A Prayer for World AIDS Day

Eight years ago, I went on a small mission trip to Swaziland, a tiny little kingdom in southern Africa, a (scary) 5-hour drive east of Johannesburg. One in four adults there is HIV positive--and that is just reported cases--ranking that country's rate of infection among the highest in the world. Poverty and gender inequality were, and remain, key factors in the spread of the disease.As one often learns on a mission trip, our time there was spent not so much 'doing' anything that would change … [Read more...]

Are We Still On This?

Dear Bill O'Reilly: there is no war on Christmas. It is alive and well, and 'merica spent the first $60 BILLION of it on Black Friday Weekend. (That's now a thing--not Thanksgiving, not Advent I, but Black Friday Weekend).Is our faith so tenuous that we need it to be affirmed by the retailers? (--says a wise member of my congregation) By the greeting card industry? By the person fixing our pumpkin spice latte?I've already said my peace about all the reasons we need to stop being so touchy a … [Read more...]

An Empty House

A Tao of Christmas shopping, from a wannabe minimalist:So, i buy most of my kids' clothes at consignment sales. Also sell stuff there, so i almost break even. I go to this one sale twice a year (because it is at my church and i get to shop early!) While i'm shopping for clothes, i also keep my eyes peeled for good toys at super cheap prices. I buy a few here and there, so by the time Christmas rolls around, I buy each kid one new thing, and i'm pretty much done. They get about 4 gifts each, … [Read more...]

Like Frosty Said… the Sun Was Hot That Day

I think i say this, or something like it, every year of the world. But, here it is again:It is really, really hard to get into Advent and Christmas mode when it is 80-degrees and sunny outside. There's something just downright apocolyptic about driving down a scenic desert highway, with gorgeous views and sunshine, and hearing 'Holly Jolly Christmas" or "Frosty the Snowman"  come on the radio. Nevermind the fact that 'Holly Jolly" is just about the worst song in the history of the world...it … [Read more...]

Top 10 Reasons Christians Should Stop Whining About Secular Xmas

"Keep Christ in Christmas!" "Jesus is the reason for the season!" "It's OK to say Merry Christmas!"I don't disagree with any of these statements. However, as a PR rep for Jesus, I cringe whenever I see them printed on a sign somewhere. I know we all lament the commercialization of a sacred day; I know that it's frustrating to see something so meaningful reduced to plastic snowmen and frozen fruitcakes. That said, it's not worth getting all offended by a 'season's greetings' card, or a … [Read more...]

til by Turning, Turning, We Come ‘Round Right

Spoiler alert: if you are coming to Foothills for worship tomorrow and you want to be surprised, wait and read this on Monday.Over six years ago, when i first walked into the sanctuary at Foothills, what i saw with my eye and what i saw with my heart were two different things. My eye saw a space that was much-loved, though cared for with limited resources. Bright (i mean bright!) paint colors that detracted from the beautiful stain glass; old carpet; a communion table and pulpit in synthetic … [Read more...]

Practicing Gratitude

I've gotta say... for all the junk and crazy-making stuff that floats around on facebook, i'm finding the daily 'thankful' posts a blessed relief. In case you haven't noticed--many people challenge themselves, during the month of November, to give thanks for something every day of the month.  People share their gratitude for everything from health and family to simple daily blessings--good food, good coffee, the smell of laundry on a weekday evening. All told, sifting through my newsfeed these da … [Read more...]

We The People

I was inspired and encouraged by the people I saw at the polls this morning. Not just the by the number of them, but by their diversity. Young and old; men and women; affluent and otherwise; Hispanic, Indian, Anglo, and citizens of European heritage, speaking to their children in native tongues...In this season of Thanksgiving, I am extremely grateful for our founding fathers, and their vision of democracy; for the generations of men and women who have protected our freedom; for women who foug … [Read more...]

Joy in the Morning

The day after tomorrow, we may still not know who the president is. But perhaps we'll have gotten over trying to change the minds and hearts of those who we feel are voting against us.There are a couple of things wrong with that statement. 1-that we think we can change people's minds and hearts, and 2-that we feel the folks in the other party are voting against us. Against us, personally. Those are the things wrong with that statement--but that is exactly where we are.I care very much who … [Read more...]


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