A Pastoral Response to the Muslim Ban

As a pastor and a member of the Christian community, I am greatly distressed by the recent declarations and actions of the current president. Here at Turner Memorial AME Church, we continually aspire to create a space that extends reconciliation, liberation and transformation for all persons no matter their background, which is consistent with our Christian faith. I strongly believe that the deplorable executive orders issued by the president over the past week, in particular the ban on Muslims from traveling into the United States, do not exemplify Christian principles and values. As members of the Christian community, we cannot sit idly by and allow the president to defraud the moralities of our faith or use them to wear down the principles of a democratic society.


The United States is a diverse, multicultural nation that was and still is being built by the


hands of immigrants. The reality is unless we are of Native American descent; we are all immigrants in this country. Some, like our ancestors were driven from their homeland and forced into slavery, while others came of their own free will; many seeking religious freedom. At various times throughout history, this nation’s leaders systematically denied our constitutional rights and used the Bible to justify their actions. Even now, there are attempts to infringe upon our rights and those of others, and Christianity is once again being used as an instrument of manipulation. Sadly, we have witnessed some prominent pastors endorse and stand with one has admitted to being a molester of women, and has integrated much of his administration policies with racism, white nationalism, fascism, and demagoguery. As believers, we should not stand by and let this happen.
When one looks at the birth of Jesus we are clearly reminded that Jesus himself was a refugee. Jesus, a Jew born in Bethlehem under the colonial oppression of Rome, along with his family eventually had to flee to Egypt because of King Herod’s “executive order” to have all male children killed. One of the greatest sermons that Jesus ever preached, the Good Samaritan, should inform our views on immigration. In this short story Jesus challenges us to minister beyond the boundaries of our own self-existence. The “neighbor” in Luke’s parable serves as a metaphorical bridge between identity and difference. A hermeneutics of hospitality commands community where care is offered to this “certain man” who is not characterized by race, religion, or region.
So I want to lift the same question found in the Luke’s gospel; “Who is our neighbor?” The current governmental leadership will say to us that the undocumented immigrant, the Muslim refugee, and the Latino/a immigrant are not our neighbors. Nevertheless, the love of God has no bounds. Jesus explains “neighbor” as any person irrespective of race or religion with whom we may come in contact. Jesus turned the issue from the boundary requirement of neighbor to the essential duty of being a neighbor. This parable shatters the stereotypes of social boundaries and class division and destroys any system that hinders one from being hospitable to any sojourner realizing that we too, were once immigrants. Yes, we must extend the ministry of hospitality to Christians, Muslims, Syrians, Sudanese, Libyans, Iranians, Iraqis, Somalians, Yemenis, Mexicans, African Americans, European Americans, non-Americans, democrats, and republicans… “For God so loved the ENTIRE WORLD…”

So what should be the church’s response to immigration and/or reaching out to those multicultural communities? It is impossible to respond lovingly and prophetically to those communities where persons have come seeking refuge and justice without seeing the value and the worth that is within them. They too, were created by the hands of God and the death of Jesus was an act of love not just for America, but for the entire world. The love of God looks beyond race, stereotypes, and prejudices. In no other arena is the possibility for inclusive community more pregnant than among the churches that make up the body of Christ. The church, to be true to Christ and to our faith, must be a visible sign of the “beloved community.” We must recognize that our immigrant brothers and sisters are in search of meaning, care, and love in the same ways that we are.

In closing, as we wrestle with issues of immigration and the actions taken by the president, I invite us to consider this passage of scripture found in Matthew 25:35-40: For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”

D.K. Kearney






The Power of the Second Touch

One of the biggest tricks of the enemy is distractions. The enemy has already seen your potential and your future, he/she cannot do anything about it; the enemy can’t change it, nor can he/she move it. However, if the enemy can get us distracted in such a way that we cannot see it, we will not go after it. The message that God wanted me to share with you through this post is to STAY FOCUSED!


The Word teaches us that, “without vision my people perish.” So true, but I would like to say that without FOCUS your vision will never come to pass to save the people. While having vision could be a “life or death situation”, being focused can be a “do or die” situation. If you are not focused, you will die with a vision that will never be actualized. Norman Cousins who lived from June 24, 1915 to November 30, 1990, was an American political journalist, author, professor and world peace advocate. He is quoted as saying, “The tragedy of life is not death, but what we let die inside of us while we live.” God has birthed in you greatness, potential, opportunities that far succeeds any human expectation. The Spirit is a supernatural conduit for birthing. Whenever God’s spirit is involved, expect something greater to be birthed.

I have been wearing corrective lenses since I was in middle school. I could always see, I had vision, but what I was looking at was blurred. I knew something was before me, but I could not make out what it was. Thus, I had to visit an optometrist to have my eyes checked for corrective lenses. The optometrist had to bring my vision into focus. Many today wear glasses, contacts, or have had Laser Eye Surgery to correct impaired vision. Now they can see BETTER! People are spending millions and millions of dollars to improve their physical vision. They are spending money on technologically-advanced eye exams, better frames, lenses, contacts, and now, Laser Eye Surgery. But yet they don’t see their life any BETTER. They still see defeat, doom and destruction. God wants you to see BETTER, but you must allow the Spirit to bring your eyes into focus. God wants you to see what he sees. But the only way that is done is when and if you allow him to touch your eyes, not once but twice; for the first touch is for vision, but the second touch is for FOCUS.

