The Beauty of A Soul

Today I experienced the beauty of my soul.

I grew up as most Christians with the belief that my soul is not worthy and is need of saving. Sitting on the pulpit on a Sunday morning, with songs of praise echoing throughout the sanctuary, I sat in wonder about my journey in ministry. My journey is leading me to a path of self discovery and I must admit that I am a little frighten of what my soul is aching to push out. I am finding that I no longer relate to a Christian thought or belief that Christianity’s main function is only to save souls for heaven, where we will all suffer no more. This thought has allowed a selfish agenda that patterns capitalistic thinking, rewarded with getting that big mansion in the sky. In this thought we have missed human relationships and connections with each other. So busy trying to change each other that we have not seen the beauty of the soul in our path. We have missed opportunities to free a world from abuse and hatred. We have missed opportunities to love. We have missed opportunities to be a better nation, all because we have deemed that somewhere we must get people in a “right” relationship with God when we have not been in “right” relationships with each other.

This change happening within my being and soul frightens me. I must admit that I am struggling to join in with Christians who preach a Gospel that is not of love but instead of one that seeks opportunities to preach that we are all sinful and unworthy. Don’t get me wrong, of course there is evil, white supremacy, sinful systems that deny people their fundamental rights, these are the things we must preach against. These are the things that must be eradicated. Yes, this change happening within my being and soul frightens me, but oh so much of it is also beautiful and freeing. Of course, I am only sharing my new discovery on my journey in this space, because I feel safe to do so.

I wonder have any of you experience the beauty of your soul yet? Is there something about your faith that has led you to a place of enlightenment that steers you to know there is more than waiting to get to a heavenly place, and that God uses us to bring heavenly places here on earth? I believe in God. I believe that Jesus shows us and has provided examples to us how to love each other. There is a change that is happening within my being and soul and I am embracing it. I am a Christian. I am a Christian who loves myself and my neighbors. I am a Christian who stands for the rights of others, that be a woman right to choose, a right to marry who you love. I am a Christian. I am a Christian who believes that everyone should have housing. I am a Christian. I am a Christian who believes that there must be equal pay for all and $15 as minimum pay is not even enough. I am a Christian. I am a Christian who takes care of the environment because God trusted us enough to do so. I am a Christian and I believe your soul is beautiful.

Be Well My Friends,

Rev. JacquiP

In Our Muddy Pits

Based on Psalm 40:1-5a

In our muddy pits, we will continue to walk heavy through the slush of hatred, racism, sexism, homophobia, classism and all that causes harm to the Other. 

In our muddy pits, we will continue to keep our eyes and minds open with creative spirits that will build a better place where all are well and free. 

In our muddy pits, we will continue to share stories of our woes and victories so that someone who has lost their way, their being, their purpose, will be healed by the stories they hear. 

In our muddy pits, slimy and slippery as it may be, we will keep our hands connected to each other, so that any falls we experience might be gentle. 

In our muddy pits, we will call out every injustice in the land, speaking in different tongues, but with unified voices, from every nation, as those described unity in the Book of Acts. 

In our muddy pits, dirty, tired, weary, but strong with a God who is with us in these muddy pits, we will drudge on.  And when we rise from these muddy pits, we shall remember the dirt that stuck to our hands, the clumps of clay that hardened our thighs, the debris that fell into our mouths and flowed through our bodies, we shall then know that we are bonded together and only together we will rise from these muddy pits. 

In the Name of Our Creator, In the Name of Jesus, In the Name of All Tribes Gathered!  

May it be so!  Amen!
                                                                                                       Be Well My Friends!
                                                                                                       Rev. JacquiP









i just want to breathe.

I am finding my way. After trying to be what the church told me I needed to be, to be good, to go to church every Sunday, to be a lady and not use foul language, to hide my cleavage with a safety pin, to believe that God will provide all I need and desire, because I’m saved; after trying to figure out so much of what could be wrong with me while trying to figure out what should be right with me, I’ve come to the conclusion that I all I want to do is breathe. That’s all I want to do!

Friend, don’t be so hard on yourself. Be kind to you and to others, love yourself and others.

That’s it.

Rev. JacquiP

A More Beautiful America

Queering the American Dream is a memoir of resilience, hope and the dare to live in the moments of joy and grief.  Angela Yarber shares subversive, revolutionary women and goddesses as she journeys  through the bravery of camping in strange and beautiful places, letting go of past hurts of microaggressions delivered by Christian church folk while facing difficulties of experiencing family trauma and addiction.   Queering the American Dream shows us that it is quite okay to do things differently, to think differently, to live differently,  to create a world that is different from the status quo, to create a kind of America that does not always look like a two car garage with a white picket fence, a mom and dad and two children, a male and female, but instead a tiny house with a mama and mommy and children who get to decide their pronouns for themselves.  Queering the American Dream gives permission to dream a reality that is creative and liberating.  Angela Yarber pours her dreams into reality making it possible for all to see that queering America, perhaps, is exactly what is needed to make this country a more loving and kind place.  I highly recommend reading this touching memoir, Queering the American Dream.  

