Middle East Monday: How powerful is YOUR passport?

I lived in Israel and the Palestinian Territories for three years: 2006-2009. I knew there was a global inequity regarding the utility of certain passports. I knew mine was more of a door-opener than many. This reality was made painfully obvious by the restrictions placed upon the Palestinians I lived amongst. Most of them were unable to LEAVE the Palestinian Territories at all. They couldn’t go into Israel proper, they couldn’t get visas to other nations, and this greatly influenced their worldview, their concept of identity, and their sense of injustice.

Likewise, when I was in Baghdad in 2011, I talked with a number of people with a similar problem. However, for many of them, it was a matter of emigration. They wanted to leave Baghdad and they could not get a visa etc to do so. Thus, they were stuck in a war zone. That is absolutely awful. Can you imagine the sense of powerlessness, desperation, and hopelessness one might feel? Daily, friends and family are dying from acts of war and terrorism. You worry about your family, your kids’ safety, and your family’s income in the state of national instability. Not only that, you are exhausted from the daily journey of normal activities which could find you unwittingly at a bomb site, harmed or even dead. That is a very rough life.

Ironically, the following infographic doesn’t represent the Palestinian Territories! That is a further indicator of the lack of awareness about the issues therein.

So, wherever you are from, be thankful for the mobility you have – even if it is limited. Moreover, open your mind to have more compassion and understanding for those who are without some of the simple options you take for granted.

ALSO, what are you going to do with YOUR passport? It’s a key, you know. A key to new places, new spaces, new faces. It’s a courier train, taking your ideas from your norm to someone else’s norm. It’s a library that flies. It’s a thing of wonder, possibility, and beauty.

It’s a pass to other ports. Enjoy it. 🙂

 

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World WReligion Wednesday: The Barnian Buddhas

 

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Having recently watched the film “Monuments Men” and, as a response, pondered more extensively what it means to honor a people by preserving their cultural heritage, I think it’s a good time to mention the Barnian Buddhas in Afghanistan. Prior to their destruction, one of them was the largest such carving. Now, there is the question of whether to rebuild or not. What do you think?

 

 

The Destiny of Islam in the End Times

“The hour has come for the Muslim people to see Jesus and know the Father. We as a Church must discern the times we are living in and hear the sound of Heaven. We must intercede for the Muslims like a mother would for her dying child. Some of us have walked away from Ishmael, just like his own mother did, because the condition of Ishmael seems so hopeless in many ways; but we must yield to the Spirit of God and pray that God will awaken the cry that is in the hearts of the Muslim people . . . God will hear the cry of the Muslim people in this hour. God named Ishmael before he was born, in His wisdom, because one day he knew there would be 1.6 billion Muslims in a spiritual wilderness. Church, get ready – an entire generation of Muslims is going to come into the Kingdom. I believe that all of a sudden, 800 million to 1 billion Muslims will enter the Kingdom of God.” 

(p 28-29)

I merrily, passionately, hopefully encourage you to let your compassion blaze for the Muslim world and READ THIS BOOK! It’s wonderful!

http://www.amazon.com/Destiny-Islam-End-Times/dp/076842593X

“I ♥ Baghdad” shirts! ~~~ Help me get to Baghdad! ~~~

“The person with the most hope

has the most influence.”

– unknown

Well folks, I am selling

“I ♥ Baghdad” t-shirts!

Each shirt is $20, but if you buy one by Wednesday, June 1 you get 10% off by using this coupon code: ISAIAH668

You can also save money per shirt by buying TEN SHIRTS for $180, which saves $2 per shirt. So, if you have a group of friends, a class, a church, a prayer group, a book club, etc who want to support the HOPE Revolution for Iraq, it’s a beautiful opportunity to do so!

I’m planning to visit Baghdad this October in preparation for semi-moving there some time in 2012. These shirts are raising money for that trip. I want to be part of rebuilding the nation and filling Iraq with OUTRAGEOUS HOPE. Things are not what they seem. Beneath the ground is a well of hope churning and stirring to explode across the land. I am drawing together a momentum of people who will stand with me and with heaven and declare, “I LOVE BAGHDAD WITH OUTRAGEOUS HOPE.” Take your heart off the “news”, the dread, the negative expectations, and dare to believe for Iraq’s flourishing. There’s nothing special or helpful or loving about believing for a negative outcome, THE PERSON WITH THE MOST HOPE HAS THE MOST INFLUENCE. If we are going to transform the world, we’ve got to stop looking at the physical and obvious, and tap into heaven’s plans for nations. God LOVES the nations. And through Him we have the ability to BRING HEAVEN TO EARTH, like Jesus prayed in the Lord’s prayer, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN.”

