Where the Heck’ya Been, God Girl?

So .... yeah.About, oh, NINE months ago, I started a new gig as the Faith & Values columnist for the Orange County Register in Southern California. No, I never expected to return to writing for newspapers. But not unlike Don Corleone, the Register's editor made me an offer I simply couldn't refuse. My first day on the job was the day before Pope Benedict XVI retired and a week or so later, I found myself standing in St. Peter's Square staring at the same smoke stack on top of the Sistine … [Read more...]

Give a Gift with Purpose from the ONE Shop

There is still time to order #GiftsthatGive for Christmas and Hannukah from the ONE Campaign's Shop -- including the gorgeous scarves made by fashionABLE in Ethiopia exclusively for the ONE Campaign pictured above.Read about the women weavers from fashionABLE who make them HERE.Happily, fashionABLE is completely sold out of their inventory for the year (which means, among other things, the organization/company has been able to hire three more women since I visited their factory in Addis … [Read more...]

Bono Preaches the Gospel of Social Justice at Georgetown

"Do you think he'll sing?" the girl in the row behind me wondered aloud."I hope so," the young fellow beside her said before continuing, "My dad would freak. He was a big fan of U2 when I was growing up. He used to play this one album, The Joshua Tree, over and over again."His father was a fan.I am a thousand years old, I thought to myself, as more Georgetown students filled the seats around me at the university's 111-year-old Gaston Hall, the main lecture hall on campus named after … [Read more...]

Smell. Sip. Sacrament.

Of all the exotic aromas and experiences from my sojourn in Ethiopia, it’s the frankincense I miss most.Not the puffs of smoke emanating from a thurible swung by priest walking the center aisle or blessing a high altar. What I miss is an even more specific scent: the unmistakable mélange of frankincense and roasting coffee beans over a charcoal fire.Frankincense and slow-roasted beans are the sacramental elements of the Ethiopian coffee ceremony – a rite at once ubiquitous and quotidian, … [Read more...]

The Fiscal Cliff: Mommas Said Knock You Out

By the time President Obama walked off the stage at Chicago’s McCormick Place after delivering his acceptance speech early Wednesday morning, pundits already were screaming HERE COMES THE FISCAL CLIFF!And while it might have been a nice idea to take a collective breath after such a divisive election season before new screeching began, the pundits were not wrong.Be warned: The Fiscal Cliff approaches. On Jan. 2, 2013, to be exact.Now, I am many things, but an economist (or even a p … [Read more...]

Ethiopia: How Foreign Aid Has Helped a Generation

LALIBELA, Ethiopia -- You know the images you have in your mind of Ethiopia from 27 years ago? The ones from the nightly news reports on TV about the famine in the Horn of Africa as the death toll and horror stories grew.Scorched, cracked earth. The carcasses of emaciated, dead cattle lying in the baking sun. Hundreds of thousands of stick-thin refugees wandering in the dust, hoping to have enough strength to make it to a camp that might have water and food. The babies and children with … [Read more...]

What Americans Think About U.S. Foreign Aid Might Surprise You

In an OpEd that appeared on POLITICO Monday, Mike Huckabee, the former Republican governor of Arkansas, and Blanche Lincoln, the former Democratic senator from Arkansas -- who together co-chair ONE Vote 2012, a non-partisan campaign to make global health and extreme poverty foreign policy priorities in the 2012 presidential election, wrote about the importance of maintaining U.S. foreign aid to the developing world that has helped make significant improvements in the health and sustainability of … [Read more...]

Ethiopia: I love the sound of Addis in the morning

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Ethiopia: The Face of God

BAHIR DAR, Ethiopia — When I posted this photograph of a beautiful little Ethiopian girl holding a daisy a few days ago, my friend  and fellow author Christian Piatt responded on Twitter with a four-word comment: "The Face of God."Christian's remark stopped me in my tracks ... because it's absolutely true.The Bible even tells us so.So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. ~ Genesis 1:27When I look into th … [Read more...]

Ethiopia: Motherhood is Powerful, Precious

Speak out for those who cannot speak,for the rights of all the destitute.Speak out, judge righteously,defend the rights of the poor and needy.~ Proverbs 31:8-9ADDIS ABABA — These words of King Solomon have been running through my mind since our ONE Moms delegation — 13 mothers from the United States, the United Kingdom, and France — arrived in the Ethiopian capital on Sunday.I hear these verses as a clarion call to action. As someone who strives humbly to follow the Way of Jesus and … [Read more...]


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