Tomato Jonestown

Because I think we could all use a grin at the end of what has been a wild and heartbreaking week, I'm sharing a quick bit of something I wrote several years ago. It's a part of a longer story in my book Uprooted: Growing A Parable Life From the Inside Out, but I am sharing it here because every spring, when all the gardeners are girding their loins for another round of Human Vs. Nature, I get a little nostalgic about my own doomed attempts at gardening. Tomato Jonestown A few years ago, my … [Read more...]

Over 40? Share your church experience via brief survey

During the last few months, I've had numerous conversations with a number of people over 40 who are trying to make sense of their relationship with a local church. Pollster George Barna's 2011 State Of The Church survey reported that church attendance is on the decline among adults. One of the most significant drops in regular attendance came among Baby Boomers, those born between 1946-1964. Baby Busters, those born between 1965-1983, have seen an uptick in the number of those who do not claim … [Read more...]

When the airport security line becomes a place of prayer

We will be watching the slow-mo horror of today's bomb blasts in Boston over the next few days as we grieve those who lost their lives (two three at the time of this writing), reel in collective shock over the stories of those whose lives have been forever changed by injury and trauma, and adjust to the new version of normal in this country. We will watch that bomb blast footage over and over again until it becomes as familiar to us as the footage of planes crashing into towers, of children … [Read more...]

Review: The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (Skeptic’s Guide Series)

Because we've traveled to Israel five times during the last five years as part of my husband's board responsibilities with The Caspari Center for Biblical and Jewish Studies, people ask us a lot of interesting questions about the region. Number one is "Isn't it dangerous there?" On the heels of that question is often some variation of "Do you think there's any hope for peace in the region?" This query may take the form of a personal confession, as in, "I really don't understand why things are … [Read more...]

Some of my best trends are Jewish?

In some corners of the Evangelical world, hybridizing select bits of Jewish practice with Christian faith is a way to declare that these individuals or churches really take the Bible seriously and/or love Israel. I've seen women dancing with tallit (prayer shawls), each woman wielding her tallit as though she were a  matador. I've watched a few of my Gentile friends embrace various kosher-style diets. And I've been the recipient of awkward verbal bouquets consisting of a gushed "You're so lucky … [Read more...]

Lost In Translation?

Mrs. C knew the Scriptures, and she knew how to listen to the Holy Spirit. It was a powerful combination, but would something get lost in translation as she attempted to minister to someone like me, who came from a different faith tradition?For months, I felt as though I’d gotten stuck spiritually, up to my hubcaps in mud, and my own best efforts to get some traction had only succeeded in digging me deeper into the quagmire in which I’d landed. A friend suggested I meet with the mil … [Read more...]

When wordless groans are prayer…

My soul took a stagger-step this afternoon when I read that Pastor Rick Warren's 27 year-old son Matthew died as the result of suicide after a lifelong battle with mental illness. As the news is moving at the speed of a forward around the internet, expressions of sympathy and sorrow are popping up everywhere.The family doesn't know me, and will never hear my expression of sympathy on the loss of their beloved child. I am trusting that God will hear my prayers mingling with the prayers being … [Read more...]