The Ultimate Summer Slacker List: Reclaiming Sabbath

Hey, all y’all “summer bucket list people.” I love you and you’re adorable, and I am in awe of your ambition. But you are really, really cramping my style. Your lofty goals make it hard for me to embrace the epic, glorious laziness to which I am committed for this season. One day, my kids are going to be old enough to read the internet, and they are going to want to know why I have not planned craft projects,… Read more

10 Marks of Fundamentalism

Listen, let’s talk about this. Based on the comments section of last week’s post about the Duggars, it is clear that we need to have some clarification around what is, and is not meant by “Fundamentalism.” Because people have some FEELINGS about that word, y’all. It is worth noting that the word ‘fundamental’ is actually pretty tame. Here’s what the dictionary says: fun·da·men·tal  ˌ       fəndəˈmen(t)əl/         adjective forming a necessary base or core; of… Read more

What About the Girls? The Duggar Scandal and the Cost of Fundamentalism

This is what comes of fundamentalism. This week in the news, the Duggar family–made popular by their reality show, “19 Kids and Counting”–have been in the spotlight for a sexual abuse scandal. Though I seriously doubt they are calling it that, amongst themselves. No, where they come from, this is a youthful indiscretion; a series of inappropriate behaviors; evidence that we are “not a perfect family”… Etc. But the news that the oldest son, Josh (now 27) repeatedly molested and sexually… Read more

A Voice in the Desert

Sometimes, I wish I were still in Phoenix. Like in January. That’s a given. Or like when I need to clear my head and want to just step out my back door and go for a hike in the beautiful desert mountains. Or when I try to catch a glimpse of the sunset, here in the midwest, but my view is blocked by treetops and all my neighbors’ houses. And right now, I’m wishing I was back there in the… Read more

Which Body: Gay Marriage and Christian Unity

Last week, Adam Hamilton shared this post about gay marriage in the United Methodist Church. Hamilton is a public figure, an authoritative voice not just within his own denomination, but within all of mainline Protestantism. He’s a popular author and speaker, and having grown his church to ‘mega’ status—mostly unheard of outside of fundamentalist circles—his voice carries. His take on LGBT inclusion is that local congregations and area conferences should be empowered to determine their own policies around marriage and ordination;… Read more

Beyond Pink Carnations: Why I Don’t Do Mother’s Day at Church

Most Sunday mornings, I take a few prayerful moments before worship. I stand at the window, and I watch people come. They come with hope and thanksgiving. They come with expectation, and hella heavy baggage. They come with joy and they come bearing gifts. Often, they come with heartbreak. And while I don’t always know what that is for each person, I often do. I spot the one with the recent diagnosis; the newly or nearly divorced; the struggling to… Read more

Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist

I cringe when an article begins “Dear White People…” It lacks nuance, among other things. So I am resisting my urge to start there, even though it’s exactly how this note goes, in my head. How about this: To all y’all who, like me, are not people of color, and/or, all who identify as ‘Caucasian’ when we check the little box on a survey or job application:    We have no idea. And maybe we should stop talking.   From… Read more

Anatomy of Worth: TV’s Sanctity of Life Problem

McDreamy is McDead. And I was too distracted by the bad writing to be upset. I’m glad Der+Mer made up before, you know, his date with a mack truck. But seriously, I was way more upset when Cristina moved to Switzerland. Maybe Derek’s death felt inevitable, or maybe it was just so unbelievably hokey, or maybe it’s because this show just needs to be OVER already (they are nothing without Yang! Nothing!) but whatever the reason—I really don’t much care… Read more

10 Signs of Life: Your Church Might Just Make It

I once took a group of church leaders on a planning/visioning retreat. We read and discussed a great article, something to the effect of “10 Traits of a Healthy Church.” Or a growing church… Thriving church? Something like that. And it wasn’t the usual variation on a theme, this particular piece was insightful and inspired. And it was exactly the right mix of challenge and affirmation for where that congregation was at the time. In preparation for a similar gathering… Read more

Welcome to the Jungle, II: A Man’s Take on School Harassment

In my post yesterday, I cited a statistic that 83% of girls report being sexually harassed in high school. That same article also reveals that 78% of boys report the same. Feeling that I am only qualified to speak from my own experience, I asked my friend Chris Furr to write a follow-up piece about what harassment might look like, from the male perspective. I know that his (and mine) are only two snapshots of a broad and complex social… Read more

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