Mona Lisa In A Plastic Orange Frame

frame

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...]

Q & A With Jennifer Grant, Author Of Wholehearted Living

BlogTour_Wholehearted_Social

The last thing a busy mom needs is another thing to do. But what if adding a wee slice of spiritual self-care to your day becomes the kind of "one more thing" that can help you begin taking other, less important things off of your plate?My sage friend Jennifer Grant has written a daybook of 365 brief meditations called Wholehearted Living: Five Minute Reflections For Modern Moms (Loyola Press, 2014) that is designed to help you think beyond the daily urgent to what matters most. Here's what I … [Read more...]

I Need A Hero

fierce convictions

Regular readers of this blog know that my family and I have experienced a number of nightmarish church experiences over the last three and a half decades. Not too long ago, someone asked me why I didn't just exit the Church at one particularly miserable juncture twenty or so years ago and just keep walking.My short answer came from Simon Peter's words to Jesus: "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." (John 6:68) Though I don't believe that showing up in a church for … [Read more...]

Transforming The Literal Into *POOF* The Spiritual

One of my favorite podcasts is Phil Vischer's rollicking foray into pop culture and the state of affairs in the Evangelical church. Regular cohosts actress Christian Taylor and pastor/author Skye Jethani are joined (and sometimes replaced) by a variety of interesting guests. This week's guest, Dr. Gary Burge, tackled the Israel-Palestinian conflict, which can be summed up in the question, "Whose land is it anyway?".I was tempted to skip this week's podcast, as I am familiar with Burge's p … [Read more...]

The Grinch @ Seminary

grinchheart

This quarter at Northern Seminary, I took a class for which I had low enthusiasm before I walked in the door back in September. In fact, the words "low enthusiasm" might be overstating it a bit. If it hadn't been required to complete my degree, I would have probably found a way to avoid taking this course altogether.However, you can't opt out of core theology courses when you are enrolled in seminary.I'm not anti-theology. I noted in my first paper for my Theology I course this quarter … [Read more...]

“Done” At Midlife

Childhood

The conversation around the relationship between those at midlife and the local church clicked into a higher gear last week with these two blog posts:At Thom Schultz's Holy Soup: The Rise Of The Dones. "After sitting through countless sermons and Bible studies, they feel they’ve heard it all...The Dones are fatigued with the Sunday routine of plop, pray and pay. They want to play. They want to participate. But they feel spurned at every turn. Will the Dones return? Not likely, according to th … [Read more...]

Unpacking Spiritual Baggage – Part 3

"How are you doing?" There's a lot of different ways in which those words can be voiced ranging from a casual aside with no desire for an answer to the way the pastor of the church we'd attended for a year and a half asked it of me. It sounded as though he really wanted to know because he really cared about the state of my soul.I hesitated for a moment. Could I trust him? I'd worked hard with the help of the Holy Spirit using the gfits and training of an excellent counselor to unpack some of … [Read more...]


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