What Are We Doing Here?

Happy first week of Lent! (Or, for our more secular readers, a late happy Mardi Gras!) If you're wondering what this whole blog is about, you're in the right place. The idea for this project was born during and after last year's election. In general, I don't want to speak for anyone but myself, but... Continue Reading →

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Big medicine and strong magic…

When one of my boys was five years old, he came to us after church and announced that he was ready to accept Jesus as his Savior.  I was suspicious because we had taken communion that morning and I had stopped him from partaking (in our flavor of Christianity, communion comes after a profession of faith... Continue Reading →

Holding Back the Wolves

This week an explanatory tidbit caught my interest: Episode 15 of the podcast, Israel Story, details the touching death of one man married for 37 years, and the narrator says, “Now, according to Jewish tradition, when the funeral falls on Rosh Chodesh, eulogies are forbidden, and during Adar, the month of Purim, it's actually a... Continue Reading →

What to do when you destroy everything

When Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he repented and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. He said, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” But they said, “What is that to us? See to it yourself.” Throwing down the pieces of silver in the... Continue Reading →

Looking Like Lazarus

Last week, my priest made a point I’d never considered before. There is a difference between resurrection and resuscitation. Today’s readings are about resuscitation, or reanimation. People who were once dead are made to live again. However, even though they are given new—or maybe more is a better word—life, those people are in bodies that... Continue Reading →

Seeing Things Clearly Kind of Sucks

Two weeks ago, I pointed out that the people in the passages for that Sunday were people for whom the system was working. They were well-respected men who had followed the rules and achieved a certain amount of security, status, and respect. And yet, there was still something pulling at them; some longing that drew... Continue Reading →

When there is no water…

It was an oppressively hot day in June, and I was eight months pregnant.  I walked into church expecting that refreshing blast of air conditioning only to be disappointed with a stagnant wall of heat.  And I remember thinking, "This is outrageous and beyond endurance.  I shouldn't have come."  Then I spent much of the... Continue Reading →

When Someone Tries to Shut You Up

This week I myself was labeled quarrelsome and testy, like the Israelites here in Exodus 17:1-7. I called out the gender dynamics at play in a conversation and was shushed with a version of “You are just making things worse.” One of the things I am trying to learn, and to pass on to others... Continue Reading →

Where Is That Wind Coming From?

This week’s readings, which you can find here, are all about radical changes in perspective: complete and utter transformations of how people view the world and their place in it. God tells old and decrepit Abram, whose chances for a family of his own are behind him, to go out and be the father of... Continue Reading →

That the promise may rest on grace…

I love a book that helps me understand the world from someone else's perspective.  I just finished Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance.  He speaks colorfully of his experience as a cultural emigrant moving from a poor, white, "hillbilly" family to Yale law school.  He describes a turbulent childhood in which he loses touch with his father and... Continue Reading →

Annual Check-up

When I checked into the hospital before the birth of my youngest child, I thought, "This is my last happy hospital patient experience.  No good thing will ever bring me here again as a patient," inspiring a subsequent avoidance of doctors and annual check-ups.  What pleasant thing is going to come out of that?  I'm... Continue Reading →

Satan: Internet Troll

The Gospel lesson for this week is Mark 4:1-11, which you can read here. It occurs to me that Satan is acting a little bit like an internet troll in this passage. He's purposely putting a shallow spin on things, trying to move away from the deeper truths that can transform us to shallow details... Continue Reading →

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