I was intrigued about the idea of walking a labyrinth and had made some half-hearted online searches to find one near me. But my first encounter was much different than I had imagined. I was co-facilitating a workshop, and my partner started the day by handing out a sheet of paper with a labyrinth printed on it. We were instructed to trace our finger along the path while listening for how God might speak. To say I was skeptical is an understatement. However, I decided to keep an open mind and give it a try.
Whenever I hear Austin Channing Brown interviewed about her book I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness, one of the first questions she is asked refers to the opening line of her book: “White people can be exhausting.” It’s more than just a provocative first line—it sets the tone of the book. It’s a signal to readers that Brown is not going to dance around the truth in this space.
As a seminary student, I knew that the majority of Covenant churches were in rural communities, but when the time came for me to accept my first call, I was looking everywhere but a rural setting. I wanted adventure. I wanted to create change. I wanted opportunity. And where in the world is Ceresco, Nebraska?
My friend Kim and I were sitting with our toes in the sand, watching our boys climb up the ladder and slide-splash into the lake. The weather was a glorious seventy-eight degrees in western Minnesota, following a cold snap that had killed all the mosquitos. It was a unicorn day at Lake Beauty Bible Camp. A kind of day where, like light through a prism, I caught a glimpse of the kingdom of heaven.
Josef Rasheed is the regional coordinator for Africa with Serve Globally. In that role he facilitates, coaches, and serves as a resource for missionaries/global personnel, national partner organizations, and Covenant churches.
Long before the 3-M company invented Post-it Notes, God was already prompting his people to jot down reminders of important events. The Hebrew word zakhor, which means remember, appears 169 times in the Hebrew Bible. The call to remember, along with the admonition not to forget, appears so frequently in the book of Deuteronomy that some scholars say the text puts forth a theology of memory for people of faith.
Most of my days start with a mindless pattern of taking care of the basics: brush the teeth, shower, prepare, and relax with a nice cup of coffee. Then I decide what the day will be like. If tomorrow happens, I’ll repeat those mundane actions—unless there is a reason for a change. I give little thought to the possibility of my routines being unexpectedly disrupted.