I am not sure if this is an appropriate time to write a “love poem,” as we who live in Florida are facing a terrible storm: Mr. Ian. Well, love always wins, even in the midst of life’s greatest storms. Thus, I wrote this poem, “For a Thousand Suns,” to celebrate the infinite value and endurance of love. Love is stronger than a thousand hurricanes.
“For a Thousand Suns”
I love you with the fire of a thousand suns When darkness grows darker like the disappearing moon, You calm the storms of Jupiter You, the eternal fire, become a companion in the night When my days, were filled with woe You became my true champion in battle
I love you with the fire of a thousand suns By your pure, august ray, I may still sing the beauty of may When all the yellow suns shall go away from sight, Your eternal beauty shall transform the night
I love you with the fire of a thousand suns Your touch my shackled soul will save Your voice, proud, tender, is sacred Shine on me, you, abounding in kindness and glory In humble obedience, I shall learn your story
I love you with the fire of a thousand suns Ten thousand more years of youthful moments, Will you still love me freely? You, cabin warm and welcoming, cradle me in balm Of unforgettable dreams and delightful envies Our destiny? Who will dare limit our histories?
I love you with the fire of a thousand suns You, bearer of eternal beauty and unruly love, You, become my hopes, my prayers, and my visions Gone the pain thereof, For you I see, for a thousand years, And your voice I hear, from a thousand ears.
I just received word today from the Marketing Department that my new book “Theological Education and Christian Scholarship for Human Flourishing: Hermeneutics, Knowledge, and Multiculturalism” (Pickwick Publications: September 2022) has been published and can be ordered online.
This book explores the interconnection of theological education and Christian scholarship, cultural and theological hermeneutics, pedagogy and community knowledge, democracy and citizenship. Yet, the three major disciplines or discourses covered in this work include multicultural education, theology, and hermeneutics through the lens of human flourishing and the concept of the good life. From this angle, this project is written from three different methods and approaches that intersect with each other: a theology of contextualization, a hermeneutics of interculturality, and a pedagogy of cultural literacy and transformative community knowledge. The book advances the idea that theological education should be the starting point to foster candid conversations about the importance of democracy and human rights, civic engagement and the political life, inclusion and diversity, and pluralism and difference in our multicultural society. The book uses the tools of multicultural education and cultural knowledge to enhance democracy and promote fundamental human virtues that would sustain the good life and human flourishing in the world–in the Aristotelian sense and in the Socratic idea of local and world citizenship. Finally, this text offers an alternative vision to contemporary theological education, to deconstruct the white, male, and Eurocentric narratives of theological education and Christian scholarship.
I am thankful to all the amazing and insightful scholars who first read the manuscript of the book in its early phase.
I am grateful to a group of thinkers and theologians who reviewed and endorsed the book.
I am grateful to all my seminary professors who introduced me to the world of Christian academia and theological education, and who invested in me as a Christian thinker, writer, and theologian.
I am thankful to the various churches, both white and black churches, that I have attended and served as member, leader, preacher, and teacher. The people of God in these various multiethnic and multicultural congregations have opened my eyes and given me a new and fresh perspective about the enormous value of diversity (ethnic, cultural, gender, racial), inclusion, and multiculturalism in theological education and in the training of both men and women for Christian ministry and academic vocation.
Finally, my patient and very generous wife has given me the freedom and flexibility to think, write, and research for this book. This is very important to me because I spent 20 years working spontaneously on this book, as my initial research for this book began in my second semester of seminary in 2002. This incredible woman was by my side and provided unconditional support when I started seminary in Louisville, Kentucky 20 years ago.
To the praise, glory, and excellency of the most gracious, the most beautiful, and the most merciful triune God!!!
How old is your soul? You are struck by the slap of love You crave attention and cover the pain with a mask He does not know the beauty in the dark, but I care about the fantasy of your pleasure Could his hands be a healing balm for your soul?
How old is your soul? You open your wings to the breathing sunrise He hides away from the beating sound of your heart He does not buy you heirloom roses in summer seasons, but I will cover your feet in the raging winter. Will he hold your hands when it rains?
How old is your soul? You are searching for the lyrics that make you smile and the home where you belong He does not know the story of your life, but I know the language of your love and will bring back the memories Will he carry you when it snows outside?
For the past two weeks, I’ve been trying to put in poetic imagination what happens when someone is taken away by desires and overwhelmed by passion. So today, my words and feelings are expressed in a poem called “desire.” Let me know what you think.
You grow in me, the sweet flame that burns I turn to you and am overwhelmed by your stormy gale You claim my parts and forge a steady path toward sacred passions Give me vision, I will be your faithful companion Lead me, I will be your intimate prostitute.
