Just my size

When I was about to turn six, I really wanted a Barbie house for my birthday.When I sixteen going on seventeen, I remember crushing on a pair of Frye boots, and insisting that they would be the birthday gift of my dreams.When I was twenty-nine (for the first time, as I often joke about being 29 again every year), I am pretty sure my birthday list included major appliances. Sitting on the bubble of turning 48, all I could imagine wanting this year was a trip to Kansas City to touch base with some … [Read more...]

Kickin’ `em when they’re down

I get Monday Morning Insight's (MMI) weekly pastor/leadership newsletter every (surprise!) Monday morning. The dudes there definitely have their biases - they heavily promote the Second Gen Mega Church church leaders. I don't always agree with the MMI guys and their congregational cover boys, but the things they're thinking about and doing affect us all, whether we want them to or not. So it's been interesting (like a car wreck is interesting) to follow the discussion that's ensued at the site … [Read more...]

Go home

Because my husband was preaching this morning, I had an opportunity to mediate on Luke 8:28-39 this week. Those thoughts became a reading he used to introduce the story of the text. I’m sharing it because I wondered if some of you might find this creative recounting of the story an encouragement.* * * * * * *He terrified them.They were all relieved when he “relocated” from town to live in his own personal ghetto – the graveyard just outside the city limits. The only time they had to deal with him … [Read more...]

#1 Hypocrite

"I'm fed up with Christians these days," my friend said on the phone last night. She's spent the last few years living in very intense, intentional discipleship and faith community settings. She's put her own heart and attitudes both under a microscrope, simultaneously allowing them to be projected onto a big screen in the name of transparency, healing and spiritual growth. She's experienced the kind of kingdom-radical transformation most of us can only dream of. She was a poster girl for the … [Read more...]

Get me a refrigerator magnet

The relationship between art (and artists) and the church was a chilly one when I first came to faith in Christ in the `70's. Evangelicalism had a serious case of amensia, leaving itself disconnected from 2000 years of church history. We got kitsch instead of thoughtful, provocative, beautiful art. It's a lovely thing to see the tide turning. Lovelier still, to be able to surf on it. The old, false, mean-spirited walls are crumbling. It is a slow process, but a hopeful one. I love the changes I … [Read more...]

Banned book at church

Bill and I have been attending a small church for the last 9 months or so. Small churches typically don't drown their members' schedules in lots of programs and meetings and busywork. This congregation is especially sparse, programming-wise. Besides Sunday services and a wee youth group, there was some kind of once-a-month women's meeting that did...something, but I have no idea what, and a women's Bible study that met this spring to explore the book of James. (Let the reader note - I didn't … [Read more...]

Out of the money

I didn't even know I'd been entered in the Evangelical Press Association's contest, but apparently my story "Tina Meets The King" came in fifth in the Fiction category. Here's some irony for you:(1) Since I wasn't aware that Discipleship Journal had entered the piece in the competition, coming in fifth was a nice little surprise. (2) I'd originally written the piece after my first visit to the International House of Prayer in Kansas City. The visit solidified my conviction that I could no longer … [Read more...]