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Fellowship of Saints and Sinners

Fellowship of Saints and Sinners

Good News Archives

A Glorious Dark: A Review

Three years ago, when pastor, seminary professor and author A.J. Swoboda’s first book Messy made its debut, I said I hoped the book would not be his last; so when a review copy of Swoboda’s second book, A Glorious Dark, […]

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The Witness: A Good Friday Sermon

For the last three years I’ve had the privilege of participating in an annual ecumenical and interracial Good Friday service, “Women’s Views of the Cross.” This year I’ll preach from the perspective of Mary, the mother of James and Joses, […]

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Musical Mental Health Break—”Agape” by Bear’s Den

This week’s musical mental health break is from the British folk band Bear’s Den who performed at my local bar The Earl on Monday night. (Any band that opens for Mumford & Sons I’m gonna like, so I knew I […]

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Justice Advocate Bruce Strom Shares Stories from Frontlines

Yesterday we met Bruce Strom who is helping to grow and steer a movement of lawyers and churches giving a voice to legally disenfranchised (and poor) populations in this country. Today we get a bit more personal, with Bruce sharing […]

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Giving Thanks for Restless Soul Brennan Manning

Author of The Ragamuffin Gospel Brennan Manning passed away early Saturday morning. Like most of us, he lived a life of mistakes, U-turns, detours, tumbles and face plants. What made his life shine with meaning and purpose were his radical […]

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The “Eucatastrophe” of Easter

Yesterday fellow saint and sinner Tammy shared this meditation on the meaning of Good Friday; but its use of J.R.R. Tolkien’s term, “eucatastrophe,” also makes it an Easter sermon for anyone anywhere who has sat, metaphorically speaking, outside a tomb […]

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Of Dating, Backgammon and Patience: A Sermon

Fellow saint and sinner Jake Dell preached this sermon yesterday, and has agreed to share it with us.  (Thank you, Jake!)  You can find more of Jake’s reflections at his blog: How many times have you left someone or something […]

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Narcissistic Evangelism

Last week someone inquired about the book I’m writing. “It’s a book for all those who would describe themselves as ‘spiritual but not religious,’” I had replied.  (The “spiritual but not religious” are all the folks who check “none” next […]

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Mary Magdalene’s Tears: A Homiletics of Remaining

If you’ve been wondering why FSS has been a bit catatonic in the last couple of days, it’s because I’ve been writing a final paper for my women’s theology class- about how to preach to those whose lives have been […]

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The Easter Grouch Speaks

“We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.” – 2 Corinthians 4:10 —————————- “Christ is risen!”  My cup is running over- or so I’m told. […]

Desperate Housewife or God’s Dreamer? Station 5

Finally, the sermon that many of you helped me write in encouraging the use of “appropriate” humor even on the darkest day of the church calendar.  Today’s Good Friday service at Mount Zion A.M.E. will be a series of  meditations […]

Cyber Evangelism

I’ve missed you all! If you’ve missed me, it’s because I’ve been playing single mom on the home front to two young children who have decided that they would prefer not to sleep at night when Daddy is away. Until […]

Another Reason Why I Am On Occasion An “Agnostic Christian”…A Response to My Last Post

By way of an update, I received the following comment in response to my last post, and have decided to keep the identity of the person who wrote this private (although their response was shared publicly).  Apparently my gendered language […]

The Haves and Have-Nots: Weird Jesus Sayings Continued

“You’ve been given the gift of knowing the secrets of the kingdom of heaven,” Jesus replied, “but they haven’t been given it.  Anyone who already has something will be given more, and they will have plenty. But anyone who has […]

Make Love Not War: A Christmas Story

I promised you a Christmas story.  This one is a Christmas story in several unique ways.  It’s a story about God’s grace not as a distant ideal but as an embodied, tangible, very personal encounter. And it’s a story about […]

From Disciples to Fisher People: Weird Sayings Continued…

“As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew.  They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. ‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will […]

Backhanded Compliments: Weird Sayings Continued

“I’m telling you the truth: John the Baptist is the greatest mother’s son there ever was.  But even the least significant person in heaven’s kingdom is greater than he is.”  Matthew 11:11 (translation is N.T. Wright, Matthew for Everyone) It can almost […]

The Playground Police

Did you know that there are now apparently playground police   officers?  I got stopped by one yesterday. She was in full uniform.  The real deal: a City of Atlanta officer with badge, belt and holster to show for it. […]

Walking With A Limp

Jacob was left alone; and a man wrestled with him until daybreak.  When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he struck him on the hip socket; and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled […]

The Difference Between Grace and a Sears Appliance Warranty

The $400 Kenmore Inteli-Clean vacuum cleaner I bought last year as part of a crusade on dog hair and allergens is on the fritz.  Again.  When I turn it on, it squeaks, moans, whirs, shakes and does nothing. If Jesus […]

Jesus Walks On Water

Remember the crazy story about Peter and Jesus walking on water (Matthew 14:22-33)?  To refresh our memories…Peter and the disciples are out in a boat in the middle of the night when Jesus appears, taking a little stroll on the […]

The Gift of Failing

Garrison Keillor read this poem by Wendell Berry on yesterday’s “The Writer’s Almanac”: IX. I go by a field where once I cultivated a few poor crops. It is now covered with young trees, for the forest that belongs here has come back […]

Words for a Dying Friend

Then Moses climbed Mount Nebo from the plains of Moab to the top of Pisgah, across from Jericho.  There the Lord showed him the whole land…Then the Lord said to [Moses], ‘”This is the land I promised on oath to […]

Previous Posts

In the Clear: Meditations on Cleaning House
The last few weeks have comprised a massive de-cluttering initiative in preparation for a home renovation, as we clear out junk from our basement, attic and just about anywhere useless stuff has managed to accrue. What Do We Throw ...

posted 2:04:34pm May. 20, 2015 | read full post »

For All Restless Souls—The Love-Hate Memoir of One Churchgoing Gal
My review of Rachel ...

posted 12:13:35pm May. 13, 2015 | read full post »

Upcoming Review of Rachel Held-Evans' Latest Book
Yesterday I submitted a final, much-revised manuscript for The Recovery-Minded Church: Loving and Ministering to People with Addictions (InterVarsity Press, 2015)—which hopefully means I can be back at this intersection between God and life at ...

posted 3:55:35pm May. 12, 2015 | read full post »

"The Power of Introductions," Via Bruce Strom and Gospel Justice
I've featured the work of my friend and inspiration Bruce Strom, a lawyer who directs the organization Gospel Justice Initiative, at this intersection before. Bruce once had a cushy job as the senior partner at a corporate law firm, but he gave ...

posted 11:06:21am May. 05, 2015 | read full post »

5 Spiritual Lessons from Editing The Recovery-Minded Church
The edits to The Recovery-Minded Church: Loving and Ministering to People with Additions (IVP) have been substantial and time-consuming, thanks to a ...

posted 10:23:02am Apr. 27, 2015 | read full post »

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