body life

Last week a client asked me watch videos of their “Body Life” series of classes, designed to introduce people to the church and its culture, and suggest ways to revamp the material into a shorter, more conversational video project. It was one of the best investments of time I made this month – and not just because I’ll get paid for the work.

Over the course of the five-week class, the teaching pastors and other leaders teach on Jesus’ prayer for unity in John 17 and tie this prayer for “echad” or oneness …


repost: cracks of God

As I type this, I’m hiding from the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Every month or so two of them appear on my doorstep, pamphlets in hand, asking for my time and suggesting I read articles with titles like “The Truth about Halloween.” Because the walk to my front door passes right by the dining room window, and because I spend much of my workday on the comfy red chair in front of that window, it’s easy for them to spot me inside. To avoid talking to them I’ve taken to …


haters, you don’t have to be hateful

A few months ago, during my blogging hiatus, I received an email from someone I don’t know who took issue with the actions of an organization I’m affiliated with. His letter to me was full of misinformation, “facts” that weren’t true, and personal attacks; in just a few short paragraphs he implied I am racist and said that as a member of this group my actions were “unethical, immoral, and un-Christlike.”


The same week, a blogger published a post that included a paragraph or two criticizing me and a few other women in our …


If pastor ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy

IMG_20140329_052144Why do we coddle and cower around our gigachurch pastors?

I spent two days last week at one of the larger churches in the country helping out with production for a new project they’re launching in October, and no it’s not one of “our” churches and no I’m not going to give any more details because part of the problem is this phenomenon is not specific to this church. The problem is that the bigger these churches become, the more they revolve around the president senior pastor …


keeping quiet

writers-blockA couple weeks ago I wrote, “Neither being a stepmom nor being a pastor’s wife are good life choices for a writer, because it means entire huge swaths of your life are off-limits.” Some more thoughts on that:

–I can’t write about some of my frustrations about capital-C church, the Church In General, because it could be seen as criticism of the church in particular where I worship and serve. I’m no longer one of the anonymous masses at a megachurch. Things change when you marry a …


repost: season’s greetings to the billboard ladies

I had another post ready to go today, and then I started watching video clips from my blog reader at 11:30 last night, and then I got all annoyed.

So, if you are offended by the use of “Happy Holidays,” “Season’s Greetings,” and other such statements, and if you consider it a personal crusade to “keep the Christ in Christmas,” I have a few questions for you.

1.  Isn’t the presence of Christ in our celebrations up to us—the people who believe in him—not the random salesclerk at Kohl’s?

2. Isn’t the celebration a wonder-full, awestruck time of reflection that our God has come to be with us, not a time …


I wish I could tell my church……

When my office door is closed and no one’s around I often feel confused about what’s next. I often feel like if God doesn’t show up, we’re in trouble, because I don’t know what to do next.

I know how to listen without judging. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done. What matters is you have an opportunity to start over in Christ.

I am more insecure than most people think.

If you don’t give and serve and sweat blood for the mission, instead of criticizing the way things are we …


a list for friday: Bible editions I’m not sure we need

During work on an editorial about Bible translation, I spent some time on Amazon investigating the current Bibles for sale. In addition to the gatrillion translations out there, publishers are milking the cash cow with “niche” Bibles for specific groups. Here are a few I think Christendom can do without.

The Holy Bible: Stock Car Racing Edition — apparently Zondervan has sold its soul.

The NIV Outdoorsman Bible (camouflage cover is optional)

The NIrV Precious Princess Bible — “with embedded rhinestones”

Johnny Cash reads the NKJV New Testament — from Folsom …


big, wealthy, and white-collar. is this the only church worth serving?

When I shared the news of my engagement last November, one friend wrote to say he was very happy for me, but he wondered if I might be squandering my talents on a small church and said the megachurch congregation where he had recently preached seemed more like the congregation I should be impacting as a pastor’s wife.

Matt has received similar questions from well-intentioned people inviting him to lead larger churches or questioning why someone with two master’s degrees would serve a community where many people stopped their education after high school.


what pastors wish you knew, part 2

This includes not only feedback from the original pastors I contacted, but also from many who emailed or commented since last week’s post. And for every quote listed here, there’s another I didn’t have space to include.

Apparently this struck a nerve. So I created a new blog, titled QUITE-imaginatively “What Pastors Wish You Knew,” for you to continue sharing (venting?) and hopefully even encouraging each other (or just liking individual posts on FB and hoping your elders will see). Visit …