• Scan 8

    so I shall sing

    by  • August 2, 2015 • 19 Comments

    My father and I shared a love of hymns. Actually, it would probably be truer to say I learned to love hymns in large part because of my father. Though he rarely sang outside of the house, he loved the songs of faith. One of his favorites in his later years was Gloria Gaither’s...

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    open spaces

    by  • July 7, 2015 • 7 Comments

    Though it may come as a surprise to many who know me, I am an amazingly average athlete. I appreciate sports as metaphor as much as anything else, which is probably why I am such a big baseball fan: there is lots of room for stories in between pitches. Growing up in Africa, however,...

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    an intentional act

    by  • June 21, 2015 • 8 Comments


    It’s been a while since I have posted here. Most of the reasons are personal: I was finishing a book manuscript and trying to get a cookie business off the ground. Over the past several weeks, there have been several times I thought about writing in response to tragedy around the country, but I...

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    passing the peace

    by  • April 12, 2015 • 8 Comments


    The good people at West Raleigh Presbyterian Church read my book for their church-wide Lenten study and asked me to come preach this evening to close things out. Here is my sermon. ______________________ “Passing the Peace” A Sermon for West Raleigh Presbyterian Church April 12, 2015 John 20:19-31 I have to say my favorite...

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    lenten journal: hope

    by  • April 4, 2015 • 5 Comments

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    vigil the night is almost over and I am searching the shadows for words to describe the dawn that doesn’t just break, but breaks through if stones can be moved, so can hearts; if death can be defeated, so can bitterness and hate; if love is real, then hope is more than things turning...

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    lenten journal: finished

    by  • April 3, 2015 • 5 Comments

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    Today may have been the most beautiful day we have had in Durham this year. The sun was bright but still soft, and there was a gentle breeze that kept it from feeling too warm. Today, being the third of April, marks another month since my father’s death; he died twenty months ago. As...

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    lenten journal: wait

    by  • April 2, 2015 • 3 Comments

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    perhaps we cannot understand— no matter how many holy weeks we live—the way that time must have emptied out into the darkness when they the took him from the garden. we mark the days between with names like good and holy, and know that they are the days between and not the beginning of...

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    lenten journal: resonance

    by  • April 1, 2015 • 4 Comments

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    I look forward to April 1 for a far geekier reason than pulling pranks: it is the beginning of National Poetry Month. As life would have it, today felt like a poem, full of words and imagery and resonance, which was the word that kept coming to mind. Ginger and I had a lunch...

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    lenten journal: depression

    by  • March 31, 2015 • 5 Comments

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    I’ve carried this idea with me for a couple of days, hesitant to share because of the gravity of the loss for the families of those who were killed in the plane crash in the Alps. I decided to risk it nonetheless. black box for all of the tragedy that has marred human history...

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    lenten journal: failure

    by  • March 30, 2015 • 6 Comments

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    Failure. It’s one of my favorite words. I did a search on this blog and it brought up sixty-four posts in no time at all. Several years ago, when I was doing a mass mailing of my resume in search of employment, Ginger said, “You fail better than anyone I know.” That sentence remains...

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    lenten journal: tension

    by  • March 29, 2015 • 3 Comments

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    Palm Sunday is always a bit of a struggle for me. I feel conflicted, torn, not really up for the celebration because it doesn’t ring true since I know the rest of the story. I understand how Jesus’ “triumphal” entry into the city fulfilled the prophecies and made for good theological theater, but I...

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    lenten journal: dance

    by  • March 28, 2015 • 2 Comments

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    Dance. If Ginger were writing this blog post tonight with this word in mind, I can guarantee it would have a completely different feel and would involve “Uptown Funk” in some way. What’s really played in the record player of my mind for a couple of days are waltzes, which are, I think, my...

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