Review: Adventure Of Ascent

Books written for those in the first half of life are frequently framed in the imperative. Do this to find love of your life! Try these ten ways to divorce-proof your marriage! Here's what you must do to be a successful parent! Do these six things to get the job of your dreams! Those imperatives feed our first-half dreams for our lives. They nourish our ambitions. They are tools in a builder's hands - and while we're building our lives, we often accumulate fix it hardware as though we're … [Read more...]

Is this my seat at the kiddie table?

Just in time for this winter's epic Polar Vortex to swoop into town this winter with its alternating gifts of snow and subzero weather, my husband and I decided it was time to figure out if it still made sense to make the hour and twenty minute round trip drive to attend our church on Sunday mornings. Rush hour traffic threw additional travel time into the mix on weeknights, which prohibited our attendance at other church events. No one else we knew at the church lived in our community. We'd … [Read more...]

Survey: Pastors & Leaders, How Does Your Church Relate To Members Over 40?

Last summer, I launched an informal survey in this space asking readers over age 40 to describe their relationship with their local church. Pollster George Barna’s 2011 State Of The Church survey reported that church attendance is on the decline among mature adults. One of the most significant drops in regular attendance came among Baby Boomers, those born between 1946-1964. There was an uptick in the number of Baby Busters (those born between 1965-1983) who do not claim any church a … [Read more...]

Friday’s Miscellany

Evidence of a series of storms, in the form of layered grit, can't quite mute the expression of gratitude on this license plate. If the plate was clean and shiny, it wouldn't preached the message it did to me this morning in the Kohl's parking lot.When things aren't all so shiny-lovely in my life - as now, when some of those I love most in all the world are struggling and suffering - fear, pain and anxiety form the bulk of my Holy Spirit-groaned prayers for them. Yet I am more likely to s … [Read more...]

Whose Gifts Are They Anyway?

I grabbed a paper cup and pumped hot coffee into it just as I did each week before the Sunday morning worship service began. The coffee table in the lobby of the church was a hive of pre-service Sunday morning activity. As I reached for a lid to cover my cup of brew, I noticed a small, gift-wrapped box tucked just behind the trio of sugar containers. I picked it up and noticed my name penned neatly on a tiny gift tag. I glanced around me at the crowd filling their cups and greeting one another. … [Read more...]

Review: God’s Forever Family

Why should the devil have all the good music?If those words immediately trigger a memory for you of a live performance of Larry Norman pounding on a piano a la Jerry Lee Lewis, you might be an aging Jesus Freak. While religious and social historians who study such things are divided on whether the Jesus Movement of the late 1960's–early `70's was indeed American's fourth great awakening, those of us who came to faith during this hurricane of the Spirit recognize that it was, at the least, a t … [Read more...]

God Doesn’t Want Christian Clones

know people who pepper their spiritual talk by quoting Beth Moore's pithy observations, Joyce Meyer's motivational aphorisms or Mark Driscoll's take-no-prisoners bluntspeak. I've known others who take their Christian life cues from radio personality Nancy Leigh DeMoss, social activist Shane Claiborne, Charismatic teachers Heidi and Roland Baker, or simply borrow the convictions of their favorite pastor.While these "Christian famous" speakers may be seated at the same banquet table at the … [Read more...]