BTSF in chronological order (most recent articles appear first):

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Adoption: Divinely Inspired and Culturally Informed

Please welcome back guest blogger Sherie Mungo. This is the second of a two-part series exploring her experiences with adoption.

In my previous post, I ended with the question of whether or not my parents' response to my first racist experience would have been different had they not been Black. Let me first respond to this by saying that I think that all adoption is a labor of love and has the ability to transcend race. Hence, I believe that anyone who finds a place in their hearts to love and cherish abandoned children as their own is fulfilling Jesus’s foremost command to “love your neighbor as your self.” In this context, it doesn’t matter whether the kid you adopt is white, black, pink or silver; what matters is that you show them Christ’s love.

However, adoption does not occur in a cultural vacuum, and adoptive parents cannot always protect their children from the sins of society, such as racism. No matter how much my parents loved me, they couldn’t stop the cruel name calling at the park, or the painful isolation from social events because I was the only “Black kid.” These harsh realizations left my parents feeling angry and helpless, as they would any parent.

Adoptive parents must also realize that despite their Christian intentions, they have internalized worldly biases themselves. While these biases may be unconscious, unawareness doesn’t make their manifestation any less hurtful; in fact, ignorance may make it worse. Yes, even my Black parents exhibited certain aspects of intra-racism that were influenced by their own experiences in the world. They could not escape society’s subliminal messages about race.

If my Black parents were not immune to racial deception that is in the world, I think that we must question how resistant White parents of Black (or any minority) children are to the same temptation. As previous authors have argued on this blog, White parents may succumb to the falsely complacent belief that race doesn’t matter. 

I believe they are partly correct in this argument; race shouldn’t matter. But it does. It matters within the recesses of your own heart, and it matters in society. For example, if your Black child tells you he or she is being excluded from social events, your response will illustrate what you internally believe about race, and how you perceive its manifestation in the external world. White parents must be made fully aware of both these reactions before they can hope to raise a well-rounded minority child. As in my situation, the way that parents react to racist situations will influence how a child will view race for the rest of their lives.

White reactions to minority difficulties is not the only aspect of race and adoption I wish to speak on. As stated in my first post, there was another event that made me ponder race and adoption. I was giving my adoption testimony to a White friend when she asked me “So, are your parents black?” “Of course they are! What else would they be?” was my indignant reply. Her sheepish response has stuck with me since: “Well, you know, a lot of Black kids are adopted by White parents.” 

As I pondered her statement, I begin to think about what this means for minority adoption. Do White people adopt more than minorities? This is a complex question that requires a complex answer. I think we must first understand that the answer is located in cultural norms and values. Minorities (please know that I speak from a Black point of view) tend to do familial and communal adoptions. In other words, they take in children from their own families and communities. This may not be “official” adoption, but the function is often the same.

Yet White parents get magnified as the givers of grace to minority children because of the societal emphasis on a formal procedure. I think it’s safe to say that this preference is rooted in notions of White patriarchy and superiority. To combat this, we need to legitimize these variant forms of adoption.

I do want to close by saying that Black children would greatly benefit from formalized adoption by Black parents. Giving a Black child not only your cultural perspective but official name and place in society is priceless. While there is nothing wrong with taking in kids unofficially, there is something special about officially adopting a child; I should know.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Friday Round Up (11/25/11)

On Fridays, we post a round up of the week's happenings.

Feel free to contribute your own links in the comments section, or submit items you feel should be included during the week. Self-promotion is encouraged. 

Weekly Round Up:
    • Defining Fat: A look at BMI and what the labels really mean
    • Can I Help?: Think twice before letting the kids help with the cooking this year!

      These are some of our favorite links this week. What are yours?

