January 3, 2019

Some of my best memories are of time spent in National Parks. When my husband and I moved from Kentucky to Arizona, we hit a lot of the big ones in an epic, 6-week long road trip. Living in the West in our pre-kid years, we were annual pass-holders, and generally made good use of it. Ken Burns’ documentary–National Parks: America’s Best Idea– is aptly named. When the series came out, I watched every episode. Holding my breath, edge of my… Read more

January 2, 2019

It’s the oldest trick in the book—the most evil men in the world surround themselves with other evil men. (And yes, I mean men. Because, while women can be evil, they historically have not had the opportunity to take it to the broadly systemic level that men have achieved). It takes the voices of many powerful people to fully prop up and protect a corrupt regime. No evil dictatorship in the world was ever reliant on a single man’s voice or presence…. Read more

December 31, 2018

A great conundrum: When you write as much as I do, then it is hard to also carve out time for meaningful reading. At the same time— you can’t really write well if you don’t read. Reading other people’s stuff provides necessary inspiration, but at a more practical level: reading is what keeps the great cascade of words flowing through my head. Words are like sand or water pouring from an invisible source; and you need more weight at the… Read more

December 30, 2018

Like any literary or super hero, Jesus needs an origin story. That’s the point of this section in Luke’s gospel: it offers the briefest glimpse of Jesus as a kid. After he was a baby in a manger, but BEFORE he drew crowds on a hillside; before he preached to the masses; before the signs and wonders and healings, Jesus was just a boy. In trouble with his parents. They would have been traveling in a group. Not just Jesus… Read more

December 28, 2018

When I started blogging almost 10(!) years ago, blogging was sort of like an online journal, to be read mostly by your friends and family and possibly members of your local community. Digital communication has evolved immeasurably in the past decade, and with it, expectations about reach, readership, content and style. In the grand scheme of history, web media is probably still in its infancy. But in the context of a single generation, I feel like a lifer in the… Read more

December 23, 2018

46 And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord 47     and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 for he has been mindful     of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, 49     for the Mighty One has done great things for me—     holy is his name. 50 His mercy extends to those who fear him,     from generation to generation. 51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;     he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost… Read more

December 21, 2018

Last weekend, my 8-year-old cornered me, eyed me suspiciously and said “Ginger’s handwriting looks JUST LIKE YOURS, Mom.” Ginger is our Christmas penguin–an elf alternative– who hides around the house and leaves notes and occasional treats and stuff (but does NOT make messes or tell kids that Santa is watching them, etc.) Since the kids are a little older now, we’ve not been knocking ourselves out to ensure that all these things stay ‘magical’ forever. At some point, it will… Read more

December 19, 2018

Check your Facebook newsfeed on any given day, and you might see a blast from the past. Your own, that is. A picture or a deep thought or life event that you shared a year ago, or three years ago, or five years ago, etc. And it will say “On This Day …” and then you can click the link to visit more “On This Day” postings from other years. I’ve made it a habit of reading my “On This… Read more

December 13, 2018

In many mainline denominations, “Open and Affirming” is code for “we welcome gay people.” Although it’s not just about welcoming the LGBTQ community. That “affirming” thing is key. Most moderate mainline churches have no issue “welcoming” LGBTQ folks to worship. But that doesn’t mean that those folks will be fully integrated into the life of the community. For instance, they might be “welcomed,” but never affirmed for a leadership position. The church might “welcome” someone while still preaching that something… Read more

December 11, 2018

Sometimes hope takes the long view. During Advent, we talk about holding out hope for a season. We are waiting for a miracle that “arrives” at a designated point in time. Specifically, Christmas morning. We have cute countdown calendars and everything. Twenty-five days ’til… Ten days ’til… Three days ’til… etc. The anticipation allows kids to get excited—and then get REALLY excited—about the moment when they can finally, finally, tear into the presents. And, on a level more meta: there… Read more

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