Baptisms and April and being the first

Mom and sis were born again in late 1999 several weeks apart. And on March 26 2000 they were baptized with about 250+ people there. Pretty cool! It was good to see those prayers come to pass. I set aside every Sunday for about 2 years to fast and pray for them. Sunday is probably the worst day for that because most of my friends want to hang out on Sunday. Now I can focus on praying for others!

Actually, family members of mine are giving their life to Christ every couple of months. Which makes me both a hero and scumbag in my family, depending on who you talk to. When you’re the first person in your family to do something different, something generally frowned upon, it’s going to kick up a lot of crap. Being the second is nothing.

I’m talking to a lot of people about Jesus, and I’ve helped lead a few people to Christ already this year, and last year, and the year before. I’ve already been beaten up and threatened with death several times. This thing (following Jesus) will eventually cost me my life. And I’m okay with that.

My friend Lucy says that the proper way to sneeze is through your mouth. You say achoo and cover your mouth with your hand. Then you wash your hand. I’ve been trying this technique for about 2 weeks and I have to give it mixed reviews. Most of the time it makes my mouth hurt. Achoo. Ouch.

Garbage pile, blah blah

I like things very neat and clean. Organized, uncluttered. I like to think of myself as a progressive minimalist. Always striving to have the least amount of “things” as possible. There is one annoying part of my house. Its annoying but funny at the same time. A giant pile of garbage in my kitchen. Yuck. Friday is garbage day. So Thursday night I take out all the garbage. But by Monday there is a pile of garbage in the kitchen. The garbage can is filled with garbage and its piled up on the floor. Its not usually like this, it’s rarely ever like this. Only recently because of work and school. It’s gross because it’s a pile of garbage in my kitchen. Animals can live in there. There are boxes and bottles and packages and wrappers and just so many of them. I think “where does it all come from?

On a different note, I was invited to a business breakfast Saturday at 6am, and because I’m a moron, I went. I dressed up in a suit and drove to downtown Toronto from Malton to pay $12 for a cold breakfast covered in eggshells, string and hair. I then listened to what seemed to be a 2 hour speech about nothing and then drove home. I’ve learned my lesson and will NEVER do that again. I will never accept random business invites, and if you want to have breakfast with me – I have to be in charge of the time and place. 6am on a Saturday morning. Stupid stupid Mr. Asif Zamir.

On the plus side (sometimes there’s a plus side) I met a cool band and former Toronto Argonaut football player Bruce “Bearman” Smith. He has an amazing story about how God saved his life. That made the whole thing worth it but I’d still never do it again.

Something weird – my friend Katie, (nickname Katoo) claims that last night her alarm woke her up at midnight, so she woke up, prepped for her day including showering and breakfast, before checking the time! She went back to sleep, and the alarm rang around 3am, and she did the whole routine all over again.

One last thing – regarding business meetings, please, keep them short and to the point. No eating or drinking during business meetings. It’s a meeting, not a dinner party. Give everyone a specific amount of time to chat, and hold them to it. I’m tired of people chatting for 30 minutes about non essentials because they feel they are important and have something to say. There are exceptions, and I know I’m the youngest in the room and everyone is twice my age and I’m just starting out and blah blah blah but you people aren’t getting any younger, stop wasting so much time.

I’ll clean up that garbage pile now. – Asif Zamir


Every time I write these it’s always late. Why? Because I wait until my day is done first. And my days seem to finish later and later. So it’s March, and I don’t think there will be a Y2K problem. The media went insane and I know several people who prepared for the worst including having emergency shelters in their basement, backup power, months of food and water etc.

My main concern in life is that I don’t become another nobody who does nothing for God and waste my life away, a sentiment that my superiors don’t agree with. Yes, I do a lot of ‘stuff’ but what am I achieving? I’ve been told that it’s not about achieving, but that’s a hard concept to grasp right now.

“We hear that some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies.” – 2 Thessalonians 3:11

Usually I try to cut out ‘busybody’ type activities in my schedule so that I can get real work done, but that’s usually not even possible anymore because so many other people control most of my schedule. And when my work depends on someone else work to get done that makes everything worse, at least in my mind.

