The view from So FL

First, the update: My mom continues to fade – she’s now asking for pain and anxiety meds round the clock – a big change from a week ago. She has only short periods of relative alertness, and her waking/sleeping are nearly indistinguishable to the naked eye. She’s eaten or drunk very little the last few days, and her breathing is painful to hear and watch. She sleeps in fits and starts, mostly in an upright position, and needs someone with her round-the-clock. Hospice has pulled their continuous c … [Read more...]

A note from the cancer rollercoaster

Writing from a Starbucks in Tamarac, FL:We learned last week that my mom knew she had breast cancer for at least 2 years, and hid it from everyone in her life: she continued to work at a doctor's office and volunteer at the hospital, and never sought treatment for herself, even as she watched it grow and spread.It has metasisized into her bones and lungs. She's on oxygen, and signed herself up for hospice care 4 days ago. She's deteriorated every day, and is bed-bound and unable to communicate … [Read more...]

Strapped onto the cancer rollercoaster

I got a phone call 11 years ago to tell me that my dad had just been diagnosed with leukemia. I remember thinking that I'd just been put onto a roller coaster I didn't actually want to ride. And I couldn't get off. Not until after the funeral. I just learned that my mom has cancer. She's been "ignoring" the symptoms, until they got so severe yesterday that she wound up in the ER. She's on oxygen, and they're doing tests today to figure out how far its progressed. They know that it's … [Read more...]

Growing pains – part 3

"Leaving a church because you're not 'being fed' is a sign of spiritual immaturity."This might be true. Or false. I once had a conversation with a person who headed both children's and women's ministry in her mid-sized church. Sunday mornings, she circled through the church like an electron in an atomic accelerator, overseeing children's programming. The rest of the week, she divided her time equally between organizing curriculum, recruiting volunteers, planning women's events, arranging … [Read more...]

Down the rabbit hole and into a writer’s life

I wasn't paying attention to some big things God was doing in my life 30 years ago, but I had an opportunity to do a little bit of time travel yesterday. Birthday boy Bill and I went to see "Love's Labour's Lost" in Bloomington at the Illinois Shakespere Festival. (2-1/2 hours from Chicago, this is far more than Shakespere in a corn field. Great, professional performances across the board in a beautiful setting.) I'd had an opportunity this past winter to return to Bloomington-Normal for the … [Read more...]

Growing pains – part 2

One reason the question of whether it is possible to "outgrow" a church keeps coming back to me is because of the process described in Ian Michael Cron's semi-novel Chasing Francis. The book is an interesting hybrid of history lesson, travelogue, church diagnostic, and love story. It tells the story of an evangelical megachurch pastor named Chase Falcon who has a spiritual and emotional implosion one day while midstream through a Sunday morning sermon. Pastor Falcon happens to have a beloved … [Read more...]

Growing pains – part 1

Yesterday at Scot McKnight's popular Jesus Creed blog, he started a discussion about finding/losing faith. (Click here to read his post and the lively discussion that followed.)It reminded me of something I read as I was up to my frontal lobe in research for The Church For Skeptics: A Conversation For Thinking People. It was a discussion about the stages of mature faith development in a person's life, and if I'm remembering correctly, the work in question (a book, I think) discussed the crisis … [Read more...]