First Sunday of Lent 2017: I’m not giving up Coffee

coffee.jpgTo me, coffee is one of those rare, underappreciated blessings from God.  I literally, stop and smell the coffee-and give thanks for it!  With a cup of coffee in my hand recently, I was telling someone how much I love coffee.

For Lent it is customary to give up something, sort of like mirroring Jesus fasting 40 days and 40 nights.  To be honest, I’m still working on what to give it.  I might give up going to Starbucks, but I will not be giving up coffee.

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Transfiguration Sunday 2017

transfiguration.jpgO God,

who before the passion of your only begotten Son

revealed his glory upon the holy mountain:

Grant to us that we, beholding by faith the light of his countenance,

may be strengthened to bear our cross,

and be changed into his likeness from glory to glory;

through Jesus Christ our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.


–Book of Common Prayer

Scripture References:  Exodus 24:12-18; 2 Peter 1:16-20; Matthew 17:1-9

Reflection: Transfiguration Sunday is the perfect segue way into the Lent season–a season of self-examination, repentance, and renewal–“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV).

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“Hidden Figures” and Being Black in America

Recently I saw the movie Hidden Figures.

It’s message is quite powerful, especially in times like these–times in which we are still fighting the evil of racism.

“…and I can’t change the color of my skin.”

By now we should all realize that what separate the achievements of white Americans from blacks and other non-whites are things we call opportunities–not giftedness, talents, skills, etc…

But opportunities…

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Overcoming Fear of the “Other”

While sitting at a table eating, two gentlemen joined me.  I’m black, and they’re white. There were several empty tables.  They chose my table.

They both began with “hello.”

We ate, laughed, and talked over lunch.

Lessons learned: 1. Don’t be afraid of the person who is different than you.  2. Abandon the stereotypes.  3. Take risks.  4. Be yourself.  5. Recognize and accept each others differences.

I believe we can all create a better world for our families by simply making the decision to do so.  We must desire all this and be willing take risks.

In what we call the New Testament of the Judeo-Christian Scripture, Paul of Tarsus writes,

Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God” (Romans 15:7 NIV).

Not just tolerate, but accept one another, with all our differences–to the glory of God!

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Colin Powell on the Essence of Leadership


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