Christian books, Is the Quran trustworthy?, Life with God, Seeking God, Why God?

Seeking Information, Finding My Heart

The first time I read Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus was nearly 3 years ago. I can’t believe it’s been that long. I had seen Nabeel mentioned by one of my favorite authors, Lee Strobel, on Twitter and became intrigued by this man who was a devout Muslim, but came to know Jesus. I thought it would be an interesting read. Well, let me tell you, it was. It also changed my life.

Nabeel’s book details his journey towards the truth. His parents were from Pakistan and immigrated to the US before he was born. His father was in the Navy so they moved around quite a bit, including to Scotland for a time. The book is primarily about his faith in Islam, which was solid as a rock. Everything the Qureshi’s did was framed by their Islamic faith. He and his sister were taught to recite the Quran very early in life, which is customary. The family went to all the festivals and celebrated all of the Muslim holy days. Nabeel knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Quran was written by Allah through Muhammad. Muhammad was a great prophet. Nabeel was convinced of this and of the fact that the Quran was never changed. Not one dot, since it was dictated to Muhammad by Allah. But then he went to college.

Nabeel met David Wood shortly after 9/11. They were on the forensics team together at college. David was a devout Christian and soon started challenging Nabeel’s beliefs. Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus is Nabeel’s journey to prove that Christianity wasn’t true and Islam was the only true religion.

Prior to reading this book, I honestly knew very little about the Muslim faith. It never really crossed my mind much. After 9/11, I was somewhat curious, as many Americans were, but I was assured by many people, including my Pastor, that Islam was a peaceful religion and the Quran taught peace and love, much in the same way as the Bible does. Those who were killing in the name of Allah were rogue. They weren’t the norm, and they certainly didn’t represent the teachings of Muhammad. But Nabeel’s story interested me. I wanted to learn from someone who was a devout Muslim what the Quran really said and what Muslims were taught. Especially about Christians.

Nabeel was surprised to learn the things he found out while studying Islam. He didn’t just study Christianity, he went it to depth about Islam as well. He knew to believe in Jesus he would have to find that Islam was not what he thought. And that’s exactly what he found. Don’t get me wrong, most Muslims are caring, loving people. Like Nabeel’s family and friends. But there’s a lot more to it, which he talks about.

My heart was opened by his story. I ‘walked with him’ as he found out things he never wanted to know and things he always wanted to know. His struggle with the truth and what it was going to do to him and his family is griping. This is a very transparent look at truly giving up all you have to follow Jesus.

I read Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus again this week and it touched my heart once again. As Christians we take some things for granted. Many have no idea how very valuable Jesus is. Oh, we say we do, but I promise you, if you read this book, you’ll know for sure. My eyes were opened to how people with a completely different world view see Jesus, and what they go through in learning to love Him like I do.

Nabeel passed away last September from stomach cancer. I felt like I’d lost a friend. Zondervan is releasing a third edition of his book on August 21. This will be an expanded edition and will include reflections from his widow as well as several other additions. If you pre-order the book, you will also get Nabeel’s course “The Case for the Gospel” for free. Go to nabeelqureshi.com to find out all about the course as well as learning about Nabeel and his life. You won’t be disappointed. I believe it will change your heart as well.

In this world you will have troubles..., Life with God, Ministries, Obey

Just a Quick Update

Happy Sunday! I hope this has been a good day for you. I’ve been surprisingly productive today! Late last week I accidentally published my ‘Recommended Resources’ page with nothing on it. If you saw that, I’m so sorry! Time got away from me and I didn’t update it before the scheduled post date. However, today I updated it with several ministries that mean a lot to me.

World Vision is the first one on the list. I’ve been a World Vision Child Ambassador for about 5 years now. I’m one of those people who try to encourage you to sponsor a child! The first child I sponsored was a boy who was born the exact day as my grandson. I want that young man to have the best life possible. Just like his counterpart here. It’s fun to watch these boys a world apart grow up!

Anthem of Hope is next. That is a ministry run by Jarrid Wilson and his wife Juli. Jarrid is a pastor at a church in Southern California and struggled with depression and anxiety for years. He started this ministry to shed light on mental health in the Christian community and provide resources for those suffering. Since I’ve had these same issues for as long as I can remember, this ministry is a sweet blessing to me.

Next up is Nabeel Qureshi’s website. Nabeel was a special man who’s book changed my life. You’ll read more about that here in the coming week or so. Nabeel was raised Muslim and converted to Christianity while in college. His book “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus” is coming out in a 3rd edition next week. I’ll be doing a blog post about that on Friday as part of a ‘blog tour’. Nabeel passed away in September of 2017 from stomach cancer.

The Immigration Project is exactly what it sounds like. It was started by Rondell Trevino in response to our current immigration crisis in this country. Jesus says to care for immigrants. I can’t say we’re doing a great job of that right now…

The last two links are a couple ministries at the church where I’ve been a member for 16 years. The first is Value Life. This is a ministry to women in crisis pregnancies. There is NOTHING these women need that this ministry doesn’t provide. Including love and care. It’s amazing and wonderful. The last is the Community Outreach Ministry. The members of our church do some incredible things to help ‘the least of these’ in Columbus Ohio. Including tutoring in the schools and cleaning up the schools themselves. It’s a blessing. God must smile at that!

