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Rev. Dr. Delesslyn A. Kennebrew, J.D., M.Div.

Visionary Strategist Faithful Innovator Inspirational Essayist

Salvation and Stilettos Blog

Blog

#TheAffirmation: Church is Beyond ME (and YOU too)

Posted on August 4, 2014 at 9:19 AM Comments comments (0)
Greetings!

BlogFam, 
You are the church but the church is NOT you.  Let me say that one more time.
You are the church but the church is NOT you.  Do you get it?
You are the church.  You are the body of Christ living and serving in this time and at the places you choose to be the hands and feet of Christ in the earth.  But the church is NOT limited to your hands, feet, gifts, opinions, schedule, or personal preferences.  And honestly, that is such a very good thing!

In God's infinite wisdom, God knew that none of us, regardless of your race, age, gender, class, economic or social status as individuals could be the epitome of the universal church.  We are the body of Christ "fitly joined together" [Ephesians 4:16] and all that I am, all that you are is NOT all that the church has been, presently is, or will ever become.

I do not know why no one has not told you or convinced you of this truth.  I do not know why you tend to think that you and/or your church has the monopoly or the only model for how the body of Christ is to be actively engaged in carrying the light of Christ in this world.  Has anyone ever directly informed you that the church is so far BEYOND your doctrines, creeds, strategic plans, ministry calendars, volunteer applications, and leadership models?  I mean, clearly, in these days and times, you cannot think, or maybe you do think that your way is the ONLY way to be the church in this world.  And if this is where you are, you are  very mistaken.

We all need our bubbles popped right now and sirens need to be going off if your definition of church excludes at the bare minimum an acknowledgement that the church is BEYOND you and your church.  You need to wake up from your fantasy if you think that the church is strictly defined by the things that have defined the culture of your congregation.  You really need to get a clue if you think that the church universal, worldwide, international should only embrace what has brought you or your family "joy" across the generations.

My friends, the Body of Christ as we do not seem to know, is so far beyond you and me and every other popular Christian guru who has been given the social authority to speak for "us."  We are the church but the church is not just us.
You are the church but the church is not just you
I am the church but the church is not just me.

The church cannot be contained in ONE building or ONE denomination or ONE way of expressing worship especially when our identifying mark as ONE body, ONE spirit, ONE hope, ONE Lord, ONE faith, ONE baptism, ONE God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all and in you all is ignored. [Ephesians 4:4-6]  And if you do not believe me, OPEN your Bible and you will read for yourself the diverse expressions of Christ and community.  Our common denominator is Jesus Christ.  And with the deepest humility, we must all accept that the ways we choose to live in community with each other and the whole world are NOT the only ways to be the church.... NOT the only way to be faithful.

So, my friends, I accept that:

Within the universal church
   we receive the gift of ministry
   and the light of scripture.

And we are called and commanded to go into the world to make disciples.  This is our ministry and this is what it says in Scripture.  And as I am faithful to use the gift of ministry and to expose the light of scripture, whose name is JESUS, I do so in connection with sister and brother Christians all over this world.  AND - 

In the bonds of Christian faith
   we yield ourselves to God
   that we may serve the One
   whose kingdom has no end..... and whose church is so far beyond YOU and ME!

Blessing, glory, and honor
   be to God forever. Amen.

GOD LOVES YOU and I DO TOO!
Delesslyn
Follow Me on Twitter @AudraSunshine or @SpiritedConcept

#TheAffirmation: ALL are Welcome Here!

Posted on August 3, 2014 at 6:58 AM Comments comments (0)
Greetings!

BlogFam - 
If you know me, you already know that I am NOT inclined to invite myself to tag along and rarely do I assume that I am "automatically" welcome just because I know the person or because the conversation is happening in my presence.  I am just not that kind of person that assumes that an invitation is extended to me on every occasion.  I am clear that there are people in my life with whom I have casual or professional or distant relationships who really are OK with not having me around.  I am NOT offended by this and neither should you be offended.  It really is OK to ignore, turn down, or just not get invited to hang out with certain people or be found at certain places.  

***NEWS FLASH***
Everybody does not want YOU around!  
Everybody does NOT have an open invitation extended to YOU.  
Everybody is NOT OK with how you just invite yourself wherever you want to go, to be with whomever you think you need to be with at that time.  
Friends, I love you so you know I have to tell you the truth!

