Life Out There: Celebrating 5 Years of Patheos

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As a writer, I live 'in here,' in my head much of the time. As a faith leader, I live ‘out’ in the world, and up in front of a big community much of the time. ‘In here’ and ‘out there’ are two scary places to be sometimes.  This is why I started blogging.It is easy to feel isolated with one’s own thoughts. Especially if some of those thoughts are doubts about faith, or critiques of the Church, and one is supposed to be a leader in said faith/Church. But doubts and critiques are exactly what m … [Read more...]

A Doctor, A Pastor, and a Car Salesman…

No, they're not walking into a bar. But perhaps they should...Here's what I know about TMJ: well, I know a lot, and guess/infer a lot more--this is some of each. For starters 1) it affects more women than men; 2) it is a whole-person issue, encompassing physical, dental, and psychological factors--which means that no type of insurance coverage-- even if you have benefits for all three of these areas--wants to cover treatment. Some come right out and say in the fine print 'we do not cover … [Read more...]

In New Skin, Again

rainbow

Yes, this is what I do when I should be working on sermon notes, or prayerfully reflecting on high holy days. I rhyme things. It's a sickness... My car and my office are both a big messAnd I’m a big pile of hot-wired stress--Even the preacher has to confesswhen It’s Holy Week again. Friday’s black (but not like for shopping)The dang Easter bunny comes hippity hoppingAnd I wish this headache would just start stoppingIt’s Holy Week again … [Read more...]

Buzzfeed Your Soul: Which Whatever Are You?

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Which Downton Abby character are you? Buzzfeed wanted to know. Ok, fine. I’ll play.I started clicking on stuff. Pick a color…sure. But like…for what? For a new dress, or for new paint in the living room? For nail polish, or liturgical paraments for the sanctuary? Ooh, and if yes to either the nail polish or the liturgical stuff, WHAT SEASON IS IT?Then, pick a movie. Like, I don’t know what kind of mood I’m supposed to be in, or who’s watching with me? Husband, or bff from high school? Cle … [Read more...]

We Who Are Alive (or, 10 Reasons the Church Ain’t Dead Yet)

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"The mainline church is in decline.""Religious leaders no longer carry any authority in the community.""Most churches spend more on building expenses than they do on mission."" [arbitrary number of your choice] people leave the Christian faith every [another arbitrary #] minutes.""And where, oh where, ARE THE MILLENIALS? We gots to get us some millenials!"We get it. Times are tough. We've all heard/seen/lived the truth of these despairing stats over the past 5, 10, or 25 … [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 wal … [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...]

$*^! Jesus Says: The Dumb Questions Edition

You have heard it said that there are 'no stupid questions, only stupid answers.' But Verily, I say unto you—there are plenty of stupid questions.And people in the Bible ask them alllll the time.In fact, the gospel writers use those dumb-question-having people in order to frame an important teaching or activity of Jesus. So in fact…perhaps we shouldn’t be so quick to judge those who do the asking. It could be they are totally on-script: a staged interview to show who Jesus is. A plant in … [Read more...]

The Sacred Maybe

silas

I have a boy who is almost 3, but he's been talking like 4 since he was 2. He didn't get the memo that boys and/or second children do not develop vocabulary as quickly as their female/first child counter parts. I mean, boy likes to chat. At his two year check-up the nurse said, "does he know a) 5-10 words, b)10-20 words, or c) more than 20 words?" My husband and I kind of looked at each other and said, "um...why don't you ask him?"For all his articulate advancement, there are certain turns … [Read more...]


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