Category Archive: Kingdom of Heaven

Dec 28

Faith or Foolishness

  Part 1: March 2017 It seemed like an awesome opportunity! I had connected with a non-profit organization working in Iraq and they expressed interest in bringing me out there to provide trauma training. Since I was already planning to go in the summer to Africa, I suggested coming “on the way.” But the heat …

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Aug 07

Trusting God’s Supply (The Perfect Prayer: Part 2)

Jesus started His “sample” prayer with centering on God, both in His holiness and His grace to accept us as children. He then shifts to the practical, where we often find at the forefront of our thoughts. The God of Provision Jesus continued (Matthew 6:11): “Give us this day our daily bread.” In many ways …

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Jul 23

Love Your Neighbor (don’t assume he’s an enemy)

The day I arrived in the city two bombs went off, one by a restaurant and the other by a mosque; over 40 people were killed. It did nothing to deter the training of “frontline workers” whose ministry was in thick of persecution and unrest; in fact, it was barely mentioned. Instead, we spent the …

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May 22

The Perfect Prayer (Part 1)

There are a wide range of prayerful traditions, and a great deal of value in everything including liturgy, psalms, intercession, and so much more. Having seen God at work in many difference prayerful contexts, I find it hard to say the there is a “best” way to pray. Yet Jesus’ disciples asked how to pray, …

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Jan 04

Blessed are the Persecuted

It was the morning of Good Friday, almost 2000 years after Jesus was on trial. My father and other organization members had gone to the courthouse. I lived with my family in Central Asia, and for months our whole team had faced investigation from the government, court summons, attempts to sneak out of the country …

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Dec 12

The True Nativity Scene: No Hotel in Sight

Over the years I have witnessed and participated in a variety of Christmas pageants (I made a good furry sheep) and have seen plenty of Nativity crèches, from tiny wooden ornaments to “live” representations. I largely accepted the scenes as moderately accurate. I eventually learned that despite the common appearance of three Magi in the …

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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 14

Blessed Are the Pure in Heart: An impossible goal?

When reading the Beatitudes, the descriptions of those being blessed often seem lofty (I know my focus is not always on righteousness) or unpalatable (whose goal is it to be meek and mourning?). We all know that no one is perfect, so the next statement appears out of our reach. Jesus said: “Blessed are the …

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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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Oct 27

Blessed Are Those Who Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness

I just read in the news that between 1990 and 2014 the percentage of people going hungry in this world has dropped from 18.7% of the total population to 11.3%. An incredible global effort has been reaching out to those who hunger and thirst, because of the fundamental nature of these needs. While this pattern …

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