I have been OK with this for a long time and I have expressed this truth to others in conversations where they really did want to include me.  I have also not shown up places where I was welcome because I was not sure if their "open" invitation was truly "open" to me.  I am OK with all of this, on both sides of the equation regardless of whether I am the one who extends the invitation or the invitee.  

However, there are a few places where I know I am ALWAYS welcome, no matter the day, time, month, or season.  I am always welcome at home.  I can ALWAYS go home...and a few other places that are like home for me.  This is such a great feeling.  I pray that you have the same feeling about wherever "HOME" is for you.  There is such a feeling of peace and security knowing that my mama and my daddy are happy to see me coming and that my room is always ready to receive me.... at least it is after I move a few of my mama's hat boxes or possibly her Sunday suits out of the way. LOL!  Every time I go home my parents hug me and smile and tell me they love me and for that I am so grateful!  Friends, I can always go home.  What about you?  Where is "home" for you?  How does it feel?

There is one other place that I "visit" every Sunday that reminds me of going "home."  It is the place where ALL are welcome to receive love, grace, and forgiveness.  It is the place where we remember Christ.  It is the place where we remember his life, death, burial, and resurrection.  It is one of the places I feel most welcome and the place where I celebrate the presence of God in my life.  It is the place that I pause to examine myself every week and ask God to forgive me for ALL of my sins.  It is the place where God says YES to me every Sunday and I am never pushed away, ignored, dismissed, taken for granted, or UN-invited....  I am so THANKFUL to God for this glimpse of heaven on earth and for this moment of Holy Communion.  I am welcome.  You are welcome.  ALL are welcome here...AND

At the Table of the Lord
we celebrate with thanksgiving
the saving acts and presence of Christ.

TO GOD BE THE GLORY!
ALL are welcome here!!!

GOD LOVES YOU and I DO TOO!
Delesslyn
Follow Me On Twitter @AudraSunshine or @SpiritedConcept

#TheAffirmation: Twisted Love Hurts

Posted on August 1, 2014 at 3:16 PM Comments comments (0)
Greetings!

BlogFam, 
Let me just put it out there.  Sometimes I wonder if those of us who believe in Jesus Christ truly understand and appreciate how we are connected in the communion of the Holy Spirit.  I know that you might love your family, friends, sorors, and frat but the connection we have in the Holy Spirit runs deeper than any other connection we might have by blood, by creed, or by oath.  However, I acknowledge that this might sound a little awkward considering the ways in which we treat one another in church settings.  

I have often heard people say that church hurt is the worst kind of hurt and even if it is not the worst, it is pretty bad and it hurts very deep.  Church hurt is different precisely because the expectations we have of those who believe in Jesus Christ is that we will all at least love each other as we love ourselves.  Our expectation is based on the Word and command of God for us to Love God and Love our neighbor so when we experience UN-loving words or actions by people who claim to believe in Jesus Christ, the communion of the Holy Spirit is broken because of their disobedience and that kind of hurt due to a broken covenant made possible by our faith in God hurts deeply.  This kind of hurt breaks our hearts and rattles our souls.

I know exactly how it feels to have your heart broken by people who say they love Jesus.  I am not speaking of romantic love, but Agape Love gone bad.  This twisted expression of the highest form of Love we can have for one other and for all people is a self-righteous, judgmental, prideful and  venomous kind of expression that seeks to steal, kill, and destroy people and their dreams, progress, and the hope of one's calling.  It is so sad to witness and experience such degrading tactics by those who claim to believe in Jesus Christ.  I do not get it.  AND I continue to I wonder if those of us who believe in Jesus Christ truly understand and appreciate how we are connected in the communion of the Holy Spirit. 

Yet, as much as I wonder about "US," my hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness.  I dare not trust the sweetest frame but WHOLLY lean on JESUS' name!  And with that being said, 

In the communion of the Holy Spirit
we are joined together in discipleship
and in obedience to Christ.

And it is MY prayer that as we grow in our understanding and appreciation of how we are connected in the communion of the Holy Spirit, we will not discount how we are joined together in discipleship and we will not obscure our obedience to Christ.  We have been made ONE with the whole people of God!  I pray that we will live accordingly :-)

GOD LOVES YOU and I DO TOO!
Delesslyn
Follow Me on Twitter @AudraSunshine or @SpiritedConcept

#TheAffirmation: I Remember My Baptism...

Posted on July 22, 2014 at 10:36 AM Comments comments (2)
Greetings!

BlogFam, 

I am at the place in the #CCDOC [Christian Church Disciples of Christ] Affirmation of Faith, where it says this:

Through baptism into Christ
we enter into newness of life
and are made one with the whole people of God.

