Please watch this video, all of it. It is the story of followers of Jesus who have seen the evil of DAESH (ISIS) directly. Hear their stories and listen to their response. Continue reading
“…we must see Terrorism for what it is: an invitation to fear proffered by our enemy in order to perpetuate our conflict with him. It means we cannot win until we cease to hate.”
Another great, insightful, and challenging piece from composer, author, and my good friend Callen Clarke: Continue reading
“Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”—Jesus
We often talk about possessing the “faith of a child” (although Jesus never actually mentions this). We rarely talk about what Jesus actually does mention: possessing the humility and the lowness of status of a child.
Beloved, it is okay to be afraid to love in the face of threat and violence. It is okay to want something else, anything other than a love that serves even those who are our enemies, and to pray, “Please take this cup from me.”
We are not up to the challenge to love so deeply.
I am not up to it.
So, we rely on the strength of Christ, who also prayed “take this cup” but then surrendered: “Your will be done, not mine.” Then he took up his cross in order to reveal a love that cannot be deterred or overcome by fear, violence, or even death.
This is the only kind of love that matters.
Someone asked me about the potential threat of “terrorist infiltration” if we as a nation provide refuge for those fleeing Syria and northern Iraq. Here is my response: Continue reading
My friend Todd Littleton posted a great interview (as well as some of his own thoughts) with Ryan Abernathy, Senior Director of Programs and Nutrition at the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, concerning government services such as food stamps (SNAP, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), other services, and the church’s role with those in poverty. Todd’s post also links to another two part interview with Ryan entitled “Facts About American Poverty” (part 1 and part 2) over at Marty Duren’s Kingdom in the Midst blog.
I highly encourage you to read all three of those posts and listen to the podcast. Here are some snippets of the latter:
Though he wrote it a week earlier, today is the anniversary of the publishing of Reverend Martin Luther’s King’s “Letter From A Birmingham Jail”. Last week Jamaal Bell, Director of Communications at Kirwan Institute at Ohio State, shared with me this video that he directed and gave me permission to share. It’s fantastic. Here’s the info from the Vimeo page:
The Spirit immediately threw him out into the wilderness. And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to him.
“Then the word of YHWH of armies came to me:
‘Ask all the people of the land and the priests,
“When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months
for the past seventy years,
was it really for me that you fasted?