Taken By A Trip


People don’t take trips, trips take people. – John Steinbeck As we returned to Chicago after two and a half strange and grueling days that began with a knock on our 6th floor hotel door in Haifa and ended with us staggering out of the airport in a stupor when we finally landed in Chicago, I realized that the trip that perhaps God most wanted me to take occurred during the final four hours.The journey began with those door-knockers: two young women who were dressed in what I'll call here a fe … [Read more...]

Bring It To Light


My husband and I left the US for Israel on May 21. In the span of the 10 days we've been here, I've been following a string of excruciating stories from the Evangelical world that have included the exposure of incest/abuse/coverup happening within America's favorite Bill Gothard poster family, the Duggars; the tale of legalistic spiritual abuse of a woman who divorced her pedophile husband by the leadership of Village Church, pastored by Acts 29 head Matt Chandler (who did offer an apology this w … [Read more...]

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


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


"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


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

lido deck flickr

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


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...]