And you know I like to be straight up with you so I will just say it!
The first thing that came to mind as I began to write this post is a little song with the lyrics:
"I've already been to the water.  I've already been baptized.  I've already been converted.  And I feel, I feel, I feel, I feel alright. Ever since I've given up sin, HALLELUJAH! I've been born again!"  Check out this video... And keep reading! LOL!

JESUS!
I hope you enjoyed that musical interlude.... or lively background as you continue to read...

Friends, I was baptized as a child.  I was not sprinkled.  I was immersed in the baptism pool at Midway Church in Folsom, LA with my dad, the pastor, on one side and one of our faithful young deacons on the other.  I admit that I was a little nervous and my face showed it from pictures I have seen and comments I remember.  I remember that my grandmother made a special baptismal robe and hat for that day.  I remember all the cameras and faces young and old standing or kneeling around the baptism pool as I, along with a few others were being "dipped" in the water on that Sunday morning.  To be honest with you, I have not thought about that moment in a long time but I do cherish it.

Baptism is not salvation.  Baptism is an outward sign of the change that happens in our heart when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior.  It is a public witness that I am different because of what Christ has done for me.  It is symbolic of dying to my old self and being raised up as a new creation in Christ.  Baptism is a way that I am identified with believers around the world who are followers of Jesus Christ.  Baptism is so much more than a rites of passage  or some ritualistic practice that you "have" to go through.  Jesus was baptized.  And baptism is one of the things that we do to follow the ways of our Master Teacher.  For...

Through baptism into Christ
we enter into newness of life
and are made one with the whole people of God.

Have you been baptized?  I will not get into the sprinkled versus immersion theological debate.  I just want to know if at some point along your journey, you followed this way of Jesus.  Have you entered into newness of life?  Have you been made one with the whole people of God?  If you answered YES!  Then, I am excited to know that we are definitely like-minded, we are whole and we are together through Christ.  I am excited to know that at some point YOU received the grace of God that had been extended to all of us before we ever knew our own names.  And I am so very excited to call you my sister and brother in Christ.

We may not worship together or serve in the same ministries.  We may not like the same music or agree on every confusing or controversial passage of the Bible.  We may not have the same fashion sense or prioritize the same social or political  or economic issues.  BUT by the grace and in the wisdom of GOD...

Through baptism into Christ
we enter into newness of life
and are made
ONE with the whole people of God.

"I've already been to the water.  I've already been baptized.  I've already been converted.  And I feel, I feel, I feel, I feel alright. Ever since I've given up sin, HALLELUJAH! I've been born again!"

To God Be The GLORY!!!
GOD LOVES YOU and I DO TOO!!!
Delesslyn

Follow Me on Twitter @AudraSunshine and @SpiritedConcept

#TheAffirmation: GOD LOVES YOU and I DO TOO!

Posted on July 21, 2014 at 10:06 AM Comments comments (0)
Greetings!

BlogFam - 
GOD LOVES YOU and I DO TOO!

I started saying this phrase several years ago.  I really do not remember why I started saying this.  I have no clue if I heard someone else say it and then I picked it up and kept it going.   Perhaps, it was just one of those things that the Spirit gave me and I have been spreading it ever since.  I am not sure how that particular phrase came to be in my own mind but I can honestly say that it conveys the truth of my own heart.

GOD LOVES YOU and I DO TOO!

For so many people accepting this truth is not easy.  Men and women, alike, do not believe that God loves them.  Forget about my love!  They will question and doubt and deny God's love because of the picture of love someone has painted in their minds that is just wrong.  People think love is manipulative, abusive, deceitful, and disrespectful.  So many have never experienced the love of God directly or the love of God that flows through the kindness and generosity of others.  This is so very sad to me.  It is so sad to encounter people who do not believe that God LOVES them.

And if it is a struggle to believe that GOD loves them, how in the world can one begin to wrap their minds around loving others or themselves, for that matter?  

We have it so twisted!  Though I am not surprised.  We are bombarded with television images, musical lyrics, and so many ratchet teachings that use the word LOVE but their use of the word is NOT grounded in THE WORD of God.  Therefore, people will struggle to believe that God loves them because their experience of love is a very shallow and ridiculous imitation and even exploitation of what God intended for us all.

1 John 4:7-11
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

Friends, God is Love.  Love is of God.  And GOD LOVES YOU! 

