Broken-Hearted and Still Showing Up: It’s Complicated

For some time now I have been in a very complicated and emotionally-fraught relationship with my mother the church. In my youth she was a caretaker, teacher, and the frequent preparer of my daily bread. When, in the course of raising me, she occasionally revealed some of her more oppressive tendencies, my child’s heart read them as cute little quirks. When I felt her stings, I characterized the wounds as inadvertent and likely the result of my own disobedience. My perspective was reasonably small.

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Glass Houses

“They live in a glass house,” I overheard someone say about our pastors when I was a child. I imagined the beautiful glass house in my mind. It must be in the woods, I thought. Could they view the sunset through the trees? Instead of television, I pictured them watch squirrels hunt for acorns from the comfort of their living room recliners.“We live in a glasshouse, Kelly,” a snarky adolescent me was told, as I rolled my eyes in church. By then, I understood the implication of those words. Translation: As a pastor’s kid, everything I did and said was a representation of our family…

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Get To Work And Let It Be

I long for structure these days; boundaries and routines. These got pulled out from under me when the Pandemic hit back in March. It’s now the end of June and my life feels like a swamp rather than the above picture of neatly plowed fields, each with their own design and purpose. My friend Camille says to look for the things that spark life in me to help me trudge through the swamp. Clues to get me from one mossy stone to the next.

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The Thanksgiving Feast

One day a beautiful envelope arrived with my name on it and a royal wax seal. Hand written in golden-red ink on thick cotton paper, it smelled like frankincense. It read:

You are invited to The Thanksgiving Feast ~ No one has ever served a feast this sumptuous, on a table more exquisite, to more worthy guests. The bread and wine served will consist of priceless ingredients grown, crafted and served by the Host himself. The nourishment of this feast procures eternal life for all who eat it.
If you accept, please come to the church when you receive this letter.
You must leave everything behind.

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Faith Resilience

Hello, friends! I feel honored, excited, and nervous to sit at this table. Each of the women here are hopeful writers, and influential female voices. When discussing faith and theology, I scooch in beside dear friends who know and love me deeply. My inner child beams while watching older women I admire. My inner teenager sits down cautiously, and looks around the lunch table. Everyone’s invited, but does everyone truly belong?

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There’s nothing ordinary about Grace

We are a few weeks into Ordinary time, a season of the church that stretches from Pentecost to Advent. The term ordinary is misleading, there is nothing common place about this season. The term comes from the latin word ordanalis which refers to numbers in a series. Since Ordinary Time is quite lengthy, the Sunday’s are numbered to aid us in our forward movement in the church calendar year. This season is one of remembering and celebrating the coming of the Holy Spirit and the growth of God’s Church. This is the time when we recognize the power of our risen Lord at work in our lives and in the world.

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Making Room For The Stranger: Biblical Hospitality

I resisted writing this blog about hospitality not because I don’t think the topic is important but because my brain is fried due to being in quarantine so long. I can’t even begin to write about what it means to practice hospitality when we can’t even have people in our homes! Yet biblical hospitality calls us to something entirely different. It is far more than just baking a pie and sitting around a lovely set table, it’s about welcoming the stranger and feeding the hungry.

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3 Forgiveness Practices to Release Resentment

In our current circumstanced with sheltering in place, we find that our limited access to our usual routines, self-care, and companionship have made us, well, a bit more cranky. For my household, we all find ourselves constantly apologizing and trying our best to stay clear of the resentment zone. We live in a 1000 sq. ft house and it’s hard to get away from one another! Many of our fights are being resolved by learning to apologize better (check out this great podcast on apologies) and chalking it up to quarantine-induced behavior. Apologizing isn’t the only thing needed, however, our willingness to forgive one another is also necessary.

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An Evangelical’s Guide To Confession

I’ve had confession all wrong. I grew up in a tradition where confession was barely talked about because confession had more to do with our conversion than an ongoing practice. We certainly talked about sin and it’s consequences but never talked about how we actually confessed sins. Instead, I remember being told to ask Jesus for forgiveness when I did something “bad” and He would forgive me for my sins. Just a few minutes down the road, however, was the town’s main Catholic church. I remember judging my catholic brothers and sisters about their tradition of confessing their sins to a priest.

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Say This Prayer While Washing The Dishes

This week for the Practices of Resurrection Eastertide Series, we are dedicating time and brain space for contemplation and meditation. With today’s current environment that is riddled with troubles and doubts, our minds and our homes are chalked full of anxiety, and often accompanied by a sink full of dishes! In the midst of this chaos, it’s easy to forget The Good, and the ability to see Jesus in our every day.

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