Today's Devotions

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Showcase: Assorted Treats

  • Difficult People to Love +

    Loving others is not easy, Read More
  • River of Love +

    There's a river of love that runs through all timeBut there's a river of grief that floods through our livesIt Read More
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Vickie_YoheSomething's in the air. I had not heard of the outrageously talented Vicki Yohe until I'd tuned into WBLS this morning, a station I've followed for years, no matter where I'm living. But I was never as much of a fan of BLS as of 98.7 Kiss FM, which had superior dance music that ranged from Shirley Ellis to Whitney to Beyoncé, and more than lived up to its claim that it broadcast "Classic Soul and Today's R. & B."

In any case, last weekend was my last chance to float on the Kiss airwaves before they merged with BLS, due to a recent programming deal between Emmis Communications and ESPN New York. Times are hard. I will follow the Kiss crew anywhere, even to the revamped BLS. We'll be old friends soon, and now I'm glad that I tuned in, because that's where I heard Vicki Yohe, and what might be described as her post-white voice. The song: "I'm At Peace." And the minute I heard it, I knew I was in the presence of something powerful-faith married to a gorgeous set of pipes that was steeped in the locutions of the black church as reinterpreted by a blonde white woman who's adopted a biracial child. 'Nuff said?

The song is as powerful as "Precious Memories," Aretha and James Cleveland's duet on the former's 1972 album, "Amazing Grace," a record that works because it includes talents other than Aretha's own-she has to step up instead of coasting on her "legendary" status. (Franklin's joining forces with Clive Davis weeks after Whitney's death says as much about her ambition as it does about the brutality of the music business.) But Yohe has a faith that's bigger than show business, and, as the somewhat literal-minded video for her song indicates, she has an interest in becoming the voice of working-class America, a world where blacks and whites who feel stiffed by a dream they can't remember having, exist side by side, separated less by race than from those who have, because they do not have much.

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Reflections to Consider

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  • River of Love

    There's a river of love that runs through all timeBut there's a river of grief that floods through our livesIt Read More
  • I Am Nothing

    I stutter when I tryTo speak the language of lifeI want to shout out loudBut I just cry insideSometimes it Read More
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Audio & Video

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  • Transforming this World: The Hope of Glory by NT Wright +

    Wright confronts the perspective that this world doesn’t matter, and that we live only to be in heaven. He shows Read More
  • What is Good in a World that Defies Hope: a talk by NT Wright +

    This is the second part of three talks by NT Wright at Harvard University in November, 2008 on the topic Read More
  • The Stream, the Lake and the River: NT Wright +

      Acts 2.1-21; John 7.37-39; a sermon at the Eucharist on the Feast of Pentecost, 11 May 2008, by the Read More
  • Jesus in the Perfect Storm by NT Wright +

    Zechariah 9.9-17; Luke 19.28-48; A sermon for Palm Sunday, April 17, 2011, In the University Chapel of St Salvator, St Read More
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Hidden Blessings

  • Christ is a Great Savior: a review of the movie Amazing Grace +

    Amazing Grace is a historical drama about William Wilberforce who was elected to British Parliament at the age of 21 Read More
  • Wilberforce, Hollywood's Amazing Grace, Charlotte Allen +

    William Wilberforce's relentless campaign eventually led the British Parliament to ban the slave trade, in 1807, and to pass a Read More
  • Making Beauty out of Ugly Things: Grace by U2 +

    Grace, she takes the blame She covers the shame Removes the stain It could be her name Grace, she carries Read More
  • The True Nature of Grace and Love: a movie review of the Soloist +

    The 2009 movie The Soloist is based on a book by the same name, written by Los Angeles Times columnist Read More
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