40+ Case Study: Jeanette

Sarah Bessey, a gifted thirty-something writer, noted in her post last week at Christianity Today's Her.meneutics blog that as she was pulling together research for an upcoming book, she discovered how many midlife women felt marginalized by church and culture alike. She noted that the church often mirrors culture in way that cause pain for those of a certain age: Sadly, perhaps we need to admit that we don't honor age in our churches either, particularly for women. Once a woman reaches a … [Read more...]

What Courage Looks Like

I don't really resonate with examples of courage that include mountain climbing, wire walking or jumping out of airplanes. I do respect those who have the ability to silence their own common sense so they can choose to push beyond their own limits mentally and physically, but they do not inspire me to exercise my own courage muscles by white water rafting or skiing a double black diamond trail.I admire those who find themselves in impossible circumstances and survive against all odds. … [Read more...]

40+ And The Church podcast

Click the link below to listen to (or download) the podcast of my conversation with the wonderful Martha Manikas-Foster on Family Life Radio's Inside Out segment about some of what I learned from my '40+ And The Church' survey: http://www.fln.org/fln-news/podcasts/category/feature/inside-out/   … [Read more...]

Make Trouble, For God’s Sake

It is very unusual for a church leader to encourage followers to shake things up within the church, but these were the marching orders Pope Francis I gave to three million young people last week in Buenos Aires:I want to see the church get closer to the people. I want to get rid of clericalism, the mundane, this closing ourselves off within ourselves, in our parishes, schools or structures, because these need to get out...Don't forget: make trouble. My brothers and sisters in the Catholic … [Read more...]

Big Kids, Big Prayers

Little kids, little problems...big kids, big problems?When I was a young parent of three kids born in the span of 36 months, a few people passed this bit of homespun wisdom on to me. I suppose they were trying to give me a heads' up that toilet training and chicken pox and tantrums (theirs, and yeah, occasionally mine) were relatively simple problems compared the challenges moms and dads faced at adolescence and beyond. But those "little problems" weren't small to me. I'd never before … [Read more...]

40+ And The Church / (Re-)Sowing What We’ve Reaped

A recent Christianity Today cover story profiling the perpetual adolescence of American Christianity asked "When Are We Going To Grow Up?"For those of us over 40, it's now or never. Those of us in this age group may have grown up hearing that we weren't supposed to trust anyone over 30, but most of us discarded this bit of wisdom around the time we turned 31.Or did we? When it comes to church, it seems many of us internalized this bit of 1960's-era youth power doggerel. Over the span of … [Read more...]

Women Of The Web

On some of my favorite blogs, I can read about a married woman debating friendship with men or the power of modest dress to improve body image orreactions to Justin Bieber's antics.Though these topics strike a familiar chord within Christian women's blogosphere, these bloggers write from a different realm. They're Jewish.Because of the grafted-in relationship Christians have with the Jewish people, there is often a familiar resonance between concerns expressed by some Jewish and Chris … [Read more...]