Go on out to the lobby, go on out to the lobby…

On Thursday, November 3, about 350 leaders from northern Chicago churches and non-profits gathered for the 6th annual Christ Together Forum. The shot above was taken during the main session.Well, that's what we all call the time when we sit together in a big auditorium and pray, sing, hear some keynote messages and learn about some of the things the big "C" Church is doing in Lake County such as educating kids in underserved schools, feeding families, reaching out to their neighborhoods in … [Read more...]

Book review: Bound For Glory

I want to celebrate the incredible gift of music that African Americans gave to the church and to the whole world. It is amazing that these people, many of them enslaved by Christian people, saw beyond their owners hypocrisy and embraced the real Jesus. I believe that these miracle songs are an example of how God can take our deepest pain and, in response to our faith, create something beautiful. Well-known calligrapher Timothy Botts offers these words about what shaped his work in Bound For … [Read more...]

What a book review is – and isn’t

Anyone who has ever read a book and then told a friend, "It stunk" or "Buy it!" is a book reviewer. Of course, book reviewing can be a lot more formal than a verbal "thumbs up/down". I have long relied on thoughtful print/web book reviews to help me decide what to read as well as to inform me about ideas and trends happening in the world. I may not have time to read every book that interests me, but intelligent reviews help me stay connected to the conversations taking place in our culture.I … [Read more...]

Move over, Barney Fife

My big, beefy imagination is usually overkill for most of the tasks requiring creativity in my life. But that inner world becomes a whimpering Barney Fife when it comes to one really important area. I can not comprehend how God can transform the church from a weary, jaded and frequently unfaithful renegade with a kaleidoscope of personalities and terrible habits into a pure, innocent partner with eyes only for the Son.But that is Scripture’s story. The author of that story tells us that he s … [Read more...]

Link by link

I have been witness to some pretty explosive displays of spiritual freedom over the years. During our time in fundamentalist churches, the fireworks came most often when someone reported an instantaneous deliverance from tobacco addiction. While attending charismatic congregations, I saw that the signs and wonders demonstrating God's supernatural liberation came in lots of shapes and sizes: physical and emotional healings, freedom from spiritual oppression and all kinds of addictions, and the … [Read more...]

Nothing new under the sun

Copyright 1931. Found in a used bookstore in Franklin, TN.  … [Read more...]

Get up and keep skating

Life lesson learned: If you are a Birkenstock girl, you should not slide on a pair of high heels right before you stand up in your friend's wedding. You need to practice walking in them for days - weeks, even - before the big event.I learned this lesson the hard way. Literally. I slipped and fell on my kiester on the shiny marble chancel  in front of 150 people or so, right in the middle of my friend Nancy's wedding ceremony. The moment was captured for posterity on video. Thankfully, the … [Read more...]