[Snapshots from Oak Ridge] Just Look Up

This is a photo of nothing more than the blue sky over my daughter’s middle school. I took the photo as I sat waiting to pick her up yesterday. Just before I took it, I looked up to see a huge hawk drifting on the currents right smack in the middle of that patch of [Read More…]

Do I Still Think Overscheduled Kids are a Myth? Yes…Sort Of

A little more than a year ago, I wrote that I believe the prevalent notion of the “overscheduled child” to be a myth. It’s not that children aren’t overscheduled; many of them are (at least in suburban and wealthier urban communities where children have many extracurricular opportunities and parents can afford them). The myth, I [Read More…]

Did the Resurrection Happen? And Does It Matter?

Two fellow bloggers on the Patheos Progressive Christian Channel held a polite but pointed discussion last week on whether the bodily, physical resurrection of Jesus really happened. Here are the basics of the argument; click through to read the blog posts in their entirety: Tony Jones is a Minneapolis-area theologian known for his leadership within [Read More…]

The Radical Hospitality of Learning to Live with All My Kids’ Stuff

I am taking the week off from producing any new writing. Instead, I am doing a top-to-bottom clean up and clean out of our house. As we move into the season of colder weather and lots and lots of celebrations (all three kids have birthdays between now and January), I’m pining for a little more [Read More…]

[Snapshots from Oak Ridge] What My Kids and My Garden Have in Common

I struggled to find a good photo subject for today’s post. Right now, most of my garden is ugly—dried up stalks, yellowing leaves. The brilliant oranges and yellows of fall foliage are still a few weeks away. My garden’s most prominent feature right now are dry, dusty brown remnants of summer blooms. All living things [Read More…]

A Story About the Abundance, and Absence, of Memory and Faith

Walker has written a story about Alzheimer’s, yes, and about her mother, and about her. But fundamentally, it is a story about memory and faith—about times when they surround and buoy us, and times when they evade our reach. [Read more…]

Why I Love Pope Francis’s Radical (Not Really) Take on the Gospel

I am enamored of Pope Francis. Every time he clarifies what he believes about the Catholic Church, its priorities, and its purpose, I am grateful that God gave this wise, smiling cleric a worldwide audience. Francis’s thoughtful, humble way of speaking about God and the church is good for all Christians, not only those who [Read More…]

[Snapshots from Oak Ridge] I Wrote a Book. Want One?

I will confess something that will be not at all surprising to most of you, especially those who write blogs of your own: My Friday “Snapshots from Oak Ridge” feature is absolutely self-serving. I wanted some regular Friday feature that would be quick and easy, because posting regularly, even if every post isn’t read by [Read More…]

Made by God in Rainbow Hues: On Raising a Gender Nonconforming Child

Yesterday my son came down in one of his more glittery, fabulous shirts—a shirt purchased in the girls’ section of the Gap. I didn’t think anything of it. My son has a number of clothing items that are meant for girls, and this shirt, with a big, shiny, spangly musical note on the chest, is [Read More…]

“Wonder” and the Paradoxes of Living with a Disability

R.J. Palacio’s young adult novel Wonder tells the story of Auggie, a boy with a severe facial deformity who goes to school for the first time in fifth grade. He confronts fear and bullies, but also makes friends—even with some of the very same kids who initially teased him. I thought it was a beautiful story, for [Read More…]

Did Jesus Get Cranky Too? Thoughts on an Incarnational Faith

I snapped at my daughter the other night over something trivial. As I helped her get ready for bed, she said something that hit me just the wrong way at just the wrong moment and I stormed out of the room, streaming a lovely guilt trip of words behind me. (I’m sure none of the [Read More…]

Does Inciting a “Wave of Fear” Sound Like a Christian Response?

I could cite (and have cited) statistics about why I support common sense gun reforms, such as banning of high-capacity magazines and so-called “assault” weapons, and closing all loopholes that make it possible for those prohibited by law from gun ownership to easily obtain guns. Statistics about how much more likely gun violence, including suicide, [Read More…]


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