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.

Master’s degree done!

Something

incredibly wonderfully great

happened today.

I completed my last exam for my Master’s degree in Middle Eastern Cultures and Religions!

Yep. 

I did almost all the coursework at Jerusalem University College during the three years I lived in Israel. Then I left it untouched for two years as I attended Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry in Redding, California. Now, I’ve done the last requirements. Five years after beginning the degree, I am done. hahahahahaha. When the diploma finally arrives in the mail I’m going to massively celebrate. 

This makes Master’s degree number three: one in Religion, one in Counseling, now this one. 

Sometimes I think, “How did this happen? How did I get three Master’s degrees?” Then I remember the prophetic word I got when I was eighteen: “You will get countless degrees.” And I laugh. God saw it all coming. It’s all part of His magnificently gorgeous plan to bring me into my destiny and to transform the Middle East into a garden of His love. 

He’s really smart. And He really is LOVE. 

I adore Him: this Creator King, Father God, Leading Lover. 

Be encouraged. If you have a vision that seems far off and it’s a promise of God, it WILL come to pass. All His promises will chase you as you chase Him. And often the promises chase you even when you don’t chase Him.

He’s faithful. I’m grateful.

As you ponder your own journey, as you meditate on His promises, as you dare to dream, I recommend the following song:  

“Trust” by Kristene Mueller: http://www.box.net/shared/0eq76f8suu3gyi098lvj

Father God loves YOU more than you could ever understand. He is 100% good and 100% trustworthy. Let Him love you to life. Arise and SHINE. Dream bigger. Faith is often spelled “R I S K.” Step out, be courageous; the love that awaits you is worth more than anything. God wants to explode your life with joy, freedom, and hope. He wants you to flourish, thrive, and transform the world. He wants you to fulfill the destiny you are uniquely designed to fill. 

“You have made known to me the path of life;

you will fill me with joy in your presence,

with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”

(Psalm 16:11)

<Thanks for lavishing me with Your pleasure, Father! Thanks for establishing me in You. Thanks for this degree. Thanks for making me a mountain that cannot be shaken. You are my great reward.>

(Here’s a lil’ photo album of some of our field trips while in Israel. Andrea and I spiced up our learning by acting out scenes connected to certain locations, or recruiting our friends to act them out. Enjoy: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.6708360079.15486.862340079&l=121efd75f6&type=1 )

my friends’ DELICIOUS ministry

My friends Jessica and Barrett recently got married. Soon they are headed back to Bethlehem, Israel/Palestinian Territories to begin a new ministry venture: a pizza shop and  open heart surgery for Palestinian kids who need it. : )

I am really proud of Jess and Barrett for relentlessly going after the vision and passion God has knit in them. They are a true inspiration and a solid weight of glory for the Middle East! HOORAY!

Check it out and if you are infinitely inspired, consider supporting their ministry with prayer or money. Three cheers for marriage, the Middle East, and new hearts for Palestinian children!

http://www.wix.com/askidenia/askidenia-ministries#!

marking two years back in America

On September 6, 2009 an airplane handed me back to my home country. From August 26, 2006 to September 5, 2009 I lived in Israel, mainly in the precious city of Bethlehem -or “o little town” as I often call it. Looking back and looking forward, I am rapturously thankful and awed by the gift of those years in Israel. That season was certainly a bootcamp for my future life in the Middle East. And that was precisely what I needed. It was also overflowing with miracles, healings, surprises, birthdays, friendships, and glory. It was better than I expected, and sometimes worse. Yet overall, most certainly BETTER.

Moreover, these past two years in America have been precisely what the Master Physician ordered: refreshing, regrouping, re-establishing, re-envisioning, and relaxing. Two years of Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry has been really restorative as well as catalytic. I am now positioned to return to the Middle East with new strength, perspective, techniques, and SUPPORT. I am reminded of a family Christmas video of me around seven years old in which I say upon opening many of my gifts, “It’s just what I ALWAYS WANTED!” These two years have been that. 

THANK YOU to my friends and family who have supported me and encouraged me when they didn’t understand what I was doing, but miraculously did understand WHY I was doing it. I know your investment in my life and your willingness to stand by me will reap a harvest, throughout the Middle East and throughout your own life. I bless you today with checks in the mail, gifts and surprises, and debts paid off. haha! The delight of the Lord is gushing through the threshold of your home and into every heart therein. It is an honor to journey together. You are priceless; and you are royalty.

<Thank you, Father God for your wisdom made manifest in my life. There’s no one else I would rather have write my story. I’m happy with where we are and I’m expectant for the chapters ahead. Your sweetness is beyond what my skin can hold, my mind can grasp, and my words can tell. I LOVE YOU.>

Here’s to endless adventure and matchless love!

A year ago I wrote this blog post: http://upsidedownbethlehem.wordpress.com/2010/09/05/a-dress-that-made-me-cry-and-other-reflections-on-a-year-back-in-america/  

Here are some of my favorites images from my three years in the Middle East. They are a visual necklace of gratitude framing my voice of praise:

Dawn on rooftop overlooking the Western Wall and the Dome of the Rock

Flat Stanley's First Iftaar

Entrance to Saudi Arabia

The Mosque of Jesus, Son of Mary (in Jordan)

Dawn atop Mt Sinai in Egypt

wedding in Hussan village

listening to a woman's story in the mental hospital

healing at the birthday party

drama group happiness

merrily down the stairs with Jihad

went to Cyprus to renew our visas, met Andrea's future husband

scuba diving in the Red Sea

Exiting Bethlehem through the checkpoint

blindfolded on my birthday

striking a pose in Jerusalem

rooftop worship in Bethlehem

All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall bow down and worship before You, For the kingship and the kingdom are the Lord’s, and He is the ruler over the nations.”

Psalm 22:27-18 (AMP)