Praying for our friends

Bill and I were supposed to be in Jerusalem this week for a Caspari board meeting, but finances kept us here in the U.S. (He Skyped in to the meeting instead.)The headlines coming out of that region are stunning and sobering. The opining unending.The only thing I can do is pray. The words of my prayer feel like fragments, ephemeral mortar tucked with thousands of other last-ditch pleas between ancient stones. But standing in Jerusalem, it is easy to feel that the stones themselves, witnesses … [Read more...]

Review: Silence And Other Surprising Invitations Of Advent

I have yet to meet anyone who likes to wait. I usually stink at it, to tell you the truth.But within the rhythm of the Christian year, Advent is the block of time leading up to Christmas given over to waiting. The practice is as countercultural as it comes. December's secular Festivus frenzy, with its shoppingholidaypartiescookieexchangesconcertsdecoratingwrapping is an exhausting runup to December 25. Though some count down through their December with Santa-themed "Advent" calendars, a nod to … [Read more...]

Leavin’…on a Sunday mornin’

"I want to leave my church, but I feel as though I've committed to them for life," my friend K. said to me recently.She went on to explain that her congregational leaders taught that membership was a covenant between the member and the church. There was no exit clause unless a person moved out of the area. "That isn't to say that people don't leave the church anyway. But when they do, everyone acts as though there's been a bad divorce in the family."When a church invokes words like covenant … [Read more...]

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 wisdom, your guidance and your f … [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 faith and maturity are increasingly able to abso … [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 kicks in. … [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 … [Read more...]


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