ministry

Walking and Chewing Gum by Donna Olivia Owusu-Ansah

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You know the expression, “Walking and chewing gum at the same time,” right? Someone who walks and chews gum at the same time is able to do two or more things at once. 

Turns out I’m not very good at walking and chewing gum. By walking, I mean blogging. And by chewing gum, I mean working out. Last year I got this website up and running and was good with creating and posting content. I also didn’t have the best year of health and fitness. In 2019 I set some new goals to make my health and fitness a priority and...

On Sunday when I posted the sermon, I noticed that I had not blogged in 14 days. Fourteen days. Two weeks. I’ve stopped and started posts, but didn’t finish. I also started training for the Hot Chocolate 15k and tried a new hot yoga studio in town. If this trend continues, in December I’ll be super healthy and you’ll be wondering where I am.

I’m committed to my health and fitness. I’m committed to creating and posting content. I’m also committed to peace, which is why I’ve given up the notion of balance. Old me would have made a plan for “X” workouts, “X” posts, all while preparing sermons, running to dance, Girl Scouts, birthday parties and such. I also would have done it all and done it all well until...

image from Pexels.  

image from Pexels.  

I must be honest. I used to be a master multitasker. Master. I could do it all and more without getting tired. All the balls in the air. All the plates stacked. Whatever metaphor there is to describe magnificent multitasking, I was about that life. But now I can’t. And that’s ok. Wisdom prevails. Single tasking is where I thrive.  Research shows that it’s where most people thrive. In fact, there are amazing articles on Thrive Global (link not working, but you can search “multitasking” to read them).  

So some times I’ll walk.  

Other times I’ll chew gum. 

If I have to, I’ll do both. 

And I encourage you to do the same.  

Just Because He’s God… by Donna Olivia Owusu-Ansah

I started preparing this post yesterday. As I was driving to church on Sunday, “He’s God” by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir came on my Pandora station. I’m familiar with the song. When I was serving at the Bethesda Baptist Church of New Rochelle, the Mass Choir, led by Sister Monique Wilson, used to saaannnggg this song. It touched me every single time. Each time, they’d sing, For all He's done for me,redeemed and set me free,and because, just because He's God” no matter what was going on, I’d be reminded of just how big God is and how deep God’s love for me—a love so deep that nothing can separate me from it—no despair, disappointment, or difficulty.

Just because He’s God…

And though I couldn’t pinpoint why, the song resonated deeply with me on Sunday morning. I wept as I drove, cursing the moment I put eyeliner on. And when the reprise came on, I knew I needed to add this into my rotation.

When I had the chance, I opened Amazon Music and created a new worship playlist. This was the first song I added to the playlist and it has been on repeat since.

It was on repeat when I was having chest pains from stress on Monday.

It was on repeat when I was dealing with overwhelm on Tuesday.

It was on repeat when I was dealing with disappointed on Wednesday when I got news that the Delaware Women’s Half Marathon and 8K (which I was scheduled to run this weekend) was cancelled.

It was on repeat when I was dealing a four year old throwing tantrums and chicken at her sister.

It was on repeat when I got some news today that will be best in the long run, but stings in the moment.

And as I continue to walk the path God has for me, a path sometimes unknown and unfamiliar, I will rest assured that the same love that raised Jesus from the grave to redeem me is big enough to carry me through.

Dear Readers, what is your go to song to remind you of God’s love for you and the future that God has for you when life becomes especially difficult? Leave a comment so I can add them to my playlist!

Sunday Sermon: If You See Something, Say Something by Donna Olivia Owusu-Ansah

Then you are the redeemed, and you have the responsibility and the privilege, the joy and the challenge of bearing witness to the presence, power, and activity of God in your life and in the world. And the redeemed are called not to be silent, but to be a joyfully noisy, commotion causing, voices raised, praise lifting, audible expression, crying out, say-so-ing people!
— Reverend Donna Olivia Owusu-Ansah

If You See Something, Say Something

Reverend Donna Olivia Owusu-Ansah

September 16, 2018

Preached at Wanaque Reformed Church

Word Up Wednesday: God's Lavish Love by Donna Olivia Owusu-Ansah

image take by Rev. Dr. Theresa Thames

image take by Rev. Dr. Theresa Thames

This afternoon I had the pleasure of gathering in Christian Community at the Princeton University for the Hour of Power, a weekly service of prayer, praise and proclamation for faculty and staff. As the guest preacher, I was immensely blessed by the entire service, but especially the power of the testimonies of the gathered community. They shared their hearts and souls in praise reports and prayer requests. It bore witness to the truth that the church is not a building, but any place where two ore more are gathered in Jesus' name. 

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And for as powerful as the testimonies were, what resounds in my soul is a turn of phrase--God's lavish love--printed as part of the liturgy in the Call to Worship and used in prayer and benediction by the Rev. Dr. Theresa Thames, Associate Dean of Religious Life and Chapel at Princeton.  

God's lavish love.

This image brings to mind luxury. I've always known God's love to be ever present, but rich and luxurious? But of course God's love is just that. It is freely given and never ending. It is grand and costly. That which is lavish is abundant, plenteous, extravagant, and generous. Yes and Amen. God's love for us is so great that God in Christ dwelled among us in human flesh and gave His life so that you and I could experience abundant life now and eternal life in God's presence. 

God's lavish love.

There was something else about it that grabbed hold of me. I couldn't put my finger on it until I dug a little deeper into the word. The English word lavish has its origins in a Middle English word with French derivation meaning "deluge of rain." In other words, God's love is not sprinkled on us. We are literally washed over by the love of God. This is good news. Not only are we never separated from God's love in Christ, but every fiber of our being is saturated by God's love.Even in parched seasons, knowing that God's love is raining/reigning down on me brings me delight and hope. 

Whether you are in a time of spiritual drought or deluge of rain, on this Word Up Wednesday my prayer for you, dear readers, is adapted from the Hour of Power Call to Worship: May you open your heart, your spirit, your soul to the lavish love of God. Amen.

(Btw, Theresa is not simply the Chaplain, she is a fierce, intelligent, beautiful, spiritual, preaching, teaching, Girl Trekking sister who embodies Black Girl Magic and will sprinkle some on you if you are ever in her presence.) 

(Btw, Theresa is not simply the Chaplain, she is a fierce, intelligent, beautiful, spiritual, preaching, teaching, Girl Trekking sister who embodies Black Girl Magic and will sprinkle some on you if you are ever in her presence.) 

Oooooh. And my sister beloved is hella fun and is as creative with her style, including her hair styles, as I am. As usual, I was trying to be serious and couldn't hold the face, hence the smirks.

Oooooh. And my sister beloved is hella fun and is as creative with her style, including her hair styles, as I am. As usual, I was trying to be serious and couldn't hold the face, hence the smirks.