To Witness

I've got a testimony.That's a word we don't throw around in mainline progressive circles very often. Nor do we say things like 'give a witness,' 'get saved,' or 'invoke the Holy Spirit.' Sure, we may affirm/believe/enact those words, but we don't say them. They are icky, fundy words that reek of proselytizing evangelism and a judgmental language of faith. Think tri-fold brochures with comic-book drawings of non-believers...going down a fire-y staircase and straight to hell.In the effort t … [Read more...]

Don’t You Know Who I Am?

He is risen! Happy Easter, and all that. I don't usually post my sermons in the blog. For one thing, I don't always write them out in manuscript form; and for another, a good sermon loses something in translation from the pulpit to the screen. Also, I tend to write in a conversational style (think incomplete sentences), so even my manuscripts don't really read like polished term papers.That said--this is a timely message that the Church in general--and some folks in particular--need to hear … [Read more...]

The Trouble With Your “Lifestyle”

I'm going to say a thing. Stop me if you've heard it: "Just because I don't accept someone's lifestyle, doesn't mean that I hate them!"I've heard it before. So have you. If nowhere else, you've seen it (blowing up your newsfeed) on a meme quoting Rick Warren. But more broadly, you’ve heard it in conversations with people who do not support equal marriage rights. Maybe you’ve even said it, written it, or thought it yourself.This line of discourse is the new ‘love the sinner/hate the sin.’ … [Read more...]

Love, Lars, and Lent Lessons

Have you seen ‘Lars and the Real Girl?’ If not, stop reading this—no seriously, right now—and go watch it. I’ll wait…Ok, now that you are back… you have been transformed in some deeply spiritual way. Suffice it to say, I find this movie to be cinematic perfection. The people are real—painfully, imperfectly real—and do not look at all like Hollywood super stars (though some of them are). The landscape, though bleak and cold, comes through with such clarity that you feel you can climb into it. … [Read more...]

A Song and a Prayer: The Holy Week Playlist

Throughout the season of Advent,  Christmas music (for better or worse) blares at us everywhere we go. That means, for those of us who preach/lead worship/make church happen, we stay in a nearly constant state of season-mindfulness. Whether we like it or not. No matter where we are or what we are doing, we cannot escape the fact that Christmas is coming.The season of Lent has not quite seeped into secular culture in the same saturating way. Where is the soundtrack for Holy Week? How are we to … [Read more...]

For Goodness’ Sake

Every other week of the world, Friday is full of good things. Barbeques and kids’ sleepovers, happy hour and road trips, family game night or movie night, the beginning of Sabbath, baseball, and blessed downtime. But this week…this week, we say every year: what is possibly good about Friday?We mark Jesus’ suffering death and explore stations of the cross. We hear the chilling last words. Silence, darkness, acts of God that shake the ground beneath our feet… Powerful, yes. Meaningful, certain … [Read more...]

Showing Up

The desert in blessed springtime… Crystal blue skies, perfect temperatures, and actual green stuff creeping up through the sand; birds singing, bunnies hopping, colorful citrus ripe for plucking and juicing. All this abundance, AND, come Holy Week? You don’t have to order palm branches. You just ask folks to bring you the trash from their yard cleanup, and there you go. Instant parade.Church folks love to march down aisles. Even in a place like mine that is decidedly ‘low church,’ we queue up … [Read more...]

Pink Bags (and Other Baggage)

Is this a post about Jesus? Not so much. I somehow couldn't manage to fit 'Jesus' and 'pre-teen lingerie' into the same sentence...Let's just call it a 'sacred embodiment' piece.I have sad news today for men who are married to/partnered with strong, confident alpha-girls: your wives and girlfriends are not shopping at Victoria's Secret anymore.No, it is not something you said. You are not in the dog house, you are not being 'cut off,' and you are not being punished for that thing you sai … [Read more...]

Sympathy for the Devil?

A young girl gets drunk at a party. She is, for all intents and purposes, unconscious. In this state, she is raped by (at least) two young men who subsequently 1) brag about it on social media and 2) post naked pictures of their victim. And make no mistake: she was a victim.Why, then, does a major news outlet cover the story of the poor young boys whose lives are ruined by the guilty verdict? CNN basically made an after school-special of the fellas in the courtroom, sobbing  and collapsing … [Read more...]


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