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Vulnerable: Rethinking Human Trafficking

Vulnerable: Rethinking Human Trafficking

“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Tolstoy’s opening lines from Anna Karenina could easily be co-opted as the introduction to countless biblical stories. We barely get our feet wet in Genesis before the pool of family history becomes toxic. Adam blames both God and Eve for the […]

Mindfulness Lowered My Anthropolgy

Mindfulness Lowered My Anthropolgy

I started practicing meditation out of necessity. Mind you, it was before mindfulness and meditation were the buzzwords they are now. I started sitting in silence and focusing on my breath in seminary after my father was diagnosed with aggressive cancer. It was the only way I could be in the presence of God; the only […]

The Mirror Has Way Too Many Faces

The Mirror Has Way Too Many Faces

This past New Year’s Eve marked the first one for my husband and me to actually go out in Sydney — though, with two kids and middle age defining our lives, “going out” consists of joining friends at the North Sydney Olympic Pool for a family night of swimming and fireworks. And, it turned out, […]

Beautiful Messes (and Not-So-Beautiful Ones, Too)

Beautiful Messes (and Not-So-Beautiful Ones, Too)

Once upon a time, I wrote about how I gave birth to a miniature version of myself. My worst fear about motherhood is that the world would have another version of me in it. That fear came true, but not really, because as I wrote before, my son is a slightly improved version of me. Or […]

My Honest Recommendation

My Honest Recommendation

Part of being a school chaplain is writing college recommendations for students. Most colleges want similar information. Is the student responsible, driven, civic-minded, a good student? Some colleges ask more specific questions. What has the student done to serve their community? How is the student committed to making the world a better place? The recommendation […]

I Am Giving Up Boundaries in 2019

I Am Giving Up Boundaries in 2019

Typically, I abstain from any New Year’s resolutions. I hate diets and everything they stand for. I loathe the notion that December 31st is distinctly different from January 1st.  And “self betterment” always seems to end in a profound feeling of “self worse-er-ment” for me. But not this year. This year I have decided to […]

Even Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend

Even Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend

Grateful for this reflection by Erin Jean Warde. I try to set aside Friday evenings to cook a lovely meal that I enjoy cooking—for one. On most evenings of the week, I cook food I don’t really want to eat, because it doesn’t seem worth it to spend so much time on recipes, mise en […]

Mary Definitely Knew

Mary Definitely Knew

They brought the baby to our doorstep. Five days old. Directly from the hospital. One outfit. Four pre-made bottles. A handful of diapers. A package of wipes. And a packet of papers that offered no definitive judgment on the proper pronunciation of her name. “I think it’s…” the social worker said. “I’m pretty sure.” A […]

Why You Should Spend Whatever You Like Buying Friends and Loved Ones Gifts They Don’t Expect (and Don’t Deserve)

Why You Should Spend Whatever You Like Buying Friends and Loved Ones Gifts They Don’t Expect (and Don’t Deserve)

This one comes to us from our friend Jason Micheli. I’ve grown wary of the Christmas “tradition” of bemoaning the commercialization of Christmas in our culture.  Too often, we begin Advent not with Isaiah’s laments or John the Baptist’s words of judgment but our own words of lament and judgment, criticizing others for being so […]

An Advent Lament for Burnt-Out Teachers (and Our Needy Students)

An Advent Lament for Burnt-Out Teachers (and Our Needy Students)

He laughs. He kicks his bright spade in the earth and turns it over. – Andrew Hudgins, “Christ as a Gardener” Being a teacher is easily the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Midway through my fourth year now at a high-poverty public middle school, I can say with gratitude that it has certainly gotten better—and […]

My Wife Doesn’t Trust Me: How Impossible Law Keeps Two Sinners Together

My Wife Doesn’t Trust Me: How Impossible Law Keeps Two Sinners Together

This reflection was written by S.M. White. My wife doesn’t trust me. At least that’s what she’s told me about half a dozen times over our 27-year marriage. What’s the lack of trust about? She can’t trust that I won’t hurt her again by whatever sin it happens to be next. Over time, as we’ve […]

Häve a Blessed Ådvent

Häve a Blessed Ådvent

Cozy up and enjoy this seasonal reflection from Ryan Currie: The New Yorker declared 2016 “The Year of Hygge”. I know, it’s 2018—leave it to church folks to get on trend two years late. ‘Hygge,’ for those who either missed it or already forgot, is a Danish word that doesn’t quite translate into English. When it […]