Thursday, January 19, 2012

PLEASE PRAY for me from Jan 25-Feb 5. I will be in Uganda!





I will begin this note with positive developments from this year. I won the Biblical Archeology Review dig scholarship and was able to participate in an archeological excavation in Galilee. I was able to go sight-seeing in Galilee. I went to Nazareth and the Jordan River. I had been to Jerusalem and its vicinity before but I had never been to Galilee. It was a wonderful experience. I found Galilee to be a beautiful, spiritual and tranquil place. I was also able to go to meet the Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East (the old so-called "Nestorian" Church) in Chicago. Assyrians are the Christians of Mesopotamia and are among the last speakers of Aramaic-the language of Jesus Christ. I participated at the Houston "Comicpalooza" Comic Book convention. I was able to display by artwork and the comic books I wrote and illustrated. In November we had a family reunion. My mother and father and all their six children and the six grandchildren were all present. This is the first time all of us brothers and sisters got together in over ten years-perhaps more like twenty and it was the first time all the grandchildren were all together in one place. My book "The Language of Jesus: Introducing Aramaic" has been selling well. But, I am not making much money from it because it was meant to be for promotional purposes so I set the cost low. It sells 9 to 15 copies every month-and that is not bad for a self-published book with zero advertising. I have almost twenty books out now and five comic books. This year also had its struggles. We had a very serious drought and wildfires in the Houston area. A close friend of mine died in March. She was 38 years old. This year I will turn 40 in May. I am going on a short mission trip to Uganda in January. I will probably do the comic book convention this year again. I am developing ideas for books and comics. Perhaps I will go on some other journeys. I have almost 200 videos up on my "You Tube" channel. These include videos from Iraq, Assyrian villages, the archeological dig and preaching and sermons. This year I am applying for a doctoral program at either Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary or Liberty University. I am still a chaplain in the National Guard and helping my dad with the church in Cleveland, Texas. Please pray for me and please remember the persecuted Christians of Iraq and Egypt in your prayers.

Stephen Missick PO Box 882, Shepherd TX 77371 ,

The Martyred Church – A History of the Church of the East

This absorbing book deals with the Church of the East—the so-called 'Nestorian' Church—arguably the most interesting of all the Syriac-speaking Churches. Few Christians nowadays outside the Middle East are familiar with its name, let alone its
history, yet between the ninth and fourteenth centuries the Church of the East was in geographical extent the largest Christian Church in the world, with dioceses stretching from the Mediterranean right across Asia to China.

The Church of the East, which began life as the indigenous church of Sasanian Persia, has been harried and persecuted throughout its history. The tragic story of this 'martyred church' is brought vividly to life in this impressive book.

The book is organised into the following ten chapters:

  • The Church beyond Rome (AD 36 to 502)
  • Nestorians and Jacobites (503–633)
  • Christians and Muslims (634–779)
  • The Age of Timothy I (780–905)
  • A Church at Bay (906–1221)
  • The Mongol Century (1222–1317)
  • The Years of Darkness (1318–1552)
  • Nestorians and Chaldeans (1553–1830)
  • The Age of the European Missions (1831–1913)
  • The Calamitous Twentieth Century (1914–2011)

Each chapter contains an overview and a narrative history that describes major events and assesses the reigns of successive Nestorian and Chaldean patriarchs. The historical narrative is followed by thematic sections on ecclesiastical administration, monastic history, and literature and scholarship. The sections on ecclesiastical administration give ample space to the history of the Nestorian missions to Central Asia, India and China. The sections on monasticism chart the growth and decline of a distinctive form of worship that differed in important respects from monasticism in the Roman Empire. The sections on literature and scholarship pay particular attention to texts which are readily available in English translation, and are written partly with the aim of winning new readers for these texts. The book gives due weight to the popular Sasanian and Mongol periods but also provides a detailed history of the Church of the East under the Umayyad and cAbbasid caliphs, a relatively neglected area of study in the English-speaking world. It is particularly strong on the history of the Church of the East under the Ottomans. Drawing on the research which underpinned his earlier work, Wilmshurst provides the fullest account of the history of the Church of the East between the fourteenth and nineteenth centuries that has yet been published in English. He also provides a thoughtful Afterword, in which he discusses several possible futures for the Church of the East in the twenty-first century. The author demolishes a number of fashionable myths about the Church of the East. In his exposure of the alarming amount of legendary material in its early history, his sober appraisal of the extent and effectiveness of its missionary role in the Middle Ages, and his insistence on the positive role played by the European and American missionaries in the development of the Nestorian and Chaldean Churches in the nineteenth century, he ventures onto sensitive ground. Not all readers may welcome his conclusions, but they will certainly find his arguments stimulating.


