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Fellowship of Saints and Sinners

Fellowship of Saints and Sinners

Redemption Archives

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 talented editor (a shout-out to Helen Lee) performing her job well. The editing process has also kept me […]

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A Christmas Homily

While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available […]

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Meet Someone on Frontlines of Injustice in America

Yesterday I promised you a treat: today is the first installment of an interview with Bruce Strom. Strom directs the organization Gospel Justice Initiative and is the author of the book Gospel Justice. I met Bruce after writing Grace Sticks […]

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Baby Blues and Royal Grievances

Has anyone else been annoyed by last week’s publicity tirade around the birth of Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge? I wonder if the joyous furor would have been so shrill if the new addition to the royal family were […]

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The Dog Days of Summer—A Lesson in the Limits of Redemption

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Yesterday the dog trainer with the Atlanta Humane Society came to start a spate of in-home training sessions with our dog Roosevelt— this after Roosevelt had bitten a couple of neighbors, snapped at […]

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Official Release of “Mom in the Mirror” Today

Today marks the official release of friend Emily Wierenga’s book, Mom in the Mirror. Wierenga, a former anorexic, and Dena Cabrera, an expert on eating disorders, teamed up to write a book that tackles issues of post-pregnancy body image for […]

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One Boy’s Wish Comes True

Fellow saint and sinner Paul sent along this heartwarming video about a boy whose wish came true. Eight-year-old Atticus in Portland, Oregon, loves soccer. He also happens to have cancer. One day he got his wish: to play the Portland […]

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Confession of a Yard Sale Junkie (A Replay)

It’s another beautiful Saturday morning in my neighborhood of downtown Atlanta, and today I’m noting another sign that spring is here to stay: the yard sale signs are out in full proliferation! Yes! In tribute, I’m replaying a post that […]

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Youthful Blogging = Narcissism?

A recent debate on Andrew Sullivan’s blog, The Dish, contends that youthful bloggers have the monopoly on narcissism- that in resorting to largely confessional prose and memoir, these younguns regale their readerships with every “tawdry twist and turn” of their […]

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“O Holy Night”

We sang this hymn in church today.  In the wake of Friday morning’s massacre of a first-grade class of school children, the meaning of “O Holy Night” made me cry like a baby.  (Never mind my husband’s running joke that […]

“This Isn’t The Way It Was Supposed To Be”

Several days of listlessly lying around with the rest of the family, all of us having succumbed to the flu, has not produced any great mystical visions or deep thoughts.  In the absence of these, I’m grateful for a resource […]

Remembering the Driftwood Artist

Almost one year ago, in the week leading up to Christmas, I met “the driftwood artist.” I wonder if he is still there peddling his art on that part of coastal highway that runs through St. Petersburg, Florida. And,  I […]

Mental Health Break: “Redemption Song”

Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song” seems fitting today as tomorrow we Americans head for the polls to elect our next president. I fell in love with this version of the song, compliments of the group, “Playing for Change.”  Enjoy!

“Change”

In the last several years, fellow saint and sinner Tammy Perlmutter has, like many of us, witnessed a whole lot of change, much of it just downright sad, hard and disenchanting.  Tammy posted this wonderful little entry on change in […]

From War to Peace: A Story of Reconciliation in Burundi, Take 2

Those of you who caught last week’s post and have been waiting for a working link at which to view the ten-minute video I mentioned, don’t need to wait any longer.  The video, compliments of the World Prayer Assembly, tells […]

From War to Peace: A Powerful, True Story of Reconciliation

The east African nation of Burundi has witnessed a long, bloody, and tragic history of civil war.  The same ugly tribalism and brutality between Hutus and Tutsis that have swept neighboring Rwanda- (resulting in 1994 in a genocide of more […]

“The Man Who Gave the World His Number”

My hubby and fellow saint and sinner Paul Dover ran across this article from the BBC which brought tears to my eyes.  It’s about a guy named Jeff Ragsdale who, finding himself alone in the aftermath of a devastating break-up, […]

Resurrection, Keane-Style

Resurrection is on my mind this week as I prepare to preach tomorrow on the passage from John 11, where Jesus in raising Lazarus from the dead describes Himself as “The Resurrection and The Life.” Maybe this is why the […]

Anger Management 101

Two days ago someone I know who I would prefer not to know made me very angry. I was so angry that when I went grocery shopping, I left all of my purchased bags of groceries in my shopping cart […]

Vulnerability and Glory: What the Olympics Teach Me

I’ve been asked to contribute to Beliefnet’s forthcoming series on the Olympics.  I’ll keep you posted on when that series airs, but in the meantime, here are some reflections on what the Olympics teach me about the marriage of vulnerability […]

From Boobs to Brains: A Four-Part Interview with a Stanford Neuroscientist

If all this boobie talk is becoming tiresome- incidentally just the other day NPR’s Terry Gross was interviewing someone who has written a whole book on breasts- we’re on to a subject I find frankly far more scintillating.  It’s one […]

A Mother’s Day Tribute

You may have heard me tell this story once before here, in the context of “Body Dysmorphic Disorder” (http://blog.beliefnet.com/fellowshipofsaintsandsinners/2011/11/body-dysmorphic-disorder.html), but with Mother’s Day tomorrow, it’s worth a retell as a tribute to my mother and the many of you engaging in […]

“The Beloved Oppressor” and Bad Atonement Theories

Larry King interviewed Admiral General Aladeen of the Republic of Wadiya (a.k.a. Sasha Baron Cohen) a few days ago in advance of Baron Cohen’s forthcoming movie, “The Dictator.”  (If Baron Cohen’s first film, “Borat,” is any indication, the film will […]

The White Chip

  “The White Chip” He said she’d not make a good poker player. She only played once, now one’s for the taking. The white chips— for the lowest wager— and she’s still gambling on a turnaround. No more conceit.  No […]

“Earth Day” a.k.a. “Easter”?

