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 ... ]

Converge Magazine just put up my latest piece, which also happens to be one of my all-time favorites: Why I Won’t Wear White on My Wedding Day. My reasons are numerous, from the fact that the so-called “tradition” is not as long-rooted as you might think, to the way it contributes to the bride-as-property mentality, to the fact that I just plain don’t want to… but read it to find out more!

My posting has slowed as of late, but don't worry, because there are good reasons.  Not the least of those reasons are that I am working on some longer-term writing projects.  I also have some exciting other pieces in the works that will appear elsewhere (but that I will post information about here).  I will still be posting on my blog with some regularity, but in the meantime, I have two pieces to recommend to you.  It is not often that I directly recommend other pieces on my blog, so you [ continue reading ... ]

It's not much of a secret I'm skeptical of the way spiritual practices are emphasized in much of the modern day (American) church.  I'm not at issue with the practices themselves (necessarily), but I am not a fan of the way they are trumpeted as markers of true faith or a road to somehow "better" spirituality.  I don't believe God mandates daily scripted devotions or quiet times or even prayer, and I certainly don't believe there is a right or wrong way to "do" them. I wrote a piece well over [ continue reading ... ]

Friendships are incredible.  The deepest ones can be passionate, comforting, painful, heartbreaking, and fulfilling.  Yet, we don't have many words to describe the depth and complexity of friendship.  We use words like, "best friend."  While there's nothing wrong with that label per say, it sounds a little bit like a toddler pointing out his favorite stuffed animal.  So, there are two new terms I want you to consider: "covenant" and "soul mate." Covenant is a "church-y" word, and if you [ continue reading ... ]

Apparently Jesse Tyler Ferguson--one of the actors on TV Show Modern Family--is notorious for getting the giggles.  (I recently learned this watching a random panel interview on hulu).  Sometimes, he'll just start laughing in the middle of a scene, recognizing the absurdity of it all... meaning, the fact they they're all pretending to be other people. I love that phrase: "the absurdity of it all."  Because so much of life is truly absurd.  Being able to see that can be hilarious.   We [ continue reading ... ]

Whenever a Christian comes out with a new critique of the way other Christians approach Christianity, there is one reaction you can almost guarantee.  Some one or some group will chide the person who speaks out, saying that offering criticism of the Church (in its various forms) is counter-productive to the spread of the Gospel.  Even C.S. Lewis, in Mere Christianity, wrote, “Our divisions should never be discussed except in the presence of those who have already come to believe that there [ continue reading ... ]