Monday, August 31, 2015

(*) God and Water - an Epiphany

Genesis 1:1,6 – the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.
Song of Songs 4:15 – a garden fountain, a well of living water, and flowing streams

John 4:10,14 – If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, 'Give me a drink,' you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water. Whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.
John 1:1-5 – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

John 7:37-38 – Jesus stood up and cried out, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, 'Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”
2 Peter 3:5 – the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God

Revelation 7:17 – For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.


Refer to my prior post about the incredible everlasting thirst of the serpent? Contrast to this soul/spirit/body/mind/strength satisfying living water!  (

My epiphany this morning was that God created water, and water is in everything.  Without water, then all created things are inanimate and only dried bones, skeletons, and dust.  Air/gas exchange in our lungs can only happen with certain amount of water pressure. Dry lungs do not produce good oxygenation, thus, we suffocate without water. Without water our organs will fail.  Plants without water is just dried cellulose.  Living animal kingdom without water is just skeletons and dust. There are a few species that can actually survive extremely harsh environmental states, but only through a ‘suspended animation’ state, which is also not a ‘living’ state.  Household dust is made of 80% dead human skin cells…
The testimony of God, through water, is already EVERYWHERE, in EVERYTHING, in ALL OF US, sustaining ALL LIFE!
Without Jesus, the only difference between living our lives and dead… is TIME.
Receiving of the Living Water makes us COMPLETE (Holy as God is holy) and TIMELESS (Eternal as God is eternal).

So, let’s explore the kind of water we know:
1.       Bodies of water (Sea, ocean, lakes, rivers, streams, glaciers, ice caps/bergs)
2.       Underground water (Water table, springs)
3.       Suspended water (clouds, mist, humidity, dew)
4.       Falling water (Rain, snow, sleet, hail, storms)
5.       Life water (Within all living things)
6.       Waste water (Products of life-water metabolism)
7.       Living water (Spiritual sustenance that only comes from Christ)

Living things à cannot survive without water
Human beings (physical, mental, emotional, strength) à cannot survive without life water
Human beings (spiritual) à cannot survive without living water

I don’t know about you, but all the busyness and To-Do lists in life really makes me feel like I am ‘busily asleep’ and never truly awake and alive.  The evil one is not omnipotent or omnipresent, but he can activate and put magnifying glasses on all the struggles we have, so we can’t help but to spend all of our energy on things we cannot change. 

3 Tricks the evil one has to successfully keep us from Experiencing God and soaking up His living water:

1.       Keep us regretting and locked-in about our past traumas

2.       Keep us focus on the immense stresses of the future

3.       Keep us ‘busily asleep’ and numb during the present

1.       Get healing from past hurts, forgive, and let it go. Sometimes, healing feels like peeling away layers of onion.  Don’t be frustrated on how many layers you are peeling.  When you identified something you need healing… ask God for healing. 

2.       Plan, but don’t focus on the future, or changing the world, or world peace

3.       Awake, simplify, and focus presently on what really matters. Practically, delete all the ungodly distractions in your life!  Ask God for help in doing this.  Abide in Christ and love your neighbors as yourself! 

Water is God.  God is water.  Appreciate how water surrounds you, how deeply all form of water invest into your being, and how living water can change you from within like a bubbling creek to provide everlasting water to all those around you.  Amen.


Monday, November 10, 2014

22 Habits of Unhappy People

 This pop-up came across my phone this weekend… I think it is so true.  I have notice that as the world whirl faster, people get more dizzy. 

22 Habits of Unhappy People

1.       Chronic complaining.  Gossips about everyone, complaining about everything… have you realize that complaining actually doesn’t relieve your pent up stress?  It makes you look for reason to complain more.

2.       Retail Therapy.  Focused on buying and consuming.  The richer we get, the more impersonal we get and the more money we throw around at people.  Instead, we need to enjoy nature, face to face time and personal touch, and we need to be reminded that awesome nature and miracles still happen all around us daily.  And the busier we get, the more we miss.

3.       Binge Drinking.  I don’t think alcohol itself is bad, but if alcohol is your “reward” or your way of dealing with life’s tough times… it is a problem.

4.       Worrying about the future.  You are not in control, God is.  Let it go…

5.       Waiting for the future.  Don’t just sit there and only pray… get up and do something.

6.       Lack of hobbies. 

7.       Eating poorly.

8.       Talking poorly to others.  I think this reflect a lack of, or emptied, inner resources.

9.       Holding grudges.  Lack the ability to forgive.  You don’t have to forget, but forgive is vital to your own emotional health.  It is impossible to forgive without a true love to our God, who is the model of forgiveness.

10.   Stop learning.  Learning requires all senses, all of our mind and heart.  Once we turn off our mind and heart, we die.

11.   Not following through.  This builds trust.  This reflects your integrity and trustworthiness. 

12.   Hating your job or school (current responsibilities).  This reflects your ethics.

13.   Loneliness (how you choose to socialize).  This shows your trust for others and value in human connection.

14.   Letting negative thoughts enter your mind.  Negative thoughts always enter my mind, million times a minute.  Those who said they can purge those thoughts are not telling the truth, should not be trusted.  Even those who meditate as a discipline will tell you it is impossible to have completely pure thoughts or no thoughts.  It is what we do with those thoughts that makes a difference.