GOD LOVES YOU! 
GOD LOVES YOU! 
GOD LOVES YOU!

GOD LOVES YOU FIRST.  Start there.  And know that the love you have in your heart or the love you receive from others will always fall short of God's love BUT all is not lost!  NOBODY can ever love you the way that God loves you!  Do NOT look for God's unconditional love in people and do not beat yourself up when the love you have for those same people is  not up to par.  GOD still LOVES YOU!  And God will give you the kind of LOVE for you to LOVE YOU and for you to LOVE OTHERS.

GOD IS LOVE.  And if you need to confess, step back, regroup, forgive, or be forgiven because of your own twisted experiences or expressions of love, then PRAY and do exactly that.  Then you can begin to LOVE again!  You can begin to have a clearer understanding of what LOVE really is based on the WORD of GOD. For Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. [1 Corinthians 13:4-8a]

This is TRUE Love.
GOD Loves YOU.
And I pray that the LOVE you receive from God will flow through your heart to Love yourself and to Love others based on the WORD of GOD.  I REJOICE in God, maker of heaven and earth, and in God’s covenant of LOVE which binds us to God and to one another.

BlogFam, GOD LOVES YOU and I DO TOO!!!
Delesslyn

FOLLOW Me on Twitter @AudraSunshine or @SpiritedConcept

#TheAffirmation: The Sky is NOT Falling!

Posted on July 15, 2014 at 5:54 AM Comments comments (1)
Greetings!

BlogFam, 
I will never forget it.  One day, a few years ago, I was feeling so totally overwhelmed by everything that was happening in my life at the time.  I was juggling so much in my head and in my heart and in spite of all that I was feeling, I did know that I could run to God and lay everything on the altar.  I just felt like I needed to "get away" because of the feelings I was having so I went to the park down the street from my house.

Friends, there are times when I have to speak to God in new places to hear God.  I went to the park and I climbed to the top of the bleachers and sat alone in the bleachers of this empty field and I cried out to God.   I needed to hear from God in a way that would ease my anxiety and bring me the comfort that I needed.  I believe that I really was OK with God not necessarily moving my mountain, but just simply giving me the strength to climb.

So, I cried out to God and I told God exactly how I was feeling about everything and everyone that was causing me to feel overwhelmed.  And almost as soon as I laid it all out to God, I looked up and God whispered to me a word that has continued to save me many times over even until this day.  "DELESSLYN, THE SKY IS NOT FALLING."

I admit that tears are coming to my eyes even in this moment as I write this post because I remember how deeply I felt the overwhelming LOVE and CARE of God in that moment.

"DELESSLYN, THE SKY IS NOT FALLING."  

And as I began to consider the weight of that statement which would leave an indelible mark on my life, I thought about how AWESOME our God is.  I thought about the sky and how all the things that God placed in the sky at creation remain hanging in a delicate and divine balance that has been sustained by the power and wisdom of God for billions of years.  And if God can hold the sky in balance - the sun, the moon, the stars, the planets, the universe, the galaxy - SURELY, the Lord MY God can hold me up and hold me together.  My GOD will NOT let me fall!

And so I REJOICE in my GOD, the maker of heaven and earth who is ABLE to keep ME/YOU from falling and to one day present me/you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding JOY!  To the ONLY wise God, our Savior, be Glory and Majesty, Dominion and Power, both now and ever. [Jude 1:24-25]

Friends, no matter how you are feeling in this moment about whatever is going on in YOUR life, I want to remind you of a word that continues to bring me peace: THE SKY IS NOT FALLING!

GOD LOVES YOU and I DO TOO!!!
Delesslyn
FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER: @AudraSunshine & @SpiritedConcept 

#TheAffirmation: Show and Tell

Posted on July 14, 2014 at 9:14 AM Comments comments (0)
Greetings!

BlogFam, 
When I was growing up there was a time that would be scheduled in class called "SHOW and TELL."  This was basically an opportunity for us kids to "show off" something and have the platform to talk/brag about it.  Now, I would share with you something that I showed off and bragged about but as I am writing this post, I cannot remember one thing.  

However, as an adult, I think that there are some of my peers who "SHOW and TELL" in a variety of ways that may or may not be pure, innocent, fiesty, nasty, sexy, hot, mean, kind, dangerous, and cold.  In other words, at this stage of my life, I have seen a lot of showing and telling that may or may not be effective toward the progress, productivity, or prosperity of the individuals who show and tell.

