Thanksgiving W/ Jesus

This is a sermon. I rarely write them out in manuscript form, and even when I do, I usually don't post them... Because mostly, they are not prose, they are meant to be spoken. It loses something in print.  I preach in a lot of incomplete sentences. If you're like me, it flows just fine when you're hearing it, but can be maddening to read. Also, I make up words. So anyway... at your own risk, and all that. This was the last in a November series called "Daily Bread." Since it was the day of our Th … [Read more...]

Talking to Strangers

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It was Sunday morning. I stopped at my favorite, may or may not have chosen my new house based on proximity to this place, donut joint to buy a couple dozen for our new member class. (I win souls for the Lord with vanilla glazed and pumpkin spice varieties).It was early. Still dark out. There was one other person in the place, and I mean, she looked normal enough… She was being pretty chatty with the register girl, so I jumped into the conversation. Because hey, it’s Sunday morning, there’s a … [Read more...]

Not Their Monster

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Guest Post: Rev. Erika Marksbury is the Associate Pastor on staff with me at Saint Andrew Christian Church. She is finishing up a PhD in a fancy inter-disciplinary thing that I can never remember the name of, but is really impressive. She is also a wife and mom and writer and, really, all the things. A side note: I sent Gov. Brownback a note the other day. Long story short, after being (narrowly) re-elected, he renewed his commitment to block gay marriage in Kansas, no matter what the Su … [Read more...]

Bad News, Good News

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Over the weekend, two young people in our community committed suicide. These young women went the same high school, and played on the same soccer team. I can’t imagine the grief that student body is bearing right now, not to mention the families of the two girls. In the wake of this tragedy, I’ve been impressed by expressions of sympathy and compassion from the entire community. I’m also impressed with the school’s response, encouraging parents to have real and honest conversations with their kid … [Read more...]

Narrow Margins

So. Nobody wins.The myth of scarcity, the fear of other, and the rhythmic force of silent money: that narrative wins races, and people lose. And while neither party has the exclusive rights to that narrative—we hear it from every corner—this morning’s results show us where, on the map, those tactics speak the loudest.And yet…  that fearful story won so narrowly, in so many places. Is that good news or bad news?It is bad news that, no matter who wins, half of the country wakes up with … [Read more...]

Your Faith-Based Voter Guide

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Editors’ Note: This article is part of the Patheos Public Square on Politics in the Pulpit. Read other perspectives here. The toxic commercials. The clutter of yard signs. The sensory assault of angry billboards and radio spots… To quote a friend: Bring on the ridiculously early Christmas music and gaudy decorations. Anything is better than this!! In fact, the only thing worse than the sensory overload of election season is the tense, carefully guarded environments that many of us navigate dai … [Read more...]

In All Kinds of Weather

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Harry was finally talking to Cho Chang. Stars aligned. Fireworks started. The orchestra keyed up in the background.Enter: the awkward clang of Ron Weasley… who saw Cho sporting a Tutshill Tornadoes badge, and immediately got confrontational with her about her loyalty as a sports fan. “How long have you supported them?” he demanded. His implication is that she, like the common masses, hopped on the bandwagon only after “they started winning” and “became fashionable.”“I’ve been a fan since … [Read more...]

Dear Millennials: Sorry We’re So Obsessed With You

Dear Millennials,I know it’s kind of creepy. We want to know where you live, and what classes you take in school (and how much you pay for it). We want to know where you drink coffee; who you date and for how long; what you read, where you spend your money, and what you GIVE your money to; what kind of relationship you have with your parents, how far you wander from home, and how often you go back there. We want to see the depths of your soul, and then we want to take you out for a local c … [Read more...]

Talking About Real Life and Faith: A Review of the Animate DVD Series for Small Groups

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Leaders in the progressive church-y world are always looking for ‘The Thing.’ You know, the perfect curriculum, book, or teaching tool for that one group, or this one season. What we often fine is that ‘the thing’ with the most engaging activities, the colorful promo materials, and the user-friendly leader guide—has terrible theology. No depth, lots of bloody Jesus language, and heavy on patriarchy and/or prosperity gospel.On the flip-side: ‘the thing’ with layers of meaning, challenging ques … [Read more...]


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