My Inspiration

"O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water." Psalm 63:1 (NIV)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

"Imagine if the Tea Party Was Black" - Tim Wise

*I read this post over at this blog thanks to my friend Tracey. All I could say was "Wow!"

Let’s play a game, shall we? The name of the game is called “Imagine.” The way it’s played is simple: we’ll envision recent happenings in the news, but then change them up a bit. Instead of envisioning white people as the main actors in the scenes we’ll conjure - the ones who are driving the action - we’ll envision black folks or other people of color instead. The object of the game is to imagine the public reaction to the events or incidents, if the main actors were of color, rather than white. Whoever gains the most insight into the workings of race in America, at the end of the game, wins.

So let’s begin.

Imagine that hundreds of black protesters were to descend upon Washington DC and Northern Virginia, just a few miles from the Capitol and White House, armed with AK-47s, assorted handguns, and ammunition. And imagine that some of these protesters —the black protesters — spoke of the need for political revolution, and possibly even armed conflict in the event that laws they didn’t like were enforced by the government? Would these protester — these black protesters with guns — be seen as brave defenders of the Second Amendment, or would they be viewed by most whites as a danger to the republic? What if they were Arab-Americans? Because, after all, that’s what happened recently when white gun enthusiasts descended upon the nation’s capital, arms in hand, and verbally announced their readiness to make war on the country’s political leaders if the need arose.

Imagine that white members of Congress, while walking to work, were surrounded by thousands of angry black people, one of whom proceeded to spit on one of those congressmen for not voting the way the black demonstrators desired. Would the protesters be seen as merely patriotic Americans voicing their opinions, or as an angry, potentially violent, and even insurrectionary mob? After all, this is what white Tea Party protesters did recently in Washington.

Imagine that a rap artist were to say, in reference to a white president: “He’s a piece of shit and I told him to suck on my machine gun.” Because that’s what rocker Ted Nugent said recently about President Obama.

Imagine that a prominent mainstream black political commentator had long employed an overt bigot as Executive Director of his organization, and that this bigot regularly participated in black separatist conferences, and once assaulted a white person while calling them by a racial slur. When that prominent black commentator and his sister — who also works for the organization — defended the bigot as a good guy who was misunderstood and “going through a tough time in his life” would anyone accept their excuse-making? Would that commentator still have a place on a mainstream network? Because that’s what happened in the real world, when Pat Buchanan employed as Executive Director of his group, America’s Cause, a blatant racist who did all these things, or at least their white equivalents: attending white separatist conferences and attacking a black woman while calling her the n-word.

Imagine that a black radio host were to suggest that the only way to get promoted in the administration of a white president is by “hating black people,” or that a prominent white person had only endorsed a white presidential candidate as an act of racial bonding, or blamed a white president for a fight on a school bus in which a black kid was jumped by two white kids, or said that he wouldn’t want to kill all conservatives, but rather, would like to leave just enough—“living fossils” as he called them—“so we will never forget what these people stood for.” After all, these are things that Rush Limbaugh has said, about Barack Obama’s administration, Colin Powell’s endorsement of Barack Obama, a fight on a school bus in Belleville, Illinois in which two black kids beat up a white kid, and about liberals, generally.

Imagine that a black pastor, formerly a member of the U.S. military, were to declare, as part of his opposition to a white president’s policies, that he was ready to “suit up, get my gun, go to Washington, and do what they trained me to do.” This is, after all, what Pastor Stan Craig said recently at a Tea Party rally in Greenville, South Carolina.

Imagine a black radio talk show host gleefully predicting a revolution by people of color if the government continues to be dominated by the rich white men who have been “destroying” the country, or if said radio personality were to call Christians or Jews non-humans, or say that when it came to conservatives, the best solution would be to “hang ‘em high.” And what would happen to any congressional representative who praised that commentator for “speaking common sense” and likened his hate talk to “American values?” After all, those are among the things said by radio host and best-selling author Michael Savage, predicting white revolution in the face of multiculturalism, or said by Savage about Muslims and liberals, respectively. And it was Congressman Culbertson, from Texas, who praised Savage in that way, despite his hateful rhetoric.

