The Israelites in Egypt

In the first week of August 2017, I taught my course on Islam and the geopolitics of the Middle East to a group of 9 people in Seattle, WA. I taught the course in five days, eight hours a day. At one point on the fourth day in the course, there was some confusion in our discussion about the length of time that the Israelites were enslaved and in bondage in Egypt before the Exodus. 

Fairuz: A Lebanese Legend

If someone had asked me the question, “Who is the most successful movie star in the world?” I might have said Angelina Jolie, Hollywood’s highest paid actress. Or I might have said Tom Cruise, an actor and producer. It would never have crossed my mind that the most successful movie star in the world is not an American or a Brit. In reality, the most successful movie star in the world is Indian: Shah Rukh Khan. Mr. Khan is an Indian film actor, producer and television personality. In India, they call him the “King of Bollywood” or “King Khan.” He has made more than 80 Bollywood films and has a following in Asia and in the Indian diaspora around the world. If this reveals anything about me, it reveals my lack of international exposure and my ethnocentric perspective of movie stars.

Barnabas... Servant Leadership

Before we moved as a family to Cairo, Egypt, in 1975, we were living in Beirut, Lebanon. One of the cherished memories of our time in Lebanon was studying Bible characters with our team. We studied Old Testament characters such as Abraham, Samson and David, and we studied New Testament characters such as Peter, Paul and Barnabas. My love for the Scriptures went to a deeper level at that time.  

Costly Discipleship

As many of you know, this past Palm Sunday, two suicide bombings took place at two Coptic Orthodox churches in Egypt, killing more than 45 people. The word “Coptic” means “Egyptian” in the Greek language.

Barghouti and Mandela

Recently I read a long excerpt from one of Philip Yancey’s books, and it touched me deeply. With his permission, I have included it below. He did express the following caveat: “You’re welcome to use this excerpt in a blog. I have since heard from some people who question the details, since they do not appear in the records of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission. I first read of the story in a Mennonite publication, and they are usually very trustworthy. You should know, though, that its veracity has been questioned.” In spite of this caveat, I think this long excerpt is worth reading, and I like to imagine what would happen if radical grace were practiced today. Would it make a difference in the conflicts in our broken world? Jesus practiced radical grace, and what a difference that made to our human history! Recently I read a long excerpt from one of Philip Yancey’s books, and it touched me deeply. With his permission, I have included it below. He did express the following caveat: “You’re welcome to use this excerpt in a blog. I have since heard from some people who question the details, since they do not appear in the records of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission. I first read of the story in a Mennonite publication, and they are usually very trustworthy. You should know, though, that its veracity has been questioned.” In spite of this caveat, I think this long excerpt is worth reading, and like to imagine what would happen if radical grace were practiced today. Would it make a difference in the conflicts in our broken world? Jesus practiced radical grace, and what a difference that made to our human history!

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