Category Archives: The Kingdom of God

Jordan: Our First Home Visit

Jordan: Our First Home Visit

Our first afternoon in Mafraq, John Hollon, two other volunteers, and I had the opportunity to go on a home visit.  These are visits where we accompanied one of the local full time servants who provide on-going care and have relationships with Syrian refugees who have moved into the area.  For us, this servant was Egab, a man with a huge smile and a humorous joy that seems unending.  On our way we make a stop to pick up some diapers, formula, and a few other supplies.  These are for a new baby in the family.

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Foreigners, Resident Aliens, Refugees, & The World To Come

Foreigners, Resident Aliens, Refugees, & The World To Come

In the world to come, some will finally arrive home because they were foreigners and resident aliens, refugees without a permanent home in this world.

Others will arrive in the world to come as foreigners, empty-handed refugees forced from their home, because their citizenship and possessions were of this world.

The good news for this latter group is that those who were refugees in this world will likely welcome refugees in the next.

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E. Stanley Jones: The Sermon on the Mount, Creeds, and Christianity

E. Stanley Jones:  The Sermon on the Mount, Creeds, and Christianity

E. Stanley Jones was a Methodist missionary and theologian. He is most well known for his work in India and, espeically, his friendship with Gandhi.  He has many well known works in missionary, theological, and Methodist circles, including The Christ on the Indian Road, which sold over 1 million copies.

One of his works that has been formative for me is The Christ of the Mount, in which Jones focuses on the teachings of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount.  I really cannot recommend this book enough.  It is transformative. Continue reading

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How the Son of Man Will Evaluate “All the Nations”

How the Son of Man Will Evaluate “All the Nations”

The story told by Jesus in Matthew 25:31-46 begins with this introduction:

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations and he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.” (Matthew 25.31–32)

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“Let’s not let this attack be the primary source of our perspective”

“Let’s not let this attack be the primary source of our perspective”

My friend Rich Rosendahl has committed himself to connecting and sharing life with his refugee neighbors in Des Moines, Iowa, and he works full time training others in his context and around the U.S. to do the same.  He is the founder of The Nations, an organization that facilitates individual and corporate engagement with refugee communities.  Rich has worked with refugees both here in the U.S. and in the Middle East (in Jordan, in Tunisia on the Libyan border, and Palestine); and he has also worked in Iraq facilitating peace initiatives among divided groups and tribes there.  Issues and facts related to refugees here in the U.S. and abroad are not theoretical for Rich:  he knows them firsthand.

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I’m Pretty Certain It Would Have Been A Different Story

I’m Pretty Certain It Would Have Been A Different Story

‘Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”’ (Luke 14.12–14 NIV)

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Fear, Wisdom, and Love (a post from November 2015)

Fear, Wisdom, and Love (a post from November 2015)

I told someone a few weeks ago that we could probably expect an increase in extremist attacks outside of the Middle East, and that, unfortunately, there would likely be attacks tied to refugees from Syria. Already, as I said it, there was the growing rumble of fear here in the U.S. regarding refugees, and my own concern was that if/when an attack happened that was connected with refugees, that it would feed such fear and even turn it into anger and hatred. Now we find that such an event has occurred in France. Continue reading

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