Imagine a black political commentator suggesting that the only thing the guy who flew his plane into the Austin, Texas IRS building did wrong was not blowing up Fox News instead. This is, after all, what Anne Coulter said about Tim McVeigh, when she noted that his only mistake was not blowing up the New York Times.

Imagine that a popular black liberal website posted comments about the daughter of a white president, calling her “typical redneck trash,” or a “whore” whose mother entertains her by “making monkey sounds.” After all that’s comparable to what conservatives posted about Malia Obama on last year, when they referred to her as “ghetto trash.”

Imagine that black protesters at a large political rally were walking around with signs calling for the lynching of their congressional enemies. Because that’s what white conservatives did last year, in reference to Democratic party leaders in Congress.In other words, imagine that even one-third of the anger and vitriol currently being hurled at President Obama, by folks who are almost exclusively white, were being aimed, instead, at a white president, by people of color. How many whites viewing the anger, the hatred, the contempt for that white president would then wax eloquent about free speech, and the glories of democracy? And how many would be calling for further crackdowns on thuggish behavior, and investigations into the radical agendas of those same people of color?

To ask any of these questions is to answer them. Protest is only seen as fundamentally American when those who have long had the luxury of seeing themselves as prototypically American engage in it. When the dangerous and dark “other” does so, however, it isn’t viewed as normal or natural, let alone patriotic. Which is why Rush Limbaugh could say, this past week, that the Tea Parties are the first time since the Civil War that ordinary, common Americans stood up for their rights: a statement that erases the normalcy and “American-ness” of blacks in the civil rights struggle, not to mention women in the fight for suffrage and equality, working people in the fight for better working conditions, and LGBT folks as they struggle to be treated as full and equal human beings.

And this, my friends, is what white privilege is all about. The ability to threaten others, to engage in violent and incendiary rhetoric without consequence, to be viewed as patriotic and normal no matter what you do, and never to be feared and despised as people of color would be, if they tried to get away with half the shit we do, on a daily basis.

Game Over.

Tim Wise is among the most prominent anti-racist writers and activists in the U.S. Wise has spoken in 48 states, on over 400 college campuses, and to community groups around the nation. Wise has provided anti-racism training to teachers nationwide, and has trained physicians and medical industry professionals on how to combat racial inequities in health care. His latest book is called Between Barack and a Hard Place.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Stepping out on faith

“She speaks with wisdom and faithful instruction is on her tongue.” Proverbs 31:26

What God has for me, is for me and I know what God has laid on my heart. I have run from this call for too long now. I won't, I can't let this pass me by again. I humbly come before you asking you to support me in this cause. If you feel led by the spirit to help build up the kingdom by supporting those who are answering the call God has placed on their life then consider helping me. I have laid out the particulars on how you can support me below and would be happy to answer any other questions you might have regarding my decision to attend this particular conference, if you will leave your questions in the comments. Even if you don't feel led to help financially, your prayers for me as I step out on faith and into the call would be greatly appreciated!

Scholarship Information

She Speaks is a life-changing conference for women seeking to explore the tug on their hearts to reach out to the world for Jesus. Hosted by Proverbs 31 Ministries for the past nine years, She Speaks encourages and equips women as they communicate God's Word through writing, speaking and leadership through the following:

She Writes: (Writers Track) From basic writing guidelines to preparing an article or manuscript for submission, and everything in between. In addition, the opportunity to meet one-on-one with some of the top editors, publishers, and literary agents in the Christian market.
She Speaks: (Speakers Track) Whether speaking in a large arena or leading Bible studies in church, participants will be equipped with the tools needed to effectively share the Word of God, create a bio sheet, market her ministry, and give successful presentations.
She Leads: (Women's Ministry Track) This track is specifically designed for women's ministry directors and facilitators. Included are creative ways to reach her community with the life-transforming hope of Jesus, organize small groups, select a team of volunteers, plan successful events, and network with other directors.

