Community

The Waging and the Waiting

This essay is an excerpt from the anthology Soul Bare: Stories of Redemption published by Inter Varsity Press in August 2016. In 1977, my mother left my brothers and me with sitters to go looking for an apartment and didn’t return for days. When she finally did, after what most people considered a “lost weekend,” my […]

Warming Up to Prayer

I live in a community, Jesus People USA, a real-life intentional community with 250 other people. That means I experience a lot of connecting, but not much quiet.  In 2002, having lived in community for 10 years, I was so restless and distracted I could barely function. Communal living has so many blessings, but it […]

Dear Portia: Annoyed, Irritated and Bored at Church

Dear Portia, I am annoyed and irritated and bored at church. My husband loves it, but to me, our church feels like a big show: entertainment, choir performance, giveaways, and a superficial sermon. How do I look past the trappings and experience a deeper relationship with God? If other people love church so much am […]

Celibate Living in a Sex-Obsessed Society

Driving home from another ministry excursion, I pass billboard after billboard saying there are sex shops nearby. With each sighting, my stomach turns with sickness, my face falls into a frown. I am tempted to ignore the anguish, to shield my thoughts, to avoid that which feels judgmental and ugly within me. Instead, I take […]

Same-Sex Attraction and Me

I used to lie in bed at night and pray to not wake up. I wanted to be gone, I wanted it to be gone. I struggled, prayed and did the right things. I still do the right things and put in the work, but I am still, for as long as I can remember, […]

You Were Made On Purpose

The first time I read the description of the ENFP in the Meyers Briggs personality test I took, I cried. Gregarious, full of energy, passionate, an ability to inspire others, I knew who they were talking about because I was who they were talking about. I cried because if I was one of 16 types […]

The Enneagram is a Jerk

I remember my first experience with the Enneagram. A few friends had been talking about it consistently and they encouraged me to take the test myself. I completed the quiz, looked up my number, and began to read. I found myself scoffing and huffing more with every page I read, until I finally threw the […]

Benediction For Unity

Benediction for Unity It is hard to admit this because we are kind people but we wouldn’t know unity from contempt we wouldn’t know togetherness from war we wouldn’t be able to say that the church body is whole we are too mixed up with who is for us and who is against us we […]

Outrage Fatigue and Leaping the Divide

I picked the wrong week to return to Facebook. It’s no secret, I have a small capacity for the constant churning machine that social media often is. Most days, it’s loud enough in my own head without adding voices of dissent and dissatisfaction muddying up my synapses. I suppose this is one right of the […]