I am a creature of habit; a lover of comfort. I don't like to travel even overnight because I prefer to be in my own bed in my own home. The older I get, the more entrenched this mind-set has become.
Another bad habit I've developed is surfing Face Book:) I can waste hours and find myself looking at pictures - wedding photos, baby photos - pictures of people I don't even know, thinking things like, "That kid is awfully cute but do they really need to post 400 pics when the child is only a month old???" As if these total strangers care about my opinions????
But sometimes, even just mindlessly surfing on FB, I strike gold and it's happened twice this week. On a page called Ron's Place, I came across a short video, fell in love with it and posted it. I think there are too many "must see"s on the net but this short video is something I really believe every Christian should watch. It's well-done, captivating, and in a few seconds, reverses arguments that you frequently hear against Christianity. I can't imagine any Christ-follower watching it and feeling like they wasted their time. I'll probably re-post it again just because...
Then yesterday I came across some comments about neat Christian books - which of course drew me like a magnet. One book mentioned several times was Which No Man Can Shut by Reema Goode. I had actually seen an advertisement for this book some months back and meant to get it when it came out but then forgot about it.
Last night I downloaded it on Kindle and again, was captivated by this little book. Why?
First off, the woman who wrote it has been a missionary to the Arab world for the past 10 years or so - it's where she and her husband are raising their family. Arabia to me means sand, heat, camels, veiled women and a totally foreign culture. As someone who doesn't even like to go away overnight to CAbot you can imagine how impressed I was with this woman's willingness to move to the Middle East!
Yet, to her it really has become home. I'm telling you - you can literally sense her joy at living in this country and also feel her deep love for the people. She writes about how she and her female friends chatter about things such as recipes and finger nail polish and I'm thinking: wow! That's just like here! Well... duhhhhh.
But she's not there just to chatter about finger nail polish and that is the second reason I love the book. She gives account after account of people they met and ministered to, of open hearts and a willingness to receive the Gospel. This alone astonished me. People open, even hungry, for the good news about Christ in the heart of Islam? It didn't seem possible to me. She attributes this to two things: the coining of the phrase "10/40 window" and the First Gulf War, oddly enough. In 1990, Christians began to hear a new phrase " pray for the 10/40 Window" and this includes much of the Muslim world. At the same time, the U.S. went into the First Gulf War, again focusing the WEst on the Muslim world and again, awakening Christians to the need to pray for these lands and these people. Simply put, she believes that the openness in the Muslim world today is a direct result of that prayer awakening 20 years ago. In answer to increased intercession, God is breaking up fallow ground in hearts and now missionaries are reaping the harvest. Okay.. .this tells me I need to keep praying and to specifically lift up people in the 10/40 window.
The third reason I like this book, aside from the fact that it's easy to pick up and read in bits and pieces- the other reason is that she draws Christian applications from each encounter that she describes.
All of the stories have fascinated me but one in particular stayed with me long after I turned out the light last night - so much so that first thing this morning, I re-read it. The chapter is about dealing with fear and it contains the only negative event I've found in the book so far.
Basically she was friends with a group of women in one family but, when God answered prayer in a dramatic way, one of the men in the family felt threatened by this. And so he instructed the women to invite her over so that he could have "a talk" with her. The women didn't want to do this but had no choice. When she came to the house that night, Reema had no idea she had been set up, even when she realized that only the grandmother was there to greet her and that this older lady seemed uncharacteristically quiet.
It wasn't until the grandmother's son burst into the "women's room" that she knew something was wrong and badly wrong. The man was beyond angry and she immediately became terrified. She said that her body began to tremble uncontrollably and continued to do so for the next two hours while this enraged man proceeded to describe in graphic detail what would happen to her, her kids and her husband if she succeeded in leading anyone to follow her teachings. She was so frightened that she had to constantly fight back bouts of nausea.
When he first literally got inches away from her and started his measured, barely contained rant against her, she silently cried out to the Lord and asked HIm to get her safely away from there. In her heart, she felt God replied, "Who is the servant here - you or I?" She acknowledged that she was. And then she felt He told her to stay where she was because he had some things that He wanted her to say to this man. She was stunned, wondering if God meant somehow to save this livid fundamentalist.
When she had the opportunity to speak, God put into her mind something to say that she would never in a million years have come up with on her own. This happened two more times - all told she had three opportunities to speak during this 2 hour session of terror. And each time she said what was placed on her heart and it seemed to momentarily stop this man in his tracks.
At the end of the two hours, she said that when she tried to stand up, her legs were like butter. And after she made it home, she cried all over her husband and then read the Bible for several hours before she could be calm enough to sleep.
Weeks later, her tormentor asked for an Arabic copy of the Bible and has given ample evidence since then that he is a secret believer. He is now a staunch friend of Reema's family and none of his threats were carried out.
What did God put on her heart to say to this man? I couldn't do it justice here. Please read the book! Open Doors Ministry is offering it this month - it's not long and it's well-worth the read!
Also, I've linked Reema's blog to this page - another treasure I found through FB! So maybe mindless surfing on FB - which I definitely need to cut down on :( is not a total waste???
At any rate, I hope you will enjoy some of this and be blessed!