Monthly Archives: May 2007

A loss for Religious Liberty and Joy in Malaysia

Lina Joy lost her six year battle to convert from Islam to Christianity through the civil court system of Malaysia today. The secular court system says it has no jurisdiction and she is now going to be tried in the religious court system (Syariah) where she will be likely be put in “rehabilitation” (jail).

It was a 2-1 decision. The descenting judge, Richard Malanjum, said “In my view, this is tantamount to unequal treatment under the law. She is entitled to an IC (identification card) where the word Islam does not appear”

Lina Joy cannot legally marry a non-muslim, and can be forced by the religious court system to counseling, fining and jail, if she continues to renounce Islam.

This is a major blow to religious freedom.

Here is a link to a news story:

Malaysia’s Lina Joy loses Islam conversion case

Prayer requests for intercessors:

A blog in Malaysia Today about the implications to Islam of the decision today:

The Quran tells us:

When comes the Help of God, and the opening, and thou dost see the people enter God’s System (deenillah) in crowds, (Al-Fath, 1-2)

‘Deenillah’ is God’s working system, a total system of life which establishes humankind People would want God’s system and to be part of it, owing to its success in the world. Rather, now, we have a situation where there are people who need to be forced to remain in ‘God’s system’. Is this the situation we want? A situation of the opposite nature to a situation where comes the help of God?

30/05: Lina Joy – ‘Save’ one, lose a million

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Filed under Christianity, Malaysia, politics, Religion

At the Phillies Game

I took my son Ben to a Phillies game yesterday (Memorial Day). I played with my new cell phone and here are some pictures:

My son – Ben David Cole, all American future major leaguer!
Phillies Game 2

Ben took this picture of me:

Phillies Game 1

Here is the new Phillies game from the vantage point of our seats.

Phillies Game 3

The game was exciting at the end. The score was 5-1 Arizona with two outs in the ninth. The Phillies rallied and a home run made it 5 -4, another guy got on base, and another Philly almost got a home run, but it fell into an Arizona glove at the wall, ending the game. The stadium was packed, but some of people left before the close finish. Ben was really getting into the game- and we ate $1 hot dogs and cotton candy. We had a great time!

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Filed under baseball, Life, Phillies, Uncategorized

Sarkozy talks to the Jerusalem Post about Religion

There is a fascinating article in the Jerusalem Post about the newly elected French President Nicolas Sarkozy attitudes toward religion. Out with the Old, in with the ‘Jew’? Sarkozy talks to the Post. Sarkozy’s mother had a Jewish father, so that is why the Jerusalem Post has that headline.

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Filed under French Election, News, politics, Religion

Memorial Day: Remembering the children of Iraq

According to a UNICEF Report issued today – Immediate Needs for Iraqi Children in Iraq and Neighboring Countries, there is a humanitarian crisis that American Christians and people of all faiths should be acutely aware of.

  • Since 2003, 15% of Iraqi’s total population has fled their homes – 50% of them are children
  • Of the 4 million displaced Iraqi’s, 1.9 million have fled the country
  • Doctors, nurses and teachers have fled – causing a brain drain and lack of educational and health services
  • 750,000 have fled to to Jordan
  • 1.25 Million have fled to Syria
  • Despite government support these people face an uncertain future – and may be caught in a worsening humanitarian tragedy.
  • The educational system is severely stressed. Children are either not going to school, or going to overcrowded schools, that are operating in multiple shifts.
  • As many as 320,000 Iraqi children in Syria are not going to school.
  • Only 30% of Iraqis have a reliable safe water source in their home.
  • Diarrhea rates are rising foreboding an outbreak in the summer months
  • Immunization rates are down as insecurity pushes preventable health care down the list of priorities

And the list goes on and on. There are many things the UNICEF and other charities, including Christian faith based charities are doing to help the displaced and forgotten children in Iraq. Please pray for the children of Iraq that they would get the shots they need so they will not get measles and polio, clean water to drink, midwifery kits for their moms, oral rehydration salts so they don’t get diarrhea, new schools, home education kits, and whatever else they need! UNICEF is asking the US government for $41,750,000 to fund their efforts.

This report can be downloaded here.

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Filed under Christianity, Iraq, News, politics, Religion, War

Lovena Loo Thing Peng

I had some sad news from the Christians I know in Malaysia. Ian sent me an email that a friend of his and Juliane’s, Lovena Loo Thing Peng, who her friends call Peng, had been murdered by a robber last weekend. The robber tied Peng up and gagged her in such a way that she could not breathe, and she suffocated. She lived by herself on the ‘wrong’ side of the city of Kuala Lumpur.