15.   Jump to conclusions:  2 ways of how this presents itself: 1. fortune telling (automatically assume poor outcome for yourself when a situation arise) and, 2. mind reading (automatically assume others are negatively reacting to you or something you have done when there is no definite evidence.  Make yourself the victim and result in unfounded resentments toward imaginary reactions).

16.   Magnification, blow things out of proportion.

17.   Minimization, telling yourself when real problems are not a big deal, sweep your problems under a rug.

18.   Self-labeling, negative self-talk does really affect your psyche.  Try tell yourself something positive every time you are faced with a negative thought… see what happens.

19.   Not having a goal or setting unrealistic and unobtainable goals.  Successful people are always setting and accomplishing goals.

20.   Worrying what other’s think.  Yeah, this is hard…

21.   Let strangers affect your mood.  There are lots of pissed off people out there who spend all their energy to drag other people to their level.  When someone does something unkind to you, don’t let them sap your energy.  Let me tell you a secret, people who are unkind to other… that is their profession!  It is their life’s worth to make others miserable…  Just smile, behave positively, and let their unkindness bounce off of you. 

22.   Wanting more money.  Illusion is that more money will solve your problem.  Look around you, how many people you know are working their life away to amass wealth?  What do you think is going to happen to all their money with the currently economy or after they die?  What do you think their kids will do with all the rich inheritance they get?  Will it make them better people or treat others better or to benefit society?

Friday, July 18, 2014

(*) There is Nothing New Under The Sun

Genesis 2:16, “And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
Genesis 3:1, Satan said to eve, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
Genesis 3:2, “The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.
Genesis 3:4, “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Genesis 3:6, “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
Genesis 3:21, “21 The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.
Genesis 3:23, “23 So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden.”
Ok, let’s break this down:
1.      God created a perfect world and gave Adam a command
2.      Satan contradict God’s Words as a temptation to Eve to cause her to disobey God
3.      Eve tells Satan what God said, evidence that Adam taught Eve God’s Words
4.      Satan contradict God’s Words a second time, appeal to Eve’s mind to disobey God and Eve’s desire to become like God.  Satan told Eve that she is missing something… a total lie!  She is living in a perfect world!
5.      Eve disobeyed God’s Words, because it was 1) good for food, 2) pleasing to the eye, 3) desire to gaining wisdom
6.      Eve gave to Adam, and Adam made a choice to disobey God
7.      Consequence for disobedience is shame and death
8.      They made leave clothing to cover themselves
9.      God performed the first blood-sacrifice, made animal skin to cover them
10.   God is just, kicked them out of the Garden.
Wow!  There really is no much of a buildup of the story.  God just tells it right off the bat!  So, in the first 3 chapters, God laid out how man sinned and is eternally separated from Him.  Then, He performed a blood-sacrifice to set an example of how He is going to atone and cover-over men’s sin and shame.  What enlightened me about this passage today is what caused Eve to sin.  Temptations, by themselves, are neutral.  They are not sin in itself.  But, temptations cause us to stir up thoughts and actions that become sin.  Temptations to disobey God have never changed… it is always Satan’s attempt to invalidate God’s Words and cause our eyes to turn from focusing on God to focus on ourselves.
1.      Eve saw that disobeying God means fulfillment in her physical senses and her stomach
2.      Eve saw that disobeying God pleases her eyes, which as the windows to our souls.  Her heart comes to overwhelmingly desire the object of sin
3.      Eve saw that disobeying God means that she can become like God and satisfying her minds thirst for supernatural wisdom.
Really?!  Sin satisfies our Body, Soul, Mind…  It really has not changed… this is how we are today!  Our desires to satisfy all these areas drive us insane.  Look at our worlds, look at the themes of our TV shows and movies, listen to our popular music… 
How many religions and philosophies have told us that we are responsible for ourselves?  We can do it.  We can be a good enough person to get to Heaven…  Haven’t you seen what is going on around us?  Haven’t you been realistic to yourselves?  We cannot do it!  You cannot do it!  I cannot do it.  We simply are just too incomplete to bring completeness to ourselves.
It is easy to look upon our world today and give up hope… but, cheer up, we are in the same condition today as in Genesis chapter 3.  The Bible tells us that God has already atoned for our sins.  Now, it is not how we can please and obey God in order to be accepted into His kingdom… but, it is that we have already been accepted into His kingdom that we please and obey God!  We knew of this as soon as God sacrificed that animal to make covering for Adam and Eve.
There is truly nothing new under the sun.

