Singing in Dimly Lit Places: Is Religious Freedom Under Threat?

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Here is the question that will be on Patheos Public Square  next week: While the principle of religious freedom is inscribed in the Constitution and forms a core idea of American democracy, it has also become an increasingly embattled issue amid broader cultural tensions over individual rights, the power of government, and the separation of church and state. Is religious freedom under threat, as many advocates claim? What does it mean to defend religious freedom in a diverse, modern society … [Read more...]

Drink it Up, Drink it In: The Lost Art of Celebration

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The Sunday before Valentine's day, I was doing my usual Sunday afternoon thing--staring at the wall, trying to recover from the mental and physical strain of preaching.  As I mindlessly scrolled through Facebook, I noticed a trend. Several consecutive pics in my newsfeed of friends displaying the Valentine cards, treats, and mail boxes they were making with their kids. After scrolling through 800 of these (ok, it was probably 7, but still) I got nervous."Hey," I said to my spouse..."Does H- h … [Read more...]

Singing for Our Lives

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I’m not sure how it started, or when. But at least since I was a young’n, and probably a good many moons before that… each year, several hundred high school students would gather at the Hyatt Regency in Louisville for Kentucky All State Choir. (Yeah, that’s how we rolled, y’all. A glimpse of my wild and crazy youth right here).That hotel is about 20 stories high, with a large open-air atrium for a lobby. You can look up from the ground floor and literally see the door to every guest room, sur … [Read more...]

Showing Up

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I never know what to say when someone thanks me for making a hospital or home visit. A simple 'you're welcome' will sometimes suffice. But at other times, people more than thank me. They say 'I know you're busy,' and “I hate that you had to go to this trouble;’ 'this is so important to my family,' and maybe even 'you're so wonderful to come.''You're welcome' doesn't quite seem to cut it.It almost feels like they're thanking me for breathing. For enjoying a great dessert, for taking a wal … [Read more...]

Jesus, Tebow, and Grandma God: The New Trinity

Some days, I come across an article that restores my faith in humanity, and gives me hope for the future of the Christian story.This is not one of those days.Apparently--seriously, I just almost can't say this out loud without wanting to 1)laugh hysterically and/or 2)curl up in a dark corner somewhere--but I say, APPARENTLY, HALF OF AMERICANS think that God decides who wins the Super Bowl.Seriously.I almost don't have anything to say except, 'No.' No, no, no, people. I've been try … [Read more...]

Mailing, Failing, and Yard Sign Nailing

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DEAR CHURCH DOWN THE ROAD*:I wanted to thank you for your excellent marketing approach in reaching our neighbors with the good news of Christ. I enjoy your signs, mailings, web pages and strategically placed fliers. I wanted to commend you on a few especially powerful messages, and encourage you to keep up the good work.1. Keep reminding people that "going to church does not make them a Christian." That will certainly encourage them to carve time out of their busy, overwhelming, … [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...]

The One Year Bible…One Year Later

reading

Ever thought about trying to read through the Bible in a year? Saint Andrew's Pat Boston shares her challenging, sometimes tedious, but ultimately rewarding experience. Pat is a partner, a mother, a Disciple, a Democrat, a musician, a dog lover, a reader, a fair cook, and according to her friends, a "roach on a hot griddle."My mother-in-law gave me a One Year Bible last year.  It is an English Standard Version with no explanation or introduction, just daily designated consecutive chapters … [Read more...]

Transcendant Hope: A Review of “Preaching at the Crossroads”

preaching

I rarely finish a non-fiction book, except under duress of the grading system (and in that regard, I’ve been a free woman for more than a decade!) So the fact that I willingly read through David Lose’s Preaching at the Crossroads  is its own kind of recommendation. But it recommends itself in other ways, too.In short, this is the preaching book you WISH someone had written when you were in seminary (under duress of the grading system, as it were). I recall reading stuff the size and shape of … [Read more...]


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