Review: Lessons In Belonging From A Church-Going Commitment Phobe

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I used to believe there was something deeply flawed about me because I've been a part of a number of different churches over the last four decades. Between the pastors who shamed people for being church-hopping consumers and some congregants I've met along the way who were able to stick with a church for life, no matter how dysfunctional it was, I chalked up my own rolling-stone resume to some deeply flawed part of my character. Not any more. This survey was an eye-opener for me. I discovered … [Read more...]

When The Heart Waits: Chapter 4

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"Without maps and signposts, people search for their inner home in the wrong places: in professional success, material status, institutions, person, pleasure, and on and on. But none of these can be home. We end up spiritual refugees." - Sue Monk Kidd I'm blogging through Sue Monk Kidd's 1990 book on midlife transition, When The Heart Waits: Spiritual Direction For Life's Sacred Questions. (Click here for earlier posts in the series.) Chapter 4 is called "Crisis As Opportunity", which sounds … [Read more...]

Blessed Are The Angsters

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Ed Stetzer wrote a helpful post called "Missional Angst and Western Church Norms" about the shift in the church away from consumer-driven models of ministry. He noted that some are being called out of existing churches to live their faith in more organic ways (the Radicals), others are choosing to stay put and tweak from within the organization (the Conservatives), and a third group are the Critics.He describes the latter group this way: "...church consultants, authors, professors, etc.—can be pr … [Read more...]

No Lido Deck On The S.S. Prodigal

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This is hell week for those who are grieving the loss of a mother or child. Greeting card companies, florists, jewelers and kitsch vendors urge us to celebrate the mothers in our lives. School children across America are making crayoned cards to gift to their mamas this Sunday. Churches have mothers stand for a round of applause or pass out carnations to adult women as they leave the service. Though some churches have grown more sensitive to the fact that Mother's Day isn't easy for some in t … [Read more...]

Marking Time

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When we were in high school, we'd compare notes about everything from boys to menstrual cycles to math homework. Of the six of us girls, five of us were brand-new followers of Jesus. We learned something about walking with him by following each other. For one brief moment in time, we were even all enrolled at the same state university.When I got engaged, my girlfriends told me I was getting married "first". We were in the habit of measuring ourselves using each other's lives as rulers. … [Read more...]

Why We Have To Stop Telling Jewish Jokes

Sometimes it takes a while for a bad punchline to sink in. To wit, after a handful of comedian (to use the term loosely) Trevor Noah’s cringe-worthy anti-Semitic, misogynist tweets from 2009 surfaced about a week and a half ago. Last night, “The Daily Show” host Jon Stewart spoke out in support of Noah, who is slated to replace Stewart on the Comedy Central show later this year. But Noah still faces several comedy critiques. On Wednesday, the American Jewish Congress launched an online campaign … [Read more...]

Selling Vacuums, Giving Away Parting Gifts, and Pantomiming The Gospel

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A book by a Catholic priest who journeyed to Tanzania to bring the gospel to the Masai gave me a new way to think about evangelism that goes beyond the models I've seen in action. These models have borne a passing resemblance to either 1950's door-to-door vacuum cleaner sales, game shows featuring lovely parting gifts, or encoded Christian mime performances.Father Vincent J. Donavan journeyed to Tanzania to during the 1960's and 1970's bring the gospel to the Masai people. Encamped in the … [Read more...]


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