Friday, March 28, 2014

(*) The Simplicity of Love

Love for the lovely warms our hearts and makes us smile. 
Love for the less fortunate is beautiful. 
Love for those suffering and unloved is compassion. 
Love for your enemies is Christ’s love.
The Bible calls us to be consumed with Christ and His love.  His love is true love.  True love makes you love a person when there are no apparent reasons to love.  We show our faith and trust in the promises of God when we sacrifice our time and comfort for the sake of others. 
In Deuteronomy 6:4-9, the Bible tells us “The LORD our God is One.  Love the LORD your God with all your heart, soul, and strength.”  Our heart is the seat of our emotions and the very center of our being.  It is where we make all of the decisions.  Our soul is the basis of our traits, qualities, and personality.  Our strength consists of physical, mental, and spiritual.  This command to love God involves our whole entire being. 
As Christ the Messiah said, the most important commandment is to “Love God;” the second, is to “Love your neighbors as yourself,” including love your enemies.  This is an extraordinary call to love, which sums up the entire message of the Bible, and it is not an option… it is a command!
This is the message of Christ the Messiah that is unique and different than all the messages.  It is a call of sacrificial love, exemplified by God Himself.  It calls us to put our performances and achievements aside, and continue to love when it no longer makes any apparent sense...
Have you ever thought about how crazy and senseless it is to believe in the existence of God?  What about this command to love?  Throw our minds out the window and invite our heart back in!  Have you ever thought about why God didn't say "love me with all your 'mind'?"  No, no, no!  God says, "love me with all your 'heart', 'soul', and 'strength'." 

God's love is Crazy Love.  It is a command.  So, looking around the world... throw out what people say about themselves, how do you know who truly belongs to God?  ==> By their display of this Crazy Love.  Do you have Crazy Love? 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

(*) Son of Hamas: Autobiography of Mosab Hassan Yousef

Dear Readers,

Thank you for looking at this.  I often do book reports and here is an awesome book to shed light on the Middle Eastern conflict.  I have come to appreciate the struggle.  I have also come to love the Muslim and the Israeli people.  They come from the same gene pool, with the same father and yet they are brothers at war.  I have come to grief for all the pain and suffering caused by ideologies and supposed 'religious fanaticism' that often get hijacked by political manipulation at the direct cost and bloodshed of their own.  It really is Biblical prophecy fulfilled.  If you don't believe it, just read on...


