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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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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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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Confessions of a Chubby Kid
Feb27

Confessions of a Chubby Kid

I was a chubby little kid.   Not morbidly obese, just chubby.  I wasn’t taunted continuously about it.  I wasn’t bullied at every turn.  In fact, I was reasonably popular among my peer group.  Chubby, but gregarious and outgoing, you might say.  More or less well-liked. So, I feel a little guilty sharing how deeply injured I was by teasing, which mainly amounted to being called “fat” now and again.   I also feel embarrassed to talk...

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Tweet, Tweet: Mark Driscoll’s Simple World
Jan10

Tweet, Tweet: Mark Driscoll’s Simple World

A friend of mine asked me for my professional, psychological analysis of Pastor Mark Driscoll today after this tweet:   He wasn’t surprised at the content of Driscoll’s tweet, per se. My friend, an evangelical himself, understands that this line of thinking is par for the course in terms of many evangelicals’ theological viewpoint. Instead, he was trying to understand “the motivations for such a post. Is...

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Happy New Year!  I Bought You Some Therapy
Jan06

Happy New Year! I Bought You Some Therapy

Every year, phone calls pour in to my St. Louis counseling practice inquiring about referring some family member or loved one. You know – wayward children, beloved siblings, aging parents, etc. Many times, the callers are so concerned they’re considering paying for a beneficiary’s therapy themselves. Of course, these kinds of phone calls naturally pile up around the holiday season. People frustrated with the excess...

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Making Sense of Death Is Living Life Wisely
May28

Making Sense of Death Is Living Life Wisely

On this Memorial Day, I found myself trying to make sense of death. Every time I hear the laughs and babbles of my infant son, I am struck that the term “infant” is from the latin infans, which means, essentially, “incapable of speech.” Yet, with gurgles and coos and nehs and wahs very present, he has a language all his own, and I am enthralled. It was the same way after the birth of my daughter, who just...

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Christian Masculinity, the WWF and Unbelonging
May11

Christian Masculinity, the WWF and Unbelonging

When I was a little boy, I wanted to be a professional wrestler. It was the 1980s — the height of the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) and pre-reality TV Hulk Hogan. True masculine theater of the absurd, complete with gargantuan men in tights who inspired the awe of children with physical mass and acrobatics. That changed a few years later when I attended several wrestling matches in person, marking the beginning of the end of...

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But Aren’t You a Christian Counselor?
Apr29

But Aren’t You a Christian Counselor?

“My son, he goes to a Christian university, and we just found out last night…he’s struggling with homosexuality. Can you help him?” That’s a verbatim quote from a worried mother who contacted my counseling practice last fall. I get a handful of calls like this every year. I recall them vividly because, among other reasons, the parents are usually so sincere. It’s something that always sticks with me...

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