Christian Blog: Irrevocably Beloved

For Jesus And For The Culture. . .Being Black, Christian and a Millennial In America

The Story of Christmas 

Dear Reader:

I know I’m probably preaching to the choir here,  but I felt that December wouldn’t be complete without discussing at least a little bit of the story of Jesus. While scholars are certain Jesus wasn’t born in winter, it is the time we chose to commemorate this occasion, so I will discuss it nonetheless. 


The story of the “good news” , often call the gospel can be summed up as follows: Christ was born. Lived. Died. Resurrected. And is Coming Again. These are the basic tenets of Christianity. 


The born part is the Christmas story. The account is in all four gospels : Luke 1 and 2; Matthew 1 and 2; John 1 and Mark 1. It is important to note that while there are differences in the gospels that they begin with the birth. I’m sure if I was entrusted with telling the story of Jesus, I might start with his miracles or maybe the resurrection. But the gospels begin with Jesus, the baby. 

Matthew and Luke talk about the birth story in more detail than the other gospels. I mean Luke gives all the details, starting with how his birth was foretold.  Matthew talks of the wise men who wisely avoided reporting to Herod. 

To sum it up, Mary was in a perilous position. Joseph was a good guy. Baby Jesus was already most wanted in utero. And somehow they all made it as a family unit because it was the will of God. 

I don’t purport to know a whole lot about God’s will because I think the whole point is we don’t know what it is. However, it is a strange story. 


I didn’t grow up celebrating Christmas, coming from a family of old school Seventh-day Adventists. The first time I celebrated was with friends as an adult. And the first time I attended a Christmas service was with friends as an adult. Christmas was a spectacle. 

And after thinking on it, the birth of Jesus was also quite a spectacle. A Virgin birth? Unheard of… highly unlikely in any age… the son of God? Oh really?! It just seems implausible and boy does the story continue in a weird way as well! Water into wine? Rose from the grave?

It is precisely the scandalous nature of the gospel that makes it so potent. It challenges the status quo. It breaks up reason. The idea is  that what we see with our eyes is not all there is and that there exists a power inside of us that can change the world… and has already done so.  That is the good news.

This Christmas, enjoy these classic holiday tunes!

Dear Reader: 

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! ‘Tis the season for gift-giving, festive parties, and of course, Christmas music. Whether you’re looking to get into the holiday spirit or just need some background noise while wrapping presents, we’ve got the perfect playlist for you. From classics like “White Christmas” and “Silent Night” to modern pop hits like Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” these songs are sure to get you in the holiday spirit. So cue up your favorite streaming service and enjoy!

“White Christmas” – Bing Crosby

No Christmas playlist would be complete without Bing Crosby’s signature holiday tune. This classic song has been covered by everyone from Michael Bublé to Lady Gaga, but nothing beats the original. Released in 1942, “White Christmas” went on to become the best-selling single of all time—a title it still holds today.

“All I Want for Christmas Is You” – Mariah Carey

If you’re looking for a modern take on a holiday classic, look no further than Mariah Carey’s 1994 hit “All I Want for Christmas Is You.” This catchy pop tune has become a staple of Christmas radio stations everywhere and is sure to put a smile on your face. Fun fact: the music video was filmed in New York City’s Central Park!

“Silent Night” – various artists

This beautiful song was written in 1816 by Joseph Mohr. Since then, it has been covered by countless artists from all over the world, each imparting their unique style. One of our favorites is The Temptation’s 1970 rendition.

“I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Clause” – Jackson 5

Released in 1987, this catchy holiday hit is sure to get stuck in your head for days. Written by Tommie Connor in 1952, this song tells the story of a child who witnesses their mother kissing Santa Claus—not what you expected, right?

“The Christmas Song” – Nat King Cole

Known as “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire” or simply “The Christmas Song,” this holiday classic was written by Mel Tormé and Bob Wells in 1944. It was popularized by Nat King Cole’s 1945 version, which is one of the most-played Christmas songs in radio history.

“Happy Xmas (War is Over)” – John Legend

John Legend’s 2018 release “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” offers a modern take on this classic holiday song. With its uplifting lyrics and jubilant instrumentals, this track perfectly captures the spirit of Christmas.

“This Christmas” – Donny Hathway

Donny Hathaway’s 1970 track, “This Christmas,” is the perfect song for a holiday party. Full of festive instrumentals and joyous lyrics, you can’t help but smile when listening to this upbeat classic.

“Do You Hear What I Hear” – Whitney Houston

At just 19 years old, Whitney Houston released her first Christmas album in 1987. One of the songs included on that album was this beautiful rendition of “Do You Hear What I Hear.” Her powerful voice and rich, soulful sound make this song a must-listen for the holiday season.

