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...]

What Happens At Your Church After An Older Leader Hands Over The Mic?

Earlier this week, 78 year-old Dr. Tony Campolo announced he would be closing the doors of the ministry he launched three decades ago. I appreciate his faithfulness and consistent voice on behalf of the marginalized, and applaud his wise words in the RNS piece about his retirement from the organizational part of his speaking and writing ministry: "Too often, we old guys hang on too long and steal the spotlight from the new, bright, shining stars emerging as speakers and leaders,” Campolo said. “ … [Read more...]

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...]