Snake in the Grass

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Fair warning for my mother, and others with intense reptile aversions--there be snakes in this post. Talk of snakes, the idea of snakes, links to articles containing pictures of snakes, possible scriptural allusions to snakes. If you want to skip this and come back tomorrow, there will be an entirely serpent free post.So this guy... in Kentucky... I'm guessing you know where I'm headed with this... He died from a snake bite. In a worship service.Where he was the pastor.I'm not one t … [Read more...]

The One Year Bible…One Year Later

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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...]

I Never Wanted Church

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Guest Post by Sarah Stewart HollandIn 2009, I convinced my husband to leave our fancy six-figure lives in Washington, DC, and move back to my hometown of Paducah, KY. Well, convinced is a strong word. I got pregnant and then told him me and the baby were moving to Paducah and he was welcome to join us.A decade before I had loaded up my cherry red Oldsmobile Cutlass and headed away for college convinced I was leaving the town of my birth forever. My dreams were too big to be contained … [Read more...]

Recipe for Joy–Review

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It's always fun when people send you free books.A few weeks ago, I got a package in the mail containing a couple of books that other Patheos writers were going to read and review, forming a  virtual book club. The fun part (other than getting free books in the mail!) was that both seemed timely for things I'm doing in ministry right now. I mean, I'm in the midst of a sermon series called "Manna: A Gospel of Food." And what shows up in my mailbox but a book called Recipe for Joy. It's like ge … [Read more...]

Using Our Words: Power Verbs for the Language of Faith

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As the mother of two preschoolers, I find myself saying this thing that used to make no sense to me, but now does. I say it often--like, multiple times a day-- with varying degrees of effectiveness. This phrase used to sound absurd to me. Now, it rolls off my tongue with startling natural ease. In fact, it is the only response I can muster in the face of a young child having a meltdown."Use your words!"Both my kids are super articulate, and have been stringing together english-major … [Read more...]

Those Guys are Awesome

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Like many Americans, I spent a small slice of my life in the service industry. Several summers waiting tables, and nearly a year at hotel. I could spend days telling stories--good, bad and ugly--of the people i encountered in that time of my life. But in the interest of the broader message here, I'm going to share just two:The Bad Tip:  It was a Sunday lunch shift. The 'after church' crowd who, in southeastern Kentucky and elsewhere in the Bible belt, are also known as the worst tippers e … [Read more...]

The Rhythms of Grace

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Last week, I signed my 4-year-old daughter up for her first dance class. !!  I bought tights and leotards, and she's been wearing them around the house for weeks now. I'm trying to teach her the grande jette. Because, you know, it is always preferable to begin the (beginner, toddler, community center) class from a more advanced perspective than your peers.Oh, yeah. I'm going to be that mom. Consider yourselves forewarned.Thing is, while the 'retired' dance teacher in me is thrilling at … [Read more...]

Go and See

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Advent and Christmas might be the most hectic time in the church year. But it can also be the fullest and most blessed. All the serving and sharing, the singing and decorating, the gathering and singing some more...it all leads up to something that feels almost magical, as we gather in a candle-lit, greened up sanctuary on Christmas Eve.Or i should say, sanctuaries. Because part of the magic of that sacred gathering is knowing that, in sanctuaries all over the world, others gather to sing … [Read more...]

Cut and Paste

I've had a startling revelation--I'm conservative.At least, the elements of my life reflect conservative values. I am married to a partner of opposite sex. He is my first spouse, and the father of both our children. We have 2.5 kids--meaning, two kids and a really sweet dog. We have very little debt. Heck, we don't even have a car payment. We don't have cable. One parent stays home with the children full-time. We do not let our kids watch inapproprate television, nor do we expose them to music … [Read more...]


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