“Every Year, Every Christmas” – Luther Vandross

Released in 1995, Luther Vandross’ song “Every Year, Every Christmas” has become a holiday staple. With its upbeat rhythm and catchy lyrics, it’s sure to lift your spirits no matter how you’re feeling. So turn up the volume and enjoy!

“Let it Snow” – Boyz II Men

Although it’s technically a winter song, this Boyz II Men classic is an absolute must-listen during the holidays. It has been covered by everyone from Ariana Grande to Michael Bublé over the years and remains popular to this day.

“Santa Baby” – Eartha Kitt

Eartha Kitt’s 1953 song “Santa Baby” is the perfect track to get you in the mood for Christmas. Its sultry vocals and playful lyrics make it a must-listen for any holiday party—try not to sing along!

“Christmas Time is Here” – H.E.R.

R&B singer H.E.R.’s 2019 holiday single, “Christmas Time is Here,” offers a modern take on the classic Charlie Brown song of the same name. This heartfelt track has all the elements of a festive Christmas song—charming instrumentals and sweet lyrics that will make you smile.

“Mary, Did You Know” – Mary J. Blige

Mary J. Blige’s 2013 rendition of “Mary, Did You Know?” is a timeless classic that will take you back to your childhood days. So if you’re looking for something nostalgic and sweet, be sure to check out Mary J. Blige’s version!

“Love Comes With Christmas” – The Temptations

Released in 1980, “Love Comes With Christmas” by The Temptations is one of the most beloved holiday songs of all time. Its beautiful lyrics and moving melodies are sure to make you feel all the feels during this joyous time of year.

“That’s What’s Christmas Means To Me” – En Vogue

En Vogue’s 2002 track “That’s What Christmas Means To Me” is a perfect pick-me-up during the holiday season. Full of soulful vocals and sweet melodies, this song will have you tapping your feet and humming along in no time. So turn up the volume and get into the holiday spirit!

Whether you’re looking for classics or modern hits, there’s something for everyone on this list. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the best that Christmas music has to offer! And from all of us here, we wish you a very merry Christmas!

To Everything, There is a Season

Dear Reader

Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8  reminds us that to everything there is a season. As we near the end of the year 2022, we can reflect on the seasons of life we’ve experienced this year. We can pause and think about what knowledge and wisdom we learned this year that we can store in preparation for the upcoming year. 


Sometimes life feels like it’s K-12 math: it is cumulative. We cannot build on what we didn’t learn last year. I remember being in college statistics, going to every office hour, and struggling. Finally, the professor was like please talk through this problem aloud. When I did, she declared, “I’ve got it! { I was like “what”? “ You lack a fundamental understanding of the number line,” she said.  That was not a huge surprise to me. I struggled so hard from K-12 with math.  To be fair, the reason I took statistics is that I figured out of all the options for required math courses, surely, that was the least math-y. It was not a surprise that I couldn’t do the math because of one fundamental thing I was supposed to learn in the second grade… mainly which numbers are bigger than the others on the negative side of the number line. 

Life gets like that too. Sometimes it feels like I am missing some fundamental piece I was supposed to learn before. God is the best teacher. He has infinite patience and compassion. He will not suddenly declare “ you lack a fundamental understanding of… !” Instead, he’ll talk you through it step by step like an after-school tutor. 


 One of the stories in the bible which highlights how God is a God of order and preparation to me is the story of how the Israelites were given mana. While to me, mana has many meanings since I play board and videogames… I’m talking about the original meaning in Exodus 16. 

Exodus 16 states that the Israelites were instructed to collect mana for the day and then the day before the sabbath to collect a double portion. For those ya’ll who don’t remember the background but the Israelites were a bit grumpy and were like how they were starving in the wilderness. Then suddenly, by the Grace of God,  they got some bread like rain, every single day except the Sabbath.

The Bible also talks about how if you tried to not follow instructions; things didn’t work out. So if you tried to store extra on a not sabbath it would rot. If you didn’t store for the sabbath, then you would starve. Sometimes we’re given specific instructions from God. Sometimes we’re just called to get up and go. But I want to encourage you that there is a plan and to store up inside of you, the good God has already done… so when it feels like God isn’t there and isn’t real, you can be reminded. Perhaps even write it down?

Winter is Coming: A 101 Guide for Adults

Dear Reader: 

Winter can be a tough time of year for adults. You have to worry about things like shoveling snow, making sure your car is winterized and stocking up on supplies in case of a winter storm. It can be tough to keep track of everything, but don’t worry—we’re here to help. In this blog post, we’ll give you a few practical tips to help you get ready for cold weather. By the time you’re done reading, you’ll be prepared for anything old man winter can throw your way.

