"Why do Americans sleep on the couch?"

“Why do Americans sleep on the couch?”

“Why do Americans sleep on the couch after they fight?” she asked, through her laughter. I wasn’t sure what she meant at first, so she explained further.

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Jesus and the Disinherited

Jesus and the Disinherited

In the midst of a very tough 2016 the book that most nourished my soul was Howard Thurman’s 100 page book published in 1949, Jesus…

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On gender inequality. At 3am.

On gender inequality. At 3am.

I’m wrapped in a blanket eating blueberry yogurt. It’s 3:45am. I can’t sleep. My professor used to fixate on various students in Latin class, peer…

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6 Hard-earned pastoral lessons that work cross-culturally

6 Hard-earned pastoral lessons that work cross-culturally

I was once told by a church leader that I “wasn’t very pastoral.” Maybe the lessons below are obvious to you. Praise God! But I learned them through sweat, tears, and many cringe-worthy foot-in-mouth moments.

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30 shekels of silver

30 shekels of silver

One thing I’ve learned in the Middle East is that numbers can be both precise and symbolic. Some numbers have a story.

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How to use the Bible in One Year app

How to use the Bible in One Year app

Ok. I’m doing it. Aiming to read consistent chunks of scripture using the Bible in One Year app. Join me?

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How I complete the year and look ahead

How I complete the year and look ahead

Every year I complete the year and look ahead. Today I’m sharing my process.

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04: No more night [WinSome Short]

04: No more night [WinSome Short]

Today’s “WinSome short” is a dramatic reading of the conclusion of our Advent series “Light of the World.” [Click here for the full 12 day…

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Minibus Theology: "The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack"

Minibus Theology: “The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack”

I wish I could say “Don’t worry, nothing’s going to happen to us” as I tuck my kids in at night. But I can’t promise that. Here’s what I say instead.

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Thanksgiving: an act of rest

Thanksgiving: an act of rest

Keller defines godly rest as “to be utterly satisfied with what’s been done.”

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Unity in Diversity (at Conferences)

Unity in Diversity (at Conferences)

In my experience true togetherness has to start somewhere. It’s a road of faithful awkwardness until unity starts to ring true.

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2 ways to serve refugees today

2 ways to serve refugees today

The numbers of refugees and internally displaced people in the Middle East are staggering, but here are 2 ways you can serve refugees TODAY.

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Retelling Deborah's story

Retelling Deborah’s story

Deborah’s story is not primarily about how God chooses leaders, nor should it be appropriated as stick-it-to-the-man girl power. So then… what’s it about?

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10 minutes from Central Asia: "We have joy that God is using us"

10 minutes from Central Asia: “We have joy that God is using us”

Over the next couple posts we’ll hear snippets of what God is doing around the world. Today Zafar shares from Central Asia.

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Come (weary, burdened) to Jesus

Come (weary, burdened) to Jesus

“Come all who are weary, I’ll give you rest.” An invitation from Jesus in Matthew 11.

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3 Concepts that Supercharged my Language Learning

3 Concepts that Supercharged my Language Learning

It took me 5 years to come across these language learning concepts. Enjoy the fruit of my confusion – lightbulb moments the easy way!

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3 Truths & a Lie: What it really takes to be fluent

3 Truths & a Lie: What it really takes to be fluent

In Part 2 of the language learning series Grace tackles what it really takes to be fluent.

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Why learn language? (Intro to language learning series)

Why learn language? (Intro to language learning series)

Language learning is a microcosm of the struggle to contextualize. Not just grammar and vocab, but entering a new conversation. Joining a new community.

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6 Months after Ferguson: Interview with a St. Louis pastor

6 Months after Ferguson: Interview with a St. Louis pastor

We ask Bryan Mowrey from Jubilee Church, St. Louis, “With the media spotlight off, what are the on-going effects of Ferguson in the local church?”

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"We left everything behind in Baghdad, but we have a mighty God"

“We left everything behind in Baghdad, but we have a mighty God”

Bassam holds his sleepy daughter in one arm & tells the story of his last few months in Baghdad. “We left everything behind, but we have a mighty God.”

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Adventures await on the other side of the cave

Adventures await on the other side of the cave

The initial cultural adjustment is like entering a cave. But maybe your dreams were too small. Adventures await on the other side.

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My Big Question

My Big Question

I stood at the brink of motherhood and mission and faced my Big Question.

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Minibus Theology: 5 ways to explain the gospel

Minibus Theology: 5 ways to explain the gospel

How do you explain the gospel? [Hint: it should change depending on your listener] The gospel speaks to every culture’s deep needs.

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The demons in my kitchen flee

The demons in my kitchen flee

Spiritual warfare: When theology and (in)experience meet the demons in your kitchen.

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#WinSomeAdvent: 25 days, 25 stories, 125 characters or less

#WinSomeAdvent: 25 days, 25 stories, 125 characters or less

Could tell the stories leading up to Jesus’ birth in just 125 characters or less? Add your Advent tweets to share the Story.