Recently God has lit a fire in me for missions work. I’ve been doing a lot here in Mississauga and I’ve participated in some really neat projects in the Sudan, Brazil, Ukraine but I want to do more. I think every single person who says they are a Christian needs to get involved in missions in one way or another. It doesn’t have to be “full time or part time” or anything like that. Even an hour a week adds up to big things. That’s all for tonight. – Asif Zamir

Predestination, Election

I know I shouldn’t be up so late, but just wanted to give you a couple thoughts!

This is about an argument I keep having with a friend who is much smarter than me about predestination and election. Basically some people believe in predestination: That God has already chosen who goes to heaven and who goes to hell and there isn’t much we can do about it, other people believe in election, in which God has not chosen but leaves the choice to us. The fights can get rather vicious. (Have you seen church people fight? It’s better than UFC)

Studying the characteristics of God leads one to the conclusion that God is Eternal, He never had a beginning nor will He have an end. He lives outside the ‘realm’ of creation called ‘time’. Time, is a part of creation. Created by God. God Himself, is not bound by time like we are.

Lets stop and talk about one of my favorite movies. I like Michael J Fox movies. In “Back to the Future” he drove a car which could be set to any time he wanted. And the car would take him to that whatever time he selected. For instance he was living in 1985 and he typed in 1950, and he ended up at that date. The professor explained that it broke the ‘time barrier’. The explanation behind the idea (this is widely excepted by scientists) is that any date in time, actually happens simultaneously if the time barrier was broken. Experts conclude that if we can break the time barrier and enter into another realm (which the Bible calls ‘eternity’) we can be in any time period we want. Its the year 2000 right now, but also 1900, and also the year 4000 in eternity. Theoretically speaking.

Now there are theories on how we can break the time barrier (theories more realistic than the Back to the Future movie) but we cannot test those theories as yet, because they involve traveling at the speed of light. And I’d rather have scientists solve the rush our problem on the highway than waste money trying to break the time barrier. :)

So God, who sits in eternity, sees us in the year 2000. But also 2010 at the same time. Where as we see it as “now its the year 2000, and in 10 years it will be the year 2010”

This is where ‘Predestination’ comes in and why I don’t agree with it.

Eph 1 :4-5 ‘For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he PREDESTINED us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will– ‘

So you were chosen by God before the creation of the world. This is a contradiction right? How then can the world be saved? Well relax, leave your denominations at home. Because God transcends time. He sees everything at once. He doesn’t see you now, and then wait for 10 years to see you in 10 years. He sees all of your life from the BEGINNING to the end, all at one time. YOU’RE the one that does the waiting. Not God.

Therefore He can choose you, and at the same time you have free choice. Everyone has the opportunity to be saved! (Heb 2:9, IN 3:16).

Sorry I cant articulate this better, but it is 2:45am!

Now you think for yourself about these things – We are sinful people. The wages (or payment) of sin is death. Not just bodily death but eternal death, or Hell. If you die in your sins, or without Jesus you will be in Hell forever. Eternity. No time. Ten thousand years, ten billion years, ten trillion years. You’ll be there. Eternity is the key word.

Now consider the cross. Jesus hung on the cross (for our sins). He is God though, who is not bound by time. Could it be that those 6 hours of earthly time were an eternity on His ‘time clock?’. Did Jesus, actually suffer an eternity worth of God’s wrath and punishment for our sins?

I need to sleep right now, so I’ll form a conclusion when I get to heaven! I’m going there because of what Jesus did for me. He paid for my sins. My punishment would have been eternity in hel1. But Christ for my redemption, and His blood washes me whiter than snow. I was ‘chosen’, but I had to accept. And I do accept. Thank God!

What about you? Listen to this:

But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for EVERYONE. HEB 1:9

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3: 16

He died for you, that you may have eternal life. Will you take it or leave it?

When you walk UP TO the gates of salvation you’ll see a sign written “whosoever believes will not perish but have everlasting life” And IF you walk THROUGH those gates (accept Christ) you’ll see a sign written “chosen in Him from the foundation of the world.”

Another scripture – ‘Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose. The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself, we are all here!” The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved–you and your household.”

