Those Tiny Shoes


Those tiny shoes.I am heavy-hearted and haunted today, as are many of us, by the images of a small lifeless body washed up on the shore of a Turkish beach. Children on beaches should be running and splashing and making sand castles. But Alyan Kurdi and his brother Galip drowned in the Aegean sea yesterday; along with their mother and 9 other Syrian refugees.These add to the more than 2500 lives lost in similar passage, this summer alone.My newsfeed today, meanwhile, is filled with … [Read more...]

Clean Hands, Full Hearts (Can’t Lose): A Sermon About Purity and Tradition


7Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him, 2they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them.3(For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash their hands, thus observing the tradition of the elders; 4and they do not eat anything from the market unless they wash it; and there are also many other traditions that they observe, the washing of cups, pots, and bronze k … [Read more...]

When Violence is Not News


The fresh horror out of Virginia this morning: a news anchor and camera man went to work. Same as every day. But while they were filming, they were shot and killed. Live. On the air.It is a truly heartbreaking story. I do not know much about the lives of Alison Parker and Adam Ward; but I am certain that the people who loved them just received the worst phone call of their lives. And that they continue to live a nightmare of a day--one that will not be over soon.This loss of life is c … [Read more...]

Pointing Fingers and Dancing on Ashes: Josh Duggar, Again


The Josh Duggar stuff. First-- we should stop acting surprised. We already knew he was not who he said he was.Also, it's important to clarify that molesting young girls and cheating on your wife are not the same thing. Cheating on your wife makes you a jerk (and any other number of names that your wife is welcome to call you and, I'm sure, has). Molesting young girls make you a deviant. Josh has revealed himself to be both, but I hope the world will remember that these two offenses are not, … [Read more...]

The Naked Truth About Dress Codes

10-32-18-618_640 (1)

Women's bodies sure are controversial these days.And not just in the political/ideological sense regarding reproductive rights and healthcare. I mean just--there is fundamentally something offensive and confusing about curves, cleavage and knees. And I guess now, bones. A girl at a Kentucky High School was sent home for wearing a top that was very, very revealing... of her collar bones.   The Missouri Legislature figured that maybe a stricter dress code would cut down on sexual harassment c … [Read more...]

Healing and Hilarity in “Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome”


If David Sedaris and Anne Lamott had a baby together... it would be this book. And I mean that in the best possible way.Sometimes the market seems saturated with spiritual memoirs. (I know, because I want to write one and editors tell me as much...) They range in tone from super feels-y to very jaded; and in creed from the ultra-conservative-gone-athiest to the other-way-around. Some speak to the spiritual-but-not religious crowed, and some address the r … [Read more...]

All the Weird, Wonderful World: A Back-to-School Prayer


As I mentioned last year, I am usually not the parent crying into my latte on the first day of school. For one thing, my kid LOVES school, so I am just happy to see her skipping off into hours of playtime, new-friend-making, and math--which she loves, which is beyond me, but go girl anyway. Mostly, I am just trying to get out of the massive crush of suburban parenthood without a)having a panic attack or b) absolutely losing my $h^t at the mom who is TEXTING IN THE DROP OFF LANE and blocking the … [Read more...]

Get Well Soon! And Other Perky Things Not to Say to a Dying Person


I was on my way out the door to visit a church member in hospice care. My travelling communion in hand, I remembered the stack of cards in my office--made by church kids for anyone who might be sick or homebound. This seemed like the perfect time to make use of their ministry gift, so I went to grab one.They were cheerful pictures--mostly of flowers--brightly colored, made with love, and all bearing the same message: Get well soon! Yeah, I can't take that to hospice.I'll save  … [Read more...]

$h*! Jesus Says: 7 Reasons I’m (Still) a Christian


This one's for the Skeptics, the Cynics, the Critics; the Dones, the Nones, and the Professional Bu!!Sh*t Callers--I hear you. You're my people. I see every bit of the drama, the pettiness, the poor stewardship, the moral grandstanding, the lack of authenticity and the love of tedious-meeting-having that defines westernized Christianity. I know it can be gross. I know. I know the music can be bad, and the utility bill is higher than the mission giving. I know that sometimes the coffee is … [Read more...]