More S*^! Jesus Says

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I'm working/praying/stumbling my way through a sermon series on the Beatitudes, otherwise known at my place as S*^! Jesus Says. In getting to the heart of these simple yet soul-shifting imperatives, I find it helpful to start with that which Jesus did not say:So, for week 2, S*^! Jesus Did Not Say:--Blessed are they who avoid nursing homes, hospitals, and funerals, for fear of their own human frailty.--Blessed are those who think divorce is contagious, and steer clear of their … [Read more...]

Dear Church: It’s Not You, It’s Us

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It is no secret: vocational ministers are burning out, leaving the Church,  and experiencing a rise in stress-related health problems.  I'm grateful that this issue is getting some attention lately in mainstream media, and also for the good work of organizations like The Lilly Endowment.  These folks are taking proactive measures to curb the trend. They not only help raise awareness; they help equip congregations and pastors with resources, better practices, and networks of support to keep eve … [Read more...]

A Handful of Change

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Recession, re-shmession.I know it's tough out there. I know people have lost jobs and healthcare coverage. I know firsthand that, practically overnight, some of our homes were suddenly worth nothing. Not even what we spent on new landscaping. I know that people have been displaced, heartbroken, cheated, and kicked around in general by the economy these last few years.But people, we spent $1.5 BILLION on lottery tickets this week. You and me. And only 3 of us won.Now, lottery is all … [Read more...]

Louder and Less Polite

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It is not news that people are leaving the Christian faith. Or that, increasingly, they were never a part of it. The staggering numbers of people that identify themselves as atheist, agnostic, or "spiritual but not religious" have us career Jesus people in a panic. Will there still be a community of faith in 20 years? In 50?I'm starting to change my mind about the liklihood of a 'yes.' Because in my conversations with people, it is apparent that it isn't God people have stopped believing in. … [Read more...]

Day 2.5; New Mexico

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Continuing with my English Major Diet, wherein the narrative matters as much as the food...Like i was saying yesterday, hard to believe that i had 2 of the best meals ever on the same day, but travel is like that sometimes. Of course, travel food is hit or miss. It can be the best thing ever, or it can be a string of bad chains that stretches all across the country.It was day 3 of our drive/move from Kentucky to Arizona. We were getting to the good stuff--western New Mexico starts to … [Read more...]

Who Comes This Night, Take 2!

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As promised earlier today  ("To Welcome in the Stranger")  here's another take of  "Who Comes this Night," performed by my brother Chris. Under the video is a link to check out his blog for the music business he shares with his wife. Happy listening.Mockingbird Musicians, Nashville  … [Read more...]

To Welcome in the Stranger

Oh, the lovely and wonderful things that they don't play on the radio. In the endless loop of holly jolly reindeer rock--and Celine Dion, of course--we miss out on alot of really beautiful and even prophetic music.James Taylor's "Who Comes This Night" has become a seasonal fave of mine, and i've never once heard it on the radio. Probably because it has little to do with creating a warm, fuzzy, insular Christmas feeling for ones own, and everything to do with welcoming the stranger and … [Read more...]

Week 4: Welcome

It was dark. Rainy. Cold. I'd been in the car for about 12 hours. Alone. Intermittent radio signal through the West Virginia Mountains, nothing but wheezing preachers and country (not the good kind) for much of Virginia, over an HOUR sitting still on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge because i lacked the foresight to plan around rush hour. Now I was within a mile of my friend's house, i just knew that i had to be--but i'd been in circles for about 20 minutes, unable to read road signs through the dark … [Read more...]

Ready: Week 3, Day 3

I took a self-care day today. That means, took the kids to a baby sitter, got a massage, got my hair done, had lunch, did some light shopping, generally piddled about. In the course of this day, i encountered stylists, receptionists, check-out personnel, waitresses...you know the scene. So let's say in the course of this day, no less than 5 people asked me if i was ready for the holidays. The drill is supposed to go something like this: "Are you ready for the holidays?" "Are you kidding me?? I … [Read more...]


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