Middle East Monday: Eric Metaxas interviews the “Vicar of Baghdad,” Canon Andrew White. – YouTube

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Me, Andrew, and Lina in Baghdad in 2011

 

Andrew White is a dear friend of mine. He is the person who invited me to go to Baghdad with him in 2011, and we went! We share a deep love for Iraq, the Middle East, hope for the nations, peacemaking, absurdity, and revolutionary risk-taking (otherwise known as “faith”).

If you would like to see him speak in person, you can sign up for the newsletter here.

 

Eric Metaxas interviews the “Vicar of Baghdad,” Canon Andrew White. – YouTube.

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Middle East Mondays: One Woman Plants Flowers In Tear Gas Grenades

I lived in Israel and Palestine for three years. My heart still beats and laughs and rolls and tumbles in a cohesive scramble of love and vision for that place. I long to see peace reside there fully. The story of one woman’s prophetic planting is sweetly inspiring. May it prompt the question: “What can I do toward peace?”

 

In A World Torn By War, One Woman Plants Flowers In Tear Gas Grenades As A Symbol Of Peace.

Middle East Mondays: Iraq’s Soul and “What We Left Behind”

roosevelt quote

 

Iraq had national elections last week. Prevailing through the pain of disillusionment, death, and destruction, people arose and shared their voices – putting votes of possibility into the collective POT-ential. This is crucial. In times of uncertainty, sharing one’s voice is key. Yet, it is not easy to do so in a nation belabored by official and unofficial war. Much is shifting since the end of the official war in Iraq in 2011 (the war ended the same month I returned to America from a visit to precious Baghdad).

If you’d like more perspective on Iraq these days, here’s a great article from The New Yorker.

What We Left Behind” by Dexter Filkins

As you consider the staid countenance of Prime Minister Maliki, send him some loving thoughts. Point your mind toward “What would it look like for Iraq to move past its conflict and flourish?” Imagine that world. Dream with Iraq and for Iraq.

If you want, pray that Maliki receives an infusion of courage today straight from the heart of God. Pray that he feels safe, peaceful, and appreciated. Pray that he comes to a full revelation of how loved he is by God. Pray that he arises as a model of courageous vulnerability in Iraq. In a schema of self-protection, mistrust, violence, threats, assassinations, and power-play after power-play, CREATIVITY and VULNERABILITY can bring healing. When people are scared, they hole up. They lash out. They use might to establish power, instead of leading through humility and love. Iraq is stuck in this cycle of fear. Yet, the nation can be un-stuck! We can collectively use our hope and resources to invest love in Iraq. Consider today how you can help Iraq, or your next door neighbor, experience more freedom from fear-cycles. Get on the hope-cycle.

 

vulnerability quote

 

The Waiter, a Word of Knowledge, and Iraq

Today I was editing my forthcoming book and I came across something I’d forgotten: the waiter that Andrea and I met in July 2008 in Lakeland, Florida was committed to going to IRAQ with the military before we met him! IRAQ! That’s certainly ironic.

Basically, what happened that fateful day was: Andrea and I had lunch at Chili’s and I got a word of knowledge for the waiter. I asked him if he experienced a certain thing in his life, shocked, he said, “Yes. How did you know?” Soon we were chatting about his destiny and God’s pursuit of him. We invited him to the revival gathering that night. He couldn’t come because he was working a double shift, but agreed to come with us to Starbucks across the street between shifts. We went to Starbucks together and ran into some women we’d met the day before. One woman prophesied over our new friend. He was stunned and gladdened. We prayed God would make a way for him to come with us that night. Then we dropped him back off at Chili’s. A few minutes after dropping him off he called us. “‘Hey! Can you guys come back and get me? Right when I walked in to clock in, one of the girls I work with walked up to me and said, “Hey, can I have your shift tonight?” So, I gave it to her and I want to come to the meeting with you.'”

We turned around and he came to the service with us. That night he re-dedicated his life to God. The next night he brought his kids. In the weeks that followed his whole life got straightened out and he was confidently walking toward his dreams for the first time in many years.

All that from a word of knowledge at Chili’s! AND in his re-directing he cancelled his plans to go to Iraq. I’m glad he didn’t go into the midst of war. Of course, I didn’t know at the time that Iraq was actually the next Middle Eastern nation I would focus on.

There is so much power regarding timing and divine appointments as we truly follow Jesus. Wow.

In July 2008 I didn’t know how Iraq related to my life. Now, I do. I long to be back in Iraq; and I wait for that sort of “suddenly” the waiter experienced in which his whole life changed in a day. I wait for that in many areas of my life.

The right thing is great, but the right thing at the RIGHT time is GLORIOUS.

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One of the things I am waiting on is finances. I’m working part-time, but it is not covering my expenses. I’ve applied for over thirty jobs, but nothing else has come together. Technically, I am working a lot, but it is not paid: writing my book, writing articles for websites, speaking to various groups, and other Middle East related projects. If you’d like to help me cover my expenses my urgent need is for $555 this week.

Checks mailed to me are great and tax deductible giving is here:

https://upsidedownbethlehem.wordpress.com/how-to-give-toward-my-life/

Thanks for being part of the journey.

 

A Look Back at the War in Iraq

The video linked below is an informative overview of the war in Iraq. It would be great to have a more positive overview to pair with this one: stories of hope, testimonies of healing, demonstrations of God’s Presence, and so on. I know those stories exist, but the media has yet to re-train itself to report good things and to stir hope rather than fear. That as it is, you are cordially invited to ask the Holy Spirit what IS going on behind the scenes in Iraq and how to pray and believe for Iraq’s flourishing. God loves Iraq. She’s beautiful and important. The dreams of Iraqis matter to God. They should matter to us too.

A Look Back at the War in Iraq

 

“The Children of Iraq Have Names”

The Children of Iraq Have Names

by David Krieger*, November 1, 2002


The children of Iraq have names.
They are not the nameless ones.

The children of Iraq have faces.
They are not the faceless ones.

The children of Iraq do not wear Saddam’s face.
They each have their own face.

The children of Iraq have names.
They are not all called Saddam Hussein.

The children of Iraq have hearts.
They are not the heartless ones.

The children of Iraq have dreams.
They are not the dreamless ones.

The children of Iraq have hearts that pound.
They are not meant to be statistics of war.

The children of Iraq have smiles.
They are not the sullen ones.

The children of Iraq have twinkling eyes.
They are quick and lively with their laughter.

The children of Iraq have hopes.
They are not the hopeless ones.

The children of Iraq have fears.
They are not the fearless ones.

The children of Iraq have names.
Their names are not collateral damage.

What do you call the children of Iraq?
Call them Omar, Mohamed, Fahad.

Call them Marwa and Tiba.
Call them by their names.

But never call them statistics of war.
Never call them collateral damage.

*David Krieger is a founder and president of The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.

(“Suffer the Children: Dispatches to and from the Front Line” by Andrew White, page 33)

http://www.amazon.com/Suffer-Children-Dispatches-Front-Line/dp/1847063748/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1306906995&sr=1-5