Natasha’s Study: Giving Myself an Incomplete

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhile attending seminary over the past 3 ½ years, I have acquired books, lots of them actually. Some may think that seminary increases one’s learning and understanding, and it does. For me, however, seminary also revealed how much I didn’t know and how much more I need to learn. So I started buying books to fill my learning gap. Sometimes people gifted me with books or publishers mailed books for me to review, and I could only get to a few at a time because my seminary reading load was so heavy. It short, I had a problem.

Once I graduated, I decided to give my brain a rest. I read a little during the summer months but not nearly as much as I would have liked. When my daughter returned to school, I started attacking the books on my shelf. There were so many interesting choices that I found myself picking up a new book to read every few days and I haven’t finished any of them. Therefore, I am giving myself an incomplete and vowing not to crack open another new book until I finish the ones I have already started.

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A Testimony about Grace, Compassion, & Reconciliation

I am still encouraging my readers and friends to sign the “Open Letter to the Evangelical Church” which was drafted by 80 Asian American leaders who call for a dialog concerning cultural insensitivities and the racial reconciliation needed in the American Church. My friend, Vivian Mabuni, shares her personal testimony about entering into the lives of others and how that increases our understanding and compassion for those who are different than us.

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Vivian Mabuni photoI don’t use the word “retard” or “retarded” anymore when I refer to myself after I mess up.

I have two author friends, Amy Julia Becker, author of “A Good and Perfect Gift” andGillian Marchenko, author of “Sunshine Down.” They both have daughters who have Down Syndrome. Knowing a bit of their story and their heart, I understand with a new awareness why flippantly tossing that word around is hurtful. This is true even when my intention has been to make fun of myself and not directed at another to harm or insult. In the past I have used the word, but now that I have faces and a connection with my friends, I have woven the understanding into my daily life and word choices.

I don’t put my hand up to my head and form a pretend gun and act like I pull the trigger when I feel frustrated with someone, or try to be funny and use that motion with “you’re killing me” when something ridiculous happens.

I had a friend and former student who took her life in this manner. I am personally aware how this action, even when done in jest, can be hurtful.

Continue reading at Vivian’s Place of Abundance.

Dangerous Act: Distorted Names

The Dangerous Act of Loving Your Neighbor

Chapter 10: Distorted Names

The Dangerous Act of Loving Your NeighborNigger. Homeless. Immigrant. Stupid. Spick. Slave. Harami. Prostitute. Butch. Poor. These stigmas can be assigned to people of a different gender, intelligence, race, disability, sexual orientation, economic class status or people group. Words like these have long histories and are excruciatingly offensive to some. When offenders name people in this way, they are essentially saying, “They (the devalued people group) are not worthy of equal status. And whatever makes them different from me is unacceptable in my community.” Generally, when people use these words, it is for the purpose of causing harm, de-valuing, and inflicting pain on another person.

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