Looking for God in a Long Winter

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Last Wednesday was the breaking point for me. The last straw. The bottom of the iceberg. We were midway through a school vacation in which we had no plans, I was trying to work four or five hours a day as usual, most of our first floor was inaccessible because of a kitchen renovation, and [Read More...]

News Flash: You Are Not Jesus!

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Recently, several Christian writers I follow have made the point that we are not Jesus. Probably we Christians should have figured this out several thousand years ago, but apparently we are slow learners. Here’s why this little bit of truth is so important, particularly in this era of rampant Internet trollery and culture wars and lots of [Read More...]

Does the “Fetal Cell” Problem Justify Religious Exemption for Vaccinations?

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Rachel Stone posted yet another excellent article about the importance of childhood vaccination for public health over at her new Religion News Service (RNS) blog. Rachel has consistently spoken up in favor of most children being vaccinated against childhood diseases, including in a (surprise!) controversial post several years ago for Christianity Today in which she invoked [Read More...]

God Does Not Make Me Happy (or Three Things I Learned About My Relationship with God)

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Last weekend, I went on a one-night retreat with my church’s vestry. (In an Episcopal church, the vestry is akin to a board of directors. We advise and collaborate with the clergy on big-picture questions around the church’s mission, and approve the annual budget. I am in my third year of a three-year vestry term.) [Read More...]

MLK’s “Single Garment of Destiny” & Slavery’s Legacy

My friend Kate was featured on NPR’s “Race Card” project last week, talking about her family’s history as slaveowners. Her grandmother upheld the “idea of the benevolent slave owner,” telling Kate proudly that their family’s slaves had been “trusted house servants,” rather than plantation laborers. Kate eventually realized, however, that such pride is sorely misplaced. Reading Kate’s [Read More...]

Painfully Aware of the Abyss: A Review of Holly Burkhalter’s “Good God, Lousy World, & Me”

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I once read a novel in which the protagonist divided humankind into two categories: those who are always aware of the “abyss,” and those who are not. “The abyss” referred to the darkness and suffering that pervade human life, the agony that screams from newspaper headlines and whimpers in lonely corners. I immediately recognized myself [Read More...]

Deep in a Place of Exile, Waiting for the Return

I don’t much like when people I care about are deep in the “exile” part and waiting for the return. But I have to believe that God will bring all of us who have times of exile to that promised place of abundance, community, and hope. [Read more...]

God with Us, Even When Christmas Stinks

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Many things can get in the way of the happy, sparkling Christmas celebrations to which we aspire. The Dollar family has perfected one such thing—the Christmas stomach bug that tears its way through the family, leading to days of extra laundry, interrupted nights, and general nastiness. (Three years in a row, people—2010, 2011, and 2012. [Read More...]


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