Stimulus & Response Revisited

Stimulus & Response Revisited – It seems that a few who read my letter to the editor about the Yellow Pages issue thought, like Mr. Robert Dalley, that I was dismissing the power of stimuli. On the contrary, I just wanted to focus on response because it is too often neglected perhaps because it broaches the awkward notion of responsibility for whom I am and for what I do. I had no clue then as a 17-year old boy about the practical difference between admiring and lusting I am too old to be unaware of the stimulating power of a good looking female body, even dressed normally, whether live, in a movie or in a photo. In fact I still recall the pangs of remorse I felt when, as a Christian for only a few months (in 1967) I lusted at a prostitute while on my way to a Convention at Jarrett Park in…    read more 

silent grief

Silent Grief

The shocking death by suicide of comedic actor Robin William has catalyzed some thoughts I am still musing about, the unexpressed grief that some people go through. We all need to be more sensitive, discerning even, but even then we would miss some still. Can you wrap your brain around the level of grief Williams was experiencing that would prompt him to take his own life? Imagine the trauma of losing a pregnancy or several pregnancies through miscarriage when none of your friends even know that you are or were ever pregnant. Compound this, in a Church you are a single woman but become pregnant after ‘tiefing a likkle piece’ (=engaging in premarital sex) and suffer a similar fate. Who could you dare ask for prayer support let alone empathy? Silent grief. Then consider having been raped or seduced by someone whom you trust and respect and whose reputation would…    read more 

(Summer 2011; Toronto, ON.)

When Your Joy is Complete Part 3

February 27, 2012 |

It is actually a blasphemy to tell people who are not born-again about the commandments of God and expect them to live by them. Because when we do that we are implying that a lost person, with a sinful nature can live the Christian life without the Holy Spirit. On the contrary, when a lost person fails to live up to the standards of God then we should not be surprised, because that is exactly the purpose of the commandments: to show a lost person how far off from God’s goal of holiness he is, and how impossible it is for him to attain that goal of holiness by his own efforts. Living by the commandments was never a way to attain forgiveness, and that is why they had to sacrifice blemishless animals in the Old Testament—it has always been by the blood. Let me tell you a little story:…    read more 

When Your Joy is Complete Part 2

February 24, 2012 |

I learn by examples best, so I think the best way to explain what being born-again means is through an example: Let us say you are a cat, and you want to live as a human. So you start your day by trying to wash your face but the sink is too big for you and the faucet was not designed to be turned on by paws. Then you try to make the bed but the bed is so big–because it is a human bed–that there is no way you can do it. Then you try to put on a shirt but shirts were designed for humans so they will not fit you and you cannot button up the shirt with your paws anyway. Even if you succeeded in doing those tasks the fact of the matter is that you are still a cat. You can try to pretend to…    read more 

When Your Joy is Complete Part 1

February 22, 2012 |

Eight years ago I took a sexual purity online course, and it was the best Christian teaching I got. It was a daily online course for two months and I loved every day of it. One thing though I disagree with them is that they said many members who do not follow the precautionary rules (such as: move your computer to an open space in the house, or install Internet filtering software, or acquire an accountability partner, etc) fall back into sin even though they were free from it for a period of time. The problem I have with that statement is that I believe a person is only truly free if he is free on the inside through being set free by the power of the Holy Spirit. I think the best way to explain this topic is by talking about what it means to be born-again and what…    read more 

Porn-What’s God got to do with it?

January 25, 2012 |

I’ve been thinking about the topic of pornography and so I thought I’d do a write up on it. Although I don’t like to admit it, it’s something that’s killing the Church. Stats are that 99% of guys have looked at or have been addicted to pornography at sometime in their life. Not only that but a large percentage of marriages (I can’t remember the exact number) end up in ruins because of it. But it’s not something we like to talk about because it’s awkward and personal. But showing love for someone is acting in their best interest, not doing what is comfortable for them but doing what will actually help them. It sometimes means saying the hard things or bringing up the taboo subjects. My question to you is this, if there was some guy who called himself a “Christian” and just slept around with different women all…    read more 


