Last week the black church world was in yet another uproar due to Facebook Live. In this installment, infamous gospel, Leandria Johnson goes on a smoke filled rant that included some content worthy of a Parental Advisement sticker. She goes in on the ecclesiastical establishment about hypocrisy, elitism, and the damage it causes people; punctuating her complaints with strong stiff “f*** you” to the church. (more…)

The pervasive concept of “us vs. them” is the basis of racism, classism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, and in the words of Pastor Shirley Caesar, YOU NAME IT! While it can be fun to participate in simple sports rivalries, or debate who’s greek organization is the best, the hurtful nature of exclusivity does far more damage than people realize.  (more…)

There is this notion that “respect must be earned.” I’ve heard this all of my life and have pretty much always fallen in line with that thinking. However, the older I get the more I realize that this is NOT the way things should be. The english language is tricky because we tend to use a singular word to describe multiple things. Most people will say the word “respect” in exchange for the word “admire”, which causes a fallacy in the idea that “respect must be earned.”  (more…)

I haven’t completely figured out the official cutoffs, but it’s generally accepted that I am a late Generation X’er. There are many things that differentiate us from other generations but I believe one of the greatest differences is that we are a passion driven generation. Before us, the Baby Boomers and the Silent Generations were all focused on potential. To this day, Boomers are concerned that their grandchildren live up to their potential by pushing  education and getting a good job. Think about the civil rights movements, feminism, and the space programs of the sixties and early seventies, and you will see how much that generation wanted to maximize the capacity of what they could do. I was raised and educated by that generation, and they are still watching me to make sure I live up to my potential. (more…)

People come and people go; that’s just the way life works. We are living in a generation that is slowly getting back to understanding the power of connection. Yes we have personal responsibility, but we are also better together. With this longing for relationship and the fulfillment that comes from them, there is also the reality that every relationship comes to an end. (more…)

I work with elementary school kids, first through fourth grade. At these ages kids aren’t just learning their ABC’s and 123’s, but they are also learning social behaviors and how exist outside of the world that they know: which is home. Their immaturity is evident in their behavior, which is routinely excused with these words: “they’re just little kids.”

I understand this fact, but the schoolhouse (as the old folks call it) is a place to learn what is acceptable behavior when you’re around other people.

I’ve noticed that there are certain behaviors that my first graders display in my classroom, that MANY ADULTS display online. (more…)

The three words I have often uttered to describe where I am in my ministerial career: “ministry is hard”. Lately, I’m coming to learn that these words may actually be “full of it”. While it is true, for me at least, the ministry was not a career move. I never chose ministry: ministry chose me. I do it because I am truly compelled to, and I feel it is my God-given calling to mainly teach, then preach, and lead. Yes, I feel an obligation to God to fulfill this purpose, and some have made me feel as if the simple presence of purpose should make the process painlessly easy. And I don’t ever want to negate the hard work that goes into studying, planning, and executing ministry, while performing some of the mundane tasks of pastoring. All this may be true, but these aren’t the reasons ministry is hard.  (more…)