Self-Evident Truths: 7 Ways the Constitution is Not the Bible

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When it comes to guns, religion and the display of hateful symbols on public property, we hear much talk of “rights” and “freedom.”  The arguments amount to blindly sentimental patriotism at best, and toxic entitlement at worst. At the same time—and from many of the same quarters—equal rights for LGBT folks are met with language of “values” and “tradition” and “what God and/or our forefathers intended for all people.” This marks a tragic disconnect among those who embrace the Bible with one hand … [Read more...]

Holy Edges: 10 Things to Preach if Your Church is Divided on Gay Marriage

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It’s going to be a great day at my church tomorrow. My congregation has been open and affirming since before that was a thing. So at our place, the news of the SCOTUS ruling on gay marriage will be met with rejoicing. There will be a special prayer. There will probably be cheering. We might haul the kids’ noisemakers out of the closet. I know, and it’s not even Christmas!But in other congregations, there will be a sharp, icy chill in the air. I’m not talking about the churches where everyone— … [Read more...]

Not in the Fire, Not in the Wind

The following is from week 2 of the sermon series "Doors and Windows: Faces of Faith in Transition." Since many of you followed last week's conversation about "Mapping the Message," I thought you might like to see the product of all that series planning. I really enjoyed sharing some of the creative process, and I hope we can talk more about that soon!  Meanwhile, read on for some thoughts on finding that still, small voice--even when all around us feels like chaos. It’s official. Nothing is … [Read more...]

Mapping the Message: A Choose Your Own Adventure Tale for Preachers

When I write about pastoral life, I try to make it interesting and/or useful to readers who aren’t clergy. There is almost always a spiritual or practical truth that applies to a broader audience.That said—if you are not a vocational minister, the following might literally bore you TO DEATH, and I don’t want to be responsible for that. Read on if you wish. But I won’t be offended if you go cruise another blog and come back here tomorrow (or the next day).Meantime-- I’m going to share some … [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...]

Transcendent Hope: A Review of “Preaching at the Crossroads”

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I rarely finish a non-fiction book, except under duress of the grading system (and in that regard, I’ve been a free woman for more than a decade!) So the fact that I willingly read through David Lose’s Preaching at the Crossroads  is its own kind of recommendation. But it recommends itself in other ways, too.In short, this is the preaching book you WISH someone had written when you were in seminary (under duress of the grading system, as it were). I recall reading stuff the size and shape of … [Read more...]

A Good Word

On sabbatical, i had the opportunity to go to worship in other places. Like, just GO to church! If you have ever led worship and/or preached on a regular basis, you know that getting to experience worship on the other end, and not have to create or facilitate it in some way, is a gift. Several weeks of this made me realize how much i was missing, being always on the other side of the pulpit--and how i could be a much better preacher if i took time, more often, to hear what other folks are doing … [Read more...]


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