A Nation Torn, Yet Being Made Whole

We recently returned from a month-long ministry trip to Europe. I will write more broadly about Europe soon, but first I’ll give a snapshot of Ukraine. One of the most striking things about Lviv (the cultural center of western Ukraine) and Kyiv (the capital) where I recently visited is their normalcy. When you walk down the…

If My Worlds Could Converge

I have moved five times internationally. Three moves were planned and two were sudden. And yes, there’s a huge difference between the types of moves. During one move, I felt like I had stepped out of a black and white indie film into a Disney movie. Throughout the span of our lives as missionaries, I have…

Trafficking and Social Justice: A Voice for the Voiceless

She stood on the train platform away from the crowd, frozen in her tracks, disheveled, with a vacant stare that grew fearful as he approached. She clinched her hands by her side. She held no belongings to offer a semblance of security. “Where are you going?” he asked her. “What is your name?” Through broken…

Speak, “Friend”, and Enter

In Lviv, Ukraine, I was often moved by the varied, profound stories of the people who showed up in our church meetings. Over a span of time, we welcomed prostitutes, a monk, African exchange students, soldiers, gypsies, mafia members, opera singers, and a woman who survived the siege of Stalingrad and imprisonment during Soviet times….

Can we experience spirituality without religion?

In a New York Times review of Sam Harris’ new bestseller, Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion, the columnist, Frank Bruni, said the book caught his eye “because it’s so entirely of this moment, so keenly in touch with the growing number of Americans who are willing to say that they do not…

ALS, the Ice Bucket Challenge, and Global Community

My grandfather (right) danced with my grandmother, played golf in his colorful sweaters, and ran his business with the same joie de vivre (enjoyment of life). I always anticipated trips to their beautiful home on the edge of a golf course and the loving attention he gave all of us. He was bigger than life…

Overcoming Leadership’s Dark Side: Power, Sex & Money

Leaders fall. And when Christian leaders fall, depending on how high their orbit, people can become disillusioned and forget that many do lead with integrity. When we lived in Kyiv, Ukraine I took an Ethics seminary course taught by Dennis Hollinger, President of Gordon-Conwell. I will never forget the day he lectured on power, sex…

Thoughts on Easter Traditions and Resurrection Life

Lviv, Ukraine bloomed with spring flowers and girls in diaphanous, floral dresses days before everyone came out with their woven Easter baskets carrying freshly-baked Paska bread covered with brightly-embroidered cloths. I searched the art bazaar where artisans sold their crafts for an Easter cloth that depicted Christ instead of Easter eggs. I was pleased to…

Soliloquy on White

When my daughter and I visited the Museum of Modern Art in NYC, the exhibit of white canvases amused us. The meaning was lost on us and we wondered how anyone could call it “art”. So, just for fun, I decided to consider what the artist might have had in mind, which quickly morphed into…