The Way the Wind Blows

I'm watching. You probably are too. While thousands of faithful Catholics have been waiting in Vatican square for days, the white smoke invites curiosity and anticipation from all over the globe.Why is that? The Pope is not the boss of me. If you are a Protestant, and atheist, an agnostic, a humanist, a Buddist/Muslim/Jew, then the Pope is not the boss of you, either. So why do we wait for this news?In the course of this process, a Catholic official said that the new Pope would not just … [Read more...]

Using Our Words: Power Verbs for the Language of Faith

powerverbs

As the mother of two preschoolers, I find myself saying this thing that used to make no sense to me, but now does. I say it often--like, multiple times a day-- with varying degrees of effectiveness. This phrase used to sound absurd to me. Now, it rolls off my tongue with startling natural ease. In fact, it is the only response I can muster in the face of a young child having a meltdown."Use your words!"Both my kids are super articulate, and have been stringing together english-major … [Read more...]

Prepare the Way: Why I Need Carbs (and Coffee) for Lent

This week, Patheos asked its bloggers to reflect on spiritual practices that we find especially meaningful during Lent.For the life of me...I've got nothing.Maybe I lack the discipline to give things up. I've never even attempted giving up chocolate or alcohol. I believe in moderation, but dang...a girl's got to live. I'm sure sacrificing carbs or sugar or caffeine would purify my body in some powerful way, while also providing soul benefits, but I'm only a person. I run a church, I have … [Read more...]

The Secret Password

Time for Lenten weeping and gnashing of teeth. We progressive/mainline protestant types aren't into the whole sackcloth thing, but a sound 'mea culpa' from time to time can be good for the soul. And this week, I've got one for us all. Repeat after me:"I am selfish."The other day, a friend posted on Facebook that, while she does not consider herself a religious person, she has been asking frequent prayer for a child in her family who is ill. Her question to her Christian friends: "Does Go … [Read more...]

Year of the Dude: Hyper-Masculinity in Marketing, Media and Mega-church

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Any time i post an especially pro-woman bit of commentary, i get feedback saying that i clearly--clearly--have a problem with men.For the record, I love men. My husband, my brother, my father, my good friends and male colleagues in ministry, the male members of my church, the stranger at the grocery store...men are great. They are important to me, and to the world in general.So no, I don't have a problem with men. Who I've got a problem with is 'dudes.' More specifically, the many ways … [Read more...]

Snow Days, Sick Days, and Other Enforced Sabbaths

I made the mistake of saying out loud last week that I hadn't been sick in more than two years. Ha ha, universe. You got me.As I battle a cold this week, I'm aware that I have used 1, maybe 2 sick days in the past 4 years. That means I've a) been healthy;  b) planned my illnesses around regular days off;  Or c) preached through a hacking cough, subjecting my congregation to germs, and also to--let's say less-than-my-usual stunning aesthetic.Now that we have another pastor on staff, I don' … [Read more...]

Watered Down

True story: my husband and i were out having dinner at a nice restaurant. Which is hard to find in the desert suburbs. There's an Applebee's, Olive Garden, and TGi whatever on every corner, but anything without a namebrand can't seem to afford the real estate. Anyway--if i recall, it was our first night out after the second baby. It was a spur of the moment thing.  We called a last minute babysitter and were instantly transported to a leather booth with mood lighting and an excellent steak. On a … [Read more...]

Downer Abbey

If you want to avoid Downton spoilers, then just go visit my guest post on HerKentucky today. Meanwhile, the rest of us are going to don some sack cloth and ashes and lament the season finale. It's very Lent-y, I promise.**Spoiler Alert ... fair warning.Awhile back, I posted The Gospel of Grantham.  I noted here that our fascination with Downton Abbey is really a timely response to our own dramatically changing culture. The show speaks deep spiritual truth about how we cope with our own s … [Read more...]

The New Anonymous

My friend Matt over at the Board of Church Extension wrote a great piece about 'anonymous letters' to the pastor. He says that pastors should not respond to these letters at all, and should probably not even read them.I agree that the anonymous angst letter should not be dignified with a response. A reply empowers the person who does not even give you the courtesy of their name (side note: we still know who you are)...and this sort of behavior should not be encouraged.But most clergy don' … [Read more...]


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