Honoring The Dishonorable?

1950's

This Sunday is Father's Day. For some of us, the day will be a sentimental one filled with the gifts of a construction paper card with a crayoned sentiment and a medium-rare steak on the grill. For others, the word "Father" is tied to abuse, neglect or abandonment, and June 15th will be just another day of painful memories.My friend Libby Buchanan, a survivor of the child pornography industry, has earned a spot in the latter category, but has worked hard to both integrate and move beyond her … [Read more...]

40+ And The Church/Practicing In Community

tree

"I wonder what the average age is of the group in this room."Author and pastor Ian Morgan Cron scanned the group gathered in the chapel at Willow Creek last Sunday night for the experimental gathering dubbed The Practice. He was there to speak about, then lead us in communion. While there were a good number of twenty- and thirty-somethings representing, the crowd definitely skewed to older Gen X'ers and Boomers. Probably because there is no childcare or children's programming available at … [Read more...]

Interview: Marlena Graves/A Beautiful Disaster

graves cover

One of the first things that struck me about Marlena Graves' writing was how very grounded she was. She could provide great analysis about disturbing cultural trends while at the same time managing to point her readers in the direction of the Jesus she loved. We'd first connected several years ago via our contributions to Christianity Today's popular Her.meneutics blog. (Click here to have a peek at some of the topics Marlena has tackled for the site.) She has written about tough topics ranging … [Read more...]

Come To The Table (Part 2)

kitchen table

Yesterday, I shared the first half of this fictional story about a once-powerful head pastor who lost his job in an ugly game of church politics. (Click here to read it.) While this story is based in the stories I've heard from those who've been beat up in ministry, it also contains the reason I have hope for those who've built a church or organizational culture around their big personalities and ambitions. When all of the artifice is stripped away - and stripping away is indeed the only way … [Read more...]

Come To The Table (Part 1)

pop tarts

Someone recently asked me who my blog readers are. It seems like many of them fall into two categories: those who've been wounded by the church and leaders of small/mid-sized churches. I told the person asking that I didn't think the two groups were all that different from one another in some core ways. The people in both groups love Jesus. They care at some level about what is happening in the Body of Christ. And each group is looking for some honest companions to share their pilgrim's road … [Read more...]

Wish That I Knew What I Know Now…

high school

When I tell people I've just met I've written a book about regret, many of them have an account of something from their past haunting them to share with me. New acquaintances aren't prone to share their deepest, personal painful stories of regret unless they are sorely lacking any sort of social filter. I've been surprised by how many people have stories ready to share about one particular era of their lives. They're stories about their high school years."I wish I wasn't so boy-crazy," one … [Read more...]

The Graveyard’s Sermon

Silent sentries.

Our townhome community is situated next to a set of railroad tracks and a graveyard, which sounds worse than it is. I rarely notice the low rumble of freight rolling past us anymore. And our neighbors at Evergreen Cemetery, have become some of my favorite people in town to visit.Their stories are captured in a few chiseled letters on silent gray stone: a name, dates, perhaps a Bible verse or a few words. Long lives. Brief ones. Each one preaches to me, reminding me I am dust, and to dust I … [Read more...]


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