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The Big Ask

I’m moving to New York City. It’s been a crazy six weeks since I found out I was hired as the Executive for Spiritual Growth at one of the world’s largest women’s organizations, The United Methodist Women. Excited is an understatement!

The story getting to New York City, believe it or not, started over a decade ago when I was a senior at Spelman College.

I tell the story in my last sermon at Impact Church, “The Big Ask.”

Using Luke 11:5-10, I talk about the work we are called to do between the “big ask” and the answered prayer. The work we do in between our prayers and the answering of them are just as important as the answered prayer!

Check out the video below and share with someone who has been knocking at the door waiting for God to answer!

[note: at the 15 minute mark, I accidentally say 2006 when it should have been 2010!]

On the Chase,
Alisha L.

The Big Ask from Impact Church on Vimeo.

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Transformation

A couple of weeks ago, I preached on the process of transformation.

One of the things I’ve learned in the very (very) short time I’ve been preaching is that you cannot effectively preach anything you haven’t lived or experienced.

Preaching effective sermons is deeply rooted in the lived experience; embodying the text is essential in translating what the ancient text has to say to modern audiences.

Transformation has been knocking at my door all year long, chile. I’ve been fighting it ’bout as long, too.

Acts 9:1-9 tells of the powerful transformation of Saul, a man whose life’s experiences were critically important to what God would call him to do as a transformed man responsible for sharing the Gospel and establishing the Church as we know it today. Saul was a persecutor of Christians, using his power and privilege as a Roman Citizen and Jewish leader against those who followed Jesus. He was a proven leader, a person of influence, and though he was using his skills to do harm, it would be everything God needed to take Saul’s life of destruction to Paul’s life of liberation and transformation.

We are often told that we must shed the experiences of our past in order to be used by God. We think that none of the things we’ve done, said, or experienced can be used by God — but what Paul’s transformation teaches us is that God wastes no experience; God will take everything we’ve done, good or bad, and use it to transform the world!

Check out the full sermon below!

Transform from Impact Church on Vimeo.

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Reclaiming the Narrative: Part Two

Last week, I wrote the initial entry on Reclaiming the Narrative: Single Motherhood, a series of posts that will explore how we can begin to re-imagine single motherhood in a way that is empowering, liberating, and purposeful.

As a public theologian, I cannot but help to write about these things through a Christian lens; my engagement in and with the Christian Church implores me to challenge and awaken the ways in which we engage Scripture as a tool for liberation because it has served as a foundation for the moral stances we take — whether we want to admit it or not.  There has been a longstanding trend of using Scripture to oppress and marginalize single mothers. We’ve taken Scriptures like Ephesians 5:3-17 (that shames sexual sin) as a grounds for single mothers to be perpetually punished for their “sin” of single motherhood. We’ve glazed over texts like 2 Esdras 2:20  that admonishes us to care for the fatherless (fatherless children are raised by single mothers, yes?) because it does not fit the narrative of shame that we ask single mothers to try on for size. Continue reading

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Reclaiming the Narrative: Single Motherhood

This is first of a series of blog posts that will discuss the reclaiming the narrative of single motherhood. Bookmark the blog or sign up for email notifications here.

A big part of my life’s work has been talking about the challenges, misconceptions, and hopes of single mothers. During my last year in seminary, I wrote a paper that explored single motherhood and the ways both church and society has misunderstood the nuances and varying experiences of single mothers. While it’s way too in-depth to go into in a blog post (there was conversation about eugenics, Christian ethics, and the Church) what was birthed out of that research was a need to re-imagine and re-frame the narrative of what it means to be a single mom. Continue reading

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On Our Backs: #RapedbyMorehouse

There’s been a day-long conversation about ‪#‎RapedbyMorehouse‬ ‪#‎RapedatSpelman‬. Many of you have questions. Many of you want to enter into discussion about what we can do to change the culture of rape, not only at Spelman College-Official Site and Morehouse, but at all colleges and universities.

Some of you want to victim blame. Others want to turn a blind eye to how their brothers are responsible for the victimization of Black women.

Whatever it may be, here’s several threads of tweets engaging many parts of this conversation, including links to sign the petition to get Morehouse College to offer an adequate response to sexual assaults happening on their campus (towards the bottom).

Read, share, engage. Let’s keep the conversation and ACTION going. ‪#‎SpelHouse‬

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Love in the Tough Places

This past Sunday, I preached on “Love in the Tough Places,” out of John 13:31-35. It’s the section of text where Jesus gives the Disciples the new commandment to love — even in the tough places.

I opened the sermon with a reference to Beyoncé’s new visual album, “Lemonade,” a dynamic ode to heartbreak, restoration, and what it means to love someone in a tough place. Don’t you just love when pop culture helps bring to life the biblical text? #LEMONADE

Continue reading