Struggling with Maturity

December 26, 2011 |

One hot summer afternoon in Iraq I was walking with my best friend from the neighborhood; we were both in our early teens. He told me that he wants to be a doctor. I thought it was kind of an unrealistic goal since he wasn’t a straight A student so I asked him why he wanted to be a doctor. He told me that his dad was motivating him to finish school and to do his best. I knew my friend’s dad worked long hours, from early morning until afternoon, as construction worker then worked as a taxi driver until late evening or night. Then he continued telling me that when his dad was a teenager his grandparents never told his dad to finish school so his dad doesn’t want the same thing to happen to him. I remember making a mental note to the like, “You have to change;…    read more 

Learning to be Grateful for Gods Handiwork

October 28, 2011 |

I struggled with this photo a lot. Bahar didn’t like “the right side of her face”, so when I came home I started Photoshopping the photo, you know, removing bores, scars, and wrinkles, etc. I did this because as a human I am influenced by worldly standards, we are led to believe that we have to be: thin, muscular, tall, clear skin, shinny hair, golden curls, big and bright eyes, long eyelashes, small and straight noses, full lips, etc. But that’s not God’s standards. The Bible says that we are created in God’s image, maybe not physically, but we should accept the way God created us and be grateful for His wonderful handiwork– not be grumbling and ungrateful. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27 Also, our Lord does not judge man according…    read more 

Suicide, a Permanent Solution to a Temporary Problem

October 21, 2011 |

In the past year there were many tragic cases of teen suicide, so I decide few months ago to write about my experience with depression and suicidal thoughts. I hope this writing will be of help to someone who needs it. Background As you might know I grew up in Iraq to a Roman Catholic family. In the Middle East depression and suicide are almost taboo because of ignorance. Many people equate depression with mental illness (not that mental illness is something to jeer about), and so the general thought patterns goes something like this, “You can’t marry him because his brother has depression and tried to commit suicide once!” To them depression is like bad genes you really don’t want your children to have. So people often times become depressed but don’t tell anyone and don’t get any treatment because they feel ashamed. And if a family member attempted…    read more 

Hope Beyond All Hope

Today I’m going to tell you a part of my testimony that I’ve hidden for a long time. I hid it because of pride, guilt, and shame. I hid it because that was exactly what Satan told me to do. That way I’d become a useless Christian immobilized by my own actions. I was ashamed that my life didn’t reflect the promises in Romans 6:6-7 “We know that our old life died with Christ on the cross so that our sinful selves would have no power over us and we would not be slaves to sin. Anyone who has died is made free from sin’s control.” Boy, that sure didn’t reflect my life… You see for more than 10 years (I honestly can’t remember when it began) I had an addiction to pornography and masturbation. These are two of my least favorite words in the world, the very words themselves…    read more 


Trust and Obey, For There’s No Other Way

October 3, 2011 |

Last night something happened that made me contemplate my relationship with our heavenly Father. Here is what happened. My 8 years old nephew, Daniel, asked me to play a cartoon movie for him, so he gave me the name of the cartoon characters and the name of the movie. I went to YouTube and started searching for the movie. As I was going through the pages of the search results Daniel was getting impatient, and every time he saw the cartoon characters on a video thumbnail he pointed to the video and jumped up and down, and every time I went to the next page of results he grew more impatient with me—he wanted to watch the movie now! Finally, I grew impatient with him so I asked him to read what the title of one of the thumbnail he was pointing to said. He read the name of the…    read more 

Do You Have Quiet Strength?

August 19, 2011 |

Go ahead, smile you are at the end of a long week. You have probably faced at least one individual this week who affected you negatively in some way. Did you get irritated? Did you almost lose your cool? No, that was last week. We do not always have smooth days, yet somehow Friday comes and it is alright. You are going home and you won’t have to worry about a thing concerning work until Monday. Today you may be saying TGIF! (Thank God it’s Friday). A long time ago someone experienced a week none of us would have liked to endure. He was betrayed, like some of us may have felt this week. He was abandoned by His friends, that may have happened this week too. Did you call someone to talk to them and felt as if they had ran out on you? He endured verbal abuse. How…    read more 

