You’re Already Black Enough 

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Two years ago, I went on a prilgramage through Israel. I walked on land I’ve read about all my life. I stood in places that I had only imagined. I was baptized in the Jordan, took a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee while listening to “How Great Is Our God” and I swam in the Dead Sea. The entire experience was life altering. Some memories are recorded here on my blog, some are pictured on Facebook, but there’s one I haven’t wanted to share until now. 

Picture it Israel 2015…

It was around 75 degrees outside and kinda cloudy so not exactly why I’d consider swimming weather, but I definitely didn’t want to come all the way to the Dead Sea and not get in! I’m the queen of just doing stuff to say that I did it. (A blog all by itself!) 

But I didn’t wanna just do it for the fun of it. We were told that the sea is dead because it’s so salty that it kills any species of animal that tries to live in it. It also has so many minerals in the thick clay textured mud at the bottom of the sea that acts as an exfoliant. 

So here I am swimming and playing in the sea just enjoying my life. 

And I noticed that people are putting the mud on their bodies. They have it on their arms, legs and faces. I hear them talking about how good it feels! So naturally, I have to join in. I’m not gonna miss an experience! (Especially since I’d already had a great olive scrub facial days before.) 

So I joined in the fun! I could barely stand in the mud. It was so thick and sticky, but each scoop felt amazing in my hands and I loved how it felt on my skin. I knew I looked as hilarious and childlike as everyone else so I had a friend snap a pic. 


I got back in the water and that’s when he said it. “Claricha, you don’t need that. You’re already Black enough.”


(I wish this guy was Black, btw.)

I didn’t even know how to respond to that. I didn’t even know if it was really happening. Before I could gather my spinning thoughts of “Did he just say?” “Lord, I know You don’t want me to go off in the middle of the Dead Sea!” “He really said that to me? To me?!” he had gleefully swam away. 

That night I sought counsel from a female Black pastor who I’d bonded with on the trip. She helped me come up with a script so that I could address the statement and the next morning I delivered. 

But here I am two years later, to the day, still stunned by how easily those words flowed from his mouth and how LEGITIMATELY shocked he was by my offense to the statement. He had no idea it sounded racist until I told him. 

As a young person, I know how to relate to seasoned people. As a woman, I know how to be successful in a man’s world. As a Black person, I know how to live in a Whitewashed culture.

The opposite is rarely true. Privileged people are privileged because they have the luxury of living life without ever considering  how their words and actions could be perceived by people in other groups. 

This is just another example of why it’s sometimes a hard choice live life as a Black Christian. Church culture and Christianity don’t shield us from the unintentional and intentional traumatic Anti-Black or racist acts/words. 

OhCAE… I’m done. 

It’s rude to YOU, not to them, because it’s normal there.

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Different cultures do and accept different things. Seems obvious, right? But for most people it isn’t.

During my freshman year of college, I was conversing with two friends about a proposal that was on the table at my school. A group of students wanted to make all the restrooms unisex so that transgendered students wouldn’t have to be forced to go to restrooms they didn’t feel comfortable in because of their outer appearances. My friends were completely against the idea of unisex bathrooms.

“So Claricha,” my male friend started, “you’d be okay with me being in the bathroom while you’re taking a shower?” He asked.
“No, because I’d be naked. But that’s totally different from you peeing in a stall next to mine. You guys only think it’s weird because you’ve grown up that way. If the norm was unisex bathrooms, you would think it was weird to have them separated by sex.” All these years later that conversation popped in my head when I was in Israel and this happened.

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Wouldja look at that? A unisex bathroom and nobody bats an eye because it’s normal there.

**Enter an ear piercing scream here**
That’s what one of the ladies I was on the trip let out when a stray cat rubbed against her leg while we were eating at an indoor restaurant.
We all laughed at her. The others at the restaurant didn’t even notice the cat because it’s normal there.

