Category Archive: Pain

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 15

Orlando: A Time for Love or Hate?

After Sunday’s tragedy of the shooting in Orlando (and the one that almost occurred in California) I’ve watched a wide range of reactions unfold. Of course those directly affected showed their overwhelming grief. Many showed sympathy and empathy through memorials, act of kindness, promises of prayer, donation of blood. Others expressed anger at multiple parties. …

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May 31

Why, God? Two Answers to the Question of Suffering

The question of “Why does God allow suffering?” has been present throughout history. This is an issue I’ve faced multiple times, and I’m guessing you have too! Have you reached a conclusion? For those who have yet to wrestle with this issue, it could be a stumbling block in their journey of faith, a reason …

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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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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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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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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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Oct 30

Offering Comfort: 4 Ways to Show Genuine Empathy

There are many times when someone we know is struggling with pain, loss, or grief, and we want to show some kind of comfort or support. But good intentions don’t always become helpful outcomes, and at times a well-meaning word can actually be quite painful. For several years I was dealing with the symptoms and …

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Oct 27

Blessed Are Those Who Mourn

We’ve been exploring what it means to be part of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, starting with Jesus’ descriptions of its citizens, including those who are “poor in spirit.” He goes on to say: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” This one hits close to home for the many who …

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Oct 19

Ebola: Responses and Reactions

As I observe the variety of posts and articles about the Ebola epidemic, I realize I’m starting to get a bit frustrated. I’d like to offer a perspective slightly different from most of the Western world, but please forgive me if I am sounding judgmental. I was in Nigeria while it was fighting Ebola. A …

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