I am not at all saying it is absolutely wrong to "SHOW and TELL."  I think that can have some merit today beyond the elementary school classrooms but I also know that at a certain point in our lives, we have got to be "mature" about whatever it is we choose to "SHOW and TELL."

For example, a GREAT place to start in order to determine whether or not what you choose to "SHOW and TELL" is by considering the essence of the meaning of this part of #TheAffirmation:

In Christ's name and by his grace   
we accept our mission of witness   
and service to all people.

QUESTIONS: Can whatever [or whomever] you chose to "SHOW and TELL" be done so in the name of Christ?  Will it help to further your witness of Christ?  Will it serve others?

This line of questioning as it specifically relates to what we "SHOW and TELL" cannot be avoided as faithful followers of the Most High and disciples of Jesus Christ.  We are called and commanded to witness and to serve in the name of Christ and by the grace God has already given us to do so.  Therefore, whenever we OPEN our mouths to speak or brag or convince.... we must do so with grace AND whenever we want to SHOW OFF anything we have or anyone we might be connected to, we must do so in Chris's name. 

Another way of thinking about the same thing is by putting it this way: "SHOW and TELL" Jesus in everything you do and say and you really cannot go wrong!  For in doing so, you are accepting your mission of witness and service to all people.  There is NO ONE and NOTHING better to "SHOW and TELL" than Jesus anyway so why don't you just "SHOW and TELL" that!?!?!

**Leave a comment and tell us what you have been sharing about JESUS lately!

GOD LOVES YOU and I DO TOO!
Delesslyn
FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER @AudraSunshine or @SpiritedConcept

#TheAffirmation: I Confess Christ

Posted on July 8, 2014 at 6:40 AM Comments comments (0)
#TheAffirmation: Confess Christ

As members of the Christian Church,
   We confess that Jesus is the Christ,
   the Son of the living God,
   and proclaim him Lord and Savior of the world.

Greetings!
BlogFam, 
For as long as it takes and unless otherwise re-directed, I will be walking through the Affirmation of Faith of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).  "This confession is the opening paragraph in the Preamble to the Design of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).  It is used by many Disciples congregations in worship as an affirmation of the faith of the church throughout the ages – not as a “test of fellowship,” but as a statement of faith that identifies the Disciples’ commitment to and place within the universal and ecumenical church."

I CONFESS CHRIST!

I confess Christ.
I confess that Jesus is the Christ.
The ONE who gives me LIFE 
The ONE who is my LIGHT
I confess Christ.
As the ONLY
Begotten
By the Spirit
Born
Of a Virgin
Bethlehem
In a Stable
I confess Christ.
Son of God
The Living God.
The Giving God.
The Loving God.
The Forgiving God.
The Faithful God.
I confess Christ.
And Proclaim
Exclaim
My Heart's Aim
Bring Him Fame
In His own Name 
I confess Christ.
Lord over all
Savior of us all
At the beginning of it all
I confess Christ.

I often wonder who or what it is we confess in our lives.  The truth is that we often confess lack, despair, defeat, and even death more readily than we actually confess Christ.  I know that we like to "keep it real" and we want to "keep it 100," but how bad must "it" get, how far must we go before we confess Christ?

If we believe that Jesus is the Christ and the Son of the LIVING God, then why not confess Christ FIRST in every situation and circumstance that inspires or discourages us?  This might seem like an easy question to answer because many times in our hearts, deep down in our hearts, we believe in Christ BUT our mouths confession of His authority over every area of our lives is delayed or even denied.

I know what you say is in your heart BUT what is your mouth saying?
I am NOT a mind reader.  I am NOT interested in trying to anticipate your eventual confession after you have explored every option but Christ or over compensate for your silence based on what I want to hope for you.  Just spare us of all of your drama AND Confess Christ... FIRST.

Confess that His presence and power and preeminence over you and everything that concerns you is where you stand on your worst and best days.  Confess Christ FIRST and stop acting like you have it all together when you are barely hanging on or making people feel sorry for you such that their pity gives you the undeserved attention you usually receive.  

You are wasting your own time and energy and that of your sisters and brothers by not confessing Christ FIRST.  For when we confess Christ, we are speaking a word of authority that can bring us peace and give us hope.  If you believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, then confess HIS name and YOU will be saved... healed... affirmed... set free... or whatever else it is that you need.  Just. Confess. Christ.

