Alyssa Sellers


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I Marched Because I Love

img_0614-3Even though Dressember^ ended last month, yesterday I donned a special dress, Lady Liberty’s, and marched for the 20 to 30 million people, mostly women, who are today enslaved. January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month and I was honored to march for women across the globe who were not free or able. I marched for women who are sold for $90. I’ve bought pairs of shoes for that price. I am sure many of you have, too. I marched for humans with no choice or voice. I marched because I love.

As a follower of Jesus, I am Jesus flippin’ tables outraged by Christian women and men who demeaned the march of me and my sisters.

Sisters like Tiffany who marched for “every woman who has ever been a victim of sexual, emotional, verbal or spiritual abuse. It is never OK. I refuse to let it be normalized.” Sisters like Rhonda who wrote “Today I marched for the marginalized. Today I marched for Hispanic Americans. I marched for the under-represented. I marched for their honor, respect, dignity, and rights.” Continue reading

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Single in the Summer is the Worst

single in the summer squareBeing single in the summer is the worst.

Sure, the Christmas/New Year combo could vie for the title of Worst Season to be Single. What with the constant barrage of songs telling you that Christmas just ain’t Christmas without the one you love and all the parties you have to attend solo with the faces of other happy families reminding you that you are a family of one.

Stealthy summer wins because of its tricky sneak-attack of sadness.

At first, the physical freedom from outerwear mixed with extended hours of daylight provides a certain kind of euphoria. Soon, however, you discover you have a tad too much time.

In the dead of winter, it’s dark all the time and you have no place you need to go so you feel no guilt staying in on a Saturday night watching an entire season of some show on Netflix. But in the summer, the sunny outside world beckons with promises of road trips, camping adventures, ball games of all sorts, hikes to majestic views, naps in lush meadows, seaside rambles, and so forth, you know what I’m talking about, you feel me. Continue reading


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Out Onto the Water

2014 River facing North BRIGHTFrustrated with the lack of productivity on a rare day-off, I walked down to the Willamette River, past the South Waterfront Garden and sat on a bench that jutted out over the river bank looking north toward the Hawthorne, Morison and Steele Bridges.

Looking out on the water, I recalled what I’d read earlier in a book about Peter walking on water to Jesus. In Rob Bell’s Velvet Elvis, Bell writes that when Peter started sinking below the waves, Peter lost faith in himself.  Jesus, on the other hand, never lost faith in Peter. Continue reading


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Peace, Piercings & Food: Jesus Speaks to Freaked-Out Disciples

fish food 2Last week a devotional I was reading pointed to a verse in Luke 24 as an example of the supernatural greatness of Jesus. In it, a very much alive Jesus appears to the disciples, after his death and resurrection and says, “Peace be with you.”

I read farther and discovered that the disciples petty much freak-out and think Jesus is a ghost. So he tries to calm them down by showing them the holes in his body, I guess like someone shows off his new piercings. And then Jesus says, “Do you have anything to eat here?”

Just when I thought I couldn’t love Jesus anymore, he says this. He just saved the past, present and future world then follows that up by appearing to women at his tomb, some dudes walking on the road out of town and then in a house where the disciples are hanging out. What does he do after all of this? Jesus starts rummaging around for some grub. Jesus is so my kind of people. Continue reading


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Blessed?

blessedA few months ago I looked around the room at my church and I saw a group of hurting people. Some of us had obvious physical ailments, others carried emotional wounds and a precious few limped around with both. I thought for such a small group, around 50, we sure do have a ton of pain happening at the moment.

And then I thought about who Jesus named as blessed:

The poor in spirit
Those who mourn
The meek
Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness
The merciful
The pure in heart
The peacemakers
Those persecuted because of righteousness

I venture to say that many of us don’t aspire to be the people on this list because, when we stop and really examine it, most of this list is just plain HARD.

It’s a wonder that at our most human, when it is impossible to do it all on our own, we are blessed.

 

For a fantastic essay on the misuse of the word blessed, check out Scott Dannemiller’s, The One Thing Christians Should Stop Saying: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/scott-dannemiller/christians-should-stop-saying_b_4868963.html


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Defining Faith and Becoming Dependent

faith: verbThe largest app on my phone is the Merriam-Webster dictionary. It takes up a ton of space, but I absolutely love it. I use it all the time because I’m a word nerd. This is one the things I’ve begun admitting to myself.

I love words. I love everything about them; what they mean, how they are used, where they come from and sometimes, because of this love, I fall down the rabbit hole.  Like when I discovered argy-bargy is a synonym for altercation. It’s British. It comes from argle-bargle under which M-W states: reduplication of Scots & English argle, alteration of argue . Isn’t this exciting?!

Somehow I got to here because I looked up the word faith.  The current definition of faith is listed as a noun; as if faith is something you own.

I think faith is a verb; it is only real if it is active. Continue reading


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Desert Jesus and the Cranky Girl

DesertI had forgotten how much chronic pain makes me cranky.

Almost 10 years ago I broke my upper right arm completely in half and had to get a titanium rod and screws placed into the brokenness. I was cranky for months. I thought it was the pain medicine.  I realize now, it was more the miserableness I constantly felt.

I realize now, because I did something awful to my right shoulder and I’ve been in constant pain for 3 weeks. It hurts to type this. It hurts to wash my hair. It hurts to lie on the couch watching Netflix. It hurts. It’s annoying. It makes me cranky.

And then I opened up my bathroom cabinet and something springs out and falls to the floor. “You think I’m picking you up!? Nope, you’re gonna stay there and take this time to think about what you’ve done.”

I’m cranky.

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