Sunday, February 24, 2008

Fulfilling the Dream

Sunday is the most segregated day of the week. "You go to your church, I'll go to mine." "You worship with 'your' people, I'll worship with 'mine.'" There is nothing more exciting to me than seeing those walls come down and the lines blurred and people who are different embracing one another and worshipping together. That is just what happened tonight. My church has an ongoing relationship with a predominantly African American congregation here in the city. It all started about 2 years ago with a forum my church hosted on racial relations within the church. It was that forum that opened our eyes to the possibility to bond together under the shadow of the cross and ignore the lines society has placed between us, for it is under the cross that those lines are gone and we are one body. Everytime we worship together I can see and feel the Kingdom of God. It is God's desire that we would learn to love one another as brothers and sisters in Christ and see one another only as He sees us - precious and invaluable. My pastor said it right when he said that it is time to stop saying "I'm a black Christian or I'm a white Christian and start saying I'm a Christian who happens to be black or white." In the eyes of God, "there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 3:28) The choirs of both churches joined together at the end of the service and sang a GORGEOUS and powerful song entitled "Total Praise" by Richard Smallwood. I had chills - not because the song was gorgeous (which it was), not because the words are powerful (they are), but because I saw a glimpse of the church as it should be - bonded and worshipping openly together. The service ended with everyone joining hands and singing "I Need You, You Need Me" - another powerful song. Last month, my church received the honor of marching in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day parade with Fariview Baptist - an experience I will never forget. I firmly believe it is a glimpse of the Kingdom and life as it should be when our congregations meet together, whether in worship or to bear witness to the steps in fulfilling the dream - the dream of a family and bond which knows no race.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Well training has come and gone and I am now a full fledged Child Welfare Specialist. I have 9 cases, which is a fairly average amount for a new worker. My first three days I got so overwhelmed I was wondering what I had gotten myself into. Today was better. I am actually getting excited to really get into my job and get involved with the families. I know it is going to be hard and there will be times I will get discouraged and overwhelmed, but I have decided to take the good with the bad.

In other news, I moved into my apartment and it is fabulous. :)

That's all.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


Today was Ash Wednesday. We had an Ash Wednesday service at church tonight and it was powerful. Ash Wednesday/Lent is a time to take a look inside yourself and realize that you are not perfect. The good news about this is that the Lenten season is also a time of renewal. The Ash Wednesday service is always very powerful for me, but tonight Jon said something in particular that really affected me. He said he wants to get to the point that the line is blurred between where he ends and where Christ begins. Last year Steve Green challenged us to "look at Jesus, look at ourselves, and confess the difference." In the midst of thinking about all this, I listened to my new Casting Crowns CD and this song absolutely struck my heart and soul:

Somewhere between the hot and the cold
Somewhere between the new and the old
Somewhere between who I am and who I used to be
Somewhere in the middle, You'll find me

Somewhere between the wrong and the right
Somewhere between the darkness and the light
Somewhere between who I was and who You're making me
Somewhere in the middle, You'll find me

Just how close can I get, Lord, to my surrender without losing all control

Fearless warriors in a picket fence, reckless abandon wrapped in common sense
Deep water faith in the shallow end and we are caught in the middle
With eyes wide open to the differences, the God we want and the God who is
But will we trade our dreams for His or are we caught in the middle
Are we caught in the middle

Somewhere between my heart and my hands
Somewhere between my faith and my plans
Somewhere between the safety of the boat and the crashing waves

Somewhere between a whisper and a roar
Somewhere between the altar and the door
Somewhere between contented peace and always wanting more
Somewhere in the middle You'll find me

Just how close can I get, Lord, to my surrender without losing all control

Lord, I feel You in this place and I know You're by my side
Loving me even on these nights when I'm caught in the middle

I know that I, for one, have felt the all too familiar feelings this song is expressing pretty frequently lately. Lent. Look inside yourself and allow yourself to crumble and Christ to restore. That's exactly what I plan on doing - no more caught in the middle for me.