Author: Adria Gulizia

The Lord Will Provide

Blessed be the Lord, for he has heard the sound of my pleadings. The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts; so I am helped, and my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him. The Lord is the strength of his people; he is the saving refuge of his anointed. O save your people, and bless your heritage; be their shepherd, and carry them forever. -Psalm 28:6-9 Have you ever had one of those days where everything seems to be going wrong? That happened to me recently. Everything – I mean everything – seemed to be going off the rails, but God carried me through so spectacularly that I want to share with as many people as possible. It started on a Monday. I had just come back from a gathering of the Friends of Jesus Fellowship and I was due to give a pretty substantial presentation on Wednesday. I had budgeted time to put together the last few slides, but trouble began to brew when I was asked …

Why Conviction Matters

I was recently privileged to deliver a version of the below remarks at the first New York Yearly Meeting Quaker Exploration and Discourse (QuED) Day. QuED is a day of talks, fellowship and discussion taking place once a month aimed at connecting young adult Friends with Friends of diverse experiences from around the yearly meeting. You can watch the morning’s talks, including Q+A, here.  Objectivity has had a bad run recently. University professors are being criticized for encouraging debate rather than comforting their students. Great Britain is exiting the EU based largely on a campaign of xenophobic fear-mongering. Our recent presidential election was marked by lies, half-truths and exaggerations which, even when debunked, had no discernible negative impact on those spreading them. Oxford Dictionaries’ Word of the Year was “post-truth,” an adjective “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” In this environment, it is important to stand for facts, accuracy and fairness and against the swell of emotion that can blind us …

Complacency and Self-Delusion

I know your works; you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were either cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spit you out of my mouth. For you say, ‘I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing.’ You do not realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. Therefore I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire so that you may be rich; and white robes to clothe you and to keep the shame of your nakedness from being seen; and salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. I reprove and discipline those whom I love. Be earnest, therefore, and repent. Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me. To the one who conquers I will give a place with me on my throne, just as I myself conquered …

Let Earth Receive Her King

The electors have cast their ballots. The long-shot “anyone but Trump” campaign has met its end. Barring catastrophe, Donald J. Trump will be the 45th president of the United States of America. As he steps into that role, he will have at his fingertips the largest and most powerful military arsenal in the history of the world. He will have at his disposal an intelligence network that can penetrate ever more deeply into the private lives of individuals domestically and abroad. He will have decades of relationships with the wealthy and powerful the world over, relationships that are unlikely to substantially change simply because Mr. Trump is moving his primary office to Pennsylvania Avenue. With Republican majorities in both houses of Congress, the power to fill a Supreme Court vacancy, and two-thirds of state governorships in Republican hands, Mr. Trump will likely face the weakest opposition in modern history. Between the political dynamics currently in force and the power of the executive branch at a peak due to policies pioneered by President Bush in the …

The Christian’s Ultimate Allegiance

I, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to you who are in America, Grace be unto you, and peace from God our Father, through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ… I am impelled to write you concerning the responsibilities laid upon you to live as Christians in the midst of an unChristian world. That is what I had to do. That is what every Christian has to do. But I understand that there are many Christians in America who give their ultimate allegiance to man-made systems and customs. They are afraid to be different. Their great concern is to be accepted socially. They live by some such principle as this: “everybody is doing it, so it must be alright.” For so many of you Morality is merely group consensus. In your modern sociological lingo, the mores are accepted as the right ways. You have unconsciously come to believe that right is discovered by taking a sort of Gallup poll of the majority opinion. How many are giving their ultimate allegiance to …

Contact without Fellowship

Hatred often begins in a situation in which there is contact without fellowship, contact that is devoid of any of the primary overtures of warmth and fellow-feeling and genuineness. Of course, it must be borne in mind that there can be an abundance of sentimentality masquerading under the cloak of fellowship. It is easy to have fellowship on your own terms and to repudiate it if your terms are not acceptable. It is this kind of fellowship that one finds in the South between whites and Negroes . . . When we give to the concept a wider application, it is clear that much of  modern life is so impersonal that there is always opportunity for the seeds of hatred to grow unmolested. Where there are contacts devoid of genuine fellowship, such contacts stand in immediate candidacy for hatred. -Howard Thurman, Jesus and the Disinherited