Letter to Readers
by Jin Hee Han
This 2014 winter issue focuses on “birthing.” Our editorial team pored over titles that could capture our thrust for this Christmas issue. “Birthing” won the day for its unique capacity to link the solidity of a noun (“birth”) with the fluidity of a verb (“to give birth”). Modern linguists may frown upon an attempt to build a worldview—so tender and yet so firm—on a grammatical form; however, preachers may imagine a world in which life is both gift and giving.
Endurance: Legacy of the African-American Christian Experience
by Reginald Brantley
One of the great ironies of Christian history in America is that slave masters taught their black slaves a racialist form of Christianity, hoping to keep them docile, but instead the story of the Exodus taught them that the God who rescued the Hebrew slaves and brought them out of Egypt was their God of liberation. Men like Demark Vesey and Nat Turner preached a liberation theology that rescued America from its baser self.
Breaking Out of Cages (Commemorating Maya Angelou)
by Nicole Duncan-Smith
This is a personal story of how Angelou’s writings and life influenced the author to such a degree, that she credits Maya Angelou with her gaining self-confidence, and teaching her how to navigate some difficult periods in her life. Angelou as poet/author/ humanitarian inspired her readers and listeners many positive ways.
Endurance with Hope (Commemorating Maya Angelou)
by Dae Jung
Dae Jung credits Angelou’s book, All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes, as defining endurance as “what happens as a resistance to death by life itself.” He also uses the experiences of Theologian Jürgen Moltmann as a teenager in Germany to show how hope is a strong motivator for life.
Endurance (in the Hebrew Bible)
by Baruch A. Levine
The author relates today’s concept of endurance to how it was demonstrated in the Hebrew Bible. For example, he uses Deut 4:3–4 to show how the Israelites who remained loyal to the Covenant with YHWH were not seduced by Baal-Peor, the Moabite deity. There are many interesting examples of how the Old Testament Israelites demonstrated faithful endurance.
Evidence of Modern Endurance—The Asia Rural Institute (ARI)
by Pam Hasegawa
Here is an example of how one person realized that the poor peasants in Asia who had been cheated by unscrupulous middlemen could change their lives and the lives of people in their villages by attending a nine-month training session that required extreme endurance. This is a wonderful, true tale!
Building a Durable Mission
by Kevin Yoho
How do the actions of a local, inner city church square with the concept of endurance? They do if the subject is Mission Endurance. Here are the experiences of a pastor whose church had endured but was facing new unpleasant realities. Successful endurance often requires new thinking. Here is how one church overcame the revered dying past to establish a new future.
Endurance: Finding the Grace to Stand
by Donald L. Odom
There are many examples of people overcoming obstacles through endurance. Sometimes endurance is a physical attribute, but it can also reflect mental toughness. The author shares his own need for endurance when he was diagnosed with cancer and he wondered, “Why me?” And later he learned that our growth in God depends on continuing to mature in faith to overcome our challenges.
by Cleotha Robertson
The two Biblical characters who most represent the idea of endurance are Job and Jesus. Who does not sympathize with Job—set upon by the devil, abandoned by his friends and seemingly by God? Jesus, tested by Satan, and constantly attacked by the religious community showed endurance that could have come only from God.