and finding better answers in a fulfilled covenantal view

“Lengthening”, Lent in the Holy Land, pt 1

The word “Lent” comes from a root word meaning “lengthening,” like the lengthening hours of sunlight which will bring the long, warm days of summer. Normally during Lent we think of giving something up for 40 days as we approach Easter, so as to prepare spiritually before we celebrate Christ’s Resurrection.

This year, perhaps more than any other Lent before it, I am finding myself being lengthened – stretched – just like the days that are rolling out before me. And what I’m giving up, is mostly what I thought I knew.

What is lengthening and stretching me? Well, at the beginning of this year’s Lenten season I found myself in Jerusalem. Now there’s a place that could stretch anybody in any number of ways. It’s true. I was there on something of a peace-seeking mission. (Go ahead, laugh, I’ll wait). This trip was the final capstone of a course, or Learning Lab, that I took part in on the topic of Peace and Reconciliation, with The Global Immersion Project. So, in looking at the concept of ‘how to be an everyday peace-maker’ we went for the jugular. We dove right into seeking to understand the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through several months of study, and then we went to see how the brave people we had learned about are waging peace there today.

So there I was in Jerusalem, like so many before me, beginning a pilgrimage of sorts. Far outside my “comfort zone” in the middle of a modern-day “war zone”, seeking to learn about peace and reconciliation from real everyday peacemakers – both Palestinians and Israelis – who are pouring their lives out for others. These are the ones taking the road less traveled, risking their own security and even acceptance by their communities, all for the high calling of waging peace. These, my new and largely unsung heroes of deep compassion and understanding, would share their lives, homes and stories with us. Stories of brokenness, and put-back-together-ness, stories of pain and suffering, of radical forgiveness and overcoming all kinds of barriers to reach out and understand the “other” in their lives. All stories, ultimately, of conspiring for good in courageous, clever and creative ways.

Stay tuned for stories of radical reconciliation and peacemaking from Eliyahou and Ibrahim of Jerusalem Peace, Daoud from Tent of Nations, Yahouda from Breaking the Silence, Milat and Minar from House of Hope, Benyamin and Moira from Bereaved Parents Circle and many more that I’m sure also appreciate your work and your voice. We spent time in Nablus in Balata Refugee Camp with Mahmoud and listened to scholar Salim Muniyar give us a sweep of relevant history.

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Waging Peace: Live from Israel/Palestine

I’m in Israel/Palestine this week immersing into the heart-breaking realities of people suffering and people making and becoming free. Let’s dive right in. The hardest part for me to see the destroyed villages, knowing what happened there before and what their empty ruins represent today. The next hardest thing so far has been going toContinue Reading

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Olivet Discourse Fulfilled – A Short Film

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N.T Wright On the Black Hole of Understanding About ‘Parousia’

Here is a quote of N.T. Wright wisely criticizing the academy’s over-attachment to tradition. He is nearly calling for reform on the topic of traditional beliefs about the often-misunderstood idea of Jesus’ ‘parousia‘. Parousia simply means ‘presence’ or ‘arrival’. It sometimes get’s translated as ‘second coming’ but it does not mean ‘second coming to endContinue Reading

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The Contemporary Relevance of Augustine’s View of Creation

I thought this was a great article. The Contemporary Relevance of Augustine’s View of Creation Davis A. Young Dept. of Geology, Geography & Environmental Studies Calvin College Grand Rapids, Ml 49506 From:  Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 40.1:42-45 (3/1988)  A common impression exists among lay Christians and many non-Christians that the church interpreted GenesisContinue Reading

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How Do We Foster Our Children’s Faith?

I recently read a good article by a mother on a blog called ModernAlternativeMama.com called “Finding My Way as a Christian Mom” .In the article, one of the things the author was wondering, is what activities or things to do with her children to best pass on her Christian faith to them. She was not raisedContinue Reading

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Our Fulfilled Spiritual Resurrection

Challenging Concepts of the Resurrection William Bell, Jr. It is clear that for some, resurrection can only mean the rising of a [physical] human body from the grave. Such is observed in the comment by Wayne Jackson. “What ever there is about man that “lies down” when he dies, is that which will “stand up”Continue Reading

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Resurrecting the Shalom in the World

Resurrecting the Shalom in the World It seems that one of God’s Big Ideas for the world is, and has been, to ultimately bring shalom, or a kind of peace, justice and universal flourishing to the world. Though this may seem like a far off hope for those living in places of real suffering today,Continue Reading

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Amillenialism, Partial-Preterism, Full Preterism – What’s the Difference?

Here is a great article by Mike Sullivan that helps explain the main differences between Amillenialism, Partial-Preterism and Full-Preterism. It also exposes some of the inconsistencies in the former two, and how Full-Preterism is the organic outgrowth of a consistently applied reformed hermeneutic. In other words, if you consistently apply reformed hermeneutical or interpretive principlesContinue Reading

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Where Is Jesus Now? “IN US!” says Marty Angelo

Where Is Jesus Now? “IN US!” says Marty Angelo

Where is Jesus now? Have you ever wondered that? In the below article and book by my friend Marty Angelo, he points to encouraging Scriptures that show us one of the most comforting and amazing messages of the New Testament; that Jesus lives IN and AMONG US now, by His Spirit. That, since Pentecost, HeContinue Reading

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