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Foolish Foundations

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Scripture: Matthew 7:15-29
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean on Jesus' Name
On Christ the solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand
These lyrics, penned by the English hymnist and Baptist minister Edward Mote, in 1834 capture a rugged spirituality born at the crossroads of great industrial advancement and civil upheaval. 1834. This is the year when new inventions are being patented every week while anti-abolitionist riots are breaking out in New York City—
The year that slavery is abolished in the British Empire while the Ursuline Convent in Massachusetts is burned to the ground by an anti-Catholic extremist group in the name of Jesus. On Christ the solid Rock I stand All other ground is sinking sand,
Mote writes. I imagine him standing at the intersection of prophetic hope and indescribable despair with a pen and paper in his hands, trying to hold onto a …

Am I Being Baptized or Am I Drowning?

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i started preaching on accident.
and my life has been in complete chaos ever since.

On a cold day in February, a colleague of mine emailed a few people asking if we wanted to preach a chapel service at Union Theological Seminary. Upon first read, I said "Hell No!" I mean like, WTF? I had never preached before in my life. Matter of fact, I started seminary telling everyone that I wasn't a preacher. I simply wasn't interested in doing ministry in that way. But there was something that whispered to my soul that brisk morning that led me to reply with a hesitant "Yes. I'll do a lil somethin' somethin." I hadn't planned on writing a homily. I thought I'd do a spoken word piece that was infused with a lil scripture here and there, maybe even squeeze in a song or two. Some kinda way my spoken word piece turned into an exegetical exploration as I fell in love with the wonders of hermenuetics more and more. It was a beautifully frightening moment tha…

I'm A Quitter...So What!?

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When I was 8, I went to a cousin's wedding in Lansing, Michigan. My mom and I stayed after the wedding festivities to sight-see. One afternoon, we were walking to the public bus and it flew passed us to the bus stop, a good distance away. My mom told me to run! I took off jogging, casually. Frustrated and annoyed, I stopped running. I turned around and proclaimed that I was tired and our efforts were futile. She told me to keep running. Rolling my eyes, I took off in a light sprint and the bus driver was gracious enough to wait for us to catch up (this clearly wasn't anything like the brutal NYC transit operators who could care less about you). We winded-ly climbed on the bus and to this day, my mother uses this story to lecture me about the benefits of not giving up--of not quitting.
Although my mother would never want me to stay in a toxic situation, that experience has shaped the narrative around my vigorous fight against being labeled "quitter."

I'm an overa…