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Into the Desert

The sea has parted forming a wall of water on both sides and a commanding voice booms, “You may paaasss.” That’s how I have always pictured the scene as the ancient Israelites marched, en mass, through the red sea on their way out of Egypt. I imagine Moses at the helm, smiling triumphantly, exuberantly and perhaps a little relievedly as his magic staff actually accomplished what God had told him it would: Let my people go! Yet, according to the book of Exodus, the Israelites were none too sure about things, ... Read More »

Seeing God in Vizag, India

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Matthew 28: 19-20 I saw God quite unexpectedly during a recent work trip to India. As a South Asia specialist at a Washington D.C.-based think tank, I travel to India fairly frequently—at least once or twice per year. The preparation ... Read More »

Islam: A Question of Faith

The Muslim observance of Ramadan chanced to fall during the 2014 FIFA Men’s World Cup (June 28-July 28, 2014). As a sport scientist I knew that fasting or even skipping meals was not a recommended nutritional practice for sports participants, so fasting from sun up to sun down? That couldn’t go well. Wouldn’t this put observant Muslim athletes at a disadvantage? What a terrific angle to pursue for my sports blog! Unfortunately, I knew very little about Islam or the Muslim observance of Ramadan, but I knew someone who did. An ... Read More »

Today I Was in Your Presence

Dear Airport People, Did you notice me? Did you see me? As we rode the escalator together, did you realize I was standing next to you? Could you feel my fear when we sat next to each other? Suit, your conversation seemed to be very important. Giggles, you must have been chatting with an old friend. You were both contentedly consumed in your own conversations, in your own worlds. Did you notice Somber? Or Serious? Or each other? Or me? So absorbed in your phones and laptops, I don’t think ... Read More »

Calling All Evangelists

Evangelism. Ugh. This word seriously grosses me out. It sparks memories of faith communities in which the true message of the Gospel was perverted, and people used “evangelism” to condemn and judge others. It reminds me of the preacher at college who stood outside our dining hall proclaiming that we were all going to hell for our “liberal” education. It reminds me of religious tracts disguised as dollar bills and scattered around the community in hopes that these shallow tactics might convince someone to be a Jesus follower. Even worse, ... Read More »

Building a Cathedral

In almost any situation there are leaders and there are followers. Both positions are equally important, but to be a leader who makes a difference, you need to be able to see the bigger picture in whatever you’re doing. Whether you’re just earning a living, doing the best at your job or trying to leave an imprint on the world, there is huge value in seeing the big picture. But seeing the big picture sometimes isn’t enough. True leadership must have a combination of seeing that big picture and also ... Read More »

Uncertainty and Hope

It’s a funny thing to work on a church staff. You see trends ebb and flow. You see people join the church. You see people dig deep into their spiritual lives. You see the transformation that comes with surrendering yourself to God. On the other hand, you see people leave the church. You see people burn out or “give up” on God. You see the full range of human emotions. I attended a memorial service at the church a couple weeks ago. As I sang “Amazing Grace” with those that gathered to ... Read More »

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