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(Ex. John 3:16-20)

Jesus : I am the way, the truth and the life.

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CSI Good News
(Church of South India Good News)



 

Vol. 13 / Issue 19 / June 9 2011

Contents of this issue

Editorial
The Story of Mark A Gabriel - Part 2
A Special Card for Father's Day
Join us in Facebook

News Items (Common to all issues) :
Through the Valley of Death & other Books
Download Articles in Handheld Computers
Kids Page - Free Tutorials
Hindi / Malayalam/Tamil Bible Online
Your Spam Folder
Your Feedback

Editorial

By Sherly Isaac

In the Bible we read about many who had real encounter with God and those experiences were tangible. Once when Moses was tending sheep he saw that some of the bushes were on fire. Then he looked closely and saw the amazing thing that the bushes are not consumed though they were on fire. It really made him very curious to go closer and to see what that thing was. As he reached nearer, he was more astonished and there he heard the voice of God calling him and talking to him. Though he was not willing, though he was so caught up with his speaking disability and aware of his inability of leading the Israelites out of Egypt yet the encounter with God was so profound and was so real that he could not deny the call of God in his life. Rest is history that he led the Israelites out of Egypt. One encounter with God had changed everything in his life, his perspective, his inferiority complex, his fear to lead people everything got changed.

Another person about whom we read in the New Testament who had an encounter with God was Saul. This man was a terrorist. If anybody wanted to follow Jesus, this man would become enemy of him/her. He was killing people who were in his eyes apostate means those who abandoned their faith in Yahweh God and followed Jesus. He was so zealous that he went to the high priest and asked for letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he find any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.

But as he was traveling towards Damascus, suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?" And he said, "Who are You, Lord?" Then the Lord said, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads." So he, trembling and astonished, said, "Lord, what do You want me to do?" Then the Lord said to him, "Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do." And the men who journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice but seeing no one. Then Saul arose from the ground, and when his eyes were opened he could see no one. But they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus" (Acts 9:3-8).

This one encounter with God changed his life completely and turned him around. This experience was so profound and was so real that the same person, who was ready to kill and destroy the followers of Jesus, could not contain it to himself and started to proclaim about Jesus. An encounter with God made him a new person full of love and compassion and no more terrorism.

There is another incident we read about in the Bible regarding the outpouring of Holy Spirit which took place on the day of Pentecost. This experience was also real and tangible as we read in Acts 2:2-8, "And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, "Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born?"

You can see how God gave real experiences to people that they could see it, they could hear it, they could experience it.

I have heard messages where people would say, we are born in a Christian family and we are experiencing God and Holy Spirit. When I heard those sermons I often wondered, "where.... how... ?? I am not experiencing anything." But one day I met Jesus and when He came in my life everything changed. The peace and joy was so great that I could not contain it to myself.

If you never had an encounter with God, your life cannot transform. It is possible that you may show yourself righteous but encounter with God changes a person inside out. And if you have never experienced this transformation in your life, you cannot explain it to others. Just as if you have never tasted mango then you cannot tell how it tastes.

Yes, my friend, God is so real and He wants to reveal Himself to us, if we just come to Him and give our lives to Him. His name is Jesus!

The Story of Mark A Gabriel - Part 2

The former professor of Islamic history at Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt

By Mark A. Gabriel

Dangerous Questions

Finally, I reached the point where I was questioning the faith and the Quran with my students at the university. Some of them were members of terrorist movements, and they were enraged: “You can’t accuse Islam. What has happened to you? You have to teach us. You have to agree to Islam.” The university heard about it, and I was called in for a meeting in December 1991. To summarize the meeting, I told them what was in my heart: “I can no longer say that the Quran comes directly from heaven or from Allah. This cannot be the revelation of the true God.”

These were very blasphemous words, in their opinion. They spat in my face. One man cursed me, “You blasphemer. You bastard.” The university fired me and called the Egyptian secret police. The Secret Police Kidnapped Me to understand what happened next; you need to have a picture of how my family lived. My father had a very large home that was three stories tall. My whole family lived together in this house—my parents, my four married brothers with their families, my unmarried brother and myself. Only my sister lived elsewhere because she was married and lived with her husband. The house was divided into many apartments, and we were very comfortable. On the first floor were my parents’ apartment and an apartment I shared with my brother. On the floors above us were apartments for my other brothers. At three o’clock in the morning on the very same day that the university kicked me out, my father heard knocking at the door of our house. When he opened the door, fifteen to twenty men rushed in carrying Russian Kalashnikov assault weapons. They were not wearing uniforms, just regular clothes. They ran upstairs and all through the house, waking people up and looking for me. I think so many men came in at once so that I couldn’t run away before they found me.

