Ch-ch-changes

Make it stop. When stuff in our lives goes through a radical rearrangement - meaning, we're forced into some sort of change - more than anything, we want the discombobulation to stop. We want the old normal. Or the new normal. Anything but this horrible confusion that leaves us feeling like we're bobbing around in the middle of a stormy ocean wearing only a Looney Toons inflatable swim ring. Make it stop. One of the most helpful books I ever read on the subject of transition was placed in my … [Read more...]

July 19

Harry Jerome Marks July 19, 1933-July 19, 1997Ten years ago today, my father died on his 64th birthday, losing his 17-month battle with leukemia. There were so many events I would have love to have shared with him, so many funny stories he would have loved to have shared, and moments from my kids' lives he would have relished. He was a pretty simple guy - he loved a good steak, Johnny Carson, fixing stuff and telling stories. And humor. He was one funny guy, though those who lived in the same … [Read more...]

M.I.A.

Where are they?Where are the 18-30 year olds? We know they're not attending standard-issue church. And they're mostly not attending the alternative churches developed to "reach" them. This issue has been analyzed and analyzed some more, by people way smarter than I. That's not the purpose of this post. The Good Shepherd leaves the 99 (who are sitting in pews, slick auditoriums, and rented elementary school gyms) to find the 1. He doesn't chase down that renegade sheep in order to tell him that … [Read more...]

Simply: a prayer

Turn your eyes upon JesusLook full in His wonderful faceAnd the things of earth will grow strangely dimin the light of His glory and graceThis is my prayer for my children, my son-in-law and grandson...and for my husband and myself. What else is there to ask for? … [Read more...]

List du jour

A near-perfect grandma day: Sitting in those butt-numbing chairs in an 76 db McDonald's Playland, watching your almost four-year-old grandson run and laugh, then going to the grocery store and letting said grandson sit in the front of one of those mutant shopping carts that looks like a fire engine while you shop, then watching some hideous cartoons on TV (when did newer cartoons become so visually ugly? And why?), then going to church with grandpa where the child hated the loud worship music … [Read more...]

Just my size

When I was about to turn six, I really wanted a Barbie house for my birthday.When I sixteen going on seventeen, I remember crushing on a pair of Frye boots, and insisting that they would be the birthday gift of my dreams.When I was twenty-nine (for the first time, as I often joke about being 29 again every year), I am pretty sure my birthday list included major appliances. Sitting on the bubble of turning 48, all I could imagine wanting this year was a trip to Kansas City to touch base with some … [Read more...]

Go home

Because my husband was preaching this morning, I had an opportunity to mediate on Luke 8:28-39 this week. Those thoughts became a reading he used to introduce the story of the text. I’m sharing it because I wondered if some of you might find this creative recounting of the story an encouragement.* * * * * * *He terrified them.They were all relieved when he “relocated” from town to live in his own personal ghetto – the graveyard just outside the city limits. The only time they had to deal … [Read more...]

#1 Hypocrite

"I'm fed up with Christians these days," my friend said on the phone last night. She's spent the last few years living in very intense, intentional discipleship and faith community settings. She's put her own heart and attitudes both under a microscrope, simultaneously allowing them to be projected onto a big screen in the name of transparency, healing and spiritual growth. She's experienced the kind of kingdom-radical transformation most of us can only dream of. She was a poster girl for the … [Read more...]

Get me a refrigerator magnet

The relationship between art (and artists) and the church was a chilly one when I first came to faith in Christ in the `70's. Evangelicalism had a serious case of amensia, leaving itself disconnected from 2000 years of church history. We got kitsch instead of thoughtful, provocative, beautiful art. It's a lovely thing to see the tide turning. Lovelier still, to be able to surf on it. The old, false, mean-spirited walls are crumbling. It is a slow process, but a hopeful one. I love the changes I … [Read more...]

Out of the money

I didn't even know I'd been entered in the Evangelical Press Association's contest, but apparently my story "Tina Meets The King" came in fifth in the Fiction category. Here's some irony for you:(1) Since I wasn't aware that Discipleship Journal had entered the piece in the competition, coming in fifth was a nice little surprise. (2) I'd originally written the piece after my first visit to the International House of Prayer in Kansas City. The visit solidified my conviction that I could no longer … [Read more...]