3 Reasons My Daughter Will Never Date a Guy Like Trump

Now look, don’t go crazy on me. I’m not one of those anti-feminist, uber patriarchal dads. I’m just saying, I have ideas about the kind of guy I would prefer my daughter date. [Read more…]

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How to See Criticism as a Gift

As a writer, I am constantly submitting some part of my soul to someone else for approval. It’s a bizarre feeling. To some extent, it’s an occupational hazard, but it isn’t just writers who experience it. We’ve all been criticized by difficult people at some point. Most of us can think of that one bad boss, most ministers I know have experienced critical congregations, and if you’re a parent, surely you’ve felt the glaring stare of a stranger in the grocery store. We’ve all been asked to share some part of our personal lives with people, only to have it picked apart by less than gracious folks. And for me, it is part of the daily grind.

This is my world.
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One Question About My Faith That Really Makes Me Squirm

“So, are you Pentecostal?”

After almost 3 decades of Sunday’s spent within the four walls of various charismatic denominations, that question still squeezes my stomach into knots and induces awkward laughter befitting a pubescent boy talking to his crush. Mainly because the question is accompanied with a look of disgust, followed by a litany of questions to point out that I am, basically, a heretic. [Read more…]

Why Scripture Compels Me to Affirm Gay Christians

If we compare the incredible faith of LGBT people who desperately want into the church – people who ache to worship God, to contribute to Christian community, to invite others in – versus those who use their power and status to make sure faithful LBGTQ people remain outside of Christian fellowship, which group is doing the will of our Lord? [Read more…]

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I Voted My Conscience for the First Time on Super Tuesday

What is one supposed to do, on the day they become a Democrat? I wondered. Did I need to change my profile picture to the image of the red, white, and blue “H”? Should I become vegan? Would I have to put one of those bumper stickers with all the pagan symbols on my car? More important, do I need to have a closed-door meeting with my pastor, so I can confess? I couldn’t imagine there being much worse. [Read more…]

Fear and Faithfulness: The Parable of the Talents

Mark Twain said, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

I have loved that quote for a long time, but Jesus laid out the concept in Matthew 25, long before Mark Twain. [Read more…]

How To Sever Relationships: From a First-Year Ministry Student

At the age of twenty, I had all the answers. I remember judging a family member’s addiction, a classmate’s smoking problem, and being shocked that an unmarried girl in our program got pregnant. She was quickly expelled. It was the only right thing to do.

In those days, grace was cut and dried. [Read more…]

The Gift of Difficult People

If Brennan Manning and Anne Lamott had a baby, the child’s name would be Mark Yaconelli. The Gift of Hard Things is a wonderful reminder of the blessings that can be found in the midst of difficulty. [Read more…]

Donald Trump Couldn’t Pass the Citizenship Test. Can You?

Today, Senator Harry Reid said Donald Trump couldn’t pass the U.S. naturalization test. My curiosity got the best of me and I decided to take an online naturalization quiz. I scored 96%!

Since I had so much fun, I created a quiz of my own, just for you. If you’d like to test yourself, answer the following 15 questions without cheating (no Google!) and leave your score in the comments! [Read more…]

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One Hurting Group the Church Desperately Needs to Welcome

I long for the Church to echo the words of Christ, who said, “Come to me, tired ones. Come to me in your dysfunction. Come to me with your disappointment. Come to me and bring your exhaustion with you. Come to me without production or pretense and rest.” [Read more…]