It is Finished: The Life and Death of Kelly Gissendaner

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It's done. Sort of. The story of a killer. It was one-part true crime, and one-part pure gospel. It was, at best, a true conversion story; and at worst, a glimpse of the dark side of our justice system.Kelly Gissendaner was sentenced in the murder of her husband. She persuaded her then-boyfriend to do the killing--but when all was said and done, the killer took a plea deal that afforded him life in prison, and landed her on death row. You tell me that is not truly effed up.In the 18 … [Read more...]

Get it Together, America–We’ve Got Company

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Maybe this week in U.S. news is no more embarrassing than any other. But I tell you what, I am feeling especially appalled by our collective bad behavior. Maybe it’s because the behavior has been especially…well, appalling. Or maybe it’s because the POPE IS IN TOWN, and, I don’t know, it seems like we should clean up the place a little. Use a napkin, at the very least, and not put our *^@%#^ feet on the table.It’s hard to know where to begin, with such ignorant, arrogant and buffoonish ac … [Read more...]

Talking to Strangers: Scene in a Bar

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I was drinking a beer. That was her first clue that I wasn’t a real Christian.When she asked me what I did and I mentioned that I was a pastor, I’m guessing that sealed the deal.So when she asked me to tell her about my church, I could have quoted our denomination’s identity statement, keeping it light and generic. Or I could have told her about youth group and women’s ministries and mission work in El Salvador. But I figured I was already batting zero—drinking a beer AND being a lady min … [Read more...]

Hope, Healing, and Multiple Drafts: A Conversation with Author Reba Riley

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I recently posted a review of the new book “Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome.” Since then, I’ve had the privilege of a conversation with author Reba Riley. Here’s some of our discussion about writing, family, and what’s next. It’s the abridged version so YOU’RE WELCOME, because we both really love to chat. If you don’t already have this book on your ‘to-read’ pile, get on it. This is the book your nightstand has been waiting for…E: This book has got to be resonating with so many people… I know … [Read more...]

That One Time When Kim Davis Stopped Being Hilarious

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Yesterday, I did something I’ve never done before—I took down a previously published blog post.Last week I wrote about Kim Davis—as have so many. It was a tongue in cheek piece poking fun at her misguided “religious freedom” crusade. However—while the humor was aimed in her general direction, it was not really meant to be about her. I meant to shed light on the absurdity of her claims in general—and to make light of her voice, in particular, in a way that I hoped would be healing for those wh … [Read more...]

Clean Hands, Full Hearts (Can’t Lose): A Sermon About Purity and Tradition

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7Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him, 2they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them.3(For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash their hands, thus observing the tradition of the elders; 4and they do not eat anything from the market unless they wash it; and there are also many other traditions that they observe, the washing of cups, pots, and bronze k … [Read more...]

When Violence is Not News

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The fresh horror out of Virginia this morning: a news anchor and camera man went to work. Same as every day. But while they were filming, they were shot and killed. Live. On the air.It is a truly heartbreaking story. I do not know much about the lives of Alison Parker and Adam Ward; but I am certain that the people who loved them just received the worst phone call of their lives. And that they continue to live a nightmare of a day--one that will not be over soon.This loss of life is c … [Read more...]

The Naked Truth About Dress Codes

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Women's bodies sure are controversial these days.And not just in the political/ideological sense regarding reproductive rights and healthcare. I mean just--there is fundamentally something offensive and confusing about curves, cleavage and knees. And I guess now, bones. A girl at a Kentucky High School was sent home for wearing a top that was very, very revealing... of her collar bones.   The Missouri Legislature figured that maybe a stricter dress code would cut down on sexual harassment c … [Read more...]

Healing and Hilarity in “Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome”

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If David Sedaris and Anne Lamott had a baby together... it would be this book. And I mean that in the best possible way.Sometimes the market seems saturated with spiritual memoirs. (I know, because I want to write one and editors tell me as much...) They range in tone from super feels-y to very jaded; and in creed from the ultra-conservative-gone-athiest to the other-way-around. Some speak to the spiritual-but-not religious crowed, and some address the r … [Read more...]


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