Three Newly Published Articles

I’m pleased to announce the publication of three peer-reviewed articles, as seen below:

  1. Viv Dechoukaj Long Live Uprooting Aristide s Politico theology of Defensive Violence,”  Black Theology, 15:3 (2017):185-208
  2. Beyond Ethnic Blackness: Black Transnational Consciousness (BTC) and the Practice of Black Intertextuality” (English Version),  Vanguard / vol. 1(1) / 2017 /43-68.
  3. Más Allá de la Negrura Étnica: La Conciencia Transnacional Negra y la Práctica de la Intertextualidad Negra (Spanish Version),Vanguardia/ vol. 1(1) / 2017 /44-70

Happy Reading!

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Only Jesus

“Jesus se tout bagay for me”

What do people mean when they sing “I’d rather have Jesus more than everything”  (I love how it sounds in Creole: “mwen pito gen Jezi pase tout bagay”)?

Do they mean any of the following ideas:

A) Jesus is more valuable than earthly treasures, fame, and goods.

B) Nothing on this earth is comparable to Jesus.

C)  Jesus owns everything both in the heavens and on the earth and that what he has is also mine; therefore, Jesus is “all” sufficient and more adequate than “everything.”

D) The supremacy of Jesus Christ over “everything,” and that Jesus satisfies all earthly treasures and joys.

E) While one may posess a great deal of wealth and fame  in this world, life in this world without Jesus is not that cool; it is dangerous, hopeless,  and meaningless.

“We will seek You and hope in Your Providence”

Let us seek the God of Peace and Comfort in prayer on behalf of the families and victims of the mass shooting in Las Vegas.

“We will seek You and hope in Your Providence”

Our Father and our Great God, we pray that you would come near the brokenhearted and the suffering families at this moment, and that You would also move us speedily toward mourning, empathy, and compassion. 

Oh Sovereign God of the universe, we are a nation in crisis and a people whose collective experience is defined by a life of trauma and a life of fear.  We bear them in our own lives and our relationships. Because we refuse to place our hope in our  strength and human boldness, we turn  to You for hope and for You to teach us what it means to be human and how to love our neighbor.

Oh Father of Light and Life,  we will trust You and depend on You for a more hopeful future and opportunities to promote the sanctity of life and maintain the dignity of all lives. We live in dark moments and walk in the shadow of death, but we are not hopeless and alone. Your grace is sufficient for this nation.

Our Creator and Maker, we pray that Your Spirit of Life will move us toward a heart of remorse and repentance for failing to love our neighbor and treat them as individuals made in the Imago Dei. Whenever we fail to love others as You commanded, we miserably sin against Thee. Whenever we fail to exercise justice toward another individual as You ordered, we dishonor Your glorious name and fame in the world. Hence, we turn toward repentance and forgiveness that Your Spirit of Grace may grant us.

Lord, remember us in our suffering, trauma,  and pain. Remember the victims and the suffering families in Las Vegas.

Remember us who are weak and with no strength.

We will seek Thee and hope in Thy Providence. 

Amen!

​Early Morning Thought about Prayer and Praying…

Early Morning Thought about Prayer  and Praying…

I woke up at 3:36 am this morning meditating about the importance and power of prayer in the Christian life and how personally, I need to spend more time in prayer with God and to actively  engage  in intercessory prayers on behalf of others.

 One of the characteristics of the early Christians in the first century is their devotion to prayers.  As the early Christian Historian Luke records:

“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.”–Acts 2:42

“O what peace we often forget.

O what needless pain we bear,

All because we do not carry

Everything to God in prayer!”—Joseph Scriven 
Prayer is not only communication with God; prayer does in fact move the hands of God and transform us. Therefore, let us pray fervently  and continually for the people in our community, neighborhood, and city who are currently suffering and experiencing difficult moments and hardships. Let us also pray diligently and in faith on behalf of the earthquake and hurricane  victims in Houston, Dominica, Saint Croix, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Haiti, Barbuda, and other countries in the world. 

O Lord, comfort those who are hurting and suffering; strengthen and empower them in the midst of their tragedies and life’s uncertainties.Oh God, our Deliverer and Cornerstone, give them your  peace and heal their wound and restore their land. O Lord, teach us how to suffer with the individuals and families who are suffering and prompt us to intervene in their life in kindness and with acts of compassion and grace. 
Amen!

