Birth and Death; Royal and Real


The paparazzi camps outside the hospital, around the palace, near the home… clammoring for an image to show the waiting world. Revelers cry and drink and hug strangers.  Sometimes, they set things on fire. Across the globe, people troll the newsfeed. They wait for a name, an image, a glimpse of the glowing, new mother princess.And just like that, a King is born. A son is given. (and the government shall be upon his shoulders and his name shall be called…)Wait…I’m getting ahead of myself. … [Read more...]

@Double Prints, and Other #redundantstuff


There's this cabinet in my house. It's supposed to be a hallway linen closet, but we use it for other 'stuff' that doesn't belong anywhere else. Faced with the prospect of moving and packing all our earthly belongings, I dreaded this small space more than any other in the house. It's not a very large area, as storage goes... but, well, it's the place that has the pictures. Boxes. Andboxes. Of pictures.Remember film? Remember going to that junior high youth lock-in, or that high school dance c … [Read more...]

An Existential Yard Sale

This is my psychedelic Jesus clock. It's awesome. I love it. But I don't think I'm taking it with me...

Ugh. It is no secret that ‘moving’ consistently appears in the category of ‘most stressful life changes.’ Even if it’s a good move. Even if it’s just across town.  On the angst meter, a physical relocation ranks right up there with death and marriage. (Yeah, I heard it.)I firmly believe that moving would not be nearly as stressful if Americans did not have the chronic affliction known as ‘Way Too Much Freakin Stuff.’ If all I had to do was hop in the car with my family and drive to Kansas, th … [Read more...]

Turning the Page: A (belated) Summer Reading List


I just read a book called The Orchardist that Amazon reader reviews assured me was wonderful!It wasn’t. Actually…it was really wonderful until the last and then the ending just…wasn’t. To me, a story needs a good, round ending to make it worth the journey. When it doesn’t end right, I want those two weeks of my life back. Not to mention the $9.99 I paid for the download. (I’m looking at you, Gone Girl! Worst. Episode. Ever.)That said, here’s some other stuff that I’ve read lately and/or a … [Read more...]

Practicing What We Preach: Why Your Church Needs a Family Leave Policy

harper christmas eve

When the Christian Church, Disciples of Christ gathers in Orlando this month for its General Assembly, there are some exciting things coming to the floor. One of the topics of discussion is family leave policy for clergy.This piece of church ‘legislation’ is not going to save the world; nor will it impose or dictate any actual procedure on congregations that ultimately oppose its contents. Like any resolution, it is simply an opportunity for our larger organization to affirm an ideal. In thi … [Read more...]

Rejoicing in Truth


So...this happened today.1: FINALLY.2: Seriously, 5-4? How is this still a thing?3: Can we, for the love of all that is holy, please talk about something else now?The Supreme Court ruled that the Defense Against Marriage Act is unconstitutional. And a great cry of, 'you don't say,' arose from the people... It would be swell if the SCOTUS would add an addendum to seal up this business for good. "A bare congressional desire to harm a politically unpopular group cannot justify … [Read more...]

The One Where I Move to Kansas


When I first answered a call to ministry, I think I told the Lord something to the effect of, “I’ll go anywhere but the Midwest.” Kind of like the biblical prophets, only a lot less holy and humble.  Here I am, send me…anywhere but Kansas.Guess what. I’m moving to Kansas.God’s funny like that.You see, it all started when I got too dang comfortable. When I looked around at my wonderful, spirited, fun, affirming, and growing congregation in the desert and said—THIS. This is what I saw … [Read more...]

The New Normal

Photo on 2012-08-17 at 18.14 #2

Guest Post by Cristen Wathen"The only normal people are the ones you don’t know very well." Alfred AdlerI’m a licensed counselor who has worked with a variety of clients over the past five years on issues from career development to sexual abuse to anxiety to spiritual confusion. Before I go out to greet each new client, I like to take a moment to honor the fact that the person I’m about to meet has decided to invite me into his life, to let me see his vulnerabilities, and to share with … [Read more...]

What’s the Point of Church?


Guest Post by The Rev. Andrew ShepherdA few weeks ago, I sat at a conference where a young pastor in his first year expressed frustration about his job, and subsequently his calling. I believe his exact words were “What’s the point of church?” That’s a rough place in which to be: working your first call and suddenly having a crisis of faith -- not necessarily in God, but in the work you’ve dedicated quite a bit of time (and school) to. My response to this question was something like “our soci … [Read more...]