Rev Fave

I’m New Here

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When I began capturing this journey, I nearly collapsed from the exhaustion of running from God for nearly 18 years. My enthusiasm was overwhelming as I began writing sermons, learning church operations, studying more and truly growing in grace. I’ve eulogized family members and led congregations through worship service from beginning to end. Now I’m teaching the youth while learning about discipleship. I feel myself growing and, while I haven’t done it all, I’ve done a lot under the guidance of a great pastor.

So why do I still feel as though I’m new here?

As soon as I felt myself getting into a flow, things change again. People change. Support system changed. Priorities changed. I’m called to help people; yet it’s people who seem to gleefully bring me challenges on a dingy, silver platter of passive aggressiveness and co-dependency. And God instructs me not to “get weary in well doing,” so I press despite how I feel.

I’m tired, though.

Upon the Confession of Your Faith

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I recently baptized someone for the first time. He was a young man in his 20s, with shoulder-length dreadlocks and dark brown skin. We shared a lot of similarities and now we were about to share a new one, as he made a public declaration that Jesus Christ was the Lord of his life. Upon the confession of his faith, he was turning his life around.

We were both nervous. I hadn’t been in a baptismal pool since I was baptized in the early 80’s. My pastor gave me simple instructions: raise your right hand, place your other hand behind his lower back and be ready to cover his nose and mouth when lowering him into the water. The water was warm (Thank God). There must have been a hole in my borrowed hip boots as I could feel the water dampening my legs. This was nothing compared to this young brother standing chest deep in water wearing a white shirt, shorts and tightly fitted durag over a shower cap.

I promised him it would only take three seconds. It was actually 1.5 seconds. His life changed forever and his journey to glory begins. I will never forget his face underneath the water and the pressure on my arms to lift him back into the world. There was nothing special about the water, his outfit, the screaming congregation or those hip boots. The change happened inside of him before he came to church and before I was assigned to baptize him. His new direction is my eternal reminder that the obedience of water baptism is the byproduct of spiritual renewal that no one initially sees or sometimes feel…it’s just who you are.

It’s who I am.

Feelings Are No Match For Faith

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In my feelings…

I felt a little anxious. Waking up at 5am with a sharp pain in my sternum that lasted until I got in the car to drive towards my office. By the time it dissapated, I realized it was my lactose intolerant stomach trying to digest the milk I had the night before. I also felt defeated about a friendship that went left overnight. My feelings told me that I didn’t need friends and life is less complicated without the issues of others. I felt angry about not getting enough sleep and not working out — despite the plethora of resources at my disposal.

In my FAITH…

The Word of God said not to worry about anything, but pray about EVERYTHING (Philippians 4:6). I shouldn’t feel worried when I know God has a plan for my life; thereby, I must have the health to see it through. The Word tells me that a wise man wins friends (Proverbs 11:30) and in my quest for his wisdom, I”m supposed to have friends and not always be alone. I can do all things through Christ (Philippians 4:13) and the Word reminds me that I need to seek God more diligently in order to receive the discipline needed to rest and exercise.