Fear, Faith and Freedom: What You and I Know about Anti-Muslim Rallies

All Hands Magazine

*Ritzheimer. I mean… it just SOUNDS like a Nazi caricature. A cartoon bad guy with a swastika and a little Hitler mustache, a tiny cartoon devil at his shoulder. But the real guy’s not a cartoon. He’s alive and real in Phoenix, and he’s drumming up an anti-Muslim following. Last week, he rallied a couple hundred of his white supremacist buddies for a “demonstration” on the steps of a local mosque. Wearing t-shirts with a message so obscene, the media has had to blur most of the words out in pict … [Read more...]

Still Time

For Lent, I was going write about Lent. Well and often. And then, I found that I didn't have much time to write.Which is ironic/telling/poetic--because my Lent sermon series is ABOUT time. How much we have, how much we waste; the blessing and burden of it; the things that hijack our sense of it... Time is complicated and beautiful and holds within its grasp the expanse of human experience and all of creation. We can totally cover that in six weeks, right?Right?But anyway. Here we are … [Read more...]

The Damp Murkiness of our Inner Underworld

dark and daylight

“There is a part of the soul that stirs at night, in the dark and soundless times of day, when our defenses are down and our daylight distractions no longer serve to protect us from ourselves. What we suppress in the light emerges clearly in the dusk. It’s then, in the still of life, when we least expect it, that questions emerge from the damp murkiness of our inner underworld.”  --Joan Chittister, Between the Dark and the Daylight. The damp murkiness of our inner underworld?? Sign me up! Not on … [Read more...]

Not in the Fire, Not in the Wind

The following is from week 2 of the sermon series "Doors and Windows: Faces of Faith in Transition." Since many of you followed last week's conversation about "Mapping the Message," I thought you might like to see the product of all that series planning. I really enjoyed sharing some of the creative process, and I hope we can talk more about that soon!  Meanwhile, read on for some thoughts on finding that still, small voice--even when all around us feels like chaos. It’s official. Nothing is … [Read more...]

Extreme God

Now...

Four months ago, I was preparing to leave Phoenix. In early September, it was still pretty common to see the thermostat register 110-degrees. Of course, that was downright breezy after the July and August heat waves, which would sometimes reach 119. (But it’s a dry heat! Um…so is your oven).Fast forward to yesterday in my new midwest location. Wind chill of -16. Math is not my strong suit but I know there are a lot of digits that fall between -16 and +119. I’m amazed at my body’s ability to … [Read more...]

In Season

tomatoes

It's fixin to be June in Phoenix. Lord help us...Some of you know that I’m kind of a snob about tomatoes. I mean, I LOVE tomatoes…But by ‘tomato,’ I do not mean those things that come out of a California hot house in January. That is NOT a tomato.But I can rhapsodize about a real tomato all day long—and the perfect BLT that I make when, on the rarest of occasions, I can lay hands on an actual tomato in the desert. My 4-year-old daughter loves tomatoes too. In fact, she frequently asks for … [Read more...]

Rootless and Wandering

If you ever wonder what pastors talk about when we get together, the topics are, in no particular order:-Church people. I mean, we don't spill pastoral confidences, but we definitely talk about our people. It's mostly good news. Mostly...-Sermons; process, upcoming themes, recent triumphs and epic disasters.-Kids (if we have kids) and how we balance the parent and pastor acts. (The answer is: just barely, most days).-Which new tv show/band/book series has THEOLOGICAL SUBTEXT. We … [Read more...]

$*^! Jesus Says: Seeds and Weeds Edition

For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.”A truth of desert life, and life in general: after the blessed benediction of rain, you will have weeds to contend with.The earth is so parched around here that the first drop of moisture brings forth all manner of latent vegetation—from beautiful wildflowers to potent, allergen-baring stuff.  After a few ea … [Read more...]

Watered Down

True story: my husband and i were out having dinner at a nice restaurant. Which is hard to find in the desert suburbs. There's an Applebee's, Olive Garden, and TGi whatever on every corner, but anything without a namebrand can't seem to afford the real estate. Anyway--if i recall, it was our first night out after the second baby. It was a spur of the moment thing.  We called a last minute babysitter and were instantly transported to a leather booth with mood lighting and an excellent steak. On a … [Read more...]


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