Mailing, Failing, and Yard Sign Nailing

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DEAR CHURCH DOWN THE ROAD*:I wanted to thank you for your excellent marketing approach in reaching our neighbors with the good news of Christ. I enjoy your signs, mailings, web pages and strategically placed fliers. I wanted to commend you on a few especially powerful messages, and encourage you to keep up the good work.1. Keep reminding people that "going to church does not make them a Christian." That will certainly encourage them to carve time out of their busy, overwhelming, … [Read more...]

Extreme God

Now...

Four months ago, I was preparing to leave Phoenix. In early September, it was still pretty common to see the thermostat register 110-degrees. Of course, that was downright breezy after the July and August heat waves, which would sometimes reach 119. (But it’s a dry heat! Um…so is your oven).Fast forward to yesterday in my new midwest location. Wind chill of -16. Math is not my strong suit but I know there are a lot of digits that fall between -16 and +119. I’m amazed at my body’s ability to … [Read more...]

The One Year Bible…One Year Later

reading

Ever thought about trying to read through the Bible in a year? Saint Andrew's Pat Boston shares her challenging, sometimes tedious, but ultimately rewarding experience. Pat is a partner, a mother, a Disciple, a Democrat, a musician, a dog lover, a reader, a fair cook, and according to her friends, a "roach on a hot griddle."My mother-in-law gave me a One Year Bible last year.  It is an English Standard Version with no explanation or introduction, just daily designated consecutive chapters … [Read more...]

In Church, At Christmas Time

sacc tree

It's Christmas week, and you know what that means--re-runs! I wrote this piece last year, but as our staff puts final touches on the Christmas Eve services for tomorrow, I am reminded, all over again, that the sacred community bears gifts of miraculous proportions. I'm sharing this again today, with great thanksgiving for all the people who 'do' church, and who make Christmas happen for others. Blessings...The phone is ringing off the hook,The sanctuary’s hard to book.It's p … [Read more...]

Let Freedom Ring: A Very Ducky Christmas Special

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I wish these public media storms would hold off until after Christmas. It’s really messing with my Advent 4 mojo. However—the Duck Debacle has crept into my head space, and I’m pretty sure the Spirit will not be able to show up with a sermon until I’ve got this out of my system.As you have probably heard, Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame said some off-putting things about LGBT folks in a magazine interview. What he said should not have surprised anyone who knows anything about the family, … [Read more...]

Transcendant Hope: A Review of “Preaching at the Crossroads”

preaching

I rarely finish a non-fiction book, except under duress of the grading system (and in that regard, I’ve been a free woman for more than a decade!) So the fact that I willingly read through David Lose’s Preaching at the Crossroads  is its own kind of recommendation. But it recommends itself in other ways, too.In short, this is the preaching book you WISH someone had written when you were in seminary (under duress of the grading system, as it were). I recall reading stuff the size and shape of … [Read more...]

Detour: Holiday Hospitality for Churches

detour

It’s the week before Christmas. You haven’t been to church in a year. Maybe in lots of years. Maybe you’ve only ever been to church for weddings and funerals, but this year, something compels you to seek a sacred connection in community. So you scan the newspaper ‘seasonal worship’ ads. You scour the internet. You maybe ask around the neighborhood.Having found a place that might be the place, you set out on Christmas Eve. Maybe you had to feed, dress and corral a herd of small children into t … [Read more...]

Ready

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If you are following along with the "Partners in Prayer" Advent devotion guide, you'll see that today's reflection is about the litany of 'I'm not ready' that we're all supposed to be sharing right about now. That piece was extracted from a longer blog post that I wrote two advents ago. Here's the whole thing. I'm reading it today, in the middle of moving and chaos, and thinking how much it still applies. I'm also thinking, hey...a self care day sounds pretty great right about now!I took a … [Read more...]

Bumpy Roads

isaac

I've got another great guest post for you today. Rev. Isaac Varner is one of my Arizona clergy friends (I sure do miss those guys!) and he just returned from a trip to Indonesia with Church World Service. I asked him to share a reflection on that experience, and here's what he delivered. 3A voice cries out: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven gr … [Read more...]


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