Son of Hamas: Autobiography of Mosab Hassan Yousef
(Son of Sheikh Hassan Yousef, one of 7 founders of Hamas)
History and Timeline:
1.      Genesis: The struggles in the Middle East go all the way back to the hatred between Sarah (Abraham’s wife, mother of Isaac and Israel) and Hagar (Sarah’s Egyptian slave, mother of Ishmael) in Genesis 16:4-16.  Ishmael means ‘God hears.’  His future is spoken of in a prophecy in Genesis 16:12… read on…
2.      610: Birth of Islam, around when Mohammed was 40 years old.
3.      1917: At the end of WWI, the Palestinian territory fell under the mandate of the Great Britain.  And under the Balfour Declaration of 1917: "His Majesty's government views with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people." So, at that time, hundreds of thousands of Jews flooded into Palestine. 
4.      1517 - 1923:  Islam, carried by the Ottoman Caliphate, spread out from Turkey.  Its decline began from its centralization and corruption.  They persecuted Muslim villages throughout the Middle East.  Istanbul became too far to protect the faithful from abuses by the soldiers and local officials.  And by the 20th century, a lot of Muslims become disillusioned and turned to other beliefs.
5.      1923: end of the Ottoman Empire.  Started in 1299, conquered most of Central Asia, Eastern Europe, Middle East, Egypt, part of North Africa.  Even at one point was ruled by women around 1550-1650, who were the mothers of Sultans (mostly minors) and leaders of the Imperial Harems and mostly of slave origin.
6.      March 1928:  a young devout primary school teacher in Cairo Egypt, named Hassan al-Banna, cried for his countrymen and blamed the West (not the Turks) and thought the only solution is to return to the purity and simplicity of Islam.  He founded The Muslim Brotherhood.  The goal is to rebuild society according to Islamic Principles.  The early principles reflect love and mercy. It cares for the poor, widows, and orphans. It facilitates education and welfare. It unites and strengthens. There is also the other side of Jihad, to struggle and establish a global caliphate.
7.      1935: Muslim Brotherhood set up a branch in the Palestinian territory. 
8.      1948: Israel became a state.  Palestinian territory remains non-sovereign.  Without a constitution to maintain order, religious law becomes the highest authority.  People are free to interpret and enforce law as they see it... Chaos.
9.      1948: Muslim Brotherhood attempted a violent coup against the Egyptian government, ended prematurely when Israel declared a sovereign nation.  Since the Qur’an calls all Muslims to fight as one to protect their land… Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq immediately invaded Israel.  Israel drove out the Arab coalition within a year. 75,000 Palestinians displaced.  The UN pass Resolution 194 to permit refugees to return home and compensation be paid for those who chose not to return... They were never enforced. 
10.   1949: After being defeated by Israel, the armed Muslim Brotherhood members returned to Egypt and re-attempted the coup again... The government then confiscated their assets, banned their society, and put many into prison... Then they assassinated the Egyptian Prime Minister a few weeks later. 
11.   1949/2/12: al-Banna was assassinated.  Al-Amari refugee camp established in the West Bank.
12.   1964: Palestinian Liberation Organization founded by the Arab League summit in Cairo.  Goal was to liberate Palestine from Israel by arms struggle.
13.   1967: Six-Day War.  Israel attacked Egypt, Jordan, and Syria in response of the overwhelming terrorist attacks and mounting threat of invasion.
14.   1970: Black September.  Thousands of PLO fighters are killed by Jordanian troops, as Jordan expels PLO
15.   1972: 11 Israeli athletes killed by Black September at Munich Olympics
16.   1973: Yum Kippur War, took 15 days.  Egypt and Syria led the Arab coalition attacked Israel, on Yom Kippur, the holiest day in Israel, during Ramadan.   Russia backed the Arab coalition and USA backed Israel.  Israel came on top.  A cease fire brokered to end tension at the Camp David Accord of 1973, to end tension in the Middle East and also between the 2 nuclear superpowers.
17.   Mid 1970’s: Hassan Yousef was trained by the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan while studying there.  
18.   1977: Hassan Yousef partnered with Ibrahim Abu Salem, one of the founders of MB.  1977 married his sister, Sabha Abu Salem, and Mosab was born in 1978.
19.   Late1970: Muslim Brotherhood wanted to overthrow Israel occupation, but Sheikh Yousef and other West Bank leaders disagreed. They wanted to find a peaceful option and don't want to repeat the unsuccessful coup in Egypt and Syria.  But, by the late 1970's Muslim Brotherhood became more restless. Muslim Brotherhood continues to be non-violent for another decade.
20.   1979: Fathi Shaqaqi of Muslim Brotherhood founded Palestinian Islamic Jihad. 
21.   1986: birth of Hamas in Hebron.  A secret meeting took place in Hebron, seven men were present.  Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, Muhammad Jamal al-Natsheh of Hebron, Jamal Mansour of Nablus, Sheikh Hassan Yousef, Mahmud Muslih of Ramallah, Jamil Hamami of Jerusalem, Ayman Abu Taha of Gaza.  They are ready to fight.  Started with civil disobediance.  Objective: awaken, unify, mobilize the Palestinian people and to make them understand their need for independence under the banner of Allah and Islam.  Hamas was born!
22.   Dec. 1987: The First Intifada:  Hamas now need a reason to move.  Started with a tragic misunderstanding.  Dec 1987, an Israeli salesman Shlomo Sakal was stabbed to death.  Few days later, 4 refugees were killed in a traffic accident in Jabalia camp in Gaza.  Word spread that they were murdered by Israelis for Sakal's murder.  Riot broke out in Jabalia.  A 17yo threw a Molotov cocktail and shot dead by Israeli soldier. Then everyone “took to the streets” in Gaza and West Bank. Hamas took the lead and fueled the riot... That was the First Intifada started... that changed everything... People started dying in huge numbers daily.  IDF arrived heavily.  Lots of feda'iyeen (freedom fighters or martyrs).  The Palestinians only had Molotov cocktails and stones.  No weapons at this time.
