Blessed Are The Angsters


Ed Stetzer wrote a helpful post called "Missional Angst and Western Church Norms" about the shift in the church away from consumer-driven models of ministry. He noted that some are being called out of existing churches to live their faith in more organic ways (the Radicals), others are choosing to stay put and tweak from within the organization (the Conservatives), and a third group are the Critics.He describes the latter group this way: " consultants, authors, professors, etc.—can be pr … [Read more...]

No Lido Deck On The S.S. Prodigal

lido deck flickr

This is hell week for those who are grieving the loss of a mother or child. Greeting card companies, florists, jewelers and kitsch vendors urge us to celebrate the mothers in our lives. School children across America are making crayoned cards to gift to their mamas this Sunday. Churches have mothers stand for a round of applause or pass out carnations to adult women as they leave the service. Though some churches have grown more sensitive to the fact that Mother's Day isn't easy for some in t … [Read more...]

Marking Time


When we were in high school, we'd compare notes about everything from boys to menstrual cycles to math homework. Of the six of us girls, five of us were brand-new followers of Jesus. We learned something about walking with him by following each other. For one brief moment in time, we were even all enrolled at the same state university.When I got engaged, my girlfriends told me I was getting married "first". We were in the habit of measuring ourselves using each other's lives as rulers. … [Read more...]

Why We Have To Stop Telling Jewish Jokes

Sometimes it takes a while for a bad punchline to sink in. To wit, after a handful of comedian (to use the term loosely) Trevor Noah’s cringe-worthy anti-Semitic, misogynist tweets from 2009 surfaced about a week and a half ago. Last night, “The Daily Show” host Jon Stewart spoke out in support of Noah, who is slated to replace Stewart on the Comedy Central show later this year. But Noah still faces several comedy critiques. On Wednesday, the American Jewish Congress launched an online campaign … [Read more...]

Selling Vacuums, Giving Away Parting Gifts, and Pantomiming The Gospel


A book by a Catholic priest who journeyed to Tanzania to bring the gospel to the Masai gave me a new way to think about evangelism that goes beyond the models I've seen in action. These models have borne a passing resemblance to either 1950's door-to-door vacuum cleaner sales, game shows featuring lovely parting gifts, or encoded Christian mime performances.Father Vincent J. Donavan journeyed to Tanzania to during the 1960's and 1970's bring the gospel to the Masai people. Encamped in the … [Read more...]

Writing Is Like Riding A Bike

If I wrote a job description for myself as a writer, it would include the following requirements:Must appreciate wearing pajamas to work. Must relish the battery-acid flavor of twice-reheated room temperature coffee. Room temperature Diet Coke is an acceptable alternative. Must know how to source and study each week’s most popular cat videos as a deadline approaches. Must remember.Many writers affirm some variation of numbers one through three on this list. And number four seems … [Read more...]

Faithful Compassion Over Gut Reaction

In the last few weeks, I’ve read reports of swastikasspray-painted inside the walls of a Jewish frat house at Vanderbilt University and residents of a Madison, Wisconsin neighborhood housing many Jewish residents awakening one Saturday morning to find racist and anti-Semitic graffiti plastered across their properties. Are these reports of hate-speech the acts of alcohol-fueled vandals? Or are they harbingers of something more ominous? In light of a well-documented rising tide of violent anti- … [Read more...]