God has made a way for everyone and anyone to be saved. He loves you! His desire, would be that everyone would turn to Him and be saved. However He is all knowing, and knows, even knew from the foundation of the earth who would and wouldn’t tum to Him. We have free will, and we can choose. I’ve made made my choice. Will you? – Asif Zamir

Apple Juice & Other Stuff

I was given a laptop to do a fresh install of win98 (yeah, you wear glasses and everyone thinks you can fix their computer). Well, the person who owned laptop wanted to use a mouse with it, so I went to his house to help install one. That took about 2 minutes, but as I was prepping to leave, I was asked to do some work on his desktop computer. Blah. I hate that. This wasn’t the first time, and it won’t be the last unless I make some changes. It’s been a long week, and now I have to install a modem as well. With work, school, and church ministry, I’m doing at least 15 hours a day 7 days a week. This isn’t how it was supposed to be.

While driving to the bank on Friday night, as soon as I turned on Airport Road off Morning Star, BAM! An accident. I always stick around to see if I can be of any help, but they didn’t need me this time.

Anyway, I stopped for gas, and after, my car wouldn’t start. Some guys helpd me jump start it, and I was off again. I made a few wrong turns here and there and ended up on this old street with really nice houses. I saw this amazing stone house. Every time I see a certain kind of house, a house that’s completely abnormal, it reminds me of old TV shows I used to watch from the 80s and when life was somewhat simpler because I was too young to know any better.

I like apple juice. But I don’t like cold apple juice, I think it’s nasty. I heat it up in the microwave because it’s so delicious that way. When I was around 6, I attended a really nice school called Yorkview Public in Willowdale Ontario (near Bathurst and Finch). I could barely afford to go on any field trips (a common theme in my life), but there was one to an apple orchard that I was able to go to, and on the permission form, parents were asked to give a bit of spending money because the orchard had all kinds of neat products. Well, my parents gave me $1, which they thought was a whole lot of money, and to my family, it really was!

I was the only kid who couldn’t buy anything at all, and my teacher blamed me, like I was 6 and in charge of my finances. I hate when teachers ask stupid questions like, “why didn’t you bring more money?” Umm, well, because I’m 6. “Why didn’t you tell your parents to give you more?” (I don’t know how it works with white people, but with us brown people, if you ‘tell’ your parents to give you more money, you get your skull cracked open plus grounded for a month). Anyway, I really wanted to buy a small jug of apple cider, which all my friends were buying.

Shortly after this incident I started my own business at Yorkview. I would go to a convenience store and purchase gum and other popular candy, and sell it at school, usually at recesses, lunch, and after school. This worked out so well for me, and I was always able to go on field trips and buy stuff. That carried on for a good while, until my mom found more than $40 in my piggy bank (yeah I wasn’t just spending, I was saving, too!), and wondered how a 6 year old got that kind of money. Well, gee mom, I didn’t rob a bank, I’m 6, so I’m not dealing dope, and printers haven’t really been invented yet, so I’m not printing money. I told her I had been buying and re-selling candies for a profit. In return, I got a good hard beating, and for some reason I still don’t understand, my money confiscated. After this, I was back to square one, missing most field trips because we couldn’t afford it and I wasn’t allowed to have control over my own finances. I made excuses to my teachers about why I couldn’t go – standard stuff us poor people say. “I’m sick,” “I forgot to get my permission slip signed,” “I lost the money,” etc.

Fast forward to today, I’m a Christian, many of my family members are converting one by one. Mom comes to visit often and brings me a jug of apple juice, apple cider, and fresh apples to make up for everything.

All of a sudden I don’t care about missed field trips or the insults of well meaning teachers.

– Asif Zamir

Help Wanted

This month I’m scheduled to volunteer 100 hours, which will be the most in one month that I’ve ever done. I get to work with some amazing people, who are all way older than me (except when I’m working with children). My supervisors say that I’m learning faster than anyone when it comes to pastoral ministry, church, etc., and that is very exciting.

Work is going pretty well, and the people I work with are generally happy, which is always a good thing. The one thing I don’t like is driving to Scarborough or Markham so much, especially since my car falls apart often. The window doesn’t even go down unless you grip it and push it down. My family complains that I give too much money away to others and don’t take care of myself enough, which is kind of true, but these amazing opportunities keep coming at me.