​On Race Talks and the Possibility of Silence and Self-Care

On Race Talks and the Possibility of Silence and Self-Care

The connection between race and human suffering is undeniably an American experience, which divides and unites individuals and (racial) groups  in our contemporary society. Race talks with no clear objectives toward forgiveness,  restoration, reconciliation, and transformative justice will not heal our deep racial wound and suffering in this country. As a people, we need to cultivate constructive conversations about our racial problems that are  purposeful and cathartic. 

In our contemporary society, constant unstrategic conversations about racial injustice can be overwhelming and could potentially lead to enmity,  individual oppression, and other health problems. Sometimes,  it is important to just observe the order of things and stay silence for a little while for the sake of self-care. Evidently, we are consumed with unhelpful race talks in this country; frankly, I’m tired because the solution to our racial problems and the crisis of race in America seems to be very far and remote from us.

Nonetheless, silence is not equated with racial blindness, nor does it mean the intentional ignorance of racial matters and unfairness that affect us individually and collectively, both directly and indirectly. My point here is not to make an excuse to those individuals who have always been silent and colorblind on matters pertaining to racial injustice and discrimination. In fact, if you have been a passive observer about these matters, maybe now it is the time to explore the connection between love and justice, and human dignity and hospitality, as these issues may pertain not only to race but other equally important areas and concerns in our lives. Maybe, you should become an active agent of racial healing in your neighborhood, community,  city, workplace,  church, etc.

Individuals who are intentional about meaningful conversations about race matters should first take good care of themselves–at the spiritual, mental, and psychological level. Constructive dialogues about race is not/ should never be about winning an argument by proving that person is a racist or that particular individual is wrong about interpreting our racial history. Race dialogues should aim toward collective healing and unity. 

Perhaps, toward the process of focussing on self care and self rehabilitation, the most convenient action to take about the pain and hurt of race in our nation is to grant yourself the opportunity to withdraw from race talks and to muster up the courage to be silent, even temporarily. 

As you’re waiting patiently for a brighter day and actively working toward a beloved community, do the following without being weary: (1) Pray incessantly for forgiveness, healing, and unity, (2) listen carefully to individuals and families who are hurting and suffering, (3) continue in the path of justice and love, (4) show hospitality to the stranger,  and (5) practice small acts of compassion and kindness toward the poor, the widow, the orphan, the disinherited, and toward the most disadvantaged individuals and families in your community, neighborhood, and city.

The Gospel for Life!

If the Gospel is not good news to radically transform the social, economic, and political order of the day, then it is not a complete Gospel.

God’s vision for the world is not simply his moving action toward the radical transformation of the human heart and the renewing of the mind; his idea of the new creation encompasses everything, including all the wrong doings and oppressive systems and structures free (human) agents have created in this world, through the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ. God’s redemptive plan does not simply disrupt spiritual darkness; it interrupts all spheres of life–especially the material world.

The Gospel is a holistic effective story for the global world,  for the global people, and for the global order of things. This is what makes the Gospel the good news!

​God and Nabeel Qureshi: A Prayer to God!

God and Nabeel Qureshi: A Prayer to God!

God: you chose not to heal Nabeel Qureshi and did not alleviate his suffering and pain before he died. However, Nabeel’s incredible suffering on this earth was not meaningless nor were our prayers and intercessions to you to heal him and restore him completely.

God, you decided that death was the healing for your son, Nabeel Qureshi. Although this is painful for us, it is not a tragedy for you O Lord, our Sovereign God. You do what brings pleasure to you and act according to your sovereign will and desire.

Lord, he was so young. Only 34 years old.

Our life is not our own, Oh sovereign Lord of the universe; it is yours. You give us life and take it away when you want to for your glory.

We submit to your sovereignty today and help us to trust you even to our last breath in this world. We pray that you would strength and comfort his wife and their child in this mourning moment.

Lord, we beseech you to fill in this void and emptiness in their heart with Yourself? Would you, O Lord, restore their soul and let them experience your everlasting joy and unconditional loving grace all the days of their life? We inplore you to do the same for their loved ones and friends.

In Jesus Name!

Amen