Church

Giving Up the Shoulds and Coulds

We know it when we experience rest, but specific definitions of rest are complicated. Rest could be sleeping, reading a book, planting a garden, or creating a delicious dinner for friends. My pastor once told me that he finds it restful to put on headphones, listen to the Cubs game, and cut the grass in […]

When Will Then be Now?

Light in the Darkness Here we are—mid-December: a season of celebration that in at least one uber-educated, moderately liberal, American college town (mine), people seem confused by the juxtaposition of culture and tradition; tradition and church. Mid-December and there is more darkness than light, so we spend more time in fluorescent spaces sprinkled with glittering […]

Looking for the Perfect Fit

No matter what anyone says, no matter what I even believe about myself—Jesus’s furious longing for me will not change. I haven’t quite found it yet—that custom-made place he created for me in the Body of Christ. Maybe you haven’t either. Maybe you still feel like a kid playing dress up or like you’re still trying to squeeze into last winter’s jeans.

Episode 10: When We Listen to Our Longings

Sarah Guerrero’s Journey Through Feasting The religion that I had grown up with was a religion of rules and do’s and don’ts. These are the steps you take to be a good person; this is what you do to show that you love Jesus; this is what you don’t do to show that you don’t […]

Prepare the Table

Preparations and Feast We start early. Dressed in layers that reflect the cool spring morning, and the day of feasting to come. Waiting for the sun to rise. We are a faithful few, gathered and quiet – maybe a little impatient – steam rising from our cups, waiting. As the light blinks above the tree-line, […]

Why I Quit Church

It’s been two years since I quit the table— and the pew; since I’ve pinched the broken piece of bread between my fingers and dipped it in the crimson cup. The body and blood of Jesus, given for me . . . and promptly declined. At first, it wasn’t on purpose. (There was a global […]

Prepare the Table

Preparations and Feast We start early. Dressed in layers that reflect the cool spring morning, and the day of feasting to come. Waiting for the sun to rise. We are a faithful few, gathered and quiet – maybe a little impatient – steam rising from our cups, waiting. As the light blinks above the tree-line, […]

Podcast: What Are You Afraid Of?

Season 1, Episode 4 Catherine McNiel is asking this question of herself and others: “What are you afraid of?” Why, she asks, are we, as Christ-followers, often taught to fear our neighbors, withhold hospitality from strangers, and vilify the “others”–those whose beliefs, appearances, and lives look different than our own and perceive them as a […]

Obey: a Four-Letter-Word

OBEY. It’s a four-letter word—at least, that’s how I think of it. I associate this word with punishment, negative emotions, consequences, rigidity, and legalism. The word itself makes me cringe at times.  It feels autocratic and one-sided, as in a command that also means, “Do what I say.” The word itself feels cold and authoritative. […]

One Game. One Throne.

Thoughts on Misplacing Life’s Instruction Manual.     Yesterday I organized a closet that needed cleaning years ago. A cluttered cabinet was repurposed to stack boxes of games hoarded over the decades when I raised four children in a now empty nest. It’s difficult to let go of these treasures: Scattergories, Stratego, Don’t Wake Up […]

Valor’s Unsettling Saints

Previously posted in March of 2020. What kind of women are women of valor? I think they are women who are courageous enough to use their God-given gifts, others-oriented, and are willing to buck the status quo to follow Jesus and bring forth goodness and justice.   Right off of the bat, I think of St. […]

Here Lies Fear

Coming of age in any epoch means WEATHER.           Doing it as a burgeoning evangelical in the late 1900s (as my kids love to remind me) was like sipping a tempest in a teacup. There was no smoking, no parties or swearing for this sold-out Jesus-freak. There were—instead—bad perms, sub-par Christian rock, and not-so-subtle-sweatshirts like this […]

Hollowed (Out) Halls of Justice

My daughter excels at catching insects with her bare hands. This skill set is on par with her fluency in “meme” and her ability keep up with Daveed Diggs’ light-speed verses in Hamilton. I am in awe of these aptitudes, and that she wields them despite sharing DNA with me. So, I wasn’t surprised when […]

Serving Simply

As I walked down the uneven sidewalk, I was overwhelmed by the sheer amount of people swarming past me. Many carried umbrellas (though there wasn’t a cloud in the sky), some impossibly napped while squatting, while many others walked oblivious to the body spaces of others. This was a typical day walking in a city […]

Walking Hope

The sky had been stormy for hours already, so the transition to night was difficult to discern. Disoriented, soaked through, and shivering—we waited for direction.  We had started out the day staring at an “x” on a map, a destination we needed to reach. As the day grew long, our surroundings didn’t look right and […]