middle Egyptian inscriptions that name Joseph, Manasseh, Ephraim, Shechem (Manasseh’s son), persuasive signs of Joseph’s administration as Egypt’s vizier, uniquely-Israelite domestic architecture that later is found to distinguish their homes in Canaan, and proto-consonantal inscriptions that name three biblical figures, among other forms of evidence.

The importance of this volume cannot be overstated, because professors in universities around the world have used the lack of any evidence of Israelites in Egypt during the Bible’s Egyptian sojourn to ridicule the concept of the historical reliability of the biblical text. With the publication of this book, for the first time ever, powerful evidence is presented that will refute these criticisms for any objective thinker. Students will be equipped with strong argumentation that they can use to rebut the unfair accusations of biased university professors. Jews and Christians who believe in the reality of the Egyptian sojourn and exodus will be vindicated in their conviction that the Bible presents a historical account of these events. These two books go hand in hand to provide a brand new day for the field of biblical history.

For more information: Click here.

To purchase a DVD of a lecture by Professor Doug Petrovich “Hebrew, The World’s Oldest Alphabet” : Click here.

To purchase a downloadable lecture by Professor Doug Petrovich “Hebrew, The World’s Oldest Alphabet” Click here.

Linda Lee Shares Her Testimony

In the comments of a recent blog post on my blog, Linda Lee answered questions of an atheist. I am sharing her inspiring comments. Linda also writes a thought provoking blog that is a great resource for her readers. Linda’s Blog.

Atheist: so, what is this evidence you think supports your argument?

Linda:

In March of 2020, I served as a juror on a trial. Based on the evidence that was presented by the prosecution and the defense, my eleven fellow jurors and I unanimously agreed that the defendant was guilty of the lesser charge, and not guilty of the far more serious charge. I feel confident that our verdict was correct. But there is no way that I could adequately explain all the evidence, and our reasoning, in a comment on a blog.

When it comes to the question of ultimate reality, the evidence and my reasoning are far more complex. But it all begins with answering the jury summons.

I was an agnostic-atheist for much of my life. With my 156 Mensa IQ, I thought I was much too intelligent to believe in ‘God and other fairy tales.’

Eighteen years ago, in the year I turned 50, I made the decision to believe in Christ Jesus as my Savior and my Lord. Why? Because the preponderance of the evidence compels me to believe.

You sound so much like me, during my agnostic/atheist years. I did not want to believe in God. I have witnessed miracles, one in particular was amazing, an immediate, direct, humanly impossible answer to prayer. This miracle was undeniable. I saw it with my own two eyes, as did the three people that were with me. Yet I still chose not to believe in God!

Why didn’t I want to believe? For many reasons. One: all the suffering and injustice in the world. Babies born horribly disabled and deformed, children with cancer, wars, abuses, thousands of civilians of all ages killed in a single moment by an earthquake, a tsunami, an atomic bomb. How could an all-powerful, all-knowing, righteousness God of LOVE allow these evil things? Another big reason for my unbelief: hypocritical, abusive people who claimed to be Christians, beginning with my father, a church pastor who was arrested when I was 12 years old for nearly murdering my mother, and then my bible -thumping mother reacted to that trauma by trying to gas herself and the five of us kids to death, a few weeks later. And the hypocrisy and abuses continued, from both of my so-called Christian parents, and — as years passed — by several others.

Then there is the Bible itself. Some parts of the Bible, particularly in the old testament, are horrifying, as I discovered when I read the entire Bible from cover to cover.

Last but not least, I did not want to believe in God because I wanted to live my life my way, thank you very much. I wanted to be able to have sex outside of marriage, for one thing. Who did it hurt? Whose business was it, but mine and the other consenting adult?

No amount of debate, no evidence pro or con, and no big blazing miracle happening right in front of my face, could change my mind.

What changed my mind? I met a group of Christians who were genuinely loving, compassionate, respectful, and empathetic. Then I prayed and asked God to please show me if He exists and if Christianity is true. The answers did not happen overnight, but they did happen.

I still don’t understand a lot of things, like why my baby grandson died and why my firstborn grandson was born so severely and permanently impaired. I still don’t understand a lot of the Bible. But… for me, personally, the Bible is NOT my God. Still, I do believe in Christ Jesus. He is my Savior and the Lord of my life. Why? Because the preponderance of the evidence that I have personally witnessed and experienced in my life, compels me to believe.

By the way, I have had two near death experiences. One happened when I was 15, the other when I was 39. My soul left my body, both times. The first time this happened, at age 15, as my body collapsed on the floor, I kept standing there, wondering how this could be? Two nurses saw me collapse, ran over, and knelt down beside my body. I was floating above their heads when I heard one nurse say “I can’t find a pulse.” The other nurse said “Her lips are blue.” And then, BOOM, I went back inside my body.

My second near death, at age 39, happened because I had hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. I did not know I had that, it was discovered as a result of tests that a cardiologist prescribed, to determine why my heart was beating so erratically. That second near death was AWESOME. I was in a hallway or tunnel between here and heaven, and the overwhelming LOVE and PEACE and JOY I experienced in that place, was indescribable. The experience was more vivid and real than anything I have ever experienced here on earth!

