9 Things that Should Be Easy (and 1 That Should Not)

I loved my previous life, I loved my previous life. I had so many things going... I actually, this is more work than my previous life. I thought it would be easier.Incomplete sentences and 2nd grade vocabulary aside, this was yesterday's not-so-shocking statement from President Man-Child about how very hard it is to be him. I say not-so-shocking, because his narcissism and complete willingness to be obtuse about his own privilege is something we've seen before. So of course he thinks his … [Read more...]

In God’s Time

Guest Post: Richard Baier"Praying is something we do in our time. The answers come in God's time."For the unenlightened, the above quote is from the movie Rudy, a 1993 classic about a young man determined to fulfill a dream and become a member of the Notre Dame football team. It's the guy equivilent of a chick flick. Rudy has failed multiple times to earn admission to Notre Dame. This is his last chance. Father Cavanaugh finds Rudy in church praying for divine intervention. Rudy suggests … [Read more...]

For 30 Pieces of Silver, and a Piece of Chocolate Cake

And Jesus gathered his disciples, those he loved best. A fresh loaf of bread on the table between them, like a thousand times before. He broke it and saideverything is about to change, so I'm going to give you something.This bread--this is the bread of life. A living sacrifice of simple grace. As often as you are hungry, remember me. Remember my words as the thing that gives you life; remember my compassion, walk in the ways of grace and peace, and I will be with you.Then he poured … [Read more...]

Not Our Own People: What We’re Missing About The (Latest) Sean Spicer Gaffe

For the love, America. Can we not keep it together for A MINUTE? Me and my people have stuff to do this week.I'll be quick. When Sean Spicer said, out loud and on real tv, that Hitler never used chemical weapons, that was bad. Deplorable. Inexcusably ignorant, tone-deaf, and revealing the depths of this administration's ignorance in regards to history. And diplomacy. And the history of diplomacy.He was wrong, and he apologized. Which is, whatever, I guess better than nothing? But we seem … [Read more...]

The Stories We Tell Ourselves: Holy Week Clergy Burnout

There's this story we clergy tell religiously around this time every year.Not the thing about the Last Supper. Not the cross, and the empty tomb. I mean, those are good too, but we have this other one that is really our favorite. It's this story about how BUSY we are; how long the list of details, how impossible the expectations, and how exhausted we are just thinking about it.Stop me if you've heard it.Where did we learn that story? I believed for a long time that it was in one of … [Read more...]

From a Small Circle

Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Grant me justice against my opponent.’ For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, ‘Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out … [Read more...]

Coal is Not Coming Back: And Nostalgia May Kill Us

I could hear the trains from my bedroom. All hours of the day or night. The sound was such a part of the backdrop of my childhood, I feel a little disoriented now if I find myself too far from the tracks.Any tracks will do. Luckily, in America, trains are everywhere.My dad worked for the coal company for the better part of my first 20 years. He worked in the office, not underground, so I won't try to pretend I'm Loretta Lynn. But I do watch that movie whenever I'm homesick... because she … [Read more...]

The Growing Voice of Progressive Faith

Progressive Christian voices are gaining power on the political scene. And lately, I'm seeing reports to that effect from some unlikely secular sources. LikeHigh Noon for the Religious Left, from the Bloomberg News;and "Religious Left" Emerging as Political Force in Trump Era, from Reuters.On the one hand... like we been sayin'. In many ways, this is old news. These stories cite the influence of leaders like William Barber II and the Moral Mondays movement; Jim Wallis and the So … [Read more...]

My Belated Love Affair with Pawnee, Indiana

I'm inexcusably late to the party. I'm the first to admit that. But now, I am in. I am so, so in. I am in love with Pawnee, and I don't care who knows it. Leslie Knope is my spirit animal--as any Enneagram Type 7 will attest, a hilarious and sometimes painful window to my own soul. I can't get enough of Ron Swanson's off-beat brand of Libertarian feminism; and Chris Traeger is LIT-erally the best thing that ever happened to my Netflix queue.Also, I'm pretty sure I talked to the real life … [Read more...]