Monthly Archives: April 2014

10 Things Pastors Hate To Admit Publicly

I think this is a good look at what pastors may feel from time to time and helps us to remember that they too can be hurt by our actions and words.

MB Posts When Ellen and I were first married ministry was not our 20-year plan, the Navy was. We had it all planned out; we were to spend the next 20 years with me being gone for 15. The Navy explained to my sweet new bride how grueling it would be, that I would be gone often and that even when I was around my mind would be elsewhere. Knowing that my particular career path in the Navy would be a marriage destroyer I pursued a discharge for the pursuit of higher education. With the promise of a difficult future behind us we embarked upon an easier dream where everyone would love us and things would be calm: pastoral service.

Twenty plus years later I can tell you it has been a ride we never could have anticipated. So much so that only now do I feel equipped enough to share a…

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The “symbolic annihilation” of black children in literature can have devastating consequences. 

Media Diversified

by Zetta Elliot

“When You’re Strange”

Zetta ElliotZetta Elliot

In 2005 I wrote my first memoir following the death of my father and the unexpected termination of what was supposed to be a year-long teaching assignment in East Africa. From the discomfort of my childhood home I created a mixed-media memoir that examines the shifting terrain upon which we negotiate race, kinship, and identity. A couple of years before his death, in the heat of an argument my father said, “You’re a stranger in this family.” I decided to use his accusation as the title of my memoir since it accurately reflected the feeling of alienation I experienced in Djibouti and within my country of origin. Jamaica Kincaid once wrote,

“For some people, a fixed state of irritation is like oxygen. I understand this all too well.”[i]

This seemed an apt epigraph for the book since my frustration with Canada…

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I’ve Got 99 Problems, and Gwyneth Paltrow Doesn’t Understand One


It’s so easy to mock Gwyneth Paltrow, but it seems wrong to kick her while she’s down. Sure, she’s impossibly pretentious — and yes, she’s seemingly oblivious to the expansive privilege that has allowed her to maintain the world’s most excruciatingly twee lifestyle. But she’s still got some genuine human feelings, and I assume it’s incredibly painful to separate from your husband and the father of your two children.

BUT GWYNETH. Why do you make it so hard for me to empathize with you? Here’s the notorious G.O.O.P. discussing her decision to take (even more of?) a sabbatical from acting, via E! Online:

“I think it’s different when you have an office job, because it’s routine and, you know, you can do all the stuff in the morning and then you come home in the evening. When you’re shooting a movie, they’re like, ‘We need you to go to…

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Am I Good Enough?

I ask myself this often as a poet, mother, wife, teacher, preacher.


Am I Good Enough

I was speaking at a local high school about writing. Afterward, a girl came up to me with a notebook of handwritten poems. She showed them to me shyly and asked,

“Are they good enough?”

I didn’t need to read them to know that they were good enough. She was fifteen. She had a dream. While her friends were playing violent video games and getting pregnant, she was writing poetry. That’s good enough for me.

“They are wonderful,” I said.

I am not sure we were talking about the same thing.

It’s a big question for a writer: am I good enough?

Am I good enough to get published? To get reviewed? To win an award? To make money? To come out in hardcover? To move people to tears? To win the respect of my older brother who said I would never make it?

I advise English majors. Every so…

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PHOTO BLOG: The state of girls’ education around the world

World Education Blog

To tie-in with the release of the Gender Summary of the Education for All Global Monitoring Report 2013/4 published by UNESCO to mark International Women’s Day, this photo blog tells the story of the state of education for girls and young women around the world. 

The Gender Summary of the 2013/4 Education for All Global Monitoring Report highlights the serious gender imbalance in global education that has left over 100 million young women unable to read a single sentence. The summary, launched for International Women’s Day in partnership with the UN Girls’ Education Initiative, calls for equity to be at the heart of new global development goals after 2015 so that every child has an equal chance of learning through quality education.

Half of the 31 million girls out of school are expected never to enroll or have the chance to learn. Despite some progress, in 2011, only 60% of…

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