      See Also:
      Adoption: Human and Divine
      Love You More, An Adoption Story
      Someone Else's Children

      Wednesday, November 23, 2011

      Love You More, An Adoption Story

      This post originally appeared on Natasha Sistrunk Robinson's blog, A Sista's Journey, and features Jennifer Grant's Love You More: The Divine Surprise of Adopting My Daughter:

      Hi Friends,

      November is National Adoption Month and I did not want the month to pass without discussing the topic here. I love the thought of adoption. I love that as a result of Christ’s shed blood on the cross, I have been adopted into God’s kingdom. My adoption provides me with a new family and has opened a whole new world of possibilities.

      One of those possibilities is the reality of now writing for God’s glory. As a result of writing, I have been able to connect with other Christian women who are passionately sharing the love of Jesus through writing and living. Thanks, Redbuds! I was excited to hear about fellow Redbud, Jennifer Grant’s adoption story and wanted to share it with you.

      Eight years ago, Jennifer Grant and her husband David adopted a daughter. Mia is their fourth child, and first by adoption. Grant’s memoir, Love You More: The Divine Surprise of Adopting My Daughter details the journey Grant and her family went through as they adopted Mia. It’s a story about faith, family, and the ties that bind. To connect with Grant and other people whose lives have been touched by adoption, visit her Facebook page.

      Today, Jennifer has graciously shared an excerpt from her book and has provided one for me to give away to one of you. For consideration, all you have to do is comment and share your thoughts about adoption (on the original blog post). A winner will be announced next week.

      Adopting Mia opened the world up to me in new ways. I look at my little girl, with her sophisticated (and sometimes extremely silly) sense of humor, her love of the natural world and her talent for making beautiful pastel drawings. I see her sweetness and the light she brings to those around her.

      She began as a “waiting child” in Guatemala, but if she is of such infinite value, what about other children born to other very poor mothers around the world? Half of the world’s children are born into poverty. There are an estimated 150-170 million orphans globally who live without parental care, are warehoused in orphanages, live on the streets or in child-headed households. Their potential is unseen, like a paper sack of daffodil bulbs, hidden behind a watering can in the garage, shriveling in the dark.

      These children starve to death. They die of preventable diseases. They are abused and exploited in unimaginable ways. There is a global orphan crisis; it is a pandemic.

      Do I have any responsibility to these children, even though (as was the case with my Mia) I did not bring them into the world? Are they, in some mystical way, my family too? After adopting my daughter, I have come to think they are. Actually, as a mother, a person of faith and someone who has had the privilege – and, concurrently, been given the burden – of visiting some of the world’s poorest places, I am sure of it.

      Since my daughter’s homecoming seven years ago, I have begun to wonder whether God has an additional purpose in bringing families together by adoption. Whether parents welcome a child who was born twenty miles from their home or was born half a world away, adoption changes the way adoptive parents look at underprivileged people. Some of us no longer view drug-addicted women who, after giving birth, leave their newborn babies at Safe Havens such as hospitals and police stations as second-class citizens or pariahs. How can we not cherish them? They are our children’s birthmothers. 

      For the first time, now that we are family, we might feel a desire to explore ways to bring healing, education and dignity to these women. Indigenous women weaving colorful fabrics in Latin America and living in poverty are no longer curiosities pictured in National Geographic magazine, but our children’s first mothers. How can we, who now know their strength and stories, fail to help them rise up out of the poverty that forces them into a desperate place, a place where they must relinquish their babies?

      Is adoption – whether domestic or international – a means by which God opens our eyes to the needs of the world and calls us to love others more?

      See Also:

      Monday, November 21, 2011

      Adoption: Human and Divine

      Please welcome guest blogger, Sherie Mungo. She begins a two-part series exploring her experiences with adoption. 

      When speaking to the Ephesian church about the blessings of being redeemed, Paul wrote that God the father “predestined us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will.” I think that this verse paints a powerful image for the body of Christ: God plans to adopt us back from the grip of the Kingdom of darkness because it gives Him good pleasure.

      I feel doubly blessed by this favor since I have been adopted by both humans and the Divine. While I do not presume to say that these two are one and the same, I do think human adoption serves as a powerful metaphor for what God does for His children.

