Friday, June 30, 2006

"...blame Me not."

Ever notice sometimes that those who don't bother calling on the Lord, living for the Lord, or otherwise acknowledging the Lord in their lives seem to love to blame the Lord for things that happen in their lives that they don't like all that much? I ran across this... incredibly convicting illustration/quote that answers that heart attitude quite... ah... well, I think...

An ancient inscription on the Cathedral in Lubeck, Germany, says: "Ye call me master, and obey me not. Ye call me Light and seek me not. Ye call me Way and walk me not. Ye call me Wise and follow me not. Ye call me Fair and love me not. Ye call me Rich and ask me not. Ye call me Eternal and seek me not. Ye call me Gracious and trust me not. Ye call me Noble and serve me not. Ye call me Mighty and honor me not. Ye call me Just and fear me not. If I condemn you, blame me not."

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Missions and Evangelism Quotes

Recently my lovely and gracious wife was blessed to be asked to share at a ladies' retreat put on by Calvary Chapel Cleveland. The theme of the conference was "Revival," so she jumped up online and found a lot of truly awesome quotes. I've been chewing on them ever since...

...and here they are, for your perusal...

People who don't believe in missions have not read the New Testament. Right from the beginning Jesus said the field is the world. The early church took Him at His word and went East, West, North and South. -- J. Howard Edington
I have but one passion: It is He, it is He alone. The world is the field and the field is the world; and henceforth that country shall be my home where I can be most used in winning souls for Christ. -- Count Nicolaus Ludwn Zinzendorf
The Church exists for nothing else but to draw men into Christ, to make them little Christs. If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, even the Bible itself, are simply a waste of time. God became Man for no other purpose. --C. S. Lewis
The Great Commission is not an option to be considered; it is a command to be obeyed -- Hudson Taylor
It is the duty of every Christian to be Christ to his neighbor. --Martin Luther
If your Gospel isn't touching others, it hasn't touched you!--Curry R. Blake
How you believe God perceives people will determine how you respond to them. --Jacquelyn K. Heasley
Some wish to live within the sound of a chapel bell; I wish to run a rescue mission within a yard of hell. -- C.T. Studd
I have but one candle of life to burn, and I would rather burn it out in a land filled with darkness than in a land flooded with light-- John Keith Falconer
We talk of the Second Coming; half the world has never heard of the first. -- Oswald J. Smith
As long as there are millions destitute of the Word of God and knowledge of Jesus Christ, it will be impossible for me to devote time and energy to those who have both. -- J. L. Ewen
The spirit of Christ is the spirit of missions. The nearer we get to Him, the more intensely missionary we become. -- Henry Martyn,
We Christians are debtors to all men at all times in all places, but we are so smug to the lostness of men. We've been "living in Laodicea ", lax, loose, lustful, and lazy. Why is there this criminal indifference to the lostness of men? Our condemnation is that we know how to live better than we are living. --Leonard Ravenhill
Someone asked Will the heathen who have never heard the Gospel be saved? It is more a question with me whether we -- who have the Gospel and fail to give it to those who have not -- can be saved. -- Charles Spurgeon
It is now possible to live a "christian life" without doing the things that Jesus commanded us to do. "We have hired people to go into all the world, to visit those in prison, to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to care for widows and orphans. The average Christian doesn't have to do it.--Cal Thomas
Sympathy is no substitute for action.-- David Livingstone,
Tell the students to give up their small ambitions and come eastward to preach the gospel of Christ. -- Francis Xavier, missionary to India, the Philippines, and Japan
In the vast plain to the north I have sometimes seen, in the morning sun, the smoke of a thousand villages where no missionary has ever been -- Robert Moffat
No one has the right to hear the gospel twice, while there remains someone who has not heard it once. -- Oswald J. Smith
The key to the missionary’s work is the authority of Jesus Christ, not the needs of the lost. We are inclined to look on our Lord as one who assists us in our endeavors for God. Yet our Lord places Himself as the absolute sovereign and supreme Lord over His disciples. He does not say that the lost will never be saved if we don’t go— He simply says, "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations . . . ." He says, "Go on the basis of the revealed truth of My sovereignty, teaching and preaching out of your living experience of Me." --Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest
Missionary zeal does not grow out of intellectual beliefs, nor out of theological arguments, but out of love -- Roland Allen
Use your ministry to build people, not people to build your ministry. --Jacquelyn K. Heasley
Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin, and desire nothing but God, and I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen; such alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven on earth. --John Wesley
If you are walking with Jesus, in the Spirit, you need not fear going too far. No believer has gone as far as God wants him to go.--A. A. Allen
'Not called!' did you say? 'Not heard the call,' I think you should say. Put your ear down to the Bible, and hear Him bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire of sin. Put your ear down to the burdened, agonized heart of humanity, and listen to its pitiful wail for help. Go stand by the gates of hell, and hear the damned entreat you to go to their father's house and bid their brothers and sisters and servants and masters not to come there. Then look Christ in the face -- whose mercy you have professed to obey -- and tell Him whether you will join heart and soul and body and circumstances in the march to publish His mercy to the world. --William Booth
He is not seeking a powerful people to represent HIM. Rather, He looks for all those who are weak, foolish, despised, and written off: and He inhabits them with His own strength. -- Graham Cooke
God uses people. God uses people to perform His work. He does not send angels. Angels weep over it, but God does not use angels to accomplish His purposes. He uses burdened broken-hearted weeping men and women. --David Wilkerson
Unless we have invested a great deal of time in our secret ministry to the Lord then the shallowness of our public ministry will be very evident. Today it is abundantly clear that not enough time is spent ministering to the Lord, and way too much time is spent ministering to people; hence, most of what is done in the name of ministry is performed in a fleshly, human way which never bears any lasting fruit. --Chip Brogden
If we are devoted to the cause of humanity, we shall soon be crushed and broken-hearted, for we shall often meet with more ingratitude from men than we would from a dog; but if our motive is love to God, no ingratitude can hinder us from serving our fellow men. --Oswald Chambers
Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us daily. -- Sally Koch
As a large fire begins with kindling of small twigs and branches, even so a large revival is preceded by the prayers of a few hidden seemingly insignificant souls. --Gary Amirault
Every man is a missionary, now and forever, for good or for evil, whether he intends or designs it or not. He may be a blot radiating his dark influence outward to the very circumference of society, or he may be a blessing spreading benediction over the length and breadth of the world. But a blank he cannot be: there are no moral blanks; there are no neutral characters. --Thomas Chalmers
If I am content to heal a hurt slightly, saying "Peace, peace," where is no peace; if I forget the poignant word "Let love be without dissimulation" and blunt the edge of truth, speaking not right things but smooth things, then I know nothing of Calvary love. --Amy Carmichael
Simple assent to the gospel, divorced from a transforming commitment to the living Christ, is by Biblical standards less than faith, and less than saving, and to elicit only assent of this kind would be to secure only false conversions. --J.I. Packer
In every revival there is a re-emphasis of the Church's missionary character. Men return to Calvary, and the world is seen afresh through the eyes of Christ. The infinite compassion of Christ fills the heart, and the passion evoked by Calvary demands the whole wide world as the fruit of His sacrifice. --John Shearer
Evangelization is a process of bringing the gospel to people where they are, not where you would like them to be… When the gospel reaches a people where they are, their response to the gospel is the church in a new place...--Vincent Donovan
Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn't. -- John Piper

