When Church Island Crumbles

Spoiler Alert: If you have not seen Disney's Inside Out, this post contains the basic plot of the story but without giving away the ending.I’d like to introduce you Riley. She is the blond, 11-year-old girl who stars in the animated hit, Inside Out. The story of Inside Out revolves around the adventures of the emotions that make up who we are, and what happens when they start to change. In the movie we not only see Riley as she navigates a big cross country move and all of the uncertainty t … [Read more...]

The Confederate Flag, the History of the South, and the Testimony of our Sisters and Brothers

A few weeks before the Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney was killed at Emmanuel AME Church, he spoke on the floor of the South Carolina Senate about Walter Scott. As he spoke of Walter Scott and the video evidence of his slaying, he likened the nation to Thomas, who said he would not believe in the risen Christ until he had seen for himself. Senator Pinckney said that many could not believe that a police officer would shoot someone in the back six, seven, or eight times. But many saw the video. They … [Read more...]

Five Elements of Church Error – The Unexpected Jesus (Part 1of 4)

Part 1: Were We Wrong About Jesus Being Wrong About Eschatology?Early in my journey to a fulfilled eschatology perspective, I had the question, “How could the mainstream church have been so wrong for so long about eschatology?” I asked the question this way, because I held to the presupposition that God wouldn’t let the faith I grew up in be in error about something as significant as the timing and nature of the coming of Jesus for “most” of history.I had the perspective that the majority … [Read more...]

To Lament Injustice

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A few months ago I wrote about a situation at Northwest Nazarene University where Tom Oord, tenured Professor of Theology, was laid off due to budget and enrollment concerns. For many students, alumni, and faculty, that was seen as a smoke screen from the very beginning. A vote of no confidence in the President came from the faculty, a commission was set up to investigate the layoffs, and in the middle of their investigation, President David Alexander resigned. A few weeks later the commission … [Read more...]

I Used To Know How To Walk On Water

Now and then,  I find myself  knocked down in the dirt in confusion and only music can touch my soul. Here is a lamentation from the least expected source, it showed up in my life (thanks Spotify) and for the past few years it was given words to a wide range of thoughts and emotions.I Used To Know How To Walk On Water is probably the most beautiful spiritual song I have heard in many, many years - maybe in all my life. It motivated me to drive three hours to a small hole in the wall concert i … [Read more...]

Stepping Away from Leadership Voluntarily

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I have had, over the years, some interesting and deeply thoughtful conversations with leaders, primarily in the church, on the subject of leadership. Prior to my engagement with church leadership, I had experienced leadership roles in community nonprofit organizations, professional associations, and my career as a commercial banker.I believe that many leadership skills can be taught and enhanced through education and training, especially in workshop and seminar settings with other leaders … [Read more...]

She was a friend of God

"Mother and Son" 2011 Abstract

She was a friend of GODI’m just getting in from my friend of 33 years mother’s funeral. She’s being buried on her 91st birthday!! What a glorious and full life!! I wouldn't have missed the service for anything. Rita Law was a woman I always gravitated toward at family/friend gatherings. Her light was so bright, I was like a moth to her vibrant flame. Her last few years were marred by worsening dementia and yet one could always sense her inner radiance.Rita raised seven children— all pilla … [Read more...]

Just the Rhythm of My Blood and Breath

"Broken Glass" - Photo by Marg Herder

I’m tired.I’m tired of so many of my state’s politicians doing and saying embarrassing things. (I live in Indiana.)I’m tired of walking around wondering what conservative Christians who oppose LGBT equality will think of next in their effort to reinforce our marginalization and their own isolation from us.Tired of being treated as less than, unequal to, or a special case.Tired of trying to figure out if I can watch the local news yet without someone saying something demeaning abou … [Read more...]

Seize life!

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The questerThe quester… that could describe my life and I like that! When I was seeking for meaning, the message of Ecclesiastes in the Bible about life as  smoke + spitting into the wind spoke loud and true to my heart. Twenty seven years later, it still does. I confess the good news of the gospel to me was not Jesus and the cross but his truth of resurrection. Being part of the life force that gives hope even when it looks dark and meaningless. This book is not a favorite of many, but I cho … [Read more...]

Accompaniment as Emergence

The Truth a - 2011-02-24

I’ve been called to a ministry of accompaniment that means I have chosen to walk with one or two people or a family, serially, one after the other, to be a support for whatever it is that they are going through. To me, emergent church in the world looks like the ministry of accompaniment. Grounded in scripture, I cling to Jesus’ new commandment to love others as Jesus loves me; by this I will be known as his disciple. [John 13:34-5]In the past, our accompaniment has been to families with imm … [Read more...]


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