All posts by Neil Ellis Orts

Portrait of stressed black man


Times get hard. 2007 was a tough year for me. At the end of 2006, I spent 6 nights in the hospital. I’ve always been rather healthy, so this was a completely new experience for me. This put me in a spin for most of

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I have empty days. I don’t mean days of idleness with nothing to do. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. I fill my days with so many projects and tasks that I fail to schedule in any Sabbath rest. At the end of my days,

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Joy Does Not Come Easily

Joy does not come easily. The day begins with the caller I.D. warning against picking up the ringing phone. The breakfast bowl sees measured portions – rations – of store brand cereal and milk. Miss the bus. Spend the day with unhappy customers. Ensure bus

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Not Yet

“So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” — John 8:36 Not yet. Not yet. I’m too consumed with little passions, small dislikes, tiny hungers — little things that confine me. Like a man in a little box, whose world is

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Once I Met Jesus

Once, I met Jesus and I thought he was a king and therefore the ultimate law-giver. All I had to do was meet the demands of his law and we would be happy together forever. But I couldn’t keep his laws and I couldn’t be

Black male hands resting on an open bible

The Fluid Rock of Grace

you can’t get there with your morals or without love lie down with me the rules aren’t always right. -Sam Phillips   I like certainty. I think it’s a fairly common trait in humanity, but it’s a problem sometimes. It becomes an idol. I used

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With Feeling / Six: Daddy

To write about Daddy is a more ambiguous task than to write about Mama. Daddy and I didn’t have what you would confuse with a warm, sitcom type of father/son relationship. We never tossed a ball in the backyard. Conversely, it wasn’t a violently adversarial