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...]

Healing and Holding Up the World: A Tribute for National Nurse Week

Guest Post: by Elizabeth Myer BoultonMy mother was a nurse all her professional life which meant we grew up with graphic (and often hilarious!) dinner conversation, weird work hours, and the knowledge that we would have to be actively dying or bleeding to death before we could go to the Emergency Room.Now that I’m a mother who actively sought out nurse midwives for labor and delivery and nurse practitioners for our family's medical care, I've learned more about my mom than simply knowing … [Read more...]

Lost and Found: A Parable In Socks

You know what was great about living in the desert all those years? Among other things--not having to wear socks. Ever.Maybe occasionally with running shoes or hiking boots, if you were going out on a trail. Because, you know, rattle snakes. But otherwise, it was 10 months a year of sandals. Glorious, breezy, open-toed, sock-less freedom.Sure, I love a warm fuzzy pair to wear around the house on a cold winter day. But even better was the complete absence of cold winter days. For the most … [Read more...]

An Ecological Conversion: Called by God (and a Scientist) in the Cloud Forest

Guest Post: by Scott Hardin-NieriOur family delighted in God’s creation as we served in Monteverde, Costa Rica as Global Ministries Volunteers. We met neighbors like Howler Monkeys, Three Wattle Bell Birds, Sloths and Toucans. We learned their names and recognized their voices and watched and listened to them with awe. There were human neighbors who also inspired us; like the cab drivers, hotel owners, tropical biologists, bakers, house keepers, coffee farmers, and teachers-- from faith b … [Read more...]

Handing Hate the Microphone

Kansas legislators recently introduced a measure that would require transgender students (at public schools and universities) to use the restrooms corresponding to their gender-at-birth. Other states have similar policies but, of course, Kansas always has to go one-up on these things. So in our state, students who "catch" a classmate using the wrong facility would receive a $2500 settlement.  Because, you know, the trauma of it all.I know, ick.A group of student LGBT advocates from on … [Read more...]

7 Ways From Sunday: 7 True Things From 7 Years of Blogging

Yesterday, I logged into my "back end" blog stuff to edit something and noticed--purely by chance--that I've written 499 blog posts. Ever.499.... That means that this, right here, is my 500th blog post. **Cue fireworks and champagne and fancy outfits!**Actually. Cue coffee in a local dive, a morning of people-watching (my favorite) and rain-day hair. That's what I'm rocking for this momentous occasion.7 years ago, I got a free Wordpress account and started messing around. I had … [Read more...]

No Tribe But Ours: A Refugee Story

I really just carried the fruit basket... But I'll tell you about that in a minute.While Kansas, Arizona, and other states draft fresh, angry legislation to keep refugees from entering their boundaries, hundreds of families are quietly coming to resettle in an American city near you.And 99.99% of them are not terrorists. Despite what some politicians would have you believe.My congregation, like many faith communities, has been deeply moved by images and stories of refugees around the … [Read more...]

Die Laughing: It’s a Lent Thing

It's all heavy sometimes. Life. Ministry. Lent. Winter. An election year. All of it. Some days it is all just heavy.My heart is especially heavy as Lent begins this year, with sadness for a family that suffered a terrible loss last week. I let that heaviness settle into Ash Wednesday. I let it preach the sermon on Sunday. I am learning to sit with it in prayer; I am holding space for it, indefinitely.I am an Enneagram Seven (the cheerleader! the sales rep! Joy, from the InsideOut movie!) … [Read more...]

For the Turning: A Progressive Year in Review

Dear Friends and citizens of the internet,I know I'm not  alone in feeling that the year has been a heavy one. From acts of terror on the global stage to police brutality and toxic racism at home; from an increasingly grotesque scene on the political stage to the growing effects of climate change (December is freaking me out, y'all, with the blizzards in Texas and flooding in Missouri while it is 75-degrees in Kentucky...); from rising and vocal Islamaphobia to the continued decline of the … [Read more...]