Rock, Paper, Scissors … GOD! – Children and a Nonviolent Reading of the Bible

grass seed capital

Last April, my family moved to Eugene, Oregon. Eugene is located in Linn County. This is all you need to know that important fact:Linn County is the “Grass Seed Capital of the [FREAKIN] World.”Guess who is allergic grass seed? Yeah, that’s right. Me. My face has been a hideous mess of goopy sludge emanating from my nose and eyes.I’ve tried everything soothe my pain. Claritin. Allegra. Zyrtec. Nothing worked. The only thing that provided any relief were frozen blueberry waffles … [Read more...]

Making Friends among the Taliban: A Peacemaker’s Journey in Afghanistan

making friends among the taliban

The Taliban. Just the name evokes intense emotions of anger and hatred because, for many in the West, the Taliban is known for one thing: terrorism.How should Christians react to the Taliban? Sometimes the words of Jesus seem like too much to ask. But sometimes I think they are the only hope for our violent world:You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be … [Read more...]

Bible Matters: The Prophet Jeremiah, Michael Brown’s Murder in Ferguson, and Racism in America

Jeremiah claims that God is on the side of the oppressed and that any nation that practices oppression will fall. Judah oppressed the poor. Jeremiah warned the rulers of his nation to turn from their oppressive ways, or the nation would fall. Jeremiah's message was political. It was for his nation and for every nation, including the United States. From the beginning, the United States has oppressed black people, first through slavery and now through continued racism that infects our housing, … [Read more...]

Robin Williams on the Ultimate Christian Gift

Art Streiber/CBS via Getty Images

I hesitated to write about the tragic death of Robin Williams. I know very little about clinical depression, so I fear saying something stupid or ignorant about it – and please forgive me if I do. The better part of wisdom is to stop blogging and learn from the experts about depression. And I'd like to begin with a disclaimer: I'm interpreting what Robin Williams said about "a loving God." But please don't misunderstand me. I'm not saying that if you are depressed, just turn to God. I'm not ag … [Read more...]

Sharing Space with God: A Possible Return to Eden

16th century painting

Was the Garden of Eden a shared space? The answer seems obvious – yes, God created the garden and then shared it with Adam and then Eve. But there’s that little problem of the tree that God didn’t want to share. “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden,” God told his newly created companions. “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.” So which is it? Was God a generous God, sharing unconditionally with Adam and Ev … [Read more...]

David’s Sling: Israel and Interpreting Biblical Violence


Israel is completing a missile defense system known as “David’s Sling.” It is designed to shoot down rocket fire originating from Gaza, Lebanon, and Iran.I don’t want to get bogged down in a discussion about Israel’s right to defend itself. What I want to do is explore the biblical reference to “David’s Sling” and what it might mean for us. The name is an obvious allusion to the story of David’s victory over Goliath. It’s a favorite biblical story for many Sunday school teachers, but a conund … [Read more...]

A Defense of the Passive Voice

Image from Walden University Writing Center

Would you rather be a noun or an adjective? That was the question a friend asked herself when she decided to be known as Nance instead of Nancy. “Why be an adjective,” she quipped, “when you can be a noun?” I laughed out loud! But hey, I am a writer and literature nerd, so thinking of myself as a part of speech tickled my funny bone. My immediate reaction was to agree with her – a noun is surely much grander and more important than its modifiers, like a Queen surrounded by adoring subjects. But t … [Read more...]