Hurtful Words Hurt

Typing - Photo by Wrangler

Who has helped you utter these words?  And whose spirit spoke from your mouth? (Job 26:4 NIV)There are millions of new combinations of words created every day, combinations that are put here, on the web, for anyone to view. And there’s one thing that not enough people are concerned about, one thing we think can't be helped, one important thing about all those words.A lot of them are hurtful. Some intentionally so.Talking with my therapist Wednesday, I said, “I just don’t understand wh … [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...]

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...]

Sit with me in the I don’t know


Does the weight of the world lie  heavy on your  shoulders most days these past few weeks?  I wrote many drafts for this month's blog post on topics such asmy first experience at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in support of a friend celebrating 6 years sober how mindfulness practice can quickly ease the inner voice of resistance my inspiring experience at the Transform Network DC conference on urban transformation.But ultimately, I've decided that the timing isn't right to offer my … [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!

0000cover copy1

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...]

Eye Gazing in Prison on Holy Saturday


I spent Holy Saturday at the Philadelphia FDC 3South floor with 12 incarcerated women attending a 2-day Heart to Heart retreat. I was there to share the gift of yoga and meditation. The women really appreciate our visits and openly express their desire to learn.Our last exercise was an eye-gazing and I was partnered with Smoke, an African American woman of about 35. Smoke smiled a lot and agreed that she was willing to try it but admitted it made her nervous to stare into a stranger’s eyes f … [Read more...]

“You’re Only As Good As Your Friends”


Last night, Anthony Smith (aka Postmodern Negro) and I celebrated our 10-year friendiversary with an impromptu livestream conversation, recorded and shared here for posterity. During our hour-long conversation, we reminisce about the last decade of emerging church conversation, our local involvement in the Charlotte Emergent cohort group (which is still going, by the way!), and the power of friendship (among many other things, including the 15 books Anthony is reading right now!). As Anthony … [Read more...]

On Darkness and Light

Ahnnalise Stevens-Jennings

Wash and make yourselves clean.    Take your evil deeds out of my sight;     stop doing wrong.  Learn to do right; seek justice.     Defend the oppressed.[a] Take up the cause of the fatherless;     plead the case of the widow. “Come now, let us settle the matter,”     says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet,     they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson,     they shall be like wool. Isaiah 1: 16-18Have you ever noticed how we speak abou … [Read more...]