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

weeds cory gordon

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

maker's mark

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...]

Ashes and Casseroles: The Business of Life

I did a funeral this morning for a beloved saint of the church. Now I'm working on an Ash Wednesday service for later this evening.I tell you what--sometimes us Pastors have the funnest jobs EVER.Days like today, I remember that we are in the business of death. We are in the business of comforting folks as they exit the world; of blessing people into the next life; of drawing threads of narrative to speak the purpose of it all. We are in the business of sitting next to the widow.In ce … [Read more...]

Goodness and Truth

Good and Truth Image

It was that lovely week of Christmas when utterly NOTHING happens at church, and we clergy types can lounge in our sweats for days on end, in recovery from the high holy days. Christmas had fallen in that same week of blessed cool weather that the desert gets, just every now in then, when the sun is still shining but you can actually wear a jacket outside without melting. It was like that. My mom was in town, and we had walked the kids over to a neighborhood park for some excercise.There was … [Read more...]

Failure to Adapt

Failure to adapt Image winter1

Next weekend, I'm going to Prescott with 10 other people from my church, and about 60 folks from other congregations in the Arizona region. We are gathering for a leadership training/church transformation event. I'm looking forward to the event itself, but even moreso to the time spent  with other people who are passionate about the future mission of our church. These people are gifted with creative vision, innovative spirit, and a broad range of faith and life experience. We've been planning th … [Read more...]


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