Middle East Monday: Freedom for Palestine & Coldplay

There is much rumbling in the Middle East these days: the conflict in Israel and Palestine; and the rising of ISIS in Iraq are both horrible events that I soon hope and pray will end.

In the midst of such clamor, some are using their public roles to raise awareness. One such example is the band Coldplay. Check it out. 

Coldplay

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.

World WReligion Wednesday: Jews: religious group, people, or race?

My students in both Introduction to the Bible and Christianity and World Religions often feel confused about what makes someone Jewish. They understand there is an ethnic identity, but they also see there is a religious component. Not all people who identify themselves as “Jewish” practice Judaism. This is much of where the confusion comes from.

A great article on this can be found HERE.

Middle East Mondays: You must learn in both directions

I saw an article recently about a Palestinian professor who took a group of Palestinian students to visit Auschwitz. The critical uproar against his actions was very saddening. I thought back to about five years ago when I took a Palestinian friend to see a musical about the history of the Jews. When it came to the bit about the Holocaust, she was horrified! “HOW many people died?!” she asked me. When I answered, “Around eleven million,” she was completely and utterly stunned. “I thought it was like six hundred!” she said. She instantly saw that she had been presented a false reality, a biased report, a lie. She clearly felt uneasy and, likely, a bit gross. Her eyes widened as she further thought about how inhumane it was for people to minimize such an event – moreover, for the purpose of fueling a continued resentment, an “us vs them” mentality, and an international dispute. She was also wondering what else had been presented wrongly to her for the point of keeping Palestinians hostile against their Jewish neighbors.

Granted, a big and beautiful difference in this story, is that my friend is a Christian. She was once a Muslim, but met Jesus and chose to follow Him. In fact, she already loved the Jews. She was still working through some of her past perspectives, but she genuinely loved them. This helped her respond to these newfound facts with sincerity, compassion, and a desire to help heal the wounds between Palestinians and Jews.

Her heart toward healing is a key toward healing in the Middle East. Likewise, the compassion the professor in the article displayed, is also key. Compassion and hearing one another will do more than a peace treaty, a summit, or thousands of books on that matter. Certainly, those tools can be powerful if they involve the spread of compassion, but on their own, they fall short. Love will heal nations. I applaud this professor for leading such healing.

 

 

palestinian prof at auschwitz

Endorsements for My Book: “Driving through Walls”

My book will be published soon. When I was a child I woke up really early on Christmas morning because of excitement and anticipation. Since it is still two months before publication, I should probably not stay awake from now until then – despite my joyful enthusiasm. I need my sleep to finish the journey.

I am in the midst of the editing ocean now. It is a great, tedious, and maturing journey.

To whet your appetite for the book, I’m going to drip-drop endorsements for my book onto you in the weeks ahead.

Praise for Driving through Walls

Thousands upon thousands each year go on pilgrimage to the land of the Holy One. There they see the divine majesty of the one who once trod that land. There are very few people who will take residence in that land called Holy, but rent apart by trauma, turmoil, and conflict. I, like Dawn, have lived there and loved that land. In this book you are given the opportunity to see it like it really is. You also see what, I believe, is the only way to cope here, the supernatural miraculous nature of G-d.

As you read Dawn’s inspiring words you will see how from a very young age the Lord was preparing Dawn to be in this place and do this work. Somehow I think this is just the beginning for Dawn, but spiritually this book will give you a chance to come here too.

The Rev’d Canon Andrew P B White, Vicar of Baghdad

President of the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation on the Middle East

 

 

In a fast-paced world of opinions and sound bites it is always refreshing to read a book that matters. Dawn’s story is a story of courage, compassion, wide-eyed wonder and, most of all, faith. She has experienced horrors that none of us ever want to ever see, and wonders that we all hope could happen to us. Her’s is a story that will encourage you and prompt you to seize God’s call on your life. I encourage you to read it with joy!

Dr. Paul Wright

President of Jerusalem University College

Mt. Zion, Jerusalem, Israel

 

 

You can help my book get published by pre-purchasing a copy and/or making a contribution. Anonymous giving is available. I need $1,335 by March 31, 2012 to get the book published. It will be released in MAY!!!! HOORAY!

Info here.