Coffee Talk: A Child Shall Lead Them

Kirk Franklin jammin' in his Hammer Pants

Kirk Franklin jammin’ in his Hammer Pants

This past May, I had the opportunity to check an item off my bucket list. For her birthday, I took my daughter to see Kirk Franklin in concert. Hands down, Kirk Franklin is one my favorite gospel artists, and he is actually in competition with Michael Jackson to become my daughter’s favorite artist as well. We attended the amusement park with friends, hung out all day, played in the water, and then waited for the concert to start. The concert also featured Tamela Mann (another one of my favorites) and Lecrae (whom I heard for the first time). We were jamming, singin, lifting our hands, and having a great time!

Before Kirk Franklin took the stage, one of the event sponsors, Compassion International had a gentleman give his testimony and a video about the work they do to share the gospel and provide basic needs to children living in extreme poverty. I sat there, said a few “Amens,” and shook my head up and down as the gentleman spoke. Then the moment of decision came. The speaker asked if anyone who is willing to sponsor a child would raise their hand so a representative can bring them a sponsor passage. Before I blinked my eyes, my daughter’s hand was up in the air.

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Race Matters: Let’s Go to the Movies

There has been a lot of chatter about race, racism, and racial reconciliation over the past few weeks. In our media driven and social connections, it is so easy to follow the latest trends and then forget why we were initially outraged in the first place. We forget that God is outraged too, and we forget that people lives are being impacted by racial injustices. We forget that when humans die, they often have loved ones who remain. These loved ones are not following the latest trends. They are not forgetting; they are still mourning, crying, losing sleep, and possibility waking up in cold sweats. We should not forget them. As Christians, we should not forget to rejoice with those who rejoice and to weep with those who weep.

We should also not forget that our god is a God of justice. He cares about corrupt and broken people and about corrupt and broken systems. He desires change. He welcomes repentance, and he will judge when there is none. He will one day make all of this right.

God has created all human beings in his own image, and therefore we all have value. Our lives matter. We cannot fix what we do not see or confront what we do not care about. In today’s post, I’m asking you to care about people.

In a recent article published by Christianity Today, I shared one tip for educating ourselves concerning race issues and how to move closer towards racial reconciliation:

Watch movies and documentaries. Having a racial focus in the books, magazines, movies, documentaries or other learning tools is not necessary. It is more important to hear the voices, share the experiences, convictions, life rhythms, and practices of people that are different than us. Seek material that is authored and produced by racial and ethnic minorities.

Therefore, I invite you to go to the movies. Well, you will actually need to rent or purchase these through your favorite movie viewing mechanism. In no particular order, here are 6 movies that I recommend (and 6 more are coming next week) to get started for understanding racial and ethnic issues and having important dialogs with your friends:

  1. CRASH

Why watch it: This is an explosive cast in an explosive movie. Centered in Los Angeles, it addresses everything from urban living, interracial marriage, immigration/human trafficking, social programs (the lives of recipients and the perceptions of those who receive“handouts”), corrupt cops (there are some), and the reality that there is often no cushion for men of color who make poor choices. We are human and this movie reveals what happens when we step outside of our own worlds and crash into the lives of others. This is a must watch!

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