Kids Deserve Better, Emanuel, & Our Fourth Anniversary


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Big belief: So many of the world’s biggest problems would be solved if there were an easy way to get people to choose accept the truth over a lie.

At a macro-level: if people could accept the truth that all people are created equal over the lie that one race is superior to another, so many things would be different.

But, this is true at a micro-level too.

If you want to fill the world with something, you need to make sure you’re full of that thing yourself. Some of the most spiteful people start by being unkind to themselves. The most merciful people start by forgiving themselves. If you want a world that believes what’s true, you’ve got to start with speaking truth to yourself and rejecting the lies you’re tempted to believe.

Don’t believe the lie that you have no purpose. The truth is that you were made for a life that impacts people in a way only you could.

Don’t believe the lie that the world is all scary stuff and bad news. The truth is that the bad is far outnumbered by the beautiful, and that makes fighting for progress that much more important.

Don’t believe the lie that your story’s over. The truth is that you never know what’s around the corner.

Find a truth you need to hear and say it to yourself over and over.


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Okay wow. I went to see the film Emanuel last week and- wow.

If you aren’t familiar, it’s the documentary about the shooting at Emanuel AME church in Charleston, produced by Viola Davis and Steph Curry. And it was really. Well. Done.

The film’s strength comes from its honesty. It goes deep exploring the history of racism and white supremacy in Charleston, along with the role the black church has played throughout history going back to Denmark Vassey. It also goes deep boldly talking about the faith of the church members and survivors. The film featured interviews from the survivors to Black Lives Matter leaders to former governor Nikki Haley.

The film made no efforts to please anybody, but instead sought to tell the truth. It was boldly faith-filled. It was boldly anti-racist. And it was absolutely worth watching.

I want to tell everybody to go out and see it- except the film only got a limited two day screening in theatres last week. I still think you should go see it, I’m just not sure how. Yet.

Hopefully it ends up on Netflix or Prime because Emanuel says important things that need to reach as wide of an audience as it can.

And whenever you do find yourself with the opportunity to see it- do it. Absolutely, do it.


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I had a planned trip to the Dominican Republic in about a month get cancelled. Unless something comes up (and ya never know), I have no planned trips at all until baby gets here. And not a whole lot planned for a while after that anyways.

That’s unfamiliar territory for me.

I know travel is a privilege and there are so many people who stay in their place for years and years with no option. But staying put has never really been my forte.

I have a friend who says that after his son was born he just wanted to be at home all the time. I anticipate something like that. At the same time, travel is a big part of what I was made to do. And I want to pass on a sense of appreciation and wonder for the wider world, nature, and culture to my future kiddos.

I’m so deeply curious how those two desires will blend. Curious and not worried. In the past I wondered if getting married or taking a location dependent job would mark the end of being able to go places. Instead, the bulk of my travel is for work and Deanna and I have seen 8 countries and 23 states in our four years of marriage.

In the meantime, I’m conscious of the fact that there’s still a lot to be done when it comes to building a community in San Diego and having it feel more like home. Here’s hoping that some of this more stationery season leads to that. (Though heads up, if any of you throw an everything paid weeklong trip to Bolivia next month at me, I’m for sure saying yes.)

summer of anticipation

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If our baby’s nursery is entirely Domo themed, blame it on the claw machine. If it isn’t, well that’s cause we aren’t that good at the claw machine.

Taking a moment, maybe the whole summer to appreciate the fact that we’re in a season of miracles right now. We prayed and hoped for this baby for quite a while and the anticipation has been a beautiful thing.

Its been a good time in a number of other ways too. Enjoying the new house. Recent adventures away. Working on exciting and life giving projects at work. Even just playing around in the kitchen last night and making a pound of poke felt enriching.

Every now and then you have times in life where things click and it seems like everything that’s supposed to happen starts happening. These aren’t common. It’s been about two years since life last felt even a bit like that. It’s much easier to notice what’s missing and to long for that sometimes.

Let’s go and savor the good things that are in front of us in this exact moment. Life isn’t always a stream of green lights, but when it is, you gotta cruise.

our fourth anniversary

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The past four years have given us more highs and lows than we would’ve predicted when it all began.

From health scares and grinding out grad school and hoping deeply for a kid, to living out our career dreams and adopting the weirdest but sweetest dog to stepping into the on deck circle of parenthood.

We said it would be an adventure, didn’t we. I think this is what a real adventure looks like.

Happy four year anniversary, Deanna. Let’s go eat s’mores.

kids deserve better

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Why does anger exist in the first place? It’s neither good or bad itself, it’s job is to signal when something has been violated. When justice is missing.

Things that make me angry look like this:

“Almost every child I spoke with had not showered or bathed since they crossed the border — some of them more than three weeks ago,” she said. “There is a stench that emanates from some of the children because they haven’t had an opportunity to put on clean clothes and to take a shower.”

–Elora Mukherjee, a lawyer who has been monitoring the Clint, TX border detention facility.

Anger is an adverse emotion. And there are ways to deal with it like avoiding it or shifting the blame. But those ways often don’t accomplish what you think they might.

Pretending a border crisis doesn’t exist changes nothing. Ignoring the economic insecurity and violence changes nothing. Cutting off aid won’t stop desperation. Making detention centers as miserable as possible won’t change anything.

I used to hate feeling angry about injustice because I always felt like it just meant feeling upset over things beyond my control.

Instead, I’m learning how to let anger itself be a gateway for love.

If you’re feeling angry about this too, go ahead and let it turn into something. A hard but necessary conversation. An effort to learn more. A financial contribution.

Love shows up. Love doesn’t look away and takes it all in. Love has difficult conversations. Love problem solves. Love stands with people who suffer and lifts up the people who help.

A few good places to support and to learn more:
RAICES Texas – extremely effective org
Together Rising – successful at child rescues
World Relief – their immigration facts sheet is a great resource
Preemptive Love – swipe right to read their words
Border Perspective – great faith perspective
Border Angels Official – very active at a grassroots level
Global Immerse – so many great resources

Dropping off a bunch of their resources in my stories today.

my colombia journal

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I still have so much to share about my Colombia trip the other month— both photos and stories and thoughts. That’s the challenge with those whirlwind experiences; the time it takes to process them is long but life goes on as you do.


“Eight years ago, you wouldn’t be able to come this way at night,” Milmer tells me. “Guerilla would have stopped you and forced you to pay.”

I’m surprised when he tells me the amount they would’ve demanded. Far more than I expected- or than I would be able to come up with. I’m also surprised, because eight years doesn’t seem that long ago, and thus far the evening’s drive has been really nice.

I pointed out that some plant in the surrounding brush smelled a lot like curry. Milmer laughs, being familiar with the smell but having never connected it to curry. We continue onwards towards the municipality of Viotá. The area, 80 kilometers outside of Bogotá was very recently a hotbed for FARC- the antigovernment insurgency that kept Colombia in a state of internal conflict for decades. In the early 2000’s the violence was at its worst, and horror stories were far too common.

Now we’re on our way to meet some people who were at the center of it. Former combatants.


I wrote a longer recap of the journey in the link in my profile. Go have a look!

Philippe Lazaro