Making Jesus Accessible

  • Reason #5 for Writing Tea with Hezbollah

    There are probably more than 5 reasons why I wanted to go on this trip with Ted and Chris, and write the book with Ted, but these are 5 pretty good ones. Another, that I won’t expound on, is simply that I find trying our best to love an enemy (a real actual enemy) is a great way to get to know Jesus better.

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  • Reason #4 (For Writing Tea)

    I wanted it to be a book that would teach Western readers about the Arab world and the Middle East. We’re a slave to our own press (like they are). So we only see the bad side of everything as the news only reports what’s bad. You probably never saw a CNN report on Muhammad the Baker in Bethlehem who makes bread day and night and gives it to the poor children in a nearby refugee camp – right? So we wanted to give you some good news.

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  • Reason #3 (For Writing Tea)

    I wanted to find a way to personify the teaching of Jesus to “love your enemy.” This, like so many of his teachings, can seem abstract. In fact, we had a long discussion with the books’ publisher as they wanted to put the word “enemy” in the subtitle – like that, in quotations. I fought for it to NOT be in quotes. I don’t want us to think of loving our “enemies” as if Jesus meant they were theoretical. I think we must assume that he meant that we should love our actual (real) enemies.

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  • Reason #2 – Pilgrimage

    The great tradition of taking a pilgrimage to learn and love a new people, has all but been lost in the Western world. All cultures and all religions have had this as an integral part of their lives. Ted and I were pilgrims. We were learners. We actually listened far more than we spoke. I was seeing the Middle East as if for the first time, through his eyes and ears.

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  • 5 Personal Reasons I Wrote Tea with Hezbollah

    I thought it might be fun to let you in on the personal motivations behind writing this wild and crazy book – Tea with Hezbollah: Sitting at the Enemies’ Table.

    So….I’ll give you one reason each of the next 5 days. Don’t know if they’re “good” reasons or not, but they’re mine (trying to get Ted to do the same).

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  • Allah is God. Round 2.

    We got so much response from the last blog called “Is Allah God”, that I thought it was worth a second go-round. So here it is….

    I was talking with a fairly well known Christian leader this week about this topic. His point was that there is NO WAY that the god of the Qur’an and the God of the Bible are the same. Muslims do not pray to or worship the same god.

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  • Hagia Sophia Mars 2013

    Is Allah God?

    The answer: Yes! I mean, No. Well, okay, possibly.

    The problem with answering difficult questions is that the answers don’t fit on a bumper sticker. So, we have to fully engage our minds and hearts in answering a question like this.

    It’s like so many other questions I get – like: Do you think if the Palestinians had their own sovereign state that there would be peace in Israel? Or…Does the Qur’an encourage violence?

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  • Christianity and Why Words Matter

    If you haven’t checked out the discussion on both my Facebook and my last blog post, you should. It’s in response to my thoughts entitled “Jesus Wasn’t a Christian.” You should go read them if you haven’t….

    Here’s the deal – words matter. Sometimes I hear that “it’s all a bunch of semantics.” Well, yes. Language is vital. And Communication 101 is this: it’s not only what I say that matters, but what you hear.

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    Jesus Wasn’t A Christian

    Have you ever wondered who founded Christianity? The dictionary says it was Jesus Christ. Christ = Christian, right? A couple of thoughts on that and why it matters that we have it right…

    First of all, Jesus’ last name is not “Christ.” He was Jesus of Nazareth, or Jesus, the son of Joseph and Mary. His title may have been “the Christ” or the “anointed one”, but that was not his name. His name was/is Jesus. (Joshua or Yeshua).

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  • Loving Bin Laden

    My two Lebanese Muslim friends and I waited in the hallway of the dark building for about five minutes before someone walked through the door and said “Follow me.” We did, and found ourselves in a room adorned with yellow and black Hezbollah flags and big, soft armchairs. And we waited.

    It was at this moment when it hit me what we were doing. We were meeting with an enemy of my country. Probably illegal – I think I had forgotten to check that little detail. (I’m not much for details.) We were surrounded by men with AK-47 machine guns, in an unfamiliar city, in an unknown building, meeting a man I’d never seen, who didn’t know why I was there. Other than that – all was good.

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