The Unapologetics

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I'm not complaining. I have the best job in the world. I spend time with wonderful people who have incredible stories to share. I get to write, and read, like, a lot. I get to break bread in all sorts of settings and call it blessed. I set my own schedule, within reason. I go on trips. I talk about Jesus. I share with people the fullest and most joyful moments of their lives. And when an earthly life has ended, I draw a thread of narrative to bring meaning from it all, and point it all back to … [Read more...]

The Gospel of Grantham

If you want to know what a nerd I am, I'm going to tell you. About 80% of the status updates in my newsfeed on Sunday were from friends engaged in a "Downt-down." (I crack myself up). That is, a countdown to the season 3 premier of 'Downton Abbey.'The other 20% were something to the effect of, where is Downton Abbey, and why do I want to go there? I'm never quite sure what to tell people about it, except that once you go, you'll know.Come to think of it, why DO so many of us love this … [Read more...]

Failure to Adapt

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Next weekend, I'm going to Prescott with 10 other people from my church, and about 60 folks from other congregations in the Arizona region. We are gathering for a leadership training/church transformation event. I'm looking forward to the event itself, but even moreso to the time spent  with other people who are passionate about the future mission of our church. These people are gifted with creative vision, innovative spirit, and a broad range of faith and life experience. We've been planning th … [Read more...]

The Tenth Day of Christmas: Elf Hats, Broken Candles, and Leftover S’Mores

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I'm staring at a blinking cursor on a blank white screen, and wondering why it is so hard to make a beginning. I haven't preached or blogged in nearly two weeks. You'd think i would be just FULL of good news, articulate responses to world events, and witty observations of human behavior. Well, I may be full of something, but today, it is neither wit nor wisdom.On the contrary, writing is like excercise. The more you do it, the easier it is. Fall out for a few days, and it seems nearly … [Read more...]

Go and See

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...]

Filled with Good Things

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Rev. Brandon Gilvin is the Associate Director of Week of Compassion, and he is also a dang good writer. A native Kentuckian, he now lives in Kansas City with his wife, Lisa.I recently returned  from a two week trip to India, where I visited two very different states, Bihar and Meghalaya, to learn about some of the work supported through a partnership between Week of Compassion, Foods Resource Bank , and several other ecumenical partners from the FRB network.  From the sleepy mountain town of … [Read more...]

Daring to Wait

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Cheryl Carmichael is the author of Dare to Care: Caring for Our Elders. She began her career in aging with the Area Agency on Aging, in Phoenix, Arizona. Cheryl earned an AAS in Gerontology in 2002. She worships and serves at Foothills Christian Church in Phoenix.Cheryl’s father, Bill, is in the middle stages of Alzheimer's Disease. What are you waiting for? After my parents’ divorce, I was raised by my mother. I was 14, and she harbored much anger towards my dad. … [Read more...]

Tell Me Again

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I've lost count of how many times I've read the Grinch these past few weeks. I've got it memorized, as do the kids. In fact, they are starting to cotton on when i try to skip a line or two in order to move things on along toward bedtime. "No, mom, you forgot the part where..."Meanwhile, in my own reading life, i am making nightly trips to Hogwarts--again. This is probably my third time reading the newer books, more like 4th or 5th on some of the older ones. I've got other characters and … [Read more...]

In Church, at Christmastime

The phone is ringing off the hook,The sanctuary’s hard to book.Yes it’s clean--dare you to look--In church, at Christmastime. One hard-working secretaryIs a little tried and harried.Under bulletin notes, she’s buried,In church, at Christmastime. The kids are plenty sugar wired,the moms all look a little tired,and we all know how that transpiredIn church, at Christmastime. Cause church ladies are such a soft touch … [Read more...]


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