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How can I worship in a foreign language? (Part 3: Free to receive)

How can I worship in a foreign language? (Part 3: Free to receive)

Tackling two assumptions about worship in a foreign language. “My heart worshiped in English for 30 years. But my heart can expand.”

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Advent: The road to Jesus' birth in 25 Stories

Advent: The road to Jesus’ birth in 25 Stories

This simple Advent calendar uses Bible Storying to explain the road to Jesus’ birth.

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How Can I Worship in a Foreign Language? (Part 2: New Beginnings)

How Can I Worship in a Foreign Language? (Part 2: New Beginnings)

My story of learning to worship in a foreign language continues with a fresh start and new beginnings. (Part 2)

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How Can I Worship in a Foreign Language? (Part 1: First Impressions)

How Can I Worship in a Foreign Language? (Part 1: First Impressions)

I love worshiping the God of the nations from my MidEast home, but it wasn’t always like that. This is my story of learning to worship in a foreign language.

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3 tools I love for learning any language

3 tools I love for learning any language

In February I wrote about God nudging me to go for more language learning. Here are 3 tools helping me chase my language goals.

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Obey Jesus. Come get your daily bread.

Obey Jesus. Come get your daily bread.

Your loving Father has daily bread for you, and he is willing to give it freely.

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Peace in the shadow of Iraq

Peace in the shadow of Iraq

It’s a nightmare that jostles me awake from my internet slumber. The air is thick with humidity on this final night of Ramadan.

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Learning Money

Learning Money

Moving is expensive. Moving cross-culturally costs even more. Here are 3 reminders for a financial attitude adjustment toward “learning money.”

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Build a faith inheritance. Start today.

Build a faith inheritance. Start today.

In 1962 Don and Carol Richardson traveled to Southeast Asia with a dream of bringing the message of Jesus to the Sawi people.

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5 tips to win Guest of the Year: visit cross-culturally and bring a blessing!

5 tips to win Guest of the Year: visit cross-culturally and bring a blessing!

My top 5 tips to help you “have fun and be a blessing” to your hosts when you visit cross-culturally.

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Stop, collaborate and listen

Stop, collaborate and listen

I think I scared people my first months overseas. I was a cartoon character – big, unblinking eyes, ears straining forward, oddly fixed smile.

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Being Neighborly at New Year's

Being Neighborly at New Year’s

New Year’s Eve 2012 I returned home from an outing with my two kids to find a sheet of paper stuffed in our mailbox. The title read “New Year Celebrations.”

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Day 12: There will be no more night

Day 12: There will be no more night

Look at the stars. The world is growing ever fuller of them. In our day, in our time, the world is filling with a starry host. Millions of blessed people…

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Day 4: Light to the Ends of the Earth

Day 4: Light to the Ends of the Earth

Do you belong to Christ? Then you are a child of God, through faith. And you’ve been adopted in to a beautiful, messy, worldwide family.

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Photo Credit: Martin Gommel via Compfight cc

Day 1: Let there be Light

The storyteller clears his throat. His listeners quickly settle into their seats, inhale, and wait. Then he begins: “In the beginning, God…”

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The Advent Meta-narrative in 25 Scriptures

The Advent Meta-narrative in 25 Scriptures

If you could only choose 25 scriptures to explain the Christmas narrative, which would you use? Here is my attempt.

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Share the Advent Story in any Language

Share the Advent Story in any Language

If you had nothing but the Bible as a guide, what would you do to celebrate Jesus’ birth? This simple scripture Advent calendar works in any language.

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Those who can't, pray?

Those who can’t, pray?

A well-known quote says “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.” Sometimes we approach prayer the same way. “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, pray.”

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Sending Well: Silas and Catherine on Functioning as a Sending Church (Part 2)

Sending Well: Silas and Catherine on Functioning as a Sending Church (Part 2)

Our conversation continues with Silas and Catherine. What practical steps do you take to send people well cross-culturally?

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Interview: Davis Family in Arabia (Landing)

Interview: Davis Family in Arabia (Landing)

Earlier we interviewed the Davis family as they prepared to move overseas. Now they’ve newly landed in Arabia – language study, abayas, cockroaches and all.

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Thoughts on Feast of the Sacrifice

Thoughts on Feast of the Sacrifice

Next week the Muslim world celebrates Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice). In the MidEast, truths I grew up celebrating at Easter ring true in a new way.

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Finding Joy for Life on Foot

Finding Joy for Life on Foot

I’ve been on foot for 3 1/2 years now. The most surprising thing I’ve learned is not that it’s possible, but also possible to do so with a good attitude.

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3 Tips for a City Church Planting Team

3 Tips for a City Church Planting Team

Every church planted into a new city is inherently cross-cultural. Depending on your viewpoint that makes them either a daunting challenge or an adventure.

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When you can't be there for the people you love

When you can’t be there for the people you love

A few days ago my brother got married. Family and friends gathered for a weekend together to welcome a new member into the family. I was on Skype, oceans away.

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Book Review: Ministering Cross-Culturally

Book Review: Ministering Cross-Culturally

There are few books that seem to continually crop up on recommended reading lists for cross-cultural workers. Ministering Cross-Culturally is one of them.

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