Buzzfeed Your Soul: Which Whatever Are You?

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Which Downton Abby character are you? Buzzfeed wanted to know. Ok, fine. I’ll play. I started clicking on stuff. Pick a color…sure. But like…for what? For a new dress, or for new paint in the living room? For nail polish, or liturgical paraments for the sanctuary? Ooh, and if yes to either the nail polish or the liturgical stuff, WHAT SEASON IS IT? Then, pick a movie. Like, I don’t know what kind of mood I’m supposed to be in, or who’s watching with me? Husband, or bff from … [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 … [Read more...]

If My Wings Should Fail Me

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I'm back among the living after a week down with the flu. Not a 24 hour flu bug type thing: actual influenza. Think sharp knives stabbing your chest every time you cough (which is, let's just say, often) chills, all-over body aches and general awfulness. And then my husband and one of the kids got it, and well... all downhill from there. But like I said--I'm back among the living today, newly aware of the fragile state of life embodied.  It doesn't take much to lay us flat. And at all … [Read more...]

Love, Lars, and Lent Lessons

human rights

Have you seen ‘Lars and the Real Girl?’ If not, stop reading this—no seriously, right now—and go watch it. I’ll wait… Ok, now that you are back… you have been transformed in some deeply spiritual way. Suffice it to say, I find this movie to be cinematic perfection. The people are real—painfully, imperfectly real—and do not look at all like Hollywood super stars (though some of them are). The landscape, though bleak and cold, comes through with such clarity that you feel you … [Read more...]

A Song and a Prayer: The Holy Week Playlist

instruments

Throughout the season of Advent,  Christmas music (for better or worse) blares at us everywhere we go. That means, for those of us who preach/lead worship/make church happen, we stay in a nearly constant state of season-mindfulness. Whether we like it or not. No matter where we are or what we are doing, we cannot escape the fact that Christmas is coming. The season of Lent has not quite seeped into secular culture in the same saturating way. Where is the soundtrack for Holy Week? How are … [Read more...]

Showing Up

km&g morris

The desert in blessed springtime… Crystal blue skies, perfect temperatures, and actual green stuff creeping up through the sand; birds singing, bunnies hopping, colorful citrus ripe for plucking and juicing. All this abundance, AND, come Holy Week? You don’t have to order palm branches. You just ask folks to bring you the trash from their yard cleanup, and there you go. Instant parade. Church folks love to march down aisles. Even in a place like mine that is decidedly ‘low church,’ 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.  … [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...]

Prepare the Way: Why I Need Carbs (and Coffee) for Lent

This week, Patheos asked its bloggers to reflect on spiritual practices that we find especially meaningful during Lent. For the life of me...I've got nothing. Maybe I lack the discipline to give things up. I've never even attempted giving up chocolate or alcohol. I believe in moderation, but dang...a girl's got to live. I'm sure sacrificing carbs or sugar or caffeine would purify my body in some powerful way, while also providing soul benefits, but I'm only a person. I run a church, I have … [Read more...]

The Secret Password

Time for Lenten weeping and gnashing of teeth. We progressive/mainline protestant types aren't into the whole sackcloth thing, but a sound 'mea culpa' from time to time can be good for the soul. And this week, I've got one for us all. Repeat after me: "I am selfish." The other day, a friend posted on Facebook that, while she does not consider herself a religious person, she has been asking frequent prayer for a child in her family who is ill. Her question to her Christian friends: "Does … [Read more...]