Sharing God’s truth with love is not only a holy calling but a remarkable responsibility. The Lord has laid it on my heart to attend She Speaks in July/August, 2010. I trust He will provide a way financially for me to go, and I would like to invite you to be a part of this life-changing conference! Will you prayerfully consider partnering with me through a financial contribution towards a scholarship that will allow me to attend?

As you feel led to join me in this exciting call, there are two ways to participate. You can call Proverbs 31 Ministries at 877-731-4663 to contribute or send a check payable to Proverbs 31 Ministries to:

Proverbs 31 Ministries

She Speaks Scholarship/

Kimberly Dunham-Christian

616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road

Matthews, NC 28105

Please be sure to designate the scholarship in my name in order to credit my scholarship fund. You will be receipted for your tax-deductible donation. For more information:

May the Lord bless you as you pray about giving towards equipping the saints for the Kingdom of God! I appreciate your thoughtfulness so much and could not do this without you being a very important part.

Warmest blessings!


Sunday, April 25, 2010

I Am...

the same, yet different.

I look the same, dress the same and if you were to interact with me you won’t know that there is a change yet I know that I am different. I feel like I am in a different place. I don’t quite know how to explain it but things are just different.

I’ve had thoughts running around my head for weeks now but just haven’t had the desire to put them down on paper but the fact that they keep surfacing tells me they need to get out.

My quiet time in the morning came to a halt three weeks ago and I’ve had a hard time restarting it. In some ways I miss it, in others I don’t. I feel like it lost its purpose and therefore I needed to take a break and rethink the whole process. In fact, I believe that is what is different. I’m rethinking everything; from the inside out, from the top to the bottom. I’m not in a settling mood any longer. I’ve been settled for far too long and that has to stop. I feel like I’m lukewarm in my walk with Christ right now and it’s not a fun place to be or even a place that He likes for us to be in.

So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.” Revelation 3:16 (NKJV)

I’ve gotten complacent with going to church on Wednesdays and Sundays and serving on my committee but there is no real zeal or passion behind it. Our lessons are truly awesome and inspirational. I take notes, nod my head and get inspired for the moment but when the moment has passed I’m right back to the nothingness. It’s like I’m there but I’m not.

I’m honest, if I’m nothing else, and lately I just haven’t felt like I’m in the right places doing the right things. I have some loose ends that need to be wrapped up but then I feel like I need to step down and move on because where they are going is not the right path for me.

I've been busy focusing on everyone else's vision and dream and allowed mine to get buried in the process. As I've been refocusing, listening, reviewing and allowing my spirit to minister to me I've been able to hear - truly hear what it's been saying to me. What others have been saying to me and what God has been working on inside of me.

It has re-ignited my passion for the spoken and unspoken word. The thoughts that are not my own but from Him who called me and I have to put them out there. Not for myself but in obedience to what is on my heart and my mind. They won't always be popular. They won't always be easy to understand and digest but for those that are seeking they will answer the questions. They will reaffirm and reassure. They will infuse and ignite the sparks that have been dormant for many years waiting for this moment.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Surviving the Inner Struggle

Inner struggles - how do we survive them? For me, they come on a weekly basis. If I were totally honest, I think I could say that daily I struggle with what I want and what God wants for me. Consciously or subconsciously it doesn't matter, I know that the struggle is there. Some days the struggle is truly within myself and on others it is with the world in which I live and wanting to be a part of it.

Frequently, I find myself caught up in the social ills that permeate every fiber of our being whether from the radio, TV, Internet, Twitter, Facebook or the magazines on the newsstands. No matter where I look, there is always something that makes me want to compare where I am to where the world tells me I should be. It begins innocently enough with seemingly non-threatening questions or headlines that open up a minefield of answers that often leave me wondering how did I go from thinking THIS (all things that are good, righteous, loving, of good report, etc.) all the way over here to stewing about THAT (jealousy, anger, bitterness, frustration) on a regular basis.

Why am I the only one in the world who is not happy, fulfilled and content with my lot in life? Where is my aha moment? When will I feel transformed or transfigured into a mighty warrior for God?

