Book Review: The Cross and the Lynching Tree by James H. Cone

The Jesus Question

As a schoolgirl, I was taught plenty about slavery and segregation in the US; I was taught that both were gross injustices, shameful times in our nation’s past. There was so much emphasis on the civil rights movement in our elementary school curriculum that whenever anyone asked me who my hero was, I always said “Rosa Parks.”

What I don’t remember ever being taught about, though, was lynching—at least not in very much detail. I didn’t learn about it in school, and I certainly didn’t learn about it in church. I was aware that in the Jim Crow South, white mobs sometimes brutalized black men and even killed them by hanging, but that was about the extent of my knowledge of lynching. I didn’t know how common and widespread it was. Nor that women and children were among the victims. Nor that burning and mutilation were almost always involved. Nor…

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Overcoming Life’s Circumstances One Letter at a Time: Akeelah and the Bee

DP Talks wrote a great blog post about my favorite movie, Akeelah and the Bee

Akeelah-and-the-BeeAkeelah and the Bee is a great movie for a number of reasons. One, it just works. There’s excellent acting by Keke Palmer , Laurence Fishburne , and Angela Bassett but also very strong writing. The script manages to tackle disparities in the American education system, which cannot be addressed without including racial and socioeconomic influences, in a way that’s somehow both subtle and resounding.

11- year-old, Akeelah’s quest to secure the National Spelling Bee Championship is a triumphant journey that draws you into the excitement of … spelling bees? Yes, it’s hard to imagine a movie about a spelling bee as enthralling. But the juxtaposition of Akeelah’s thirst for knowledge with her life circumstances and those circumstances pitted against Akeelah’s privileged counterparts make for a dramatic expose about overcoming the odds.

According to every stereotype and even some pretty convincing statistics, Akeelah shouldn’t even be a contender for graduating…

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Systematic Theology/Argh/Yey (x2)

My summary of my experience from my first week of school. Modified from an email I sent to my advisor. 

“Systematic Theology is going to be great and terrible. Argh. I’m thankful for anti-racist, non-sexist commitments, good ground rules and [MJ] as TA. Helpful and comforting. Yey!

I must say James Cone & Womanist theologians as my guides & journey mates through Greek philosophy & Euro theological thought sure beats Tillich. [C. and M.] rocked it. So, yey some more.

Also, I decided on Theories of Change instead of Christian Ethics. The first class was very powerful. Hopefully,  I made the right choice.”

 

 

AmpRant (and celebration):

I am happy to say that I have a female prosthetist! I am beside myself! So happy. I have never in my 20+ years of being an amputee, ever had the opportunity to work with a woman! I have been frustrated by the limitations of the male prosthetists in my area. They didn’t quite know what to do with me. When I’d mention color, shapeliness, damage to my clothing or other things that I, as a woman, care about, I’d get a blank stare…I’ve been told that I’m picky. I’ve been told that they can’t make my color without it turning blue. Who uses blue to make tan? I’m not picky, I’m a woman and I want it to be functional, mechanical and beautiful. Why would I want to be curvy on one side and not the other? Why would I want a strong muscular thigh on one side and a no curves on the other? Where is the artfulness? Why shouldn’t I want the color of my socket to match my actual skin and not some crapful “negroid” color and who says negroid anymore? Yeah, it’s stupid. So I’m hoping this prosthestist, who happens to be a woman, will be able to figure out some of the answers to these questions. I hope she makes it! If not, I will continue to forge ahead. With every new leg, there is an improvement so I guess I can’t fully lose. I would love to get closer to winning though.

I keep forgetting

I keep forgetting the password to this blog. This was supposed to be my space for semi private reflection but I can’t seem to be consistent about this. 

Here I sit in the middle of the floor finalizing the plan for events that are to happen in the next few days. Crazy. I keep forgetting. Distracted. Reacting. I need to be proactive. Have mercy.

You should see my office, it is a shambles at work and the office at home…#icant. It’s a mess. 

I want my life to be different. I need to restart. But I keep getting distracted. I need to focus but ….squirrel! 

I have a headache right now because I’ve been trying to pound out this worship service, finish youth week, get ready for trick or trunk. We are going to have to postpone our outing to November. Ugh. Too many things at once! Oh, back to what I’ve been saying, I keep forgetting to eat. I get a headache and then I remember, work a little more, ask my husband to feed me while I keep working, and when he brings the food, I work and eat and it gets cold. Shameful.

My living room is a mess. I need a week off! Ugh!!! But that would require me to pick a week and remember to submit it, right? 

Okay, enough of my whining. LOL! I will get it together!

Let it Begin with Me, Oh, Lord

I am the only one that I can change.

When I googled prayers for transformation, I was looking for something that I could pray for my church but when I found this very profound prayer from  www.prayerforce.org, I was reminded that the only one I can really change is myself. I must lead by example as I follow Jesus and grow and live and change and flourish. Move God, move.

Transformation Prayer

Prayer For Personal Transformation

Dear God,

It is fruitless to rail against the world.

The world I inhabit is a reflection of my own self

For macrocosm always mirrors microcosm.

If I see it in the world, I know the seed exists in me.

Therefore, to change the world

I now commit to my own transformation.

I become the fertile soil for the world I want to see.

As a beginning, I tell myself—every day—that I am changing.

I tell myself that You are guiding, shaping and loving me

—into wholeness.

Then instead of focusing on what is bad or frightening

—or telling myself things are getting worse—

I affirm that bad things are falling away.

I switch my focus to what positive contribution

I can make to the situation and the miraculous takes place.

I stop blaming and, instead

Take responsibility for the state of the world and the state of my life.

I open myself to Your love

And experience the intensity of the Unconditional.

I never wish for others what I do not want for myself.

I become generous

And visualize lives of fulfillment and prosperity for others.

I leave fear behind as You take me by the hand each day.

And I forgive the unforgivable.

As a result, all conflicts within me resolve

And, with them, the discord in my life.

All disapproval within me dissolves

And with it, the aches and pains in my body.

I am a better person, one of whom Christ would be proud.

Yet I do not practice denial of my anger or fear, Lord,

But transcendence.

For You lift me up in accordance with my intentions and words.

You make these words powerful, Lord

And only Truth utters from my lips:

  • That You and I are One
  • That, to You, every living thing is sacred
  • That, as part of You, I am able to let go of fear
  • That, as part of You, my destiny is to be happy and useful

.

I begin my transformation today

—and with it—

The automatic transformation of the world.

Every day I dedicate my thoughts, words and deeds to Higher Truth.

I ask You to create a Sacred Container for the day.

I affirm that You guide me in doing soul work.

I affirm that everything I think, do and say

Is guided by a Higher Principle, the Principle of Light,

And what I do, think and say serves the greatest good.

Thank You for working Your miracles through me.

Thank you for peace of mind, heart, and soul.

The world and I are One with You,

God of my heart, Breath of my breath, Throb in my veins.

Your loving world is the real one, and my gratitude is profound.

And so it is.
Amen.