When the children of Israel were led out of captivity towards the Promised Land, Moses sent spies into the land. They saw the promises with their own eyes; it was within their sight—their vision. Yet, when we read Numbers, chapter 13 their focus was tainted. Instead of focusing on what God promised, they focused on the foe. In verse 27 they reported, “The land flows with milk and honey…”; however, in verse 28, there is this conjunction, “BUT”. The spies began to focus more on the enemy than on the promise. And here lies the growing edge of some within the Kingdom of God, we have a vision, but we are focused on the enemy rather than the promises. We focus too much on our haters, and not enough on the Lover of our soul. If you want to shift your atmosphere, you must shift your focus. You cannot see things of the kingdom, the things that God has in store for you with earthly glasses. You must look through the lenses of God. I want to see what God sees in me and for me.

Recall when Jesus had to touch the blind man twice in Mark 8:22-26. Jesus had to touch him twice because the first time Jesus touched him, the man saw men walking as trees. The man had vision but not focus; therefore, Jesus touched the man again to bring his vision into focus. Sometimes we, like the blind man, need a second touch by Jesus in order to see from God’s perspective. When Christ is the focal point of your focus, the vision that he has given to you will come into proper perspective. Recall also the situation that Jesus encountered as recorded in Matthew 20:29-33: “As they were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed Him. And two blind men sitting by the road, hearing that Jesus was passing by, cried out, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” The crowd sternly told them to be quiet, but they cried out all the more, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” And Jesus stopped and called them, and said, “What do you want me to do for you?” They said to Him, “Lord, we want our eyes to be opened.”

How are your eyes? How is your focus? Is it dim, hazy, far-sighted or near-sighted? Do you have color blindness or tunnel vision? Do you want your eyes to be opened? The first touch from Jesus will give you vision, but sometimes we need a second touch to give us FOCUS. I pray that God will open our eyes and give us focus.

Your focus determines your reality. You are what you SEE. See yourself better. See yourself living better, eating better, loving better, enjoying life better, singing better, and working better.

When you focus on the negative you will begin to sink. We must keep our focus on our life’s author, and not the circumstances and the storms. Because the Author wrote your ending before he started with your beginning. You are going to win! So Beloved, don’t allow the cares, people and situations of this life to make you lose your focus. Stay focused on that what God has called you to do and who God has called you to be. Paul gives us great advice in Philippians 4:8. “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about such things.”



Earlier in the week I shared with you about a dream that I had about Elder Christyne Williams, one of my greatest inspirations in ministry, really in life. Today, I want to share the FOCAL point of the dream with the hopes that you will be INPOWERED to keep on keeping on no matter what challenges you face.

In the dream I shared that I had to go into the kitchen to see her. She walked right by me and walked into the kitchen. I asked God, later that day, “Why the kitchen? Why did I have to go into the kitchen and embrace and engage in a conversation with her?” Here is what the Lord said to me, and I want to say to you: THE KITCHEN IS THE PLACE OF PREPARATION! The kitchen is the room set aside for food PREPARATION. It is usually equipped with a sink, dishwasher, cabinets, countertops, refrigerator and stove. Every piece of equipment that is found in the kitchen is to aide in the process of PREPARATION. That thought alone has me ready to shout right now!

Never loathe over your “kitchen time,” – your season of preparation. I used to wrestle with discouragement. Often times I was ready to give up too soon, too fast because of the various challenges that I faced. One such time I prayed to God, asking, seeking his help and guidance. God spoke to me. He said, “Daryl, trust the confidence that I put in you at first!” Beloved, sometimes life will challenge your level of confidence, not only in yourself, but in God. You are running the race that is set before you, doing the very best that you can, making sure that you do all that God has asked of you, you look up and there is a hill that you have to run up. You get tired, weary, really out of breath and your mind begins to tell you, “You can’t go any further!” My brother, my sister, tell your mind to hush, because what is blowing into your mind, into your body, and yes your spirit is a 2ND WIND. There is a mantra in the fitness world called 2ND WIND! It speaks about when getting to the point of exhaustion, catch your 2ND WIND! To catch a second wind is to renew energy or strength and/ or return of relatively easy breathing.
Look at what happened in the life of David, in 1 Samuel 30: 6David was greatly distressed, for the men spoke of stoning him because the souls of them all were bitterly grieved, each man for his sons and daughters. But David encouraged and strengthened himself in the Lord his God. 7David said to Abiathar (uh-BI-uh-thahr) the priest, Ahimelech’s (uh-HIM-uh-lek) son, I pray you, bring me the ephod. And Abiathar (uh-BI-uh-thahr) brought him the ephod.