      I experienced just how powerful adoption is on November 1st, 1990, when my parents Stephanie and Derek Mungo graciously took me in as their own child. I was three years old, a product of biological parents addicted to crack cocaine with criminal records. My age alone could have been a deterrent for my parents, but coupled with my lingering issues from being a crack baby made me a walking adoption nightmare. They were told that I would need to have special education services and that physical activities would always be a problem for me. 

      Despite these inhibiting factors, my parents had an unfaltering faith that I was their child, and even more importantly I was God’s child. This faith gave them the courage to defy the words of man spoken over my life and provide me with hope for my future. Needless to say, twenty two years later I am a graduate level student who has enjoyed a good amount of physical activity (maybe not lately, but I digress). The point is, my parents’ faith helped me to transcend the negative circumstances that I was born into.

      So, how does my story speak to race in addition to adoption? When I first started thinking about posting, I struggled to make this connection. I mean, I am a Black woman who was adopted by Black parents; what’s so special about that? Then I remembered two events in my life: 1) my first experience with racism and 2) being asked whether or not my parents were Black.

      I do not plan to go into the racist event in detail. Suffice it to say that it was a painful coming of age experience that many POC’s have to go through. I do however want to focus on my parents’ apt reaction to my pain and confusion. As they had experienced similar injustices, my Black parents understood my feelings exactly. They knew the hurt and bitterness that could result from that moment you realize your skin color is cause for mistreatment. My parents responded to my angst with a balance of incisive Black consciousness and Christian grace.

      They explained that while racism would unfortunately be an external part of my life, I shouldn’t let that color my view of self worth and value. They also explained while I shouldn’t go looking for racism, I needed to be prepared for its manifestations. Perhaps more importantly, bitterness and non forgiveness were strongly discouraged by my parents. Despite the injustice of prejudice, I had to forgive the perpetrator for their sin of racism just as Christ had forgiven me.

      Would my parents have been able to handle this situation with such adroitness if they were not Black? 
      In my next post, I explore this question into greater depth. Continue reading...

      Saturday, November 19, 2011

      National Adoption Day

      Happy National Adoption Day!

      "Today is a day of celebration of adoptive families and an opportunity for courts to open their doors and finalize the adoptions of children from foster care. Since 2000, more than 35,000 children have had their adoptions finalized on National Adoption Day. This year on November 19, families, adoption advocates, policymakers, judges and volunteers will come together and celebrate adoption in communities large and small all across the nation."

      Follow events and announcements all day with @natadoptionday

      Also find events in your area to celebrate!

      See Also:
      Transracial Adoption
      Someone Else's Children
      Abortion and Condemnation
      The Colors of Us

      Friday, November 18, 2011

      Friday Round Up (11/18/11)

      On Fridays, we post a round up of the week's happenings.

      Feel free to contribute your own links in the comments section, or submit items you feel should be included during the week. Self-promotion is encouraged. 

      Weekly Round Up:
        • Jay Smooth: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Discussing Race
        • All This: an intriguing forum for 10-minute exchanges of time

        These are some of our favorite links this week. What are yours?

        See Also:
        Someone Else's Children
        Abortion and Condemnation
        The Colors of Us

        Sunday, November 13, 2011

        Someone Else’s Children

        Please welcome guest blogger, Linda Leigh Hargrove, writer, speaker, and adoptive mother. She blogs about biblical racial reconciliation at Read more about her books at

        My husband and I have three adopted children. Three boys. They call each other brothers of another mother. They’re cool with that and so am I. Unfortunately, precious few Christian African American women would agree with my views on adoption.

        As a young, married woman 19 years ago, I didn’t have a positive attitude about adoption. Frankly, adoption was the furthest thing from my mind. Both my husband and I were in school full time, working like Hebrew slaves on advanced engineering degrees. Between the two of us we made $18,000 a year in stipends. I thank God for those years (and for that small vegetable patch). Those lean times taught me how to wait on God.