David Wilmshurst was educated at Worcester College, Oxford, where he took a first- class BA degree in Classics (1979) and a D Phil degree in Oriental Studies (1998). He has spent much of his life in Hong Kong, and is one of the few modern scholars of the Church of the East who can read both Syriac, Arabic and Chinese. He first became interested in the Church of the East during a visit in 1988 to Ch'uan-chou in southern China, whose city museum housed a fascinating collection of Nestorian tombstones from Marco Polo's time. Presently working as Academic Editor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Wilmshurst is the author of The Ecclesiastical Organisation of the Church of the East, 1318–1913 (Louvain, 2000), a study hailed as 'an indispensable research tool for students of the Church of the East and Syriac scholars'.

I'm very excited about this book: it is a welcome, comprehensive overview of the history of the Church of the East, which takes the theological and historical issues seriously and provides a reliable account of the many vicissitudes in the Church's long life. The Church of the East has truly been a 'Martyred Church' twice over; both at the hands of hostile civil regimes and, regrettably, even at the hands of fellow Christians, both east and west. Wilmshurst's book
brings us a welcome opportunity to know anew and cherish the faithful history of the Church of the East and to work in our own time not only for a healing of memories but also for communion among the sister Christian Churches whose histories reach all the way back to the first centuries of Christianity.
Sidney H Griffith

Written with enthusiasm for the subject, this wellinformed book traces the history of the Church of the East from its origins to the present day. A particularly valuable feature lies in the considerable amount of new light that Wilmshurst has been able to shed on the various obscure periods for which no narrative historical sources are available, thanks to his extensive use of information contained in the colophons of manuscripts.
Sebastian Brock

Wilmshurst displays a phenomenal knowledge of a very little known subject covering a vast area over two thousand years, and manages to convey it very lucidly and readably. The book is also a very useful corrective. Europe tends to think that it invented Christendom, and Europeans often view Christianity as centred perennially on Rome and as somehow the converse of Asia. This book is a timely reminder that Christianity spread eastwards before it spread westwards, and that there was a 'world Church' in the east long before the rise of the medieval popes.
Warwick Ball

232 x 154 mm, 544 pages, 14 plates and maps, hardback

ISBN 978 1907318 04 7, September 2011

KJB movie shows actual Aramaic Dictionary used by the translators of the King James Version

Two films have come out documenting the 400th anniversary of the King James or Authorized Version of the Holy Bible. In the version featuring John Rhys-Davies, they show the actual Aramaic lexicon used by the translators of the King James Version. It should also be noted that the seldom reprinted introduction to the King James version-entitled "The Translators to the Reader" the translators of the King James Bible state that although they translated from the original languages they did not hesitate to consult the Latin and even the Syrian version-this means the Syriac-Aramaic Peshitta. So, although they didn't translate from the Aramaic-the King James translators did consult it-or at least they claimed they did.

Time Frames for the Exodus

Time frames are given in certain passages-especially in the travel itenerary found in Exodus. The Bible describes Sinai as a "three day journey" into the wilderness. This is probably a figure of speech but it is the reason why some people believe jebal sin bashar is the "real" Mount Sinai. The other time from is in Deuteronomy 1:3. Here the Bible says that Sinai (or Horeb) is an eleven day journey from Kadesh Barnea. Now, the traditional Mount Sinai and Jebal El-Laws are roughly the same distance from Kadesh Barnea. There is a universal consensus among scholars concerning where Kadesh Barnea is. So, therefore, looking at a map, if it is an eleven day journey from Kadesh Barnea to Mount Sinai-then it is at least an eleven day journey from Egypt to Mount Sinai-unless Egypt has been misidentified by scholars (highly unlikely). There are also itineraries in Exodus and in Numbers that list dates and times it took to travel distances. The numbers itinerary is located in Numbers 33. The Exodus itinerary is Exodus 12: 18, 29, 37, 13:20, 14:2, 14:26-39, 15:22-27, 16:1, 17;1, 19:1-2.

