2013 July

THE SHAHADA

THE SHAHADA Islam has five pillars, actions obligatory for believers. The first, shahada, means ?to observe, witness, or testify.? Sometimes in Arabic the dual form is used for the twin actions of observing and then declaring that observation. The two acts in Islam are perceiving there is no god but God and testifying of God?s messenger. A single honest recitation of the shahada in Arabic is the only requirement to become a Muslim. We prefer to live in a God-honoring way because living is less scary than proclaiming. We quote St. Francis of Assisi?s ?Preach the Gospel always; if necessary,…

FEAR VS BOLDNESS

In 2012, the number of Qatari believers in Qatar doubled. From one to two.  Growth is often slow. Qatar allows foreigners to worship fairly freely, and when there are problems, foreigners likely just face removal from Qatar. But for Qataris who decide to follow Jesus, the price is much higher.When planting the Church in a place it doesn’t exist, missionaries, new believers, and even seekers will face spiritual warfare and persecution. It can range from distractions to serious health problems, insomnia and nightmares, minor irritations and traumatic events. At every turn, there is temptation to quit, to be silent. Fear keeps…

HEALTH CONCERNS: Obesity and Diabetes

The world’s richest nation suffers from first world problems: one study indicates half the country?s adults are obese and at least 17% suffer from diabetes. In America, often assumed to be the fattest, only 33% of adults are obese and 8% are diabetic. Diabetes is developing a decade younger than average, which is pushing up rates of illnesses like hypertension, partial paralysis, heart disease, and blindness. Experts predict by 2015 73% of Qatari women and 69% of Qatari men will be obese. Why? Qatar is full of fast food chains. Outdoor activities aren?t encouraged. Qatar is hot: average summer highs are a humid…