What a horrendous day in the life of this anointed man of God. Think of what must have gone on throughout David’s mind as he stood over the burning remains of his home, not knowing whether his family was dead or alive. He must have asked the question that we often ask God in the midst of our storms, “Why?” “Why, if God is with me, did Saul try to kill me? Why was he so insanely jealous over me? Why, if I have been anointed, did I have to escape to Gath acting like an insane fool? Why, if God’s Spirit is upon me, guiding me, did I have to hide out in caves? Why, if I’m a man {woman} after God’s heart, did I have to live in the wilderness, hunted down like a wild animal?”
You may feel or have felt like David. Beloved, God has you in the “kitchen.” Look at what David asked for, he asked for his worship garb. While in the midst of worship, God gave David his 2ND WIND; because he put WORSHIP before warfare. The text tells us that David “recovered ALL!”

I want to encourage you today, catch your 2ND WIND! It is not over yet, catch your 2nd WIND, don’t give up now, catch your 2nd WIND. Keep pressing, keep trusting, keep praising, keep worshiping, and watch God breathe his Ruach on you, your 2ND WIND! And you will recover ALL!


D.K. Kearney

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The Weapon of THE MIND.

The Weapon of THE MIND!
The other day I was reflecting over the past few years of my life. While thinking about the ups, downs, joys, and pains, beloved, you must know that life is like a series of tests. You learn the lessons, you move on, you refuse to learn the lessons you will keep “going around the same mountain.” One of the greatest lessons that I have learned is the fact that battles are fought twice and also everything you possess and experience was created twice. Here is the encouragement from God to you for this day: before you can successfully deal with any challenges and/or battles of life, you must first conquer them in your mind. Your mind is one of the most powerful weapons that God has given to you to be more than a conqueror. I stand on the conviction that what we need in life is not a revival of our spirits nor a transformation of our bodies; but what we need is a renewal of our minds. Great women of God, YOU ARE not only WHO GOD SAYS YOU ARE, but WHO YOU SAY YOU ARE! Stop listening to television, commercials, public opinions, people, and I would dare to say, some of you need to stop listening to your “so-called” friends. You are wonderfully and fearfully made, created by the HANDS OF GOD! Did you know that when God decided to create woman (you), he put man to sleep! Did you get it? God did not need the opinion of man to create you! You may deal with those challenges and battles in life and you feel like you are about to lose your mind; let me share with you the blessing in losing your mind. God wants his thoughts of you, his plan for you in your mind, but God cannot put it in your mind because your mind is so full of “trash”. Beloved, the Word says to you today; “Whoever knows what you’re thinking and planning except you, yourself? The same with God-except that he not only know what he’s thinking, but he lets us (you) in on it. God offers a full report on the gifts of life and salvation that he is giving us (to you). We (You) don’t have to rely on the world’s guesses and opinions…” (1 Corinthians 2:10-13 The Message)

D. K. Kearney


Do you Boo!

Theorist Erik Erikson coined the term identity crisis and believed that it was one of the most important conflicts people face in development. Identity is the greatest challenge in life! No if, ands, buts about it. Imagine how much peace and prosperity persons would receive if they either knew who they were truly created to be and by doing so could “DO” who they are! By the time you finish reading this tidbit, you will be inspired to “DO YOU BOO!”
I consider myself a leader, therefore, each day I find myself reading something about leadership. Leadership is not just about helping others reach their full potential, but leadership is about helping yourself. You can’t be a leader of others, unless you learn to lead yourself! Thusly, in order to lead yourself, you must know yourself. Well, here is Daryl Kearney’s first commandment in leadership.
Know thy self, you can lead thy self!
Who you are defines so much. Who you are defines how you handle yourself on the job. Who you are dictates how you relate to people. Who you are determines how you raise your children, how you speak about others, how you handle difficulty, how you respond to the haters… Who you are even defines how you relate to God. Did you know that we are commanded to love only 3 persons?
Love God!
Love Self!
Love Others!
In that order, therefore, in order to love others, you must love self, in order to love self, you must love God! When you love yourself, you know who you are and whose you are! So to deal with the IDENTITY CRISIS that all experience at some point in our lives, Beloved, understand:
God created you: For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” Psalm 139:13. But not only do we acknowledge that God has created each and every one of us, we recognize that God is continually shaping each of us; continually forming and reforming us as elements of His creation. We are clay in the hands of the Master Potter. God shapes our lives – and this is a continual process.
God owns you: Beloved, you do not belong to yourself, I want to remind you what the Bible says: “You are not your own; you were bought at a price.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. Even while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us and saved us.
So who else could have the privilege, permission, the power, the right to tell me who I am other than God Himself? I conclude that God is the author of my identity. He alone gets to tell me who I am. After all, it is God who created me. It is God who shapes me. It is God who has purchased me. God has not made us all the same. Discover WHO you are -your natural abilities and enjoy them. Rabbits don’t fly. Eagles don’t swim. Squirrels don’t have feathers. Ducks look funny trying to climb trees. EVERYBODY, including you, HAS A PURPOSE; You Must Find Your Purpose, You Are Equipped for that Purpose. Using your gifts, for their intended purpose, to the fullest, provides meaning to your life. Otherwise you wander aimlessly living empty lives.

D.K. Kearney