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Author Archives: Leroy Barber

What Are You Waiting For?

What Are You Waiting For?

This is the time of year where you start to think, “what next?”  For some of you graduation has come and gone..  What should you be doing next fall? I know the question is sitting on your mind.  I know you have grappled with where to go, who to talk with, which application to send in.  Should I work or serve for year? I know you may be pulled in both directions trying to discern what God wants, how to […]

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The Climate Needs to Change

The Climate Needs to Change

In my work as a missionary (and yes, I said missionary – I know it’s a word that has taken a beating, but hopefully it can be redeemed at some point), I never planned to be talking about the environment.  It just never crossed my mind until I started to do my own research and found out how there is even injustice toward the poor and people of color when it comes to the climate and the environment where we […]

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Jesus Sitting in the Train Station

Jesus Sitting in the Train Station

I am in Buenos Aires, Argentina to visit and learn more about the work being done here by Word Made Flesh, a community of vocationally called folks that bears witness to hope by serving Christ among the world’s most vulnerable.  They are in this and many other communities all over the world.  For the past 4 days I have been in Argentina with them. Today I was able to go to one of the main train stations and hear stories […]

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Incarnation

Incarnation

Recently, someone asked me for my thoughts on an online article about incarnational ministry: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2012/july-august/the-problem-with-incarnational-ministry.html Incarnation is a theological term that explains God coming among us. It is God actually becoming man, and it cannot be done by a human being.  There is a term “incarnational ministry” that gets put out there by a lot of us.  It has come under some scrutiny by theologians, and rightfully so, because the incarnation cannot be done by a person. I believe many […]

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Invitation

Invitation

The disciples are about to see Jesus crucified and Jesus is trying to comfort and prepare them for the next few days and consequently for the rest of their lives. The comfort he gives is that they will be fine, that he is preparing a place for them – meaning his death is necessary and will clear the way for them to know God. In fact, he assures them that they have already been with God by being with him. […]

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Sacrifice of Culture

Sacrifice of Culture

I have been thinking about what to give up for Lent and what I can call people to this Lenten season.  I live a very diverse lifestyle; rarely am I around just one culture at a time or one specific group of people.  What can we sacrifice that has potential to change us and the world around us for the long haul? So my idea for Lent is this: This Lent, will you consider sacrificing your social life? What does […]

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An Injustice in Camden

An Injustice in Camden

Mission Year volunteers lived and worked in Camden, New Jersey for several years. Alumni still living there have committed their hearts to the city. Recently, Mission Year President Leroy Barber learned of some discouraging developments affecting the Camden Children’s Garden. He wrote the following response for Sojourners. Below is a sneak peak: I recently heard that the state of New Jersey plans to evict the Camden Children’s Garden from its 14-year-old home. I don’t know if you know much about […]

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Celebrating Justice

Celebrating Justice

This week we will celebrate two significant things in our country: the inauguration of our first president of color and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. These are two monumental events that center around the justice and freedom for all people. I am excited that we will celebrate two great black men this week, but I am equally concerned that I am not hearing more about how we care for some of our most vulnerable citizens. What is the plan […]

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Payback

Payback

“Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.  For, ‘Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech.  They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it.’” (1 Peter 3:9-11 NIV) I read the Bible most mornings and try to apply […]

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Blind Faith

Blind Faith

The blind man hears a commotion and asks what it is about.  When they tell him it is Jesus walking by, he begins yelling, “Hey Jesus, have mercy on me!”  He doesn’t get a response, so he yells louder.  This is quite interesting because the man is blind, so he has no idea whether Jesus is looking his way or not. I mean, he’s probably used to asking people what is going on and being ignored, but this time he […]

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Beneath the Cloak of Invisibility

Beneath the Cloak of Invisibility

I am going to brag on my wife a bit. She does incredible work with children and helps many organizations think through how they approach urban children, teens and young adults. Her newsletter below captures so much of my heart as well. “And the word became flesh and dwelt among us.” At its best, life is about relationships. At CFYDG those relationships begin with a simple prayer, “Lord, help me to see what you see when you look on the […]