The Israelites departed Egypt: month one-day 15 (Exodus 12:18, 29; Numbers 33:3)


Arrived in wilderness of Sin between Elim and Sinai: month two-day 15 (Exodus 16:1)


Third new moon arrived at Sinai: month three: day not given (Exodus19;1-2)

Using the texts from the Bible, it seems likely that the traditional route of the Exodus is accurate and follow the Scriptural description while sensational new theories do not.

Obama administration says the Taliban are not are enemy and negotiates with the Terrorists

The White House on Monday defended Vice President Joe Biden for saying that the Taliban isn't an enemy of the United States despite the years spent fighting the militant Islamic group that gave a home to Al Qaeda and its leader Usama bin Laden while he plotted the Sept. 11 terror attacks. After video showing marines urinating upon the bodies of Taliban terrorists killed in combat, the Taliban condemned the incident but said that the incident will not affect negotiations that are going on with the United States.

If we are negotiating with the Taliban then we are negotiating with terrorists. What are we negotiating with them about? Clearly, Obama wants to turn over Afghanistan to Taliban control.

Obama promises to gut (as in disembowel) the military

President Obama offered a new Pentagon strategy that cuts billions of dollars for defense over the next decade and will "turn the page on a decade of war," but has critics arguing will gut U.S. ability to lead a dangerous world. In a rare appearance in the Pentagon press briefing room Thursday, where he announced that the military will be reshaped over time, Obama said the reality of the U.S. economy is forcing the Defense Department to look at its strategy in an all-new way, even as he insisted that strategy will determine the force structure, "not the other way around." "We have to renew our economic strength here at home, which is the foundation of our strength in the world. That includes putting our fiscal house in order," the president said.
Among the changes, Panetta announced, would be the size of some branches of the Armed Services. "The Army and Marines Corps will no longer need to be sized to support the kind of large-scale, long-term military operations that have dominated military priorities and force generations over the past decades," Panetta said, adding that forces will have to become more flexible and adaptable to conflicts around the globe. Panetta said the U.S. will focus its security more on challenges from the Asia-Pacific.

Read more:

If Obama really cared about America's "fiscal house" he wouldn't have passed his Heath Care Bill and wouldn't have increased our national debt by trillions of dollars. Under Obama, our national debt now exceeds the entire net worth of the United States of America. I have been convinced by Obama's policies that he is indeed a Muslim.
Read more: LI
Z CHENEY: There's no question. I think in fact what President Obama is doing is something that America's enemies — the Taliban and Al Qaeda — have been unable to do, which is to decimate the fighting capability of this nation.
Krauthammer: Obama military reforms a 'road map of American decline'

"The president has packaged our retreat from the world in the guise of a new strategy to mask his divestment of our military and national defense," said Chairman Buck McKeon, R-Calif. "This strategy ensures American decline in exchange for more failed domestic programs," McKeon added. "In order to justify massive cuts to our military, he has revoked the guarantee that America will support our allies, defend our interests and defy our opponents. The president must understand that the world has always had, and will always have a leader. As America steps back, someone else will step forward."

Shoe-thower arrested in Iran

An irate Iranian has reportedly thrown a shoe at President Ahmadinejad's caravan during the president's latest provincial visit to West Azerbaijan. The website Urumiyeh News said the shoe was thrown at Ahmadi-nejad in the city of Urumiyeh when people became angry after a car in the president's motorcade struck an elderly man who had been trying to hand a letter to the president. The alleged shoe incident has been much discussed and repeated by Azerbaijani independence groups, who promote it as a sign of hatred for the central Iranian government. The Guardian of Britain reported the alleged shoe incident and said the president's security guards were unable to find the shoe-thrower. The World Azerbaijani Congress in Baku said the police arrested several bystanders even though they couldn't find the culprit, who would presumably

That can be presumed or taken for granted; reasonable as a supposition: presumable causes of the disaster.
be a man wearing one shoe. In 2006, a student threw a shoe at Ahmadi-nejad during an appearance at Amir KabirThis article is about the chancellor of Iran. For the Iranian university of the same name, see Amirkabir University of Technology.

