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Archive for the ‘testimony’ Category

Dont Give Up, Don't Give In Lessons from an Extraordinary Life by Louis Zamperini

Louis Zamperini.  Don’t Give Up, Don’t Give In: Lessons from an Extraordinary Life.  New York, NY: Dey Street Book, November 18th, 2014.  238 pp.

I had mixed feeling about the book.  There’s no question that Louis Zamperini lived an extraordinary life.  Louis Zamperini is an Olympian, war hero, celebrity and famous convert of Billy Graham’s ministry.  Here in this book Zamperini talks about his life in his own words.

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unplanned abby johnson

Purchase: Amazon

This book is an emotional read.  Abby Johnson tells her story of her work with abortion provider Planned Parenthood and how she crossed the “fence” (a motif and a theme that runs throughout the book) to the Pro-life side.  It is a moving story and it is quite personal.  What is unusual about her story from others who abandon the pro-abortion side is that Abby Johnson was a former director of a Planned Parenthood clinic.  Readers will appreciate the first half of the book in which Abby describe how she came to work for Planned Parenthood and also the mindset of some of those who work for the abortion industry.  In the beginning of the book Abby makes it clear that she does not want to caricature or misrepresent any side and I think you get the sense in the book that she is genuine about that.  She is honest in her description of herself and some in the pro-abortion side are very sincere in wanting to help women.  What touched me reading this book is that it is a story that is about God’s work in her heart—and bringing her to see her sins.  I was also deeply moved reading the book with her account of interacting with pro-lifers outside her clinic who were gentle, respectful and winsome.  However being gentle and respectful does not mean one is not passionate or driven by conviction—it’s a case of both/and, not “and/or.”  She describe how convicting it was to see people passionately committed to pray outside the clinics and how uncomfortable it was for her to see pro-lifers who genuinely care for her—and the women who came to her clinic.  In some sense, her account validated to me the need for our pro-life effort to reach out to the workers also in a Christ like manner.  I don’t want to make out the book as all sweet—certainly there is the darker side of things that Abby Johnson also discussed in the book—the reality hitting her when she saw the ultrasound of an abortion for the very first time and being unable to deny what abortion really is anymore; then there is the reality that she had to face with those in leadership above her in Planned Parenthood who was pushing for more abortion and riskier abortion in order to meet the financial “bottom line.”  There is also the account of Planned Parenthood’s attempt to go after her legally and how frightening that was for Abby, especially with the lies and betrayal of those whom she thought was her friends and colleague.  This is the story of God’s work in freeing a woman from her own hidden sins of abortions—and how God forgave her.  I think this book is worth reading no matter where you land on this hot politic topic.  For those who are pro-abortion, I think you can see the perspective of someone who changed their minds and why.  For those who are already pro-life, you get a good perspective of someone who had an abortion and also involved with the industry.  For readers who are pro-life and have not been involved in the cause, this story should move you.  For those who are involved or who were involved with the prolife cause, this book will encourage you much.  I will be honest—I cried going this book because so many of the accounts she gave would be things those involved with the prolife cause see.  I totally recommend this book.

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In the Presence of my Enemies Gracia Burnham

 Available on Amazon

As we see the increase of Islamic terrorism worldwide, this story needs to be heard more than ever. It is a powerful story of forgiveness and of God’s grace and mercy. The book is an account of Martin and Gracia Burnham, who were missionaries in the Philippines that were captured by Muslim radicals in 2001 and held as hostages in the jungle for over a year. The story is told by Gracia, who survived the ordeal. Her husband was killed during the raid by the Armed Forces of the Philippines that finally freed (and for some, killed) the hostages. Between the time of her capture and the final liberation by the military, the Burnham has gone through seventeen firefights and countless other artillery shelling and terrible ordeals with the jungle. I was drawn by Gracia’s honesty of her shortcomings and struggle during her journey. She was honest in the book of how she felt, including her feeling that God has betrayed her and how she finally coped with the kidnapping. She was also honest about how she felt about the terrorist, and quite understandably. But perhaps most disturbing was her honest portrayal of what drove Abu Sayyaf, the terrorist group that kidnapped her and her husband. It is a frightening ideology of hate and readers but this will come at no surprise for those familiar with the ideology of Al Qaeda and jihad. Although the topic is sobering, the book is by no means hopeless, for as the book progresses you will see the faith of Martin and Gracia grow and being lived out of what it means to bless your enemies. The book also manages to have some funny moments with Gracia’s sense of humor coming out in the book and at times her sarcasm towards the irony around her. You will laugh—and you will cry. Readers will likely be tearful of the moment in the book when her husband is killed—and her final rescue. The book also has a lengthy account of her time after the hostage situation, and how the Lord has worked through this event. An excellent book that I totally recommend, a beautiful testimony of the Gospel applied and a moving account of what it means to be a Christian—even in the presence of one’s enemy.

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I have earlier wrote about the testimony of Rosaria Butterfield, who left a life of being a feminist Lesbian professor and became a believer of Jesus Christ and how the issue of apologetics and worldview apologetics has played a role in God’s work in bringing her to salvation.

Here’s a video of her testimony:

Here is the Q&A that followed:

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Want to find a book to read this July Fourth Weekend?

I couldn’t stop putting this book down and finished it in one sitting (one day).

