Six People You Need to Forgive

Ah, the reject pile... No, not photos of people who got kicked out of new member class (KIDDING people, kidding. All means all). I’m talking about scraps of paper, stacks of notecards, and maybe complete folders: containing the anecdote or bit of commentary that didn’t make it into the sermon; the sermon that got started and never took off; Or the series idea that didn’t develop as fully as the OTHER series idea. But there it sits, all the same. Every preacher has this pile. Promise.Other peo … [Read more...]

ADVENTageous: Un-busy

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This the growing edge of Advent: to take a time fraught with stress and damaging expectations, and instead use it for spiritual discipline and good work in the world.  I’m going to write about my attempt to move through this season gracefully and hopefully; the effort to grow, rather than deplete my every ounce of energy; and the work of sharing good news and compassion, rather than just sharing Made-In-China stuff. Care to join me? Send in your stories, and I may share some.  Something must … [Read more...]

Top Ten Reasons to Stay Home on Black Friday

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Maybe it’s a sport in your family. Some people play flag football or ultimate frisbee to burn off the pie and stuffing, but y’all lace up for a 100-yard-dash through Best Buy and Home Depot. Maybe it’s a bonding thing. Or maybe it’s the only day that you can afford to buy things like new shoes for your children. Maybe you’ve got your reasons, and they are none of my business. I’m not judging. You go do what you’ve got to do, and I’m not the boss of you. I hope that all will hear the following in … [Read more...]

Narrow Margins

So. Nobody wins.The myth of scarcity, the fear of other, and the rhythmic force of silent money: that narrative wins races, and people lose. And while neither party has the exclusive rights to that narrative—we hear it from every corner—this morning’s results show us where, on the map, those tactics speak the loudest.And yet…  that fearful story won so narrowly, in so many places. Is that good news or bad news?It is bad news that, no matter who wins, half of the country wakes up with … [Read more...]

Your Faith-Based Voter Guide

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Editors’ Note: This article is part of the Patheos Public Square on Politics in the Pulpit. Read other perspectives here. The toxic commercials. The clutter of yard signs. The sensory assault of angry billboards and radio spots… To quote a friend: Bring on the ridiculously early Christmas music and gaudy decorations. Anything is better than this!! In fact, the only thing worse than the sensory overload of election season is the tense, carefully guarded environments that many of us navigate dai … [Read more...]

Talking About Real Life and Faith: A Review of the Animate DVD Series for Small Groups

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Leaders in the progressive church-y world are always looking for ‘The Thing.’ You know, the perfect curriculum, book, or teaching tool for that one group, or this one season. What we often fine is that ‘the thing’ with the most engaging activities, the colorful promo materials, and the user-friendly leader guide—has terrible theology. No depth, lots of bloody Jesus language, and heavy on patriarchy and/or prosperity gospel.On the flip-side: ‘the thing’ with layers of meaning, challenging ques … [Read more...]

Sex, Death, and the Same Old Tree

I just keep thinking about that tree.You know the one. It stood in the center of the garden. Everything else seemed to grow out from its center, and lean in towards it at the same time. Drawn to its vibrant color, its fragrance, the life that seemed to hum from within. Everything else in the garden depended on that one tree for air and light.So the gardener told the tourists not to touch it. To please not pluck its leaves, or eat its fruit, or spray it with pesticide or put a fence … [Read more...]

#BecauseJesus

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While flipping through radio stations, I came upon a show where the morning hosts asked people to call in and 'tell me something good.' I thought, hey, people sharing good news. I like good news. So I stopped to listen and heard some nice stories about recovered health and restored relationships. The beauty of the day or a joy of a fresh start. Then a guy called in and said this:“Yeah, with all this stuff going on in the Middle East...I just think about how Jesus says in the Bible that when t … [Read more...]

Dig In: 10 Ways to Find Your Feet in a New Place

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Hey. I haven’t had much to say lately. I’m not sure why that is, other than that when you write and talk and write and talk, all day long, then go home and talk some more, you will at some point run out of words. They always come back, eventually—usually as an assault to the senses, like an alien, animal thing trying to escape you all at once; a rush of words that literally burns itself into your brain (maybe while you’re asleep) and MUST BE FREED AT DAWN OR ELSE YOU’LL RUN MAD.However—this p … [Read more...]


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