Matt W Cook

writer.former fundamentalist.christianly fellow

Month: November, 2004

Picture time!

This is the city that Ruth’s family lives in. A wonderful place to buy clothes and some of the best Tandoori chicken this side of Rajasthan! Very hot in the summer, but very dry too. Wonderfully hospitable people living here, I once was invited out for tea with a stranger while travelling around the market-place…that just doesn’t happen here!

I love the tribal people! This is a Marwari village (Ruth’s people group). So very friendly! You cannot leave a village without getting fed the best food they have. I think I even had my feet washed in this village. The kid in the orange is a real nice guy named Shvo. I didn’t know Marwari and he didn’t know English, but we hung out and talked anyway.

Ah! The in-laws! May I introduce my father-in-law and my mother-in-law, Davraj Joseph and Izzit. Such wonderful people! It was a little ackward being there the whole month because they don’t speak English (and I don’t do Urdu yet), but they made me feel welcome and a part of their family. I can’t wait until we all get back to see tham again!

Every disease has it’s symptoms, some are easier to see than others.

“Faith feeds on the Word of God. Without a steady diet it gets weaker and weaker. If you are dissatisfied with your Christian courage and joy and purity of heart, check the way you are feeding your faith.” – John Piper

I’m leaving. I’m taking my wife, kid and a group of people to a far away land soon. It’s a hot place, lots of people, a dozen languages I don’t understand, far away from every comfort I hold so dearly here. I often ask myself why I’m doing this at all. Sometimes I have no answer for that. Sometimes it seems like a huge burden that I never really bargained for. Of course, it only feels this way when I find myself far away from God and His Word.

When I starve myself from the Word of God I find myself thinking like the world more and more. My taste for spiritual things diminishes and my taste for carnal things increases. All of a sudden my desire to kick it off to Pakistan dies away and my desire for 8 hours of Star Wars: Knight of the Old Republic flares up. I’m sick. There are symptoms that I get when I’m not constantly taking in spiritual food:

  • Joylessness in the thoughts of Christ

  • Lack of zeal for things of God

  • Delight in worldly / sinful things

  • Damaged relationships with fellow Christians

  • Damaged marriage relationship

  • Spiritual ‘tiredness’

  • “Start to desire things I know are not in line with the life of Christ” – Jules

  • Spending far too much time on useless things – code

On the other hand, when I am consistent and devoted to the word and to prayer, I find my spirit refreshed and my courage returns. At this point I don’t need to ask why I’m going away, it’s so very clear and the answer fills me with delight. It’s more than a little stupid, eh? We know what brings us the most delight, and we run away from it most times. Humans aren’t rational creatures.

In other news, I’m a little frustrated. I can’t understand how some people can claim to have a high view of Christ, and yet deny the inerrancy of Scripture. This makes no sense to me. That’s all.

I’m done.

PS – lemme know some more symptoms of a poor devotional life and I’ll post them up too!

I guess if things weren’t so complicated, they’d be more simple…

Whenever Ruth and I chat with Muslims, we always seem to come to the same subject of conversation eventually. They want to know about the Trinity. The Qur’an tells them that Christians believe in three gods – Allah, Jesus and Mary. This is the only unforgivable sin in Islam, called shirk. So they want to know why we claim to worship one God, yet seem to worship two.

I really hate some of the analogies that Christianity has come up with to explain the Trinity. Like the apple one. “God is like an apple, three parts (skin, flesh and core), but still one apple.” GOD IS NOT LIKE AN APPLE! That’s just silly! It’s breaking God down into something that we can understand, explain and hold. We gotta be really careful when we’re trying to classify something that we cannot understand. Comparing God to an apple seems very irreverant. It’s not even an accurate picture (what happens when you peel an apple? Can you take one part of God away?)!

The Bible doesn’t explain the Trinity much at all. I get four main things when I read the Bible concerning the Godhead:

  • The Father is God

  • The Son is God

  • The Spirit is God

  • There is only one God

    There’s really not much else there. God does not tell us (probably because if He did our heads would explode). All I can say about the Trinity is that the three are distinct (the Father is not the Son, etc.) and that each is God and God is one. I can’t make up cute analogies about how God is like an egg, or a chicken or whatever else we want to use. Let’s leave the mystery where it is.


  • I’ve heard good people say, “There’s nothing I can do, it’s half a world away!”…

    …Maybe you’ve got money,

    Maybe you’ve got time

    Maybe you’ve got the living Well that ain’t ever running dry.

    In C.S. Lewis’ Prince Caspian there is a scene where the four children and a Dwarf are trying to find King Caspian’s base. They end up getting totally lost. Aslan appears to Lucy (the youngest) at night and tells her to follow him when he appears the next day. She asks if the others will be able to see him too, he says no. “But what if they won’t listen to me?” she asks. He replies, “It doesn’t matter, you follow me!”

    Sure enough, the next morning Aslan appears to Lucy and she tries to convince the others to follow her as she follows him. Only one of the other children believe her, but all are forced to follow because she threatens to go off on her own. The whole trip the older children are criticizing her and saying she’s being very bad and arrogant throughout the whole thing. Slowly the other children begin to see Aslan, starting with the one who believed Lucy and ending with those who made fun of her the most. Aslan led them right where they needed to go.

