We had only been in North Africa a matter of weeks when I brought home my first animal. The boy holding it spotted me shopping in the market – a wide-eyed, clueless, childless foreigner, and he must have laughed out loud and thanked God for his ridiculous good fortune. Because, sure enough, I took one look at that tiny dikdik folded and trembling in his outstretched arms and it never even occurred to me to keep my melty feelings to… Read more

A few years ago we had a karama, a blessing ceremony for our newly built home. It is a time when you invite friends and neighbors over to share a meal and join with you in celebrating God’s generosity. I remember stepping outside early that morning to call the girls to breakfast and noticing them squatting on the far side of the compound. As I walked closer I saw that they were with two men – friends of ours –… Read more

On our first home assignment I was bound and determined to slip right back into American culture. I wasn’t going to be one of those weird missionaries that comes home jaded and critical of their own society after a short season away. As much as I could help it, I was going to remain current and relatable despite my very un-mainstream life. Within our first couple weeks back I hung out with a friend in her very nice home in… Read more

On Thursday of last week I plopped down in a white plastic chair to listen to a young North African man get up and teach his first literacy lesson in his language. He did it rather badly, though considering he had only learned to read and write his mother tongue a few days ago it was pretty impressive. But we had been going hard all week at this literacy training and my brain-fatigue was beginning to border on apathy. I… Read more

  By Jovan Barrington Comedian Jim Gaffigan has a bit about taking his family to Disney World in his special Mr. Universe. He compares Disney World in July to standing in line on the surface of the sun. “Remember when you were a kid and you would go on vacation and go, ‘why is dad always in a bad mood? Now I understand.’” It’s funny because it’s true. Vacation isn’t always what it appears to be. Later he jokes, “There’s… Read more

  For the first few weeks after 9-11, there was a resurgence of all things religious.Maybe you remember, but for the first few Sundays after that national tragedy, churches were packed, prayer meetings were called and Americans seem to reinvest in their religious commitments. But… While all that was happening, a Neuroscientist named Sam Harris sat down and began to write a scathing critique of…not just Islam, but against all things religious. Later to be joined by Richard Dawkins, Christopher… Read more

Jonathan and I are preaching and writing a series sermons and blogs together for the month of April. There has probably never been a better time to lead our churches in how we are to have God’s wisdom in our relationship with technology/devices. Having said that, this isn’t a new problem. It’s a very old one. Psalm 81:11-12 (NIV) “But my people would not listen to me; Israel would not submit to me. 12 So I gave them over to their stubborn… Read more

“As President, I believe that robotics can inspire young people to pursue science and engineering. And I also want to keep an eye on those robots, in case they try anything.” -Barack Obama In the Winter of 2007, Dr. Robert Epstein, a renowned psychologist, subscribed to an online dating service where he met a Russian woman named Ivana. They began corresponding with one another, and that eventually led to them writing long letters in which he told her about his… Read more

The first time we evacuated from North Africa, the town we lived in was bombed ten minutes after our plane left the airstrip. In the following months, as we realized that never being able to go back to that place was increasingly likely, I remember thinking, but I was so sure that was where God wanted us. Did we just misunderstand what he was asking of us? But then a year later we were settling into the refugee camps where… Read more

Eva-le was born in the back of a Land Cruiser in the middle of the night just over three years ago. Her mother, Aisha, had begun walking in the dark towards the clinic on the other side of the camp as soon as her labor pains started. This was her fifth baby and the last kid was born in a patch of grass on the side of the road so she knew there wasn’t a lot of time to spare…. Read more

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