Author Archive for: ‘carlmedearis’

  • What Egypt and Syria have in common with the movie “Brave”

    Be careful what you wish for. That’s what.

    We went to see “Brave” last night. I liked the title and Chris thought it would be cute. It was okay. But the message rang loud and true that we need to be thankful for what we have.

    Egypt, Libya and Tunisia toppled their dictators. Yemen changed its President. Syria is trying to do the same. I was not a fan of any of those leaders – no more than I was of Saddam Hussein. But be careful what you wish for, especially in the realm of politics.

    Remember the landslide won by Obama almost four years ago. Now many Americans are wishing for something new. Better. Something or someone to rescue them from these tough times. It’s an understandable emotion and a completely logical one. Only problem – the new thing usually isn’t any better than the old thing.

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  • Truth? Confusion? Or Lies?

    Think of all the things you “knew” growing up. My list is long of things I knew to be true – without a shadow of a doubt. (That’s how we always said it). You know, self-evident truth. I grew up in a town of 6000 people in Western Nebraska. Never knew anyone who wasn’t white and mostly Protestant.

    1. Catholics meant well but were part of the end time plot of the Babylonian Anti-Christ called “Rome.” We could associate with the Charismatic ones since they seem to “know Jesus” but the rest were for sure doomed.

    2. Baptist didn’t have the Holy Spirit (I grew up Pentecostal), so they were pretty far off. Obviously Methodists, Lutherans, Episcopalians and other main-line liberals were wrong about almost everything. We should be nice to them, but from a distance as their values could rub off on us.

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  • Answering Basic Issues and Questions Muslims have (with humility and respect)

    The premise for this blog is simple – to give Christian background folks some basic language to dialog with Muslims on the most obvious (sensitive) issues. Sometimes in our attempt to be thorough, we say too much and confuse ourselves and our listeners – I know – I’ve spent much of my life doing just that.

    Being clear, concise and simple in our answers can do three things:

    Leave room for the God to work – remember, there’s always a chance, we’re wrong about something – or the way we explain something.
    It can keep us out of an argument we can’t win – and don’t necessarily need or want to win.
    Maintain and encourage the friendship for future discussions.
    So here are the questions or issues that most Muslims will have and some straightforward, simple answers.

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  • Middle East film trip’s first blog post

    A Reframing of Justice

    Oh where to begin…

    I suppose I should introduce myself. My name is Zachary Eastburn, and I hail from Wisconsin, home of the best football, motorcycles, and brats (sorry Germany, I ate one of yours during my ten hour layover in Frankfurt—they don’t beat Johnsonville brats!) in the world. I am one of seven on this trip, and I am sure you will hear from each one of them. I just graduated from Taylor University in Upland, Indiana.

    You’ve probably heard of it…maybe not.

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  • Christians Under Persecution in the Muslim world

    It’s a hot topic. I get asked several times a week what “we” should do about our brothers and sisters in the Muslim world who are being persecuted.

    Before we go further, stop and take three minutes to read this article about Christians in Syria being persecuted. It’s by the brilliant Eric Metacas – whose book “Bonhoeffer” I’m reading now. Read this – and then come back to the blog.

    http://bit.ly/L0Vb19

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  • The Jesus Language

    i was with my friend Tony Hall twice a couple weeks ago. Once for a day here in Colorado and then for two days in Washington DC, where he lives. He was a Congressman for about 24 years from Ohio and then a specially appointed U.S. Ambassador for several more…. He’s an amazing man with a huge heart for God.

    He was telling me about one of his times with Mother Teresa. He asked her (like so many surely did) what her “secrets” were to all she did. Her answer: to speak the words of Jesus.

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  • Jesus encouraged Mystery

    Yesterday I posted my fifth installment (of what might be 100, I don’t know), called “Differences between Jesus and Me.” (or…is that “I”)? 🙂

    In my new “plan to become more like Jesus” I thought I’d start with the things I’m obviously missing. Areas where he seems to be one way, and I another. Whenever I find myself NOT doing what Jesus did, or NOT thinking the way he thought, or NOT saying things the way he did, or NOT treating people the way he treated them – I realize I should change.

    So…yesterday I posted (on FB) this: “Jesus is okay with, even encourages mystery – whereas I like my facts straight and without twists.” Something like that. Interestingly several reacted and a couple emailed me and sent me private messages asking what I meant by Jesus “encouraging mystery.” This happens to be all the time when I speak publicly – I make this point and people react. Confused. How could this be they say? Wasn’t Jesus clear?

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  • Jesus Seems out of Step!

    Recently I’ve noticed that Jesus and I aren’t alike. And all the books I read tells me I’m supposed to be like Him, not him like me. So if I’m being honest (which I also read about somewhere), I’d say that I’ve either made my personal Jesus look, act, talk and think like me – or I’ve just ignored actually trying to be like him altogether. Either way – I’m pretty sure that’s not good.

    A good friend of mine, and someone I try to learn from (Bart is his name), asked me once what my plan was to become like Jesus. This is like a year ago. “My plan to become like Jesus?” I asked, looking like a deer in the headlights. “Hey listen,” I responded quickly, “I’m the guy who writes stuff about Jesus – don’t be asking ME questions like that!”

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  • Jesus Plays Soft Toss

    About six years ago when our now 17 year old son Jon got serious about playing baseball we set up a net in the back of our garage. It’s about 8’ by 8’ and can stop a speeding baseball. Here’s what we do: I sit on a bucket five feet in front of the net off to one side. Jon stands directly in front of me – facing me – ready to swing the bat towards the net. I then take a pile of baseballs and throw them about two feet in front of me and one foot up in the air so it slowly arcs towards him. He crushes it. Into the net. He can’t miss. We do that 100 times a day. That’s called “Soft Toss.” Even professional players do this. It gives the batter lots of easy repetitions so they can improve their swing and strengthen those specific muscles.

    You’ve probably heard someone say “Wow that was a soft toss,” in reference to an easy question that allowed the one answering to give the best possible response. Let’s look at two soft tosses pitched to Jesus.

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  • Two Types of Criticism and how to Handle Both

    I’m sure there are a 100 kinds of criticisms, but that won’t fit into a blog (at least not one you’d read). So here are the two types that I get and how I am learning to respond.

    I simply call them Critiques from the Outside and from the Inside.

    “Outside Criticism” comes at me from people I either don’t know at all or I know, but am not “doing life” with. These are public critiques for me as a public figure. They are on Facebook, Twitter, comments on my blogs or emails through my website. Just this week I was called “a member of Al Qaeda” since I “loved Muslims too much.” That’s a classic “outside critique.”

    Oh, it still affects me. Hurts. So here’s what I do with outside critiques – I categorize them into three sections:

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