Speaking of restaurants, I went out with some others last night and got some yummy ice cream. We sat down at the tables outside of the sandwich place next door. We were asked to leave though. Why? “Milk and meat, it’s not kosher.” You can’t have dairy products served with meat. Crazy. You’ll never be able to have a cheeseburger or a chicken caesar salad with Parmesan cheese. That’s so weird to me, but it’s normal there.

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No milkshakes with my McChicken?! Malarkey!

I wanted to take a pic every time I saw a smoker especially the one who couldn’t have been older than 13 or the ones smoking in the restaurant. But I didn’t because no one else was taking pics of them. Because it’s normal there.

In America, we have all kinds of initiatives making smoking in public illegal because we don’t want our rights to clean air infringed upon by others. In fact, we think it’s rude when people do that. So as we walked through different cities in Israel, I heard a few people comment on how rude it was for the smokers to smoke in restaurants or near others. But guys, you have to remember it’s rude to YOU, not to them because it’s normal there.

“From Sea To Shining Sea”

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Today’s post is nothing deep. I’m just sharing with you the beauty that our Creator made.

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You’re looking at mountains that haven’t been covered in snow in 30 years.
You’re looking at the city set on a hill that cannot be hidden.
You’re looking at the Sea of Galilee, the place Jesus stepped out on to and calmed a storm by saying “Peace be still.”
You’re looking at a boat that didn’t survive that storm.
You’re looking at the landscape that belongs to God’s chosen.
You’re looking at Israel.

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Home Is Where the Heart [of God] Is

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Last year my life changed a lot. The city I live in, the job I do, the people I live with, the church I attend, the work I do at church… All different now.

All the changes happened pretty close to the same time. That season of so much transition left me feeling lost and frankly kinda… Homeless. I have always had somewhere to live, but you know the saying “Home is where the heart is.”? It’s so very true, but my heart was everywhere. My heart was in the Greater Lansing area because I lived there my whole adult life. It was at Kidtime because I worked there longer than any other job I’d ever worked. My heart was at the Epicenter of Worship because it was the only constant in my ever changing life. That is until I realized the Lord was shifting me to a new place, spiritually and literally. When I finally acknowledged the feeling that change was unavoidable, between sobs, I asked and begged the Lord to let me stay. Because that was my home. My spiritual parents were there and they have nurtured me since I was a babe in Christ and a teen in my natural life.
My friends were there. And I was comfortable there.
One day, during one of my fits I heard the Holy Spirit edit that home adage. He said “Home is where the heart [of God] is.” I knew what He was saying. He meant, wherever God is, I’m home. That gave me the peace and oz (courage) to move on, emotionally.

That moment was replaying in my mind constantly as I visited Caesarea Phillipi. Today, I walked on a bridge that goes over the Jordan River.

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As soon as I stepped on it, a song came to mind. “When I wake up to find Your glory divine and I finally bow at Your feet, I will lift up Your name in honor and praise. When I cross over Jordan, I know that I’ll be running home to You.”

One of the main purposes of this trip, according to the visionary, is to help people develop a heart for Israel. That’s what happened for me in that moment. God loves the people of Israel. He is in covenant with them. He loves the land of Israel. If His heart is here, I’m home.

And it’s a blessing to be grafted into that covenant family.

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The biggest kicker? My room number is my home address.

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The God Who Answers By Fire

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About a month ago, the worship teams of both my churches learned a song by Eddie James to sing at a conference. The title of the song is “I’m Sending the Fire”. It’s based on the scripture in 1 Kings 18 where Elijah got fed up with all the idol worship. He said, “Then call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the LORD. The god who answers by setting fire to the wood is the true God!” And all the people agreed. (‭1 Kings‬ ‭18‬:‭24‬ NLT)

Since learning it, I’ve been meditating on the passage. Just focusing on how our God responds to us in powerful ways. So much so that a few weeks after the conference I had a dream and at the end of the dream I heard Numbers 16. Now hear me out, I love the Lord. I read the bible, but I don’t mess with Numbers. AND I have never heard the Lord speak that way. So I wake up and I’m like whet? Then I looked it up and my eyes were WIDE open when I got to this part.