        Growing up in the swamplands of North Carolina, I played with trucks and climbed trees. Doll babies and tea sets were never on my gift wish list. After a few years of marriage that changed. It happened one sunny afternoon while I babysat for a college friend. That precious little toddler stole my heart with her sparkling brown eyes and chubby hands. When her mother picked her up two hours later, our one-bedroom apartment never felt so empty.

        I soon graduated and tried to replace the longing for a child with a full-time job, volunteering at an urban ministry, church involvement, and writing. But the longing persisted. My husband was still in grad school but he agreed that it was time to start a family. That was 1995; I was 29. One and a half years later and no baby, I hit a wall. I started each day in tears, crying in the darkness of my walk-in closet before work. The crying lasted for most of 1997. On the outside I was doing good things in my church and community racial reconciliation ministry. I was a faithful wife. I was a productive engineer.

        On the inside, I was dying. Longing for a child.

        At church, someone suggested we consider adoption. I was tired of all the doctor’s visits, the treatments, basal thermometers, and the prayers to God. I wanted relief. I wanted to feel good again, to feel God again. Adoption seemed like a good option.

        We did our research. We talked with counselors and social workers. We talked with our friends and parents. We prayed and fasted. We had so many questions about the process, the costs, but especially the kids. What if they’re not black (or black enough), what if they’re retarded, what if they’re violent, what if they’re crack babies?

        God answered all those questions with peace. As Psalm 34:4 says: I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.

        Along the way my husband and I have met some really wonderful adoptive parents. One couple, Becky and Joe, became part of our family. Our first meeting, though, was a tough one. It was on a Saturday morning in 1997, the year I was struggling with the specter of infertility. As long-time volunteers in an urban ministry, my husband and I were attending a racial reconciliation training conference.

        The conference had my full attention until I spotted a white woman holding a beautiful dark-skinned baby across the room. Out of my fragile heart I thought: How could she have my baby! Before long I was wiping tears from my face, crying over the baby my husband and I could have adopted. If we only had money like that white woman.

        That white woman was Becky. We were introduced later that day. To my surprise, she was the baby’s foster mother. She and Joe had committed themselves to care and advocate for children ‘caught in the system’. Over the 15 plus years they were foster parents, Joe and Becky fostered more than thirty children--mostly African American and biracial infants.

        This older white Christian couple from the Mid-West lived out the ministry of reconciliation described in the Bible. They showed me what sensitivity meant when they learned to properly care for the hair and skin of the little black children under their roof. They demonstrated empowerment and interdependence to me when they intentionality included African American mentors in their lives.

        And later, when they adopted two of the brown-skinned children, I supported them, knowing that their heart was centered on seeking God’s will. They didn’t act out of pity for the poor. Their hearts were not shaded with the rosiness of ‘Love is enough’ and ‘There is no color in God.' It is inspiring to see how my two white Christian sister and brother lean on Jesus to help them navigate the treacherous waters of raising black children in America.

        Bottom line: Adopting is not an easy fix. For me, becoming the mom of three brothers of other mothers was very difficult. In fact, in the beginning it was like pulling a scab from a wound I thought had healed. But today I have three boys. Not three rejects or three unwanted children. I have three sons. Some people call them someone else’s children. I call them mine.

        Linda Leigh Hargrove is a writer, speaker, and adoptive mother. Her novels include The Making of Isaac Hunt (2007) and Loving Cee Cee Johnson (2008)--both published through Moody Publishers/Lift Every Voice Imprint. She blogs about biblical racial reconciliation at Read more about her books at

        See Also:
        Transracial Adoption
        Colors of Us 
        Adoption: Human and Divine

        Friday, November 11, 2011

        Friday Round Up (11/11/11): National Adoption Month Edition

        On Fridays, we post a round up of the week's happenings.

