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 Go … [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...]

Downer Abbey

downton

If you want to avoid Downton spoilers, then just go visit my guest post on HerKentucky today. Meanwhile, the rest of us are going to don some sack cloth and ashes and lament the season finale. It's very Lent-y, I promise.**Spoiler Alert ... fair warning.Awhile back, I posted The Gospel of Grantham.  I noted here that our fascination with Downton Abbey is really a timely response to our own dramatically changing culture. The show speaks deep spiritual truth about how we cope with our own s … [Read more...]

Songs from the Wilderness

I spent the morning of Good Friday roaming about in the desert with my dog. If you ask me, the desert is the only place to spend this day--literal or elsewise.Last year I wrote a piece about the proper sound track for Holy Week, and this year, the good folks over at The Salt Project featured the post.  They do beautiful work for Jesus and the world, and if you've never checked out their stuff, now's a good time.Meanwhile, my desert journey this morning took me back to the beginning of Lent, a … [Read more...]

A Sacred Discomfort

window1

Doing some stretches. Carbo-loading (translation: stress eating lots of chocolate and white bread). Having some extra coffee. Trying to ignore the beginnings of canker sores that will be nasty and painful in a few days' time.It's Holy Week, y'all.It occurred to me, in looking at my calendar for the week, I don't have any more time-consuming obligations this week than i normally would. In fact, i have fewer places to be/things to do, because we cancel some of our regular doings at church. … [Read more...]

A Handful of Change

handful-of-change

Recession, re-shmession.I know it's tough out there. I know people have lost jobs and healthcare coverage. I know firsthand that, practically overnight, some of our homes were suddenly worth nothing. Not even what we spent on new landscaping. I know that people have been displaced, heartbroken, cheated, and kicked around in general by the economy these last few years.But people, we spent $1.5 BILLION on lottery tickets this week. You and me. And only 3 of us won.Now, lottery is all … [Read more...]

The Business of Babies: A shopping list, a Lent reflection, and a bit of a memoir…

I recently cleared my house of ALOT of baby and kid stuff; not just outgrown clothes, but bouncers, extra strollers, baby seats and... on and on. Which caused me to reflect on how much of the stuff had actually been useful, and how much had just been in the way.Don't be fooled--babies are a business.  The folks at Target, Wal-Mart, and Tiny-Stuff-R-Us KNOW how to play on 1-your hormones,  2-your loss of control over your life and/or 3-your feelings of inadequacy. They play up all the baggage th … [Read more...]


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