How to Christmas #2: say thank you

The older I get, the more Grinch-y I am at the beginning of the holiday season. The decorations just seem to be more chaos in the midst of my unfolded laundry. The cards and gifts are names on a list that I’m trying to get done before it’s too late. The extra church services take energy away from accomplishing goals. I remember that I used to really love Christmas but I can’t quite remember why.And then, gifts and cards start coming my way. I receive notes of thanks and news of people I love. … [Read more...]

I am not thankful the church has alienated so many people

I am not thankful that the church has alienated so many people. People tell me they can't come to church because they are sad, doubting, don't have it all together, are lacking easy faith, or don't fit into the "normal" families they see all around them. Nothing frustrates me more. Since when did the church of Jesus Christ, the one who dined with sinners, the man of sorrow and grief, become a place for a veneer of perfection and easy faith?If it wasn't for Jesus, I would have given up on … [Read more...]

I am not thankful for the struggle with my weight

I am not thankful for the struggle with weight. When I was nineteen, I was diagnosed with polycystic ovaries. It is a hormonal disorder that causes weight gain among other side effects. It was a relief to find that the defining struggle of my teenage years was not just lack of discipline but physiological. But damage to my self-concept and to my relationship with food had already been done. I had missed the sports and games of young life because I had been so self-conscious about my body. To my … [Read more...]

I am not thankful for tragedy

I am not thankful for the tragedies I have experienced. The first came when I was almost 21 years old. My best friend's brother and my date to our senior banquet (we didn't have proms at the Christian school I attended - another thing I'm not thankful for), was shot and killed.I am not thankful that my good friend Debbie dropped dead two years ago next week, leaving behind two beautiful daughters who will always have an empty place in their hearts as they move through high school, college … [Read more...]

What I am not grateful for

I do not believe that bad things happen for a higher spiritual reason. There is no good reason for hurricanes. There is no good reason for war. There is no good reason for child abuse. There is no good reason for birth defects. There is no good reason for cancer.I do believe that bad things happen and then good things happen because of them. Or, put another way, I believe we must separate the goodness of the results from the badness of the event. For instance, the annihilation of millions … [Read more...]


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