They were all over the house before one of them found me asleep in my bed. My parents, brothers, spouses and children were awake, weeping and terrified, as they dragged me away. Everybody in the area heard the commotion.

I was taken to a place that looked like a prison and was placed in a cell. In the morning my parents frantically tried to figure out what had happened to me. Right away they went to the police station and demanded, “Where is our son?” But nobody knew anything about me. I was in the hands of the Egyptian secret police.

The Egyptian Prison

Spending time with the Egyptian secret police is much different than a visit to an American prison. They put me in a cell with two radical Muslims accused of committing terrorist acts. One was Palestinian and the other Egyptian.

For three days I was given no food or water. Every day the Egyptian man asked me, “Why are you here?” I refused to answer because I was afraid he would kill me if he knew that I had questioned Islam. On the third day, I told him I was a teacher at Al-Azhar University and an imam in Giza . Immediately he gave me a plastic bottle of water and some falafel and pita that were brought to him by his visitors, but he told me that the police had warned him not to give me anything. On the fourth day, the interrogation began. For the next four days the goal of the secret police was to make me confess that I had left Islam and to explain how it happened.

The interrogation began in a room with a large desk. My interrogator sat behind the desk, and I sat on the other side. Behind me were two or three police officers.

They were sure that I had been evangelized and converted to Christianity, so the interrogator kept badgering me, “What pastor did you talk to? What church have you been visiting? Why have you betrayed Islam?” He asked many questions. One time I hesitated too long when I answered. He nodded to the men behind me. They grabbed my hand and held it down on the desk. My interrogator held a lit cigarette. He reached over and extinguished it into the top of my hand. I still have this scar. I also have the scar on my lip where he did the same thing. Sometimes he used the cigarettes when he got angry; other times the officers just hit me across my face.

As my interrogation continued, the pressure grew stronger. One time they brought a fire poker into the room (the iron rod that you use to move burning wood in a fire). I wondered, what is that for? The next time the interrogator wanted to make his point, I found out. The poker was red hot, and one officer pressed it into the flesh of my left arm.

They wanted me to confess that I had been converted, but I said, “I didn’t betray Islam. I just said what I believe. I am an academic person. I am a thinker. I have a right to discuss any subject of Islam. This is part of my job and part of any academic life. I could not even dream of converting from Islam—it is my blood, my culture, my language, my family, my life. But if you accuse me of converting from Islam for what I say to you, then take me out of Islam. I don’t mind to be out of Islam.”

To be continued.....

Mark a Gabriel's books can be purchased from
Islam And Terrorism: What the Quran really teaches about Christianity, violence and the goals of the Islamic jihad.

A Special Card for Father's Day

A very Special Card for Father's Day is waiting for you.

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by going to Card Pickup site at http://ecards.jcsearch.com/pickup/pickup.asp

Your CardID is: 44555G8B52H133410

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Through the Valley of Death & other Books

As many of you know that in the year 2005, our dad was very sick even unto death. God miraculously healed him. We have compiled it in a book form. I sure believe that it will inspire you and encourage you greatly.

This book is available for purchase at JasmineCorp Store

Also read these two books by Sherly Isaac "Allah and Elohim - Are they the same God" Available at JasmineCorp Store, and "Is Jesus God?" Available at JasmineCorp Store,

Both books compares the Bible and the Quran and read eye opening facts about Jesus, God of the Bible, Allah and Islamic faith. I am sure that you want to read this.

Download Articles in Handheld Computers

You can now download articles in Palm Doc format for your palm handheld computer. It will work with any devise that has Palm OS and Palm Doc Reader installed. To download click on the link named "Palm Doc Format" i.e. at the top of this page by the side of each articles.

Kids Page - Free Tutorials

Now you can learn Graphics and web designing online at Kid's page. These tutorials are free for kids who subscribe for CSI Kids Newsletter. Currently tutorials for Paint Shop Pro, HTML and Dreamweaver are available.

So please enroll your kids by going to http://kids.csinewsletter.org/member/join.asp

And visit CSI Kid's page at http://kids.csinewsletter.org

Hindi / Malayalam/Tamil Bible Online

Now you can read Bible in Hindi online at http://www.hindibible.org
in Malayalam online at http://www.malayalambible.org
in Tamil online at http://www.hindibible.org?ver=tamil

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Your Feedback

Your feedback and comments are Welcome. Please send your Parish news & articles to Editor (Sherly N. Isaac) at this address News@csinewsletter.comThe messages submitted will be checked whether they are correct according to the word of God. Editor reserves the right to accept, reject or edit the messages. The writers are responsible for the contents of their writings.



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