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    Breonna Taylor-The Tip of the Iceberg

    Breonna Taylor- her name keeps playing over and over in my head. Yes, there have been many names to say throughout the last couple of years. But something about this name, a young black woman much like myself, only a stone’s throw away from my hometown, hits differently.  Shot and killed by a police officer in her home, #JusticeforBreonna has made international news. Even though one officer involved in the shooting has been indicted, the ripple effect of a collective groan of exhaustion continues. I am not here to argue the facts and figures of this case, I am simply here to lament, as a sister in Christ and I…

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    “Together, We’ll Get Through This” and Other Soul Reflections

    Steven Curtis Chapman’s new video release, Together (We’ll Get Through This), captures the realities, faces and images thus far, of COVID-19. The lyrics offer a compelling trajectory of hope in persevering together. Listen to it as soon as you can and be encouraged. The sudden onslaught of this virus and subsequent quarantine came with the words—take cover, shelter in, wash your hands, wear a mask. It also came with new fears, confusion, strange feelings, unfettered emotions and an odd kind of inertia. We found ourselves enmeshed in the sheltering in, the shut downs and closures; no access to loved ones in nursing home, obsessive hand washing and face masks; high…

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    Leading Through a Pandemic: Three Questions for Ministry Leaders

    Today I’m happy to have as my guest, Morgan Eseke. After studying leaders during high-stakes, high-pressure situations for more than two decades, Harvard’s National Preparedness Leadership Initiative summarizes: “Crises are most often over-managed and under-led.” Researchers explained that leaders often find themselves making decisions based on the tyranny of the urgent. And in doing so they fail to gaze beyond the crisis to intentionally lead others through the uncertainty toward a more promising future.  Certainly, woven into the DNA of Christian faith is an outlook oriented toward a promising future. As we sit in the midst of a pandemic that has overturned normal ministry operations and shattered plans, we can…

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    Missing My Crowd: A Palm Sunday Lament (but can we really choose trust?)

    It’s just wrong to spend Palm Sunday and Easter at home. I wished I’d been on my way to church yesterday instead of listening to a sermon on line. I so missed seeing our kids waving palm branches. Singing praises and hosannas in a room full of voices blending so strongly that my own is submerged in a sea of praise. My morning began with a silent reading about a day of praise. Jesus riding in, gently, peaceably down the Mount of Olives through the Beautiful gate and the streets of Jerusalem. What was missing yesterday was the crowds. Can you imagine lining up behind Jesus 6 ft. apart? Walking…

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    Five Things My Community Has Learned after a Mass Shooting

    Today I'm happy to have as my guest Destiny Teasley, who was my grad-school writing student at the time of the Las Vegas shootings. Please listen carefully….  On October 1, 2017, a mass shooting took place in the center of my city, Las Vegas, Nevada. Fifty-eight people were killed and more than 850 suffered physical injuries. Two years have now passed. And here are five things my community has learned in that time: 1. Life goes on. And that is positive and negative. Encouraging and insulting. As a community we have become well-acquainted with the challenge of helping others to navigate the precarious tightrope between mourning and living. In this broken world…

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    A Psalm for the New Year

    2019—a new beginning. My heart is filled with hope and also lament—the makings of a David-styled patchwork psalm over the year ahead from my own heart to God.    God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day. Psalm 7:11   As I look into this new year, read the news and take the stories and research to heart,  I too feel indignant.  And deeply sad. Lord how can it be that…   …56 million a year are dying from abortion, almost four times as many as from heart disease and stroke (the next leading cause of death).  These little ones are human beings, yet, for…

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    An Epiphany Reflection

    Years ago when my husband and I were experiencing infertility, we had a couple of failed adoptions that happened two years in a row on December 22. In those years, the phrase “Christmas is for the children” especially grated. And in my heightened awareness, I made a key observation:  The only children in the Christmas story other than the newborn king are the male infants and toddlers whom the government slaughtered. Matthew describes that event this way: “Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and…

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    Why, God?

    Today I'm happy to feature guest blogger Laura Murray. Laura is a pastor, mom, wife, writer, speaker, baker, and lover of mountains, sleep, and early mornings. “Why?” It is a question that accompanies our pain and suffering. We believe its answer will satisfy. We believe knowledge will bring salve to our wounds, and understanding the hidden purposes will be sufficient for our pain. Yet answers to “why?” fall short, and knowledge does not heal our pain. Indeed, every answer falls short of healing our pain. Our “whys” are often met with a deafening silence, and we are left to wonder if anyone sees, hears or knows. Are we alone? If humans…

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    Helping Kids Process Traumatic Events

    Living in an information saturated world means we often get bombarded with news events. I recall crying when I read the news on Sandy Hook and feeling sick to my stomach over the events in Paris. And now, the latest terrorism in Orlando leaves us all stunned—CNN is calling it the “deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.” How do we respond to such events? And, how do we help our children process difficult news when we struggle to make sense of it ourselves? Be careful of media exposure—Whenever possible, avoid letting children under 5 view any traumatic news. Many psychologists also suggest that children between the age of 6–11 should…

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    A Christmas Lament

       O Come Emmanuel, Day-Spring, come and cheer    Our spirits by thine Advent here    Disperse the gloomy clouds of night    And death’s dark shadows put to flight   In the midst of joy to the world and hark the herald angels sing In the midst of employee seminar/Christmas lunch, taking pictures by the tree, ten minute    break Shots rip flesh and fourteen families apart Blood pooling on the floor, water pouring from fire sprinklers, wails of agony War comes to sleepy San Bernardino, much like it came to Pearl Harbor, seventy-four         years ago today   Much like it came to Bethlehem over…