Because The World is Hungry


This was Sunday's sermon for World Communion Sunday. As always, the table was filled with different kinds of bread from all over the world. I moved around the table during the sermon and between each story, broke a few pieces of the bread. I will answer now a question you are going to have later--yes, I broke some graham crackers too. ***In the weeks following the devastating earthquake in Haiti, international aid groups hit the ground with food, water and medical supplies. But the … [Read more...]

Ordinary Day


Nobody came into my place of work today and shot me.No enraged white man walked into my children's school and enacted a deranged video game fantasy on multiple young lives.My husband did not get killed in a random interstate drive-by.None of this seems like anything worth reporting. But honestly, I count it as a small miracle. Every day that we walk through the world unscathed by gun violence, it is a gift that I don't take lightly.  Dumb luck. And big news.What is NOT big … [Read more...]

It is Finished: The Life and Death of Kelly Gissendaner


It's done. Sort of. The story of a killer. It was one-part true crime, and one-part pure gospel. It was, at best, a true conversion story; and at worst, a glimpse of the dark side of our justice system.Kelly Gissendaner was sentenced in the murder of her husband. She persuaded her then-boyfriend to do the killing--but when all was said and done, the killer took a plea deal that afforded him life in prison, and landed her on death row. You tell me that is not truly effed up.In the 18 … [Read more...]

EXPECTO PATRONUM! And Other Spells That Don’t Ensure Your Internet Safety


Listen. Most any 'change in privacy' notice you see on Facebook is a scam. Social media sites would completely implode on themselves if they started charging, and they know it. Or if everything suddenly became "public," in the most basic understanding of the word. Furthermore, anything that says "if you copy and paste this into your status, then _____ thing will or won't happen" is definitely a scam. Your status box has no magic power to create a force field around you and the rest of the … [Read more...]

Get it Together, America–We’ve Got Company

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Maybe this week in U.S. news is no more embarrassing than any other. But I tell you what, I am feeling especially appalled by our collective bad behavior. Maybe it’s because the behavior has been especially…well, appalling. Or maybe it’s because the POPE IS IN TOWN, and, I don’t know, it seems like we should clean up the place a little. Use a napkin, at the very least, and not put our *^@%#^ feet on the table.It’s hard to know where to begin, with such ignorant, arrogant and buffoonish ac … [Read more...]

Talking to Strangers: Scene in a Bar


I was drinking a beer. That was her first clue that I wasn’t a real Christian.When she asked me what I did and I mentioned that I was a pastor, I’m guessing that sealed the deal.So when she asked me to tell her about my church, I could have quoted our denomination’s identity statement, keeping it light and generic. Or I could have told her about youth group and women’s ministries and mission work in El Salvador. But I figured I was already batting zero—drinking a beer AND being a lady min … [Read more...]

Hope, Healing, and Multiple Drafts: A Conversation with Author Reba Riley


I recently posted a review of the new book “Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome.” Since then, I’ve had the privilege of a conversation with author Reba Riley. Here’s some of our discussion about writing, family, and what’s next. It’s the abridged version so YOU’RE WELCOME, because we both really love to chat. If you don’t already have this book on your ‘to-read’ pile, get on it. This is the book your nightstand has been waiting for…E: This book has got to be resonating with so many people… I know … [Read more...]

That One Time When Kim Davis Stopped Being Hilarious


Yesterday, I did something I’ve never done before—I took down a previously published blog post.Last week I wrote about Kim Davis—as have so many. It was a tongue in cheek piece poking fun at her misguided “religious freedom” crusade. However—while the humor was aimed in her general direction, it was not really meant to be about her. I meant to shed light on the absurdity of her claims in general—and to make light of her voice, in particular, in a way that I hoped would be healing for those wh … [Read more...]

Those Tiny Shoes


Those tiny shoes.I am heavy-hearted and haunted today, as are many of us, by the images of a small lifeless body washed up on the shore of a Turkish beach. Children on beaches should be running and splashing and making sand castles. But Alyan Kurdi and his brother Galip drowned in the Aegean sea yesterday; along with their mother and 9 other Syrian refugees.These add to the more than 2500 lives lost in similar passage, this summer alone.My newsfeed today, meanwhile, is filled with … [Read more...]