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On Mouths, S**tholes, and What Comes Out of Them

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Matthew 15:10-28
Then he called the crowd to him and said to them, “Listen and understand: it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but it is what comes out of the mouth that defiles.” Then the disciples approached and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees took offense when they heard what you said?” He answered, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if one blind person guides another, both will fall into a pit.” But Peter said to him, “Explain this parable to us.” Then he said, “Are you also still without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth enters the stomach, and goes out into the sewer? But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this is what defiles. For out of the heart come evil intentions, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person, but to eat with unwashed hands does not de…

Jose and Maria in Lenoir

In those days an executive order went out from President Trump that all undocumented people should be deported. This was the first round of deportations and was done while Roy Cooper was governor of North Carolina. Everyone fled their homes for fear of being picked up by ICE. Jose went from the city of Charlotte up to Watauga county, to Boone, because he had a cousin who was a big player in Samaritan's Purse there. He went for help from his cousin, because Maria, to whom he was engaged, was expecting a child. Before they got there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in rags, and laid him in the straw in the bed of their old pickup, because they were afraid to give their credit card number at the Red Carpet Inn; and were worried the Emergency Room would call ICE.

In a Walmart parking lot there were undocumented temporary workers rounding up the shopping carts by night. Then an angel of the Lord shone around them, and…

The Coming Apocalypse and the End of Time

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The End of Time and the Kingdom of Heaven Matthew 25:1-13 Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. 2Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; 4but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. 5As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept.

Still Small Voice

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A Still Small Voice 1 Kings 19:9-18 (NRSV) At that place he came to a cave, and spent the night there.
Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He answered, “I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it away.”
He said, “Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then there came a voice …

More thoughts on Resistance, the Church, the Election of Donald Trump, and Conversations that Matter about Matters that Matter

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So, it has been two weeks since the election of Donald Trump. It is the eve of Thanksgiving and many of us continue to be deeply disturbed and distrustful that our fellow citizens could knowingly elect a man who used vehemently racist, misogynist, and hate-filled language. Moreover, his rhetoric has inspired and encouraged hateful actions and speech among some of his supporters against churches, mosques, and individuals in schools and other institutions across the nation.

One of my former students took a group of young Latinos/as to a youth conference where they were confronted by cowardly acts by high school aged supporters of Donald Trump.  When my former student, who is currently and MDiv student at Duke Divinity School, addressed the conference and shared her testimony about how she found the church and her call while growing up as a child of Mexican immigrants,  hundreds of youth and their leaders walked out. Such actions are deeply disgraceful and a stain on the gospel. Another…

More thoughts on Barmen, the Confessing Church, the Election of Donald Trump, and Resistance Moving Forward

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