        Today, all of our links relate to National Adoption Month.
        Feel free to contribute your own links in the comments section, or submit items you feel should be included during the week. Self-promotion is encouraged. 

        Weekly Round Up:
        • A Birth Project: "Transracial Adoption from one black girl’s perspective"
        These are some of our favorite links this week. What are yours?

        See Also:
        Transracial Adoption
        The Colors of Us
        Abortion and Condemnation

        Wednesday, November 9, 2011

        The Colors of Us

        Please welcome guest blogger Carolyn, who is "a wife, mom and campus minister, just taking one grace-filled day at a time." Find more of her writing at Through The Ardennes.

        Last week my son and I started reading a book called The Colors of Us. This book was recommended at a fantastic talk I attended recently that discussed racial perceptions in children. We were given a nice list of books to get some good conversations going around the house. And off to the library we went.

        The thing is, though, my kid seems to not notice most physical differences between people. So some people might find it strange that I'd want to point out differences to a kid who seems happily "colorblind." I'm of the opinion that if I don't start the conversation, someone else will and that conversation might not be so positive. I want to be proactive. And I also think that the idea of colorblindness is nonsense, to be quite honest.

        The woman who gave the talk I attended quoted a statistic that 75% of black children have talked openly about race in the home by the time they enter kindergarten and only 25% of white children have. I'm not sure where she got her stats but, honestly, that stat on white kids struck me as high. 

        Maybe I'm pessimistic about white people and racial conversations, but I'm glad the stats show that someone, somewhere is having them. I want to be sure that Josh is comfortable talking about this, and is taught healthy attitudes and language from a young age.

        Do I have all the answers? No. But I want him to know from a young age that this is a good thing to talk about, that there is deep beauty in the differences he sees. Or doesn't see yet, but will. Do I know what I'm doing? Not necessarily. Do I feel completely confident that everything I say is being said correctly? No. However, I'm hoping to continue my own education in this area even as I educate my son rather than letting fears or misgivings keep me silent. 

        It's very likely that his little brother or sister will not share his ethnicity. I'm excited about that but I also know that that means another type of education that I need to be ready to provide, for both my children. Transracial adoption is not meant to be trendy. It's hard stuff. It will mean many more racial conversations in our family than in the average white family. I look at that as a positive thing

        So many of us who are white have the option to not think or talk about race - we don't have to because it feels like it doesn't affect us. But people of color do not have that option. For many, their race is a very real part of who they are and it affects what their day looks like. 

        If we bring a child into this house who is not white, I want to be ready to help that child understand that there are still systems and structures and people out there who will judge him based on the color of his skin, that this country is still amazingly far from racially reconciled. And I don't want my children to know only the hard stuff, but also that white isn't "normal" and that the "colors of us" are all beautiful and unique.

        So we will continue read this book and many more like it. It has already led to some fantastic conversations about his own race and background and it has changed how he is coloring his coloring books. To be honest, it's pretty boring to always use that peachy color when you're coloring in people, anyway. Branching out in our crayola box has added a lot of fun to art time around here.

        I look forward to more ways to figure out our world together.

        See Also:

        Sunday, November 6, 2011

        Transracial Adoption

        November is National Adoption Month, and to celebrate all the beautiful adoptive families out there, BTSF will be featuring several posts discussing race, faith, and adoption. Here, we get an overview of some of the considerations for transracial adoption, and later in the month hear form some families with first-hand experience. We welcome other thoughts, knowing that there is much to learn. 

        Adoption is a beautiful manifestation of God's love for us. In the same way that God welcomes us into His family, we have the opportunity to reflect His love in a powerful way by bringing a child in need into our home. God "predestined us to be adopted as His children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will" and He has a similar plan to bring families together here on earth.

        Transracial adoption further reflects the beauty of God's Kingdom by joining in unity the diversity of God's creation. It is a unique opportunity to become intimately bound with one another, and to bear with each others' burdens. Joining together across race to form a family helps us understand one another more deeply in a way that is otherwise impossible.

