Leader: Are you Weary in the Wilderness?

Desert and Camels

God uses the hard realities of life to expose our deepest fears and internal struggles. These experiences make us more self-aware so we can cultivate the spiritual disciplines necessary to lead ourselves and others well. Consider what happened to Moses, the humblest person on earth (Num. 12:3). After the people complained about their misfortunes yet again in the wilderness, Moses was miserable. He cried out to the Lord: “What have I done to displease you that you put the burden of all these people on me? Did I conceive all these people? Did I give them birth? Why do you tell me to carry them in my arms, as a nurse carries an infant, to the land you promised? … If this is how you are going to treat me, please go ahead and kill me” (Num. 11:11–12, 15).

Who would have thought that the humblest man in the world could fall so deep into despair? Have you ever found yourself in such a state of weariness? There are many days in my life when I find myself praying: “God, please don’t let me become weary in doing good, for I know that at the proper time I will reap a harvest if I don’t give up. Help me to press on and do good to all people, especially to those who belong to your family” (see Gal. 6:9–10). This prayer is particularly helpful when I’m going through a wilderness experience or dealing with difficult people. Prayer disciplines us to humble ourselves before God, and it also provides revelation for how to move forward.
Continue Reading at Christianity Today.

Ashes to Ashes, Birth to Freedom and Liberation Songs

Mists and Lemonade

You must have been living under a rock if your weekend was not peppered in some way with the announcement of the death of the musical legend and artist known as Prince. Shortly after this announcement, his body was autopsied, returned to his family, cremated, and an intimate ceremony was held for his close family members and friends.

Just like that we are all quickly called to ponder a profound question with a simple truth:

What is your life?

You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

Within a couple days of this announcement some were visually, spiritually, emotionally, artistically, physically awakened again with the dropping of Beyonce’ new album, Lemonade. I do not consider myself a fan, nor am I am card carrying member of the Beehive. Yet, as an African American woman who has navigated a life of suffering, healing, love, and forgiveness in this mortal body, I found myself renewed, awakened, refreshed as I watched the transitions of visual album take place.

The short scenes follow the themes of intuition, denial, anger, apathy, emptiness, accountability, reformation. Several times, I caught myself taking slow and steady exhales out loud. I could breathe again. It was a celebration of life after death of the unexpected.

A stand out for me was the track titled, “Freedom” featuring Kendrick Lamar. Over a heavy drum beat and bluesy guitar, Beyoncé belts out the lyrics:

Freedom! Freedom! I can’t move.
Freedom, cut my loose!
Singin’, freedom! Freedom! Where are you?
Cause I need freedom too!

Freedom Photo

And I sit and ponder the shifts that are taking place in our own country and in our world. The past couple weeks have been filled with days of words, intimate conversations, internal wrestling, and the desperate need for a truth that liberates…a truth that does not constrain or choke the life out of an already starving people.

Continue reading at Missio Alliance.