Matthew 3 Testimony

aThis is a copy of my testimony from last Sunday that was given before the message.
Today’s sermon really touched me. I felt like it spoke to recent events in my life. Repent for the Kingdom of heaven is near. Repentance is more than ethical improvement. It is the spiritual transformation. Last night friend of mine shared with me an article by a catholic priest called “Why having a heart of Gold is not what Christianity is all about.” The author talked about how Immanuel Kant started a trend that the claims of revealed religions are absurd and unverifiable, and that what is really important is ethics and being moral.

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Call for papers – Winter 2015

Three Smiling Judges Holding up Perfect TenHey everyone, what do you want to read and discuss here? Anyone have an idea for an article to submit? If not, then you will have to listen to Ben, Joe and myself spew the venom of poisonous attacks that we learned from being trained by Chris (I am kidding!) Still this blog will continue as is until more people submit articles. This is the time to add your voice here!

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A Response to the Problem of Spiritual Abuse in the Church

criticize-voltaire-550x414A succinct definition of spiritual abuse. Yesterday, Joe share what he regarded as the best article on spiritual abuse that he has ever seen. I agree. Here it is: Spiritual Abuse: An Unspoken Crisis. I thought that the definition from the article was excellent:

“Spiritual abuse can occur when a leader uses his or her spiritual position to control or dominate another person. It often involves overriding the feelings and opinions of another, without regard to what will result in the other person’s state of living, emotions or spiritual well-being.”

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The Good and the Bad of UBF

gbThe title is intentionally provocative, even if I genuinely mean it. It probably displeases “both sides.” (Sorry to say but there are “two sides,” as is often invariably and understandably the case.)

On “the UBF side,” there are countless reports over five decades of just how wonderful UBF is and how much UBF missionaries gave up their beloved homeland and family in order to suffer and sacrifice endlessly for world campus mission sparing no cost. But the UBF side does not mention anything bad or any wrongdoing. They also usually have much anger, displeasure and a defensive and offensive posture whenever anything bad is brought up regarding UBF. Continue reading →

American Sniper Makes you Proud To Be an American

cI felt proud to be an American after watching American Sniper, directed by Clint Eastwood. It is based on the story of Chris Kyle, an American hero who is regarded as the greatest sniper in American history. He has been credited with 160 confirmed kills of enemy combatants in Iraq (255 if unconfirmed kills are included). Continue reading →

My Thank You

cmMy time here on ubfriends is growing short, at least for the near future. More and more of my time is being sown in other interests. I am in the midst of my third spiritual leadership cohort and loving every minute of it! I will never forget ubfriends, and will stay in the conversations here somehow. Since I won’t be able to post or comment here as regularly as normal, I want to share a thought of gratitude that has surfaced in my mind this week.

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An Unedited Message

This is the message I prepared in the Philippines. I was asked on a Saturday around 2pm. I typed it on a phone. I was allowed to pick anything, and I picked 2 Corinthians 7:8-10. It turned out to be shorter than I intended but I suppose that is just how God intended it. Feel free to say anything in the comments. I am not trained and am quite frankly no good at this whole speaking thing. As I told them and I will tell the reader here: if it is good thank God, because it sure wasn’t me.
2cA
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Muslim – Christian dialogue: taboo or necessity?

k[Admin note: Libby has been a reader here for a while, and commented a couple times. Since our other articles are not ready yet, I decided to publish Libby’s first article. If we can process Ben’s article about right/wrong and good/bad, we should be able to see Libby’s points more clearly.] I don’t have to mention the news we get on TV nowadays related to the Middle East and what is happening there under the name of Islam – and it makes us helpless and sad to see. We don’t even have the energy to talk a lot about this, cause we are unaware of all the brutal mechanisms behind harming people and producing more and more refugees every day. Who is responsible for that directly? and which states in the world could possibly profit from it secretly? What does all that have to do with the “real Islam”?

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When Right is Bad and Wrong is Good

rightwrong_0Constantly constipated. When I did what was “right” and played “by the book” I was rigid, inflexible, easily irritated, determined to “fix up sinners,” and rather condescending toward others (who are not like me!). Basically, I was constantly constipated. This lasted for about a quarter of a century from 1980 when I became a Christian to the mid 2000s. Then I began doing things “wrong” and began “breaking all the rules.” But very strangely and surprisingly, when I did what was “wrong,” I became happy, far more welcoming of others, and most of all my soul and spirit feels free, like an eagle soaring in the sky (Isa 40:31).

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The Value of Acceptance

aWe just want to be accepted. This is often the cry of humanity. And far too often the response (directly or indirectly) of the Christian church is: You are not accepted. Or more often: You must change in order to be acceptable. What do I want most as a former leader at ubf? I want to be accepted. I want to be known and accepted for who I am, not as some Shepherd X caricature, or as some sinner who needs to change into some preconceived ideal image. I don’t want to be known as some agent of Satan or as someone defined only by ubf. I want to be me. As Ben rightly stated in his recent article about my books, ubf will always be a part of my life story. Wherever I go I accept that ubf training formed much of who I am.

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