If My Wings Should Fail Me

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I'm back among the living after a week down with the flu. Not a 24 hour flu bug type thing: actual influenza. Think sharp knives stabbing your chest every time you cough (which is, let's just say, often) chills, all-over body aches and general awfulness. And then my husband and one of the kids got it, and well... all downhill from there.But like I said--I'm back among the living today, newly aware of the fragile state of life embodied.  It doesn't take much to lay us flat. And at all … [Read more...]

“Jesus Feminist:” A Gospel of Empowerment

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“Jesus Feminist: Exploring God’s Radical Notion that Women are People, Too.”My initial reaction to that title was “Well yeah… Like we been sayin.” Because in most mainline protestant circles, we have been HELLA sayin. For like, 100 years. Don’t get me wrong, I was glad to see this book—an apologetic for empowering women leaders in the church—emerge in the evangelical circle, because, you know, ‘those people’ sure need to read it. But I didn’t really expect to find anything in it that would sp … [Read more...]

Singing for Our Lives

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I’m not sure how it started, or when. But at least since I was a young’n, and probably a good many moons before that… each year, several hundred high school students would gather at the Hyatt Regency in Louisville for Kentucky All State Choir. (Yeah, that’s how we rolled, y’all. A glimpse of my wild and crazy youth right here).That hotel is about 20 stories high, with a large open-air atrium for a lobby. You can look up from the ground floor and literally see the door to every guest room, sur … [Read more...]

Holiness, Blessedness: All Around

Rev. Erika Marksbury preached this powerful sermon at SACC yesterday. I love how she reframes the beatitudes in terms of 'holiness' rather than 'happiness.' These texts are not prescriptive, she tells us. They don't give us instructions. They just tell us how it is...        Read and be blessed, on this cold Monday.These past few weeks we’ve been hanging out around the outskirts of Jesus’ community – we’ve seen him baptized, we’ve heard his cousin, and teacher, John the Baptist, tell the sto … [Read more...]

Jesus, Tebow, and Grandma God: The New Trinity

Some days, I come across an article that restores my faith in humanity, and gives me hope for the future of the Christian story.This is not one of those days.Apparently--seriously, I just almost can't say this out loud without wanting to 1)laugh hysterically and/or 2)curl up in a dark corner somewhere--but I say, APPARENTLY, HALF OF AMERICANS think that God decides who wins the Super Bowl.Seriously.I almost don't have anything to say except, 'No.' No, no, no, people. I've been try … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

Detour: Holiday Hospitality for Churches

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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...]


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