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An Inauguration Plea to the Masses

 

rioters

By Dane Fowlkes, Ph.D.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

~Martin Luther King, Jr. 

“If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.” (1 John 4:20/ ESV)

Hatred always garners the most headlines. One would be hard pressed to identify the root cause of any evil in our world as lying at the feet of anything other than hatred. It may be hatred expressed toward another individual or collection of them, or it may be acted out upon ourselves; ultimately, all hate is an angry fist thrust at the face of God.

Dr. Ross Rhoades insists, “It’s the nonchalance of faith that impedes revival.” While I do not disagree with him, drill down further and you will find hatred at the core of all spiritual dullness. This should not surprise us. Scripture states matter-of-factly that “God is love;” therefore, anything individually or culturally that moves in an opposing direction smacks of its antithetical quality, namely hate. I am not immune; I have hated before, each damning episode marching me farther away from God and myself.

Hatred may postpone, but it never resolves anything.  Hate erodes the foundation of all relationships-respect. Respect is not luxury; it is essential to humanity and respect is nothing more than the earthly  reflection of divine love. Love looks beyond wounds to discern sacred possibility in others. Love is the only hope for anyone, starting with myself.  

“Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.” (1 John 4:7-8 | NRSV)

 

Dane Fowlkes

With eloquence, candor, and simplicity, Dane Fowlkes turns the pages of his own story and allows the reader to peak over his shoulder and into his heart.  In these spiritual and autobiographical reflections, this celebrated communicator relates carefully chosen experiences from his life as son, father, grandfather, husband, minister, and writer—for the purpose of illustrating the weight of glory in ordinary human experience.  “Glory abounds in the ordinary if you know where to look; grace is always present tense.”  Fowlkes has led anything but a dull existence—from initiation into an African tribe in norther Kenya where he is known as Jilo, a name that means “season of celebration,” to living near Gandhi’s ashram on the Sabarmati River—yet he has learned to discern and celebrate God’s grace in the commonplace. 

Fowlkes’s words reveal the presence of God in daily life.  He embraces difficult questions and garden-variety experiences as equally essential components of our lives, rather than as enemies that seek to destroy us or bore us to tears.  “Only those who stumble in the dark fully appreciate the miracle of light.”  Reflecting Fowlkes’s gift for storytelling and his minister’s heart, his new book, Ordinary Glory will inspire laughter, hope, and transform the way we view the unremarkable moments that fill much of our lives.  Turn the pages and rediscover what it means to be thoughtful about grace.  See why this newly published author will be quoted by Americans for generations to come.

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