23.   1989: Sheikh HassanYousef arrested out of his house by IDF, tortured.
24.   Late 1989: Amer Abu Sarhan of Ramallah had all the death he can tolerate, without guns; he killed 3 Israeli soldiers with a kitchen knife and launched the Intifada into a revolution.  Sarhan became a hero.  People were not terrorists by nature, but they were backed into a wall.  IDF instituted 11pm curfew... Those on streets were shot on sight.
25.   Others things started to happen, 'Strikes', which 'masked man' would tell shops to shut down early to hurt Israel by decrease collected taxes.  The less shop stay open, the less tax collected.  Israel started to arrest shop owners for tax evasion.  Shop owners were trapped between the 'political motive' and ‘evading tax’... Either way, they are hurting.  In addition, various resistance groups were fighting against each other for power and prestige.  Political dominant was PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization), Hamas was on the rise!
26.   PLO founded in 1964 to represent the Palestinian people.  Three biggest factions are: Fatah (left wing nationalist), Popular Front for the Libration of Palestine (PFLP) a communist group, Democratic Front for the Libration of Palestine (DFLP) also a communist group.  PLO demanded return of all territory and set up terrorist camps in Jordan, Lebanon and Tunisia. They were not a religious organization like Hamas and Islamic Jihad.  Palestinian thought PLO to be corrupt.  They send terrorist attacks to justify fund-raising for their struggle against Israel.  PLO wants nationalism and power.  Hamas want religious fervor and Jihad.  But, they both shared deep hatred for Zionism.  So, they agreed to strike, Hamas on the 9th of every month, Fatah on the 1st of every month.  Mass chaos broke out during those strikes.  The entire area shut down.  No one knows who's under those masks.  Israeli soldiers pulled off many operations in masks during those strikes.  Strikes kept kids out of school for a long time. Life became very hard... Quality of life was very low.
27.   Aug 1990: Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. Palestine cheered thought their 'brother' is coming to rescue to rain down bombs on Israel.  They expected poison gas like one in 1988 that killed 5000 Kurds... Israel gave all citizens gas masks. Palestinians got one mask per house 40 scud missiles fired from Iraq, only 2 Israelis got killed.  Then the UN drove Saddam back to Bagdad.
28.   1992: Imad Akel, a refugee and pharmacy student, got tired of the injustice.  Got a gun, killed several Israeli soldiers, then took their weapons and started doing raids.  Became a hero, then Hamas decided to start a military wing, Ezzedeen Al-Qassam Brigade and made Imad its leader.  This turns Hamas into an armed force.
29.   1992/12/13: Al-Qassam kidnapped an Israeli border police, Nissim Toledano near Tel Aviv, demanded Israel to release Sheikh Ahmed Yassin.  Israel refused.  2 days later, they found Toledano's body.  Israel launched a huge crack down on Hamas, arrested >1,600 Palestinians and secretly deported 415 leaders of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Muslim Brotherhood dumped in Lebanon.  No one helped, not even Lebanon.
30.   1992/12/18: UN passed Resolution 799 for 'safe and immediate return' of the deportees. Israel refused.  It was not favorable for Israel.  Remained in exile for at least 9 months.  They form relationships with Hamas and Hezbollah, the Islamic political and paramilitary organization in Lebanon.
31.   1993/9/3: Israel and PLO, Yassar Arafat, entered into a secret meeting resulted in Oslo Accord 1993, officially recognizing the "right of the state of Israel to exist in peace and security" and renounced "the use of terrorism and other acts of violence."  Israel formally recognizes the PLO as the representation of the Palestinian people. The Declaration of Principles were drawn up and led to creation of the Palestinian Authority and withdrawal of troops from Gaza and Jericho, allowed Arafat and PLO to return from their exile in Tunisia.
32.   1994/2/25: Hebron Massacre: Hamas disagreed with the agreement between PLO and the world... Multiple killings of Israeli soldiers continued.  But, none caught attention like the Hebron Massacre of 2/25/94... When during Jewish Purim and Muslim Ramadan, an American born doctor named Baruch Goldstein entered Al-Haram Al-Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron and shot and killed 29 Palestinian... This enraged...  followed up with a bunch of Hamas attacks and bombs
33.   1994/4/13: 21yo Amar Salah Diab Amarna took 4 pounds of homemade bomb and blew up a bus at Hadera Station.  Palestinians were proud of Hamas.  This was the first successful bombing... But the 3rd attempt of a Hamas bomb maker Yahya Ayyash to perfect his craft.  He was a disenchanted Jew student due to gov't denied request to study elsewhere.
34.   1995: Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin assassinated.
35.   1996: Hamas bomb maker, Yahya Ayyash, assassinated.  Mosab Yousef arrested and imprisoned for the first time, and was offered to work with the Shin Bet.
36.   After every suicide bomb, Orthodox Jew volunteers known as ZAKA (disaster victim identification) collect blood and body parts to identify people... Taken to Jaffa. 
37.   Failure to agree with Arafat and PLO... Hamas, lead by Sheikh Yousef, transformed itself into a full blown terrorist organization.  Backed by the Qur’an and now ready to act. It is an Idea, rather than an organization... there is no head to cut off.
