Heathens and Heretics?

Note: This is a synchroblog in which several people contribute their thoughts on the same topic. This time the topic is unity, how the church can foster unity among its various factions and our divided nation. At the end of this post is a list of links to the other… Continue reading

A Surprising Source of Spiritual Authority

I am going to suggest what might seem like a strange, or even heretical source of spiritual authority, but first I want to consider the usual suspects. Many people are looking for something they can hitch their wagon to. They want to be able to point somewhere and say this… Continue reading

Parting Shot

This post is part of the October 2015 Synchroblog that invites bloggers to imagine what they would say if they were writing their last blog post. Please scroll to the bottom of the page for links to other writers’ contributions. I am feeling both sentimental and hopeful as I leave… Continue reading

Pro (All of) Life

This post is part of the July 2015 synchroblog that invited bloggers to write about “What It Means To Be Pro-Life.” My fifty-seven year-old friend has been fighting for her life for over a month and half, after having emergency surgery to repair complications from a previous surgery. She is… Continue reading

Love Wins

This post is part of the July 2015 synchroblog that invited bloggers to write about “Gay Marriage.” Honestly, I have been able to avoid this topic. So, what you read here is me “writing out loud,” trying to “process” my way through it. Is it right or wrong? Many Christians,… Continue reading

Aunt Berthie

This post is part of the June synchroblog “Hospitality.” Links to the other writers’ contributions will be posted when they become available. When you get married, you not only marry your wife or your husband, but you are also grafted into each other’s family, and their traditions. One of Patty’s… Continue reading

The Many Faces of Anger

I thought I had the cap on the jug of citronella oil, but, in fact, it was just setting on jug, and it was not twisted on. After putting some oil in a patio torch, I put it back on the shelf in the garage. Well, almost. It slipped out… Continue reading

Juicy Fruit

Have you ever taken a bite out of a perfectly ripened peach that was hanging from a tree jut a short time ago? There is a certain stance you need to assume when eating a good peach, so the juice doesn’t drip all over you, but it may still run… Continue reading

The Thing About Labels

Labels are good on cans, but bad when applied to people. Canned goods are simpler and purer than people. Tomatoes means tomatoes, and beans means beans. You are able to determine what is in the can by its label. When you get home from the grocery store, you can put… Continue reading

Repurposed

All of the photos of are of the vintage garden apartment where I wrote this post. For the last couple of days, I have done pretty much nothing. It’s called a vacation, really, a three-day mini get-a-way. We came to place where there is nothing to do, and are staying in a… Continue reading

Things I Don’t Ever Want to Forget

It’s hard to remember, and it’s not just due to my age, or getting so lost in a thought that I forgot which route I took to get home. Our culture is not given to remembering. It’s more about what’s trending on Twitter at very this moment. So, this month’s… Continue reading

The Man of God Myth

It is hard to find grace when it is desperately needed, like when a pastor or other spiritual leader is discovered to have been abusive toward those who looked up to him and depended upon him. How can you possibly pull together an appropriate balance of accountability and restoration in… Continue reading

When Mental Illness Strikes Home

I talked to my Dad last Saturday on his eighty-eighth birthday, and he was surprising like his old self, chatty and congenial. What a relief. For so much of his recent years he has lived in a state of agitation. Contentment has been something he rarely experienced. Hence, much of… Continue reading

Can We Even Talk About Racial Issues?

As I thought about this month’s topic which is focused on race, violence, and the need to talk about it, four really big issues came to mind. Working on them has to be part of a way forward that moves us away from violence and obliviousness toward understanding and action.… Continue reading

It’s Not Your Fault

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This post is part of the “Crash” synchroblog: Robin Williams Performances We Remember and Why. Twenty year-old Will Hunting (Damon) is an undiscovered mathematical genius who grew up being regularly beaten by his father. He too developed anger management issues and he had a way of torpedoing any serious relationship.… Continue reading

Rebel

Christians don’t understand liberty…at all. Out of one side of their mouth, they speak of freedom in Christ, and, out the other, they tell you what they need to do and what you must avoid. In other words, like the Pharisees of old, they place a heavy bondage on the adherents… Continue reading

The Reluctant Time Lord

Warning: This post involves time travel, which may affect the space-time continuum, thereby, altering the very course of human history forever. Great Scott! My monthly synchroblog assignment  necessitated time travel to answer the question that holds the key to what I have been learning the last twenty years of my life.… Continue reading

Abusing Hell

God can be so troubling. I dig that Jesus loved those on the fringes of acceptability, but the part about sending unbelievers to Hell, offends my sensibilities. Using Hell Hell has been used as motivation to “get people saved.” Only, we can’t get anyone “saved.” That’s between the person and God,… Continue reading

The Lowest Common Denominator

Short Answer Ain’t gonna happen! That’s my initial response to this month’s synchroblog topic, healing divisions in the church. People like believing they are right. Then they can look down the other poor souls who don’t measure up, and feel very righteous about it. That sums up a big part… Continue reading

A Personal Resurrection Story

We all need a personal resurrection. After all, there are a lot things trying to hold us down and keep us from being our best, truest, most unique self. This month’s broad synchroblog topic is simply New Life. (See the other posts on this topic listed at the end of… Continue reading

Where the Adventure Begins

Image by dgthekneelo. Creative Commons This post is part of the December synchroblog and part of  Christine Sine’s annual Advent synchroblog focused on the idea of “Coming Home” and how it relates to this season of advent leading up to Christmas. Links to the other writers’ contributions are listed at the end of… Continue reading

How I Became Irreligious

This post is part of a synchroblog in which the contributors tell their own faith story. The links to the stories of the other contributors are listed at the end of this post. How did you answer the Facebook profile question about your religious preference? I couldn’t think of any… Continue reading

