Why I Stay
Sep15

Why I Stay

I was an incredibly fortunate school-learner.  Traditional school structure, highly-formatted classroom learning — they worked well for me. I was the one those environments were built for — the reader, the achiever. I loved it and succeeded with ease. Every time I reached for the next rung on the ladder, it was immediately in my grasp. Obviously, it is not this way for everyone. Likewise, I’m a fortunate churchgoer. The...

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Myth, Identity, and the Healthy Church
Sep07

Myth, Identity, and the Healthy Church

Myth, Identity, and the Healthy Church Last Sunday was the first time I had been to church since May. Church hurts, and attending is like trying to date again after going through a painful divorce. Past churches hurt me, and it takes a lot of intentional steps to trust again; trust requires a vulnerability that I can’t always muster. Typical answers to “Why go to church?” like “Because it’s your...

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Confessions of a Young Pastor
Sep01

Confessions of a Young Pastor

Rarely do I get to offer thoughts about church to a broader audience. So here I, a young pastor, have compiled the things I wish I could tell more people about the church. A lot of this is based on conversations I’ve had repeatedly with people who struggle with the idea of going to church. I hope they’re conversations I get to keep having. Churches will always fail at being perfect I would venture to say that everyone has experienced...

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New Series: On Going to Church
Aug29

New Series: On Going to Church

“How baffling you are, oh Church, and yet how I love you! How you have made me suffer, and yet how much I owe you! I would like to see you destroyed, and yet I need your presence. You have given me so much scandal and yet you have made me understand what sanctity is. I have seen nothing in the world more devoted to obscurity, more compromised, more false, and yet I have touched nothing more pure, more generous, more beautiful. How...

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Why I Am Only Telling One Side of the Michael Brown Story
Aug26

Why I Am Only Telling One Side of the Michael Brown Story

As the days have drudged onward since the police shooting of unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, in Ferguson, MO, I have been knowingly, overtly, and repeatedly telling a particular narrative as it surrounds the events involved.  So have many others. There has been a predictably large amount of pushback to this narrative coming in a variety of ways and from a variety of motivations, I suspect.  There is also a distinct commonality...

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From One Middle Class White Person to Another: Why We Struggle to Get It
Aug16

From One Middle Class White Person to Another: Why We Struggle to Get It

My social media feeds are abuzz this morning with a host of middle-class white folks who are aghast that there was a brief period of rioting/looting again yesterday in Ferguson.  Their sentiments are something like this: “They got what they wanted – for the Ferguson police to step down –  and they’re STILL rioting??!!” To those who find themselves thinking this sort of thing, I would like to suggest that you are catastrophically...

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Requiem for a Therapist: A Tribute to Robin Williams
Aug12

Requiem for a Therapist: A Tribute to Robin Williams

Like so many others, I was saddened to hear of the death of actor and comedian, Robin Williams that was made public today. To hear that his death was at the end of a life-long battle with depression that ended in suicide was an additional blow, both as a fellow sojourner with my own emotional and spiritual battles, and as a mental health therapist. In the development of my own therapeutic style, I learned a lot from my education, more...

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Wake Up: Why the Marginalized Riot
Aug11

Wake Up: Why the Marginalized Riot

Author’s Note: If you would like to help contribute something to the Ferguson Jail Support Fund for protesters who have been arrested, you may do so securely by clicking this box.   I am still in the process of forming a true reaction to the tragic shooting of Michael Brown, which occurred just under twenty miles away from my house in a suburb of North St. Louis County two days ago. I am deeply disturbed by what happened. ...

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Richard Rohr on Dispatching the Loyal Soldier
Jul11

Richard Rohr on Dispatching the Loyal Soldier

“The voice of our ‘loyal soldier’ gets us through the first half of life safely, teaching us to look both ways before we cross the street, to have enough impulse control to avoid addictions and compulsive emotions, to learn the sacred ‘no’ to ourselves that gives us dignity, identity, direction, significance and boundaries. We must learn these lessons to get off to a good start. It is far easier to begin...

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Moving Beyond Tribal Religion
Jun26

Moving Beyond Tribal Religion

Several years ago it dawned on me that most all of my spiritual heroes are unabashedly ecumenical.  Father Henri Nouwen, Brother Roger of Taize, Sister Joan Chittister, Father Richard Rohr, Thomas Merton, Parker Palmer, Wendell Berry.  If you read their writings, you’ll find themes of radical inclusivity, radical compassion, and radical identification.  Each in his or her own way points to a God that includes everyone, loves everyone,...

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