Unto Others

I'm preaching on the Golden Rule this Sunday. Total snooze, right?It seems like the very heart of simplicity. Otherwise known as the 'ethic of reciprocity,' there is an equivalent of this directive in every faith tradition in the history of the world. And yet, the notion of treating others as we'd like to be treated is the most challenging, transforming, life-giving concept imaginable. Even if we memorize it in kindergarten, it has a way of getting lost among the other platitudes of our … [Read more...]

50 Shades of “Seriously?”

Speaking of porn... (yes, we were. yesterday, remember?)Alright, you know i'm all for equality. Most porn is made and marketed for (and by) men. So, maybe we should count this as one more industry where we'd like to see women represented in leadership (and not just, you know, on camera). Before you holler at me, I said maybe. MAYBE a erotica market by and for women would take some of the objectification/dehumanization/degradation/abusive behaviors out of the industry and start to make it...i … [Read more...]

The Pottery Barn Catalog (and other pornographic literature…)

It's here! It's here!The October Pottery Barn catalog...be still my heart. I mean, it might be 105 in the shade outside. But inside, with me and my coffee and my favorite leather club chair (which did NOT come from Pottery Barn) it is nothing but fall bliss. Pumpkins, colored leaves, fragrant warm beverages, crisp evening air, the promise of friends gathering to share a good meal...and that's just the cover!Let me be clear. There is only one thing in the whole of my house that actually came … [Read more...]

Rain Dance

When it rains in Phoenix, people can talk of nothing else. Srsly. Facebook, yoga class, office, preschool, line at the grocery store...Not only is it the only topic worthy of conversation, but people in an otherwise standoffish metro sprawl area get downright chatty. A few drops from the sky and boom--instant community. Might as well be a small town in the south during football season.Grown-up people run outisde, spending the rest of the day in soggy clothes (and with bad hair). Children think … [Read more...]

Sometimes, It Falls from the Sky

It was one of those rare Phoenix days when everything shimmered with a utopian light. (No, not recently!) Hot air balloons dotted the sky, and rocky mountain foothills struck a dramatic pose against the technicolor blue. Ancient saguaro raised their arms in praise of all creation. The sun was a friend and not the oppressor it would become a few months later. Temperatures hovered in the 70s, meaning no need for climate control. In other words: desert perfection. Arizona in springtime.I walked i … [Read more...]

For Life

I mean... way to say it out loud, Mr. Akin. Your ignorance may be astounding--horrific, even--but you are teaching us a valuable lesson. The moral of the story is--this is what single-issue voting will get you.I'm one of many, many people of faith in this country: who are pro-choice, but anti-abortion. If you think that is an oxymoron, stick with me here. I think that abortion is sad and awful, and should not be used as an alternative to birth control, or as a matter of convenience. That … [Read more...]

Ask: Why Fear of Death is Killing the Church

A telemarketer called the church. She was selling neighborhood mailing lists. I told her no thank you."I'm just trying to help you grow your church! Don't you want your church to grow??" she shouted angrily. Whoa. Where was this coming from?I said (with the manners of a saint, given her tone), "we have a budget for resources like this, but it's been designated for other things.""Yes," she said, "but the church doesn't really run on a budget, does it? I mean, it's all donations, ri … [Read more...]

On Doing, and Being Done

August is to church what April is to accounting firms; or December to the mall; or crab season to those deadliest guys.Traditionally, you think of Christmas and Easter as the 'big' seasons for church work. But they've got nothing on August. August is the time for starting new things, engaging new people, upping the game in worship, and generally trying to get 'Church' back on people's planners--and in their collective imagination--as everybody gets into a daily routine at the end of summe … [Read more...]

Ode to Phoenix in Summer

Waves of heat dance off the pavement, ominous vipers hissing, "don't passsss by here..."The neighboring cactus, equally uninviting: "Do not touch. Do not touch. Do not touch..."The few green growing things, they all have claws. "I am not food. I won't be harvested. I am not food."The sun-- elsewhere mother of all-- works here to push life away. "Do not plant. Do not sow. Do not plant. Do not grow."Driving all life inside; to shade, to cover, a forced-air shelter, a man-made cave.Dust wh … [Read more...]


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