Review: The Rebbe’s Army

They leave the security of family and community to travel to the ends of the earth in the name of God. Destinations for these emissaries have included Bangkok, Salt Lake City, Alaska, Russia...just about anywhere there is a possibility they can be used to reconnect someone with God. They maintain their own unique lifestyle based in religious observance though this means they almost always stand out, peculiar people, in their adopted hometowns. They know they may never return to the comfort of … [Read more...]

Does Biblical Community Happen When You Live Where Everyone Knows Your Name?

Every time I walk past an American Legion building in a nearby town, there are always a couple of grizzled dudes hanging around outside. Sometimes they're smoking. Other times, they're tinkering under the hood of a 10-year old Buick or polishing a spit-shiny Goldwing. When I peer through the darkened windows of the place, I can see a handful of guys watching a game. Snatches of conversation punctuated by the occasional shouted instructions of the coaches hugging the barstools floats out of the … [Read more...]

Beer, Dr. Spock, And The Parenting Advice I Needed Most

When I gave birth to my first child in 1983 at age 24, I realized about thirty-six hours into this new adventure that babysitting as a young teen, assisting with a pack of deaf Boy Scouts in college, and nannying part-time for a few months when I was first married was not sufficient training for motherhood. Though I never consciously figured any of it was, I'd stayed away from parenting books during my pregnancy. After more than a year of trying to conceive, I was completely focused on being … [Read more...]

Why We Love/Loathe New Year’s Resolutions

Hello, 2014. I see you peeking around the corner, waiting to enter the room. Come on in. Sit a spell. 2013 was just leaving.There's something about the blank pages of a brand-new calendar that inspires many of us to commit to change. Raise your hand if you've ever made a New Year's resolution: I will join a gym - and show up there three times a week. I will quit eating gluten, sugar and dairy.  I will watch less T.V. I will volunteer in my community. I will go back to s … [Read more...]

Content Trumps Character? The Real Message Of Disclaimer Labels On Theological Books

The recent uproar surrounding charges of plagiarism swirling around some of Mark Driscoll (click here and here) has nearly obscured another story that may have even greater implications for the church - and, ironically, maybe even for Driscoll's future publishing endeavors. While the late John Howard Yoder's name is less familiar to mainstream Evangelicals than Driscoll's, this recent story about how Yoder's publisher will include a disclaimer on all of his books may reverberate long after … [Read more...]

When Merry Is A Million Miles Away

At Christmas, the image of an intact nuclear family is at the center of it all.That image, of a mom, a dad and a baby together forming a circle of love, is mirrored for us each year in dozens of different ways from commercials to Hallmark movies to news stories about people traveling at Christmas to get home to the accounts of friends and coworkers talking about their own Christmas plans.For those whose circle has been torn open byinfertility  miscarriage divorce physical … [Read more...]

Pilgrim’s Road Trip, Christmas version: The Journey of the Wise Men

We live as exiles. We’re called to be pilgrims.I am journeying through Scripture, stopping at a few oases along the way, in order to contemplate our exile experience in an occasional series on this blog. I’ll also offer some helpful thoughts about how Christ can reshape that identity and reorient our journey so we live as pilgrims. To read earlier posts in the series, click here. * * * * * * * My husband and I took our kids to see the Star of Bethlehem December sky show at Chicago's Adler P … [Read more...]