You move within me, the river whose streams make glad the face behind the veil You become the precious fruit in the garden of my heart and the loudest sound in the night I touch with care and step to the edge to gather love You rule my days and command my nights Teach me, I will be filled with the knowledge of beauty.
You live in me, the city with infinite candles of light I climb the stairway to heaven to find you You raise your lamp up high to see my world below Tears roll down, mixed with vague delights, I become your forever gaze, It is your feelings that become my remote control Dance with me, I will be your daring adventure.
Fresh, colorful scent in the wind that carries away the news of a renewed romance Written in purple letters, “Nous aimerons toujours” So long hidden in the secret of the pit So far away from the delight of an unending love Scent of wind, wind of scent! Come and bring down the rain to shower the eyes of the heart.
Like a glasswing butterfly, we can see the pain through your wings You live away where the moon greets the stars with morning peace You escape the rise of the healing sun You reach the destiny where love is cold, the place wherein passion declines like the movement of the wind. Scent of wind, wind of scent! Come down and restore the world’s broken wings With sporting brilliant color displays, you will make lovers fly again in strength and power,
Fresh, colorful scent in the wind that stops the clock of human suffering We breathe again through your seven scents that give us sweet dreams We are strong again through the sense of your smell Like a curator in an art museum, you are curating every day the fragments of our life To behold as a revealed treasure, a new and beautiful story that runs at the speed of the wind Carrier of healing in your clear-sighted wings, you will bring beauty and life to the wounded soul of the world.
Love words flow from our lips like rain that falls from the beautiful sky Our words are musical notes that play in perfect harmony with our hearts’ beats Tap, tap, drum, drum, beep, beep as we dance to the unceasing beat of our love our very own love song, we smile We have each other We smile through the rain. Our love affair will last an eternity as long we don’t forget to smile dance to our hearts’ beats, and sing like the rain on the beautiful bluest sky.
Here is a new poem I wrote about New York. Hope you like it 🙂
“Blue Note in New York City”
The city of pleasure, the city of filthy rags The city of all senses, the place of madness Human creativity fills up its sides boys & girls look up to its skies lovers caress under its infinite lights, when the sun makes its bed in the West.
The city of pleasure, the city of divine regards The Harlemites sing its joys verse by verse, when the moon refuses to give up its smile The Caribbeans made the Yankee life their own, but street birds remind them of their uprootedness and new home.
The city of pleasure, the city of human links Newcomers learn its tricks in comedy clubs Men and women understand its slangs through the melody of Blues and Jazz delights The Lady of Liberty reminds the world about the paradox of American freedom & hospitality.
I was not born a poet, nor am I a son of a poet. Yet I am a teacher of poetry, & through life circumstances, I became a “contingent” poet. Check out my first book of poetry: “Pearls of Light in the Raindrops: Love Poems.”
“Three more endorsements: ‘Theological Education & Christian Scholarship for Human Flourishing'” (my forthcoming Book)
I am more thankful to receive three more endorsements from three friends: Dr. Michael Bird, whom I have been reading since my old days of seminary; in fact, I have been following Michael since 2005 when I was working on a Th.M. in New Testament at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. I can always count on his scholarship and turn to his writings when I want to drift away from the faith. A faithful Christian thinker and a robust New Testament/Theologian and interpreter of the Bible! I especially like his humor and his ability to humanize people and create cross-cultural friendships.
Pastor William Dwight McKissic Sr. : My former pastor, while a student at SWBTS, has instilled in me more passion for the people of God and his heart for justice and faithfulness to the Bible have made me a better Christian and thinker. My wife and I always looked forward to another Sunday sermon and weekly Bible study from Pastor Mckissic’s charismatic and exegetical preaching and teaching; what a great communion and fellowship we enjoyed at Corner Baptist Church during those years in Arlington, Texas!
Dr. Ronald Charles (professor at the University of Toronto), one of foremost biblical scholars from the Caribbean and a great exegete, has been a constant companion to me in writing this book. He would often remind me to pay attention to the text and its application to contemporary life issues in this broken world (“Celucien: What does the text say?”). What a great friend and mentor!
In a previous post, I acknowledged my appreciation to my friends and professors David Bundy and Sègbégnon Mathieu for endorsing the book. Thanks again, mes amis!
Here are the five written endorsements I received from Pickwick Publications; I am currently working on the index for the book (348 pages) and hope to get it done before I return back to work in August.
***The good Lord has been good to me and my family and has carried us through the storms and trials of this life. Glory, majesty, and praise to the triune and eternal God!