Shelf time – Part 2

Have you ever been shelved after a period of active ministry? Click here to read my post from earlier this week discussing some of the reasons this may happen.How can God's kingdom be advanced if I am sitting "useless" on the shelf?I hope you can hear the out-of-bounds pride at the root of that question. During my own shelf time, I will confess that I entertained thoughts like this. As if God was depending on me to save the world!Besides exposing my pride in what I could accomplish for God … [Read more...]

Have you ever been shelved?

A friend who'd been a women's ministry leader in her former church told me sadly that there was no place for her in her new church. "God used and developed my leadership gifts at our old church, but they told me nicely they don't need another women's ministry leader-type at our new church. I feel like I've been shelved."Is she being a whiner? Prematurely seeking a position of power in this new congregation? Could she be grieving her relocation and missing her friends from her former … [Read more...]

Where do you go when Jesus says “Go”?

For the first time since he was a small child, the cacophony in his head was gone. A hundred accusing voices, a flock of vultures scavenging every half-formed thought from his mind, gone. His deliverer's followers had wrapped him in a warm garment, covering his nakedness with dignity. His new docile, submitted posture of a disciple was  a mighty display of God's power, stunning those who came out to the graveyard at the edge of town to see for themselves what Jesus had done with a single … [Read more...]

…the rest of the story

Have you ever wished you could say 'Thank You' to someone whose words years ago had changed the direction of your life, but the person was gone? Perhaps the person had died or had simply disappeared off the radar.It wasn't long after S. had off-handedly invited me to contribute some scripts to a children's radio show being produced by WBEZ-FM, the NPR outlet in Chicago, that she disappeared off my radar. Bill and I moved away, and began our family. We were busy with the work of starting a … [Read more...]

Continuing the conversation in DC…

My sister and I haven't spent one-on-one time together since we were kids until this week. Thanks to my frequent flyer miles accrued on trips to Israel, I was able to go spend a few days with her just hanging out in her adopted hometown of Washington, DC.When we were growing up, we were often rivals instead of allies. As we entered adulthood, we began talking through our shared childhood experiences - to begin fitting our jigsaw pieces together, to mourn, and, as a sign that growth and healing … [Read more...]

Review: Grumble Hallelujah

I have a running list of all the stuff that is wrong about my life. The list includes everything from "Do I always have to be the one to unload the dishwasher?" to family worries to geopolitical concerns. I am nothing if not an equal-opportunity Eeyore.I think that's why Caryn Dahlstrand Rivadeneira's Grumble Hallelujah: Learning To Love Your Life Even When It Lets You Down (Tyndale, 2011) resonated with me. After a kitchen-floor breakdown she calls her "dark midafternoon of the soul". … [Read more...]

Positive, Encouraging Mean Girl

Kathryn* would have never been ambushed by Clinton and Stacey for an episode of What Not To Wear. Her always-coordinated  outfits always had a bit of a Talbot's catalog vibe to them; her shoulder-length hair was curled, sprayed and nearly pageant-ready every single day. She had the kind of ultra-femme demeanor - a little girl voice plus a helpless and reverential manner - that brought out unusual levels of latent chivalry in many of the men around her.If the women of the church we both … [Read more...]