Amir Kabir (1807 - January 11 , 1852)(Persian:
Click the link for more information. University. But that incident drew little attention as it came long before an Iraqi journalist threw two shoes at President George W. Bush last December and raised shoe-throwing to international stature. The Guardian observed that Iran declared the Iraqi shoe-thrower to be a hero and commented that in Urumiyeh Ahmadi-nejad "found the shoe on the other foot."
Urmiyah is a important center of Assyrian Christians.

Court rules to allow Sharia law in the United States

OKLAHOMA CITY – An amendment that would ban Oklahoma courts from considering international or Islamic law discriminates against religions and a Muslim community leader has the right to challenge its constitutionality, a federal appeals court said Tuesday. The court in Denver upheld U.S. District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange's order blocking implementation of the amendment shortly after it was approved by 70 percent of Oklahoma voters in November 2010. Muneer Awad, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Oklahoma, sued to block the law from taking effect, arguing that the Save Our State Amendment violated his First Amendment rights. The amendment read, in part: "The courts shall not look to the legal precepts of other nations or cultures. Specifically, the courts shall not consider international law or Sharia law." Backers argued that the amendment intended to ban all religious laws, that Islamic law was merely named as an example and that it wasn't meant as a specific attack on Muslims. The court disagreed. "That argument conflicts with the amendment's plain language, which mentions Sharia law in two places," the appeals court opinion said. The court also noted that the backers of the amendment admitted they did not know of any instance when an Oklahoma court applied Sharia law or used the legal precepts of other countries. Awad argued that the ban on Islamic law would likely affect every aspect of his life as well as the execution of his will after his death. The appeals court pointed out that Awad made a "strong showing" of potential harm. "When the law that voters wish to enact is likely unconstitutional, their interests do not outweigh Mr. Awad's in having his constitutional rights protected," the court said.

Manure Awad: Behold The Face of Terror

September 12, 2011: Muneer Awad, left, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Oklahoma talks with attorney Gadeir Abbas as they leave federal court in Denver. Read more:

This court was going to rule in favor of Islamic law before the trial started. Sharia law is the Islamic constitution. The Islamic tactic of pleading for Sharia Law in America is that if it is does not have legal force they will be persecuted and unable to live as Muslims. This is untrue. It is a deceitful tactic to make them appear to be the victims. Sharia law must merely be a personal lifestyle choice. Sharia law includes death for blaspheming Mohammad, death for leaving Islam (even if one never practiced Islam-but came from a Muslim family) stoning women for adultery and chopping off the arms of thieves. Many Muslims plan on replacing the United States Constitution with Sharia Law or at least placing the US Constitution UNDER sharia law-since Sharia law will be viewed as a higher law. Mr. Awad is trying to overthrow America for Islam. The people of Oklahoma are trying to protect themselves from Sharia law-it has been introduced in other states and in other nations-such as England. This is a real threat.

This also illustrates how our courts are out of control. We need judicial accountability. I believe that it is obvious that judges are politicians and as politicians they need to have term limits and face popular elections. Newt Gingrich has a good idea in closing radical courts such as the ninth circuit. This is a constitutional practice. It is the responsibility of congress to control the courts. The constitution places Congress in control over the courts-a lot of our ideas about "an independent judiciary" and "judicial review" simply are not in the constitution. The courts have usurped this power and liberals like it that way since it is tyranny and a way to circumvent democracy. Now we have a real threat of saboteurs who want to overthrow or undermine the constitution. No one any where in the world should have to suffer under the barbarism and savagery of Sharia law. It is a very evil system-and did not come from God at all.

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