A Song and a Prayer: The Holy Week Playlist


Throughout the season of Advent,  Christmas music (for better or worse) blares at us everywhere we go. That means, for those of us who preach/lead worship/make church happen, we stay in a nearly constant state of season-mindfulness. Whether we like it or not. No matter where we are or what we are doing, we cannot escape the fact that Christmas is coming.The season of Lent has not quite seeped into secular culture in the same saturating way. Where is the soundtrack for Holy Week? How are we to … [Read more...]

For Goodness’ Sake

Every other week of the world, Friday is full of good things. Barbeques and kids’ sleepovers, happy hour and road trips, family game night or movie night, the beginning of Sabbath, baseball, and blessed downtime. But this week…this week, we say every year: what is possibly good about Friday?We mark Jesus’ suffering death and explore stations of the cross. We hear the chilling last words. Silence, darkness, acts of God that shake the ground beneath our feet… Powerful, yes. Meaningful, certain … [Read more...]

Showing Up

The desert in blessed springtime… Crystal blue skies, perfect temperatures, and actual green stuff creeping up through the sand; birds singing, bunnies hopping, colorful citrus ripe for plucking and juicing. All this abundance, AND, come Holy Week? You don’t have to order palm branches. You just ask folks to bring you the trash from their yard cleanup, and there you go. Instant parade.Church folks love to march down aisles. Even in a place like mine that is decidedly ‘low church,’ we queue up … [Read more...]

Pink Bags (and Other Baggage)

Is this a post about Jesus? Not so much. I somehow couldn't manage to fit 'Jesus' and 'pre-teen lingerie' into the same sentence...Let's just call it a 'sacred embodiment' piece.I have sad news today for men who are married to/partnered with strong, confident alpha-girls: your wives and girlfriends are not shopping at Victoria's Secret anymore.No, it is not something you said. You are not in the dog house, you are not being 'cut off,' and you are not being punished for that thing you sai … [Read more...]

Sympathy for the Devil?


A young girl gets drunk at a party. She is, for all intents and purposes, unconscious. In this state, she is raped by (at least) two young men who subsequently 1) brag about it on social media and 2) post naked pictures of their victim. And make no mistake: she was a victim.Why, then, does a major news outlet cover the story of the poor young boys whose lives are ruined by the guilty verdict? CNN basically made an after school-special of the fellas in the courtroom, sobbing  and collapsing … [Read more...]

$*^! Jesus Says: Seeds and Weeds Edition

For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.”A truth of desert life, and life in general: after the blessed benediction of rain, you will have weeds to contend with.The earth is so parched around here that the first drop of moisture brings forth all manner of latent vegetation—from beautiful wildflowers to potent, allergen-baring stuff.  After a few ea … [Read more...]

The Way the Wind Blows

I'm watching. You probably are too. While thousands of faithful Catholics have been waiting in Vatican square for days, the white smoke invites curiosity and anticipation from all over the globe.Why is that? The Pope is not the boss of me. If you are a Protestant, and atheist, an agnostic, a humanist, a Buddist/Muslim/Jew, then the Pope is not the boss of you, either. So why do we wait for this news?In the course of this process, a Catholic official said that the new Pope would not just … [Read more...]

Using Our Words: Power Verbs for the Language of Faith


As the mother of two preschoolers, I find myself saying this thing that used to make no sense to me, but now does. I say it often--like, multiple times a day-- with varying degrees of effectiveness. This phrase used to sound absurd to me. Now, it rolls off my tongue with startling natural ease. In fact, it is the only response I can muster in the face of a young child having a meltdown."Use your words!"Both my kids are super articulate, and have been stringing together english-major … [Read more...]

Prepare the Way: Why I Need Carbs (and Coffee) for Lent

This week, Patheos asked its bloggers to reflect on spiritual practices that we find especially meaningful during Lent.For the life of me...I've got nothing.Maybe I lack the discipline to give things up. I've never even attempted giving up chocolate or alcohol. I believe in moderation, but dang...a girl's got to live. I'm sure sacrificing carbs or sugar or caffeine would purify my body in some powerful way, while also providing soul benefits, but I'm only a person. I run a church, I have … [Read more...]