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Photos Really Do Lie

Just received this article from News Report from Jerusalem, a ministry of For Zion's Sake and Calvary Chapel Jerusalem (found at: ) I repost it here...

Photos Really Do Lie

How is that the pictures and the facts seem to be so divorced from each when it comes to Israel?

When an explosion on a Gaza beach killed several Palestinians earlier this month, the international media didn't pause to think, research or ask questions about the incident.

They simply jumped...On Israel!

As a picture of a Palestinian girl grieving over the corpse of a dead relative spread around the world and onto the front pages of newspapers like The New York Times, there was little doubt as to who was to blame for her suffering and, by extension, that of all Palestinians: the Israeli "occupiers" whose brutality had once again taken the lives of Arab innocents.

The only problem with this story, like so many others that have come out of this conflict, is that its basic premise wasn't true. Shell fragments from some of those wounded in the incident who were treated in Israeli hospitals, along with other factors, showed that the Israel Defense Forces were not responsible.

But the facts counted for little even a few days later when a credulous media accepted at face value the usual shrill accusations about Israel from Palestinian spokesmen and their leftist allies from non-governmental organizations on the ground.

The context of the story, which was a Palestinian Kassam missile offensive against Israeli towns from territory that the Jewish state had actually evacuated last summer, was largely ignored. That the strife was itself a direct result of a decision on the part of the Palestinian leadership to pursue violence instead of peace negotiations was lost in the "human interest" angle of the Palestinian casualties.

