“TEAMzao”

“TEAMzao”

Our online ministry is changing its name from “New Life Health Ministries” to “TEAMzao”, as of October 1st, 2016.

There are many reasons for this change, and much prayer has gone into the decision. One reason for this is because we do not wish to sound like we are some old, southern baptist organization (we love some of those organizations – but, they simply are not us).

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On continuing education

On continuing education

I have an old roommate from college; we just got back in contact after a few years of us doing our own thing. Every time we talk, he says something to the effect of, “You’ve been in school the whole time I’ve known you.” The sad part? He’s right. I’ve been an adult for 16 years. For eleven of those, I’ve been in school one way or another. And I’m going back for more. Continue reading “On continuing education”

On being Southern 

On being Southern 

I am southern, and I am from the country. Our (mobile) home was surrounded on 3 sides by farmland and the other was a swamp. Everything was 20 minutes away, except for the corner store my grandpa’s brother ran. Blue jeans and boots and flannel shirts weren’t a grunge fashion trend for us, it was work clothes. My neck has been red from working in the hot sun all day.

  • I’ve worked in fields, picking beans, checking watermelons, squash, zucchini, and cucumbers.
  • I grew up on Johnny Cash, both Hank Williams (Hank III notwithstanding), Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, and all the country music.
  • As a kid (and maybe still as an adult), I have watched professional wrestling in just my underpants, sweating into the couch and cheering for Ric Flair.
  • I have cursed General William Tecumseh Sherman for burning our beautiful homeland.
  • I devoured Mark Twain’s colorful stories of life that hasn’t changed much in the 125 years or so since he wrote.
  • I have celebrated my southern heritage my entire life. I thought I knew all about my culture and what that entailed, from tailgating (I’ve even done so at church after service) to cooking barbecue to bow ties and khaki shorts and red Solo cups.

That is,until a couple of weeks ago. A colleague of mine posted an article quoting Flannery O’Connor. In addition to confirming my fears and suspicions about ministry in the South, it also opened my eyes to a part of my culture that I had neglected: diversity in literature.

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