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 wal … [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 19Some 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 f … [Read more...]

Jesus, Tebow, and Grandma God: The New Trinity

happy jesus

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 been try … [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

Now...

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 ability to … [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 not C … [Read more...]

The One Year Bible…One Year Later

reading

Ever thought about trying to read through the Bible in a year? Saint Andrew's Pat Boston shares her challenging, sometimes tedious, but ultimately rewarding experience. Pat is a partner, a mother, a Disciple, a Democrat, a musician, a dog lover, a reader, a fair cook, and according to her friends, a "roach on a hot griddle."My mother-in-law gave me a One Year Bible last year.  It is an English Standard Version with no explanation or introduction, just daily designated consecutive chapters … [Read more...]

In Church, At Christmas Time

sacc tree

It's Christmas week, and you know what that means--re-runs! I wrote this piece last year, but as our staff puts final touches on the Christmas Eve services for tomorrow, I am reminded, all over again, that the sacred community bears gifts of miraculous proportions. I'm sharing this again today, with great thanksgiving for all the people who 'do' church, and who make Christmas happen for others. Blessings...The phone is ringing off the hook,The sanctuary’s hard to book.It's p … [Read more...]

Let Freedom Ring: A Very Ducky Christmas Special

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I wish these public media storms would hold off until after Christmas. It’s really messing with my Advent 4 mojo. However—the Duck Debacle has crept into my head space, and I’m pretty sure the Spirit will not be able to show up with a sermon until I’ve got this out of my system.As you have probably heard, Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame said some off-putting things about LGBT folks in a magazine interview. What he said should not have surprised anyone who knows anything about the family, … [Read more...]


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