Here is a tribute, by her friends, which show that she was rich in the things that truly matter – she had many wonderful friends and a wonderful faith in God.

And here are some blog tributes to her life:

Even though I don’t know her – her death and life has deeply affected me and other people all over the world. I believe that she was the very apple of God’s eye, and I am sure that her family and friends would appreciate your prayers and thoughts.

Here is one of the beautiful tributes to Peng’s Life:

If I was “hung fook” (Cantonese for fortunate) I would have had a daughter like you lor….

I only worked with Peng once during the Christmas punctuations production in 2004 but I always remember how she used to cluck and fuss over me despite the fact that I played only a minor role in the play. Peng never considered me too insignificant but took effort to make sure I was dolled up nicely for the stage, in between scenes she would even take time to give me pointers on how and when to apply make up.

Aiyah, don’t worry! I’ll make sure you look so pretty the boys will chase!

Classic beauty, thats what she called me each time she made me up. Now even as I consider all the wonders she has done in her service for God, I realize with a deep sense of loss that it was her serving hands which were the most beautiful of them all, not my face on which she was applying make up.

I wish I had more opportunities to work with Peng and to learn more from her.

We will miss your big smile and big heart, but most of all, your beautiful hands.

wai wai

Peng, you a classic beauty for God!

Lovena Loo Thing Peng


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Mayday 23: World Population Becomes More Urban Than Rural

For the first time in human history – there are more people living in urban areas (3,303,992,253 ) than in rural areas (3,303,866,404 ). The scale shifted this Wednesday, May 23, 2007.

In the United States this shift happened in 1910, although some states are still more rural than urban – Maine,  Mississippi, Vermont, and West Virginia. North Carolina switched to being more urban in the 1980s.

If anyone was born on this day, the city mom could say “That was one small push for me, one giant change for mankind!” 🙂

Here is an article about it:

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Burning in my soul

I love this blog:

May God remove any hindrances for Deneen to achieve her goals to advance His Kingdom!


Filed under Christianity, mission, Religion

The Worship Industry by Brian McLaren

There is a huge difference between propaganda and art

Brian McLaren

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Filed under Art, Christianity, Religion, youtube

Visiting Desmond Tutu

I noticed the other day that ebay was auctioning off a three hour lunch with Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu in South Africa (Constantia Uitsig)

with all of the proceeds going to charity to help African children. Wouldn’t that be an awesome trip!

I would talk to him about his experiences in Haiti (I’ve been at the border, and touched it), and South Africa. I would talk to him about solving the world’s problems – about the children in Uganda, and world hunger. I would ask him to explain statements he’s made such as:

“Jesus did not say, ‘If I be lifted up I will draw some’.” Jesus said, ‘If I be lifted up I will draw all, all, all, all, all. Black, white, yellow, rich, poor, clever, not so clever, beautiful, not so beautiful. It’s one of the most radical things. All, all, all, all, all, all, all, all. All belong. Gay, lesbian, so-called straight. All, all are meant to be held in this incredible embrace that will not let us go. All.”


It would be an awesome time. Of course I would not agree with him on everything. That is what would make it fun!

But I don’t have the money… I think it will probably go for $5000.

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My camping trip

Blue Rocks Family Campground

I went camping last weekend with a bunch of men from Goshen Baptist Church. The Blue Rocks Family Campground is in a spectacular location – right off the Appalachian Trail, where there are two wonderful overlooks – popular with both people and sunbathing rattle snakes – the Pulpit Rock and the Pinnacle. You can also hike to Hawks Mountain. The campground allowed us to camp there for free if we did a Sunday Morning Service! So we took them up on that! This is a new idea that they are trying out this year.

We did find a huge rattlesnake on the trail! It had a loud rattle that you could hear from quite a distance, which is actually a good thing, because you wouldn’t want to step on him accidentally. It really was spectacular to be out in God’s creation – to watch the hawks, and climb around on the rocks. The boulder river goes on for about a mile making it one of the natural wonders of Pennsylvania. We roasted a catfish over our camp fire!

I strongly recommend this place for people who are into hiking and camping. It is located about 15 miles north of Reading PA. The music at the church service was provided by Tom Rickert – one of the Soap Box Prophets, and Bob Parks gave a brief sermon on Psalm 103.

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