The Eye is the Lamp of the Body – Part 3

July 20, 2011 |

I want to define the word “pure” before I go on because like the word “sensual” we have a distorted idea of what it means. Imagine a bath tub full of clean water…let’s say it is made of 50,000 water drops. Now take 1 drop of black ink and drop it in it: is the water in the bath tub still considered to be clean? The answer is no, it is not. The biggest problem with lust in North America is that North Americans don’t have an accurate view of what an immoral, sexual, and sensual sin is! Christian girls think that wearing tight jeans is actually dressing godly! Or that showing a little cleavage is actually dressing modestly! Christians think having a girlfriend or boyfriend who they are not planning to get married to, nor ready to get married, nor know God’s will in this matter, holding hands, or…    read more 

The Eye is the Lamp of the Body – Part 2

July 15, 2011 |

From this point on I will try to use the word ‘sensual’ more often when I describe a sexual sin, because I think a lot of Christians indulge in the sensual, thinking it is ok as long as they have not went far enough to commit the physical sexual sin. This way I think we will be able to connect the world ‘sensual’ with ‘sinful’ better. 3) Remind yourself of God’s promises to you. You see, a lot of His promises to us are conditional, for example, if you are careless with money He is unlikely to entrust you with a lot of money. So ask yourself the question: if you are lustful man or woman, why would God give you that godly wife or husband you desire? It is important to remember that God doesn’t just say “no” to sin, He almost always has something better in mind. I…    read more 

The Eye is the Lamp of the Body – Part 1

July 11, 2011 |

I was was surfing the TV channels and I saw the title of one show called “Dirty Jobs” so I settled down to see what it is about. There was a young woman in her 20’s wearing a full body white suit that even had a head covering and some kind of plastic window to see through. She was talking about how important her suit is because if her clothes get the smell from her job it would be almost impossible to get it out, besides the smell is intolerable! She also said the suit protects her from many diseases her job may expose her to. By then I was thinking, “What does she do?!” She obviously wasn’t a bee handler because bees don’t produce a terrible smell! She obviously wasn’t a nuclear scientist or a lab technician of some sort, because the setting was in the afternoon in a…    read more 

He Sets The Captives Free

June 24, 2011 |

I am going to talk about a topic most would consider to be very sensitive, and that is, pornography. So if you don’t feel comfortable reading about it please stop whenever you like to.  I will talk about it from my personal experience and will not to focus on porn or talk about it in details, as my goal is not to assist others to indulge in sin but to glorify God for the freedom He has given me. The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. Luke 4:18-19 First of all I want to say that talking about being addicted…    read more 

Christians and Money – The Struggle Within

March 27, 2011 |

I have been given a gift in photography, design and illustration but not for me to get rich and famous, yet here I am, a few weeks away from launching my photography website where which I will charge customers to download and use my images, not only that, but I am in the process of building a business around my t-shirt designs. Is it right to gain a profit for my work through large companies or from my close friends and fellow believers? There are several answers to that question and I would like to share one with a story.   There once were two men who were both equally gifted in healing, they could heal those who were sick or injured within three days of their prayers. As time passed, they both got married, they needed work, so they both set up hospitals where they would go around the…    read more 

Learning to Be Content

January 24, 2011 |

Today I wish to talk to you about something that I think that we all struggle with in life, and that is being content. I am going to start out by saying that I have been a horrible example as one who is content in my past. I have been driving for 5 years and I have had 5 different vehicles, none of them have been totaled. Arguable, my first few cars were not so great, but my fourth was a ’99 Honda Civic with relatively low kilometers. It was a great car that would have lasted me a long time but I had always wanted a Honda Prelude. So I sold my Civic and went a few months without a car so that I could save to get a Prelude. I ended up with exactly what I was looking for, a well-maintained, low kilometer, eucalyptus green pearl Prelude. So…    read more 

Struggling For A Sign of God’s Promises

For the last year I’ve been struggling with doubt off and on…from the little things to the big things. Some days I feel that nothing can shake my faith, and other days I feel nothing can make it continue. So recently I’ve been going to God asking Him questions about this and that, and why did this happen and why that didn’t happen, etc. I am determined to face this struggle head on and overcome it, rather than just let it make me drift away from trusting God. God’s faithfulness is probably His most important attribute to me. I simply must know that He does not change, keeps His promises, does not mislead us, makes His will clear, guides us to His best at all times. And He has given me many promises concerning an issue I’ve been facing for quite sometime. All those promises add up and confirm each…    read more 

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