A Response To “An Open Letter To Everyone Over 40 Who Has Left The Church”

Author Margaret Feinberg has penned a kind and genuine expression of concern for those who have left the institutional church at midlife. (Click here to read it.) She affirms the types of issues that typically push some empty-nesters out of the spiritual roost, then pleads with leavers to return in order to nurture the next generation. “Your own children may be out of the house, but your spiritual children are still inside–waiting for you to come in and offer your… Read more

My 2012 writing life: shock absorbers and flat tires

I am preaching the message below to myself. I wrote the words below four years ago, and need to revisit them again today: One of our former pastors (that’s a depressing phrase, but I digress…) had a catchy little way of summarizing spiritual growth. He would tell the congregation that as they followed the Lord, the bumps in the road wouldn’t get smaller, but their shock absorbers would get bigger. It was a folksy metaphor to explain how our growing… Read more

God at the Waffle House (yes, the Waffle House)

I’ve had fairly limited internet access this week as we’ve been traveling. It became an unplanned digital Shabbat, intermittently punctuated with internet access that left me feeling a little like I was standing in front of a wide-open information firehose, which, in effect, I was. I’ve learned to modulate my response to the usual urgent (work-related emails), but I don’t always have a good working filter for other types of urgent. When I read about injustice and tragedy, my adrenaline… Read more

Review: Walk With Me

Even if you’ve never read John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, you’re probably familiar with the allegorical description of the Christian life as a dangerous journey filled with “many dangers, toils and snares”. The story is a touchstone in the canon of English-language literature as well as an apt interpreter of the trials, temptations and glimpses of glory we experience as we journey from The City Of Destruction through The Slough of Despond, Vanity Fair, over the Delectable Mountains and toward The… Read more

October 7, 1979

Weeks before our October 7, 1979 wedding, Bill and I headed with our wedding photographer to the site of our first official date about a year or so earlier. Most photographers weren’t doing engagement pictures beyond a simple portrait of the couple, but the friend who shot our wedding suggested we do a few casual shots before the wedding day. This particular picture has been on my mind recently. Engagement photo shoots today are much more documentary in nature, much more… Read more

Falling Upward: Chapter 13 / Conclusion

I’ve been blogging through Father Richard Rohr’s Falling Upward: A Spirituality Through The Two Halves Of Life. Even if you haven’t read the book, please stick around and join the conversation here if you’re facing a mid-life transition. Father Rohr offers us all some meaty food for thought. Here are links to my previous posts in the series:  Intro — Chapter 1 — Chapter 2 — Chapter 3 —Chapter 4 – Chapter 5 – Chapter 6 – Chapter 7 –… Read more

You mean I have to THINK about how I’ll spend my vote?

Oh, for the good old days of being a “Values Voter”. It was so easy to grab one of the guides published by conservative lobbying organizations, skim the columns comparing the candidates, and vote Republican. I didn’t vote for candidates. I voted to end abortion. I’d used the logic that to vote pro-life was the ballot box equivalent of seeking first the kingdom of God; if I voted that way, then the remainder of the our country’s social issues would… Read more

Exit stage left

I spent an extended time this morning studying  James 1, the result of signing up for my first-ever Beth Moore Bible study. Her biggish hair and cheerleader intensity had always freaked me out a little bit -by “a little bit”, I mean “a lot” – but since I’m a new girl in a new town, I took a big breath and dove in, joining a well-established study group for “Mercy Triumphs”. One lesson might be “Don’t judge a perky cheerleader… Read more

Book review: Veneer

Only the shallow know themselves. – Oscar Wilde Wilde spoke these words more than 100 years ago. If they’re true, then we should have a culture full of self-actualized people who’ve ascended to the tip-top of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Popular culture that celebrates surface appearances with relentless devotion. Any Warhol captured this devotion perfectly: “I love Los Angeles. I love Hollywood. They’re beautiful. Everybody’s plastic, but I love plastic. I want to be plastic.”  (Can’t help but think here… Read more

After The Infant Dedication/Baptism/Naming Ceremony…

It might be a child dedication, a naming ceremony, or an infant baptism. New parents, perhaps adorned with a burp rag, parade to the front of the congregation with their precious babe-in-arms. Some combo of sibs, godparents, grandparents and family friends may join the parade. The proud family stands before God and the congregation, formally placing the baby and themselves in God’s service. Some theological traditions mark these moments as the start of a child’s faith journey, others believe their… Read more

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