When Normal breaks, what do you learn about yourself?

All of a sudden, it becomes clear exactly how fragile “normal” is. The routines, expectations, and plans we all depend on to keep our days moving forward have all been upended by an implacable, invisible enemy. For many of us, this all feels so unexpected. We’re seeing in unarguable ways exactly how little control we […]

An open letter in a time of increasing fear among Christians

My dearest Christian siblings, I’ve been noticing us, seeing our white knuckles and increasingly strident declarations. Some among us are spending a lot of time defining and announcing who the one true Christians are. Some are shouting about liberal slippery slopes. Others are equally angry about conservative gate-keepers. An awfully large contingent is certain that […]

Is Jesus really your way? (A question & A Book Recommendation.)

When congresspeople get to Washington, one of the first tasks in their governing work is receiving their committee assignments. There are more than fifty committees that do the work of investigating, researching, refining, and writing legislation. One of these committees is the Ways and Means Committee, arguably the most important committee in congress. It’s more […]

1 reason that new spiritual program or spiritual practice might not be for you.

It’s not unusual to hear some practice or program billed as the next thing that will supercharge your spiritual life. Use this new small group curriculum. It will take you deep as you “do life together.” Take this insightful new personality inventory. You’ll really understand how God made you so that you can live more […]

Your theology is just a theory.

Your theology is just a theory. No matter how precious. Even when you can back up each clause with scripture, or appeal to your favorite theologian. Are you balking already? Maybe you’re sure your theology the very truth handed down from the apostles. A lot of us think that! Before you assume I’m telling you […]

Don’t bypass the narrow gate to growth.

There is a narrow gate that must be passed through if we will experience growth and spiritual maturity. It’s called narrow, not because it’s hard to find, but because so few people want to go through it. We want what lies on the other side—growth, maturity, a greater sense of peace, and awareness of God’s […]

The wilderness you’re in may be exactly what you need.

God, I hate uncertainty. I don’t like not knowing what’s coming next, not having a plan, not being able to make a well-informed choice about a long-considered path forward. I grew up in a church community that trained us well for certainty. To be sure about what’s right and wrong, clear about what happens when […]

If you’re in the wilderness, you are not alone!

Are you feeling the discomfort of living in between? Something is coming to an end or may already be done. What’s next isn’t clear. Before now the path was apparent, but now? Not so much. Options multiply. It’s hard to know which road is best. In this landscape, goal-making isn’t easy; sometimes, it doesn’t even […]

Why this pastor talks about emotions so dang much.

I’ve worn glasses for a long time. Since 4th grade, I think. Without my glasses, the world beyond ten feet or so blurs into an indistinct mosaic of colored blobs. Not very safe for me to be out and about! Each morning there is a moment of transformation when I put on my glasses for […]

Did you know your Christian hero was a theological mess?

The internet has made two things very clear about the Christian community. First, a lot of us love to be right. Second, we feel especially right when we can castigate someone else for being wrong. Somewhere we got this idea that the thing God cares about most is that all of our theology is correct. […]

Your To-Do List Is Numinous (TAW006)

Episode 006 – Your To-Do List Is Numinous Do you find yourself longing for those big, goose-bumpy, glowy moments of spiritual connection? Those mountain-top experiences are so great. They fill us up, and motivate us, and often leave us feeling connected with God. But you need to know something. If you’re looking for that kind […]

3 fatal tendencies crippling your online communication

I love sarcasm as a form of communication. The subtlety of a quiet, sarcastic retort can make me smile for days. But online? The list of people I’ve offended or hurt, many unknowingly, is long. I’ve also left a wake of miscommunication behind me, as people who don’t know me tried to process things I […]

Is your online life Christian?

In May of 2010, Facebook broke my church. Honestly, it wasn’t Facebook’s fault. It had more to do with us—our level of relational wisdom and our lack of experience with digital communication—but Facebook was the vehicle. We drove the car into the ditch. You can’t blame the car. Days before the debacle, Arizona had passed […]