Beneath Our Feet: A Summer Psalm

1 O Lord, our Sovereign,     how majestic is your name in all the earth!You have set your glory above the heavens. 2     Out of the mouths of babes and infants you have founded a bulwark because of your foes,     to silence the enemy and the avenger.3 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,     the moon and the stars that you have established; 4 what are human beings that you are mindful of them,     mortals[a] that you care for them?5 Yet you have ma … [Read more...]

The Poetry of Emptiness: Reflections from the Festival of Homiletics

Guest post: My friend and colleague Rev. Laura Ann Phillips shares a good word from the Festival of Homiletics, happening in Atlanta this week. It feels like I have been “going” non-stop since October 2014, and if I’m completely honest, it’s exhausting. I’ve been reading articles about gluten intolerance and insulin resistance wondering if that’s what is wrong with me. Maybe what I’m eating is making me tired? I’ve been trying to figure out how to get more protein in fruit smoothies as a safe … [Read more...]

Cleaning the Brushes: The Never-Done Work of Ministry

My friend Kory shares some thoughts on the "never done-ness" of ministry. On behalf of pastors everywhere, I say, "amen, brother."I helped my neighbor stain his pool deck this weekend. I wish I could tell you I did this Mother Theresa-style, all selfless and void of any agenda. But in all honesty, I had two motivations: (1) he helped me stain my deck last year, and (2) I want to stay in his good graces so my family and I have an all-access pass to use his pool.It took us about four … [Read more...]

The Ultimate Summer Slacker List: Reclaiming Sabbath

Hey, all y'all “summer bucket list people.” I love you and you’re adorable, and I am in awe of your ambition. But you are really, really cramping my style. Your lofty goals make it hard for me to embrace the epic, glorious laziness to which I am committed for this season. One day, my kids are going to be old enough to read the internet, and they are going to want to know why I have not planned craft projects, group play dates, homemade ice cream extravaganzas and neighborhood theater productions … [Read more...]

Snow Days, Sick Days, and Other Enforced Sabbaths

I made the mistake of saying out loud last week that I hadn't been sick in more than two years. Ha ha, universe. You got me.As I battle a cold this week, I'm aware that I have used 1, maybe 2 sick days in the past 4 years. That means I've a) been healthy;  b) planned my illnesses around regular days off;  Or c) preached through a hacking cough, subjecting my congregation to germs, and also to--let's say less-than-my-usual stunning aesthetic.Now that we have another pastor on staff, I don' … [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...]

To Be

I started getting in trouble for my 'to be' verbs in junior AP English. It was my favorite class of my whole school experience, but it was also the point at which i realized i was not the greatest writer of all time. (WHAT???) My teacher, the legendary Mrs. McNulty, would take a red ink pen and circle every be, is and was, leaving the whole thing in a marked-up red mess for my further revision.I didn't really get what the big deal was, until I saw what happened when i had to eliminate those … [Read more...]

Under Pressure

God spoke to me today.I love when that happens. I hate when that happens.I love when that happens because hearing the voice of God is the simple reward for living a (reasonably) spiritual life. When you move through the world looking for something holy at every turn (translation: looking for sermon material), then eventually, you will see something holy. If you wait for a clear next step each day (ok, maybe every other day. If i'm not too busy) then yes, eventually, a next step gets carved ou … [Read more...]

Soul Seasons

A pumpkin latte in my hand. From Not Starbuck's. A cool crisp 62 degrees out. I am on a porch swing with a background of lush foliage, bleeding slowly from green into reds and browns and yellows. I am wearing my favorite brown sweatshirt, and reading a really great library book. The day ahead is miraculously full of nothing but open time, save playing with my kids, and later having some friends over for dinner.OK, so almost none of those things is true. I do, in fact, have a pumpkin(ish) … [Read more...]


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