        That being said, the very need for better racial awareness can make transracial adoption a problematic endeavor when the parents are white. There are some well-intentioned adoptive parents that really have no idea about race in the United States ("isn't that what the agency's 'diversity training day' is for?"). Some may believe that love is all their child of color will need, and that it will be basically the same as raising a white child.

        But these are often the same folks that think racism is only about hate crimes, that 'reverse racism' is alarmingly out of control, and that talking about race just perpetuates the problem. A lot white folk hold to these beliefs dearly, so it stands to reason that such thoughts persist after adoption day. Furthermore, White parents sometimes see their children as exceptions to racial stereotypes, rather than evidence that such stereotypes aren't valid (“my child isn’t like those kids…we raised her better than their parents do”).

        It is important for all children to have a solid foundational understanding of racial history, but this education is severely lacking in schools. Parents that are under-prepared in their own education are ill-equipped to provide such a grounding for their children. White parents adopting transracially must be vigilant in their own education for the sake of their children. They must be sure to instill in their children a self confidence, knowledge of their history, and love of their race that will serve as a foundation against the constant barrage of marginalization that comes in life. 

        Without careful preparation, children of color may end up in white 'colorblind' homes with parents inadvertently perpetrating daily microaggressions ("we don't have a lot of people of color in our neighborhood, but everyone is really nice and accepting, so our kids will be fine!"). White parents often raise their children to believe that racism is a thing of the past and that it will have no bearing on their lives. Children may be raised to believe that the white history taught in their schools is the only history out there, and to believe that the beauty standards on TV are the only features a spouse will ever want.

        Understandably, white parents often want to live into our hopes for the world. But without an understanding of the realities around us, this practice sets children up for a rude awakening when they inevitably encounter the racialized world. Then, when that reality hits, children are unprepared, and isolated from the support to process through it. Parents who think that racism largely consists of overt acts of hate, will be unprepared to advise/relate to (or even believe!) the daily smog of microaggressions that their child faces.

        Finally, there is a historic baggage of white folk's systematically removing Black, Asian, and Native American children from their 'savage' parents to raise them as 'civilized' white people. It is even still happening today (See: South Dakota Foster Care and Deportation Adoption). We must understand that these events effect how we approach transracial adoption (with respect and sensitivity).

        Unequivocally, I support adoption. There is far too much need on both sides of the parent/child equation to believe otherwise. There is tremendous opportunity to receive God's grace through the gift of both cis- and transracial adoption. Furthermore, white folks that encourage within-race adoption sound dangerously like the anti-intermixing, racial-superiority arguments of old, which opens the door for those that feel we aught to 'stick to our own.'  

        There are many great parents out there that have navigated transracial adoption elegantly. At the end of the day, transracial adoption issues aren't that much different than the general racial education issues we have elsewhere. White folks need to immerse themselves in situations where they are the minority, and bury themselves in literature written by POCs (not just others talking about POCs--see this week's 'Friday Round Up' for some good recs!). White folks need to talk about race-A LOT. To each other, to POCs, and ESPECIALLY to their children. Early and often, identifying race as the blessing from God that it is, and understanding that it is subject to the same consequence of a broken world as other blessings. 

        I'd love to hear from our readers on this topic. There's is a lot to delve into!

        Friday, November 4, 2011

        Friday Round Up (11/04/11)

        On Fridays, we post a round up of the week's happenings.

        Feel free to contribute your own links in the comments section, or submit items you feel should be included during the week. Self-promotion is encouraged. 

        Weekly Round Up:

        BTSF also had several guest posts go up this week on other sites:

        See Also:
        Halloween Costumes
        Make My Brown Eyes Blue

        Wednesday, November 2, 2011

        Make My Brown Eyes Blue

        Please welcome guest blogger Kevin Robinson. The following article originally appeared on the Accord1 blog for the purpose of "Building The Bridge Together" over the ethnic/cultural divide. 

