Midlife Discipleship: Show Me Your Endurance

running

What do those in the second half of their lives tell the big "C" Church about the kind of faith that endures? I'd like to suggest that those at midlife and beyond have something important to teach all of us about "marathon faith": And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. (Hebrews 12:1-2)  While many of us may know a wise older person who serves as a titled leader or ad hoc spiritual mentor in a congregation, I am … [Read more...]

One regret: Libby Buchanan

sad girl

The conversation turned to regret, as it sometimes does when two middle-aged women are sharing stories of their lives over lunch. A good friend introduced her good friend Libby Buchanan to me, telling me that Libby had a story to share, and was in the process of writing a book about it.Libby does indeed have a story to share. Libby is a survivor of the child pornography industry. She's now an experienced Bible teacher who has penned a manuscript with the working title Treasures of Darkness, … [Read more...]

“Is It Enough?”: What A 93 Year-Old Taught Me About Regret

walker

I worked as a paid caregiver for two years. I ran errands, shopped, prepared meals, organized a few closets and pantries, did some housecleaning and provided companionship for some elderly clients trying to stave off checking themselves in to a care facility. All showed me something of the fragility of life, especially as our aging bodies begin to act in ways that our will never intended.  93 year-old Mrs. H, who I visited twice-weekly for nearly a year, showed me the nature of the kinds of … [Read more...]

Review: Broke

broke

When I talk about money with others, the conversations tend to head in one of two directions: either toward Dave Ramsey-type personal finance issues or toward anxiety-tinged discussions of general economic trends, like dim job prospects for recent grads or the real estate meltdown.The conversation I wish I were having a little more frequently with others is the kind of conversation Caryn Rivadeneira is having with readers in her newest book, Broke: What Financial Desperation Revealed About … [Read more...]

The almost-apologies of Gothard, Phillips, Mahaney, Driscoll

gothard

Even when the truth comes out about a spiritual leader's secret life, the kinds of lawyered-up semi-confessions that they and their team use to respond to their victims, congregants and the general public seem to be missing a key element: true regret. Leaders like Doug Phillips or Bill Gothard engineer almost-apologies. As I've followed these cases over the last year or so, it strikes me that those apologies are loaded with exit-clause "buts" as a way to leave wiggle room for their defense if … [Read more...]

“The Church is the New Israel”: Ideas Have Consequences

olive tree

Professor Diane Leclerc of Northwest Nazarene University has a piece up on the Christianity Today website called "The Good News About Bad Churches". In it, she asks, "How, then, do we explain the seeming contradiction between what we believe about the church and what we experience in the church? Is it wishful thinking to proclaim the church holy? Are pain and heartache just inevitable?"She goes on to express the tension that exists between that grateful, forgiven kingdom behavior that should … [Read more...]

President Obama’s Greatest Regret – And It Has Nothing To Do With Politics

IFONLY COVER

During his visit to Asia last week, a group of Malaysian school kids asked President Obama about his greatest regret. "I regret not having spent more time with my mother," Obama candidly told the students when asked about his life regrets. "Because she died early - she got cancer right around when she was my age, actually, she was just a year older than I am now - she died. It happened very fast, in about six months."Ann Dunham died from ovarian cancer in 1995 just 22 days shy of her 53rd … [Read more...]


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