Getting in other people’s business

Most of the stories I have written here happened years ago. This one was yesterday. I was walking through one neighborhood where I teach when I heard the thump of blows. I paused, discerned sobbing. Peered around the window of the home it was coming from, but could see nothing. The blows continued. Someone was …

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How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Powerlessness

Since my first Bible study I've always wanted to be decisive in interpreting Scripture. I want to understand what I'm reading, make a decision, and live it. Especially on practical matters. But there was one issue where a firm decision eluded me for a long time. That was the question of an absolute commitment to …

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Would you throw the first stone?

“Show no pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.”1 Option #1: Taking life for life is still necessary to prevent even greater violence. Option #2: The death penalty was only one stage in our history, towards a better world God wants for us. Do we kill …

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Stepping in for the first time

I was twenty years old, a young Christian, waiting to meet my friends in a Portland mall. Four women rushing up to a fellow teenager didn’t trigger “fight!” in my head, even in a spot known for occasional gang violence. "Maybe they’re running up to greet someone?" passed through my mind... When the punching started …

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Hit it if it hurts you

I fell in love during our homestay. Alicia was three years old, spunky, outspoken, and loved dressing up in ridiculous outfits. She had a gorgeous smile that she broke out whenever she saw me (or most anyone else, for that matter). And she hit anything that upset her. This last trait could be comical at …

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