Be Well My Friends,

Rev. JacquiP

What Does Love Look Like?

What does love look like? Will it look like sidewalks that sparkle when we walk our children to school? Will the air smell like magnolia trees in full bloom and allergies be non existent? Will the streets be clean of debris which our towns sweep to welcome guest who come from far away places? Will our restaurants be full of laughter and conversations, opinions and disagreements, in safe spaces that we create? Will government officials be truly for all the people, not based on party lines or personality politics, but because their service calls them to do good and do what is right? Will our schools allow for the history of all people to be heard and learned and appreciated, even when the history is stories of genocide and hatred? Will police officers stop the killing of black and brown people? Will no-knock warrants cease? Will those who are descendants of an enslaved people ever get reparations? Will those who were on this land first ever be recognized because of their goodwill offering to share with us a blessing? Can we ever get to a point where we see each other as equals and not competitors? Can we normalize that love is love regardless of who’s hands we hold or who we share in making passionate love? Will we embrace our trans children who stand in defiance to our ignorance? Will we stand with those who are brutalized by dictators that kill innocent people and fight with them to gain freedom? Will we welcome all refugees seeking safety no matter what their race or nationality? Will we notice a stranger’s smile in the grocery store and will we smile back? Will we search for ways to end hunger and poverty? Will we seek ways to ensure that all people have shelter? Can we get to a point where material objects are not the things that define our being but realize we have enough so that others will have enough? Will we learn that the death penalty is not a righteous act? Will we serve our enemies food and water? Will we write to the mothers of our enemies that their children are safe in our protection? Will we understand that we are interconnected like highways, bridges, fiber connections that expand the internet, and like those things, when they become crumble and broken, when we lose the ability to connect with each other, we become crumple and broken. Finally, will we discover that at the end of the day, LOVE that heals all of us, that feeds all of us, that clothes all of us, that protects all of us, that accepts all of us, demands one thing from all of us, and that is, simply, that we love ALL OF US!

Hear what Christ our Savior saith. Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments, hang all the law and the prophets.

Summary of the Decalogue

Be Well My Friends,

Rev. JacquiP

The Women

This picture hangs in my home and always returns me to a place of peace. Unfortunately the artist is unknown.

I like to dance. I am not good at it, but there is a freedom that overtakes me when I move my body to the music of 70’s funk. I dance to release stress and it is also a means of exercise for me now since the weather is cold and snow is on the ground. One day as I was dancing across the room, my arms rising in the air, my hips swaying, my knees aching and my face gleaming with joy of content, I realized that I was not alone. Present with me in the dance was Katie, Pearl, Yvette, Millie and Eliza. All women who are gone from this earth. These beautiful souls who touched me in ways that instill the person who I have become and who I am becoming. I felt their whispers in my ear, saying to me, “Close your eyes and dance until you get every worry, every disappointment, every sadness, out of your soul and mind. Dance until your feet can’t move any more. Then know, that everything is alright.” Y’all, I closed my eyes and danced until the sweat of insecurities, sweat of exhaustion from trying to be so many things for others, sweat of doubt, dripped heavily on the floor. And I didn’t even try to clean up the mess. I left it there to evaporate.

Everything is gonna be alright!

Be Bless My Friends,

Rev. JacquiP

$1.99 Tube of Lip Gloss

March 2020, I stopped wearing makeup during the early days of the pandemic. To be honest, all the cosmetics I had in my dresser drawer were way too old and I should have thrown the products away a whole lot sooner than I did. I only used mascara to look fully awake in all of the ZOOM events that required that I show my face. Wearing no makeup was quite refreshing! Plus why would someone put foundation on to only get it all smeared on a face mask any way? And why wear lipstick when no one could see the your lip color? Wearing no makeup, I was a new woman, a natural woman, and the mirror showed off my new found freedom proudly.

One day, bored out of my mind, I started searching YouTube videos on something ,I don’t even remember now what it was. But makeup tutorials caught my attention and for two hours I sat and watched women change their entire appearance, looking nothing like the person that I stared at in the beginning of their instructions. It was fascinating! It was pure art! I admired them for being so detailed in how to apply eye shadow and how to make their nose keener (still don’t really understand that part). Of course I wasn’t going to try this myself. First I am too lazy and second, I really don’t have that kind of time. But, walking down the Rite-Aid beauty aisle, I could’t help but pick up a tube of L’Oréal face foundation that begged me to just remember what it felt like wearing makeup before the pandemic hit. So I took the bait. Baby steps. Today getting ready for church, I wore foundation, Number 8-10, for my skin complexion and mascara, along with my face mask. I felt pretty. So why am I writing about this?

