Thursday, September 30, 2010

Why Sojourner of Truth? The Final Chapter

And now the last reason why I've named this blog Sojourner of Truth.

"What is truth?" is the question Pilate asked Jesus before he released him to the Jews for crucifixion. "What is truth?" is a question that scholars and religious people have debated since the world began. As far back as the Garden of Eden, the serpent questioned Eve seductively, "Did God really say, 'you must not eat from any tree in the garden'?" What was he tempting Eve to question? The issue was far deeper than whether or not the fruit was good to eat. He was tempting Eve to question the truth. And what was the truth? Every word that God the Father had spoken -- nothing more, nothing less.

So that's the Truth that I plan to share throughout this blog. As I share my thoughts on this screen, I would be remiss if I didn't share my God's thoughts too. After all, anything He has to say is far more important that the deepest knowledge I could ever communicate. An avid reader, I read all kinds of literature, not just Christian literature. It's amazing how much truth I've gleaned from secular writings. But I've come to realize that all truth is God's truth, whether or not the writer recognizes it as such. So on that note, this blog is dedicated to the truth of God's Word. May His truth sink deep into your spirit as you read the Word of God...

John 8:31b-32: "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

John 14:6: "Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'"

John 16:12-13a: (Jesus speaking) "I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth."

I Corinthians 13:6: "Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth."

I Timothy 2:3-4: "This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth."

May we, sons and daughters of the Living God, know His truth. And may the TRUTH set us FREE!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Why SoJourner of Truth? The Sequel

Sojourn, noun: a temporary stay
Sojourn, verb: to stay for a time in a place; live temporarily

So today I explain the second reason for the name of my blog.  Well, for a little girl who fervently prayed that she would never ever have to move out of the only home she knew, I have spent the last decade of my life relocating to new towns. After having spent my entire life in my hometown of Baltimore, Maryland -- except for four years of college in faraway Washington, D.C -- at age 30 I relocated for the first time to Franklin, Tennessee. My husband Anthony had answered the call to ministry at Strong Tower Bible Church. We were thrilled with the opportunity to serve the Lord and His people full-time.

I can remember the bursts of joy that I'd feel at any given moment. We had been given a clean slate, a fresh start, a chance to "reinvent" ourselves, if you will. What an awesome opportunity! For weeks, Franklin was a perfect place: a great place to raise our son Kalin (and the baby I was carrying). I couldn't imagine ever missing old Baltimore with its low-rated public school system and high-rated crime statistics. But one day the honeymoon ended, as all honeymoons do. Maybe it was when I realized I still hadn't made any close friends. Or maybe it was when I found out that ministry can be really hard sometimes, especially on Sunday mornings when your husband is working, instead of worshiping with you. Or maybe it was when I suffered my first miscarriage, or maybe the second.

It was around that time that I discovered a life-altering truth: moving is hard.

Fast-forward eight years. In 2009, after much prayer and seeking the Lord, Anthony and I moved from what had become comfortable Franklin back to the East Coast. This move felt different, like we were coming home. We were excited to be an hour from our family and so close to the nation's capital. Every chance we got, we hopped on the Metro to check out the beautiful monuments and amazing museums. Even though I missed my friends in TN, Northern Virginia felt like a great place to camp out for the next decade or so.

But that decade turned into one year. I now call God the "Great Flipper of Scripts", because that's exactly what He did to us. We thought our mission was to plant a church in Northern Virginia, but less than a year into the process God called us here to Little Rock, Arkansas. Honestly, just
six months ago, if you'd have blindfolded me, I couldn't have landed my finger on Arkansas on a U.S. map for a million dollars! But here we are, Anthony serving as a teaching pastor for Mosaic Church of Central Arkansas and campus pastor of their new church plant in nearby Conway. And me sometimes scratching my head saying, "What had happened was?!"

It's been hard, but it's been good. I've had days that I've cried the entire time in carpool line, hoping that my tinted windows kept me hidden. And it's been lonely, though our church members have bent over backward to make us feel at home. But I've walked this walk before, and I know I'll come out better on the other side. Sometimes I wonder, why the one year pit-stop in Virginia? And why couldn't we have joined the staff of a church back home? I don't know all the answers, but I know a God Who does. And I know that He loves me deeply. So even though I'm a sojourner here (heaven's my real home anyway) I have a Father who will never leave me nor forsake me. And nothing can separate me from His love. And as the psalmist says:

"If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
Even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast."
                                                                                       Psalm 139:9-10

Monday, September 27, 2010

Why Sojourner of Truth?

Today I begin my second journey into the world of blogging. Years ago I began a blog, enjoyed it for a while, then decided it was more time-consuming and heart-revealing than I was really wanting. This time I've purposed to stick this thing out. Well, we'll see, won't we?

I thought I'd begin by explaining the name of my blog -- Sojourner of Truth. There are a few reasons; today I'll focus on the first. I am totally intrigued and inspired by Sojourner Truth, a woman born into slavery. After escaping the bonds of U.S. slavery Sojourner became one of history's most famous abolitionists and women's rights activists. Born Isabella Baumfree, she changed her name to Sojourner Truth, telling her friends "The Spirit calls me, and I must go."

In her famous speech, "Ain't I A Woman", Truth proclaimed at the 1851 Ohio Women's Rights Convention "I have heard the Bible and have learned that Eve caused man to sin. Well, if woman upset the world, do give her a chance to set it right side up again... And how came Jesus into the world? Through God who created Him and the woman who bore him. Man, where was your part?"

As I sojourn through 21st Century America, I pray that I would have the chutzpah of this sister. May I stand for what's right, even if -- and when -- I stand alone. May I always proclaim God and His truth, no matter how unpopular. So for this, my first blog, I pay homage to Sojourner Truth. A woman of purpose, a woman of God, a woman of Truth.