Snake in the Grass

Fair warning for my mother, and others with intense reptile aversions--there be snakes in this post. Talk of snakes, the idea of snakes, links to articles containing pictures of snakes, possible scriptural allusions to snakes. If you want to skip this and come back tomorrow, there will be an entirely serpent free post.So this guy... in Kentucky... I'm guessing you know where I'm headed with this... He died from a snake bite. In a worship service.Where he was the pastor.I'm not one t … [Read more...]

Gay Cheeseburgers in Kansas: Faith, Freedom, and a Law About Neither

So, I’m new here. And I realize that Kansas has JUST BARELY moved past the Prohibition. But I am baffled and perplexed by this new legislation, making it totally legal and legit to refuse services to same sex couples.Granted, this is just one more way Americans have managed to slap a ‘religious freedom’ sticker on run-o-the-mill discrimination. But as the culture at large makes steps toward LGBT equality,  smaller interest groups push back in last, grasping efforts to marginalize and condemn. … [Read more...]

Off-Message: Sacred Stillness and the Super Bowl of Advertising

Before I start this discussion, you should know that I fancy myself a marketing expert. Even though I chose a career as PR girl for Jesus, I like to think I could have made it in the secular ad world, in another life. Like, an alternate route on the space time continuum. I'd have been a feminist Don Draper.Advertising fascinates me. It has more culture shaping power than just about any other force on the planet. More than entertainment, more than education, more than government...even more … [Read more...]

Holiness, Blessedness: All Around

Rev. Erika Marksbury preached this powerful sermon at SACC yesterday. I love how she reframes the beatitudes in terms of 'holiness' rather than 'happiness.' These texts are not prescriptive, she tells us. They don't give us instructions. They just tell us how it is...        Read and be blessed, on this cold Monday.These past few weeks we’ve been hanging out around the outskirts of Jesus’ community – we’ve seen him baptized, we’ve heard his cousin, and teacher, John the Baptist, tell the sto … [Read more...]

Grace and Grammys: These Kids Today

Several years ago, I made a disparaging comment about Justin Timberlake and the quality of his actual talent (or lack thereof) in relation to the enthusiasm of his disciples. I don't remember what all I said, but it had something to do with Britney Spears, the Mickey Mouse Club, and the boy band phenomenon that plaguing 'this generation of musicians.'My brother's best friend, Josh, totally called me out. "You need to open your mind and listen again," he said. "Because he is a total badass. … [Read more...]

Holy Meddling: I Know a Guy

MLK, John the Baptist, and Forrest Gump: a sermon about holy meddling, and the art of pointing people in the direction of Jesus.You know...when I say "testify," you can REALLY hear the Kentucky.Sunday, January 19Some questions for reflection: do you have gifts for connecting with people? How might you use those gifts to connect people to the gospel story? Or to your community of faith?How have you been led to 'come and see,' encountering the love of Christ in the flesh?  … [Read more...]

10 People Who Looked A Lot Like Jesus in 2013

In the news this year: an extraordinary cast of characters. Some are public figures, and some we'd never heard of until recently. Together, they speak prophetic truth to power; breathe hope into the chaos; model forgiveness and sacrificial love; and ultimately, maybe restore our faith in humanity.This kind of post has 'troll bait' written all over it, so let me just be clear...I do not mean to say that these people ARE Jesus, or that we should worship them. Also, some of these folks are not C … [Read more...]

In Church, At Christmas Time

It's Christmas week, and you know what that means--re-runs! I wrote this piece last year, but as our staff puts final touches on the Christmas Eve services for tomorrow, I am reminded, all over again, that the sacred community bears gifts of miraculous proportions. I'm sharing this again today, with great thanksgiving for all the people who 'do' church, and who make Christmas happen for others. Blessings...The phone is ringing off the hook,The sanctuary’s hard to book.It's p … [Read more...]

Picture Perfect

After church yesterday, a small miracle occurred:  I got a good family photo. I mean, everybody was looking at the camera, everybody was smiling, everybody was wearing pants…this almost never happens. I have two small squirmy kids; a husband who is 17 inches (seriously) taller than me, so it is awkward getting us to fit in the same frame; and one or more of us is usually a hot mess in the clothing, hair and/or cleanliness department. Last year, we sent out a card with a pic of our son--wait for i … [Read more...]