Fearless Adam Brown

Purchase: Amazon

An emotional biography of a SEAL TEAM SIX operator name Adam Brown, who was killed in August 2011. An incredible story: I don’t think I’ve ever read such a real and powerful account of drug addiction than I did in this book (which is worth buying the book in of itself) and how he failed so many times; yet, it’s also a story of faith and how Jesus Christ changed his life around, and through him others as well. Based upon interviews of SEALs, family members and his widowed wife, it is also balanced with official Navy record. Adam Brown was an incredible man of God, American, SEAL and human being. His battle with the inner demons of drugs, his entrance into the SEALs despite his small size is already itself an incredible story in it’s own right: But then we also learned that Adam Brown went on to try out and selected for SEAL SNIPER and a member of DEVGRU/SEAL TEAM 6 (the tier one outfit that got Bin Laden) despite the disadvantage of losing an eye and crushing his dominant hand (which he had to resort to shooting with his weak hand). I appreciated how this book shared so much about the wife’s journey as a NAVY wife, and how it was with the loss of her husbands with her kids. It’s indeed a story of faith but the author does a good job of showing how faith doesn’t sugar coat the harsh realities of this world: from disappointments and failure of kicking a drug addictions, the imperfection of believers, and the mystery of why God allow some to die and others to live. Reading this as a father of a one year old and a three month old, i can’t help tearing up especially towards the end of the book. As I have said in my reviews of other SEALs book, I believe every American ought to read a book like this–especially considering the small percentage today of those who serve. You would get a better picture and a deeper appreciation for the sacrifice of those who served and their families since 9/11. I highly recommend this book.

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toy train wreck

Thanks to Sye Ten Bruggencate for pointing out this story.

Christianity Today has an article titled, “My Train Wreck Conversion” about Rosaria Champagne Butterfield, a former Lesbian Feminists who became a Christian and repented of her ways.   It is a touching testimony of God’s Grace that she tells and you can read the whole thing if you click here.  What intrigued me the most is her account of her interaction with a Conservative Presbyterian pastor that the Lord used to bring her to the faith.  Seeing the mention of “Presbyterian” made me wonder if the guy might have employed Presuppositional apologetics or had any engagement in witnessing to her that is worldview conscious.  Then I read this portion of her article:

While on the lookout for some Bible scholar to aid me in my research, I launched my first attack on the unholy trinity of Jesus, Republican politics, and patriarchy, in the form of an article in the local newspaper about Promise Keepers. It was 1997.

The article generated many rejoinders, so many that I kept a Xerox box on each side of my desk: one for hate mail, one for fan mail. But one letter I received defied my filing system. It was from the pastor of the Syracuse Reformed Presbyterian Church. It was a kind and inquiring letter. Ken Smith encouraged me to explore the kind of questions I admire: How did you arrive at your interpretations? How do you know you are right? Do you believe in God? Ken didn’t argue with my article; rather, he asked me to defend the presuppositions that undergirded it. I didn’t know how to respond to it, so I threw it away.

Later that night, I fished it out of the recycling bin and put it back on my desk, where it stared at me for a week, confronting me with the worldview divide that demanded a response. As a postmodern intellectual, I operated from a historical materialist worldview, but Christianity is a supernatural worldview. Ken’s letter punctured the integrity of my research project without him knowing it.

That was the beginning of what Rosaria Champagne Butterfield called being “friends with the enemy.”

I find it fascinating that the Pastor, Ken Smith asked her to defend her presuppositions and that it made her asked question of her own historical materialist worldview.  Praise God that the Lord used this to begin a journey to bring her to know the Lord.

For the Christian, Presuppositional apologetics is warranted as the result of the implication of what Scripture says about the nature of man, God’s revelation, sin and salvation.  In the past, I have seen some of it’s Christian critics dismiss Presuppositionalism on the basis that it does not lead people to Christ, because they can think of people who converted as the result of other schools of apologetics.  While God can bring people to salvation any way He wants, we must also be faithful to the norms of Scripture and have the Word of God dictate our apologetics methodology.  Our apologetics methdology must be shaped by Biblical truths and obedience to those truths regardless of the “results” that we see right now.  However, it’s also good to see this testimony of Rosaria Champagne Butterfield become a Christian and the Lord using in certain significant moments in her life, the use of a Reformed Pastor pressing the antithesis.

For those that want to read her story in more details, she has also written a book titled The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert which is available on Kindle if you click here.

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Each year, The Master’s Seminary (TMS) allow it’s graduating seniors to share their testimony during chapel.

Here are just some (not all) the testimonies:

Kai Akagi
Loveland, Colorado
Audio: Play   Download
Adam Ashoff
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Audio: Play   Download
Christopher Bogstad
Walnut Creek, California
Audio: Play   Download
Andrew Brown
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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Daniel Chan
Los Angeles, California
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William Chan
Monterey Park, California
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Luke Clubb
Sterling, Kansas
Audio: Play   Download
Andrew Craig
Cazenovia, New York
Audio: Play   Download
Philip Fernandez
KabanKalan City, Philipppines
Audio: Play   Download
Jason Gillespie
Tupelo, Mississippi
Audio: Play   Download
David Golden
Danbury, Connecticut
Audio: Play   Download
Rich Gregory
Grand Rapids, Michigan
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Dennis Griffin
San Diego, California
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Glenn Hicks
Bangor, Maine
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Scott Jackson
Lakewood, Washington
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Kyle Jenison
Lancaster, California
Audio: Play   Download

You can access the rest here.

Listen to it and be blessed.

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