Wow. There has been a LOT of talk about marriage lately. Between the Supreme Court decision about same-sex marriage* and the rush of summer wedding ceremonies*, it seems like everywhere you turn, there's someone loudly declaring their belief in the divine/magical relationship that is the union of marriage. And so I feel compelled, once again, to remind us all: Marriage is a human relationship--nothing more, nothing less. (Throughout this post, I linked to several of my past pieces, in addition [ continue reading ... ]

What follows is a nostalgic reflection on the way an inanimate object can mark the passage of time. It may mean nothing to you. That's ok, because I wrote it for me. But you're welcome to read it, in case it does mean something to you. There's a treadmill in my parents' basement. More specifically, the treadmill is in the one finished room in my parents' basement. It's a room that has been used as a playroom, a piano practice room, a bedroom, and, for the several years preceding my dad's death, [ continue reading ... ]

This is a tricky topic to write about. I wish that just saying, "This is really hurtful to me," or "This is really hurtful to many people," was enough to cause others to at least reconsider their words and actions. But, for whatever reason, those words are often not enough. So, I am going to attempt to explain the circumstances around the hurt. We are a culture* that structures celebrations around a box of what we believe is "normal." Father's Day assumes everyone has a father around, and whether [ continue reading ... ]

Last week, I posted a letter to Donald Miller. I had spent several weeks writing it, having others read it, and revising it. I wanted to get across how much his words had meant to me. I also wanted to communicate my frustration with the overly simplistic tone of his marketing campaigns (and sometimes content), a tone that seemed in direct contrast to his earlier writings about the complexity of life and our relationships with God and others. I didn't know if he'd ever read it. Honestly, I [ continue reading ... ]

Dear Donald Miller, Your writing has helped me at some of my darkest points. Your words have inspired me to go places in life I had never before considered. Lately, however, your writing frustrates me. Your words disappoint me and alarm me at the implications for those who might take you seriously. Let me explain. I won't pretend I have been a fan from the beginning. When I became a fan, however, it was when I needed your words most. Recovering from my worst-ever season of depression, [ continue reading ... ]

Do the ideas around us shape us, or are we naturally predisposed to be drawn to certain ideas? I guess the question is another iteration of the nature vs. nurture debate. And maybe the free will vs. predestination debate. But I think it's an interesting version of the question, and possibly a helpful one. Recently, I described my (soon-to-be-finished) book proposal to a friend. The book is for Christians who teach. It's built upon the philosophy that God, as Creator, is the source of all [ continue reading ... ]

We all feel pressure to be like someone else.  Whether the pressure comes from an external source or from inside ourselves, we are constantly finding models for who we want to be, how we want to be.  We rarely ask ourselves who we already are, or how we can become even more ourselves. Last night, I had the delightful opportunity to address graduating college seniors about to embark on an intense career fraught with pressure: teaching.  I want to share that speech with you, not only because [ continue reading ... ]

April is a difficult month for me.  My dad passed away in April, three years ago now.  And so April is a twisted mess of memories.  Memories of poignant moments with my dad and with my family.  Traumatic memories as he neared and reached death.  Memories of people who were deeply present for me and the lingering pain inflicted by those who were not. As I share my deepest grief with those I trust most, I hear words of wisdom and sympathy.  I have heard most of the words and sentiments [ continue reading ... ]

I recently had the opportunity to read and review a new book, Runaway Radical: A Young Man's Reckless Journey to Save the World.  It's co-authored by one of my favorite authors, Amy Hollingsworth  (The Simple Faith of Mister Rogers), and her son, Jonathan Hollingsworth.  The book tells the story of Jonathan's mission trip to Cameroon.  It's the type of story that usually doesn't get told, because it's not a "success" story.  It's not even a "realizing God was calling you elsewhere" story.  It's [ continue reading ... ]

About a month ago, I mentioned I was working on some long-term projects, and so I might not be posting on my blog as often.  But now one of those long-term projects sparked an issue for me, and I want to address it. The project I'm working on is for a collaborative book project on singleness, and my chapter is about realizing that you are an adult and a whole person, regardless of marital status. As I wrote, I began to think about one way we contribute to single people thinking the opposite [ continue reading ... ]