It is Finished: The Life and Death of Kelly Gissendaner

It's done. Sort of. The story of a killer. It was one-part true crime, and one-part pure gospel. It was, at best, a true conversion story; and at worst, a glimpse of the dark side of our justice system.Kelly Gissendaner was sentenced in the murder of her husband. She persuaded her then-boyfriend to do the killing--but when all was said and done, the killer took a plea deal that afforded him life in prison, and landed her on death row. You tell me that is not truly effed up.In the 18 … [Read more...]

Hope, Healing, and Multiple Drafts: A Conversation with Author Reba Riley

I recently posted a review of the new book “Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome.” Since then, I’ve had the privilege of a conversation with author Reba Riley. Here’s some of our discussion about writing, family, and what’s next. It’s the abridged version so YOU’RE WELCOME, because we both really love to chat. If you don’t already have this book on your ‘to-read’ pile, get on it. This is the book your nightstand has been waiting for…E: This book has got to be resonating with so many people… I know … [Read more...]

That One Time When Kim Davis Stopped Being Hilarious

Yesterday, I did something I’ve never done before—I took down a previously published blog post.Last week I wrote about Kim Davis—as have so many. It was a tongue in cheek piece poking fun at her misguided “religious freedom” crusade. However—while the humor was aimed in her general direction, it was not really meant to be about her. I meant to shed light on the absurdity of her claims in general—and to make light of her voice, in particular, in a way that I hoped would be healing for those wh … [Read more...]

Those Tiny Shoes

Those tiny shoes.I am heavy-hearted and haunted today, as are many of us, by the images of a small lifeless body washed up on the shore of a Turkish beach. Children on beaches should be running and splashing and making sand castles. But Alyan Kurdi and his brother Galip drowned in the Aegean sea yesterday; along with their mother and 9 other Syrian refugees.These add to the more than 2500 lives lost in similar passage, this summer alone.My newsfeed today, meanwhile, is filled with … [Read more...]

When Violence is Not News

The fresh horror out of Virginia this morning: a news anchor and camera man went to work. Same as every day. But while they were filming, they were shot and killed. Live. On the air.It is a truly heartbreaking story. I do not know much about the lives of Alison Parker and Adam Ward; but I am certain that the people who loved them just received the worst phone call of their lives. And that they continue to live a nightmare of a day--one that will not be over soon.This loss of life is c … [Read more...]

Pointing Fingers and Dancing on Ashes: Josh Duggar, Again

The Josh Duggar stuff. First-- we should stop acting surprised. We already knew he was not who he said he was.Also, it's important to clarify that molesting young girls and cheating on your wife are not the same thing. Cheating on your wife makes you a jerk (and any other number of names that your wife is welcome to call you and, I'm sure, has). Molesting young girls make you a deviant. Josh has revealed himself to be both, but I hope the world will remember that these two offenses are not, … [Read more...]

Home By Another Way

I'm at my denomination's General Assembly this week. Every other year, in the HOTTEST PART OF THE SUMMER, Disciples of Christ descend on some unsuspecting town--usually in the Midwest--and share a time of worship, workshops, celebration and visioning. There are business sessions too. So I hear...Anyway, there's lots of STUFF going on, every minute of every day. At times, I've left my room at 7 in the morning and not gotten back until after midnight. (In a complete state of sensory overload, … [Read more...]

A Good Week For Progress, and the Power of “What’s Next”

Can we just take a moment and count the ways in which this has been a week of good news?Especially since it followed a week of such heartbreak and tragedy...  Sometimes the good news wins the newsfeed, and you just want to savor it. So let's talk about how the Supreme Court said "Yes" to Affordable Care . After years of legislators acting like 2-year-olds in a fight over the last cookie, the right to access medical care when you are sick, without having to sell your house and declare … [Read more...]

Signs, Symbols, and Things that Hurt Us

After last week’s mass shooting at a Charleston AME church, predictable threads of dialogue emerged in the media. People talking about gun control. People talking about mental illness (note: racism is not a mental illness). People continuing dialogue about racism. People raising flags, and people taking them down.Is it just me… or do arguments for keeping the Confederate flag on display sound a lot like the arguments that pro-gun advocates use for zero-restriction laws?It’s not just me. T … [Read more...]