• Faith

    What is Shalom?

    Shalom is a Hebrew term that is rich in history and meaning. In its simplest form, it means peace, prosperity, harmony, wholeness, completeness, tranquility and welfare. However, in the Old Testament it assumed an interconnectedness between people, nature, and God. In the book Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin, author Cornelius Plantinga described the Old Testament concept of shalom: The webbing together of God, humans, and all creation in justice, fulfillment, and delight is what the Hebrew prophets call shalom. We call it peace but it means far more than mere peace of mind or a cease-fire between enemies. In the Bible, shalom means universal flourishing, wholeness and…

  • Uncategorized

    Embracing Uncertainty

    I don’t know. These three anxiety producing words are ringing loudly in the stratosphere right now. I-DON’T-KNOW when it will be safe to travel. I-DON’T -KNOW when we will physically be able to worship together in a church building. I-DON’T-KNOW when we will be able to go outside without a mask. I-DON’T-KNOW when I’ll be able to sit in a restaurant and enjoy a nice meal with friends. I-DON’T-KNOW when I will receive a steady paycheck again. I DON’T KNOW. These three words require vulnerability on the part of the speaker and the hearer. For the speaker, saying “I don’t know” implies that you are ignorant of what is to…

  • Uncategorized

    We will not be reduced: A response to the murder of Ahmaud Arbery & the innumerable others

    Decide not to be reduced. . . Mother Maya penned these words that serve as a battle cry of resistance. They act as a mantra for a people who refuse to be reduced by the reality of being black in the land of the free and the home of the brave. Since we arrived on these shores the demand on our bodies has been taxing. For decades we have paid the black tax to occupy the green space we call home. Too many others to name have paid the tax. . . Some in blood, some in tears, all in toil. The land of the free and the home of…

  • Uncategorized

    Deadlines

    Yes, I am a master procrastinator. There – I admitted it. I wish I wasn’t. I plan not to be. But, somehow I always end up here. At the last minute, trying to pull a rabbit out of a non-existent hat. AGAIN! Here’s the thing. I’m GOOD at producing magic at the last minute. It’s high-quality – grade A “never would have guessed you just came up with that” work. That’s part of the problem. I’ve developed a habit of producing under pressure. So, I try to give myself “fake deadlines”. You know the ones you establish months/weeks before the actual deadline. In fact, I have multiple “self-imposed deadlines”. Such…

  • Faith

    The Valley of the Shadow of Death

    The death toll is rising. Rising in the United States and rising among my community. The numbers are staggering. It is no longer far away. It’s close to home. People I know are dying. Not just people I know, but people who look like me. People who have pre-existing conditions. High blood pressure, overweight, history of heart disease and diabetes in the family. Wait . . . that’s me – check, check, check. We entered holy week with these harsh realities. Much like a certain Jewish carpenter did thousands of years ago. The task before him was daunting. He ate dinner with his betrayer and begged the Father to release…

  • Faith

    The Fallacy of Fear

    Fear moves people to do stupid things. It is in and of itself a dangerous fallacy. Fear provokes anxiety, anxiety cripples. FEAR NOT. Fear strips rational thought. It hoards the unnecessary and stockpiles the ridiculous. FEAR NOT. Fear is a fallacy. A fallacy is a mistaken belief. I choose faith over fear. My faith believes in someone higher, bigger, stronger, and wiser than fear. My faith believes in a love that conquers, captures, and casts out fear. FEAR NOT. Don’t believe the fallacy of fear – believe in the reality of love. FEAR NOT my friend, LOVE NEVER FAILS!

  • Faith

    When the World is Off Kilter

    Do you remember playing with spinning tops growing up? Those glorious toys that you could spin and watch tilt this way and that way. The toy would spin in perfect symmetry for as long as we wanted it to. The gorgeous spinning colors captured our senses and left us in a state of awe and wonder. Truthfully, the best thing about this toy was that the user was in control of the spinning. With a flick of the wrist you could set it off on its merry way, and then you could stop it by placing your hand on top of it. This last week we’ve watched our world spin…

  • Uncategorized

    Build: Bridges

    It is amazing how many people get nervous when crossing bridges. I was in sunny Jacksonville, Florida last week and was reminded of this by two relatives. These two individuals do NOT like bridges at all. Whether it is due to past trauma, fear of heights/falling, or simply not liking the fact that you are crossing a body of water on a manmade structure – bridges are problematic for a LOT of people. I happen to like bridges. I think they are remarkable symbols of reconciliation. The fact that I can leave one landmass and travel to another landmass that is separated by water fascinates me. Two things separated by…

  • Radical Reconciliation

    Between Sisters: Listening, loving, and lessons from Ruth

    My biological sister, Monica and her good friend Beth began a dramatized journey that they entitled “Between Sisters” about twenty years ago. These two phenomenal artists have inspired countless other women to examine their cross-cultural relationships. Their work still inspires me today. Hence, the title of my latest article for CBE’s Arise Blog “Between Sisters: Lessons on Reconciliation from Ruth”. I submit that to you today for your Monday motivation. I’d love to hear what you think of it. https://www.cbeinternational.org/blogs/between-sisters-lessons-reconciliation-ruth?platform=hootsuite

  • Faith

    Build: Willingness and Obedience

    The bible is full of ordinary people being asked to do extraordinary things by God. Page after page of utter ridiculousness. Build a huge boat that holds two of every kind of animal AND my family? Cross over the Red Sea? Kill a giant? March around a wall? Hang out in a pit with lions? Virginal birth? Just Utter Ridiculousness! Yet, there it is, the Word of God to the people of God. Have you ever had God ask you to do something that seemed utterly ridiculous? I have. On multiple occasions. Once, I was asked to accept a job that I was clearly overqualified for. I knew it and…