GOD LOVES YOU and I Do Too!
Delesslyn
FOLLOW @AudraSunshine & @SpiritedConcept
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#TheAffirmation: The Introduction

Posted on July 7, 2014 at 9:17 AM Comments comments (0)
#TheAffirmation: The Introduction

Greetings!
BlogFam, TODAY is a NEW day!  A day that I have never seen before and I am more determined than ever to make the MOST of today and everyday after today!  I know that you might be wondering what brought this on and so I will share with you a little bit of the SHIFT that has taken place in me.

As you know, I have been writing this blog since December 2011.  It really has been a complete JOY to write and to engage God's Word in this space.  I love to write and this platform to do so is life-giving for me and prayerfully to those who join me in this space to read and comment on what I have written.  

Over the last two years, so much has happened, some of which I have shared, most of which, I have not because I have been very intentional in making this space a place where people can come to be inspired and challenged by the Word of God.  I will not abandon that emphasis; however, one conversation and one convention that I have experienced recently has compelled me to SHIFT in this next season.

The Conversation - I attended the Southern Christian Writers Conference on the first weekend of June 2014.  I was re-energized in so many ways regarding my writing.  I will not go into every detail but I will share with you one question that I was asked.  At lunch on the final day, I was sitting with a Literary Agent seeking advice and gleaning from her numerous years of experience and success.  She asked me a question.  She asked me this: Whose voice do YOU think is missing?  And almost immediately, I answered, "MY VOICE... and the voice of young adult African American women who are believers in Jesus Christ but who are growing in their faith and knowledge of Him while facing life's challenges and changes."  

I have to tell you this.  The lock screen on my phone is a picture of just a few of the leading women Bible teachers of today... Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer, Christine Caine, Sheila Walsh, and one or two more.  It did not take me long to answer her question because while I am inspired by the Word of God taught by these women, my face, my voice, my friends are missing from the content, the illustrations, and the perspectives of these women.  And NO I am not saying that I represent every African American woman or every young adult woman.  But I am saying that the most prominent teaching and preaching voices on the landscape - and maybe even on the horizon - do not speak well for me or for many of the young women I know.

The Convention - On the last weekend of June 2014, I attended the Quadrennial Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).  I was invited to facilitate a workshop there and I was very prepared to lead it but I was NOT expecting what happened for me as I participated in this gathering.  I had been on a 21 day fast leading up to the Quadrennial, fasting and praying that the Lord would prepare me as I led this workshop and to keep me focused and grounded as I walked through the various changes I was witnessing at home in Memphis.  So, when I arrived in Atlanta, GA, my Spirit was just OPEN to hearing and seeing something I had never heard or seen before but would bless me without a doubt.  And then, on the first night of Worship, I was in a room full of women from all over the world who gather every 4 years for a "revival" of righteousness and justice and service.  I saw the intentionality of the worship to include many different faces and voices.  I heard an inspiring word from the General Minister and President of the denomination, Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins.  And I felt at home in this space, amongst these women.  I was so excited to be there and I was ready to learn and to grow and to get connected.  I returned to Memphis, TN with a new sense of commitment and personal conviction to the larger ideals of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).  

The conversation and the convention, together, have caused me to SHIFT...without apology or apprehension. I know that I am different.  I know that I have been changed.  I know that I am at peace.  

Therefore, I am shifting my blog, just a little.  I am NOT changing the name but I am NOW targeting women, who, like me, are believers in Jesus Christ but who are growing in their faith and knowledge of Him while facing life's challenges and changes.... AND I will begin this NEW series by reflecting on the Affirmation of Faith I repeat every Sunday...

As members of the Christian Church,
   We confess that Jesus is the Christ,
   the Son of the living God,
   and proclaim him Lord and Savior of the world.
In Christ's name and by his grace
   we accept our mission of witness
   and service to all people.
We rejoice in God,
   maker of heaven and earth,
   and in God’s covenant of love
   which binds us to God and to one another.
Through baptism into Christ
   we enter into newness of life
   and are made one with the whole people of God.
In the communion of the Holy Spirit
   we are joined together in discipleship
   and in obedience to Christ.
At the Table of the Lord
   we celebrate with thanksgiving
   the saving acts and presence of Christ.
Within the universal church
   we receive the gift of ministry
   and the light of scripture.
In the bonds of Christian faith
   we yield ourselves to God
   that we may serve the One
   whose kingdom has no end.
Blessing, glory, and honor
   be to God forever. Amen.

GOD LOVES YOU and I DO TOO!!!
Delesslyn
Twitter: @AudraSunshine
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***For More about the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), PLEASE visit www.disciples.org