What Christians could learn about power from Jesus’ temptations.

In the wilderness, Jesus faced three temptations and triumphed. In Brothers Karamazov, through the Grand Inquisitor, Dostoevsky claimed the Church has faced these same temptations and soundly failed. Historically, many commentators have seen the temptations as individual sins, such as gluttony or greed. Dostoevsky perceives something different: All three temptations are about power. Jesus refused […]

Lent Reflection – Am I striving for power?

Today is the 3rd day of Lent. Today continues my series of reflections for Lent. Today is the 3rd day of Lent. I’m continuing my series of reflections with Mark 10:32-45. In this scene we see the difference that often exists between our expectations and God’s when it comes to the tools we use to […]

Lent Reflection – Are my things in my way?

Today continues my series of reflections for Lent. Today is the 2nd day of Lent, and the scripture I’m reading and reflecting on is Mark 10:17-31, the scene where Jesus interacts with a man we’ve come to call the ”Rich Young Ruler.”

Lent Reflection – Is my mind set on human things?

(This series is an edited and updated version of reflections I wrote during Lent of 2021. Because I’m in graduate school I don’t have time to write brand new material for 40 days straight, but I am using these for my own Lent devotion, updating them as seems right for my journey currently and the […]

Don’t Choose Shallow Formation (TAW047)

Episode 047 – Don’t Choose Shallow Formation (With Rich Vellodas) Does our faith enable us to be “a good gift” to our neighbors, even the neighbors we disagree with? Many Christians, it seems, are living in ways that contradict the core ethic of our faith loving our neighbors as ourselves. What is going on? It […]

When You Join the Club of the Vulnerable + An Update

Sometimes you find that you are a member of a club you never wanted or intended to join. The club is made up of folks who share some particular difficult or painful life experience with you. They know the feeling you’re having, they know the ropes of this situation, they’ve been-there-done-that. And now—even though you […]

When Our Body Keeps Record of Wrong

We are “fearfully and wonderfully made,” says Psalm 139:14. When life is good, this seems a glorious mystery. When someone finds themselves stuck in the painful waves of unresolved trauma, this same mystery feels terrifying. Someone in this place of fear and confusion ought to find shelter in the church. Followers of Jesus ought to […]

A More Beautiful Deconstruction (TAW046)

Episode 046 – A More Beautiful Deconstruction (With Dr. Bradley Jersak) Deconstruction is everywhere. People are doing it. Some leaders are fighting it. Some people are excited by it. Some people are terrified of it. Is it just a trendy new word for leaving the church? No. It’s a process that’s necessary for spiritual maturity–and […]

Make an offering of frustration.

The fall schedule is upon us! After more than a year of everyone in my family being in the same place all the time, life has exploded. Four different schools and school schedules, three different jobs and work schedules, church roles, life management. I like new starts usually. For me, fall has always meant anticipation […]

Let’s Normalize Being Wrong (TAW045)

Episode 045 – Let’s Normalize Being Wrong (With Matt Tebbe) I grew up in a faith tradition where being right was essential. It’s what kept us in community. It’s what we thought honored God. For many other reasons–temperament, trauma, and even privilege–being right became an identity issue for me. Then I heard Matt Tebbe suggest […]

When deconstruction comes from hope.

If you’re worried about the number of Christian folks who are deconstructing, take a deep breath. If you’re experiencing it yourself, no need to panic. I’ve had a tangible experience of deconstruction these past few weeks that clarified how it is often a necessary and healthy experience.

Your Suffering is Sacred (TAW044)

Episode 044 – Your Suffering is Sacred (With K.J. Ramsey) Are you allergic to happy clappy Christianity? There’s a good reason for thats. Churches that ignore suffering are ignoring Jesus. Many churches are not good at holding suffering. People who find themselves in extended suffering — maybe living with depression or anxiety, other mental health […]

Are you doing your faith?

Last weekend I hosted the Writers Advance. I want to talk about it briefly, but before you click away thinking this doesn’t apply to you, give me about four minutes. This retreat reminded me of something crucial to healthy spiritual growth.