At times, I've felt weaker; less sure of myself and who I am and more dependent on Him but resentful for that dependence. That is until I immerse myself in the Word (the Bible or the scriptures) which takes these thoughts captive and gives me peace that can't be found anywhere else. I feast on them and allow them to soak into the inner core of my being and rise above the struggle.

"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." Romans 12:2 (NKJV)

"Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12:8-10 (NKJV)

But then I find that I am impatient. Society has created a whole new breed of people, of which I find myself a part of. We are the generation of instant gratification. I want it now. I want to do it myself. I don’t want to wait on God to supply all my needs or to reveal His plan for my life in dribs and drabs. I want it all and I want it right now!

This is not a novel concept. The prodigal son felt the same way, but in his case he went to his father and demanded what was rightfully his and it was given to him and we also saw the results of it. In our case, God is not so foolish as to give in to the demands of his spoiled, whining prodigies and thankfully so. Many times I've had to go back and give Him praise and thanks for NOT fulfilling a request because, over time, I saw the foolishness of what I was asking. I realized the consequences without actually having to suffer them and felt truly blessed that the petitions of my heart fell on deaf ears or that He said no or not right now my child.

"Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD!" Psalm 27:14 (NKJV)

"But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31 (NKJV)

I continuously put myself out there; serving on many boards and committees, volunteering at every outreach in any capacity I can so that I am in constant motion. A perpetual state of busyness that won't allow me to have time to sit and listen to the still small voice. I am afraid to hear what He has to say but I'm even more afraid that I will hear and obey what He says to me. I have not learned to die to self completely and let His will be done although it is the deepest desire of my heart.

My physical, fleshly self won't allow it to happen. It would mean letting go of everything I have fought my whole life to keep - my independence or control. I don't have to tell you how much I like to be in control. It is indicative of my Type A personality to be in control of what goes on around me. But, I have taken my eye off the prize. Nevertheless, God is good because the Word redirects my path. It leads and guides me back into the Father's will and blessings beyond measure when I apply it in my life.

...saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” Luke 22:45 (NKJV)

“Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41 (NKJV)

"For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing." Romans 7:9 (NKJV)

So, while I have my inner struggles, I am not left alone, lost or forsaken in them. I know where to go to get help or find my way when they arise. There is not one situation in my life that I have not been able to find resolution, guidance or direction about through the Word. Whether I have chosen to do what is required is another post in itself but the road map to survival is always available. The choice to use it is my own.

My Passion

My passion is Speaking. Imparting wisdom, knowledge and power to those in the audience as the Holy Spirit directs my path. I love speaking to women; encouraging them, letting them know that there is someone out there that gets what they are going through, that cares and is there for them.

I am a survivor of this world we live in. I have survived sexual assault, domestic violence, self-loathing and hatred and the desire to end it all until I found God. Truly found Him, let him in my life and embraced the love that He so freely gives us all.

I yearn, with all my heart, to take all that I have learned and impart it into others. I want to laugh with them; cry with them; and grow with them as they embark on a deeper, closer relationship with Him. I don't want to be silent any more. I want my voice to go out and be heard so that all that God has imparted in me can be used. It was not designed to stay bottled up inside of me but I've been holding back and holding on to it scared to take the next step. Scared to try for fear of failure but the biggest failure of all would be in not stepping out on my faith and the desire He has placed on my heart.

I know that it is time to let it go; to take the passion that God has planted inside of me and go to the next level. Being able to attend She Speaks! will get me one step closer to the dream.

I have applied for their scholarship and pray that if it is God's will that I will win or that I will find someone who will sow the cost of the conference into my life so I can do what He has called me to do.

What is your passion and what are you doing to fulfill it in your life? Everyone has one. We were designed for a purpose. Have you found yours?

