Greetings and blessings from Baghdad. I am usually very positive when I write from Iraq because I just love it here so much. This last week though has been so difficult, as we have been under huge spiritual opposition. It has been a very difficult time for Faiz and me. Added to this, Faiz has been in hospital in the North and, although he is now back, he is in great pain.
I felt that yesterday we had a big breakthrough when we really realized what was happening. Whenever the Lord is working in power there is much opposition from the devil. Through our G-d we know that we shall act valiantly and that we will win. I JUST PRAISE G-D FOR FAIZ AND OUR TEAM HERE, BUT please do pray for us. We need it. read on
After being in the Middle East several weeks I am about to return home. I am desperate to see Caroline and the boys. It has been a very difficult trip not least because of being so ill. The situation with the renal stones flared up and for the first time ever I passed out whilst preaching at the US Embassy. I came round and managed to finish my sermon and then was taken directly to the Embassy Hospital where it was discovered that my renal function was very poor and I was very dehydrated. Once I had treatment at the Embassy and St George’s Clinic I improved somewhat. It was another 5 days before the stones passed and then the pain stopped.
Thank you to for your prayers for healing. read on
Last night we had a wonderful dinner to welcome Faiz and Nawal to the UK. Present were all our staff, Lord Hylton, David Harland and some of my friends. It was a truly wonderful evening.
Today we have a staff meeting, then go to Guildford Cathedral and meet with my former Colleague The Ven Stuart Beak now Archdeacon of Surrey.
Then in the evening we are going to London to speak at St Mark’s Church Lorne Road, London E7 0LJ at 7.30pm.
Every few months I write explaining why I never write the full name of G-d. So today I thought I would again give the reason.I hold to this practice because in essence once I finished my medical days I became a student of Judaism. I had loved Judaism since I was a child and when I got to Cambridge after my basic Christian theology it was Judaism that became my main focus of academic interest.
For part of my time at Cambridge I went and studied at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. That was a good but a rather liberal place. I became increasingly close to the Ultra Orthodox and ended up spending time studying at the Ultra Orthodox seminary/Yeshiva in Mea Shearim in Jerusalem. It turned out to be the most significant thing I have done in my life apart from marrying the best wife in the world.
It was here that I learned that the name of the Holy One was so awesome and so mighty that it could never be fully written in Hebrew. A letter would always be left out. Though the injunction really applied to the Hebrew, nobody I was with would write the name of the Almighty in English either!
To this day I find it so difficult hearing Christians singing and mentioning the name of G-d. The Holy name that was mentioned only once a year by the High Priest in the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur, at the very heart of Judaism is the might, wonder and holiness of the Almighty. There is no room for flippancy only awe and wonder. Every time I write the name of G-d I am full of the same awe.
It is no mistake that in modern Hebrew today (Ivrit) G-d is referred to as Ha Shem which literally means the NAME. It is indeed the way that our Lord Jesus mentioned the Lord at the beginning of the Lords Prayer. Holy Be THE Name. His name is higher than any other. Thus the name of the Almighty is so Holy and mighty that I do not and cannot write it in full.
So this is why I only write G-d. I know I do not have to do this but it is out of total honour, reverence and praise to the ONE WHO WAS, AND IS AND IS TO COME. What the very name of G-d means. Though I spend much of my time now in Iraq I still love Judaism and Israel. I will never forget the words of our Lord to Abram, Abraham, Ibrahaim, Avraham, as he left Iraq. “I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you”. This is indeed a promise to Abraham and his seed forever. An injunction to all to love the people of Israel and I always will!
By the time you read this I will be back in England with my curate Faiz and his wife Nawal who heads our Mothers Union. Also with us is my Lina. So we will have a busy and active few days seeing everybody from the Archbishop of Canterbury down.