World WReligion Wednesday: Dhammakaya Buddhist Temple Has Room For 1 Million

One of my favorite quotes about faith is, “All truth is God’s truth.” Saint Augustine said it. It gives joy to discovering the realities of some truth in various religions. For example, the focus on inner peace in Buddhism is a real asset. I don’t agree with Buddhism as a whole, but I cherish the appreciation for peace. There is something to be learned there. Anyhow, Buddhism now has a temple with room for a million people! Check it out!

Dhammakaya Temple by Constantinos Catsoulis on 500px

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

 

LIGHT

LIGHT

Yesterday was day three of Advent.

I thought about light.

You see, there is truth everywhere, but we must allow ourselves to see it. We must allow the light of God to reveal it to us. There are truths about how to serve. There are truths about healing. There are truths about getting out of our powerless mindsets and into the authority we have in God. Yesterday, I brushed off some of the dust of bad perception, and re-welcomed God’s light to show me true reality. And in our friends’ house, in worship, I felt the warmth of that light. Ahhh… it feels great.

Today, let there be light. “LIGHT!”

1 John 1:5
“This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all.”