Neighborliness is Here

Neighborliness is Here

Neighborliness: Finding the Beauty of God Across Dividing Lines is available NOW on all platforms (including Kindle, and Audiobook). Click here to view it on Amazon: https://rb.gy/okrsvq Also, we have a special running this week for $10/book at www.neighborliness.com. ------------------------------------ The message of neighborliness explores the greatest commandment: loving God and neighbors. Finding the beauty of God across dividing lines means that we need to take time to explore our hearts and figure out why racial and economic tension has been dividing us for so long. I think this book...

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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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What Your Church Said (or Didn’t Say) About MLK Jr. Says Something About Your Church

What Your Church Said (or Didn’t Say) About MLK Jr. Says Something About Your Church

I have to preface this post with an admission. I had the privilege of being the lead pastor at Center City Church for ten years and during that time, we recognized Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend four times. That's six years that I never intentionally honored Dr. King or the many folks that came before and after him that have fought for justice in our country.  Here's some back story... I cut my teeth in ministry at a predominantly white megachurch in Orlando, FL. If we recognized MLK Jr. each January, I have to admit that I don't remember it being a momentous occasion. Prior to that, I...

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Questions to Reflect on a Decade

Questions to Reflect on a Decade

"If this is real, it will spread." This phrase kept going through my head as I prayed about the beginning days of Center City Church at the end of 2009. We had been meeting in our living room with a small group of friends that committed to come alongside us to start a new church community in Uptown Charlotte. We decided to go completely word of mouth at the outset of this new church family. If what we were experiencing in our hearts was real, I genuinely believed it would spread. And it did.  I remember my mind racing and imagination going wild as 2009 was winding down. The start of a new...

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Big Impact vs. Sustainable Impact  //  A Guest Blog by Hannah Beavers

Big Impact vs. Sustainable Impact // A Guest Blog by Hannah Beavers

I am thrilled to introduce you to Hannah Beavers. She is the Executive Director at Freedom Communities. I have the privilege of being on the board of this organization that works with neighbors in West Charlotte to achieve equitable access to education, housing, employment, and community wellness. This is accomplished by aligning partnerships, investments, and the community to create an environment where every family can thrive. Hannah gives an inside look at what it's like to lead a nonprofit organization that focuses on holistic strategies that take time to produce outcomes while living...

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