How I see my preaching.

Originally posted on RevGalBlogPals:


The church member stomped into the church offices on a Wednesday, Bible in hand, anger steaming off of him. It was a few weeks after the United Church of Christ General Synod 25 passed a resolution (July 4, 2005) supporting marriage equality for all, including marriages for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons.

“Do you have a Bible, Pastor?” He engaged me with that insult in the presence of church volunteers. In a well-meaning, soon-to-be-regretted attempt to be pastoral, I sat with him, our Bibles open. He directed us to Revelation 2:20, comparing me to “that woman Jezebel” who led her people toward wickedness.

His complaint?  We were too neutral. In truth, he wanted us to take his side, and he was angry that we didn’t even take a stand he could oppose.  Although the congregation had gathered to share information and to discuss the marriage equality resolution…

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Man this brings back some memories.

Originally posted on The Dallas Whisperer:

The following is based on questions I get about what it was like to grow up in Dallas.

1. The Texas Giant - You remember how big of a deal it was when the Texas Giant opened. Like seriously, it was a really really big deal.


2.  Cowboys and 49er’s - You had one friend that hated the Cowboys and loved the 49er’s. Despite how awesome the Cowboys were in the 90’s, you had one friend that just had to be different and like the 49er’s.


Suck it 49er’s…and Keith from 9th grade for liking them

3.  The Toadies Rumor – There was that rumor at your school about the Toadies Song “Possum Kingdom” being about the lead singer sister’s death or something to that effect.


The Toadies were way more than one song from Guitar Hero

4.  Kenny “the Shark” Gant – You remember Kenny “The Shark” Gant from…

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Another spot on reflection from my friend Marci!

Originally posted on Glass Overflowing:

I spoke this weekend at the Community Progressive event in Julia Davis Park. Here’s a recap of my remarks, updated in light of the Supreme Court ruling today.

There seems to be some confusion in our political and cultural discourse lately about what, exactly, constitutes “religious freedom”.

The idea of religious freedom is deeply coded into American culture, as many of our ancestors were fleeing religious persecution and sought the freedom to worship as they were called.

A portion of the scope of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution is that it prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, or impeding the free exercise of religion,

While freedom of belief is allowed, freedom of practices that run counter to neutrally enforced criminal laws is NOT always allowed.

If you claimed your religious tradition required child sacrifice, for example, your case would not find much…

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I was excited to receive a copy of Sea Raven’s Theology of Exile: The Year of Matthew (Commentary on the Revised Common Lectionary for an Emerging Christianity.) As a weekly preacher who uses the lectionary, I am always looking for resources, particularly ones that speak to emerging Christianity and the new realities that western Christianity faces.

Having read through the passages these past few weeks that pertain to the scriptures from the lectionary that I would be preaching on, I have been disappointed with what I found.  I have found the scholarship to be sound and the perspective clear.  But overall, each entry is quite brief and is mainly focused on deconstructing past interpretations.  I haven’t found very much that lifts up new and inspiring readings of the Word from an emergent perspective.  Because they are so brief, some entries don’t even address all of the lectionary texts for a particular week and often the ones left out are the ones I had hoped to read about.

A commentary on a whole year of the lectionary is a huge undertaking.  And maybe the goal was not for this to be used as a preaching resource.  I am glad to have it as one more place to look each week for another perspective, but can say that it will not be replacing any of my other primary commentaries and resources used for preaching on a weekly basis.  

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author and/or publisher through the Speakeasy blogging book review network. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR,Part 255.


I needed this today.

Originally posted on RevGalBlogPals:

Balls and Strikes

Balls and Strikes

Dear God,

Last night a manager
was thrown out of the game
for arguing over balls and strikes.
We wonder,
Why would he do that so early in the game?

Yesterday a sister
got the word out to the world
about something that matters.
We wonder,
Why do those who disagree fight ugly?

Somewhere a woman we don’t know
told the truth about her life
and lost a friend, a job, a place to live.
We wonder,
Why are people so hard on prophets?

You know all about it.

Soften our hearts, Holy One.
Soften our judging hearts,
Quiet our racing minds,
Still our typing fingers
Long enough to listen
For Your words and Your way.

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This sums up what I’ve been trying to say far better than I have been able to. “Those that seek to save their life will lose it, those who lose their life for me will save it.”-Matthew 16:25

Originally posted on helping my unbelief:

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) made headlines last week at its 221st General Assembly. At this weeklong gathering the body made a number of decisions, most of which are overshadowed by the two biggest issues: same-sex marriage and divestment. These are obviously watershed moments for the denomination. One publication described the decision on same-sex marriage as a “denomination-altering moment.” And it certainly is that.

I was not at GA, but I did watch a good bit of the live stream and I followed the conversations on Twitter rather closely. What fascinated me most was not so much that these things passed (I expected the same-sex overtures to pass and figured the divestment vote would be close — seven votes!), but that so much of the dialogue and debate, at least on Twitter, had to do with how people would view the church if these things passed and how many people we might lose.

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Wise words from a wise colleague

Originally posted on Wrestling with Discipleship:

Anytime Facebook gets momentum on profile pictures being changed for advocacy reasons it creates tension.  Last time I experienced this with the red equal signs for marriage equality and I, after a FB exchange, blogged about why I did it, here.

Yesterday, again with marriage equality, the denomination in which I serve – The Presbyterian Church (USA) – made way for marriage equality through two efforts: one immediately allowing pastors to use discretion and perform same-gender marriages, and the other a constitutional change to the definition of marriage affirming its traditional understanding as between a man and woman but also changing to two persons to recognize a larger understanding of marital covenants. Then a lot of Presbys took FB profile pics by storm changing our seal to some version of rainbow.

Today I heard (indirectly, but I heed her voice) from another person who didn’t appreciate the “rainbowing” of…

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