Review: Found

found

One of my first experiences with a dark night of the soul period happened shortly after my second child was born. I didn't have post-partum depression. In many ways, I was energized by having two little ones under two. But I felt my spiritual life withering in the never-ending cycle of diapering, meal prep, and wrestling a baby and a toddler into burrito-like outfits all winter long just to go to the store to buy a gallon of milk. I'd been born again in an era of spiritual … [Read more...]

The Festival of Faith and Writing 2014

Program cover

"If you find the right word, it paints a thousand pictures." - Richard Foster, from his session entitled "The Humiliation of the Word in our Day" at Calvin College's Festival of Faith and Writing.I heard dozens of "right words" during the last few days. Some of them came from speakers like Anne Lamott, Richard Foster, Luci Shaw, Bret Lott, Neil Plantinga, Edward Gilbreath, Marlena Graves, Al Hsu and Helen Lee. Even that one session - and there's always one that hits an off-note at an event … [Read more...]

Aged Out Of Church

As anyone who's hit midlife and they'll tell you: this stage is no joke for us.The emotional, spiritual, physical, and relational shifts that occur at midlife can lead to disconnection from old social networks and a profound sense of loneliness, which brings with it serious health risks. At this point, many also feel drained by the increasingly common occurrence of death, disease, divorce, and the changes that redefine old friendships.And yet, rather than engage these important but unc … [Read more...]

4-H Fail – or The Green Acres Effect

4-H

File this story under "4-H Fail" or perhaps "The Green Acres Effect". Here's a post just for fun today. Enjoy.When my family moved to the far edge of Waukesha, WI in 1995, I was determined to help our family acclimate to our new zip code as quickly as possible. Several new friends told me their kids were active in various local 4-H clubs. We'd been to the county fair. We'd seen the blue ribbons given to goats, fruit pies and macrame projects. The whole thing seemed fairly self-explanatory. … [Read more...]

40+ And The Church / Creating A Culture Of Maturity

coffee hour

In my earlier posts in this series, I queried pastors and church leaders about their experience pastoring those over 40. (Click here if you'd like to have a peek at those posts.) Those responsible for shepherding their congregations are stretched in dozens of different directions on any given day. A discussion about how to effectively minister to older congregants may sound as though I'm suggesting adding another half-dozen tasks to that impossible to-do list.As several respondents to that … [Read more...]

Review: Forgiving Our Fathers And Mothers

forgiving

I can count on one hand the number of adults I've known who have not had to work through some level of hurt, neglect, abuse, or emotional disconnect they're carrying with them from childhood. Even the most well-intentioned, fully-present parents don't always get it right with their kids. (Hand raised.) However, the notion of children forgiving mothers and fathers whose issues suffocated their ability to parent those children responsibly may seem both excruciating and foolish. Unforgiveness can … [Read more...]

“Or It Could Go Like This…” – On Re-Leashing Imagination

short leash

Maybe ten years ago, I participated in a small playwriting workshop led by a man who'd directed a number of Broadway plays in the 1960's and 1970's. (For the life of me, I can not remember his name at this moment.) Each workshop participant read the short scene he or she had brought to the class. I was feeling pretty great about the script I'd created, frankly.The workshop leader smiled and nodded appreciatively as I read. Obviously my positive feelings about my own work were being mirrored … [Read more...]


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