I’ve been thinking a lot about forgiveness lately. Trying to fit it into a specific, narrowed-in situation and stepping back to see it from the view of the universe.
What does it really look like to forgive?
If you’d asked me a year ago, I probably would have given you a bible-belt answer polished with feigned humility. Something along the lines of, “Forgiveness means wishing the best for someone who has hurt you, whether or not they’ve apologized. And it means forgiving yourself.” Then I definitely would have added a, “but I don’t really know and sometimes wonder if I even know how to forgive.” You know what I’m talking about. The perfect response with a convenient self-deprecating addition that actually makes you look better?
I’m as guilty of it as anyone. Maybe even more so. (Definitely more so)
Acquainting Christianity with political parties. Picking apart the beliefs of leftists and rightists and trying to compare them with the gospel. Actually, the other way around. Politics, which is quickly dividing our nation, has become the heart of beliefs and religion is forced into the stances of those parties. Too often, religion is seen through the lens of politics.
We need to remember that everything, politics included, should always be seen through the lens of our faith. Continue reading →
“In the ESV version of the Gospel according to Mark, there are only three things Jesus says in a different language (Aramaic) that Mark (or Peter) then translates for the reader. These are Talitha Cumi, Eloi, Eloi,lema sabachthani, and Ephphatha. I’m going to consider all of these, but to begin, I want to focus on the first one.
I still think I have more to tap into when it comes to the Aramaic words Talitha Cumi and Eloi, Eloi. But the other day during my prayer time, the Lord kept saying to me Talitha Cumi, which could have been because I’d just read that chapter and thought I may want to observe it, but for a moment there, I couldn’t think of or write anything other than Talitha Cumi and Eloi, Eloi over and over. “Little Girl” or “Little Lamb, I say to you, arise.” These words are in a very important context. They are most likely meant to show the contrast between the bleeding woman and Jairus’s daughter, that God was showing he heals all, that he loves all, no matter if they are a ruler of a synagogue, an unclean woman, or a small child. That he calls them “daughter” and speaks to them in their native, household language. Continue reading →
During this historical and monumental time, it can be easy to get lost in the news, social media, and your own mind and heart. It’s hard to find the correct voices to listen to in a sea of opinions, pain, and information. The world feels like a stormy maze where around every corner is another piece of advice or something to grieve over.
But perhaps the most difficult thing to do is figure what your place will be in history.
My desire is that everyone finds justice, peace, and hope this year. As an Enneagram type eight, I tend to stand radically and forcibly on the side of justice. I advocate for speaking out. My instinct is to listen to Alexander Hamilton and make Lin Manuel Miranda proud.
Hey all! In the spirit of #BlackLivesMatter, I just wanted to share some awesome blogs to follow, all with incredible Black authors!
Oneika is a travel blogger and you’ll love seeing what she shares! Media personality, journalist, and keynote speaker Oneika Raymond is the host of Travel Channel’s One Bag and You’re Out and Big City, Little Budget. She’s also an on-air travel and lifestyle correspondent for NBC New York and CTV Canada. A bona fide travel junkie, her adventures have taken her to over 115 countries on 6 continents.
Don’t forget to check out Mattie James, faith and lifestyle blogger! “Creating this site has been years in the making. After style blogging for 7 years, I decided it was time for a change. While blogging about my daily outfits was fun, quite a bit changed over the years. I became a mom, started blogging full time, and grew in my faith. Hence why it was time to graduate to MattieJames.com.”
Those words fill my eyes with hot, burning, shameful tears. I’m not an emotional person but George Floyd’s story, and all the stories that are so maddeningly similar, make my head pound with grief and anger and shame.
Passivity here is not an option. Turning your head away so you don’t see knees on necks, guns in faces, blind racism, is the same as allowing it to happen and being on the side of this happening.
It’s time we KNOW their names. George Floyd, Michael Brown, Sean Reed, Steven Demarco Taylor, Ariane McCree, Terrance Franklin, Miles Hall, Yassin Mohamed, Finan H. Berhe, Trayvon Martin, and more. Unfortunately, you can find dozens of examples and names in many places, including here.
“I forgot how much I love this world man. I feel like I didn’t appreciate this book well enough the first time and now it’s just crushing my heart with hope and joy”
“Isn’t that the beauty of books though? Just rams your soul with hope and emotions that you (I) usuallyrun from”
That’s a conversation that is fairly normal among me and my reader friends. We live in a whirlpool of books, throwing our favorites at each other to eventually create a petri dish of the same universes, characters, relationships, and words. We crave a new world, new pain, new hope, new love. Hunger for masterfully woven words fills our bones. It’s an unquenchable thirst that will occasionally feel satisfied. A best friend will throw me a story that ripped them apart and I’ll devour it until I’m stuffed and hungover from the intoxicating tale. Continue reading →
I don’t know what sort of faith Adolf Hitler had. He was born to a practicing Catholic mother and was baptized in the Roman Catholic Church. From a young age, he expressed disbelief and hostility to Christianity. And he obviously was hostile towards Judaism. Hitler wanted to reduce the influence of Christianity. It seems to me, he didn’t need God because he wanted to be god. His faith was in his own power.
Sometimes I don’t know what sort of faith I have. I think I do, I hope I do, but I’m always wondering. I visit the faith I want, treating it like a vacation destination. When I’m in pain, I tour a church. When I doubt, I read the plaque of faith, hoping it will give me all the answers. But I’ll leave and return home to the place I know well. Where I don’t need God because I can be god.
This is part two of the last blog posted! Here are the next 8 mistakes I’ve seen writers make, or have made myself, over the last few years of writing and editing.
8. Weak Introduction
First impressions are everything. Especially in writing. Readers will decide if they’ll keep reading within the first paragraph. (More avid and gracious readers may give you a couple pages). And once you get to publishing, this is even more important because agents get HUNDREDS of queries and if you can’t hook them in the first sentence, your book is in their trash.
Often, writers will start with a long description of the setting, or a mundane event like waking up from a dream or talking to themselves in a mirror (for the love of Harry Potter, don’t do this. This is the LAST way you should explain what your character looks like). Continue reading →
If you’ve read and enjoyed ANY of my blogs, then I think you’ll love this book. Especially if you’re favorite posts are the more personal/vulnerable/emotional ones.
A quick history of Talitha Cumi…
In early 2019, I did a 3 month school with YWAM Orlando where we studied the Bible in-depth. During that time, I wrote a series of essays (like blog posts) that I felt the Lord was telling me NOT to post.
Because of this, I ended up writing about some really personal and vulnerable things that I would never have shared on my blog. Continue reading →