Marriage: Beyond the Toothpaste Cap

The pastor assigned to conduct our pre-marital counselling tilted back in his seat and smiled wryly at us. He must have known, looking at our young, eager faces. How very unprepared we were. How little we knew about making a life together. Perhaps he thought we wouldn’t heed his advice, in our freshly engaged, love-soaked […]

An Advent Prayer

Pausing to Say, “Thank You,” and “You’re Welcome!” We’re halfway there, Lord. Halfway. We’re walking through this season of waiting we call Advent, this season filled with songs in a minor key, and we’re grateful for it. More than many in recent memory, this particular Advent feels heavy, confusing, and terribly sad. The world around […]

We Are the Church

My story of church began 35 years ago. My first experience took place in a small Nazarene chapel. This was my sanctuary from the day I was born until the day I graduated from high school. It was a small country building, painted white, with a steeple. There were only a handful of kids and we […]

Grown Ups Need Timeouts Too

Recently, a friend of mine posted a verse on Instagram. Psalm 84:5-7, “Blessed are those whose strength is in you … they go from strength to strength.” It’s a perfectly lovely verse, but as I read it, the words that came out of my mouth were an accusation. “That’s not true,” I muttered. And I […]

Teaching a Pessimist to Pray

Hal the Owl Be Your Name When I was young, my mom recited the Lord’s Prayer before bed regularly. I would keep my eyes shut and obediently repeat after her, “Hal the Owl be your name.” Why did Jesus like owls so much? I wasn’t quite sure but I didn’t question it. Prayer was this […]