Elmer’s tent

Even my overactive imagination could not invent this story. This is my version of abundant life - a fun true story to celebrate the first day of summer arriving at last:I've only been camping once, and I didn't even make it through an entire night under the stars. My friend Michele (one "L", so you can tell us apart) suggested that we take our kids camping, just us two moms. Our husbands were busy working, and our respective summers had hit that part in late July where the days move as slowly as … [Read more...]

Good bye, my friend

I wrote about her last October. Judie lived a beautiful, abundant life. Her dying desires were the same desires that had defined her life: She longed for her children to walk with Christ, and for the rest of us to love one another the way Christ loves us.She passed away last night. Please pray for her husband, her eight teen and young adult kids, family and large community of friends.She was my hero. … [Read more...]

72 and counting

It was a one hundred percent success rate. Seventy-two followers had gone out at Christ's instruction as ambassadors of the kingdom. All seventy-two returned telling Jesus they'd done the stuff they'd seen Him do - all of it! - and that demons submitted to them in His name.All seventy-two of them. No spiritual gift inventory was administered to them before they were sent. There was no organizational analysis of their group. There was no extended time of training for ministry, save for what … [Read more...]

I’m a dirty rotten…

...sinner.Yup. And every single week, I say it loud and say it proud. We've been attending an Anglican church since last fall, which means that our worship is offered through liturgy. Midway through the service, after lots of unadorned, proclaimed Scripture readings and a sermon, there is a time for confession. We confess our faith, and we confess our moral skunky-ness. This is my favorite part of the service next to communion. Listen to these words:Most merciful God, we confess that we have … [Read more...]

Oh, if only I could unplug my synapses

It's 11:39 PM on a Monday night. My body is tired, but my brain is ready for important musings and oddly random thoughts. Be very afraid: (1) On the food-as-theater show America's Iron Chef the "secret ingredient" the dueling chefs must use to create 5 dishes ranges from terrifying fish that look like they could chew through your jugular to the more prosaic garlic. My husband and I thought it would be more realistic if the secret ingredient was Cool Whip or Cream of Mushroom soup. Or maybe you … [Read more...]

Church as an advertisement for the church

Mega-church Willow Creek has been drawing a lot of attention from bloggers passionate about the church as they've rolled out the Reveal study, as well as the changes they're trying to implement throughout their institution as a result. The study (so far) has basically quantified what a lot of us who care about the church already suspected: the deeper you grow spiritually, the less impact church services and programs seem to have on your life in God. Although I don't resonate with the marketing … [Read more...]

Ding! You have mail!

If I had a nickel for every time I checked my e-mail in a typical day, I'd have enough shekels in my pocket so I could fill my gas tank. If I drove an 18-wheeler from New York to LA.When I first started writing, I used to run to the mailbox to look for the return of the self-addressed, stamped envelopes (SASEs) I'd sent along with my article or script submissions to editors. These SASE's contained the editor's verdict on my work: a fat envelope meant they were returning my manuscript to me with … [Read more...]