And yet, I continued to call myself an agnostic/atheist, because I still did not want to believe. I told myself that I must have dreamed what happened during my out of body experiences.

This is how I know that debate is useless with you. I used to be right where you are.

The mind-blowing miracle I witnessed… Wow Wow WOW. I was 27 years old when that happened. But I did not become a true, believing Christian until shortly before I turned 50. I don’t even know how I could have been so stubborn and stupid for so long.

I will tell you what my miracle was, although I know it won’t convince you of anything. You will assume that I am lying, or that I hallucinated this experience. Certainly, if anyone else were to tell me this story before I experienced it, that’s what I would have assumed.

This happened when I was in my late twenties. A violent, mentally ill man threatened to kill my three children and me. My oldest son was almost ten years old. My daughter was six and a half. The youngest, a baby boy, was just a few months old.

I was in the baby’s room at the top of a staircase that led from our living room to the top floor of a tri-level house. I was changing the baby’s diaper. My daughter and my older son were down on the second level of the house. The man was staying down on the lowest level of the house. Suddenly I heard the man yelling, screaming, and saying words that did not make any sense. Worried for my children, I called my older son and daughter to come upstairs to the baby’s room. They promptly did so. I quickly finished getting the baby’s diaper on him.

Just then, the man — a homeless, 19 year old relative that we had taken into our home several months earlier, with no knowledge that he had a tendency to be violent — came up to the second floor. He began shouting “You’re all going to die! You’re all going to die!”

I handed the baby to my oldest son, and told him and my daughter to stay behind me. Then I walked out of the room to the top of the stairs, thinking that I would reason with the man, talk gently to him, ask him what was wrong, what did he need, what could I do to help him? But he was in a full-blown rage and he would not listen to me. “You’re all going to die!” he screamed, as he started walking up the stairs toward me, with his hands raised. He was much taller and stronger than me. What was I going to do?

The only thing I could think of to do in that moment was to pray! Just in case there was a God. When death is staring you in the rage, you get desperate.

As soon as I began to pray aloud, asking God for help, I saw something that looked like a glowing, pulsating force field come down from the tall ceiling in the middle of the staircase. The crazed man, still screaming that we were all going to die, walked right into the force field. He smacked into it, as though he had just walked into a wall. But instead of falling backwards, he flew up into the air, and then he fell down onto the floor of the living room.

As soon as he landed on the floor, he had what looked like a grand mal seizure. To my knowledge, he had never had seizures before. He shook so hard that the change in his pants pockets scattered from one end of the long living room to the other. When he finally stopped shaking, he sat up and said “What happened?”

My son, holding the baby, and my daughter were a few feet behind me, and they saw this happen, too. I did not dream it, I did not hallucinate it. It really, truly happened. Dear Lord, I don’t know how I was able to call myself agnostic-almost-atheist for years after that! It’s embarrassing to admit that! How could I doubt God’s existence and goodness after that? I mean, how stupid can a person get?! But here is what I did: I just did not allow myself to think about the amazing miracle that saved my children and me. Whew. Stupid, that was me. Mensa IQ and all.

God’s grace and love are beyond amazing. But until you are ready to believe in a Lord and a Savior, and until you are willing to submit your life to Him, no amount of proof will suffice.

I know. Because I have been there.

God’s grace is truly amazing. I know that He is love and so I trust Him — even when I do not understand. Linda Lee

Linda’s Blog.

Is Science Burying Atheism?

By Jon Kauffman

37 When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:

38 “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”

 “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”

40 “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”

Luke 19:37-40 NIV

Are the stones in America crying out praises to God?

I recently finished reading “Return of the God Hypothesis” by Stephen C. Meyer. Stephen says:

Three key scientific discoveries … supported theistic belief—what I call “the return of the God hypothesis”: (1) evidence from cosmology suggesting that the material universe had a beginning; (2) evidence from physics showing that from the beginning the universe has been “finely tuned” to allow for the possibility of life; and (3) evidence from biology establishing that since the beginning large amounts of new functional genetic information have arisen in our biosphere to make new forms of life possible—implying… the activity of a designing intelligence.

Meyer, Stephen C. Return of the God Hypothesis (pp. 12-13). HarperOne. Kindle Edition.

Stephen begins his book exploring the history of science showing how Christianity made science possible. He then looks at some of the scientific evidence supporting a theistic belief.

Science cannot proof the existence of God in a mathematical sense, but with the knowledge we have from science, philosophy and theology, we can see that Christianity is the most coherent belief system and most likely to be true.

In a recent video I watched on YouTube, Eric Mataxes asks Mathematician Dr. John Lennox “Has Science buried God?” Dr. Lennox says “No.”

I think there is a real possibility that with “Return of the God Hypothesis” Meyer has a demonstrated that Science is burying atheism.

I would highly recommend reading “Return of the God Hypothesis.”

Copyright © 2021 by Jon Kauffman. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted when used to further the Kingdom of God. Permission is gladly given to re-blog this post.

Edited: 8/22/2021