By “Rightsize”, I Mean “Exorcise” These Nine Church-y Words

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As a writer, I spend my days playing with words. This also means I spend too much time - usually when I'm writing a first draft - watching cat videos, rearranging my cabinets, thinking about what to make for dinner, and watching the squirrels re-enact West Side Story outside my window.When I'm not watching Tony Squirrel woo Maria Squirrel, I do try to pay close attention to how people use words. Language is a living thing. I'm fascinated by the lists of words that have become tired, lazy … [Read more...]

Bitter|Sweet 2014

At the party, friends since 8th grade

I'm a sucker for all the year-in-review lists that pop up at this time of year. I'll read with glee those wry month-by-month summaries of the past year like Dave Barry's annual column, or those annual lists of the worst movies of the year (or ever made, which will no doubt be rejiggered to include this stinker). Maybe it's because as the calendar year winds down we're all prone to a bit of reflection before we dive head-first into our regularly-scheduled lives again. Or maybe it's because I like … [Read more...]

The Absurdity Of The Incarnation

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I was contracted to write a small Advent prayer booklet at the beginning of this year. I've done a good measure of devotional writing over the years, and rarely expect to hear from those reading the words I've penned. My job is to behold Jesus, then share using imperfect, broken words what I've witnessed. I pray those reading my words get a glimpse of what I've seen without too much Michelle getting in the way.Shortly before Thanksgiving, I brought copies of the booklet to share with the … [Read more...]

Mona Lisa In A Plastic Orange Frame

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He told them a story. Then he told them another one."The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed," he said. "The kingdom of heaven is like yeast kneaded into dough."Jesus told them stories meant to help their souls awaken to the life to which he came to invite them. He told them stories that held up a mirror that allowed them an unfiltered look at who some of them really were, instead of who they pretended to be.I've been thinking about the way in which we tell stories about God to … [Read more...]

Kvelling In The Valley Of The Shadow

A couple of years ago, I joined a group of 4-8 women gathered on Monday mornings in an empty conference room in a suburban church to pray for their twenty-something adult children. The first morning we met, we introduced ourselves, briefly shared a bit about what each of our kids was doing post-college, and whether our offspring were still actively following the Jesus we'd each endeavored to share with them during their growing-up years. I jokingly dubbed us Moms In Touch 2.0 after the prayer … [Read more...]

The History We’d Prefer To Forget

The recent round of protests in Colorado over a proposed change to the Advanced Placement American History curriculum has illustrated for me the challenge in our culture about what it means to remember well. The College Board, the organization that administers Advanced Placement tests that allow high school students to earn college credit for their studies, recently recalibrated the framework of the AP American history course. This decisionset off a recent, fiery round of protests in Jefferson … [Read more...]

To Have and to Hold, In Hardship and Unhappiness

Nearly 35 years into my marriage to Bill, our shared commitment to the Lord has given us a life together that has been formed by Scripture. But our story at this point is more about the existential ache found in the book of Ecclesiastes than the youthful passion in the Song of Solomon. The Bible's instructions to husbands and wives about obeying, serving and submitting to one another do not come with an iron-clad guarantee of happiness, though I daresay a number of people leading Christian … [Read more...]


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