Healthcare Is Sick and Making the Economy Sicker

Some folks seem to be operating under the delusion that Obamacare is some kind of welfare program. Free healthcare for everyone!In fact, I think the president might be one of those people.Or rather, he thinks that you can buy healthcare for $12 a year when you're young, and then get something EVEN CHEAPER, basically free, when you're old. Or, who knows... Maybe he thinks healthcare is a thing that only poor people need, because rich people know how not to get sick? Or maybe just women … [Read more...]

The Ark of Irony

Once upon a time, the Lord spoke to Noah and told him to go build a giant boat in the northern territory of Kentucky.No, that's not right...Once upon a time, some super Christians, who were super in with God, decided that to honor Jesus, they would re-create a giant boat from a story that occurred thousands of years BEFORE Jesus was born. It would be a replica of biblical proportions. They would use the exact dimensions detailed in Genesis, construct an epic scale model of Noah's ark, an … [Read more...]

10 Lessons the Church Can Learn From Harry Potter: On the Occasion of His 20th Birthday

I was tragically late to the Potter party. 20 years ago (!) when the first book came out, I was a college sophomore with a few other things on my mind than the newest thing in YA fiction. My brother was the target demographic age (12) and told me (many times) that I HAD to read this book! I picked it up a few times and read a chapter here and there. But I was distracted. I didn’t really get into it.I know. I know.I cannot tell you when I made the transformation from oblivous Muggle to d … [Read more...]

Along for the Ride: A Very P.K. Summer, Part I

If you are a parent, then you know the mixed blessing of summer. On the one hand: more time with your kids; a slower, more unscheduled pace; ice cream, pool time, and lots of trips to the library. What's not to love?Well: mosquitos, humidity and bad t.v., for starters. Not to mention--what the heck are you supposed to do with these kids every day? While also getting work done?Between camp days, VBS days, and vacation time, it doesn't make a lot of sense to sign them up for any kind of … [Read more...]

Christian Privilege Is a Real Thing: and a Dangerous Thing

Last week I was invited to speak at an interfaith panel discussion. I rarely say no to these things. For starters, you never know who you might meet. Community events are the best evangelism going, and a lot cheaper than digital signs or radio ads. Besides, I love a good chat. In this case, I didn't know much about the event before I got there. It was a continuing ed thing for a professional group I wasn't familiar with, on a campus I'd never heard of. But, sure. I'm in.Turns out, the … [Read more...]

Duke Drama: A Lesson In Mission Focus

A guest post from my friend (and Duke Divinity School alum) Chris Furr. When I attended orientation as an incoming student at Duke Divinity School in January of 2003, Dr. Willie Jennings, then Dean of Academic Affairs in the Divinity School, entered the room holding a sculpture. The sculpture was of a woman, seated, holding her hands in her lap. She was holding them as if they were in pain, and her knuckles and hands were swollen. She wore an exhausted expression on her face. Dr. Jennings … [Read more...]

Prayer for Uncertain Times: Embracing Mystery as an Act of Resistance

Most of our human existential crises can be traced to a single source: our deep desire to KNOW.We may expect our friends to keep a lid on what happened in last night's episode of whatever, until we can get home and catch up on the DVR. But in real life? Forget it. Give us the spoiler alerts. We want to KNOW. We want to know when we'll find love, and if love will last; we want to know when we'll land that job, or make that move, or fall into that fortune; we want to know that our retirement is … [Read more...]

Your Church Does Not Need Volunteers

I was writing my weekly note to the congregation  (a few days late, because I took Monday off and it's all downhill from there). Usually in this note, I share a few words about the message for Sunday so that we can all be reflecting on the same topic throughout the week. It makes the sermon more of an ongoing conversation. I sometimes discuss something that's going on in the life of the church, as well. But this week, it was more of a thank you note. Because when I think about how much work my ch … [Read more...]

Stories Untold: Saving Sesame Street from the America First Budget

Guest post: Rev. Elizabeth GrashamI won’t bury the lede: I vehemently oppose President Trump’s “America First” budget for innumerable reasons.  But one of the big reasons I oppose it is because he’s threatening Sesame Street.Before my divorce was final, I took my son to see his incarcerated father on a once-a-month schedule.  Our visits were always the same: the car would be searched at the entrance gate, we would take a Ziploc bag of quarters, my keys and ID inside, we would go through a … [Read more...]