Off-Message: Sacred Stillness and the Super Bowl of Advertising

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Before I start this discussion, you should know that I fancy myself a marketing expert. Even though I chose a career as PR girl for Jesus, I like to think I could have made it in the secular ad world, in another life. Like, an alternate route on the space time continuum. I'd have been a feminist Don Draper. Advertising fascinates me. It has more culture shaping power than just about any other force on the planet. More than entertainment, more than education, more than government...even more … [Read more...]

Holiness, Blessedness: All Around

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Rev. Erika Marksbury preached this powerful sermon at SACC yesterday. I love how she reframes the beatitudes in terms of 'holiness' rather than 'happiness.' These texts are not prescriptive, she tells us. They don't give us instructions. They just tell us how it is...        Read and be blessed, on this cold Monday. These past few weeks we’ve been hanging out around the outskirts of Jesus’ community – we’ve seen him baptized, we’ve heard his cousin, and teacher, John the … [Read more...]

Grace and Grammys: These Kids Today

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Several years ago, I made a disparaging comment about Justin Timberlake and the quality of his actual talent (or lack thereof) in relation to the enthusiasm of his disciples. I don't remember what all I said, but it had something to do with Britney Spears, the Mickey Mouse Club, and the boy band phenomenon that plaguing 'this generation of musicians.' My brother's best friend, Josh, totally called me out. "You need to open your mind and listen again," he said. "Because he is a total badass. … [Read more...]

Showing Up

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I never know what to say when someone thanks me for making a hospital or home visit. A simple 'you're welcome' will sometimes suffice. But at other times, people more than thank me. They say 'I know you're busy,' and “I hate that you had to go to this trouble;’ 'this is so important to my family,' and maybe even 'you're so wonderful to come.' 'You're welcome' doesn't quite seem to cut it. It almost feels like they're thanking me for breathing. For enjoying a great dessert, for taking a … [Read more...]

Holy Meddling: I Know a Guy

MLK, John the Baptist, and Forrest Gump: a sermon about holy meddling, and the art of pointing people in the direction of Jesus. You know...when I say "testify," you can REALLY hear the Kentucky. Sunday, January 19 Some questions for reflection: do you have gifts for connecting with people? How might you use those gifts to connect people to the gospel story? Or to your community of faith? How have you been led to 'come and see,' encountering the love of Christ in the … [Read more...]

Jesus, Tebow, and Grandma God: The New Trinity

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Some days, I come across an article that restores my faith in humanity, and gives me hope for the future of the Christian story. This is not one of those days. Apparently--seriously, I just almost can't say this out loud without wanting to 1)laugh hysterically and/or 2)curl up in a dark corner somewhere--but I say, APPARENTLY, HALF OF AMERICANS think that God decides who wins the Super Bowl. Seriously. I almost don't have anything to say except, 'No.' No, no, no, people. I've … [Read more...]

Mailing, Failing, and Yard Sign Nailing

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DEAR CHURCH DOWN THE ROAD*: I wanted to thank you for your excellent marketing approach in reaching our neighbors with the good news of Christ. I enjoy your signs, mailings, web pages and strategically placed fliers. I wanted to commend you on a few especially powerful messages, and encourage you to keep up the good work. 1. Keep reminding people that "going to church does not make them a Christian." That will certainly encourage them to carve time out of their busy, overwhelming, … [Read more...]

Extreme God

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Four months ago, I was preparing to leave Phoenix. In early September, it was still pretty common to see the thermostat register 110-degrees. Of course, that was downright breezy after the July and August heat waves, which would sometimes reach 119. (But it’s a dry heat! Um…so is your oven). Fast forward to yesterday in my new midwest location. Wind chill of -16. Math is not my strong suit but I know there are a lot of digits that fall between -16 and +119. I’m amazed at my body’s … [Read more...]

10 People Who Looked A Lot Like Jesus in 2013

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In the news this year: an extraordinary cast of characters. Some are public figures, and some we'd never heard of until recently. Together, they speak prophetic truth to power; breathe hope into the chaos; model forgiveness and sacrificial love; and ultimately, maybe restore our faith in humanity. This kind of post has 'troll bait' written all over it, so let me just be clear...I do not mean to say that these people ARE Jesus, or that we should worship them. Also, some of these folks are … [Read more...]


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