Author: Inés Velásquez-McBryde

Inés is an ordained pastor, preacher, reconciler, writer, and speaker. We are pleased to feature Inés as a regular Life for Leaders writer.

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A fishing boat on choppy water

Follow Me

Suddenly sometimes strange happens in the text. Peter asks, “What about him, though?” He points to the disciple whom Jesus loved following behind. I always thought it odd that he would ask and I still cannot be quite sure why he does so. However, I am always moved by Jesus’ persistent redirection: Peter, follow me. Stay in your lane. Don’t compare yourself. Keep your eyes on me. Not on him.

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A person sitting on a bench looking off into the fog

Silent Stones?

The Pharisees have angst over the crowd’s energy and proclamations about Jesus. They demand that Jesus rebuke his disciples. Were they afraid? Nervous? What were they afraid of? Helmut Thielicke says: “There are really only two ways to take a thing seriously. Either you renounce it or you risk everything for it.”

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A brick in a wall with the word "Courage" on it

Courage is Calling—Part II

Courage stands firm in the dignity of her humanity. Courage stands in solidarity on behalf of other bodies, in this case, the Canaanite woman’s daughter. Courage risks rejection. She was in fact, rejected twice in this conversation. However, her courage was repetitive and persistent.

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Courage is Calling—Part I

This Canaanite mother believes in the identity and authority of Jesus over disease and demons. She places trust in his authority, in his person, in his powers. We don’t know how she came to believe in him, but her courage came to believe. She binds her courage to Christ. She brings her courage to bring wholeness and healing for her daughter.

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A crocheted nativity scene with Mary, Joseph, Jesus, sheep, shepherds, and the Magi

Advent: Honest Revelation

The same God who sets the galaxies into motions sustains your life in motion. The same God who created the skies orchestrates the stars in the sky just to come get you. May you know, like the Magi, that you aren’t lost in this season. You are looking. May you follow in their steps of ordinary revelation: to wake up, to watch and to walk. Every morning. Every night. May you know God is in your holy night and in this holy darkness. A benevolent (not malevolent) darkness where the darker the sky, the brighter the stars shine to show you the way.

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A pink rose and invitation card on a dark background

Advent: Honest Invitation

If you lean into the song-text and take a closer look at this child, cousin of Jesus, his calling in life extends a gentle invitation in our own waiting. The grace that Elizabeth’s womb is nourishing is one that will “give knowledge of salvation…give light…in the darkness…and guide our feet into the way of peace.” John’s calling is to give and to guide. Our invitation is to receive and to be led into peace.  

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A sign on a fence reading "This Way" with an arrow pointing right

A Light That Loves

Jesus gives directions to Ananias like we give directions in my hometown of Managua, Nicaragua.

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The sun shining through a blooming flower, causing a lens flare

A Light That Blinds

It can be of comfort to us that our Jesus, our Savior, considers his body as communal.

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A young woman sitting at a table in a cafe looking at her phone

Legacy of Grace – Part II

With gritty grace, Stephen tells the truth about their hearts.

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The Palace of Justice in Nuremberg, Germany

Legacy of Grace – Part I

In a world obsessed with acquiring and misusing power, they were afraid of Stephen’s grace.

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A crowd of stormtroopers on display


As I pause to consider the history of Juneteenth, I think about the liberation that Jesus preached as he healed individuals. He never was just about freeing and healing one person. Jesus was always about restoring that person or people group back into the society that had marginalized them.

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A rusty metal fence

Grace is Gritty

The grace of God is gritty. Grace-giving and grace-receiving are part of the tough fibers that hold a community together. 

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A notebook with a flowery cross on it and the words "You Are Loved"

Remember, Return, Retell

I do not know what bemuses me the most about this story: that Jesus appears suddenly to startled disciples and declares “Peace be with you” or that he asks if anyone has anything to eat and they casually give him broiled fish? 

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A black and white photo of wo people with their backs to the camera, sitting and talking in a large open stone building


The women were with each other. In the silence. In the waiting. In the grief. In the questions. In your anxiety. In your doubts. In your fears. Find the with-ness of God in the witness of people around you.

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Receding Waters

Recreation requires new rhythms for new life to grow moving forward.

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