God of the Facebook Meme

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One woman's 'apologetic' as to why she is raising her children without God has been making the internet rounds this week. Reading it made me want to respond in some way, without engaging the crazies in the comment thread (do not feed the trolls). But I also don’t want it to sound like I’m arguing with her—or with people who share her beliefs.Because actually? I kind of agree with her.At least, on some points. Despite my own faith and vocation, I absolutely ditto the sentiment that schools … [Read more...]

The Rhythms of Grace

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Last week, I signed my 4-year-old daughter up for her first dance class. !!  I bought tights and leotards, and she's been wearing them around the house for weeks now. I'm trying to teach her the grande jette. Because, you know, it is always preferable to begin the (beginner, toddler, community center) class from a more advanced perspective than your peers.Oh, yeah. I'm going to be that mom. Consider yourselves forewarned.Thing is, while the 'retired' dance teacher in me is thrilling at … [Read more...]

The “Yes”es Have It

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I spent the weekend at a mountain camp/retreat center with other church leaders from around Arizona. If you've ever been to this sort of thing, you'll know that it involved a lot of 'sharing;' a lot of coffee; some dancing, silliness and general hilarity; and group-building activities involving things like rope, pvc pipe, and blue plastic tarps. (yes, we have pictures).Which is to say that, in many ways, once you've been to some kind of leadership retreat, you've been to them all. However, th … [Read more...]

Cold News

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The Phoenix area news last night was hilarious. Temperatures were to drop down in the THIRTIES overnight, and desert folk were losing their mind.I realize that if you are living through a Midwest winter, or a Plains-state winter--or pretty much any other winter that is actually winter--lows in the 30s with highs in the 50s for a week does not constitute a 'cold snap,' or a 'frigid blast.' But around here, it is the dang apocalypse.I watched neighbors run around yesterday, throwing … [Read more...]

As Often As You Do This…

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Clergy burn-out rates are at an all-time high. All sorts of seminaries and foundations are devoting studies to the topic, trying to learn why the life of ministry seems to be growing less and less sustainable.I'm grateful that these studies exist, though i don't think there's an easy answer--or one that applies in every situation. I think that each pastor's personality contributes to how they approach ministry; and each congregation's personality contributes to how they treat their pastor. So … [Read more...]

The Unapologetics

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I'm not complaining. I have the best job in the world. I spend time with wonderful people who have incredible stories to share. I get to write, and read, like, a lot. I get to break bread in all sorts of settings and call it blessed. I set my own schedule, within reason. I go on trips. I talk about Jesus. I share with people the fullest and most joyful moments of their lives. And when an earthly life has ended, I draw a thread of narrative to bring meaning from it all, and point it all back to … [Read more...]

The Gospel of Grantham

If you want to know what a nerd I am, I'm going to tell you. About 80% of the status updates in my newsfeed on Sunday were from friends engaged in a "Downt-down." (I crack myself up). That is, a countdown to the season 3 premier of 'Downton Abbey.'The other 20% were something to the effect of, where is Downton Abbey, and why do I want to go there? I'm never quite sure what to tell people about it, except that once you go, you'll know.Come to think of it, why DO so many of us love this … [Read more...]

Failure to Adapt

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Next weekend, I'm going to Prescott with 10 other people from my church, and about 60 folks from other congregations in the Arizona region. We are gathering for a leadership training/church transformation event. I'm looking forward to the event itself, but even moreso to the time spent  with other people who are passionate about the future mission of our church. These people are gifted with creative vision, innovative spirit, and a broad range of faith and life experience. We've been planning th … [Read more...]

The Tenth Day of Christmas: Elf Hats, Broken Candles, and Leftover S’Mores

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I'm staring at a blinking cursor on a blank white screen, and wondering why it is so hard to make a beginning. I haven't preached or blogged in nearly two weeks. You'd think i would be just FULL of good news, articulate responses to world events, and witty observations of human behavior. Well, I may be full of something, but today, it is neither wit nor wisdom.On the contrary, writing is like excercise. The more you do it, the easier it is. Fall out for a few days, and it seems nearly … [Read more...]


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