My car is giving me some major trouble, it won’t start in the rain or even on a misty day, and my friends at church were laughing when some parts fell off my car when I was driving away. To be fair, the car is 18, lol it’s almost as old as I am.

Too Many Children!

2:42am? Yikes, I’m not supposed to be up this late, but it seems like there is never enough time in the day, and always more to do. Even when I rush, prioritize my schedule, and work hard all day long, it sometimes seems as if I haven’t accomplished anything. Well, today was one of those days so I’m still up, but after I write this, I’ll be satisfied with my day.

Because of some special events happening in Mississauga, I’ve been taking care of children’s church not just Sunday morning and evening, but also Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evening this week. The crowd gets bigger and bigger, and I’m in desperate need of more helpers. One of the small children (3 years old) is way to young to be in my class. She should be in the nursery, but the nursery is overcrowded, and she wants to be in my class anyway. The hardest part is when the smaller children want me to pick them up but I can’t because then all of them will want me to pick them up. This is okay when I’m taking care of 5, but when it’s 30, 48, 100+, it doesn’t matter how many helpers I have, I just can’t do it.

Anyway, back to the 3 year old. She is full of energy, and always on the move. We were all sitting quietly drawing pictures and playing with legos, and she was running around and making noise. I told her repeatedly “sweetie, come and sit down.” She didn’t listen, but instead she ran into a storage room, knocking down its contents in the process. She ran under a table, knocking down the items piled on top. I cleaned up the messes, and reached under the table, exhausted, “I am your friend, come out of there.” Well, she got so excited and happy that she tried to leap into the air with joy, forgetting that she was under the table. She hit her head, but being so young, she was resilient, and it didn’t even make her whimper. It did shut her up for a few minutes though, lol. She came out from hiding with a smile on her face (rubbing her head a bit), and she gave me a tight hug (don’t worry, her parents knew about the bump on her head). A few minutes later she was causing more trouble for me again.

Thank God for kids. When I think of the way that child acted, I think of us adults. We disobey God, then we go into a sort of hiding where we stray further away from God. In the midst of this, we get hurt. God saves us, then we start the whole thing all over again. Sometimes we have to be stopped in our tracks to find out how much God loves us, but we might have caused so much damage in our lives that God has to spend much time mending our hearts and helping us to clean up the mess. Jesus said that life brings enough trouble on its own, there is no need to make more for ourselves.

El Shaddai

“El Shaddai” by Amy Grant

El-Shaddai, El-Shaddai [means “God Almighty, God Almighty”]
El-Elyon na Adonai [means “God in the highest, Oh, Lord”]
Age to age, You’re still the same
By the power of the name.
El-Shaddai, El-Shaddai
Erkamka na Adonai [means “We will love You, Oh, Lord”]
We will praise and lift You high

Through Your love
And through the ram,
You saved the son
Of Abraham.
Through the power
Of Your hand,
Turned the sea
Into dry land.
To the outcast
On her knees,
You were the God
Who really sees.
And by Your might,
You set Your children free.

Through the years,
You made it clear,
That the time of Christ
Was near,
Though the people
Couldn’t see
What Messiah ought to be.
Though Your Word
Contained the plan,
They just could not understand,
Your most awesome work was done
Though the frailty of Your son.


I was introduced to this song in 1999 while driving to a bookstore around midnight (yes, I’m that kind of book fanatic). The song was made famous by Amy Grant. Read the words carefully and meditate on them. God is awesome, and worthy of your praise and respect. The atheists will learn this the hard way one day — they spend all of their waking time trying to prove that God doesn’t exist. As an example, I don’t believe in the Easter Bunny, and guess how much time I spend arguing against him? Zero. An Atheist claims they don’t believe in God, yet can’t keep quiet about Him.

It seems like time flies by so fast during my leisure time. I really need to get good night’s sleep tonight so I can operate at full energy tomorrow. Last night I tossed and turned in bed, and I couldn’t sleep properly so I’ve been tired all day long.

Yesterday a man walked into my food bank after closing. He had his little son with him. Tears were frozen on his face because he had walked a good 40 minutes in the blistering -36c cold, and would have to walk back home with his son and heavy food. I will always remember his face like it was a stunning National Geographic photo. His son was very small, maybe 7 years old, and I can only imagine the hardened man he will become because of his circumstances as a youth. He reminded me of myself when I was young. Never enough food, never enough money, and always a problem. Teachers yelling at me because my homework wasn’t done, and I could barely hear the lecture because my stomach was growling so loudly.

