REFLECTIONS & STORIES

The blog of the Body Oak Cliff community

This blog seeks to capture the latest reflections of the Body Oak Cliff team (Joel & Deborah), as well as stories of transformation in our community. Many of the posts include reflection questions to help you interact with the content. If you find something that resonates with you, consider sharing it with a friend or small group and let the questions prompt meaningful conversation.

We hope that what you read here will encourage you on your journey and empower you to love in the everyday!

Am I a Safe Person?

By Deborah Pulis | Jan 18, 2021

“If your Black friends aren’t talking with you about race, it’s because they don’t see you as a safe person.” A friend of mine shared this at one of our interracial book group meetings. We were trying to make sense of the dissonant experiences of the white and Black folks in the room. Our Black…

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Changes at Body Oak Cliff

By Deborah Pulis | Dec 30, 2020

Dear Friends and Supporters of Body Oak Cliff, I write to inform you of a transition. As many of you know, in April of this year, Joel and I were privileged to welcome a new baby boy into our family. Theo is an utter delight, and he brings immeasurable joy into our household! In spite…

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How to Depolarize Our Political Conversations

By Deborah Pulis | Oct 16, 2020

“I know it is conventional to say we Americans are radically divided, polarized. But this is not more true than its opposite—in essential ways we share false assumptions and flawed conclusions that are never effectively examined because they are indeed shared.” – Marilynne Robinson This past week I started reading Marilynne Robinson’s collection of essays,…

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The Disruption of the Nuclear Family

By Deborah Pulis | Sep 23, 2020

Earlier this summer, when Black Lives Matter was getting all the social media buzz, and many white people were trying to figure out what to think about everything going on, there was a phrase in the BLM belief statement that seemed to upset a lot of people. It was given by many as a reason…

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Am I a Racist?

By Deborah Pulis | Jul 19, 2020

Are you sure that’s how it happened? Maybe you’re reading into things. If they would stop playing the victim and work hard, black people would be just fine. We didn’t see what happened off camera. He was obviously up to no good. But what about black-on-black crime? I have heard a lot of well-meaning white…

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When Did Racism End?

By Body Oak Cliff | Jul 5, 2020

Guest post by Joel Pulis Last fall, I saw Harriet in the theater. (Remember going out to see movies?!?) It’s the extraordinary story of Harriet Tubman’s escape from slavery and her leadership in the Underground Railroad movement in the 1850s. The depiction of Tubman’s faith and learning how she sought practical, mystical instructions in leading…

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The Stories We Tell Ourselves

By Body Oak Cliff | Jun 22, 2020

Guest post by Joel Pulis Over the past 3 weeks, I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching. As the world responds and reacts to the murder of George Floyd, my eyes have been glued to the screen and my heart has been wrenched again and again. But I have been uncertain what to say…

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Create More Than You Consume (Guiding Principles of Slowing, #5)

By Deborah Pulis | Mar 10, 2020

[Author’s note: I wrote this post before the the chaos of COVID-19 was fully upon us, but I think it applies now more than ever. Many of us find ourselves with unprecedented amounts of free time and/or alone time and are wondering what to do with ourselves. The temptation may be to dig our heels…

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Let Go of Habits That Increase Your Suffering (Or, “Have a DTR With Your Phone”) (Guiding Principles of Slowing, #4)

By Deborah Pulis | Feb 21, 2020

I titled this post “Let go of habits that increase your suffering” because I think my message can apply to a wide range of compulsive habits. The main point is, let’s be reflective and honest with ourselves about patterns in our lives that are crushing our souls rather than giving us life. But I wanted…

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