Test blog

Peacemaker Friday: Painting Their Way to Peace

Peace is not for someone else to make. It’s for you to make. With whatever tools and skills you have available to you.

I was chatting with a friend a while back and he told me how he desperately wanted to do something to make the world a better place, but didn’t feel like there was anything he could do.

Kurdish Independence Vote: 5 Things to Know

In just a few days, people in the Kurdistan region of Iraq will vote on whether they want to become their own country, separate from Iraq. While a “yes” vote will not mean immediate independence, it could have far-reaching consequences. Iraqi officials are calling for the referendum to be suspended, and tensions are already growing in the region.   

Is an 'International Day of Peace' Even Worthwhile?

I’m sitting here trying to figure out whether I care that today is International Day of Peace. I mean, really…what does that mean to you?

Humvees and Hijabs in a Texas Mall Parking Lot: A Picture of American Peacemaking

Middle Eastern spices waft through the air of a Sears parking lot in Port Arthur, Texas, while a group of Muslim young people serve dinner to a battalion of U.S. Army soldiers. It’s an odd and beautifully upside-down moment.

The soldiers’ plates are piled high with spiced meat, fragrant rice, roasted veggies and homemade pita bread. It’s the first hot meal they’ve had in weeks. And yet, I can’t tell who’s more excited to be there—the people being served, or the ones doing the serving.

Don't Drink the Water: After Harvey, a Different Kind of Water Crisis in Houston

"The water dripped on me and look what happened.”

There was a red welt on my colleague's arm where the water splashed him. Our team was out collecting water samples in an unincorporated neighborhood near Houston to test for contaminants. But based on the angry rash on Ben’s arm we didn’t need to wait for the results on this house.

Building Peace While Rebuilding Houston

Jeremy Courtney greets the Imam at a mosque near Denver, CO.

Houston’s devastation is horrific. After a year of so much division and violence, the easy thing would be to stay in our own communities—to show up for the people of Houston, but to show up with and for people who look like us and believe like we do.

Let me tell you about four congregations in Duluth, Minnesota, who believe they can write a new story of healing and reconciliation in their own city, even as they respond to the tragedy in Houston—alongside each other instead of apart.

Showing Up, Even Without a Hurricane

When Hurricane Harvey hit the Gulf Coast of Texas nearly three weeks ago, the entire country was laser-focused on responding to the crisis. Families, mosques, churches, and schools sent their love to Texas in the form of food, water, clothing, diapers, and tools. 

''Look For the Helpers.''

One of my all-time favorite quotes is by the sweater-changing, puppet-serenading Mr. Rogers: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'”

As the war with ISIS enters a new stage here in Iraq, there’s an invisible group of helpers that I want you to meet...

Moving Home After War Is Hard. But That Won't Stop These Brothers.

It was his nightly routine for years. After supper was eaten and the dishes washed, after the evening visitors had come to enjoy tea and conversation, after the children were tucked into bed and his wife began yawning, Sami moved through his home to make sure it was secure for the night. He checked the front gate to make sure it was bolted closed. He did the same at the front door, and then made sure the windows were secure.

After Harvey and Irma: How to Show Up

Image: NASA

Between Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, it feels like our eyes have been glued to weather radar images nonstop for a month. More than 100,000 homes were damaged by flooding in Texas. It’s still too early to know the scope of the devastation caused by Irma.

Read the blog at Preemptive Love Coalition
Test blog
Choose hope, bravery, and peace with me by supporting @preemptivelove