• hope

    so I shall sing

    by  • August 2, 2015 • family, grief, hope, music • 19 Comments

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    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 • hope • 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 • america, change, hope, justice, love, race • 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 • community, failure, grief, hope • 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 • hope • 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: tension

    by  • March 29, 2015 • hope, incarnation, lenten journal • 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: passageway

    by  • March 27, 2015 • grief, hope, lenten journal • 5 Comments

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    Passageway. I was one of the words that showed up when I crowd-sourced my Lenten Lexicon. Tonight I figured out why. My plans for the evening have been laid out for a week: cook and watch basketball. I’ve been looking forward to it. I was flipping back and forth between the early games when...

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    lenten journal: story

    by  • March 24, 2015 • america, change, hope, lenten journal, stories • 1 Comment

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    Saturday when I arrived at work I met one of my colleagues who was wearing a t-shirt that said, “Stories Matter.” Naturally, I wanted to know the story behind the shirt. He told me it was for something called the 12×12 Initiative that is a twelve week road trip across country, starting yesterday from...

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    lenten journal: ordinary

    by  • March 23, 2015 • hope, lenten journal • 1 Comment


    Ordinary. Look it up and you will see the dictionary doesn’t deal with the word too kindly: of no special quality or interest; commonplace; unexceptional; plain or undistinguished; somewhat inferior or below average; mediocre; customary; usual; normal. And yet, I’m happy to report today was an ordinary day—and it was good. According to the...

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    lenten journal: preparation

    by  • March 13, 2015 • hope, lenten journal • 1 Comment

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    I have spent the day preparing for tomorrow. Two years ago it struck me that March fourteenth—3/14—was as good an excuse as any for an all pie dinner, so we had our inaugural Pi(e) Day. Now pie holds an important place in our home, particularly at Thanksgiving, or—as we like to call it—Pie-a-palooza. Some...

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