Aikido, Personal, Prayers

The Necessity of Silence

At the beginning of every training session, most budoka will have a time of silence known as mokusou (黙想). The purpose of this silence varies from dojo to dojo, but at its heart mokusou is about silencing the distractions and thoughts that crowd our minds and keep us from making good decisions. Most of what is asked… Continue reading The Necessity of Silence

Book Reviews, Prayers, Reading

Praying in God’s Theater

What roles do the Scriptures play in your prayer life? This is a question that I am not sure many Christians, especially those of the evangelical traditions, consider very carefully. We read our Bibles. We pray. But do these things intersect? Most prayer that I encountered as a pastor's kid was what I call laundry list… Continue reading Praying in God’s Theater


Attacks that Never Come

High above a pass in the Golan Heights sits Qala'at al Subeiba - "the castle on the cliff". It was built by the Ayyubid Sultan Al-Aziz Uthman, the nephew of Salah ad-din, in the late 12th century. His successors then expanded the fortress in the early 13th century as part of an effort to repel the… Continue reading Attacks that Never Come


Flowing Water

Psalm 42 pictures the world of the Banias River, one of the three sources of the Jordan River. The Banias rises in the Golan Heights, near the site of ancient Caesarea Philippi, and flows through what is now a National Reserve. It is possibly the most beautiful spot in Israel. The Banias has several beautiful cascades… Continue reading Flowing Water


Kings and Mountains

According to the historian Flavius Josephus, when Herod the Great defeated the Parthians in 40 BCE, he decided to build a great citadel to memorialize his victory. He quite literally removed the top portion of one mountain and used it to construct an artificial cone on another. Inside the cone, he built a massive palace… Continue reading Kings and Mountains


Moments of Peace

Sunsets in Galilee are amazing. Kinneret (the Sea of Galilee) is 600 ft below sea level and the lowest freshwater lake on earth. It is 64 square miles of freshwater surrounded by verdant hills on all sides. To put it simply, Galilee is a peaceful place. This was not always the case. Before the 1967… Continue reading Moments of Peace

Church, Doesn't Fit in a Category, Prayers

Restraint or Enabling?

Without the integrity of the game, what do you have? A bunch of big, strong, angry men who have reached their breaking point. Jackie MacMullan, ESPN Boston Last night, the Patriots lost to the Ravens. Make no mistake - the Patriots lost that game. They had a couple crucial errors in pass coverage that allowed… Continue reading Restraint or Enabling?