Get your home ready for winter weather

As the leaves begin to turn and the days grow shorter, it’s time to start preparing your home for winter weather. One of the best ways to keep your home warm and cozy is to check for drafts around windows and doors and seal them up with weatherstripping or caulk. Another way to reduce heat loss is to add insulation, especially in the attic and basement. In addition, storm windows or plastic sheeting can be used to further reduce the amount of cold air that enters your home. By taking a few simple steps, you can help keep your home comfortable all winter long.

Preparing Your Car for Winter

 This one is actually new for me as a newer driver and new to car ownership. If you live in an area that gets snow and ice in the winter, it’s important to make sure your car is prepared for the cold weather. This means things like getting new tires with good tread, making sure your windshield wipers are in good condition, and putting together an emergency kit in case you get stranded in the snow. You should also make sure your car’s battery is in good shape—cold weather can be hard on batteries, so it’s a good idea to get it tested before winter arrives. Finally, it’s always a good idea to keep a bag of sand or cat litter in your trunk. If you get stuck in the snow, you can use it to help get some traction so you can get moving again. AND YES BUY YOURSELF THAT GIANT RETRACTABLE SNOW SCRAPER!

Staying Safe and Healthy in the Winter

Once the temperature starts to drop, it’s important to take steps to stay safe and healthy. This means dressing warmly when you go outside, as exposed skin is susceptible to frostbite in very cold conditions. It’s also a good idea to stock up on supplies like food and water so you’re prepared if you get snowed in. And finally, it’s always a good idea to have some basic first-aid supplies on hand in case someone gets hurt while shoveling snow or doing another winter activity. By following these simple tips, you can help make sure everyone stays safe and healthy all winter long.

Dress appropriately for the cold weather

This has always been an issue for me and will probably get worse since I only commute by car. However, It’s crucial to dress for the colder weather as the temperature starts dipping. Wearing layers of clothes is a great way to stay warm, as you can add or remove layers depending on how cold it is outside. It’s also important to make sure that you are protecting your head, hands, and feet from the elements. Covering your head with a hat or scarf will help to keep your body heat from escaping, and wearing gloves and socks will help to keep your extremities from getting too cold. By dressing appropriately for the cold weather, you can stay comfortable all season long.

Stay safe during winter storms

Winter storms can be dangerous, so it’s important to take precautions to stay safe. If possible, avoid driving in bad weather conditions. If you must drive, slow down and leave plenty of distance between cars. Also, be sure to clear your car of snow and ice before driving, and use caution when walking on ice-covered sidewalks and parking lots. If you’re caught in a storm while outdoors, try to find shelter quickly. And if you’re at home during a power outage, use candles or flashlights safely and be careful with heaters and other sources of warmth. By taking some simple precautions, you can help ensure that you’ll weather the storm safely.

Winter can be tough, but with a little preparation, you can make it through anything old man winter throws your way. From preparing your car for cold weather to stocking up on supplies, there are plenty of things adults can do to get ready for winter. Just remember to dress warmly, stay hydrated, and have fun!

Living for Righteousness

Dear Reader,

Proverbs 21:21 (ESV) states “Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness
  will find life, righteousness, and honor.”

In the Bible, the word “righteousness” is used to describe people who are in right standing with God. It is not a state of being or a feeling, but an act of faith. Right standing with God may sound ominous but it’s not as impossible as you think. We can do all things with Christ Jesus.

Living righteously means living in a way that honors God and obeys his commands. Are you kind? Do you love justice and mercy? Do you follow the law: God’s law, traffic laws, criminal laws? Do you engage with others in a way that respects their human dignity: not trampling their spirit but uplifting them? That may be all that is required. The Bible teaches that we should live for righteousness. There are so many verses about it just do a search. These verses will help you gain insight into how to live a righteous life, one worthy of the calling on your life.

God does not want His people to live for Him in the power of their own strength, which is why Jesus has become our righteousness. We cannot do this alone. Quite frankly, being kind, day in and day out, requires Jesus Christ. We live in a broken world that yearns for healing. At the same time, its brokenness prevents the very path to any healing that may present itself.

We as Christians are called to live for righteousness, or what is right, and not to just do what we want in life. This is especially true of me driving. Do I want to roll my window down and give that guy who just swerved into my lane with no signal, a word, yes? Is that biblical? No. The Bible often tells us that following Jesus is a narrow way and it’s difficult to walk, but it’s the best way because He’ll provide everything we need and take care of us. God has outlined for us a path we must take both on this earth and one that is eternal after death.

