A Psalm for when COVID-19 upends your life.

At the beginning of April, I moved into my new planner for the 2nd quarter of this year. I browsed back through past appointments, projects, to-dos both completed and left undone. I was stunned at how quickly things can change. Four months ago, life looked one way. And now? Completely different. Then I’d never heard […]

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 […]

You can meet God in your anxiety.

Not long ago I sent a question to the folks on my email list. I asked, “What questions do you have about emotions and faith?” The flood of responses surprised me. Clearly, this is a real-life struggle for many of us. One particular topic surfaced repeatedly. It was summarized best by this line from Errol […]

You’re NOT the only Jesus they’ll ever meet.

“You’re the only Jesus they might ever meet.” Wait… what? If you grew up in particular parts of the church world, then you’ve heard that statement before. That, or another version of it. “You might be the only Bible they’ll ever read.” Well, friends. Let’s be honest. Those statements right there? They’re manipulative bunk. Manipulative […]

Weekend Wisdom / Bad Things Are Going to Happen. Be At Peace.

The world is feeling dark these days. Polarized, increasingly hostile attitudes prevail. Really scary things are happening. ISIS. Gun violence. Political discord. In times of anxiety and fear, our faith can get murky. In John’s gospel, Jesus makes an unexpected promise. He says, “In this world you will have trouble.” But then, he turns this […]

The tools for facing fear.

This summer was supposed to be a time of renewal for me. That was my plan, anyway. This spring we put a house on the market. Selling it would free us from some emotional and financial commitments that have been weighing on us, an overfull backpack when the trail calls for lightness. Four months later […]

For when fear is holding you back.

When a brief overheard comment twists your stomach in knots, know there’s something there to pay attention to. Last week Tony Kriz did a reading for his new book, Aloof: Figuring out life with a God who hides. I’ve been getting to know Tony lately through a project we’re both involved with, and I wanted […]

Don’t you worry. God is working it out.

This post is for just some of you. If you’re sailing along with everything working in your life, go ahead and skip this one. I’m glad for you. Really, I am! This post, however, probably won’t be helpful to you. Instead, let me recommend this for you. Now, the rest of you? This post is […]

Weekend Wisdom / Living with Open Hands

The first thing generosity brings to mind is giving — giving of time, or money. Talking about giving in church is notoriously awkward.  The conversation is usually laced with oughts and shoulds, and focuses on obligation and obedience. But that’s a stunning misunderstanding of the point.  Our attitude toward giving is a direct window into our […]

Evict fear by shining a light on it.

Ugh. That’s all I can say. No, that’s not true. I’m writing a blog post, so I must have more to say. But, seriously. Ugh. I’m in a battle, fighting hard. A project of mine is at a crucial juncture. This past week, though, creeping doubt has been stalking me. If I don’t deal with […]

That Bastard Perfectionism

Argh…  Can. Not. Do. It… Most of the time I’m pretty focused on getting things done.  Most of the time.  But right now, I’m finding myself infinitely distracted. First, there’s all the “grey” things I could be doing, work that’s justifiably related to things that matter.  Social media to build connections for my writing.  Research […]