38.   The Hamas faction was the biggest in prison and has most of the deadliest criminals.  They also developed their own rules, falsely accused and tortured their own people.
39.   1999: Mosab Yousef starts to go to a Christian Bible study.
40.   2000: The Second Intifada, aka, Al-Aqsa Intifada, Fall 2000.  History: Palestinian Authority successfully destroyed the military wing of Hamas and thrown all its fighters and leaders into prison.  Hamas no longer fought.  They were exhausted and deeply divided.  Arafat met with Barak and Clinton at the Camp David Summit on 7/25/2000, and Barak offered Arafat 90% of West Bank, the entire Gaza strip, and East Jerusalem as the capitol of the new Palestinian state, and a new international fund to compensate for lost land.  But, instead of taking an offer to reconstruct the Palestinian territory, it was not enough for the wealthy Arafat.  He made a counter offer that he knew Barak cannot accept by insisting all refugees be permitted to return to lands they owned prior to 1967.  He was accepted as a hero, even though this rejection was catastrophic for the Palestinian people.  To Mosab, Arafat was getting famous on the shoulder and blood of the Palestinian people.  Arafat need Palestine to bleed… to get him more publicity as the leader for the victims.  So, Sheikh Yousef worked with Fatah of PLO, started a rumor that Ariel Sharon stepped inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque, when in fact he didn’t, and got the whole West Bank and Gaza inflamed.  Fatah launched a demonstration which ended in the death of a 12yo boy, which circled the globe and enraged against the Israeli occupation.  Lots of people and kids died.  Arafat went to camera with tears saying he had nothing to do with it.  Then he pointed his finger at Sheikh Yousef and Fatah and refugees as fault.  But, Arafat had miscalculated.  Hamas grew in the streets, and that’s where it thrived… it became out of control… so much destruction and death…  Mosab went to work…
41.   2000: Mosab Hassan Yousef, Sheikh Yousef’s son, went undercover working for the Israeli Shin Bet.
42.   2000: Al-Aqsa Martyr Brigade started.  Targeting only IDF soldiers and settlers… extremely efficient.  They turned out to be ‘Force 17,’ Arafat’s elite commandos.  Linking to Maher Odeh, a top Hamas leader.  They used a 1982 silver BMW in every shooting in the West Bank.  These are Arafat’s own guards, who were funded by American and International taxpayer’s money.
43.   Lots of people died in the 2nd Intifada, the PLO/PA and Hamas leadership saw it all in safety.  The Arab world poured in billions of dollars to help crush the Israeli occupation.  TV showed burning of Israeli and American flags.  In the first 2.5 years of it, Saddam Hussein paid $35 million dollars to the families of martyrs; $10,000 for anyone killed fighting Israel, and $25,000 for family of every suicide bomber.  With all this money, Hamas lost its monopoly on suicide bombing.  Other factions started in it too, they didn’t have to be religious… they just want to compete on who kills more Israelis.
44.   2001: Identified master bomb maker, Abdullah Barghouti, a Kuwaiti, revealed to Arafat by the CIA.  He was responsible in the 2 largest suicide bombings, Tel Aviv disco Dolphinarium (21 died, 120 wounded) and West Bank Sbarro bombing (15 died, 130 wounded).  Marwan Barghouti, Hamas leader of the 2nd Intifada, bailed him out, but kept under house arrest.  They were connected to Muhaned Abu Halawa, one of the lieutenant of Ahmad Ghandour, he was a Fatah field commander and member of Force 17.  After 2 failed attempts, Israel assassinated him.  Everyone went wild… praising him for his heroism.  Barghouti changed the map.  He is now making very good bombs, and he’s not Palestinian.  Then after awhile, the PA released him… everything went really crazy!
45.   2001/8/27: Israel assassinated Abu Ali Mustafa, secretary general of PFLP.  He was a moderate politician, but opposed to the peace process.  Israel accused him of 9 car bombs, but it wasn’t true.  But, it was a way to send a message to Arafat.
46.   2001/9/11: 9 Al-Qaeda operatives crashed planes into the WTC and Pentagon.  Killing 2,973 people.  Palestinians and Arabs celebrated!
47.   2001/10/17: 4 PFLP gunmen walked into the Jerusalem Hyatt Hotel and assassinated Israeli tourism minister Rehavam Ze’evi as a revenge for Mustafa’s assassination.  An eye for an eye.
48.   2002/1/27: the first female “suicide bomber,” Wafa Idris from the Al-Amari refugee camp, killed an 81yo Israeli man and injured hundreds of other at a shoe store in Jerusalem.
49.   2002/3/27: Operation Defense Shield:  Passover, 250 guest gathered at the Park Hotel in Netanya for a Seder feast.  25yo Hamas operative, Abdel-Basset Odeh, walked pass security and registration desk and detonated himself.  Killed 30 people and wounded 140, some were Holocaust survivors.  Hamas claimed responsibility as a derailment for the Arab summit in Beirut.  Next day, Saudi led Arab League voted unanimously to recognize the State of Israel as long as Israel agreed to withdraw to boundary before 1967 war, resolve refugee problem, and establish independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.  But, Hamas wanted all or nothing!  So, at this point, Israel launched a huge operation Defense Shield, started on 3/29/2002.  IDF invaded West Bank and scoured every house with heavy armor. 
50.   2002/4/2: IDF tanks blew up the Preventive Security Compound near Betunia.  Arrested a bunch of fugitives, but Jibril Rajoub (PA) douped the Shin Bet and tricked them to released all the bad guys.  Jenin massacre.  Palestinian cabinet minister Saeb Erekat said 500.  But later revised to 50.  In Bethlehem, 200 Palestinian were seiged in the Church of Nativity for 5 weeks. Nearly all left.  8 killed, 26 sent to Gaza, 85 released, 13 most-wanted sent to Europe… Total, Palestinian (500 dead, 1500 wounded, 4300 detained), Israeli (29 dead, 127 wounded, cost $360 million.)
