Category: Heroes

A Tribute to Tamar

Yesterday I read the following tweet from Mark Driscoll:

driscoll tweet

And when I read it, I let out a huge sigh.

Because of all the people Driscoll could’ve chosen from the genealogy of Jesus to make his point, he just had to pick Tamar.

As a woman, I get tired of people—especially influential men—picking on Tamar.

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BOOK CLUB: The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.

19daa-autobiography-of-martin-luther-king-jrI’m not quite finished with The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. But I want to keep the book club on schedule, so I’m sharing my thoughts on it today anyway.

His entire story has inspired me so far—as evidenced by the underlined passages on almost every page I’ve read!

What a gift, to get inside Dr. King’s head as he…

…processed his experience as a minority in our country:

“The first time I was seated behind a curtain in a dining car, I felt as if the curtain had been dropped on my selfhood.”  (more…)

BOOK CLUB: The Hiding Place

hiding place“We must tell people what we have learned here. We must tell them that there is no pit so deep that He is not deeper still. They will listen to us, Corrie, because we have been here.”

So implored Corrie ten Boom’s sister as she lay ill as a prisoner at Ravensbruck concentration camp, during World War II. I’m so glad Corrie listened to her sister, and told us their story. What an incredible story it is.

I don’t want to say much more about the particulars of the story, just in case there’s one other Christian in the world besides me who had not read The Hiding Place before. If by any chance you fall into that category, YOU MUST OBTAIN A COPY OF THE BOOK AND READ IT NOW!  (more…)

Go See ‘Red Tails’ This Weekend!

tuskegee airmen
Real-life Tuskegee Airmen

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George Lucas struggled for 23 years to make the movie “Red Tails.” The film is inspired by the true story of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African American military aviators to see combat, during World War II. The film is patriotic, inspirational, and action-packed. It stars Terrence Howard and Cuba Gooding, Jr.Why? Because it features an all-black cast. Black protagonists. Black supporting cast. White people are peripheral to the story.

And Hollywood won’t touch it with a 10-foot pole.

It’s not a story about the plight of African Americans and how a noble white person entered their world and saved the day. (See “The Blind Side,” “The Help,” etc.) It’s an old-fashioned, American-flag-waving war movie. The heroes just happen to be black.  (more…)

Thoughts on MLK’s ‘Letter From Birmingham Jail’

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Photo Credit: Bettman/Corbis

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This weekend our nation celebrates one of our history’s greatest leaders, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Earlier this week, my friend Kristy mentioned a blog post featuring a quote from Dr. King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” I had heard quotes from the letter before, things like, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” and “Justice too long delayed is justice denied.” But I had never read the whole thing through.

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Removing the Shame of a Name

Girls hold certificates stating their official new names at a renaming ceremony in Satara, India, Oct. 22, 2011. Almost 300 Indian girls known formerly as “Unwanted” have traded their birth names for a fresh start in life. Photo credit: Associated Press
Girls hold certificates stating their official new names
at a renaming ceremony in Satara, India, Oct. 22, 2011.
Almost 300 Indian girls known formerly as “Unwanted”
have traded their birth names for a fresh start in life.
Photo credit: Associated Press

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Naming babies is a sacred affair in Indian Hindu culture. Ten days after a baby is born, the extended family conducts an elaborate naming ceremony known traditionally as Namakaran Sanskar. The name of the child is carefully chosen by a specific family member (which can vary regionally).

But what if the name your family gave you was, “Unwanted?”

Giving a daughter the Hindi name “Nakusa” or “Nakushi” (which means “unwanted”) is sadly not uncommon in India, particularly in Maharashtra state. Families often prefer boys, and are disappointed when a baby turns out to be a girl.

In a powerful, counter-cultural move, just this past weekend, 285 girls from Maharashtra state sought a fresh start in life by choosing a new name for themselves. Click here to read more.

This is the Duty of Our Generation

72-year-old Yamada calls his generation to service Photo credit: BBC News
72-year-old Yamada calls his generation to service
Photo credit: BBC News

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Yesterday my kids and I drove past a retirement center. My oldest son asked me what it was.

I tried to explain the concept of retirement to him: that many people save money throughout their lifetime with the hope that they won’t have to work to support themselves when they are older.

I struggled a little internally as I spoke to my kids. I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with the idea of retirement. My husband and I “save money for retirement.” I think it’s actually wise to prepare for a day when perhaps our bodies are too tired or our minds too feeble to produce enough income to live on.

The tension for me comes from sorting through some of the pervasive views on retirement in our modern American culture: the (sometimes subtle) sense of entitlement that can creep in when we think about our twilight years. A popular sentiment in our country is, “I’ve worked hard for decades. Now I deserve some time for myself, to do what I want to do. This is my rightful expectation.”  (more…)