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...]

Parrots Can Not Sing A New Song

Maybe it was the parenting book loaded with cliches written by someone whose oldest child was 6 years old. Or it could have been a Biblegateway.com concordance word search of strung-together topical verses masquerading as a sermon. Or perhaps it was the blog post that was nothing more than regurgitated words the author parroted from his or her favorite superstar teacher/preacher.The content of each was solid enough, I suppose. But in each instance, the speaker's words came across as an echo of … [Read more...]

What does it look like to travel light?

A true disciple of Christ travels light, right?We've all heard messages about how Jesus sent 72 of his first disciples out in his name with instructions that included traveling with only the clothes on their backs. We have Paul's impassioned description of what his life as a follower of Christ was like in 2 Corinthians 11 to underscore the fact that following Christ may be filled with challenge and difficulty, not comfort.I ran across this passage a few days ago. I've never heard it … [Read more...]

Lord, please hear my prayer

Perhaps it is a sign of the times. This month, instead of Christmas carols, I've heard minor key songs of lament from so many people I know. I am powerless to do much to alleviate most of the suffering around me. I want to be present, to be honest about my own similarly-broken state, and to be ready to share the comfort and provision God has given to me.And being fully present in the lives of those who hurt means that I plead with God for the needs of every one of us:Immanuel, God-With-Us, I … [Read more...]


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