Since they perceived Israel to be in the wrong as a matter of principle, even when shelling sites where missiles were being fired at its territory, many in the media seemed to act as if it was okay to promulgate the myth at the expense of the truth.

Does all of this sound familiar? It should. The Gaza beach story was just the latest rerun of the same scenario we've all seen before.

It was the same when a Palestinian boy named Mohammed al- Durra was supposedly slain by Israeli army snipers in the arms of his father at the beginning of the second intifada in the fall of 2000 when, in fact, he was killed by Palestinian gunfire.

And the same scenario was played out in the spring of 2000 when many in the media bought into a lie about a massacre of Arab civilians in Jenin during an Israeli army counteroffensive following a wave of Palestinian suicide bombings. Even the United Nations eventually had to accept that this was false, too.

Why does this keep happening? How is that the pictures and the facts seem to be so divorced from each when it comes to Israel? For a credible answer to these questions, there's no better place to look than a book that was published by Encounter late last year to little fanfare: The Other War: Israelis, Palestinians and the Struggle for Media Supremacy by journalist Stephanie Gutmann.

Gutmann, whose book was unsurprisingly ignored by most of the mainstream media, spent most of the second intifada as a member of the working press and saw up close how all of this happens. The result is a slim volume that is must reading for anyone who wishes to understand why so many in the media make the same mistakes over and over again.

As Gutmann reports, in the age of the 24/7 news cycle of Internet and all-news cable television, the stakes involved in this issue have never been higher.

"If you can dominate world media and enlist world opinion," she writes, "you can defeat your enemy."

That is a piece of wisdom that she says "a master media manipulator" like the late Yasser Arafat understood all too well. And with 350 permanently based foreign news bureaus in Jerusalem producing up to 900 articles each day that provides a lot of media to manipulate. Those who were ready to believe the lie about Gaza, al-Durra or Jenin did so because they believe they understand the conflict because "they trust the BBC and the Times" and think "the pictures they see on CNN don't lie."

In her introduction, Gutmann asserts, "I wrote this book because apparently people need to be reminded that pictures do lie The second intifada was explained to the public through a series of images images that didn't bring us the truth."

The entire course of the Palestinian terror against Israel that raged during the past few years was based on using the media to undermine support for Israel at home and abroad. Indeed, she writes, "it is impossible to separate" any analysis of the second intifada from its coverage.

The point was, once one side has established its narrative as the one accepted by reporters and editors, it doesn't really matter what actually happened.

The classic example of this was a celebrated New York Times error in which the paper printed an Associated Press photo that it said depicted an Israeli soldier brutalizing a bloody Palestinian youth on the Temple Mount. As the Times discovered, the youth in extremis was actually an American Jew who had been attacked by Arabs. The soldier, whom Times readers were told was beating him up, was really an Israeli police officer who had rescued him from a mob bent on lynching him.

In seeking an explanation for this shoddy journalism, Gutmann likened the error to a "Freudian slip that revealed something deeper: the prejudice and assumptions that governed most editors' thinking about the conflict."

Devoting chapters to each of the symbolic gaffes that characterized the mainstream media's ham-handed treatment of the conflict, Gutmann breaks down the al-Durra story, the Jenin myth, as well as the horrifying tale of the failure of most of the media to report the lynching of two Israelis soldiers by a Palestinian mob in Ramallah.

Even when confronted with obvious manipulation to produce atrocity stories against the Israelis or the truth about Palestinian terror tactics, many journalists on the job in Jerusalem preferred to treat false statements from Palestinians as credible. And they disdained truthful Israelis. Even when the proof was right in front of their noses.

Gutmann relates that one European reporter confessed to her that he wouldn't report a story of a boy suicide bomber who had been captured before he could explode his bomb because he felt "the Israelis were trying to exploit" it. The exploitation of a child whom the Palestinians attempted to use as a human sacrifice didn't seem to bother him.

Gutmann closes on a hopeful note when she predicts that blogs and alternate media sources are undermining the "imperial media" monopoly and bringing accountability to a profession that desperately needs it.

I hope she's right, but given the way anti-Zionist and anti-American conspiracy-theory nuts have used these alternative resources to undermine the truth as much as the liars of Jenin doesn't support this optimism.

In the meantime, both the general public and journalists would do well to read her cautionary tale of a story that continues to be gotten wrong and take it deadly seriously.

Jewish World Review

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