Jonathan Trotter

I hear you. Some of you are angry and disenfranchised. I’m on Twitter. I know. You see the church and politicians wedded at the hip, and you throw up. You feel like the American church has sold her soul and is rejoicing about the bargain. You’re embarrassed, like a cool kid with an uncool mother, and […]

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On Fundamental Sadness and the Deeper Magic

by Jonathan Trotter on October 25, 2017

Some call it pessimism. Unspiritual. A sickness best treated with peppy music and cliché-riddled Christianese. They caution and guard against sadness, considering it a rabbit hole (or a worm hole) leading nowhere good. Others call it holy. Jeremiah-ish. Defending it with the label of realism – open eyes that see things as they truly are. […]

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You’re probably going to leave the field. Someday, somehow, the vast majority of us will say goodbye, pack up, cry tears of joy or sorrow or both, and depart. How will that work out for you? Well, frankly, I have no idea. But I do know that there are some things you can do to […]

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Small Thoughts: giving some stray ideas a place to land

by Jonathan Trotter on September 4, 2017

Sometimes I cough up small thoughts. You know, the one-liners or one-paragraphers that end up floating, never finding a place to lay their pretty little heads? Well, here are a few small thoughts. Some are text, some are short videos, all are simple. They range from post-fall marriage to emotional nomenclature, from guilting people into […]

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When Missionaries Starve

by Jonathan Trotter on August 4, 2017

It’s something that’s caused the rise and fall of kingdoms. It’s confused the most erudite of the educated and been understood by the most childlike of children. It’s been cherished and treasured by some, burned and ridiculed by others, and it’s absolutely necessary to your emotional health while living and serving abroad. It is the […]

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God Bless America! (and other dangerous prayers)

by Jonathan Trotter on July 1, 2017

I love America. I love her mountains and her National Parks. I love her North Atlantic coastline and her national anthem. I love her freedom of speech and her universities. As an attorney, I especially love her Constitution and her history of Law. God bless America! But that’s a dangerous prayer, because often, with the […]

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The One Question We Must Ask

by Jonathan Trotter on June 11, 2017

It’s a simple question, carrying with it the power to clarify purpose and extend longevity. It’s a question that buttresses against the nasty cousins of burnout and bitterness. It’s a question we need to ask more often. It’s simply this: “What is it that I really need?” We’ve got to start asking our cross-culturally-working-selves, “In […]

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It was an accident!

by Jonathan Trotter on May 3, 2017

I never wanted to be a writer. Ever. My first article for A Life Overseas was only the second article I’d ever written. Seriously. But God retains his sense of humor, and I retain my sense of gratitude. I’m grateful for the leaders of the site who gave me the bandwidth, and I’m grateful for you, […]

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Facebook Live with Jonathan & Elizabeth Trotter

by Jonathan Trotter on April 12, 2017

Hey there! Elizabeth and I “went live” yesterday on the A Life Overseas Facebook page, and it was so great to connect with so many of you! We wanted to share the video with you here, along with some topical time-markers so you don’t have to listen to the whole thing…  : ) For the […]

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Laughter as an Act of Rebellion

by Jonathan Trotter on April 2, 2017

“There are times when the most effective way to teach a certain truth is by laughing very hard.” G.K. Chesterton, as described in The Bookman (1912)   There are times when laughing very hard is brave defiance; a dare to the darkness impinging. Satan, the lying burglar, loves to steal joy. But Jesus, the rough-hewn […]

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Living Well Abroad: 4 Areas to Consider

by Jonathan Trotter on March 6, 2017

My day job here in Cambodia is serving as a pastoral counselor. In a typical week, I meet with clients from Asia, the Americas, Australia, Europe, and occasionally Africa. And whether these clients are missionaries, NGO workers, or international business people, they’re all trying to figure out how to live well here. In Cambodia. I […]

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The Gift of Grief and the Thing I Heard in Portland

by Jonathan Trotter on February 10, 2017

“If we honestly face the sadness of life in a fallen world, then only our hope in Christ can preserve us from insanity or suicide.” – Larry Crabb That’s an intense statement, and I sort of choked when I read it for the first time. But the more I chew on it, and the more I […]

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