Shelf time – Part 2

Have you ever been shelved after a period of active ministry? Click here to read my post from earlier this week discussing some of the reasons this may happen.How can God's kingdom be advanced if I am sitting "useless" on the shelf?I hope you can hear the out-of-bounds pride at the root of that question. During my own shelf time, I will confess that I entertained thoughts like this. As if God was depending on me to save the world!Besides exposing my pride in what I could accomplish for God … [Read more...]

Have you ever been shelved?

A friend who'd been a women's ministry leader in her former church told me sadly that there was no place for her in her new church. "God used and developed my leadership gifts at our old church, but they told me nicely they don't need another women's ministry leader-type at our new church. I feel like I've been shelved."Is she being a whiner? Prematurely seeking a position of power in this new congregation? Could she be grieving her relocation and missing her friends from her former … [Read more...]

…the rest of the story

Have you ever wished you could say 'Thank You' to someone whose words years ago had changed the direction of your life, but the person was gone? Perhaps the person had died or had simply disappeared off the radar.It wasn't long after S. had off-handedly invited me to contribute some scripts to a children's radio show being produced by WBEZ-FM, the NPR outlet in Chicago, that she disappeared off my radar. Bill and I moved away, and began our family. We were busy with the work of starting a … [Read more...]

Continuing the conversation in DC…

My sister and I haven't spent one-on-one time together since we were kids until this week. Thanks to my frequent flyer miles accrued on trips to Israel, I was able to go spend a few days with her just hanging out in her adopted hometown of Washington, DC.When we were growing up, we were often rivals instead of allies. As we entered adulthood, we began talking through our shared childhood experiences - to begin fitting our jigsaw pieces together, to mourn, and, as a sign that growth and healing … [Read more...]

A Labor Day prayer

Creator of all, before the words that transformed work into a a curse, you gave labor to man and woman as a gift full of dignity and meaning. And even after the great rent in the relationship, but immediately before Man and Woman were sent to make their way in the world in pain and sweat, a single sentence tells us that there would be an echo of Eden's  in all the toil  that followed:"Adamnamed his wife Eve,because she would become the mother of all the living." - Gen. 3:20Man named. He'd b … [Read more...]

At The Table: A Reading For Two Voices

Once upon a time, I used to write a lot of readings for use during church services. Some of the pieces were meant to tell a story in a unique way, other readings were simply a creative division of a Biblical text that would allow a congregation to listen to familiar words with fresh ears because 2-5 voices proclaimed them.This summer at our church, there was a call for the congregation to bring our "Living Psalms" to one another. Below, you'll find my psalm, the first script I've written in a … [Read more...]

Trying to look on the sunny side

"My husband reads your blog, and he commented that you seem to have a lot of complaints about the Church," a friend told me recently. A number of responses came to mind, mostly of the "Well, yeah" and "No duh" variety.There are lot of voices offering criticism of the church around the blogosphere. A sizable percentage of these critics sing the laments that jilted lovers do. Their minor key songs are the kinds of songs sung by those who gave time and money and the best parts of themselves to a … [Read more...]