The Team Behind the Message (Thank You)

The Team Behind the Message (Thank You)

The night before the release of my first book, Neighborliness: Finding the Beauty of God Across Dividing Lines, I want to introduce you to the team behind the message at the Fedd Agency. (From left to right in the pic above) My agent, Esther Fedorkevich, has been a friend for over twenty years. She always believed in me and this message, but she also courageously told me I wasn’t ready a few years ago when we first talked about working together. She told me to patiently wait for the message to form in my heart first. She told me she would be there when I was ready. This book is the fruit of...

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Understanding American History … and Each Other

Understanding American History … and Each Other

I am so grateful to live in America, but I want to live in an America that is fully awake to the experience of our neighbors. People all over the country are celebrating the July 4th holiday. On this date in 1776, 13 American colonies declared independence from England. However, did you know that many people of color in our country do not celebrate July 4th? Instead, many prefer to celebrate on June 19th each year - known as Juneteenth. This was the date - 91 years later on June 19, 1865 - that the final slaves were set free in Galveston, TX. To understand American history, we have to open...

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Juneteenth: Resources to Teach Your Kids (and yourself?)

Juneteenth is a holiday that is full of spiritual significance and meaningful imagery. If you did not come from a background that celebrated this holiday, there is no better day than today (Juneteenth is today!) to start to learn. My hope is that one day soon Juneteenth will be recognized as a national holiday and celebrated across the country with family and friends. Here's a video that we showed the kids today. We got together in the living room and watched the video and then simply talked about what we saw. Passing on the spirit of...

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Neighborliness is Here

Neighborliness is Here

It's here. I can't believe it. It's here. The pre-sale for Neighborliness: Finding the Beauty of God Across Dividing Lines is here. I am completely overwhelmed by the response since we launched the website last week. A church bought 1,000 copies for every person in their congregation Another church did the same, buying 500 copies. Another church bought 400 copies for their staff and key leaders. A friend bought two boxes. One to share read the executive board of their nonprofit and another to give to their friends. Small group leaders are buying boxes to read in their groups. A mom ordered...

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Talking to Kids About Racism

Talking to Kids About Racism

The thing that I’ve found that speaks the most in our relationships with people is intentionality. The way I see this playing out the most in my life is through parenting. Dara and I love our babies (they will always be our babies) so very much. They bring so much joy to our lives. Max, Mary, Jack, and Ben are my kids, my best friends, and my greatest teachers. Parenting has been one of the biggest blessings in my life, but parenting can be straight up hard. Dara and I are imperfect at the art of parenting, but we care deeply. We are intentional with our kids in our conversations, our...

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When God Miraculously Healed Dara and and Protected Baby Max from ARDS

When God Miraculously Healed Dara and and Protected Baby Max from ARDS

I think someone needs to hear this story. I don't know why God heals some and not others. But I know that he can and does at times. I believe in miracles because I have experienced them in my own life. This is one of those stories. I also believe in God's presence in the midst of pain and suffering because I have experienced his love in those times, as well. If you are facing the turmoil, uncertainty, and grief of sickness, please know that God is with you. I pray that this testimony of his power will point past Dara, Max, and our family and straight to Jesus. You are not alone....

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Honestly, I Want You to Know Jesus

Honestly, I Want You to Know Jesus

I just had my first conversation with a friend that has a friend that died from Covid-19. One degree of separation. Darrell is a true friend and brother. He stands 6'7" tall and towers over every room I've ever been in with him. He can hit a golf ball a country mile. He beats me every time we play. That pains me to admit on the internet. But it's true. More than anything, though, I see Jesus in Darrell. His eyes radiate the love of Jesus.  Darrell and I talked for thirty minutes today. He pastors a great church in West Charlotte and he is exposed to some of the most pressing needs in our...

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A Week of Waiting (Since My Covid-19 Test)

A Week of Waiting (Since My Covid-19 Test)

"Ok David," the doctor said as he placed two q-tips in a hazardous materials bag, "We will get back to you in 3-5 days. Best of luck and please stay healthy." I looked into his eyes that were covered by an oversized face mask. I wondered what he was thinking. He was face-to-face with a stranger that may have an unknown disease directly at his fingertips. He was kind, confident, and communicative. He had tried to prepare me as best as possible for the fact that he was going to put a q-tip farther up my nose than I ever thought was humanly possible. He asked me multiple times how I was doing....

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Fellas, I Hope You’re Ready. The Future is Here and She is Courageous.

Fellas, I Hope You’re Ready. The Future is Here and She is Courageous.

Carissa arrived at Cafe Grumpy just off of Wall Street with a double shot of energy. She immediately hugged my daughter (whom she had just met) and talked about how she could one day move to New York City, as well. “Mary, you will love it here,” she said as if the wheels were already in motion for my fourteen year old girl to move to the Big Apple. Carissa and I met when she was speaking at the CCDA Conference in Detroit a few years ago. Her passion was infectious and I was captivated by her passion for business and justice. I stuck around for a few minutes after the presentation to say...

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A Note to My White Pastor Friends About What You’re Doing (or Not Doing) for Black History Month

A Note to My White Pastor Friends About What You’re Doing (or Not Doing) for Black History Month

Pastor - Thanks for reaching out the other day regarding advice about your plans for Black History Month (February). Simply being willing to reach out and be intentional shows that you're starting to see that it's important to think outside the box that we were raised in and highlight times of the year that are significant to people of color in our country. I'm certainly not an expert in navigating the complex dynamics that have divided our culture, but I deeply care and have some thoughts on how you can create an environment at your church to recognize the significance of this month and why...

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