Discovering Grace and Us

Americans love the Lone Ranger. Now, many of you may never have actually seen the Lone Ranger of TV lore like I did as a kid (yeah, I know I’m old), but believe me: You’ve seen the the Lone Ranger. Whether it’s Rambo, Jessica Jones or Deadpool, the myth of the lone enforcer—the one who has somehow suffered greatly and now exacts violent justice on evil doers—is an enduring American Idol. It’s celebrated and ruminated on in countless ways. It forms our imagination with a relentless power. And it cripples us all, especially when we bring that imagination into the Church. This week, we wrap up our teaching series based on Discovering Grace. In the process, we will unmask the Lone Ranger and

We all have scars, but are we welcome?

I was out to lunch recently with a friend. Catching up with her, I mentioned I had a journal that asked a question a day and each page had a spot for five answers, as it was a five -year journal. She inquired as to what kind of questions were asked. Off the top of my head I shared one that I was sort of stuck on: What is one thing you wish you didn’t know? I think the reason I had been so stuck on it is because good or bad, everything I know makes me who I am today. All of us have scars of some sort, whether they were of our own doing or as the victims of someone else. Those life experiences mold us into who we are. They shape how we vote, choose to raise our families, and even how we int

An Affair of the Heart

So, fun fact about me: My first long-term romantic relationship was with Rick Springfield. For a totally made-up mirage that only ever existed in my head, I’m not gonna lie — it was a Many Splendored Thing. I could NOT get enough of that beautiful man! I loved him deeply, boldly, without reservation. And what’s not to love? He’s hot, obviously. But he’s also thoughtful and sensitive (I’m guessing), he smells insanely good (probably) and he’s one of the best kissers in all the far reaches of the universe (I assume). I first saw him from across an uncrowded room (my living room, on TV), and I was enthralled. Actually, I was captivated by his voice before I ever laid eyes on him; he sang to me

Discovering Community in Worship

Dobre Otra! Hola! Hei! That’s “howdy” in Russian, Spanish and Finnish, in case you’re wondering. Pretty impressive, huh? Not really. Few things have been more frustrating for me than my failed attempts at learning different languages. While I can spout a few memorized phrases or read a few sentences in Spanish, Russian, Turkish and Finnish, along with some ancient Hebrew and Koine Greek, I’m so far from fluent in any of them. Hell, I still struggle with basic English. In spite of the best efforts of Senor Borges, my high school Spanish teacher, and all my friends and interpreters in various countries, I’ve never really picked up the local lingo. I’ve never done the one thing that makes learn

Connections and Community

As the time for the discussion question, What has been your vision of heaven? started last week at worship, the first person in my group commented that in the past, she understood that when she died, God would give her a nice, big mansion. All to herself. As she’s progressed in her journey with Christ, she’s come to understand that is not the nature of the God she serves! We hear it a lot at church: We are made to live in community. Find your tribe. These are my people I’m “doing life with.” The guys in my accountability group are iron on iron. I just haven’t connected with people here. Some of this talk can leave a person with FOMO (fear of missing out) feeling as if they just haven’t found

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