What’s In Your Current “To Read” Pile?


One of my favorite questions to ask both old friends and new acquaintances alike is "What book or books are you reading right now?" I'll share the contents of my current pile of books, and I'd love it if you'd share the title of a book or two you're reading (or have read recently). If you've read more than half of it, please add a thought or two about what you're enjoying - or not. I'm always looking for more great reads to add to my stack. The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri - A friend who belongs to … [Read more...]

What Kind Of Evangelical Am I?


(This post is part of the Patheos "Why I Am Still An Evangelical" conversation.)My four decades in the Evangelical world has been a pilgrim's road trip. I came to faith in 1974 in the waning days of the Jesus Movement, and have since swum laps in a variety of different streams within Evangelicalism: fundamentalist, second- and third-wave Charismatic, conservative and progressive non-denominational congregations, house churches, Messianic Jewish congregations*, and local churches with a … [Read more...]

Puppy Days Of Summer


We may be in the dog days of summer, but this year’s record rains have made this season more of a wet puppy where I live.  Though it’s late July, the back-to-school commercials are already saturating the airwaves. Our calendars may tell us a new year starts on January 1, but there is a “new year” feeling about early September for many of us, isn’t there?Recently, I finished edits on my book for NavPress about the calendars that shape our lives. The working title is Everyday Eternity: How the … [Read more...]

How Do You Spend Your Social Capital At Church?


How do you spend your social capital in your church? Have you ever stopped to take stock of your relationships and influence? I've found few with positional or social authority in a church ever consider what they possess. Instead, we count what we lack. I've known pastors who believe they're outsiders in their own church. I've known members of cliques in a congregation who are tone-deaf to the way in which their closed circle excludes others. Too many of us measure our network of relationships a … [Read more...]

Bread, Circuses, and Skits


When it comes to event planning, I am a person who loves a themed event. Think a pirate party for a five year-old boy, complete with pirate-themed games, a cake that looks like a ship, and eye patches for all the mateys.My love of themed-events played well when I was planning and producing church services. If you gave me a sermon series topic, I'd look for songs, videos, readings and other service elements that supported the theme. Since the sermon is the main course in most Evangelical … [Read more...]

When The Heart Waits: Chapter 5


Sue Monk Kidd tackled midlife transition in her 1990 classic When The Heart Waits: Spiritual Direction for Life's Sacred Questions. I'm blogging my way through the book. (Click here to read previous installments in this series.) Monk Kidd's gentle observations have been helpful to many facing their own emotional and spiritual changes at this life stage.Chapter 5 is entitled "Letting Go"*. She notes most of us enter transition with a good measure of ambivalence, citing the process of … [Read more...]

How’s Your Soul? Check Your Facebook Feed.


It's the day after a holiday weekend, and I check in on Facebook. I scroll through my newsfeed and see pictures of a gathering of some of my old friends at a beach house, baby pictures from a former coworker, blurry shots of smiling faces at a family reunion, and a few random selfies of people I barely know atttending a concert. Journalist H.L. Mencken once defined Puritanism as the suspicion that someone, somewhere is having a good time.Neither Puritans nor the rest of us need wonder if … [Read more...]