The One Where We Can’t Go Home Again

central perk

20 years ago today, the pilot episode of Friends aired in primetime on NBC. 20 YEARS, you guys. Seriously. This article says the show is as popular today, in re-runs, as it was back then. I’d believe it, too. Even though you watch and go, ‘wow, it’s weird that they don't have cell phones,’ or ‘dang, Rachel’s jeans always seemed cool at the time…what happened?’ the show has joined the ranks of Truly Timeless Televiewing.Many will say it’s because that cast of 6 had such impeccable chemistry. O … [Read more...]

Screaming Like a Girl

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The small boys were screaming—nay, shrieking—on the playground. It was all in good 4-year-old fun, but dang, it was shrill. It was headache-inducing. Anyone with ears would have wanted it to stop.Including the dad volunteer (this was a co-op preschool setting) who approached them. “Hey,” he said, “hey, cut it out. Are you boys? Or are you little girls?”Oh, HELL no. He did NOT just do that.But yes, he sure did. And you know what? It worked. They stopped their screaming, shrieking bansh … [Read more...]

Love and Perfect–Wait for it–Timing

himym

Major spoiler alert—(insert Ted and Robin salute—Major Spoiler Alert!) If don't want to know how the HIMYM finale  ends, stop reading.If you're like, What's a bro code? Why are we suiting up? —keep reading anyway. There’s a spiritual thread here.Faithful viewers of the long-running How I Met Your Mother have always known they were in for a multi-twisted ending. You don’t play with the space time continuum like these writers have done— weaving past, present and future together with fantasy … [Read more...]

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...]

Jesus, Tebow, and Grandma God: The New Trinity

happy jesus

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...]

Year of the Dude: Hyper-Masculinity in Marketing, Media and Mega-church

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Any time i post an especially pro-woman bit of commentary, i get feedback saying that i clearly--clearly--have a problem with men.For the record, I love men. My husband, my brother, my father, my good friends and male colleagues in ministry, the male members of my church, the stranger at the grocery store...men are great. They are important to me, and to the world in general.So no, I don't have a problem with men. Who I've got a problem with is 'dudes.' More specifically, the many ways … [Read more...]

The Gospel of Grantham

downton_abbey

If you want to know what a nerd I am, I'm going to tell you. About 80% of the status updates in my newsfeed on Sunday were from friends engaged in a "Downt-down." (I crack myself up). That is, a countdown to the season 3 premier of 'Downton Abbey.'The other 20% were something to the effect of, where is Downton Abbey, and why do I want to go there? I'm never quite sure what to tell people about it, except that once you go, you'll know.Come to think of it, why DO so many of us love this … [Read more...]

A Prayer for World AIDS Day

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Eight years ago, I went on a small mission trip to Swaziland, a tiny little kingdom in southern Africa, a (scary) 5-hour drive east of Johannesburg. One in four adults there is HIV positive--and that is just reported cases--ranking that country's rate of infection among the highest in the world. Poverty and gender inequality were, and remain, key factors in the spread of the disease.As one often learns on a mission trip, our time there was spent not so much 'doing' anything that would change … [Read more...]


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