    Good parallel. Not that we’re ever above the advice and guidance of those around us, but it stands true that if we are absolutely convinced of the will of God in a situation, we have no choice but to go forward and do it. Lucy faced a whole lot of crap from people who were older, wiser and more respected than her, but they just couldn’t see what she saw. In the same way, anyone who really tries to follow the will of God will likely find him/herself being opposed by the very people who should be helping. In the end, the will of God is the best place to be, regardless of who is opposed to it, because He’s the one with the authority and the power.

    All authority has been given to Me…

    Ruth and I will be traveling to Missisauga and Hawksville soon for some presentations on the mission to Pakistan, I’m really excited about it. Please pray for us!

    Cook out

    PS – Jordy and Jenny! YAY!!! You da man JW!

    millions of dates, dates for me, millions of dates, dates for free…

    I like dates…dried dates…mmmm!

    Our Paki-partner Hilsy is sitting with us for the weekend. We went out to a beauty Indian food-place last night…yummy! We are all getting super-excited about getting over to Pakistan soon. It seems to real these last few days. It used to be a very-distant future, but now it’s just in a few months…how wonderful!


    Believe it or not, Ruth found my CD! Yay! It was in the glove compartement in a different CD case. So congradulations to Ruth for winning all those candies I stole from my bro. However, since you’re pregnant I don’t think you should eat them. In fact, I’ll be giving them to your next of kin…me!

    I love hindi music. We’re all listening to a hindi CD of the Psalms. It’s great! I love hearing God’s praises in another language, it always seems to add a trans-cultural effect to the worship.

    Shawn and Hayley Cuthill and their parents were here a while ago. It’s so encouraging to talk to them for a few hours. It’s great to hear from like-minded people and chat about world missions. I really can’t wait to get out there and start the work! It’s so great to think that God is leading me, Ruth, Hillary, Ben and Todd, Shawn and Hayley and everyone else in His great plan. Whether we go or stay, it’s good to know that God’s in control of us all. Good things…

    Cook out!

    I am your father’s brother’s nephew’s cousin’s former room-mate…

    It is done. Ruth has seen the last installment of the Star Wars saga. The circle is now complete! I feel closer to her than ever before! Not only did she watch them all with me over the span of these last few months, she also liked them! Joy! We are now anxiously anticipating Episode III, hopefully arriving in May.


    Something absolutely dreadful has happened! I don’t know how it happened…but it did! Someone has stolen my copy of Share the Well! Anyone with information leading to the return of this CD will be rewarded with a dozen of those little Coffee Crisp chocolate bars I stole from my brother’s halloween sack.

    Ruth and I were at the doctor’s office a little while ago (which is a good place to visit if you are pregnant). Ruth was in there with the nurse and the nurse decided to try a little experiment. She hooked Ruth up to her little listening machine to see if she could hear (how do you see if you can hear…?) the baby’s heart-beat. She didn’t expect to find it (she was only 11 weeks in at the time) so I didn’t get called it. BUT, lo and behold there’s a tiny little lub-dub coming out of the speaker! Ruthie was giddy when she came out of there! It’s confirmed now, the baby has a heart! JOY!

    So, Ruth and I have a few things on the go right now. I’ve received a package from MSC Canada all about joining up with them. I’m super-excited about it all! I’m also hoping to hear from Frontiers pretty soon. Things are moving nicely, please pray for us.

    Jedi Knight Matt, signing off!

    Next Post

    Hey kids, Cook here…

    So, I’ve been asked for the full lyrics to the Jenny Farza song, here they are!

    Mere zindagi kay malik tumhain mera shukaria

    My life’s ruler, to you my thanks

    Tum nay mujhay banaya, tumhain mera…

    You have created me, to you my…

    There it is, keep on rocking in the Hindi world!

    Neat things have been happening in Cookland recently. I’ve just received my Pakistan Origin Card. This little plastic thingy grants me visaless access to Pakistan whenever I want, how cool! I can’t wait until we get to customs in Pakistan and they ask me “Why are you coming to Pakistan”, and I’ll whip out my card and say “I wanna!” … Actually, I probably won’t do that. Something about a security guard with an AK-47 just intimidates me.

    It’s been a really good last few days, I’ve found myself quite a bit more encouraged than usual. Piper did a real neat thing on Isaiah 41:10. Go read it…now!

    Okay, did you read it? Good. He broke up the passage into five pillars of fearlessness. We need not fear because God says:

    1 – I am with you

    2 – I am your God

    3 – I will strengthen you

    4 – I will help you

    5 – I will uphold you

    I like that, that came at a really good time for me…

    I’ve been introducting Star Wars to my dear ruthie over the last month or so. I started on The Phantom Menace and went on from there. We just finished The Empire Strikes Back a few nights ago. It was the best one yet. Ruth found out for the first time that Vader was really Anakin (although throughout Attack of the Clones she said she figured he’d become a bad-guy). It was a wonderful experience, at first Ruth was convinced Vader was tricking Luke, alas, it was not so.

    Alright, enough rambling, I’ll talk to you guys later, be good everyone!

    Cook out