51.   2002/4/15: Sheikh Jamal al-Taweel and Marwan Barghouti were arrested in hiding due to intelligence from Mosab.
52.   2002/7/31: Frank Sinatra Cafeteria at the Mount Scopus campus of Hebrew University exploded by a bag.  9 dead (5 Americans) and 85 injured.  Saleh disappeared.  Discovered a new Hamas cell, 5 people from East Jerusalem.  All educated, unfit the profile, carry blue Israeli ID cards, married, nice family, and nice jobs.  Mohammed Arman was found to know the person responsible as the ‘Sheikh,’ who was identified as Ibrahim Hamed in a photo lineup.  Once ID’d, he told everyone to blame him for everything.  He disappeared.
53.   During operation Defensive Shield, the whole West Bank was shut down.  Mosab needed to meet with the Shin Bet.  So, they made a way: he had to break into Ofer Military Base.  Even the IDF and Mossab didn’t know.
54.   Feda’iyeens and IDF alike, fight by breaking into local homes, using them as a place to rest and recharge, and then use occupants as human shields.
55.   Fall 2002 to Spring 2003: To trying to ‘clean’ Mosab’s cover, the Shin Bets stages grand scale arrests for him and then eventually, on Mosab’s ok, sent him to prison.  This way, no one would suspect him to be an Israeli collaborator.  Instead, everyone see him as a hero.
56.   March 2003: the Kuwaiti bomb maker, Adjullah Barghouti, was captured, tried in Israeli military court and convicted for killing 66 and wounding 500, sentenced to 67 life sentences.  He expressed no remorse, only wished he killed more Jews.
57.   2003/4/2: Mosab released from prison after Coalition troops surrounded Baghdad.
58.   Winter 2003 to Spring 2006:  Found Saleh.  After released by the PA, he rebuilt the Al-Qassam Brigade with Maher Odeh as the brain, Saleh Talahme as the engineer, Bilal Barghouti as the recruiter of suicide bombers.  They all operated independently with their own budgets, never met together.
59.   2003/12/1: Israeli Special Forces surrounded the Al-Kiswani Building in Ramallah where these Hamas leaders are, and blew it up after gun fire exchange.  Dead: Saleh Talahme, Hasaneen Rummanah, but no Ibrahim Hamed (as the media had claimed).
60.   Oct 2004: Yassar Arafat got ill during a meeting.  Flew to France.  Nov 3, 2004 he fell into a coma and died on Nov 11 at 75yo.  A week later, Sheikh Hassan Yousef was released from the Israeli Ofer prison.
61.   The needy overwhelmed Sheikh Yousef.  Mosab questioned his father about who the leader is in Hamas, and learned that his father said ‘no one.’  He realized that there are people in Hamas that have a lot of money.  But, all the families of the wounded and martyred are having trouble staying alive.  He was very frustrated that no one was helping the Palestinian people.  He knew the Hamas ‘leadership’ is in Damascus.  They communicated by internet cafes.  At the café, his suspicion caught onto a guy named Aziz Kayed, who ran the Al-Buraq Center for Islamic Studies, who came to see his property for sale.
62.   At Nablus, a Hamas stronghold, Mosab met with members of the Shurah council, who make strategic decisions for Hamas, but they were not the ‘executives.’  Then, suddenly, one of the members of the Shurah council mentioned the name Aziz Kayed that Sheikh Yousef should visit.  This was the first clue that Kayed may be connected.  During a Shin Bet search, Kayed was found to be born in Nablus, and a former member of the Islamic student movement, dropped out of sight 10 years earlier… but nothing suspicious.  Mosab was reminded of 3 others, just like Kayed, dropped off sight all 10 years earlier: Salah Hussein from Ramallah, Adib Zeyadeh from Jerusalem, Najeh Madi from Salfeet.  Shin Bet followed Madi to a commercial garage a block away from his apartment, and found Ibrahim Hamed!  They arrested him, he didn’t resist.  He was the real leader of Hamas.  That was Mosab’s last operation.
63.   After Arafat is dead, the Palestinian territories struggled for leadership.  Arafat was so corrupt, he linked everything to his name.  No one knew how to step into his shoes.  No one was strong enough to control all the factions.  Hamas became the one to step up.  But they don’t know how to negotiate.  They turned down every offer.
64.   2005: Mosab met an American girl in the group, became good friends.  One night at the American Colony Restaurant in East Jerusalem, he decided to get baptized after she asked.  So, he let her do it at the beach at Tel Aviv.
65.   2005/9/23: Sheikh Yousef was disturbed after getting a call from Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri in Gaza.  “Israeli launched missiles and killed a bunch of Hamas members during a rally in Jebaliya refugee camp.”  Sheikh Yousef worked hard to negotiate the truce with Israel 7 months before.  Israel withdrawn all troops a week prior.  He got on Al-Jazeera and condemned Israel.  Mosab reviewed the video, and it showed that the fireball came from the ground, not air.  Hamas did it, and Zuhri was a lier.  They found out that the Hamas military had been showing off and a Qassam missile exploded in the back of the truck killing 15 and wounding lots.  Sheikh Yousef was shocked, but Hamas covered it up and Al-Jazeera aired it anyway.  Because of this, Hamas fired 40+ missiles into Israel.  Israel again declared counter attacks had to be made because Hamas broke the truce.  Mosab and his father need to be arrested by the Shin Bet to save their lives.  Mosab decided he had enough, and wanted to leave the Shin Bet.
66.   2005/9/25: on Mosab’s direction, him and his father was arrested at home and taken to Ofer prison.  They also arrested Mosab’s brothers Oways and Mohammad.  Oways served 4 months.  Mohammad was released in few days.
67.   2005/12/25: Mosab was released
68.   2006: Ismail Haniyeh elected Palestinian prime minister
69.   2007/1/1: he left for California, left everything behind
