My Wishes for You and Your Family in 2023

My Wishes for You and Your Family in 2023

May you and your family continue to grow in love, excellence, kindness, and compassion!

May you become more relational and sensitive to human needs and suffering!

May you use your seat of power and privilege to do good and contribute to the common good!

May you strive to be a better brother, sister, father, mother, friend, co-worker, and a companion!

May the Most Merciful and the Most Gracious & Sovereign God bless every step you take, guide every decision you make, and radically transform you to imitate his most excellent communicable attributes and moral virtues in the new year!

Happy New Year 2023!

10 Things (Highlights) to Remember from 2022

10 Things (Highlights) to Remember from 2022

  1. On behalf of the popular blog, Haiti Then and Now, from January to August 2022, I interviewed ten scholars for the well-known series called “Haitian & Haitianist Thinkers in the Public Space: An Interview Series.”
  2. Wifey and I vacationed in Dominican Republic in March.
  3. Family Trip/Vacation in Paris (France) and Lisbon (Portugal) in June.
  4. My little book on Christian catechism was translated in Spanish in June: “El Catecismo de la Nueva Vida para Niños” (English title: “The New Life Catechism for Children: 100 Questions and Answers to Teach Us to Live in Peace and Good Relationships in the World”).
  5. Katia and I celebrated 20 years of marriage in August, and we traveled to New York.
  6. My first book of poetry was published in August: “Pearls of Light in the Raindrops: Love Poems.”
  7. Josh got his Learner’s Permit in August.
  8. One of my most important books on theological education and Christian theology was published in September: “Theological Education and Christian Scholarship for Human Flourishing: Hermeneutics, Knowledge, and Multiculturalism” (Pickwick Publications).
  9. In October, I attended the 34th annual conference of Haitian Studies Association at Howard University and in November, was elected as the organization’s Vice President.
  10. The family relocated to Texas in December.

“Voice of My Father”

This poem celebrates the influence of a Father in his son’s life, even after he’s gone. As a father of two sons, this poem is very personal to me.

“Voice of My Father”

Powerful and loud, redirecting his steps by the sea
Holding on to the promise of hope to be the father’s charm
To follow his steps ahead, he will be the star above
The father’s words claim a wandering son

This life below wanders away from the father’s truth
Painful is tomorrow’s joy
Hope is far when he is not near to tie up the bow
The father’s voice follows the run-a-away son

“Farewell to an Old Lover”

I wrote this new poem for those who are lamenting over a past love or a negative experience in the past. At the end of the poem, the poet is optimistic about the possibility of a future romance or a bright new adventure.

“Farewell to an Old Lover”

I flirt with life
I end up with Love, the garden of earthly delights
Endurance subdues my heart
Like a lion in the forest

I flirt with life
I let go of all my worries
Life is now cool
Like a flowing river at dawn

I flirt with life
I know it is true
You can’t tell me otherwise
The rose on the other side of the river will bloom again

“The Good Life as Radical Practice”

“The Good Life as Radical Practice”

Love is a practice.
Rest is a practice.
Peace(making) is a practice.
Empathy is a practice.
Kindness is a practice.
Doing good to others is a practice.
Forgiveness is a practice.
Transformation is a practice.
Tolerance is a practice.
Humility is a practice.

None of these human virtues or qualities is natural to any human being in the world. In other words, each individual is responsible to learn how to rest, love, make peace, and show empathy and kindness toward other people. We do not naturally prompt to forgive those who’ve wronged us nor do we automatically demonstrate acts of goodness and compassion toward all people. Growing is natural to our evolution and experience in life, and we must grow always toward these ideals and perfections.

However, we can love and forgive people by seeing how it’s done to others. While we may have the disposition to perform or demonstrate any of these human qualities, it might require an external force, an influencer in our lives from whom we can learn, lean on, or look up to practice the good life and humanize all aspects of life. Sometimes, all we need is the heart of a mentor and the will of a role model. Remember that every virtue is connected to humility as an everyday practice.

Therefore, surround yourself with individuals who are known for practicing good virtues and others who strive daily to live in community and harmony with others, act relationally, and have the intentionality to make living more humane–toward the common good and human flourishing in the world. Having a good mentor and role model is vital for character development and the radically-transformed life.

Learn to be a “practitioner,” and a “doer” of all these things for the sake of all people. A practitioner understands that good virtues are part of the different processes and phases of life that make individuals more humane, and that these ideals are in-tune with the reality of life and human experience. As you continue to grow toward these virtues, be patient with yourself so you could also mark people’s lives through your radical kindness and love.

