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

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!

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

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

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...]

The Jesus I Need — An Easter Reflection

In the Passion narratives I’ve never been that interested in what comes after the crucifixion.  I know that some say the whole ball of wax hinges on the stories of Jesus as the resurrected Christ.They say it’s all one thing, the suffering, shaming, crucifixion, resurrection, and later appearances.  You can’t lose the end parts without changing the meaning of the whole thing.And that’s my point.When I look at it, all I see is a beautifully complicated presentation of how to accomplish … [Read more...]

No Guru, No Method, No Teacher

Returning to the place where my very first poem formed in my Spirit. I gaze at the trees' reflection and the words return: Look up stretching, never touching, the spindly treetops reach for the clouds Glance down In the rippling water, the treetops dive below the surface brushing the clouds and in the movement of the river, the branches sway slightly Look up tranquil, majestic, at peace in their stillness Penned over 7 years ago, the message of the cross has slowly revealed itself. The … [Read more...]

The Real Emergence

 It happened during a difficult time. My life had been dismantled; the pieces were strewn all over the place. I was spending a lot of time alone, trying to figure out what had happened and how to begin to reassemble myself.On this night, I was in my room watching the movie Hotel Rwanda.The movie aptly illustrates humanity’s potential for depravity by telling a story from the Rwandan genocide of the mid 1990s. On this night, I sat on my bed and stared at the TV, becoming more … [Read more...]


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