O Come, O Come Emmanuel | Lament

O come, o come, Emmanuel,  And ransom captive Israel, That mourns in lonely exile here  Until the Son of God appear.  I am lost; my exile is a homeless home. The brightness of your promise fades, early sundown on a cold, dark winter afternoon. God-with-us, where are you? Oh, come, our Wisdom from on high, Who ordered all things mightily; To us the path of knowledge show, and teach us in her ways to go.  I am lost and this kind of lostness is compassless chaos, borderless prison. Promises of a way … [Read more...]

I was wrong about you, Beth Moore

Beth Moore, you surprised me.When I worked at a seminary bookstore, various women's ministry leaders from the local church community would call or come in to order curriculum for their study groups. It seemed as though about 90% of them ordered Beth Moore's materials. The Moore-orderers tended to be older, conservative women from churches that sponsored women's events titled with words like "tea", "spa", "scrapbook" and "chocolate" (sometimes in especially-trying-too-hard combinations like " … [Read more...]

Buh-buy, Siloed Spirituality

Though the suburban Chicago landscape is cluttered with far more strip malls than silos, it was the image of those tall, self-contained round storage units that seemed the best image to describe the problem. Get out of the city, drive through this region's farmland, and you'll see one or two silos marking most every agricultural property. Each self-contained silo holds similar contents, but none have any visual connection with the others around them.The Evangelical churches in our area were … [Read more...]

Leavin’…on a Sunday mornin’

"I want to leave my church, but I feel as though I've committed to them for life," my friend K. said to me recently.She went on to explain that her congregational leaders taught that membership was a covenant between the member and the church. There was no exit clause unless a person moved out of the area. "That isn't to say that people don't leave the church anyway. But when they do, everyone acts as though there's been a bad divorce in the family."When a church invokes words like covenant … [Read more...]

A Response To “An Open Letter To Everyone Over 40 Who Has Left The Church”

Author Margaret Feinberg has penned a kind and genuine expression of concern for those who have left the institutional church at midlife. (Click here to read it.) She affirms the types of issues that typically push some empty-nesters out of the spiritual roost, then pleads with leavers to return in order to nurture the next generation. "Your own children may be out of the house, but your spiritual children are still inside–waiting for you to come in and offer your wisdom, your guidance and your f … [Read more...]

Exit stage left

I spent an extended time this morning studying  James 1, the result of signing up for my first-ever Beth Moore Bible study. Her biggish hair and cheerleader intensity had always freaked me out a little bit -by "a little bit", I mean "a lot" - but since I'm a new girl in a new town, I took a big breath and dove in, joining a well-established study group for "Mercy Triumphs".One lesson might be "Don't judge a perky cheerleader by her cover". I've been pleasantly surprised and unpleasantly (in a … [Read more...]

After The Infant Dedication/Baptism/Naming Ceremony…

It might be a child dedication, a naming ceremony, or an infant baptism. New parents, perhaps adorned with a burp rag, parade to the front of the congregation with their precious babe-in-arms. Some combo of sibs, godparents, grandparents and family friends may join the parade. The proud family stands before God and the congregation, formally placing the baby and themselves in God's service. Some theological traditions mark these moments as the start of a child's faith journey, others believe … [Read more...]


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