Last week, I wrote about a pastor who’d insisted that his congregation pastor him by, among other things, shielding him from their problems so he could concentrate on visioneering. (Click here to read my original post.) I got some interesting feedback, particularly from those reading the reposts of this blog on facebook. It led me to ask myself what my understanding is of my responsibility toward church leaders. Rather than doing an exhaustive Bible study here, I thought I’d simply give… Read more

Church leaders, past and present, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject.A facebook friend posted this link on his wall a couple of weeks or so ago. (It’ll take you about sixty seconds to read it. Go ahead. I’ll wait here.)Did you read it? Your thoughts?In my exchange with the guy who posted the link, I suggested that nowhere in Scripture do you find that the the flock is charged with protecting their pastor’s faith, working to keep… Read more

A few weeks ago, I received an e-mail from a friend who is a part of a local branch of a connecting ministry that links people in need with churches who are willing to meet those needs. She told me that an unemployed woman named Jenny* had contacted the ministry’s local office in search of financial and food help. Jenny’s boyfriend was in jail on domestic abuse charges, and she had nowhere else to turn. The ministry got involved in… Read more

After we returned from our first trip to Israel, I was talking with a friend, describing the paradox of worship and tension that exists in the country. He said, “Honestly, I don’t see what the big deal is about the place. It’s just like anywhere else in the world, right?”The short answer is “no”.Israel never was, and never will be just like anywhere else in the world. Historians, archaelogists, anthropologists, linguists and academics from a variety of other disciplines may… Read more

I’ve lived in this town for over four years, but had never seen Round Lake until today. I had a vague idea of where it might be, and groped my way through narrow lanes lined with workingman’s fishing cottages turned year-round residences until I found it. I think I trespassed into someone’s yard to get this shot. The town would do itself a great service if it put a sign up directing people to its namesake lake, which, by the… Read more

Amy Gallagher is living the writer’s life. No, not the one you see in the movies, where a dreamy-eyed woman wearing a crisp white blouse is tucked into a garret on a quiet fall day, a steaming cup of tea at her side, peacefully typing the orderly words that spill from her wise, thoughtful soul. (For one thing, real writers don’t use that many adjectives in one sentence.)Amy is living a real writer’s life – toiling in anonymity as an… Read more

Though my rotator cuff woes have sidelined me from my part-time caregiving gig, the agency I work for assured me that this week’s placement was companionship only. No heavy lifting, no vacuuming, no wheelchair pushing. I was to simply hang out with a woman diagnosed with Alzheimer’s who is living in a nursing home. “Millie” (not her real name) was very subdued the first day I was with her. She replied in brief murmurs to the conversation I kept going… Read more

The Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) begins at sundown tonight. The information below about the holiday, which came via e-mail from two faithful prayer warriors living in Jerusalem, blessed me today and gave me a way to pray. Perhaps it will spark some prayer in you as well: In ancient times, sukkot were used as sheds for cattle (Genesis 33:17), as guard shacks for watchmen over vineyards (Isaiah 1:8), as thrown-up overnight shelters for warriors in the field (II Samuel 11:11)…. Read more

Leonard Sweet’s newest release, Nudge: Awakening Each Other To The God Who’s Already There (David C. Cook, 2010) will make you fall in love with evangelism again.  Or more likely, for the first time. Many of us who follow Jesus have been exposed to evangelism as hard-sell, complete with tips and techniques. Or it’s a scary guilt trip, as in “I should do this”, or its corollary, “You’re going to hell”. Or we lean into the hopeful, beige-tinted “I hope… Read more

Last week, my husband and I visited a congregation we’d first attended nearly thirty years ago. We didn’t see many familiar faces – not that we even would have recognized any of them. Thirty years is a long time, and people change. It is quite possible that a few of those folks from the days from when Flock Of Seagulls songs were in heavy rotation on the radio might have been there during last week’s visit. The large majority of… Read more

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