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...]

I Don’t Live In A Library

healing the divide

You might think my office was a very poorly organized library if you were to stop by my house right now. You'd be right about the sad state of my organizational skills. The festive piles of books surrounding me includes my textbooks for this quarter's class at Northern Seminary and the crazy rotating cast of characters I've been borrowing by the pound (for this project) from actual libraries that keep their books on shelves organized by Dewey Decimal or Library of Congress numbering systems. I al … [Read more...]

In Search Of Mitford

somewhere

To The Good People Of Mitford, NC -You may be classified as fictional characters living in an imaginary place, but after reading all nine books in Jan Karon's series featuring so many of you during the last two decades, I feel as though I've you've taken on the status of my second home. I've had five addresses since I first met you all when a good friend pressed a just-off-the-press copy of At Home In Mitford (the 1994 Lion Press edition) into my hands. I've imagined myself living among … [Read more...]

Q & A With Jennifer Grant, Author Of Wholehearted Living

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The last thing a busy mom needs is another thing to do. But what if adding a wee slice of spiritual self-care to your day becomes the kind of "one more thing" that can help you begin taking other, less important things off of your plate?My sage friend Jennifer Grant has written a daybook of 365 brief meditations called Wholehearted Living: Five Minute Reflections For Modern Moms (Loyola Press, 2014) that is designed to help you think beyond the daily urgent to what matters most. Here's what I … [Read more...]

I Need A Hero

fierce convictions

Regular readers of this blog know that my family and I have experienced a number of nightmarish church experiences over the last three and a half decades. Not too long ago, someone asked me why I didn't just exit the Church at one particularly miserable juncture twenty or so years ago and just keep walking.My short answer came from Simon Peter's words to Jesus: "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." (John 6:68) Though I don't believe that showing up in a church for … [Read more...]

Q & A With Amy Julia Becker

small talk

 "For a long time, I thought my children were a distraction from the work God was doing in my life and in the world around me. I am starting to realize they are the work God is doing in my life. They are the invitation to give, to receive, to be humbled, to grow. They are the vehicles of grace." - Amy Julia Becker A few years ago, my friend Amy Julia Becker wrote a frank and shimmering memoir of her journey as the parent of a daughter with Down Syndrome called A Good And Perfect Gift (my review … [Read more...]

Q & A With Author Amy Simpson

anxious

When we worry, we fight the constraints of the way we and our world were created. We try to enter a place we can't go. We try to control what we have not power over.  -- Amy SimpsonI play a little game with myself called "Worst Case Scenario". It requires me to apply equal measures of worry plus creativity to any given anxiety-producing situation in my life. It turns every stressor into an instant Y2K. My imagination goes into 7th gear trying to prepare for every possible unhappy ending to … [Read more...]


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