If these men die a natural death, or if nothing unusual happens, then the LORD has not sent me. But if the LORD does something entirely new and the ground opens its mouth and swallows them and all their belongings, and they go down alive into the grave, then you will know that these men have shown contempt for the LORD.” He had hardly finished speaking the words when the ground suddenly split open beneath them. The earth opened its mouth and swallowed the men, along with their households and all their followers who were standing with them, and everything they owned. So they went down alive into the grave, along with all their belongings. The earth closed over them, and they all vanished from among the people of Israel. (‭Numbers‬ ‭16‬:‭29-33‬ NLT)

All of this was going through my mind today as I stood in the place where Elijah made that declaration. You read that right. That’s where I was today. I can hardly gather the words to describe how it feels standing in that spot and coming to the realization that I serve the God who answers by fire. And He’s the God who opens the earth at the word of a prophet.

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That’s one thing I did today. Dope right?

So I Asked

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This is a Part 2 to another blog called “Ask” so if you really wanna get this one and if you wanna make me feel good go read that one first. Click this link!
Ask, Seek, Knock

Oh Cae.. You done now?

As you read, for YEARS The Lord has been showing me that all I have to do is ask for what I want, but I still struggle to believe Him for crazy things.

I’m about to take you on a journey that I’ve been on since last summer. OhCAE? Follow me.

In July 2014, I moved to a new city after living in East Lansing my entire adult life, 8 years at the time. I didn’t have a job. I had spent my savings on my last few months of rent and car notes. The move was abrupt and I had no plan. Gas was still 3.75+ per gallon so commuting to my church in Lansing wasn’t an option. So I started going to another church that I was introduced to via my home church. Before I left the Lansing area, my home church started announcing a trip to Israel. I heard of it and thought it’d be cool to go, but as you’ve read I had no money. Fast forward to attending the new church and they announced the trip to Israel. (It took me a while to realize it was the same one). And when they announced it, they explained that this is an annual trip they plan to give people a right for Israel, but this year was different. This year isn’t gonna just be a normal tour. This is a year of strategic intercession, a year to be a watchmen on the wall, year to go into that region and be purposeful about shifting the atmosphere. That announcement charged me up, BUT I was bummed because although I had started making a LITTLE cash, a trip to Israel was super far fetched.

I started getting sad about my life in general and I just cried out to The Lord and asked Him why did it feel like I could never have or do anything I want? Why did I seem to only do things out of necessity. I told Him I really wanted to go, but it was impossible.

A few days later, I was rereading some of my blogs. I came across the one mentioned at the top of this one and The Lord began to minister to me through that piece. So… I asked. I asked The Lord if He could make a way for me to go on the trip.

In November, I decided to move to Detroit (yes, I was doing a lot). When I moved to Detroit, the family I was babysitting for didn’t want to lose me so they increased my hours as well as my salary. I was able to afford commuting and pay bills and still be able to save a little for the first time in forever. Still… Israel was a no go. I didn’t know what to do. So… I asked.

I posted on Facebook and asked my friends if I made a donations page would they help me pay for the trip.

I made it and chose an arbitrary end date in January and I was encouraged because people started giving, but that was before I found out the money was due December 18.

I wanted an extension. So… I asked.

I ended up getting an extension and I made the final payment the day before my extension deadline.

To paraphrase myself in “Ask”, There’s nothing wrong with asking your Father for what you want. He doesn’t love you any less just because He tells you no. Accept the rejection and remember that He knows the end. But just like with my shirt and trip to Israel, even though it may seem crazy, sometimes the answer is yes, but you won’t know that unless you’re crazy enough to ask!

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As you can see, I started composing this months before I had the money, but I have learned something recently that it so simple that it’s hard to comprehend. If you want to believe in something, just believe. Did you get that? If you want to think something is true then just think it. And when you are convinced that it’s true, you’ll start to act as if you believe it. I really wanted to believe that God’s word is true when it says ask and it shall be given, but in order to show I believed it I had to ask and expect that I’d get what I asked for.

So… I asked.