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...]

Found in the back recesses of a file cabinet

A one=page publishing contract for my first play. Play and contract were typed using electric typewriters. Contract is dated October 19, 1983. They bought all rights, and paid me $100 to publish the play.   … [Read more...]

A Labor Day prayer

Creator of all, before the words that transformed work into a a curse, you gave labor to man and woman as a gift full of dignity and meaning. And even after the great rent in the relationship, but immediately before Man and Woman were sent to make their way in the world in pain and sweat, a single sentence tells us that there would be an echo of Eden's  in all the toil  that followed:"Adamnamed his wife Eve,because she would become the mother of all the living." - Gen. 3:20Man named. He'd b … [Read more...]

Sign of our times, Round Lake edition

Based on my July 11 post at the Christianity Today her.meneutics blog entitled "Would Jesus Walk Away From A Mortgage?", you can imagine that this red notice that appeared this morning on my next-door neighbor's front door did not bring joy to my heart. In case you can't read it, it is a final notice of eviction. Since I wrote the post, I have spoke with 5 real estate agents (including one of those dudes that has signs reading "We Buy Your Home!" posted on telephone poles), a real estate lawyer, … [Read more...]

Review: Reluctant Pilgrim

The subtitle this 181-page spiritual memoir is "A Moody, Somewhat Self-Indulgent Introvert's Search for Spiritual Community", which perhaps may feel as though the book's cover information gives away the proverbial ranch. But Reluctant Pilgrim (Fresh Air Books, 2010) is far more than the story of a solitude-craving woman's church search.Author Emuna Okoro tells it like it is - whether the "it" is a confessed fondness for designer purses or the confusing cacophony of emotions that spilled out of … [Read more...]


One foot in front of the other.Again.The tracks their feet had made during the silent marches of the days before today were beginning to wear a rut in the sun-baked ground surrounding the walled city. Fully-armed men marching, the only sound the heavy cadence of their footfalls. They’d been instructed to carry their weapons, but had been prohibited from using them by their commander-in-chief.I have wondered if any of them were tempted to murmur, to voice their questions about this u … [Read more...]

Review: With

"Christianity isn't a religion. It's a relationship." If you've spent any time at all in the evangelical world, you've probably heard some version of those words. In his book With: Reimagining the way you relate to God (Nelson, 2011) Pastor and author Skye Jethani explains that most of us settle for an erzatz version of this relationship:Life FROM God: People in this category are focused on what God will do for them, rather than being interested in God himself. Word-of-faith believers and … [Read more...]