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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The Gift of Hard Things: How to Use Yaconelli’s New Book

New life goal: write a book that gets the resounding endorsement of Anne Lamott.Of course, in my real life, this will probably never happen. But for Mark Yaconelli, it is happening. Because he's Mark Yaconelli. And when your new book has the resounding endorsement of Anne Lamott on the cover--in print, even--then you probably don't need a few paragraphs from a two bit blogger (me). But, "The Gift of Hard Things" is a Patheos Book Club choice this month, so a few paragraphs from me is what you … [Read more...]

Passing the Peace

Hi, folks. I took a week or so away from blogging to finish my book, and now I'm taking a week away to spend with my family. Enjoy this guest post from my friend Annie Kratzsch, and look for more guest posts in the coming days. I'll be back to writing around mid-August, and look forward to catching up with the world. A few weeks ago, I was proselytized twice in three days.On a Thursday night, before I could get all the way through the mall doors, I heard the universal opener for selling s … [Read more...]

7 Takeaways from the RNC: And the Only One You Really Need to Know

I tried not to watch. I poured myself a glass of wine and cranked up Netflix on my laptop and tried to keep my heart rate in a normal, resting range.But with my husband watching in the next room, I kept hearing bits and pieces. Mostly the loud, hysterical "BOOs" that seemed to be the pervading sentiment of the evening. That's pretty much the gist, I thought. Who needs to watch?I managed to stay away until"DID I JUST HEAR HIM SAY HE WILL NOT TOLERATE INJUSTICE??" I yell to my sp … [Read more...]