Monthly Archives: July 2018


My Post (31)

Hospitality is a good thing, right? God pushes it pretty hard in the Old Testament, Jesus modeled receiving and giving it, and both Paul and Peter are big fans.

But what if you’re a dude? Hospitality is pretty much a feminine art, isn’t it? It has that vibe: well put together, winsome and smelling nice. While it’s good to honor the unique and wonderful ways women practice hospitality, guys probably can’t just abdicate.

If you’re like me (or the hubs is) and you don’t know where the fork(s) go, what wine pairs with jalapeño cheddar brats, and you’re last soiree simply sucked, here’s hope:

Bosspitality: When guys crack the door to their lives open to other guys. It’s hospitality that smells like hot oil and meat rather than cinnamon and nutmeg. It’s not better, but it’s a little different.

Imagine God is nudging you to extend a welcome to a Muslim co-worker, an international student or maybe just a new guy on the block, here’re some possibilities:

  • Top Golf. This is better than real golf for people like me because you’re not chasing your ball into the woods or across a highway. I can play nine holes real golf and only be in talking range of my foursome for four minutes!
  • Disc Golf. Super cheap, but the downside is that many cultures don’t have frisbees. If you really need to win, pick this!
  • Tomahawk throwing. This is a thing! I can imagine some Muslim friends thinking, “The American movies I grew up with are true!”
  • Fishing. Lots of good talk time.
  • Driving lessons. Sometimes this is a legit need for new comers. Heads up though, it might spike your blood pressure because you can’t yell at a refugee like you did your kids! (Was that really just me?!?)
  • Sporting Events, live or televised. Snacks aplenty and built in conversation starters!

Can you help me lengthen this list? I’d love to hear your ideas and experience. Comment below.


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Extinguish Hell and Burn Down Paradise

My Post (29)

If you’re like me, you probably don’t expect renowned Islamic scholars to be women. But a friend recently told me about one named Rabia, who lived from 717–801AD and is considered one of the foremost Sufi saints.

Rabia said something which has had me thinking since I heard it, “I want to put out the fires of Hell, and burn down the rewards of Paradise. They block the way to God. I do not want to worship from fear of punishment or for the promise of reward, but simply for the love of God.”

Whoa! Is that me? You? Should it be?

Would I still follow God (to whatever degree I actually do now!) if I was not concerned about avoiding the horrors of Hell or eagerly hoping to gain the restful joys of Heaven? And in what way, if any, is my honest response to this question indicative of my character and spiritual maturity?

C.S. Lewis reminds us of “the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels,” and wonders if, “ Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak.”

I certainly don’t want to go to Hell and I definitely look forward to the joys of Heaven. But in my heart, I want to desire God above all, desire God more than avoiding Hell, more than enjoying Heaven, desire God principally because of the greatness and love of God. This is what I appreciate about Rabia’s bold declaration: It moves God to the center, to his proper preeminence. I often need that reminder.

Would you share your thoughts on this? You’ve likely considered ideas and aspects that have not entered my mind yet. Thanks for the challenging thought, Rabia. May Muslims and Christians all over give it fresh consideration.


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