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.

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!