Open: The Perfect Christmas Card

I guess it's time to start thinking about Christmas cards. (sigh)This means coming up with a reasonably current picture of my whole family--all together in one place, all looking at the camera at the same time; preferably not in matching outfits, but also not looking like we just rolled out of bed or survived a minor struggle.For some families, this is no big deal. They schedule their professional family photo shoot for the same weekend every fall. They show up at a lovely local setting, … [Read more...]

Here I Am, Where We’ve Been: A Post-Election Sermon

In the year of King Uzziah’s death, I saw the Lord sitting on a high and exalted throne, the edges of his robe filling the temple.  Winged creatures were stationed around him. Each had six wings: with two they veiled their faces, with two their feet, and with two they flew about.They shouted to each other, saying: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of heavenly forces! All the earth is filled with God’s glory!” The doorframe shook at the sound of their shouting, and the house was filled with smoke. … [Read more...]

Election Fatigue: 10 Spiritual Practices for Toxic Times

I want to write about election fatigue. But I'm too tired.I've been dragging, feeling run-down and drained. This should not be. I haven't been sick. It's my favorite time of year. Church is good, kids are good. It's almost Halloween and last week was my birthday. I just got a FitBit and have met my step goals every day since I put the dang thing on. I've been sleeping ok. I eat green vegetables. What more does this body want from me?My first impulse would be to blame last week's … [Read more...]

Dear America: You’re In An Abusive Relationship

My beloved America. This is an intervention.This is a hard thing to say, so I'm just going to get right to it: You are in an abusive relationship. I'm sorry if it hurts you to hear that, and I hope that someday you will be able to forgive me for being so direct. It's only because I love you, and I can't bear to see you hurt anymore.This guy you've been seeing... He is dangerous. He threatens you with violence. He lies to you about your friends and family, trying to isolate you so t … [Read more...]

Holy Ground: The Story You Aren’t Hearing About the Dakota Access Pipeline

The summer after college, I was part of a traveling crew that set up, and led, a mission trip experience for high schoolers. Youth groups and their leaders would come and camp out at a local high school; spend their days working on area homes, getting to know the residents and local culture; then come back to the school at night for activities and evening worship. After a week they'd leave, exhausted and maybe more grateful for the relative comfort of their regular lives.That summer, I fell i … [Read more...]

10 Ways to Celebrate The National Parks Centennial

There are few things I love more than National Parks.So there are many places I would love to be this week to celebrate the Centennial of our National Parks Service. Like the edge of the Grand Canyon. The narrows of Zion National Park. Standing knee deep in the cool perfection of Jenny Lake. Heading up Going to the Sun Road in a "Jammer." Surrounded in the pure darkness of Mammoth Cave. On a pristine beach in the Channel Islands. Or crashing an elk party in the Rocky Mountains.But alas, h … [Read more...]

10 Meaningful Ways to Start Your Kids’ School Day

We've probably all read the beautiful, powerful, tear-jerking letter that Glennon Melton (of Momastery fame) wrote to her son Chase for the first day of school. The letter is several years old, but it always re-circulates in the newsfeed this time of year.I love that letter. I shared it far and wide. I used it in a sermon. I read it and cried into my latte with the best of them.But also, that letter is long.  It is a special occasion letter, not something you are going to sit down and t … [Read more...]

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$*^t Jesus Says: “Don’t Worship the Law” Edition

It's been awhile since we did one of these. In today's episode of "$*^! Jesus Says," a woman comes to the synagogue to be healed. On the Sabbath. Here's what (maybe, probably) went down.Jesus: So before we hear today's text from the Prophet Jeremiah (man, that guy is a downer) I wanted to share this little story I heard the other day. It goes like this: a rabbi, a leper, and a Levite walk into a bar...Stooped Woman: Excuse me, Jesus? I'm sure your story is going to be hilarious and only m … [Read more...]

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10 Life Hacks To Try If You Favor “Outsiders” with “No Experience”

I kind of get it. Many people feel they have no voice in decisions that affect their lives; they've been left out of the economy, their values aren't reflected in the systems in which they must function, and much of the surrounding culture feels utterly foreign to their familiar context. I try to feel empathy for those who have endured a steep, uphill climb for years with nothing to show for it. And I can appreciate the idea that voting for a Presidential candidate who is "an outsider" with "no … [Read more...]

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