He tried several times to wipe his tears away with his scarf, but they were completely frozen. His voice was cracked and obviously very sad. I gave him the best box of food I could, stuffing it with as many extras as possible, and invited him and his son to church.

I’ll work harder towards building up the food bank supplies so we have more to give. We run out almost every week these days, especially in the winter, and people are complaining that I give out too much spaghetti — believe me, I agree.

It breaks my heart to see these situations. Running a food bank is more than giving out food, it’s about caring for people, and giving out hope. But listen, most of the time their worst problem isn’t a lack of food; these people are telling me that their biggest problem is a broken spirit. If you have to walk an hour to get food, walk an hour back home, when you don’t have money for even a bus fare, what do you do? I’ve been there so many times.

I have to stop reading the news. Today at the office I read on Yahoo News about the Christians that are fleeing Indonesia right now because people of another religion have executed war against them. They have already burned down 10 churches today. I read articles about the young girls that are raped and then thrown into fires because they converted to Christianity, yet this other religion claims they are a religion of peace – when do we get to see some of that peace?

I read articles about torment and great persecution and great atrocities against our missionaries, our own brothers and sisters in Christ. I know so many missionaries personally in Indonesia that this scares the crap out of me. All of them are completely peaceful and harmless people who are there building schools and hospitals, not for other Christians, but for same religion that are killing us off! These people hate us but they love our money. Even myself personally, since I converted to Jesus in 1997, have been endlessly harassed here in Mississauga so many times. I’ve been punched, mocked, threatened with death. Yes, in the great city of Mississauga by random “peaceful” you-know-who’s, who demand I convert back or suffer. Sorry sir, but you are in Canada now, and I’ll gladly buy you a ticket back to the Middle East where you belong.

When I became a Christian in 1997, my own family kicked me out, and I didn’t get to visit with them or see them for about 2 full years. I took every Sunday to fast and pray, and one by one, they’ve been giving their life to Christ since then. I’m still known as Asif Zamir the trouble maker because of what I’ve done. Leading people to Jesus is a crime where I’m from.

At the same time, churches and Christians need to stop being so annoying and petty and stupid and start working together and stop competing against each other. Stop all the nonsense, and start doing what Jesus commanded us to do. Ugh, I’m stressed. I’m going to sleep.

-Asif Zamir

First Journal Post – Y2K

Hi, I’m Asif Zamir, I hope that you enjoy some of my thoughts and adventures. This evening I wanted to have some delicious food in celebration that the Y2K problem didn’t effect me. I decided to open a can of minestrone soup which had a big dent in it. So I cooked it…and it stank! So I threw it out. Then I decided to open an old can of mushrooms. And I cooked it for about 30 minutes…and it stank! So I added green onions…and it stank! So I doused it with soya sauce…and it stank! So finally I decided to just have cereal. Honey Nut Cheerios always saves the day. And tea of course.

Also, please ignore my spelling mistakes. My spelling never has been good. When I was small my mother used to give me a list of words to memorize the spelling. She would then make me recite the words like at a spelling bee, and for each error, I would receive a whip. That’s the way things are done in Guyana. Interesting fact: in Guyana schools, the boys receive their whip on the bum, girls receive it on their hand. Hurts either way because they use a bamboo stick. It gave me a high pain tolerance, but it did not help my spelling much. :)

Tomorrow is Sunday and my routine is usually the same; wake up, church, home and then I do a lot of personal ministry. Then around evening, back to church. I run the Sunday evening children’s ministry and I have an average of 10 children these days, and started out with about 4, so I usually need to pile up a lot of energy before 630pm :)

I love them so much so I wouldn’t mind if there were a lot more. Then after church I come home and rest. I try to take at least an hour for myself each day. Sort of an “Asif Zamir time” It’s not always possible though!

To be completely clear, I had a journal when I was like 14, but I shredded it after I found out that my mom found it and read it. She doesn’t have a computer so she won’t be able to find this one :)

I have some studying to do before I go to sleep tonight. God bless, and remember, Jesus loves you!

Asif Zamir