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

She Speaks! Conference

She Speaks is a life-changing conference for women of every generation seeking to explore the tug on her heart to reach out to the world for Jesus. Through She Speaks, Proverbs 31 Ministries encourages and equips women who are called by God to share our mission to bring God’s peace, perspective and purpose to today’s busy woman. Sharing God’s truth with love is not only a holy calling but a remarkable responsibility. We believe by equipping women to become more effective at sharing the Word of God, we multiply our efforts to reach a hurting world with the life-transforming hope of Jesus.

Our entire team invites you to be a part of this life-changing conference and look forward to sharing our lives with you. It is our prayer that during this year’s conference, God will validate old dreams and inspire new ones.

I look forward to meeting you at our conference this year!

LeAnn RiceConference DirectorExecutive Director, Proverbs 31

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Read and Remember the fine print

Beware of the fine print or should I say remember the fine print even if it’s 9 years later. I have been a Comcast customer for the past 9 years. That is until recently. When my contract was up for my triple play package my cable bill went from $136 to $217 without notice. They were not budging when we called to see what the deal was. They offered to let us drop back to basic cable, internet and phone for $128 but that was 3 steps down from what we had and that was not a good deal so we switched to Fios. The price was right.

Verizon is up and running. Life is good. The picture quality is outstanding and we are content with Fios as much as one could be content with a cable company. I’m plugging along, still using my email address at Comcast because I didn’t think anything of it and it still worked. We were two weeks into our Fios high when I went to log into Comcast and couldn’t.

I thought something was wrong and called them. They were very nice (NOT) about it. No Comcast, no email. What about my mail? My files? My contacts? Sorry lady, it’s all gone. Dumped. It was in the agreement you signed way back when. Don’t you remember? Well no, not really, after all that was 9 years ago people. Who remembers the fine print for 9 years especially a small little detail about how your email address is tied to your account with us? Certainly not I. At least not then but you can be sure I will remember it now.

I have an account with Fios through but you can be sure that I won’t use it for my contacts, my personal email that I want to save, etc. I will use it to pay my Fios bill and communicate with them but I’ve switched to Gmail. Safe, simple and no strings attached. Files, pictures, etc. that I’ve saved for a long time gone. Lesson learned. Read and REMEMBER the fine print.

So now you know why if you’ve tried to email me it bounces back and if you haven’t heard from me it’s because I don’t have access to my contacts so you’ll have to hit me up on Facebook or give me a call so we can reconnect.

Rush Hour

I live in Richmond, Virginia and the term “rush hour” traffic is not relevant to us like in other metropolitan areas such as DC, Atlanta and LA. If we get a ¼ mile back up we start to whine and cry. Traffic high points for us are from 7:00A to 8:30A and from 4:30P to 6:00P. Our two major corridors are I-95 and I-64 but 288 and 295 are quickly catching up. Hull Street, Midlothian Turnpike and West Broad Street are the major roads creating headaches of major proportions from the city to the suburbs. It takes ½ hour to move 5 miles down Hull Street during the “rush hour”. I call it the geriatric highway because you will inevitably get behind someone going slow when you are in a hurry. This happens on a daily basis.

I don’t take the highways or the toll roads to work to avoid traffic and accidents but it can take one geriatric driver to put my day into a tailspin. I know that God has a sense of humor and He flexes it in my life quite often in this arena. I can have the patience of Job one day but on others, blink and I’ll cut you off at the knees. So, given how late I try to sleep in and how quickly I can get out of the house I might get waylaid by the world of geriatric drivers and get to work feeling less than chipper and cheery and then its look out world. Seriously, I’m kidding. I wouldn’t take my traffic woes out on my colleagues but it does make for interesting conversations in my head all the while I’m smiling and inside I’m still seething about the fool that made me late or slowed down morning groove.

What really ticks me off is that I’m a good driver. A defensive driver and I go out of my way to stay away from the crazies but unfortunately I am outnumbered. They are talking on the phone, texting, eating or yes, ladies, putting on make-up. Now I am guilty of doing all of the above but not while driving, except the talking piece and I limit that or use the hands-free when possible. I put on my make-up when I am stopped at a light; texting is the same only when I am sitting still. Eating is limited when I’m driving so I don’t mess up my clothes but at the same time I can honestly say I am cognizant of what is going on around me. All around me; not just what is up ahead but beside and behind me as well. I’m not trying to get rear-ended by the fool too busy looking down to realize that I am sitting still at the light.