We discovered in this pandemic that we had choices in how we presented ourselves to the world and even to ourselves. We discovered new things about ourselves and brought forth the hidden things we so loved about us to the surface for others to see. We were open to let go of our idiosyncrasies, not afraid no longer of what others thought of us, no longer afraid of our unique abilities. We discovered a freedom that introduced us to ourselves because the gift of time demanded from us a sit down with self. The videos I discovered were makeup artist in their bedroom, bathroom or kitchen, with sounds of their children playing in the background, in the midst of their homes where toys and clothes are thrown across the room, sharing cosmetic products bought from their neighborhood Walmart. Their videos brought joy to me as I watched how one makeup artist was excited to introduced a $1.99 tube of lip gloss. How pure is that? I discovered that I am not a makeup artist. I can wear makeup or do without, but what I discovered that when I take the opportunity to see others shine in their own unique sort of way, when I take the opportunity to experience their freedom, I too experience my freedom. I too, experience my sparkle. We are all INSPIRATIONS! What is that you are offering that puts a sparkle to someone’s day? $1.99 tube of lip gloss can be a great start!

Be Well My Friends! Love Ya!

Rev. JacquiP

Somewhere, A Place for Us

You would think that as we get older, we really would stop trying to fit in, right? Or am I just talking about me? As teenagers we wanted to belong to the group of kids that fascinated us, rather that be the smart group that had life figured out, the cool group that was just way to cool to care about anything but themselves or maybe the group we created in our minds, just to have a feeling of belonging. And still here I sit, still pushing and scrambling to be noticed, to hear my name called, to be recognized, to be accepted, to be me, in a place I don’t fit. Why am I still trying to fit in? Why am I seeking among those who have decided I don’t belong and why do I constantly seek their blessings to matter so much.

We all want and need to be accepted and loved for just being who we are and if we are desperately fighting to received the love and acceptance, that is rightfully deserved and not getting it in the places we sit, then there is nothing wrong with us, with me, with you. It simply means our belonging, our breath, our gifts and talents are needed some where magical. Somewhere that is not afraid to hold us and hear us, somewhere that is not afraid to cry and laugh with us. Somewhere that community happens around us and in us. Somewhere that looks like love and smells like love.

I love Westside Story, the original and the new one. When I was little, after church on Sundays, I would rush home hoping that Westside Story would be on our black and white TV. We only got a few channels. Old movies, Elvis Presley and beach movies, were showed a lot. But when movies like Imitation of Life and Westside Story came on, I somehow related to these stories, even as an 8 year old girl, seeking to belong somewhere.

My sharing with you is not meant to be a sad one. I still look to a place and wonder why they never chose me, even as I get older. Oh well! This is what I know… if I continue to push in a place that does not want me, I miss experiencing the beautiful place God has for me. We can’t stay in the place that does not want us, we can’t grow in the place that does not want us. We seek the place God has for us, nourish it with all the love we have and settle in our place with gratitude, welcoming all who seek to belong.

“There’s a place for us, a time and a place for us. Hold my hand and we’re half way there. Hold my hand and I’ll take you there. Somehow, someday, somewhere.”

Be Well My Friends!

Rev. JacquiP

It’s Your Turn!

May you run with the wind to the place that calls your name.

May you trust your heart to follow your path.

May you plant seeds that bloom like sun rays.

May you be still when the storms arise.

May you laugh out loud with your head tilted back.

May you cry when sad and happy.

May you give hugs and not be afraid.

May you stand bravely before your oppressors.

May you share the very best of who you are.

May you receive all the love you deserve.

For the world is waiting for someone like you!

Happy New Year my Friends!!! Be Bless!!

Rev. JacquiP

Light of the World

My faith celebrates the One who comes into this world offering hope, peace and love. My faith teaches me that Jesus is light that shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome the light. My faith also teaches me that as Jesus serves to bring light and exposes the injustices of this world, so must we who are followers of Christ do the same. We are also light.

Yes, we are plagued with pandemics of viruses, of gun violence, of poverty, of unaffordable health care, of education inequity, racism, sexism, too many others to name. All of this is challenging and it almost sounds impossible to do anything about. My faith offers to me that we can do more than we can even imagine. God actually believes that we can. Imagine that! God believes in us so much that God brings us a light through the Christ child that strengthens and guides us in making our world a place not of darkness, but one of love, of acceptance, of helping the other, of seeing the other, embracing and sharing our gifts with one another, of sharing light that overcomes the darkness. Light always prevails.

My prayer for all of us is that we shine our light so bright that the darkness will be totally pushed out and that God would say, “Hey, I knew you could do it!”

Be Bless My Friends, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2022!!

Rev. JacquiP