The Turning Away

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PSSSSSsssttt. You guys. Somebody tell the Southern Baptists that the transgender crowd is not exactly queuing up to join their churches… Is exactly the kind of snarky thing I’m really tempted to say right now, just a few days after the Southern Baptist Convention voted to affirm a resolution condemning transgender people. Because really, telling the transgender folks to get out of the Baptist church? That’s kind of like telling the Portland hipsters to stop shopping at … [Read more...]

View from the Fountain: A Pentecost Sermon

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[click here, if you'd rather listen than read] 1 Corinthians 13:3-13 3Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says “Let Jesus be cursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit. 4Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord;6and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. 7To each is given the … [Read more...]

Screaming Like a Girl

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The small boys were screaming—nay, shrieking—on the playground. It was all in good 4-year-old fun, but dang, it was shrill. It was headache-inducing. Anyone with ears would have wanted it to stop. Including the dad volunteer (this was a co-op preschool setting) who approached them. “Hey,” he said, “hey, cut it out. Are you boys? Or are you little girls?” Oh, HELL no. He did NOT just do that. But yes, he sure did. And you know what? It worked. They stopped their screaming, … [Read more...]

Dig In: 10 Ways to Find Your Feet in a New Place

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Hey. I haven’t had much to say lately. I’m not sure why that is, other than that when you write and talk and write and talk, all day long, then go home and talk some more, you will at some point run out of words. They always come back, eventually—usually as an assault to the senses, like an alien, animal thing trying to escape you all at once; a rush of words that literally burns itself into your brain (maybe while you’re asleep) and MUST BE FREED AT DAWN OR ELSE YOU’LL RUN … [Read more...]

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 … [Read more...]

Red Tape at the Table

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Picture this: a devout woman, active in her local parish, has been denied communion for years, because her husband (not her) has been previously married. Therefore, her marriage is not considered legit by the Church. So she writes a letter to the Vatican. I’m not sure what sort of response she was expecting. But what she got was a call from THE POPE. He calls her up, says, it's cool, you can take communion. No biggie. She leaks the call to the media, so for about 5 minutes, Catholics … [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

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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 mess And I’m a big pile of hot-wired stress-- Even the preacher has to confess when It’s Holy Week again.   Friday’s black (but not like for shopping) The dang Easter bunny comes hippity hopping And I wish this headache would just start stopping It’s Holy Week … [Read more...]

Broken and Othered

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This morning, I went to an interfaith Service of Unity and Hope at the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park. Last Sunday, 2 people were murdered there. Another victim was shot at a nearby retirement facility, also connected to the Jewish community. The man responsible for these heinous acts of violence—we won’t say his name, because I don’t believe in making celebrities out of killers—he had a history. Some long and awful history. He was involved with the KKK, and was even a Grand … [Read more...]


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