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

 

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“I ♥ Baghdad” tattoos?

Incense, rutabagas, astronauts, and quinceaneras. How does this list relate to the Middle East?

The first letters combine to spell IRAQ.          obviously.

Speaking of Iraq, I am now selling “I ♥ Baghdad” shirts with a blank back.

Please spread the word by sharing the link below via facebook, twitter, blogs, websites, email, word of mouth, blimps, skywriting, re-painting your car, getting a tattoo, writing a song about the shirt and putting it on youtube, naming your dog “Baghdad” (or really even “Baghdog”), or committing to buy a shirt and wear it everyday this year.

ALSO, we have begun a SHIRT CHAIN. 

This is twofold.

1. Take a picture of yourself wearing your “I ♥ Baghdad” while doing something unusual or at a famous location (ie. hanging on a rope swing or in front of the Taj Mahal). Alternatively, hold an “I ♥ Baghdad” sign. Post the photo(s) on the Hopeiraq Facebook page.

2. Take part in the SHIRT CHAIN. Pass a shirt along to your friends. It must be handed off at least weekly. Each person must take a picture wearing the shirt while doing something creative or in a creative location. If you live in the Redding area and you are interested, I will GIVE you a shirt if you will agree to get ten friends to take pictures wearing it and then post them in the Facebook group.

Here is the Hopeiraq Facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hopeiraq/197099243685654

Thanks.

Here is where to order shirts: http://www.etsy.com/listing/79715167/i-heart-baghdad-shirt-blank-back?ref=pr_shop

“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