My Belated Love Affair with Pawnee, Indiana

I’m inexcusably late to the party. I’m the first to admit that. But now, I am in. I am so, so in. I am in love with Pawnee, and I don’t care who knows it. Leslie Knope is my spirit animal–as any Enneagram Type 7 will attest, a hilarious and sometimes painful window to my own soul. I can’t get enough of Ron Swanson’s off-beat brand of Libertarian feminism; and Chris Traeger is LIT-erally the best thing that ever happened… Read more

The False Idol of “Results:” The Sins of Our National Budget

If you want to know the heart of a nation, just look to its budget. Ours, at the moment, does not contain anything resembling a heart. Or a conscience. Or a brain, for that matter. The first draft of the proposed national budget, revealed this week, shows significant cuts to everything except security. Programs like Meals on Wheels, that serve the most vulnerable, have been eliminated completely. School lunches and after school nutrition programs are still on the chopping block…. Read more

A Traveling Musician’s America

Happy to share this great guest post with you today…by my little brother! As a touring musician, I’m abundantly fortunate to get the opportunity to see so much of this wonderful country. Red states, blue states, liberal bastions, “flyover” country – every bit of it. For 18 years, I was a staunch progressive raised in a small Kentucky town, and now I’ve ended up in the liberal enclave of Nashville, Tennessee – a progressive island in an extremely red state…. Read more

Nazi Apologists and Klan Support: The New Normal for this GOP

So, this is where we are: This week, Rep. Steve King issued a confounding Tweet in which he shared a comic–from a European source widely recognized as racist– and said that we “can’t restore our civilization with someone else’s babies!” (Meaning, stop letting all these immigrants and Muslims into our country). For this sentiment, he was congratulated by David Duke, the same former KKK leader who publicly endorsed Donald Trump in the campaign (and whose support, for the record, Trump never rejected… Read more

Conversion Therapy is Exactly Why We Need Affirming Churches

It is horrific. It is abusive. It is inhumane. And it is happening with more frequency than we realize. In the last week, both Newsweek and ABC’s 20/20 featured shocking exposés of Christian “conversion” therapy for LGBT youth. It will make you sick. Which is precisely why you should watch. And–precisely why more churches need to be more intentional about telling our LGBT kids that God loves them. As they are. Period. No ifs, ands, or “once you’ve completed this great program.” Because not… Read more

My Hope is Built

Happy Friday, y’all. I am having THE best day. It’s my day off, so I went to the gym, volunteered at my kids’ school for a couple hours; having a green smoothie and getting ready to give myself a facial and a manicure. FURTHERMORE, it is beautiful outside (even if it’s cold, the sunshine does a body good), I have zero church things to do tomorrow, and–get this–I’m not even preaching Sunday! I may even skip early service and just… Read more

A Friendly Women’s Day Reminder that the President Hates Women

Unless they are in direct service to him, that is. Sexually or otherwise. Think about it–every woman he’s ever said anything favorable about has been extremely attractive and/or, in some order-following position in his life. Wife, daughter, or faithful employee; or, media or government officials, but only the ones who have favorable things to say about him. Plenty of trolls will overreact to my post title and fire back with a seemingly long list of women he doesn’t hate. Guess what?… Read more

Good Samaritans, Good Immigrants, and Bystander Problems: Sermon for Lent 1

Maybe they were feeling a little disgruntled… After all, the Samaritans in the neighboring village had just been terribly inhospitable to them. Maybe that’s why the Samaritan, transformed by the narrative powers of Jesus, becomes the unlikely hero of this story. But “unlikely” is the operative word here. Even though “Good Samaritan” has become a blanket term for generic do-gooder in our modern day, secular culture, we cannot understate the inherent ‘bad guy’ implication that the term Samaritan carried in Jesus’… Read more

The World All Around: How We Can and Can’t Shield Kids From Violence

I recently wrote a post about letting our kids have their privacy and not sharing every blessed part of their lives on the internet. I stand by it. That said–I’m going to share this thing, because it is important. And not just about my kid. Last week there was a terrible shooting in our neighborhood. In what is now (finally) being called a hate crime, a man in a local bar and grill shot two Indian natives, as well as… Read more

Ashes to Ashes, Stardust to Stardust

Guest post: This was the message for Saint Andrew’s Ash Wednesday service last night, as we kicked off our Lent worship series “Everyday Marvels.”  I am hoping you will indulge me and let me take you on two very quick journeys. First, we are going to go outward, away from the Earth like explorers into a vast cosmic ocean, into a Universe so enormous our human brains are physically incapable of understanding the scale of it. Next, we are going to go… Read more