A Little Bapticostal Misfit Bible Study

I absolutely adored Bible studies as a young evangelical. Finding my way into the progressive world, I desire to still dig in the Bible.So, here's my first little Bible Study for you and your friends. Have fun with this! I'm totes just asking questions, and I'd like for you to reflect on the answers you dig up.1. What were the scriptures Jesus would have accessed? A) Do you access those scriptures regularly? B) how do they inform your ethics and practices?2. How did Jesus treat … [Read more...]

Jesus, the Cause of Division

The lectionary reading for this week is putting some folks on edge. It is Luke 12: 49-56, you can read it here. As a Christian who is deeply attached to the social justice and liberation narratives found in scripture, reading this text at face value was a little irksome. I will confess that I would much rather have Jesus say "Turn the other cheek" than, "I did not come to bring peace." The deeper I looked, the more sense this passage began to make. At first it doesn't sound like Jesus, but then … [Read more...]

Die, Die, Die

Do you ever wake up so sad because the world is overrun with violence, grief + disbelief in the healing power of love? and your own pounding (occasionally violent) heart threatens to beat itself out of your chest...  I am led to pray over my friends and family. It's as if as I extend each blessing, I can already feel love  returning to me.  But then I have this feeling ARISE-- it is so unsettling, I am not me at all...I am other than myself. I do not fit in my old skin any … [Read more...]

Re-engaging the Bible (aka the Mess)

“I stopped reading the Bible because I can’t handle the mess.”My friend let this out in the middle of Sunday morning House Church. It wasn’t a surprise. I know the struggles that she is going through. I thought it was a really concise statement about how many people feel about the Bible. And many times, when going through this, there isn’t anyone there to walk through it with safely.Over the last 2 years, as my house church has ebbed and flowed, we have developed a pattern that seems rea … [Read more...]

Where Rivers of Justice Flow

The following sermon was written by my husband, Garth Stevens-Jennings and I for the student lead Wednesday Night Worship service at Wesley Theological Seminary. We wrote the sermon as a reflection on Amos 5:21-24:“I hate, I despise your festivals.” This is strong language. Its frightening to think that all of the work that we put into worship services might be turned away by God. How must the folks that Amos is speaking to be feeling when they look around at the worship place that they’ve bu … [Read more...]

Fast of Embodied Solidarity

The Lenten season begins by people asking what they need to do or give up to live into their faith. This year I've spent a considerable amount of time questioning what it means to not only call myself a Christian but how I can live in a way that honors the teachings and example of Jesus. I'm drawn to the words of Micah 6:8 that remind me that part of this is lived through standing for justice, embracing mercy, and walking humbly before God and others.What does that even mean?Well...I'm … [Read more...]

Wayne Grudem for President #nothanks

Disclaimer: I tend not to comment on politics, and I haven’t been following the Republican race very closely, but I came across something this week that was really startling (excluding anything Trump). It is a clear reminder that we need to be aware of who is informing our candidates and potential future leaders. A Slate article by Ruth Graham unveiled that Marco Rubio has installed Wayne Grudem as part of his religious liberty advisory board.You may not recognize his name, but W … [Read more...]

Revisiting Christ in missions and service in the age of selfies

Revisiting Christ in missions and service in the age of selfies Bec Cranford serves as the Director of Community Relations and Volunteer Services at the Gateway Center, and supervises a contextual education course at Candler School of Theology.Poverty pornography, charity charlatans, and self-serving service versus relational missions honoring Christ in the least of theseAs we mature in Christ, many of us will become dissatisfied with churches that have a mentality of country clubs, and … [Read more...]

Holy Collisions

Are you aware of  the peaceful revolution underway-- a new Pentecost is taking place in our yoga studios! But others mocking said, 'They are filled with new wine!" Acts 2:13 Ordinary humans, not just renunciates, are recognizing an alcohol buzz is a distant second to the natural high that comes with sparking internal connectivity-- the 'new wine' is a benefit of connection to our breath!  The desire for old ways merely disintegrates as the 'breath of the Almighty gives me life” (Job 33:4) … [Read more...]

A Little Christmas Hope

The Nativity scene is one of my favorite parts of the Advent/Christmas season. Remembering the stories of childhood, the mystery of the biblical narrative, and the beautiful images that are almost other-worldly. Angels worshipping from the skies above, stars shooting across the Milky Way, and wise men travelling from thousands of miles with great gifts. While it’s easy to put all this in context and question the way it all really went, it’s still a beautiful picture. One that captures our ima … [Read more...]