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See No Evil, Say No Evil: Why It's Important to Talk about and Face Taboo Topics

  Photo by Niek Verlaan from pixabay I don’t know why, but humans believe that if we don’t talk about something or can’t see something, it doesn’t exist.  Take England, for example. According to The Guardian writer Alex Andreou (2015), “anti-homeless” spikes were introduced in front of an apartment complex in London in 2014. They were removed thanks to a protest and petition, only to be reintroduced outside of a store in Manchester the following year (Andreou, 2015).  In his article, Andreou also shared how heartbroken he’d been when the one safe and comfortable bench where he slept while homeless himself became a “convex metal perch, with three solid armrests” (2015). The embodiment of, “Out of sight, out of mind.” I’m guilty of this myself, and I’m sure you are as well. No, maybe we haven’t constructed “anti-homeless” structures. But I promise you, most of us have turned a blind eye to a homeless person at least once. “Selys,” you may ask as you shift uncomfortably, “why are we even
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Made from Love to Love: A Credo of Covenant Relation (Theological Seminary Assignment)

Photo by Monsterkoi from pixabay I believe being made in the image of God means being “made from love to love” (Askew, n.d.). If God is all that is good, compassionate, forgiving, and the breath of life, then we embody God when we do, are, and/or have the same goodness, compassion, forgiveness, and breath of life. That’s how God lives in us. We see it when a father hugs his son; when a boss tries to understand their employee’s hardships instead of just firing them; when a wife accepts her husband’s apology for taking her for granted; and when the environment around us flourishes as we become more eco-conscious. All of these examples show how we can see God’s image in others. When it comes to the human condition, it can be difficult to see how we are made in God’s image when we have our sinful nature. Yet, that is why it is so important to embrace and embody God’s grace. We are not our sins. We are more than the bad things that we do. Our sins do not define us. God does. So, in the act

A Genderfluid God: Journal Entries from My Theological Language Course

Photo by Emma Rahmani from baseimage Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. It’s been about 5 months since my last blog post.  Yes, I know. That’s a long time! I’ll admit time’s gone by faster than expected, and I apologize to my #worthyreaders for the abruptness of my disappearance from the interwebs. I’m grateful for your patience. That being said, let me catch you up. Long story short, I’ve started seminary! There are two reasons why I decided to get my Certificate of Pastoral Studies. No, one of them is not becoming a pastor. First, I’ve felt spiritually stagnant for some time. Perhaps 1-3 years. The best way to describe it is the age-old marriage analogy. The whole Christ as the groom and church as the bride one? Yeah, let me adapt that. I never had the experience new Christians have when they first fall in love with Jesus because I was raised Christian my whole life. It was more like an arranged marriage. And while I can honestly say I’ve always loved God and followed Jesus t

Jesus Talks about Same-Sex Couples?: A Book Review of Ronald W. Goetz’s “The Galilee Episode: Two Men in One Bed, Two Women Grinding”

Photo by Tim Samuel from Pexels INTRODUCTION Growing up, I wasn’t a stranger to the deep-rooted homophobia in my faith. I’m still not. It’s why I’m only out to a handful of people at my church. (You can read my blog post about that here .) Throughout that time, I’ve heard several scripture verses used repeatedly as evidence that homosexuality is a sin. I’m sure you have too. I’ll name a few: Genesis 1-2 and 19:1-9, Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, and Romans 1:24-27. People constantly go, “The Bible says…” Then they spew one of these verses without referring to the historical or cultural context of the scripture. That’s problematic. But what bothers me the most is when people quote nothing.  Sometimes they make it up, saying things like, “The Bible says all homosexuals go to hell.” I’m sorry? Which part of scripture is that from? The Gospel of Nonexistence? Verse 0, chapter 0? (Forgive my sass). I have a family member who went to seminary. She had a professor who held up a Bible to his ear e

Abundantly Encouraged: A Book Review of Derek Rydall’s “The Abundance Project”

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels INTRODUCTION Have you been to a book club? In my experience, this is what they’re like.   There’s a selected chapter weekly or a book monthly. Then you meet to either analyze it or answer designated questions.   Sound normal to you?   The last one I attended (virtually because of COVID, of course) was for The Abundance Project: 40 Days to More Wealth, Health, Love, and Happiness , by Derek Rydall. I will admit that calling it a book club doesn't do it justice because we did more than just read, analyze, and answer questions.   Turns out, it was a book transformational study.   My friend Sandy Munroe made sure we took Rydall’s challenges to heart with her group. Then we described our experiences, providing support for one another and piggybacking off each other’s observations. In addition, we concluded with a meditation to bring that chapter’s lessons to a close.   It was heartening to watch the growth with my group members by the end, including myse