Nov 21, 2019
Today my conversation is with children’s book author, activist, and just generally amazing woman of God, Dorena Williamson. Dorena’s books, Colorfull, Thoughtfull, and Gracefull, take big things like skin color, living with special needs, and homelessness and breaks them down into verbiage that communicates to the heart of children the gift of God’s unique design of His Kingdom, practicing compassion, and sharing blessings with others. What’s even more beautiful about them though, is that they speak to the hearts of adults. These books have become staples in our home in helping equip our children, and ourselves, with more kind and compassionate words about our friends and neighbors who do not look or live like us.
Dorena’s voice has played a significant role in a journey God has brought me on to see our world with fresh eyes, and let me just say that on the other side of this conversation with her, I am not the same, and I am grateful. Dorena created such a grace filled space for me to ask questions, learn and stretch what I’ve always known. There are so many incredible take-aways about how God calls us to deny ourselves, embrace discomfort, to pursue humility and never stop learning for the sake of unifying the body of Christ.
We go so deep and so wide in this conversation, it actually will come to you in two parts!
So pull up a chair, friend and join us for part 1.Let’s press in. Let’s be willing to do some possibly uncomfortable and humbling work. It is worthy work to ask God to open our eyes to see the people He made more clearly. “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Ephesians 2:10 NLT).
Tuskegee Syphilis Study (Y’all. This story baffled me in college. Here is the book I read about this story back in the day that was VERY good, and here is a link to former President Bill Clinton’s apology to the eight surviving men from the study that took place in oh… 1997. Just SIXTY-FIVE years later.)
Jackie Hill Perry (She might be my favorite follow on Instagram. Truly. Also, her story is incredible. Here is her book Gay Girl Good God: The Story of Who I Was and Who God Has Always Been, her Bible Study on the book of Jude, and if someone wants to get me one of her Jesus & Therapy shirts for Christmas I’m here. for. it.)
Dr. Tony Evans // Here is a link to his commentary Bible (also see some incredible videos from his son, Anthony Evans Jr.’s instagram, of the celebration Victory Live celebrating this incredible accomplishment! I cried so. hard.)
Lois Evans (Please join us in praying for this incredible woman and her family as they continue, by faith, to face the highs and victories and lows and losses of illness.)
His Testimonies: My Heritage: Women of Color on the Word of God
From Dorena: At Strong Tower, we do a little bit of everything in & through church; we teach a GDK (God's Diverse Kingdom) class in the spring that focuses on race and justice. Chris preaches series at times and we've done book studies as well. Truly it's a part of our DNA! Here is information on getting connected with them if you find yourself in Middle TN!
On locally ministering/helping/giving to the homeless in Middle TN:
-Project615 is a local apparel company that is passionate about giving back to the community. When you purchase one of their “Consider Others First” shirts, it gives FIVE meals to a homeless person in Nashville via, The Bridge. They also have a clothing drive for the homeless where you can bring items to their local store and receive a discount on other Project615 apparel. You can find that info here.
-The Bridge in Nashville that ministers to the homeless on Tuesday nights.
-The corner standing friends usually sell for The Contributor whose mission is: “The Contributor creates economic opportunity with dignity by investing in the lives of people experiencing homelessness and poverty”
-Nashville Rescue Mission does good work to help those in housing transition.
-Green House Ministries in Murfreesboro
-Amelia’s Closet in Murfreesboro is a company whose mission is: “Providing professional apparel & hope to deserving women as they open the employment door.” They work to equip women and fight against poverty, homelessness, trafficking and more. “We want to help women feel valued, confident, and hopeful as they soar to new heights.” (AMEN!)
***I do not benefit from any of the organizations mentioned above. I am just trying to spread the word about them, especially the local ones. The amazon book links throughout this post are the only part of these very detailed lists of resources that I receive any incentive from as an amazon affiliate. However, I’d send and recommend these books to you no. matter. what. If you decide to make a purchase, I am humbled and grateful for your support of the podcast and my family through that purchase.
Dorena mentions (and part 1 and 2 of our conversation!) some people she follows that have given her great perspective in her journey, here is her list she shared with me in addition to people we brought up:
Michelle Reyes @drmichellereyes
Jemar Tisby @JemarTisby
Ray Chang @tweetraychang
Christina Edmondson @DrCEdmondson
LaTasha Morrison @LaTashaMorrison
Sarah Shin @SarahShinAuthor.
Connecting with Dorena:
*Intro and outro music by audionautix.com*