Every story has a beginning. Every story has an ending. And every story has a middle. Yesterday I asked the question, “Why do Christians tell crappy stories?” I think part of the answer is that we don’t often live in the middle. We’re good at the beginning — the lostness, the helplessness, the disaster, the crisis. And then we jump straight to the end, where everything gets wrapped up, finished and redeemed. But what about the middle — the place… Read more

This morning I followed my usual writing routine.  I woke up, made coffee, turned on the Spotify station I listen to when I write, and started typing. And then, somehow, a Christian song got into the mix and it was so bad, it startled me out of my writing trance. The music wasn’t great, but the lyrics were even worse. In the first verse, a woman is despondent and on the verge of suicide. In the second verse, a man… Read more

Bethesda means both “House of Mercy” and “House of Shame.”  When Jesus heals the man who’s waited 38 years in Bethesda to be well, he reminds us that our place of deepest shame is the place of Love’s greatest mercy.   Read more

It’s not that we need to unseat the already-seated orchestra. It’s just that the orchestra we have is incomplete. There are notes missing that we don’t even know are missing because we haven’t ever heard them.  Read more

If we look at everything Jesus left undone when he departed from the earth, then his presence hardly mattered at all. People were still sick, they still died, they were still oppressed, and they still suffered.So why did it matter that Emmanuel was here? Read more

It’s right here, right in this moment, that we have an incredibly important choice to make.  This choice is going to define how we feel New Years Eve 2018, looking back at how we spent the 365 days of possibilities that we were gifted this year.  We can either choose to give up, or refuse to give up. Read more

MLK said the difference between the priest and Levite and the Good Samaritan was that the Good Samaritan reversed the question. Instead of asking “What will happen to me if I stop to help?” he asked “What will happen to the dying man if I don’t?”  Read more

In upstate New York today, there’s a 13-year-old black, Muslim, refugee girl walking around with a broken heart who needs a kind smile, a gentle hug, a generous gesture. There are people like that in my neighborhood in San Francisco — and your neighborhood, too.   Read more

Taking the smallest step you can think of might sound insignificant, maybe even silly. But this is how change happens. It happens with small, incremental, nearly-imperceptible steps.  But the important thing is — it happens. Read more

It’s not enough to recognize that a certain habit or practice or accomplishment would be good to do.  In order for you to find the motivation to change, you have to recognize not why it would be good for someone to do, but why it’s important for you to do. Read more

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