If You’re Still Saying “Lifestyle,” We’ve Still Got a Problem…

I'm going to say a thing. Stop me if you've heard it: "Just because I don't accept someone's lifestyle, doesn't mean that i hate them!"I've heard it before. So have you. Most recently, as a direct quote from Rick Warren. But more broadly, coming from folks in conservative settings all over the place.  And chances are, if you've heard some version of this line, the conversation was about gay people. Everywhere you look these days, churches, pastors and fundamental Christians are getting more … [Read more...]

What Whining Will Get You…

I've got two small children. I know what whining sounds like. Sometimes, before the request has completely left the tongue, I will stop and say, "Is that really how you want to ask me about that?"Because I would really like them to learn young that whining gets them nowhere. That i tend to be more generous with snacks, outings, tv shows, and life in general, when I have been approached with a certain degree of pleasantness. Manners are important, but this is not just about manners. It is about … [Read more...]

A Good Word

On sabbatical, i had the opportunity to go to worship in other places. Like, just GO to church! If you have ever led worship and/or preached on a regular basis, you know that getting to experience worship on the other end, and not have to create or facilitate it in some way, is a gift. Several weeks of this made me realize how much i was missing, being always on the other side of the pulpit--and how i could be a much better preacher if i took time, more often, to hear what other folks are doing … [Read more...]

Freedom, Rights, and Chicken Fights

Are we done talking about chicken yet?? Law...I know i chimed in my own two cents on the issue. I'm almost sorry now that i contributed--even in such a miniscule fashion--to a matter that turned into an epic media frenzy and resulted in a pretty ugly day in social networking. I'm tired of hearing about it. Eat chicken, don't eat chicken. Follow the muppets, follow Mike Huckabee. I'm over it.Thing is--you know and I know--it's not about the chicken.It is one more seemingly small opportunity … [Read more...]

Playing Chicken

Well, I'm late to the party, but here goes: I'm not eating at Chick-fil-A anymore. Which is ok, really. Much as I loved their impeccable service, clean indoor play facility, and killer sweet tea, their breakfast chicken biscuits were not helping my diet.This conversation has been in full swing for more than a week now, so there's not much I can add that hasn't been said already, by people smarter than me. (And, well, by some people who just happen to own a computer). Sound arguments have been … [Read more...]

What We Can Learn…

Confession time: for all that i am willing to proclaim what is wrong with mega-church culture, I have never actually spent much time in one.I went to a really big church, once. I was in college, and went with some friends to what was quickly becoming one of the largest churches in the state. This was way before my sense of calling to ministry, and before i had any kind of awareness of the culture wars that were emerging within and between churches. But I remember 3 distinct impressions I took a … [Read more...]

Push Pause to Start

It's been 2 months.That's 8 weeks of travel with young children; of shoe melting, hair frizzing heat and humidity; of trying to cram in a visit with every person i've ever known; of meals on the road; of playing tetris with blocks of time; of waking up in the morning to briefly--briefly--wonder where i was that day; of suitcase living, and all the wardrobe crises that implies...Yes, sabbatical is supposed to be a time of rest. But when you are a parent of young children, the reality i … [Read more...]

Flex Space, Sacred Space

Chairs or pews? Ah, the age-old question that has turned many a pastor's hair gray before his/her time, and split many a faithful congregation down its carpeted center-aisle. That is, if they hadn't already split over the carpet color...The first time i walked into a sanctuary that had chairs, i thought it felt weird and wrong and unchurch-like. I was walking in as the new student minister, and luckily, nobody asked me what i thought about the seating arrangement. Since then, I've served … [Read more...]

The Story You Thought You Knew

richard-scarry

I used to love those Richard Scarry books when i was a kid. You know the ones: with lots of colorful, happy-looking animals, dressed like people, going about everyday sorts of activities. Some little vignettes thrown in here and there, but mostly, just some commentary on what the animals are doing, what kinds of stuff they have, and questions about what we might do in our day, and what kinds of stuff we might have, too... It sounds super dull, but when you are a kid who is learning to talk, and … [Read more...]


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