Category Archive: Freedom

Aug 23

Being a Single Servant, and Still Smiling

“We are praying you will get married.” I couldn’t help but inwardly chuckle at the sincere promise from my students, all married Nigerian pastors, at the end of my time teaching in their seminary. I wasn’t quite sure how that would match their second promise to pray for my return, next time to live there …

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Dec 11

Why Christians Shouldn’t Be the Refugees

I recently returned from visiting multiple countries in the Middle East, where I heard stories from individuals, visited refugee/IDP camps, and met with leaders of various ministries, NGOs, and camps in Northern Iraq. Churches and organizations in Lebanon and Jordan also find themselves overwhelmed with the needs of refugees from Syria and Iraq, but have …

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Jun 13

Would God Tempt Us? (The Perfect Prayer, Part 4)

When offering the prototypical prayer that represented our relationship with God, Jesus included an interesting clause: “And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Matthew 6:13a). Temptation is what draws people toward sin, toward selfishness. So why would the Lord’s prayer link the Father with temptation? We need to first think …

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May 20

When Forgiveness Isn’t Fair (The Perfect Prayer: Part 3)

[After a long hiatus due to significant life events, we are finally back to unpacking the beautiful example of prayer given by Jesus. Thanks for your patience!]   Forgiveness is a topic that can strike a raw nerve in many hearts. Several years ago I co-authored a chapter in a book on dealing with sexual …

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Apr 26

Waiting on the Lord: The Counter-Cultural Discipline

“Wait for the LORD; be strong, take heart, and wait for the LORD.” (Psalm 27:14) After finishing my year overseas working at a counseling center for missionaries, I arrived in the USA with very little idea of what lay ahead, but a wide variety of options seemingly available. I hoped connections at an upcoming conference …

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Dec 06

Blessed are the Peacemakers: 3 Places to Encounter Shalom

When I look at the news headlines, I almost always see accounts of discord and power struggles, which catch out attention because of our aversion to pain and conflict. The global history of wars speaks of the human tendency to seek power, yet there remains a deep desire to live in a place of peace. …

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Nov 27

The Power of Appreciation: Creating Valuable Relationships

There is something special about Thanksgiving: It is a holiday reminding us of something to do, not only on one day but throughout the year. It is like other holidays in that it is based on the remembrance of an earlier event, but the name itself is based on an action: giving thanks. Recently I’ve …

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Nov 10

Blessed Are the Merciful: 3 Ways to Show Mercy

Have you noticed the cyclical patterns of relationships? It can go two directions: When one person demeans another, the recipient will often react negatively and hurtfully, giving more grounds for hard feelings, a pattern of conflict gradually escalating as the lists of wrongs grow longer. One the other hand, a display of kindness can spark …

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Jul 05

Freedom and Slavery

It’s July 5th, the day after the US celebration of “Independence Day.” The remembrance of bold steps taken and battles fought to be free from British authority is in many ways inspiring. We often forget to appreciate the freedom here: freedom to live by our own values, to make our own choices, to follow our …

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