Adoption has shaped my life in ways both beautiful and heartbreaking.We were foster parents with Bethany Christian Services for two years. It was a high honor to be a part of the birth of a new family, and witness the courage of birth parents who’d chosen to release their babies into a future with this carefully-chosen family. Beautiful.The heartbreaking part of adoption in my life comes in two different forms: My mom was adopted under a veil of secrecy by… Read more

When I was a kid, I used to tuck a small transistor radio under my pillow at night and listen to the clear-channel Top 40 broadcasts beamed across the Midwest from WLS-AM and WCFL-AM. I used to think it was the tunes that hooked me, but now I realize it was the DJ’s talk that connected with me. It was as though they were escorting me into their oh-so-cool world – and I could go, even if I was an… Read more

Sometimes a single idea will anchor itself in your frontal lobe and won’t release itself from your brain until your thinking changes shape. A couple of weeks ago, I heard a thought that started to push on my thinking. Maybe you can help me understand why this man’s comment has been haunting me. First, some background: Our last day in Jerusalem, we attended a forum where young Messianic and Arab Christian leaders talked about the challenges and opportunities they were… Read more

We arrived safe and sound in Round Lake after 11:00 p.m. last night, and jet lag is definitely taking hold of me this afternoon. However, I did want to give you a final look at our last couple of days in Israel. First, take a moment to pray for the continuing escalation of tensions across the Middle East. The entire region is undergoing a political and social shaking; the shaking has all kinds of spiritual implications. Sunday’s nakba protests left at… Read more

Woke up this morning to the sound of pigeons discussing the rain. I saw the Sea of Galilee (also known as Lake Kinnaret) out of our hotel window. It was a pretty amazing way to start the day.  Finished up the week in Jerusalem. I have limited internet access for the next few days, but did want to give you a quick final update. Here are some headlines:- Bill’s meetings with the Caspari board went well. They’ve launched a teaching/social… Read more

Bill arrived in Jerusalem on Saturday afternoon, and after a meal and a short nap, we visited a local congregation with one of the Caspari workers. When we arrived, she said, “Oh! I forgot this is a Hebrew-language service!” After a bit of scrambling, an interpreter was pressed into service for us and one or two of the other visitors. It was wonderful to sing Scripture-based worship songs in Hebrew (we punted our way through the transliterations), and the pastor’s… Read more

Some have asked how this week’s news about Osama bin Laden has impacted life in Israel. It has been front-page news, but there is so much happening here that the event doesn’t have the same impact that I’m sure it’s having in the U.S. The Caspari team has kept me busy this week doing office-type tasks. Today, I entered data base information all day as they’re cataloging back issues of magazines and journals in the library. The work reminds me… Read more

I’ve been here in Jerusalem for 24 hours or so, and here’s what I’ve experienced so far:I didn’t take this picture, but this is pretty much the scene that greeted me.- An angry mob of about 80-100 ultra-Orthodox Jews standing at an intersection about a half a block from the guest house where I’m staying. Apparently, they camp out there on Saturday afternoons and yell at cars and non-Orthodox pedestrians for violating the Shabbat rules. Occasionally, these noisy protests have… Read more

You’re probably aware that Oprah is broadcasting the final few shows of her program’s last season. The ABC affiliate in Chicago rebroadcasts her show at 11:05 p.m. each night, and because of my ongoing midlife sleep battles, I have seen some of the programs of this final season. She’s a fascinating personality, and though I can’t affirm some of what she preaches, I also can’t deny her sister-girlfriend relateability or her epic generosity. I am way late to the Oprah party…. Read more

The disciples experienced all kinds of amazing weeks with Jesus, but none of them were anything like the week they headed into Jerusalem just before Passover. The crowds up north, in Galilee, clamored to get near Jesus because they hoping to see a miracle, or they were enthralled by his teachings. The people of Jerusalem greeted Jesus though they were welcoming a king to town. Their hope-filled celebration turned to ice as Jesus publicly and frequently challenged the beliefs and… Read more

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