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Already and Not Yet

Reflect on our role in God's restorative work, and recognize both renewal and continued brokenness. Be encouraged by stories of challenges and successes in the pursuit of shalom.

Why Do Poor People 'Waste' Money On Luxury Goods?

Often the poor are criticized for making poor spending decisions. We can easily think that poverty is avoidable with enough financial advice. But there's a reason luxury goods are sometimes worth the trade off, and we're part of that system.

Shrinking Women

“I have been taught accommodation. My brother never thinks before he speaks. I have been taught to filter. "How can anyone have a relationship to food?" he asks, laughing, as I eat the black bean soup I chose for its lack of carbs. I want to say: we come from difference, Jonas; you have been taught to grow out; I have been taught to grow in….The women in my family have been shrinking for decades.” This is a voice you may know all too well. Especially (but not only) if you are male, have you listened to the pain in this voice?

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When You Can’t Live Up To Expectations

But recently I’ve been struggling with something terrible, and deflating:I just can’t live up to my own expectations of myself. I wrote an article that was posted here about clothes, where our clothes come from, and an encouragement to be smart shoppers that make wise choices.  Then I bought some new clothes from a big store. I let myself down.

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Should We Feel Guilty?

My colleague Shannon Jammal-Hollemans recently made a powerful statement, saying Christians tend to focus on the Fall at the Tree of the Knowledge of good and evil, rather than focusing on the Tree of Life. I believe this cuts to the core of the “burden” of injustice, shedding light on the frustrating, paradoxical occurrence of disempowered Jesus followers.

We are Iraqi, We are Christian

On our Salaam Project Facebook page, the post that has received the most views is one called “We are Iraqi, we are Christian.” The article describes Muslims standing alongside Christians in Baghdad protesting together the persecution of Christians in Mosul by ISIS or Islamic State. This parallels the #WeareN hashtag that is spreading over social media and that was recently highlighted in a post by Phil Reinders.

A Lament for Immigration: Celebration

A year and a half ago, a small faith community in central New Jersey found themselves in the midst of despair, with little hope of relief. The Reformed Church of Highland Park is a modest worshipping community comprised of young families, students, and a burgeoning group of undocumented Indonesian refugees. For years, the church had walked alongside its undocumented brothers and sisters--offering legal assistance, advocating with Congress, and even offering sanctuary when deportation orders were issued. And what did they have to show for their efforts?

Is Justice Lean and Mean?

Where was society when they were young and vulnerable? Many stories indicated racism, abuse, abandonment, adoption, addiction, dysfunctional families and communities, of lives spiraling out of control on urban streets.

The U.S. Immigration System: Why We Need Reform

There are many reasons Central Americans choose to migrate North. However, the violence and risk many Central Americans face while migrating is often just as terrible.

It All Started When My Car Blew Up

It was an early morning during the second week of August, a typical day like most others. I said goodbye to my family, then drove away. My destination, a conference in Wyoming, MI. Driving along US 131-South, and making good time, I heard a loud noise, and saw a dense cloud of black smoke in my rearview mirror. I knew there was something seriously wrong. By the grace of God, I made it onto the 44th Street exit where the van stopped at the exit light.  

The Olive Trees of Cremisan

On the last afternoon of Christ at the Checkpoint conference several hundred of us stood on the ancient, stony terraces among the olive trees to celebrate a Eucharist of solidarity with the people of Beit Jala (pronounced ‘bait-yala’) –Bethlehem’s smaller sister. It was icy cold and rainy. “Why don’t we do this inside the nice warm monastery?” I thought to myself.

I would find out why a little later.

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