I hope you’ll take a few minutes to check these out. I’ll add more, and books as well, as I blog more. Have a blessed rest of your Sunday!

Oh–if you can think of a resource you think would be good to share here, leave a comment! I’ll take a look and might just add it as well!

Life with God, Obey

Brave

D958BCBF-37B6-4480-952D-C9498668F8B8.pngWhat is bravery? Throwing caution to the wind and doing something! Anything really. Taking a risk. Stepping out there and putting it all on the line. It’s exciting and really scary!

God asks us to be brave. He may not use that word but sometimes he has us do things that take us clear out of our comfort zones. A lot.

Go talk to your neighbor. Give the homeless person something to eat. The girl sitting alone in the back of the church looks very lonely-go talk to her. Those are some of the easy ones! Some people (like Abram) are called to leave their home and family and go half way across the known world.

The key to being brave is taking the first step. That’s the hardest part. 6 years ago, at the age of 51, I decided to learn to swim. The hardest part was actually going to the pool for the lessons. There were other hard parts, of course. Putting my face in the water, going in the deep end, things like that. But, I learned to swim! I now love going in deep water. 12 foot deep! One day a friend asked me when I was going to go off the high dive. Challenge accepted! That has now become my description of being brave. Jumping off the high dive. I’ll never forget that day. I walked to the edge of the board, thought about it, said a prayer, and jumped! It was awesome! I’m so glad I did! It was nothing to be scared of!

God has called me to write. He’s called me to teach. And of course, he’s called me to pray for people-in person-laying hands on people and praying for them. Not just chatting with God in the privacy of my room. These are hard things. Things that require bravery. The fear of failure in all of those is strong! Notice what I did right before I jumped off the diving board? I said a prayer. That, I believe, is the key to bravery. Trust in God. Faith that his will is going to be done. No matter what.

I’ve put off the writing. I’m not sure why. I love to write. I just keep getting scared of failure. But God wants me to do this. So I pray, and I write. The same thing happened with teaching and praying. I’ve taught at my women’s group and will again. Hopefully a lot. I pray for people there and even get words from God for them. I trust God and step out of my comfort zone. It’s even more awesome than jumping off that high dive!

Bible Study, Bible study for women, Christian books, Women

We’re off and running!

Hey there! Finally welcome to my blog! I’m hoping to stick with it and post at least once a week from here on out! This is mainly a ‘welcome’ post and to let you know what’s going on with HisThumbprint. I have a Facebook page that is a ‘jumping off page’ for this blog as well as a closed group Bible study.  I’ve had such a great time writing the daily lessons, I thought it was high time I start getting this going!

We’re going through 1John in the study right now. I started off thinking I’d do a chapter a day! Wow, I was wrong! There is so much in that little book that it’s going to take a few weeks to delve in and really get a lot out of it! If you’re not already part of the study, I hope you’ll join! We’ve had some great conversation going on and insights from the members. Its been a lot of fun so far! I love learning about God and sharing life with other people!

I’ll be talking about all sorts of faith related things on here, from the Bible, to great books I’ve read, to culture issues, and everything in between. From a Christian perspective. I’ll have book reviews and links to Christian related items-such as Bible study tools I like and the books I talk about. I hope you’ll join me on this adventure! The more the merrier!

OK! Let’s get this fledgling little bird off the ground!

In this world you will have troubles..., Life with God

A Tribute to Nabeel

I’ve read a lot of tributes to Nabeel in the past few days. Most from people who knew him personally, but some from people who, like me, had never met him but felt a great loss with his passing. Nabeel wrote some books that touched my life. Nabeel touched my heart.

I’m not sure those of us who were raised in church can fully appreciate all that Nabeel went through and all he gave up to follow Jesus. I was thinking the other day about this. Do we realize that Jesus is the pearl of great price? Would you sell all you had to have him? Nabeel basically did. Millions of people have. But what have you given up? What are you willing to give up? What’s he worth to you?

These questions were brought home to me after reading Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus.

Nabeel knew what he would lose. It took him years of searching and studying to be sure of what he was doing. God was working in him all that time in the best way. The Nabeel way. He loved to learn. He loved to research and investigate. He needed to prove things for himself. God knows us all so well. He knows how to woo each one of us to himself.

God also knew how Nabeel felt about his family. He loved his parents and sister more than anything. Would you give up your family if you’re called to do so? I can’t even imagine. I sure hope I would. The pain involved would be so great.

God called Nabeel to suffer for him. He calls us all to, really. Nabeel started his walk with God in pain from losing his family. (Happily, and by God’s grace, Nabeel and his family reconciled and they spent a lot of time with him in the past year.) He ended his earthly walk in pain as well. In between there was the constant pain from Muslims who bad mouthed him and/or threatened him. He stood strong to his final breath.

I guess it’s been about 3 years since I learned who Nabeel Qureshi was. I read his first book and was so blessed by it. I followed him on Facebook and Twitter. I was on the book launch teams for his last 2 books. I was stunned and cried when he told us about his diagnosis. I watched all the video updates. It’s amazing to me how generous and selfless he was. He did videos from all over the place through every phase of treatment. I learned so much about God and His goodness and mercy just from those videos. He shared Jesus till the end.

I feel like I knew him. I do know this-he’s my brother and I’ll see him in Heaven one day.

Well done, Nabeel. You’ll be so missed.