I drive in the right lane unless I need to pass someone and then of course I navigate my way to the passing lane and keep going. Once clear, I head back to the right. This is not the case with most drivers. They get in the lane and hog or should I say clog it up making it virtually impossible to maneuver around the geriatric drivers out there. It just doesn’t seem right to have cars in both lanes driving side by side with clear lanes in front of them and 2 miles of back up behind them because they are both meandering along oblivious to the fact that we are trying to get somewhere today, not next week. Now if road conditions or weather are a factor I totally understand but it could be a nice spring day and this happens.

And when it does I become like David Banner and turn into the Incredible Hulk. I huff, I puff, I scream, rant and rave (sometimes out loud, other times to myself) about the situation and then I hear it. This chuckling going on in my head because I know how irrational I am being and how much God must be getting a real kick out of slowing me down even if its just for a few short minutes because I won’t take the time myself and do it. It is during these moments when I am stuck behind someone that I actually pay attention to my surroundings and notice what changes are taking place in the neighborhoods I drive through on a daily basis and never seem to notice. Like the stores that have opened, closed, been repainted or repaired; the trees blooming, the blue sky and the feel of the sun and wind on my skin through the open sunroof. It is during these times that I speak to Him and say, “Hey you, I know what you’re doing and it’s working. Thanks for the reminder to slow down and check out the sights before they pass me by. Thanks for saving me from the truck that plowed through the red light at the intersection just ahead of me that could have been me if I hadn’t gotten caught behind a slow poke. I get it. Really I do, even if I’m not always appreciative at the time.”

And that makes my day a little better for that gift, that blessing until I jump in the car heading to my next destination and find myself caught behind…you guessed it, another slow poke.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Spring has sprung. If you can’t tell it by the buds on the trees or the flowers blooming, then you definitely know it by the yellow/green dust that is everywhere. Allergy sufferers like I have started out the season in earnest with red, itchy, watery eyes, noses running for days and headaches of monumental proportions due to the reproductive season of the plant world. There have been a lot of things going on these past few weeks with the kids, work, and home. Some good, some ok and other’s frustrating but I know that it’s all a part of life and where we are in the journey right now.

We had spring break last week, which was nice for all of us. Good Friday came and I was off enjoying my time and contemplating all the spiritual aspects of that day and the two following it. Easter we had a wonderful church service, and then a cookout and Easter egg hunt with family. The girls had a wonderful time. We all did. The weather was great and it’s always good when you can come together and fellowship without all the drama that can come with family and friends. I took two days off in the middle of the week to spend with the girls and we hit the road. Virginia Beach was crowded but nice. The water was ice cold but the sun and sand were hot. It was hard to believe everyone was out in their bathing suits trying to catch a tan that early in the year yet alone venturing forth into the water. They played in the sand; we soaked up the rays and then went to visit my grandmother. Klutz that I am took a spill, flipped over a fence, bumped my head on a bench, scrapped up my arm on the sidewalk and bruised my ankle. It would have been a money winner on America’s Funniest Videos for sure. To make matters worse the girls stood around looking at me splayed out for the world to see without thinking to assist me. Finally one of them ran to get Tony so he could help me untangle myself from the broken fence and up on my feet. Thursday we vegged around the house, in the yard and about the area taking care of errands and such. Friday I escaped back to work to recoup for the weekend. Overall it was a great week but I was glad for Monday when life could get back to normal.

We’ll struggle to keep them focused for the last two months of school as they dream of shorts sleeves, tank tops, swimsuits, the beach, Busch Gardens and days when they can sleep however late they want and do nothing but nag us about how bored they are. I will work diligently to find ways to occupy their minds and keep them relatively active and learning for the 100+ days of boredom known as summer vacation. Whatever happened to the days when you could farm them off to the grandparents?