I was thinking back to where my family was when Obamacare first went into effect. I wrote the post below after we had been kicked off our health insurance & dumped into the Kansas high-risk pool. Time and again as we shopped for new coverage we were denied by insurance companies due to pre-existing health conditions. The ACA changed all of that. I wrote back then that our legislators needed to work on the law to improve it & encourage… Read more

All the neighborhood kids are out of school for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, so for Cole McGee and his Redemption Church Youth Group there’s only one way to celebrate: a massive Playstation FIFA tournament. The church I pastor is seated in one of the only pockets of socio-economic diversity in Johnson County Kansas, a mostly white, extremely affluent suburb of Kansas City. Our neighborhood is largely Hispanic and skews poor in comparison to other suburbs on the Kansas side of the river. To… Read more

Ezra Klein interviewed Ta-Nehisi Coates recently and the audio is up on the Ezra Klein Show podcast. Here are a few quotes & a comment about it. Klein credits Coates for having what he calls a tragic imagination—a sense that things don’t always turn out well in the end. Sometimes things go tragically wrong and that’s the end. Klein and Coates both contend that a tragic imagination is one of the major differences between a Christian and an atheist. The atheist is… Read more

Book lovers are a picky bunch. What we’re really after is more books, but we also want a deeper connection to the authors we love, and to share our love of books with our friends. With that in mind this is a list of 15 Great Gift Ideas for Book Lovers – the 2016 edition. 01. A Biography of their Favorite Author If your book lover is indeed a book lover, then they mostly want more books. So here’s a good place to… Read more

Need a referee with a whistle to keep the peace at your Thanksgiving get together? Ellen DeGeneres introduces “Mobile Moderator,” a new service that will allow Wolf Blitzer, Megyn Kelly, or Anderson Cooper to moderate your Thanksgiving dinner and keep post-election peace. Happy Thanksgiving everybody. Read more

I am raising my voice in opposition to the prospect of the United States Government rounding up and deporting millions of our neighbors because they do not have legal immigration status. I’m doing so as a Christian and as a pastor. Because, for the Christian, immigration isn’t about politics or economics. Immigration is a matter of hospitality, and a matter of adhering to the teachings of the Bible. The Christian scriptures insist upon love as a way of life. Hospitality… Read more

I have no desire to be that person, who lets politics affect him so deeply he forgets the higher truths. We’re all confused and error-prone. If we weren’t, we wouldn’t need politics. We have to fight fiercely to respect one another. – John Jeremiah Sullivan Throughout this election I’ve been saying that it seemed like much of the country wanted to give Washington D.C. a punch in the face. Donald Trump was the fist. Hillary Clinton was the face. In… Read more

Wednesday evening after the election our church gathered for one of our 6 yearly congregational meetings. We planned it for the night after the election on purpose, wondering if there might be a healing moment for us there. I’m guessing our church is half and half on red or blue politics. But our neighborhood is mostly Hispanic, predominantly poor, and definitely living on the margins. This is what I said that night. There are about 16 kids from the neighborhood… Read more

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace; Where there is hatred, let me sow love; Where there is injury, pardon; Where there is discord, harmony; Where there is error, truth; Where there is doubt, faith; Where there is despair, hope; Where there is darkness, light; And where there is sadness, joy. O Divine Master, Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to… Read more

Rich Mullins had such a low tolerance for B.S. I’m convinced that, had he lived longer into the digital age, Rich would still never have become a blogger. He wouldn’t be on snapchat or instagram, and there’s no way he would’ve been on Facebook. But twitter? I could see that. Rich was a master of the one-liner. Good songwriters work with an incredible economy of words. Rich knew how to craft great one-liners and how to set them up. He was also not short on opinions. Every… Read more

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