        A beautiful senior with great wit and sensitivity seemed to be cloaked in a tinge of despair in her voice. She, by the occasion of her age, had been raised in a different era, and apparently had a dissimilar perception, worldview, and self-awareness.

        As I looked into her eyes during the conversation, I couldn’t help but notice that they were the most beautiful shade of blue. I spoke up to compliment her concerning her eyes and she said something striking : “White people don’t think that any of us black folks can have blue eyes.”

        This was one of those unspoken truths that articulated much more than the mere words themselves. I thought for a moment to myself as I, also African American, looked through my green eyes and realized what a larger truth that she addressed.

        Ethnic bias, whether of one’s self or toward others, comes from many different sources. The sources are not the problem because they will always be there. The question is, how do we take the silent despair away from this beautiful senior woman and those caught in the trap of ethnic bias?

        First of all, it comes down to education and learning about whom we really are, the human race. We are one large family. As in our natural extended family, some members have the long darker hair from dad’s side of the family because his grandmother was half Cherokee, while others have the freckles passed down from grandpa of the Irish decent. Since we all come from the same gene pool, we can expect in the human family that any characteristic can, and will, appear anywhere it pleases in the family.

        A lot of the problem exists in our system of western-culture system values. Values are defined as: “what a given group ascribes to as beautiful, desirable, good, ugly, undesirable, bad…” If we mix a value system that says blue eyes are beautiful, desirable, and good with a value system that says people of color are ugly, undesirable, and bad then that offers us a paradox. 

        Though the majority of people don’t think in such harsh terms as the aforementioned, the softer sentiment of ethnic bias does exist today that articulates a clandestine message of what was prevalent in the days of old; in a time when the beautiful senior woman was younger.

         The believer has the answer in the person of Jesus Christ:
        “But to as many as did receive and welcome Him, He gave the authority (power, privilege, right) to become the children of God, that is, to those who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) His name –Who owe their birth neither to bloods nor to the will of the flesh [that of physical impulse] nor to the will of man [that of a natural father], but to God. [They are born of God!]” -John 1:12, 13 Amplified Bible (AMP)
        The Word of God says that we are “received of God.” This acceptance is not based on physical impulse of the flesh (value system) or human nature but is from the will of God.

        The unfortunate matter is the worldly value system, and the universal negative repercussions, are in the Church and have been for quite some time. The word universal is used to explain the total circumference of the problem all around the ethnic/cultural chasm, example given with what the senior woman thought and said.
        As the Church, we must first be intentional in our efforts to bring down the wall of partition called ethnic bias from between us. We must readjust our thinking to be in line with the word of God as in the early church:

        “For He is [Himself] our peace (our bond of unity and harmony). He has made us both [Jew and Gentile] one [body], and has broken down (destroyed, abolished) the hostile dividing wall between us,
        By abolishing in His [own crucified] flesh the enmity [caused by] the Law with its decrees and ordinances [which He annulled]; that He from the two might create in Himself one new man [one new quality of humanity out of the two], so making peace.” -Ephesians 2:14, 15 Amplified Bible (AMP)
        In the so-called household of faith, we believers in Christ and His salvation must not only believe; but, we must live as the new man spoken of in the prior scripture as regenerate souls. In a day when the Church is focused on the “mote” of our societies’ downfall of morality and behaviors we neglect to observe that we have a “beam” of ethnic bias, distrust, and division in our own eye.

        Many New Testament words describe the actions and events the testament believers are named for. However, the bible only speaks of one way that people will know that we are Christ’s disciples. That is not our religion, tradition, dogma, self-righteousness, or aloofness; but we are true followers of Jesus by our love for one another:
        “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another”. John 13:34-35 King James Version (KJV)

        See Also:
        Kanazawa's Ugly Lies about Beauty
        Creative Commons License
        By Their Strange Fruit by Katelin H is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
        Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at @BTSFblog