Blog

Lent Reflection – Are my things in my way?

Today continues my series of reflections for Lent. I’m reading through I’m reading through pastor Brian Zahnd‘s Lent devotional The Unvarnished Jesus. As a practice of my own, I’ll be posting daily (or near daily) short reflections on the scriptures chosen. Today is the 2nd day of Lent, and the scripture is Mark 10:17-31.

Lent Reflection – Is my mind set on human things?

Today is Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday after 5 days without power. After 11 months of various levels of COVID-19 social distancing, stay-at-home orders, and even quarantine. In some ways it feels like we’re already on the world’s longest Lent. And yet, with the weight of this past year, and the fragmented mind I’ve experienced, I […]

Trust Your Instinct About the Church – Interview with Fr. Kenneth Tanner (TAW041)

Episode 041 – Trust Your Instinct About the Church – Interview with Fr. Kenneth Tanner. After everything that’s happened in the past year, are you wondering about whether there’s a place for you in the church? Are you asking questions like “Where do I fit? What I’m seeing around me doesn’t look like Jesus. What […]

No, Love Does Not Require Unity.

In this challenging time, what we need is unity. We need to come together. We need to “reach across the aisle.” We need to focus on where we agree. Unity is how we’ll move forward. These and other phrases like them are impossible to avoid these days. You’ve heard them, right? I know that unity […]

This IS Us. We Need To Own It. (TAW040)

Episode 040 – This IS Us. We Need To Own It. “This isn’t us. This isn’t America. We are better than this.” Have you heard—or said—those words recently? Well, you may not want to hear this, but the only way forward is to let those words go.

We are being gathered. (Unexpected encouragement amidst the hate mail.)

Well, this past week has been a crazy emotional ride! Last week I sent out an email update. As always, the email included a link to my latest blog and podcast. It also started with an open letter to folks who follow my writing online. I thought I’d get hate mail. (Or, maybe more accurately, […]

You Need an Architecture of Grief (TAW039)

Episode 039 – You Need an Architecture of Grief (Interview with James Prescott) Twenty Twenty seems to be the car wreck that just keeps going, and the result is that many of us are experiencing more and more pain and grief. How are we to deal with this? Writer James Prescott and I discuss the […]

76% (And why that number guts me).

In the days following the recent election, I saw a graph that stunned me. I cannot get it out of my head. It showed a statistical breakdown of who voted for which candidate from exit poll data, suggesting that 76% of this particular group voted to re-elect the incumbent. 76%. Numbers that high mean that […]

Would Jesus call you (or your church) Satan? (TAW038)

Episode 038 – Would Jesus call you (or your church) Satan? “Get behind me, Satan!” Those are the words Jesus said to Peter. Yikes! But as I survey the current landscape of Christianity, I wonder if Jesus is saying this to us, or to our churches. In this episode, I reflect on what Jesus meant […]

Jeremiah’s words for Christians in 2020.

The circumstances we find ourselves in are not what we would have chosen. COVID is still killing more than a thousand people in the U.S. each day, and there seems to be no coherent plan on the horizon to address this. Protests against police brutality have continued—in Portland, we’ve passed 130 consecutive days—and yet there […]

Are we listening to false prophets?

Imagine two preachers coming to blows right in front of the congregation. The first preacher said hard words. The second preacher disagreed! He was so offended he kicked the podium over and took a swing. Crazy picture? Unlikely? Well, that’s about what happened between Jeremiah and Hananiah, sometime around 580 BC. Even more strange? This […]

Don’t Avoid Starting Over (TAW036)

Episode 036 – Don’t Avoid Starting Over I like knowing stuff. I like being seen as a good person. I love being an expert. Weird that I became a pastor, right? But here’s the thing. As much as I like this stuff, I’ve discovered it’s not very good for me. Turns out that being an […]

Do we have the courage to stop racial injustice?

Sitting in my home just outside of Portland, Oregon, I am only nine miles from the small square of blocks outside the Justice Center that has seen 90 nights straight of protesting that began in response to the police killing George Floyd. I’m also about 46 miles and 176 years away from where the Oregon […]

Your Values are Showing! (TAW035)

Episode 035 – Your Values are Showing! Pain is a terrible thing to waste. At least, that’s what my Trauma Therapist friend says. So, how are we using the pain of this difficult time of pandemic and protests so that we can be better people? This is part 3 of my 3 part conversation with […]