Naughty or Nice: Tell Your Kids They’re Good

My friend Mackenzie took this pic. She is the queen of elfing. In the best possible way!

I swear I didn't lose it on purpose.Here's how it happened. When my daughter was a baby, my friend Rachel bought her an Elf on the Shelf. I didn't actually get it out of the box until she was about 3, and my son was 1. My daughter promptly named the elf "Rachel," and here's the CREEPIEST thing--she had not seen aunt Rachel, the PERSON, since she was a baby. Had no idea this elf came from aunt Rachel, the person--because, hello, elves come from the NORTH POLE. So, how the elf became Rachel … [Read more...]

Talking to Strangers: Scene in a Bar

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I was drinking a beer. That was her first clue that I wasn’t a real Christian.When she asked me what I did and I mentioned that I was a pastor, I’m guessing that sealed the deal.So when she asked me to tell her about my church, I could have quoted our denomination’s identity statement, keeping it light and generic. Or I could have told her about youth group and women’s ministries and mission work in El Salvador. But I figured I was already batting zero—drinking a beer AND being a lady min … [Read more...]

The Right Kind of Prayer

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A few weeks ago, Saint Andrew Christian Church hosted a "Welcoming Church" event, in partnership with a sister congregation and the GLAD Alliance. The goal was to generate conversation around what it means to be an open and affirming congregation, and what difference it makes to identity and mission when you 'say out loud' that you welcome everyone. Because, if we're being honest, most of our congregations still chant the mantra. You know the one: "We welcome everybody. Why do we have to talk abo … [Read more...]

Guest Post: Corn Mush and Depression Gravy

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Thanks to Rev. Rachel Frey for this special Thanksgiving guest post. She is a minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) serving as a health care chaplain in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. A native Texan, Rachel has acclimated to the cold of the Great White North, but not to celebrating Thanksgiving in October, as Canadians do. She and her family will be celebrating US Thanksgiving this coming Saturday, giving thanks for the abundant life they share, even for jobs that require them to … [Read more...]

Enough

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I followed a sparkly red lady bug and a plush green dragon down the street.Nevermind it was October 31. It was about 100 degrees outside, and the plush, fuzzy, cozy costume—which would have been just swell in some chilly autumn Midwestern burrow—was utterly ridiculous in the desert. But dang, he was adorable.We’d just moved from one desert suburb to another… just a few miles apart, but worlds away. The place we’d been the previous year—with a two-year-old witch and a newborn, who went dre … [Read more...]

Good China, Good Sleep, and Sexpectations: 10 Truths from 10 Years of Marriage

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We are celebrating 10 years of marriage this month. 10 years, 2 kids, 1 dog, 2 cross-country moves, countless road trips, several bad hair cuts, more than a few miscommunications, and more West Wing marathons than we’ll ever tell…Reflecting on the joys and challenges of all that, I’ve been (mentally) working them up into a blog post; then dang it if Rachel Held Evans  didn’t beat me to it and write the post first. Yesterday. I read hers and thought it was pretty great. No need for mine. … [Read more...]

Annie

This is Annie. And Romeo. I mean, can you even stand it??

5 years ago, my friends Mark and Kara said their vows on a beautiful beach in Mexico, at sunset.  And I got to witness it. On that same trip—stop me if you’ve heard it—I jumped off of a burning boat, 6 months pregnant, and made a swim for it in the ocean. (If you haven’t heard it—post for another day.) Luckily, my peril at sea was not a cosmic sign re: my friends’ impending nuptials. Far from perilous, their 5 years of marriage has been blissfully filled with love and laughter. (In fact, they mig … [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...]

A Measure of Elf Awareness

My friend Mackenzie took this pic. She is the queen of elfing. In the best possible way!

I’ll just admit it. The Elf on the Shelf creeps me out. I mean, something that watches every move I make, reports back to Santa, and can run around my house at night? No, thank you.Jenny, the fabulous Bloggess, expressed distaste for said elf more aptly and colorfully than i ever could. But don't go see her if you find my language to be occasionally borderline or offensive. Let's just say, she does not use %*$&#@ symbols. She's not a preacher. She can say what she means. But language a … [Read more...]


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