Christian Blog: Irrevocably Beloved

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


Dear Reader:

Habakkuk 2:2-3 states “And the Lord answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.”

I know this is not the first time you’ve heard this verse in relation to the beginning of a new year. It is standard practice for almost everyone, no matter culture, religion, or creed to start their year off by writing down what they envision the new year to look like. We either focus on what we want to improve about ourselves (weight, appearance, talent, skills, etc) or our ideals (family, better home, etc). What does the bible have to say about this practice? I believe that vision is a biblical concept.  However, we cannot just merely willy-nilly dream. 


  1. The first step in your process of writing the vision needs to be reflection. What happened in 2022? What worked? What didn’t? Why didn’t it work? What spheres of life declined and which prospered?  Before you can start to plot and plan, you should prayerfully journal and reflect upon the previous year. 

My biggest challenge of 2022 was moving. Living in a new place can disrupt everything you know about yourself, your faith, your family, etc. I was very much disrupted by the change in the workplace, routines, etc. My biggest challenge of 2022, however, also lead to my biggest triumph: I learned to drive.  Like for real. Multiple hours of driving. Not a lot of young people who grow up in the 5 boroughs of NY can say that they’re good drivers and take road trips. Having to drive for work made me by force a better driver. 

  1. The second step after reflection is really just to imagine. Having reflected and prayed, what would you and God (the dream team) like to happen in 2023? Do you want to grow in your profession?  Do you want to make some money off a hobby? Do you want to be more connected to your family? Are there one or two particular spheres of life that call out to you more for the vision? 

I know it’s lame and very encouraged in secular circles, but I think vision boards are cool. I think that they present a visual reminder as to the vision for the year.  Vision boards are very debated in Christian circles. But let’s go back to Habakkuk. The above verse is talking about a time when the people Habakkuk was instructed to write the vision for were not following the will of God and Habakkuk was pretty frustrated. I’m not asking you to create a vision board to “Manifest” anything. I’m asking you to create a visual reminder of your covenant with God for the year 2023. In the same way we take communion often to remind us that Jesus died for us and that we bear the responsibility of the new covenant with him. 

  1. WRITE THE VISION. You have to write it out in words. There are many many verses in the Bible that talk about the power of words. (James 3:2-12, Proverbs 11:9 to name a few).  There are many people who perhaps cannot write out the words because of disability but if you are able to… put pen to paper. WRITE IT OUT.

The vision that Habakkuk was writing out was death to Babylonians who had captured his people. Maybe that’s not the theme you’re going for … contend with those who contend with me, Lord. Maybe you just need to learn Spanish for work. Lol.  Write it down. 

  1. KEEP IT TO YOURSELF. Not all of the vision needs to be shared with others. Some of it might need to be, like if you’re married and you vowed with God to do something that directly impacts your spouse. But some matters need to be held in a secret place for God to water it in secret. 

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.

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?

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


woman hands raised towards heaven

Dear Reader, 

The Bible is a compilation of 66 books written by 40 different authors over a span of about 1600 years. I know, right?!

The Bible is not just a book, it’s an entire library. It’s full of stories, histories, and instructions for living. The Bible has been translated into more than 1075 languages and dialects and has sold over 5 billion copies. Amazing!

It can be difficult to read the bible from start to finish because it was never intended to be read that way. Stop doing that! You need to study the bible in order to get the most out of it; this means reading it in context with other parts of the bible and in chronological order as much as possible.

The Bible is a book with many words that can teach us many lessons. One of the lessons it teaches us is the importance of habits. Even though the bible does not directly mention habits, it does contain lessons about them: both good and bad. The following are stories in the bible that can tell us about how good habits can lead to great results in life.


This lesson is taught through the story of David and Goliath. David is a shepherd boy who has never fought in battle before, but he has a strong faith in God and he takes on Goliath with nothing but his sling and five stones. He defeats Goliath because he has practiced his slingshot skills so often that it becomes second nature to him to hit his target every time.

The Bible teaches us that if we want to be successful then we must have good habits, as David did with his slingshot skills so that they become second nature and easy for us to do them without any effort at all.


