S*^! Jesus Says… Or Doesn’t

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I just dropped a book, picked it up, and then proceeded to trip over a bike rack, all in a span of about 7 seconds. And all in public, of course. Yesterday, I got my calendar wires crossed and missed a meeting with someone who drove nearly an hour to see me. Also, I spent most of the day lying on the couch, staring at the ceiling, while my kids played near me/climbed on me/came down from Sunday's sugar high. No, I'm not pregnant. This is just a glimpse of a minister's life the week after … [Read more...]

Songs from the Wilderness

I spent the morning of Good Friday roaming about in the desert with my dog. If you ask me, the desert is the only place to spend this day--literal or elsewise. Last year I wrote a piece about the proper sound track for Holy Week, and this year, the good folks over at The Salt Project featured the post.  They do beautiful work for Jesus and the world, and if you've never checked out their stuff, now's a good time. Meanwhile, my desert journey this morning took me back to the beginning of … [Read more...]

A Sacred Discomfort

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Doing some stretches. Carbo-loading (translation: stress eating lots of chocolate and white bread). Having some extra coffee. Trying to ignore the beginnings of canker sores that will be nasty and painful in a few days' time. It's Holy Week, y'all. It occurred to me, in looking at my calendar for the week, I don't have any more time-consuming obligations this week than i normally would. In fact, i have fewer places to be/things to do, because we cancel some of our regular doings at church. … [Read more...]

A Handful of Change

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Recession, re-shmession. I know it's tough out there. I know people have lost jobs and healthcare coverage. I know firsthand that, practically overnight, some of our homes were suddenly worth nothing. Not even what we spent on new landscaping. I know that people have been displaced, heartbroken, cheated, and kicked around in general by the economy these last few years. But people, we spent $1.5 BILLION on lottery tickets this week. You and me. And only 3 of us won. Now, lottery is all … [Read more...]

Louder and Less Polite

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It is not news that people are leaving the Christian faith. Or that, increasingly, they were never a part of it. The staggering numbers of people that identify themselves as atheist, agnostic, or "spiritual but not religious" have us career Jesus people in a panic. Will there still be a community of faith in 20 years? In 50? I'm starting to change my mind about the liklihood of a 'yes.' Because in my conversations with people, it is apparent that it isn't God people have stopped believing in. … [Read more...]

The Business of Babies: A shopping list, a Lent reflection, and a bit of a memoir…

I recently cleared my house of ALOT of baby and kid stuff; not just outgrown clothes, but bouncers, extra strollers, baby seats and... on and on. Which caused me to reflect on how much of the stuff had actually been useful, and how much had just been in the way. Don't be fooled--babies are a business.  The folks at Target, Wal-Mart, and Tiny-Stuff-R-Us KNOW how to play on 1-your hormones,  2-your loss of control over your life and/or 3-your feelings of inadequacy. They play up all the … [Read more...]

Yes, AND: The Gospel of Tina Fey for Congregational Transformation

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It's been about 6 months now since Foothills adopted an "Open and Affirming" mission.  As we close in on Easter, I'm reflecting on how it's changed us, and also, the truths of transformation that we learned along the way.  As ever, Tina Fey preaches it better than me. According to the gospel of Tina Fey, “the fun is always on the other side of a ‘yes.’ In her memoir, “Bossypants,” she expounds on the rules of improvisation. Call me a church nerd, but her rules of improv sound … [Read more...]

Carmelized

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My house rule for cooking: "That's not burned. It's carmelized!" I really, really hate a big ol hunk of raw onion. Period. I don't care if it's in a fresh, beautiful salad, or gracing a perfect burger just off the grill, or garnishing a summer farmer's market feast. A raw onion can ruin anything. A carmelized onion, on the other hand...i challenge you to find me a food that cannot be improved by the onion that has been greased and turned and browned, and loved into perfection. You could … [Read more...]

A Primer for New Life: Painting Over Pastels

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I have waited years for this. When i came to Foothills--nearly 6 years ago--i looked around and saw some things that needed doing. And i saw some things that needed changing. Some of them were tangible, physical things--like the purple and turquoise walls in the sanctuary, the aging carpet, and the website. Other areas of concern had to do with infrastructure--the death-by-committee organization that is killing so many mainline churches, and the hit-or-miss quality of worship (including the … [Read more...]

Road-Trippy Soul Food

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I know, I  know, it's been almost 2 weeks since I've written anything. Nearly a week since I've had any real exercise. Several days since I spent any real time in prayerful meditation. But I am being faithful in at least one discipline this Lenten season--no fast food!  Since breakfast is the hardest time of day for me to 'just say no' to the drive thru, i'm doing an installation of The English Major Diet, reminding myself that the best breakfast on the planet does not come in paper … [Read more...]