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Lasting Investments

Lasting Investments

What if you were able to give, and you knew it would impact multiple things and be the foundation for work to happen years from now?  If you knew one dollar would do that, I think you would give to: A team member serving in a underserved community A local agency getting 30 hours a week in service Connection to the work of a local Church Neighbors engaged in life and work that inspires and encourages Young people learning from […]

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Justice in Philly

Justice in Philly

The Declaration of independence was first signed and read aloud from the cobblestone streets of the wonderful city of Philadelphia. “We hold these truths to be self evident – that all men are created equal.” I guess that’s the reason for a conference that focuses on justice – because we have not always lived up to that declaration as a society.  Perhaps we can get a little closer to its magnificent claim as we gather in Philly this February. I […]

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The Journey of August

The Journey of August

Cool Down It’s August, and for Mission Year it is an interesting month.  Our year ends with team members who have been serving for a year.  There is celebration and sadness as we say goodbye to neighbors and friends with whom we have shared life together.  The end of a year brings a much needed cool down period – a period of processing, assessing, prayer for the new year, writing and dreaming for me, vacation for our City Directors… it […]

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Toxic Challenge

Toxic Challenge

In recent months I have been asked many questions about Bob Lupton’s new book Toxic Charity, a book that has been incredibly challenging for many as they rethink how volunteering and missions is done in their context. I think the book hits on some very key issues that we need to examine as Christians and especially those who run missions organizations. The idea that we are making situations worse with the way we do charity is something we should examine […]

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Negative Attention

Negative Attention

I think we should all be praying for the families affected by today’s shooting. Their lives have changed forever because of the acts of this young man today. I am deeply concerned about how and why this has happened and even more concerned by the response. I woke up this morning like many of you to the horrific story of what happened at the theater in Colorado early this morning. I am very appreciative of the media and the work […]

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How Many?

How Many?

In my church growing up, I was taught to concentrate deeply on this question: “What would happen to you if you died tonight? Would you be in heaven with Jesus, or suffer eternity in hell?”  This was the question of questions, the only thing that really mattered at the end of the day, and I was trained rigorously on how to lead a person to Jesus using tools like gospel tracts, The Roman Road, and the ABC’s of the Gospel. […]

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Finish Strong

Finish Strong

Do you remember report card day from your childhood?  I wasn’t what you would call a great student, so report card day was always a challenge for me.  One particular time comes to mind when I came home with a progress report that showed a D in effort for a couple of classes.  I think that was the worst punishment I have ever received in my life.  My mom did not approve of poor grades and she made that known, […]

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Transitional Leadership

Transitional Leadership

I find myself often helping and/or leading during times of transition. Transition can be quite challenging, because most of us don’t like change very much, but I’ve learned a few helpful things along the way. Transition is emotional. No matter how healthy the transition, there is always some sense of sadness. New leaders should be aware and sensitive to this condition. Validate peoples’ feelings – while we try not to act on emotion when making large decisions for an organization, […]

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In Pursuit of a Dream

In Pursuit of a Dream

What inspires you?  What leads you to think you can conquer the world?  I think we all have moments where we just let ourselves enter a place beyond ourselves.  I am admittedly a big-time dreamer, and I have many moments where I am in “dream mode.”  These dreams usually lead to ideas and projects.  I am also a starter, so dreaming is only the beginning – implementation is also something I have come to enjoy. What, then, is the difference […]

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    • Learning Grace

      Coming into Mission Year I thought I had grace all figured out; grace was undeserved and freely given…just like the “GRACE [...] Read More

    • Standing With Ferguson

        The Catholic peace activist Kathy Kelly summed it up well: “Where you stand determines what you see.” The city of Ferguson, in [...] Read More

    • Solitude and Growth

      It’s crazy to think that I have been in Houston for over a month! Time is flying by, and the past few weeks have been filled with joys, [...] Read More

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    1. 25OctRed in LA area Available for Coffee
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    3. 27OctVanguard
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    5. 29OctSimpson University
    6. 01NovNorthpark Student Diversity Leadership Conference
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    9. 26JanSave the Date-Cairn University's Global Mission Week-January 26-30, 2015