It also promises a reward for the pursuit of righteousness: life and honor. We want to live the life in abundance that God has in store for us. In order to do that we must try to live for righteousness. We cannot do it on our own. Living right is about living for the sake of righteousness, for the sake of God. We need God to make it happen. He is the only one from whom we can draw on his power and truly gain the grace and truth necessary to walk this path. Pray for even more grace and light so that we can trample on desires that do not serve us and honor desires that serve both the Lord and ourselves.

The Bible is often seen as a guidebook for living righteously. The Bible says that to live in this way, one must be faithful to God and His Word, give up worldly pleasures and ambitions and forgive others who have wronged them. Forgiveness is a touchy subject. But it is biblical! It is hard to comment upon the righteous life without commenting on forgiveness and how it is essential to the life we are called to live. We cannot be slaves to our grudges and be saved. We have to swallow pride and admit when we’re wrong and atone. We also must forgive others. That is one way to seek the fruit of the spirit and walk in the righteousness of God.

image of an open Bible

Living righteously is not a popular topic in our culture. Mostly, it is because of the bad reputation living righteously has. There are many Christian sects that live austerely: not drinking, not dancing, not wearing jewelry, etc. But that’s merely one interpretation of what it means to live a righteous life. Let’s talk more about what it means to live for righteousness.

In our daily lives, we are often told to live for ourselves and that we should do whatever it takes to get ahead. This is present in magazines, and in the media and saturates our dominant culture. The kingdom of God is not like that. That is the way of the wicked. If you need to trample over another to achieve something, then it’s not living for righteousness. This is not what the Bible teaches us. God wants us to live for righteousness and he wants us to serve him with everything we have, including our time and talents. And certainly not at the expense of others. Even if we think they deserve it because they trampled over us in the past. We need to strive to live in the righteousness of God until that day He bestows upon us eternal life.

The Bible tells us that God is pleased when we live righteously and serve him. It also tells us that living righteously will lead to blessings in this life as well as the next. This article will explore what it means to live for righteousness and how you can begin living a righteous life today.

list graphic describing what can we do to live for righteousness today

What Can We Do To Live for Righteousness Today?

  1. Do the next right thing. This phrase is taken from the Alcoholics Anonymous program and it basically means to do whatever God put in front of you to do. Sometimes doing the next right thing is as simple as picking up your kid from school when your spouse promised they would and couldn’t and not complaining about it. Sometimes it’s turning off the light to conserve energy or using a glass bottle instead of a plastic bottle. Sometimes we get a nudge from the Holy Spirit about an area of life that needs more integrity and righteousness. Doing the next right thing is listening to that nudge.
  2. Take care of yourself. God wants you to get through your life in a healthy manner. We should strive to be healthy. If that may be working out 30 min, 3x a week or taking regularly prescribed medicines by our doctors. We need to try to preserve the body God gave us and live for righteousness. This may be an area where austere religious sects get things right. Drunkness can adversely affect health, and so can overusing over-the-counter medicines and not taking care of the body God gave us. So in all things practice moderation, this may be one way you can start to live for righteousness. It might be the easiest. It is far easier to replace a burger with a salad than to forgive a coworker.
  3. Rest.The Bible is full of examples for rest. Even God himself rested after creating the world; setting for us a good example. If you are doing your fifth overtime this month, consider maybe declining. Maybe this is your righteous nudge to rest more. Living for righteousness may involve getting adequate sleep so you can be kind and not grumpy.
  4. Read the Bible and other spiritual literature.In the same way, you feed your body you have to feed your soul. The Bible outlines for us how to live for righteousness. There are many verses about righteousness. There are even some that contain practical steps on what not to do or what to do in your pursuit of a righteous life. Read the word. Discuss it. Digest it. Pray on it. This will help you live for righteousness. Whether it is in season or not in season. Whether you understand it or not. Sometimes just saying the words can help you later on gain a better understanding of the Lord.
  5. Keep an open mind. You may be called to change your mind. Sometimes righteousness does not mean what we think it means. You may be called to care for a sick loved one or take on children after their parents died. Sometimes living for righteousness is disruptive to your schedule and your timeline. It may ruin your five-year plan. That’s okay. Keep in mind that what God has in store for us is exceedingly more and abundantly more than we could ask or ever think. Your dream may be delayed but living for righteousness is never the wrong thing to do. Perhaps you have to take a detour to grow in the righteousness of god and faith. Then you can return to the task God gave you with both hands and heart full. I hope this blog entry helped you think of your own ways you can live for God’s glory and for righteousness. I hope you were encouraged today to live out your faith either more or in a different way.
  6. What say you about this? What are the ways of right living and thinking do you practice every day? What can you do to live for righteousness?
two white arrows one pointing right that says His Way and one pointing left that says my way on wooden background