70.   July 2008: Mosab declared himself as Christian through the Haaretz newspaper, headline “prodigal son.”  Abu Mosab, cried like a baby in prison hearing the news.  Everyone cried with him, even the Israeli guards who respected him.  Mosab’s uncle waited for his father to disown him, but when he didn’t, he turned his back on Sheikh Yousef’s wife and children.  Abu Mosab didn’t disown him because he knew Mosab will be on the death list if he does. 
71.   Sept 2008: Then Mosab told his father by phone that he worked with the Shin Bet for 10 years and that’s why his father is still alive.  He is still in prison because Mosab is no longer there to ensure his safety.  His father was silent. 
72.   2010/3/1: one day before the release of this book, Mosab’s father disowned him through the Associated Press, March 3, 2010.
Important things portrayed by Mosab:
1.      Values and traditions have always meant more to the Arab than government constitution or court... Religious leaders often become the highest level of authority; esp. areas of secular leaders are weak.
2.      A dead man's soul returns to earth and 2 terrible angels named Munkar and Nakir comes to examine him.  They grab his body and shake and ask "Who is your God?"  If he answers wrong, they will beat him with a big hammer and send him down to the earth for 70 years and the weight of the dirt will crush his ribs, worms will devour his flesh and tormented by snake with 99 head and scorpion the size of camel's neck until the resurrection of the dead when his suffering may earn Allah's forgiveness."
3.      Hamas tortured their own people terribly in prison, even worse than their Israeli captors.  Shin Bets knew everything, but can’t stop it, because they “cannot change that kind of mentality.”  “Hamas destroys itself more from the inside than anything Israel can do to it from the outside.”
4.      Mosab realized, after discovering Jesus, that the real reason for all the pain was not others and what they do… not the occupation… it was in us.  If Israel had disappeared, what would happen to Palestine?  They would still fight… over scarf, over rules, over power…
5.      Mosab’s departure from Islam was fueled by the hypocrisy he witnessed.  Islam taught that a devoted servant of Allah who became martyr went straight to heaven.  No weird questions and torturing angels.  But, now, all the sudden anyone can become a holy martyr, even atheists.  This was not what the Qur’an taught.  But the leaders don’t care.  As a double agent, he also witnessed much lies told, which he knew the Qur’an forbids.
6.      Mosab had friends who blow themselves up that don’t fit the character of one who would do such a thing.
7.      Israeli intelligence invested in human resources… infiltrating deeply into organizations.  They understand the motives and emotions and connecting the dots.  American intelligence relied on technology.  They don’t understand Islamic culture or its ideologies.
8.      Revolutionary is all about purity and rigidity.  Politics is about compromise and flexibility.  Hamas stepped up as leadership after Arafat dies.  But, Hamas does not know how to negotiate when everything had to come from Israel.  They cannot do politics.
9.      Mosab’s friend Jamal showed him a TV program on Al-Hayat.  A Coptic priest named Zakaria Botros dissected the Qur’an.
10.   From Mosab to the Shin Bet: “We’re fighting a war that can’t be won with arrests, interrogations, and assassinations.  Our enemies are ideas, and ideas don’t care about incursions and curfews.  We can’t blow up an idea with a Merkava.  You are not our problem, and we are not yours.  We’re all like rats trapped in a maze.” 
11.   Mosab’s message for Christians: to learn from the sorrows of his people, who carries a heavy burden to trying to work their way to God’s favor.  We must get beyond the religious rule we made for ourselves.  We must love people, on all sides, we have to live His message of love.  If we want to follow Jesus, we must also expect to be persecuted.  We should be happy to be persecuted for His sake.
12.   “Hurt people, unless they are healed, hurt people.”
13.   Jesus “is the God who not only commands me to love and forgive my enemies as He has loved and forgiven me but empowers me to do so.”
14.   “Truth and forgiveness are the only solution for the Middle East.”
The Ladder of Faith, per Mosab:
1.      Lowest level: “Daw’wah” – Start with elements that reflect love and mercy
2.      Middle level: “Sharia” – Helping needy, establish schools, support charities
3.      Highest level: “Jihad” – the ultimate faith in action
4.      Moving upward is imperceptible.  Moderate Muslims are more dangerous than fundamentalists because they appeared harmless, but you never know how far they are getting to the top.  Most suicide bombers start as moderates.
Versus that impressed Mosab:
1.      The verse that hit Mosab’s heart and ended his search was Matt 5:43-45, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in Heaven.”  He realized that his enemies were not defined by nationality, religion or color… we all share common enemies: greed, pride, all the bad ideas that the dark evil that lives inside us… we could love anyone… the only enemy is what’s inside of me!  He also couldn’t have appreciated this message if wasn’t for all the torture he had gone through in prison…  Jesus taught against judging others and rebuked the religious leaders. Jesus’ command to forgive your enemies and love those who mistreat you.  Mosab started to not able to ‘kill’ because of how Jesus said to love your enemies.
2.      Matt 5:45, God “causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”
3.      Hebrew 4:12, “the word of God is living and active.  Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
4.      Ephesians 4:22-24, “You were taught with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness”
5.      Ephesians 2:14, Jesus himself “is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility.”

Our Struggle & Our Savior