Mourning Tradition Among the Luba-Kasai Tribe in Democratic Republic of Congo

The Luba-Kasai people are an ethno-linguistic group to the central region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Many of them live in this country, residing mainly in Kasai provinces. The Luba-Kasai tribe consist of many sub-groups or clans who speak various dialects. When somebody among the Luba-Kasai tribe passes away, the first thing the…

A Sweet Connection

At a church meeting a couple of months ago, I passed out to the folks who came Dove Chocolate Promises. Those are bite-sized chocolates wrapped in colorful foil you can find on any candy aisle. I brought two kinds of chocolates. The milk chocolates were wrapped in blue foil and dark chocolates in red. Most…

Hammock Time

Two weeks ago, for the first time in years, I laid down in a hammock, and I was reminded just how wonderful hammocks are. It was so wonderful, that I ordered my very own hammock and stand before getting out of the hammock I was in. You see, I can get pretty overwhelmed sometimes. Overwhelmed…

Ohhh Noooo! Mr. Bill!

I was really trying to be a good mom to my puppy, Murphy. Honestly.  He had an ear infection and, while shopping at the grocery store, I found (what I thought) what I thought would be a great toy for him. Who doesn’t love Mr. Bill? (If you aren’t familiar with old school SNL, you…

Good in the Midst of Bad

I have recently been rewatching one of my favorite TV shows, Once Upon a Time. If you haven’t heard of it, I’ll give you a quick run-down. Fairytale characters live in a place called the Enchanted Forest. The Evil Queen casts a curse that brings them to a place without magic, our world. The characters…

The Country that Celebrates Love Longest

While this time of the year many in the U.S. are busy preparing for Halloween, there is a group of people who has already started the countdown to Christmas. Yes, you read that right! As early as September 1st, most Filipinos, in the Philippines and around the world, start to celebrate Christmas in their own…

I Am Terrible at Basketball

I am terrible at basketball. I enjoyed playing basketball when I was younger, but I was not gifted with the particular skills or talents necessary to be considered a basketball player—by any stretch of the imagination. I tried out for the basketball team in the 7th grade. I made the C-Team, along with everyone else…

Bright Spots: Naming God at Work

One of the practices we are taking on as a staff is to begin our meetings together by naming ‘bright spots’, naming the ways we see God at work in our lives, inside and outside the church. Big or small – doesn’t matter.  It has been a helpful practice for me, especially as we focus…

The Addams Family at Church: A Halloween Parable

When I was a kid, my family enjoyed watching The Addams Family on TV. The show centered on a family that was full of misfits: parents Gomez and Morticia Addams, their children Wednesday and Pugsley, close family members Uncle Fester and Grandmama, their butler Lurch, and Pugsley’s pet octopus, Aristotle. The schtick of the show…

Christian Worship in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Africa)

As many of us know, Christians in the world use different ways to worship. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, worship is considered a happy time. You go to get the blessings from God, praise Him and have time to be together with friends. The service begins with a traditional processional song sung every Sunday….

Lord, Teach Us to Pray

Our church is nearing the end of our 90 Day Prayer Experiment. A couple of weeks ago, I was teaching a lesson on the topic and began by asking the question, “When I say that today we will be talking about prayer, what comes to your mind?” There was some silence and then a person…

Knowing Or Not Knowing What To Say

I’ve watched many of my friends go through some really hard times over the past few years. Many times, I haven’t known what to say or do. I try to check in. I encourage them to let me know what they need. I offer what I know to offer: a listening ear, a hug, a…