Come Darkness, Come Light

I'm going to have to call the police on my neighbors.The liturgical police, that is.Their house is covered with Christmas lights. That's fine. I love Christmas lights! Also, on their porch, they have a giant, hand-painted wooden sign. (When I say 'giant,' I mean huge. I mean Santa could see this thing from space). And it says "JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON." Yes, the all caps seem a little aggressive to me, too. But the sign alone is not my gripe, exactly.What I'm liturgical … [Read more...]

Naughty or Nice: Tell Your Kids They’re Good

I swear I didn't lose it on purpose.Here's how it happened. When my daughter was a baby, my friend Rachel bought her an Elf on the Shelf. I didn't actually get it out of the box until she was about 3, and my son was 1. My daughter promptly named the elf "Rachel," and here's the CREEPIEST thing--she had not seen aunt Rachel, the PERSON, since she was a baby. Had no idea this elf came from aunt Rachel, the person--because, hello, elves come from the NORTH POLE. So, how the elf became Rachel … [Read more...]

Keeping the Light

Normally, I’m a purist. Nothing green or sparkly goes up at my house until the first Sunday of Advent. Not a strain of Christmas music creeps over my airways until December 1. No shopping until I really HAVE to. And even then, my version of ‘shopping’ is pretty modest.But this year? Somebody call the liturgical police—because I am like Buddy the Elf up in here. I finished most of my shopping online weeks ago. The minute I finished my turkey and mashed potatoes on Thursday, I cranked on the al … [Read more...]

What Faith and Freedom Demand

I had no idea...I had no idea that so many people were total experts on the Middle East and U.S. Foreign Policy. I had no idea that so many people have such a profound grasp on the complexities of MILLENNIA of religious strife, extreme poverty, harsh climate and tyrannical, extremist politics. But a quick scan of the newsfeed--not to mention the comments section of any given article on the internet--assures me that, in fact, PLENTY of people know. all. about it.Trouble is, their … [Read more...]

Liberals Love America Too

We rail against gun culture, the gross injustice of capitalism, and the disintegrating lines between church and state. Some may say, for these reasons and others, that we hate America. But I've got a secret for you: I'm going to whisper it so I don't have to turn in my lefty hippie commie card...Liberals are patriotic. For real though. In fact, most of us would argue that we hold the values above BECAUSE we love our country. We love equal opportunity, and government free from the tyranny … [Read more...]

Red Cup Blues: 7 (Real) Reasons to Step Away from the Starbucks

Lots of good things start with imaginary Christian persecution.For instance: My first viral blog post-- the one that made me think maybe this could be a thing and I should keep writing--was about the so-called "war on Christmas."ACPC (Affluent Christian Persecution Complex) has also resulted in a completely free marketing campaign for Starbucks! Christmas has sure come early for them this year. Because they chose to go with a minimalist holiday design this year, featuring a solid red cup … [Read more...]

Lost in the Crowd

It's been a big week in Kansas City. Following the Royals' World Series win, we pretty much shut down the city for a few days. Standing in a sea of half a million people (which later counts put closer to a million) with zero visibility, limited access to food and restroom facilities--all after waiting in hours of traffic just to get there --DOES NOT SOUND LIKE MY IDEA OF A FUN TIME. However, the people who did venture out for the victory parade were ecstatic. They said it was a memory their f … [Read more...]

7 Ways to Prepare Your Kids for Dating…Without Using a Shotgun

It’s the oldest joke in our cultural lexicon: the father, casually cleaning his shotgun on the front porch as the daughter’s date comes to the door. Drop any variation of that scenario into a sit-com, meme or conversation, and you’ve got an instant LoL. A shared experience that some people will even say they’ve experienced firsthand, to some degree, whether as daughter, date or dad.You can say it’s harmless, JUST A JOKE. But given the power that guns wield, both symbolically and physically, i … [Read more...]

Ordinary Day

Nobody came into my place of work today and shot me.No enraged white man walked into my children's school and enacted a deranged video game fantasy on multiple young lives.My husband did not get killed in a random interstate drive-by.None of this seems like anything worth reporting. But honestly, I count it as a small miracle. Every day that we walk through the world unscathed by gun violence, it is a gift that I don't take lightly.  Dumb luck. And big news.What is NOT big … [Read more...]