The Poetry of Emptiness: Reflections from the Festival of Homiletics

Guest post: My friend and colleague Rev. Laura Ann Phillips shares a good word from the Festival of Homiletics, happening in Atlanta this week. It feels like I have been “going” non-stop since October 2014, and if I’m completely honest, it’s exhausting. I’ve been reading articles about gluten intolerance and insulin resistance wondering if that’s what is wrong with me. Maybe what I’m eating is making me tired? I’ve been trying to figure out how to get more protein in fruit smoothies as a safe … [Read more...]

The Soulmaking Room: Review

There's an obscure story in 2 Kings (that reads "Second Kings," for all you politicians trying to quote scripture for pandering purposes) in which the prophet Elisha is taken into the home of some gracious hosts. In fact, his life as an itinerant preacher takes him by this house frequently, so the woman has her husband build a guest room-- just so Elisha will have a place to crash when he's in town. A biblical guest room! Isn't that lovely?Predictably (because it is a Bible story), this act … [Read more...]

5 Small Steps to a Simpler Closet (and Safer Planet)

Earlier this week, I shared a post about my family's Sock Scavenger Hunt. I paid my kids actual money to track down every sock in our house, so that we wouldn't have to go buy more. And...it worked!  This exercise was related to growing concerns about textile waste. In addition to wanting to scale back the amount of stuff in our house, I am trying to be more conscientious about where my clothes come from: and the related environmental and humanitarian impact of what I consume.Here's what I've … [Read more...]

Lost and Found: A Parable In Socks

You know what was great about living in the desert all those years? Among other things--not having to wear socks. Ever.Maybe occasionally with running shoes or hiking boots, if you were going out on a trail. Because, you know, rattle snakes. But otherwise, it was 10 months a year of sandals. Glorious, breezy, open-toed, sock-less freedom.Sure, I love a warm fuzzy pair to wear around the house on a cold winter day. But even better was the complete absence of cold winter days. For the most … [Read more...]

This is Me, Not Writing About Beyoncé

It's here. The Queen dropped a super secret new album on Saturday night on HBO. It is poetic and raw. It is gorgeous and a little ugly. It is a mind-melting paradox of empowered vulnerability... Or vulnerable empowerment? It is brand new, with razor-sharp edge...and yet, there is something ancient about it. It is art and story and song.And it isn't for me. Like the halftime show that she totally crashed (stole) from that one guy (what's his name?) with the "Formation" bad-assery, the n … [Read more...]

An Ecological Conversion: Called by God (and a Scientist) in the Cloud Forest

Guest Post: by Scott Hardin-NieriOur family delighted in God’s creation as we served in Monteverde, Costa Rica as Global Ministries Volunteers. We met neighbors like Howler Monkeys, Three Wattle Bell Birds, Sloths and Toucans. We learned their names and recognized their voices and watched and listened to them with awe. There were human neighbors who also inspired us; like the cab drivers, hotel owners, tropical biologists, bakers, house keepers, coffee farmers, and teachers-- from faith b … [Read more...]

Handing Hate the Microphone

Kansas legislators recently introduced a measure that would require transgender students (at public schools and universities) to use the restrooms corresponding to their gender-at-birth. Other states have similar policies but, of course, Kansas always has to go one-up on these things. So in our state, students who "catch" a classmate using the wrong facility would receive a $2500 settlement.  Because, you know, the trauma of it all.I know, ick.A group of student LGBT advocates from on … [Read more...]

7 Ways From Sunday: 7 True Things From 7 Years of Blogging

Yesterday, I logged into my "back end" blog stuff to edit something and noticed--purely by chance--that I've written 499 blog posts. Ever.499.... That means that this, right here, is my 500th blog post. **Cue fireworks and champagne and fancy outfits!**Actually. Cue coffee in a local dive, a morning of people-watching (my favorite) and rain-day hair. That's what I'm rocking for this momentous occasion.7 years ago, I got a free Wordpress account and started messing around. I had … [Read more...]

Only Libraries Can Save Us Now

I did not know that National Library Week was a thing, but I am a fan. Let's face it, there is a made up holiday for every-damn-thing-ever these days; if Hallmark didn't dream it up, then Facebook did. So if there is a national pancake day, redhead day, sibling day, and "I used to be in a cool band but now I'm a grown up" day (Ok, maybe my husband made that one up) then libraries deserve a week of their own.The library is, and has always been, my happy place. I grew up in a small town in s … [Read more...]


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