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Click here to listen to my first interview as an author: Sunday, 1/11/09 on Urban Literary Review (BlogTalkRadio) with L. Martin Johnson Pratt ( @iluvblackwomen on Twitter ).

Click here to listen to my Saturday, 7/11/09 interview with Evangelist Maureen Chen and her co-host Juergen on Kingdom Club on BlogTalkRadio.

Robin Tramble interviewed me on 7/14/09 on the subject "Why Forgiveness Tests Our Faith", during her awesome Dynamic Women of Faith Telesummit. (Recording issues required that the interview be split into two parts - Part II is here.)

My transformation from atheist to born-again Christian minister was fodder for a second 60-minute interview with Evangelist Maureen Chen and co-host Juergen Mair on Kingdom via the BlogTalkRadio network on Saturday, 7/25/09.

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Stepping into the Light: You’re a Christian, what now? is a great primer for the new adult Christian, as well as a devotional and inspiring Christian living guidebook.

Written by Diane L. Harris, the daughter of a South Bronx born Jew and a Jamaican-American ex-Episcopalian Jewish convert, Stepping into the Light is the fearless testimony of a former atheist who admits that while Christian salvation erases the threat of eternal damnation, becoming a Christian is not a magical pill for the ills of life on earth.

Combining curiosity, transparency, a gift for simplifying erudition and a palpable joy, Minister Diane explores the questions for God that inundated her as a “baby believer.”

With clarity and wielding a humble sense of humor, this woman of God leads the way to a down-to-earth relationship with a loving Messiah by answering such important questions as: What’s the meaning of salvation? Who do I become when I’m born again? Do I need to know about spiritual warfare? How is the Old Testament relevant to me as a Christian? What does the New Testament teach? What promises does God have for me? Can I contribute to the kingdom of God?

If you are a Christian, “baby believer” or not, who is asking yourself, “what now?” this book is written for you.

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Sunday
May162010

Missing: News at 11

Last week our church held an impromptu prayer vigil for Arianna Davis and raised an offering of $1,000 to reward anyone who comes forward with information that leads to her discovery.

Arianna, also known as "Peaches", has been missing since Friday, April 30th around 1:30pm. Her brother William last saw the 20-year old college student seated at the kitchen table in their parents' Henrico County, Virginia home--wearing cutoff blue jeans, a pink top, and multicolor flip flops--when he left their home at 1:13pm. Twenty minutes later she was in the J Express Mart on Nine Mile Road just outside Richmond, Virginia--just three blocks from her home--according to the store owner. The tire service store owner next door also remembers seeing and speaking to Arianna around that time.

I've seen this before on TV too many times--a young woman disappears and "News at 11" broadcasts photographs of her smiling face as provided by parents or other loved ones who seem just slightly zombie-like in their disbelief when television cameras are pointed at them.

"How awful," I may have whispered to myself. In the case of youth, I've often prayed that the young person be spared from the worst consequences of some possible foolish decision just as I was spared in my youth.

I don't think I've ever wondered what I would do or think if the missing person was someone I knew, but now I don't need to wonder.

I met Arianna last fall after she followed her cousin Phylicia to Fortis College and I enrolled them both. The last time I saw her was in the hallway at Fortis around 11:25am on the day before she disappeared. I'd gone looking for her to tell her to talk to our Career Services Director as soon as possible, because she is scheduled to graduate soon. As usual, her infectious smile and her excitement over how well she was doing in school gave me a lift.

Arianna lifted the spirits of everyone I've met who knows her. Hearing from Arianna's parents that she has never been away from home for more than a couple of hours without checking in, or hearing from her instructors how she gladly volunteered to tutor newer Massage Therapy students coming along behind her, just makes me miss her and feel more helpless to comfort her family.

Arianna's disappearance has brought the randomness of life into sharper focus for me, but also reminds me that God ultimately is in control and we are not. If we depend on our own strength to get through the strange, sour, or sad circumstances that smack us down in life, we will only get back up--if we do--worse for the wear. But when we know beyond a doubt that every bad or good event in our lives can be used by God to hone us into sharper instruments in His hands for His purpose, then even our pain works in our favor, because it shapes us closer to the image in which God first created us.

Arianna (or "Peaches", as she prefers to be called) disappeared within three blocks of her home in the early afternoon of Friday, April 30th. Someone must have seen what happened to her after she stopped at the convenience store and spoke to the business owner next door. Those who love her are hoping that the $1,000 reward may loosen the tongue of a witness or make someone pay attention who doesn't even realize they are a witness.

Please don't just read this and move on. If you send the story of this missing girl to everyone you can, maybe the prayers of her mother, father, grandmother, and everyone else who cares will come true sooner. Personally, I'm still praying that when we have all the answers in Arianna's situation, that we'll find her better for the lessons learned in her youth, and closer to His image.

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Reader Comments (4)

I pray that she is found safe, to be reunited with her family once again.
Blessings

May 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterYvette

Thank you, Yvette. I keep praying that Peaches has done some foolish thing for which we can all eventually be mad at her, but that she is okay.

May 17, 2010 | Registered CommenterDiane L. Harris

I pray that this young lady is found. We will believe God for a miracle. In Jesus Name.

May 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterK. Jackson

Thank you, Mr. Jackson, for your prayers.

June 2, 2010 | Registered CommenterDiane L. Harris

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