Esther was a stranger in a strange land. She was taken from her home and had to keep her heritage a secret. In spite of it all, she kept up with her Jewish faith and practices. She still prayed to the God of Abraham. When she heard that her people would be slaughtered, she took that fight up with her God and relied on God’s word. She then took it up with her earthly master, the king. He was so taken by her honor and her beauty that he let the lapse in procedure go and gave her what she wanted. Her habit of prayer and keeping God first never wavered. She even became the queen of Persia, how’s that for God’s faithfulness!


The story in God’s word goes that Daniel prayed every single day with his windows open toward Jerusalem. People knew that and so they tried to set him up. His faith in God was tested when there was a law passed to stop everyone from praying to anyone, not the king. Daniel did it anyways. Daniel could’ve at least shut his window; he did not. He had the habit of praying to face Jerusalem and openly. He did not change it, not even for the law.


Jesus had a habit of going away and praying. He would isolate himself and talk to His Father. He would go to caves, to mountains, to hide under the boat, etc. This was a practice that would’ve frustrated me as a disciple. Can’t you see all these people need help? Why do you need to go away right now? Stay with us!

Jesus knew what he was doing. This habit was because he knew he could not continue to pour from an empty cup. He was working on himself so that he could have more to give to others. This awareness drew him nearer to the Father and improved his life and the lives of others around him. Let us also get that habit of going away to talk alone with God.


Habits are not mentioned in the Bible per se. However, there are mentions of things we should not do that can be characterized as bad habits. It says not to be overly drunk with wine. It admonishes us about continual grumbling and complaining. These are habits that God wants us to strive to rid ourselves of. Therefore, habits both good and bad habits make an appearance in the bible.

Good Habits to Cultivate

  1. Daily Prayer and Bible Reading. This is the bread and water of those who walk with God and read God’s words.
  2. Daily Silence. This is where we pause and reflect on what God wants from us today.
  3. Good Nutrition. This habit helps us to continue to engage with God and his people on this earth.
  4. Movement of the body God has entrusted us. This habit will keep us on this earth as His Example.
  5. Sunlight. This might be hard in the winter, but God created us to thrive in natural light. He wants us to have abundant health.
  6. Journaling. Reflection, especially on God’s word will make you grow strong in God.

These habits are not exhaustive, but they are a good place to start in trying to grow in the Lord and spiritual disciplines. It is good to follow God’s word and have good habits. Keep the faith and get to work. Faith without works is dead. What other habits would you add to this list? What habits would you like to share with others that would help them too?

Cleanliness: Is it really next to Godliness?

Dear Reader: 

Everyone has heard the phrase, “Cleanliness is next to Godliness.” That’s not actually in the scriptures but has been attributed to be in them nonetheless. While this is not a true proverb, there are several references to cleanliness and cleaning in the bible. Most of them however are compound references that refer not only to physical cleanliness in order to prevent diseases like leoprosy but also spiritual cleanliness. 

Let’s talk about that. One verse that talks about both physical cleanliness and spiritual cleanliness is Ezekiel 36:25. It reads: “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you.”

Clean water is referenced here. Thankfully, if you live a developed country clean water is not something you really think about or dwell on for long periods of time. It is a blessing to really never have to worry about where a drop of clean water will come from. 

Then it talks about uncleanness as a spiritual condition. What are one of the things that can make us unclean? Idols. I think we don’t really have the context of what that used to mean back in the day. Most of us are not out here bowing to statues and figurines. We may however be spending half our paycheck on sneakers or purses. The human condition is prone to addictions and some of those compulsions show us what we value. One of my areas of uncleanness is an obsession with how I look in public. I am very conscious of how others are perceiving me or what they are thinking about me and so I strive for perfection. That may not seem like a bad thing except when its all consuming and oh I can’t go out because my hair isn’t done or I have a chipped nail. God wants me to have an abundant life not be overly focused on how others view me. 

I hope that we can all recognize our areas of uncleanness and work with God so that we can be clean.