Coming and Going

How confusing this must seem to small children, I was thinking the other day. To them, it must feel like we are just throwing all of our stuff in a truck, to be driven at some future time by SOMEONE, to SOMEWHERE; and then piling in the car and getting somewhere, eventually, and then maybe finding a place to live and unload our beds and our books and our stuffed dinosaurs when we get there. And then I thought...wait a sec. That is exactly what we're doing. And really, it doesn't seem so … [Read more...]

The Miracle Purse

miracle purse

I've said it before, I will say it again: I love church ladies. When I was a kid, a church grandma named Mrs. Little used to sit on the left-hand side (the choir side) of the sanctuary, about 4 rows back. Every Sunday of the world she brought--I kid you not--a purse full of candy. Yes you heard that right. A Purse. Full. of Candy. Needless to say, she was popular amongst the young crowd. She would sit down and unzip that purse, and it was all Jesus 'let the children come to me' up in there. … [Read more...]

The Conviction of Things Unseen: on Mystery Priests and Modern Miracles

cool door

The mystery priest came out of the closet. I mean...not that closet. But he came out of hiding, anyway. So, I stand corrected. I never thought we'd hear from him. Last week, a young woman in Missouri was hit head on by a drunk driver. Her vital signs were dropping quickly, and some of the rescue equipment was malfunctioning. In the midst of this grim scene, the girl asked the first-responders to pray with her. According to witnesses, a priest then appeared out of nowhere and anointed her … [Read more...]

Happily Mostly After

pretty princess

Happily ever after is a lie. And no, I'm not having man problems. I don't hate my job. I'm not sick. I'm not in weather-related funk, and I'm not overly discouraged about the state of the economy. I've just got this on my mind... A photographer staged some life-sized vignettes of 'princesses' in their ever after.  These renderings show anything but a fairy tale ending. Belle--addicted to plastic surgery?; Cinderella--drinking away her disappointment.  There's more. Check it out. To … [Read more...]

Parking, Free for All (?)

no parking

My church shares space with a secular preschool. It is a WONDERFUl school. As far as I know, it is the only co-op program in the valley. The parents camp out overnight for registration--I kid you not, like it's Springsteen tickets--just to make sure their kids get in. It fosters a wonderful, warm sense of community in the 'it takes a village' sort of sense. They are great neighbors to have, not to mention, they have been a priceless asset to me as a mother of young children. That said--I … [Read more...]

On Enjoying the Show

harper

I remember when dance recital week was the busiest/most stressful week of the year. I didn't eat much in the month leading up to the show because somewhere, along the way, I'd picked up on the memo that real dancers didn't eat. Don't worry, i didn't have the discipline and/or self-loathing to maintain 'recital diet' for the whole year. Still--much of the fatigue I recall attached to that season was probably due to some really practical factors like low blood sugar... Still and all, it was a … [Read more...]

My Ordinnaversary

rainbow

Nine years ago—this weekend exactly—I was ordained to Christian ministry. I remember a few things about that day; I remember that the church ladies who raised me put together a wonderfully warm and abundant reception; I remember the many people who drove some miles to be with me for the occasion; I remember the robe being placed on my shoulders and the hands being laid upon my head, shoulders and back; I recall feeling surrounded by blessing, strength, and a very real sense of the Holy … [Read more...]

Head and Heart

operation

When a church is dying, The Body wants to know why. When people are leaving (or just not coming), when no new programs emerge, when there's no money for outreach, and no passion for mission, we start asking questions: what are we doing wrong? what are we just plain not doing? It's a sad conversation, with fatigue and frustration involved. The physical weight of the unknown and unknowable...it sits heavy on the congregational heart, and smothers everything. Even--maybe especially--the spirit … [Read more...]

Using Our Words: Power Verbs for the Language of Faith

powerverbs

As the mother of two preschoolers, I find myself saying this thing that used to make no sense to me, but now does. I say it often--like, multiple times a day-- with varying degrees of effectiveness. This phrase used to sound absurd to me. Now, it rolls off my tongue with startling natural ease. In fact, it is the only response I can muster in the face of a young child having a meltdown. "Use your words!" Both my kids are super articulate, and have been stringing together english-major … [Read more...]


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