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.
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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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If Not for Ubfriends I Would Not Be Getting Married

Although there are tons of marriage by faith stories out there, some good some bad- I in some sense feel that mine has a ring of uniqueness to it. Not to say its better or worse in an abstract sense, it just makes for a good article. If you are new here I will refer you to the first part of the story

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Missionary Empathy- 4 things I learned in the Philippines

I know that last time I said I was going to write about my marriage by faith, and I promise that I will post that in due time. I planned on posting it this time, but I realized it should be viewed by another important party before it goes to publication. So this time I will write about a major topic from my time in the Philippines: cultural differences and how they changed my view of the Korean Missionaries in my chapter.
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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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The greatest struggle of my adult life

Marriage is the second biggest choice anyone ever makes outside of their choice to accept Jesus. Every culture the world over has marriage of some kind, along with religion and alcohol. The choice of these three go far in making up the characteristic of a person. Marriage should be taken very seriously.


When I first discovered about marriage by faith I was in shock. For those who are new readers marriage by faith typically works like this. Your personal mentor, usually referred to as a shepherd, decides you are ready to marry. He asks you if you are ready to marry. If you say no he waits and prays. He might ask you from time to time. But eventually once you say yes he picks someone from UBF and puts the two of you together. You are encouraged to make a choice quickly for God, and once that happens you marry in a short period of time. Your marriage from the start is all about honoring God, which means you are expected to become a missionary, pastor, or personal shepherd yourself. This is the mission of marriage as explained by most UBF people. Continue reading →

Learning from Forests

What do you want to rdavid_thornes_spider_8581ead? As many of you know I am about to be back from the Philippines after nearly a month stay. I have many things I could write about from this trip, but I am not sure what people are interested in. With that aim I want to hear from you! What do you want to read. Let me know in the comments. The topics are as follows.

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