Notes on Not Saving the World

This post is part of a synchroblog on Social Justice. There is a link list for the other contributions at the end of this post. Different Starting Places The pursuit of social justice is more than a feel good motivation for well-meaning people. It is a reflection of the fact… Continue reading

The Oblivious and the Extremist

This post is part of the September  Synchroblog, entitled, “Loving Nature: Is God Green?” Links to the other contributors articles are listed at the end of this post. The Oblivious I have some interesting mental images of how certain unnamed family members, friends, and neighbors have violated my environmental sensibilities. It’s… Continue reading

Penelope and the Crutch

.Penelope loved life and lived it at full throttle. She admired her daddy, emulating his mischievous little grin and his love of ornery escapades. There was an effervescence about her that, at times, just had to bubble over like a well-shaken bottle of Coke. After 9th grade gym class, her… Continue reading

Why My Kids Will Never Forget When They “Forgot” Me

This post is part of a synchrobog in which we recount our favorite prank. The links to the other writer’s contributions are listed at the end of this post. After work, the kids and I met Patty at Giordano’s, a deep dish, Chicago-style pizza place in a neighboring suburb. Upon… Continue reading

How to Become a Flasher

This month’s synchroblog theme is ordinary courage. Not to be confused with heroics, ordinary courage is the act of revealing our true heart. We usually call it vulnerability. The links to other posts on the topic are located at the end of this article. The most courageous thing we will… Continue reading

The Ministry of Presence

This month’s synchroblog focuses on helping Christians know what to do (or not do) and what to say (or not say) when others are going through times of personal tragedy. Links to the other writer’s contributions are listed at the end of the post.  You will want to check them… Continue reading

Myths in the Bible? So What?

  This post is part of a synchroblog, entitled: “What If?” I will publish links to the other writers’ contributions on Wednesday. Here is a little more explanation.  This month we invite you to play the ‘what if’ game with us.  Try to imagine that some or all of the Bible… Continue reading

Gun God

This post is part of the March Synchroblog: Guns and God. Links to the other posts are listed at the end the article. Abuse I am really tired of people trying to co-op God to support their political position. Guns and God do not go together. Gun control and God… Continue reading

Sluts and Horndogs?

Women are not from Venus and men are not from Mars. We are human beings, brothers and sisters, associates, neighbors, and yes, friends from the same planet. As a pastor in the eighties and nineties, I was taught to follow Billy Graham’s advice and never be alone with a woman… Continue reading

Christmas Surgery

It was one of those times in life when everything else seems to stop and all of the important and pressing matters are no longer important or pressing.  I remember it like it happened in slow motion. Patty and I were walking along main street in the Kansas City suburb… Continue reading

Gr-attitude

This post is part of a synchroblog on gratitude as a spiritual practice. The other contributions are listed at the end of this post. I don’t exactly feel like the most qualified person to write about gratitude. If the topic were complaining or ranting, I would be in more familiar territory. When… Continue reading

Plumbers and Politicians

There are some things I look for when hiring a plumber. I want to know if he knows what he is doing and if he is good at it. I want to know if he is honest, going to show up on time, do quality work, not leave a mess,… Continue reading

Life

This post is part of a synchroblog, entitled, Choosing my Religion. The participating writers are answering the question, “If you could change to any other religion in the world (other than Christianity), which would you choose and why?” The links to their contributions are posted at the end of this post. I am cheating. I… Continue reading

Unjust Justice

This post is part of a synchroblog entitled, What’s in Your Knapsack? Links to other participants are listed at the end of this post.  Here is some more explanation from the Synchroblog site… Whether it is white privilege, heterosexual privilege, male privilege, Christian privilege, able-bodied privilege or any other privilege… Continue reading

Margaritas, Metallica, and a Serious Case of the Giggles

After a couple (or was it three) very potent Margaritas and several hands of Rummy, someone said something that I found amusing at the time and I broke out in uncontrollable giggling. When I say giggling, I mean I sounded like a Junior High girl. And when I say uncontrollable, I… Continue reading

Kingdom Come or Kingdom Now?

What difference would it make if Jesus did not rise from the dead? We would be following a martyr, instead of a victor. The church may never have developed without the reassurance of the resurrected Jesus. The message of his followers may have been one of revenge and bad news,… Continue reading

Walked into a Bar

This post is part of a synchroblog related to Women’s History Month and International Woman’s Day. I was in my early twenties attending a denominational meeting with my pastor when we ran upon a mutual acquaintance, the man who was my pastor when I was a teenager. He had moved… Continue reading

Shrinking the Gap

A report released in May of 2011 by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development found that the gap between the rich and poor in O.E.C.D. countries has reached its highest level in over 30 years. Here is my response about how to shrink that gap in the United States. What’s your perspective?… Continue reading

Demystifying Hope

“You can live forty days without food, four days without water, four minutes without air, but not even four seconds without hope.” – Anonymous Hope Described It is laborious and depressing to try to muddle on when you feel hopeless. In my own precarious situation, I have noticed that the… Continue reading

Underwear for Christmas

Many Christmases ago when my nephew was at the height of the cool toy stage of life, he tore into one of his gifts from my parents, his grandparents, to make the awful discovery that his practical-minded grandma had given him the gift of tidy whities. They were not cool boxers… Continue reading

Antithetical Advent

My favorite NFL team lost today… by a wide point spread … to a really bad team… on the heels of a four game winning streak, and I didn’t like it one bit! I hate expectations! I really hate them when they are projected on me and I am almost always disappointed… Continue reading

Pretty People

This post is part of the synchroblog, Down We Go. We all have our prejudices. Personally, I am leery of people who appear to have it all together. Right now, I am recalling the proper, Christian Grandmother who kept the birth of her granddaughter secret because she was born before her mother… Continue reading