Make Trouble, For God’s Sake

It is very unusual for a church leader to encourage followers to shake things up within the church, but these were the marching orders Pope Francis I gave to three million young people last week in Buenos Aires:I want to see the church get closer to the people. I want to get rid of clericalism, the mundane, this closing ourselves off within ourselves, in our parishes, schools or structures, because these need to get out...Don't forget: make trouble. My brothers and sisters in the Catholic … [Read more...]

Big Kids, Big Prayers

Little kids, little problems...big kids, big problems?When I was a young parent of three kids born in the span of 36 months, a few people passed this bit of homespun wisdom on to me. I suppose they were trying to give me a heads' up that toilet training and chicken pox and tantrums (theirs, and yeah, occasionally mine) were relatively simple problems compared the challenges moms and dads faced at adolescence and beyond. But those "little problems" weren't small to me. I'd never before … [Read more...]

40+ And The Church / (Re-)Sowing What We’ve Reaped

A recent Christianity Today cover story profiling the perpetual adolescence of American Christianity asked "When Are We Going To Grow Up?"For those of us over 40, it's now or never. Those of us in this age group may have grown up hearing that we weren't supposed to trust anyone over 30, but most of us discarded this bit of wisdom around the time we turned 31.Or did we? When it comes to church, it seems many of us internalized this bit of 1960's-era youth power doggerel. Over the span of … [Read more...]

Women Of The Web

On some of my favorite blogs, I can read about a married woman debating friendship with men or the power of modest dress to improve body image orreactions to Justin Bieber's antics.Though these topics strike a familiar chord within Christian women's blogosphere, these bloggers write from a different realm. They're Jewish.Because of the grafted-in relationship Christians have with the Jewish people, there is often a familiar resonance between concerns expressed by some Jewish and Chris … [Read more...]

Remembering Joy On A Day Of Mourning

My dad died on his 64th birthday, 16 years ago.You can't see it in the picture above, but I was 9 months pregnant in the shot, taken just days before I went into labor. On July 19th, 1983, the date of my dad's 50th birthday, I was at Evanston Hospital, laboring oh-so-slowly on the long march toward  the birth of my first child. That little girl did not make her appearance until lunchtime of the following day, July 20th, 1983.My daughter's birthday is a next-door neighbor to this day on … [Read more...]

The Gift Of A One-Track Mind

Every night before dinner, my husband and I stand in the doorway of our small kitchen, join hands and pray. We bless God for his provision, and we pray for each member of our family by name. Each day, there is something new for which to pray on their behalf. We can't help but pray, driven to the Father by his gift of love's dogged persistence.One of my favorite parables is the story of the persistent widow. I first shared my modern take on the story here, then reposted it here. On this … [Read more...]

Pilgrim’s Road Trip #13: Caleb & Joshua’s New Specs

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. 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. * * * * * * * I value the vocation of visual artists. Their essential work jars us to look at the familiar in fresh, sometimes-arresting ways … [Read more...]