The Jewish Roots of Christian Sabbath

Where I come from, Shabbat begins at dusk on Friday nights, and ends when the first three stars become visible on Saturday evening. The twenty-five or so hours from Friday evening through Saturday evening are meant to be a time of restorative rest and reconnection with God, family and faith community, I grew up in a fairly secular Jewish home in a predominately Jewish neighborhood, and understood that the Sabbath was a core part of our Jewish identity, even if few in our neighborhood observed it … [Read more...]

Blog Tour Wrap-Up: Week 1

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It's been an honor and a lot of fun to watch the discussion about If Only: Letting Go Of Regret travel around the web this week. Below you'll find a wrap-up of the book-related posts - and a bonus. Yesterday, Ellen Painter Dollar shared a section of Chapter 9, entitled "When The Past Becomes The Present: Why Our History Still Tell Tales". Visit her blog to read part one. Part two is below.Monday: Part 1 of an excerpt from Chapter 1 at Melaniemakes.comTuesday: Part 2 of an excerpt … [Read more...]

Tied Up In Our Own Preferences

While the contemporary ability to determine one's family size is heralded as a mark of Western progress, that freedom carries with it moral and spiritual responsibility. Some branches of Christendom (most notably, the Catholic Church) have well-documented doctrinal positions about issues of reproductive technology and artificial means of birth control, many in the evangelical world default to silence on the issue of permanent sterilization.When Hobby Lobby and others made headlines for … [Read more...]

The Collateral Damage From A Youth Pastor’s Sexual Sin

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Last week, Leadership Journal magazine posted an article penned by a youth pastor who groomed, then sexually abused a girl in his youth group. He is now in prison for his crimes. The anonymous article was saturated with a self-pitying tone,  some horrifying reframing of his sin (statutory rape is not an "affair"), and a stunning lack of concern for the young woman upon whom he preyed. It took a couple of very intense days of social media activity by those infuriated by the platform given to a … [Read more...]

Virtual Road Trip + A Quick School Update

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A book is meant to create a conversation between writer and reader. A good book can spark conversations that echo far beyond its pages. By nature of its form and function, a book with 40,000 or more words (Victor Hugo's Les Miserables clocks in at over 500,000 words) is an extended meditation on a subject or theme.The form and function of a blog post is an entirely different critter. Most blog posts are 500-1,000 words in length. They have pictures, hyperlinks, and most have comments … [Read more...]

Honoring The Dishonorable?

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This Sunday is Father's Day. For some of us, the day will be a sentimental one filled with the gifts of a construction paper card with a crayoned sentiment and a medium-rare steak on the grill. For others, the word "Father" is tied to abuse, neglect or abandonment, and June 15th will be just another day of painful memories.My friend Libby Buchanan, a survivor of the child pornography industry, has earned a spot in the latter category, but has worked hard to both integrate and move beyond her … [Read more...]

40+ And The Church/Practicing In Community

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"I wonder what the average age is of the group in this room."Author and pastor Ian Morgan Cron scanned the group gathered in the chapel at Willow Creek last Sunday night for the experimental gathering dubbed The Practice. He was there to speak about, then lead us in communion. While there were a good number of twenty- and thirty-somethings representing, the crowd definitely skewed to older Gen X'ers and Boomers. Probably because there is no childcare or children's programming available at … [Read more...]


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