Also, I need your help selling these shirts. Would you help publicize these shirts and the HOPE movement for Iraq by sharing the link below via email, facebook, twitter, blogs, personal websites, word of mouth, etc? THANK YOU!

http://www.etsy.com/listing/79715167/i-heart-baghdad-shirt-blank-back?ref=v1_other_2

 

 

Washing Osama’s Feet

Sometimes I wonder what would happen if instead of sending thousands of soldiers overseas into war zones we sent radical followers of Jesus to TRANSFORM nations. There is a rumbling beneath the ground in the Middle East, it’s the unrest of dissatisfaction. Dissatisfaction is not a bad thing if it leads people to Truth and Truth TRANSFORMS an entire REGION and the ENTIRE world! The Middle East is part of Jesus’ inheritance! MINE TOO!!

Either Jesus is who He said He is and so am I, or not. If He is, then He is worth every minute of my stepping out of my comfort zone for love. If I am, then I am a living letter to the world of HIS love.

I dare the whole body of Christ globally to get uncomfortable for the sake of LOVE. Jesus “dared” me to pour my passion into the Middle East 15 years ago when I was 16 – beyond logic, beyond reason, despite what anyone else said or thought, to LOVE extravagantly – because really that is what LOVE is – extravagant. Now, He has cordially invited me to live in Baghdad, Iraq. And I am happily accepting the invitation/dare. I’m still quite often streeeeeeeeeeetched by this dare, this beckoning, this holy addiction. And I would not have it any other way.

Nor would He.

Presently, I have seemingly zillions of thoughts regarding Osama Bin Laden’s death. In fact, upon hearing the news via text message from my sister Dana and my friend Naomi, I was up until 3am conversing with my sister Dori about the complicated appearance of the ordeal and yet the simple (albeit often difficult) mandate of LOVE.

A few months ago a very dear friend of mine who lives in Bethlehem, Israel/Palestinian Territories wrote the following to me:

“Dawn…FAITH is going to produce such results in your life…you could be the one… who sets the four corners of the middle east ablaze with fire from heaven… you’re the type of person who can truly pray for someone like Osama bin Laden and really feel God’s love for him.
Do you know how rare that is?
You’re explosive for this region”

I must say his words made my day. I was feeling discouraged and longing to be in the Middle East. I needed to hear someone remind me WHO I am and what I am called to. Moreover, as people who lived in the Middle East, amongst a people group known and stereotyped as terrorists, we know that one can not use external structure, punishment, or even democracy itself to bring the Middle East into peace. As with most issues, whether individual or national, the roots of the problems are matters of the heart. Thus, the solution for peace in the Middle East is NEW hearts. There is only one way to get a new heart: follow Jesus. Yet, we don’t love the Middle East SO they will know Jesus. NO NO NO. We love the Middle East because WE LOVE THE MIDDLE EAST, because WE love Jesus, God lives in us, and He told us to love our enemies (whether in the Middle East or next door).

WE LOVE THE MIDDLE EAST BECAUSE WE ARE WONDERFULLY, HAPHAZARDLY, UNABASHEDLY IN LOVE WITH JESUS!!!!

We simply can not resist!

<I speak to the Middle East: You are loved. You are beautiful. You have a purpose and a destiny. You were born to flourish. I will always look for ways to wash your feet. You were made in the image of God  – and recognizing that likeness in you, I cherish you. Blessings in every sphere of society. Blessings of peace and blessings of LOVE.>

Here are some other sites and thoughts in the wake of Osama’s death. Blessings of Holy Spirit wisdom and original ideas of world transformation as you read. I LOVE YOU. : )

Adopt a Terrorist for Prayer

The Pangea Blog

My dear friend Ana’s blog

Testimonies of Muslims meeting Jesus