“15 Tips to Help Start the New Year and the New You”

“15 Tips To Help Start the New Year and the New You”

  1. Always be thankful for your health and life itself
  2. Be patient with yourself and find yourself a good mentor
  3. Always try to improve yourself educationally, socially, intellectually, and ethically
  4. Have high expectations and moral standards in whatever you do
  5. Always treat people with kindness and understanding
  6. Respect all people and acknowledge their dignity in all things
  7. Serve your community and contribute to human flourishing through your attitude, speech, writing, and actions.
  8. Always ask God for guidance and wisdom before you make a decision.
  9. Seek good counsel from people who care for you and love you
  10. Be humble and resist any attempt to be prideful or arrogant
  11. Make time to connect with new people and repair broken relationships if it’s all possible
  12. Think Big and Have a Grand vision about human cultures, life, and people
  13. Do not mistreat or disrespect a person because he or she is poor, uneducated, or does not have any social status.
  14. Be the difference you want to see in your family, community, or in your circles
  15. Cultivate a life of prayer and pursue godliness in all things

Pre-order my new book: “Aristide: A Theological & Political Introduction”

I have just been informed that my new book on Jean-Bertrand Aristide, “Aristide: A Theological & Political Introduction” (Fortress Academic), which is set to come out on Feb. 15, 2023, can be pre-ordered online:

*Although the book cover is not uploaded online, see the cover here

Merry Christmas and Joyeux Noël to you!

Merry Christmas and Joyeux Noël to you!

“The Migration of a Star: A Noël Poem”

The Divine touched the earth by giving us a star
to behold and light our path.
Its origin is as ancient as the oldest galaxy,
greater than the big bang of life force.
Securing in its hands are many gifts for all God’s children:
Bethlehem joy in the time of sorrow
Mighty comfort in moments of trouble
Just liberation for tomorrow.
We followed its lead
and learned to walk by its side:
one step toward its love,
two steps to touch its heart,
three steps until we become one.

Our eyes were watching the star
not to overcome it, but to welcome its joy into our homes.
We became anxious by its proximity,
and willingness to find another home.
It moved gently and kissed the dust tracks of life,
transforming them to glory on high,
birthing new children of grace to the Father on high,
with the gentle touch of the Spirit of love.

We marvelled and lost track of time.
It holds eternity in its right hand,
our life through time that will never end.
The star filled the vast space in which it migrated:
abandoned corners of the earth renewed,
hidden spaces made visible,
erased sins with the pencil of God.
Our eyes were watching God, Three in One,
becoming a star to give us light and redemption.

“Love and Commitment Among Young People: Year 2023 and Beyond”

“Love and Commitment Among Young People: Year 2023 and Beyond”

Commitment to relationship in the twenty-first century is progressively becoming something of the past; it is indeed a rare occurrence between young people in the American culture and of this generation, especially among young American males.

Let’s hope in the new year (2023), young people will give love another chance, will love more passionately and more actively, and will commit to each love more faithfully in loving relationships and marital bond.

Nonetheless, it gives me great joy and delight to see many young men in this generation are making more marriage proposals to their future spouses, and they’re celebrating them openly on social media and with their friends. This attitude toward love gives me abundant hope as many young men in this generation are often afraid to love and worry about deliberate permanent commitment to relationships and intentional long-term marriages.

Here are my five words of advice to you:

  1. Do not rush to love when the moment is not favorable.
  2. Do not postpone love when it is the right time and most beautiful thing to do at the moment.
  3. Genuine love and sustaining commitment work together, and they should never be separated in relationships or marriages.
  4. Love and desire are not the same, but desire fuels love toward beauty, kindness, passion, and reciprocity.
  5. Love should always link to passion to make it more envious, enticing, and delightful.
  6. Love is an imitation. Learn from those, including your parents, friends, and family members, who have cultivated years of strong bond of love and nurtured a life-commitment to endless love and fidelity.
  7. Always remember that love still remains the highest form of human virtue and the most desirable emotion among people, as well as the highest expression of self-giving, life-commitment, and human openness/hospitality.

Farewell 2022: 5 Things to do before the end of the Year!

Farewell 2022: 5 Things to do before the end of the Year!

  1. Send off the final manuscript to the publisher: I am co-editing with the amazing scholars of religion Drs. Charlene Desir and Lewis A. Clormeus a book entitled “Interreligious Dialogue Between Vodou and Christianity”
  2. Publish Op-ed on Haiti Intervention situation: the readers of Haiti Then and Now will be happy to read this excellent piece by a well-known scholar and award-winning novelist.
  3. Contact several scholars for our interview series entitled: “Haitian/Haitianist Scholars in the Public Space: An Interview Series” (to read our most recent interviews, click on this link: I hope to welcome the new year 2023 with one of these published interviews.
  4. Finish writing a book chapter: this essay is on Haitian feminist activism and intellectual tradition for my forthcoming book “Haiti in a Global Frame: An Intellectual History” (University Press of Mississippi). I determine to finish this book in 2023. The book is two years past due!
  5. Finish writing a book proposal on the Greatest Black Theologian in the 20th century: It will be a book on the intellectual and theological life of James H. Cone.

I hope you have a restful and happy holiday season!