Are We Still On This?

Dear Bill O'Reilly: there is no war on Christmas. It is alive and well, and 'merica spent the first $60 BILLION of it on Black Friday Weekend. (That's now a thing--not Thanksgiving, not Advent I, but Black Friday Weekend). Is our faith so tenuous that we need it to be affirmed by the retailers? (--says a wise member of my congregation) By the greeting card industry? By the person fixing our pumpkin spice latte? I've already said my peace about all the reasons we need to stop being so touchy … [Read more...]

An Empty House

A Tao of Christmas shopping, from a wannabe minimalist: So, i buy most of my kids' clothes at consignment sales. Also sell stuff there, so i almost break even. I go to this one sale twice a year (because it is at my church and i get to shop early!) While i'm shopping for clothes, i also keep my eyes peeled for good toys at super cheap prices. I buy a few here and there, so by the time Christmas rolls around, I buy each kid one new thing, and i'm pretty much done. They get about 4 gifts each, … [Read more...]

Like Frosty Said… the Sun Was Hot That Day

I think i say this, or something like it, every year of the world. But, here it is again: It is really, really hard to get into Advent and Christmas mode when it is 80-degrees and sunny outside. There's something just downright apocolyptic about driving down a scenic desert highway, with gorgeous views and sunshine, and hearing 'Holly Jolly Christmas" or "Frosty the Snowman"  come on the radio. Nevermind the fact that 'Holly Jolly" is just about the worst song in the history of the world...it … [Read more...]

Top 10 Reasons Christians Should Stop Whining About Secular Xmas

Photo by Elisabeth Gawne

"Keep Christ in Christmas!" "Jesus is the reason for the season!" "It's OK to say Merry Christmas!" I don't disagree with any of these statements. However, as a PR rep for Jesus, I cringe whenever I see them printed on a sign somewhere. I know we all lament the commercialization of a sacred day; I know that it's frustrating to see something so meaningful reduced to plastic snowmen and frozen fruitcakes. That said, it's not worth getting all offended by a 'season's greetings' card, or a … [Read more...]

til by Turning, Turning, We Come ‘Round Right

sanctuary

Spoiler alert: if you are coming to Foothills for worship tomorrow and you want to be surprised, wait and read this on Monday. Over six years ago, when i first walked into the sanctuary at Foothills, what i saw with my eye and what i saw with my heart were two different things. My eye saw a space that was much-loved, though cared for with limited resources. Bright (i mean bright!) paint colors that detracted from the beautiful stain glass; old carpet; a communion table and pulpit in … [Read more...]

Fresh Batch of Good News

I love to veg out with a magazine. Doesn't really matter what kind, just something brainless that i can scan through without giving it much attention. This time of year, I especially love the nov/dec issues of women's magazines. For better or worse, lots of recipes, pretty pictures, and holiday inspiration. (crafty things i will never actually make myself, but sure nice stuff to look at when someone else has done the work.) I've noticed a trend, not just in magazine world, but also on morning … [Read more...]

Practicing Gratitude

I've gotta say... for all the junk and crazy-making stuff that floats around on facebook, i'm finding the daily 'thankful' posts a blessed relief. In case you haven't noticed--many people challenge themselves, during the month of November, to give thanks for something every day of the month.  People share their gratitude for everything from health and family to simple daily blessings--good food, good coffee, the smell of laundry on a weekday evening. All told, sifting through my newsfeed … [Read more...]

Change Gonna Come

Some folks seem to be reeling from some recent revelations: 1-- 'white majority' is no longer a thing because of a) growing demographics of multi-ethnic groups and b) philosophical differences, even among people of the same race. 2-- women can do stuff. it's a thing. 3-- there is no one truth, and there are no easy answers. If a country is divided literally in half, we have to acknowledge that we are all a little bit right, and we are all a little bit wrong. Our best hope is to engage in … [Read more...]

Next…

A deep breath...this is a non-partisan post, I promise. In fact, I've tried to focus all my posts around specific issues and social concerns; not about people, parties or politics. But today, especially, is a day to try and get past party lines and talk about what's next. To that end, here's what we've (all, hopefully) learned: -Hating on the gays doesn't buy votes anymore. Let's move on and talk about something else next time. -There are many women's issues in politics, but using the … [Read more...]

We The People

I was inspired and encouraged by the people I saw at the polls this morning. Not just the by the number of them, but by their diversity. Young and old; men and women; affluent and otherwise; Hispanic, Indian, Anglo, and citizens of European heritage, speaking to their children in native tongues... In this season of Thanksgiving, I am extremely grateful for our founding fathers, and their vision of democracy; for the generations of men and women who have protected our freedom; for women who … [Read more...]