We were driving home from school during Holy Week last year when I put the question before my then four-year-old son.  “Do you know what happens this weekend?,” I had asked him- and I’d be lying to say I had […]

Life is not a running game in “Touchback”

Happy Easter, everyone! Christ is risen, which is something I have some thoughts and even grumblings about- yes, you read that correctly- so stay tuned for another post about that.  In the meantime, the following review of “Touchback,” opening in […]

Prayer and Redemption as Body Language

Yesterday I prayed silently and loudly…with my hand. Yes, you read that correctly.  No typo here.  I prayed with my hand. First, it seemed weird, maybe even a bit hokey.  I felt self-conscious.   I, like so many of us […]

How Hungry Are You? Jesus Epithets Continued

The following is a sermon that I will preach to the good people of Clairmont Presbyterian Church on the fifth Sunday of Lent (tomorrow).  It’s also a continuation of our series, “Jesus Epithets,” with a view to exploring what it […]

The Rainy Day Marriage of Creation and Redemption

Who would have thunk that you could be baptized by a rain storm and saved every day?  That’s Anabaptist alright- but I like it! Garrison Keillor read the following poem by Gary Young yesterday on The Writer’s Almanac, and I thought […]

Clubbing with Jesus

If Christianity were a dance club, then it would seem to have a lot of bouncers lately.  First it was Franklin Graham, questioning the authenticity of President Obama’s Christian faith and implying that he could be a closet Muslim after […]

R-Rated, Dirty Laundry: The Temple and Jesus Epithets Continued

“‘Destroy this Temple,’ replied Jesus, ‘and I’ll raise it up in three days.’ ‘It’s taken forty-six years to build this Temple,’ responded the Judaeans, ‘and are you going to raise it up in three days?’ But Jesus was speaking about […]

An Agnostic Christian’s Valentine’s Day Prayer

Forgive me, Father God, for seeking shelter in the statistics, so that I might never have been obliged to know that somewhere in the middle of the Sudan, an abandoned child bowed down to You in starvation, waiting to become […]

In Defense of Rob Bell’s “Love Wins”

Apparently Rob Bell’s best-selling Love Wins and its ambivalent stance towards an “eternal” hell (as “eternal” has historically been interpreted by evangelicals at least) continue to send ripples.  Two authors, author of Crazy Love Francis Chan and senior managing editor of Christianity […]

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 […]

Telling Secrets, a.k.a. “Confession”

Almost ten years ago, I, at the time a seminary student preparing for ministry in the Presbyterian church, confessed my sins to a Catholic priest and received the sacrament of reconciliation:  I cried tears of repentance, received absolution for my […]

The Driftwood Artist

You can’t miss his gallery shack.  It overlooks the ocean on a stretch of coastal highway near St. Petersburg, Florida.  His driftwood sculptures are perched in front:  an ensemble of rotted tree branches, old fish nets, rusty pieces of metal- […]

Resurrection at Wendy’s

“Thank you for resurrecting me,” she stammered, a crooked smile breaking out across her face.  “Merry Christmas.” A moment of lucidity.  Then she was back in her own world, her eyes beholding some distant shoreline, her mutterings only understandable to […]

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 […]

The One, Unforgivable Thing: Weird Sayings Continued

“If anyone speaks a word against the son of man, it will be forgiven.  But if anyone speaks a word against the Holy Spirit, it won’t be forgiven, either in the present age or in the age to come” (Matthew […]

Kingdom of Heaven Acrobatics: Weird Jesus Sayings Continued…

“Don’t suppose that I came to destroy the law and the prophets.  I didn’t come to destroy them; I came to fulfill them!  I’m telling you the truth: until heaven and earth disappear, not one stroke, not one dot, is […]

“Cry, Cry Africa.”

“Cry, cry Africa, only cry for southern Sudan.”  (The refrain of a song sung by the children of Amazing Grace Orphanage, in southern Sudan.) We had been warned that some times the Sudanese government sent Antonov bombers across the border […]

“The Little Ones”: Weird Jesus Sayings Continued

“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to trip up…it would be better for them to have a huge millstone hung around their neck and be drowned out in the deep sea.” Matthew 18:6 Jesus could […]

Confession of a Yard Sale Junkie

I confess I’m a yard sale junkie.  On most any Saturday the signs in the neighborhood trigger those irrepressible hunter-gatherer instincts. In no time I am digging through other people’s junk looking for treasure. It is amazing, too, what turns […]

Playing Host to Our Demons: Weird Sayings Continued…

“When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it.  Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’  When it arrives, it finds the house swept […]

Jesus as Renaissance Man: Weird Sayings Continued…

“No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth onto an old coat.  The patch will simply pull away from the coat, and you’ll have a worse hole than you started with. People don’t put new wine into old wineskins, otherwise […]

Who God Is, Who We Are, and Why That Matters

(A sermon delivered to the good people of Stockbridge Presbyterian during the season of Easter…) Today we’ll spend some time in the book of Acts looking at the apostle Paul’s missionary visit to the great ancient city of Athens, Greece and his famous speech […]

Previous Posts

Life Is Short. Seek Faithfulness.
Within a few hours of its appearance here at this intersection between God and life, my last post on the Ashley Madison scandal had a total of one share. "It must've been something I said," I told my husband later that night, as we were ...

posted 10:01:05am Aug. 31, 2015 | read full post »

3 Quasi-Spiritual Lessons from the Ashley Madison Scandal
For those of us saints and sinners who even remotely have been following last week’s Ashley Madison scandal, I can think of at least three lessons it offers (and you may have more, in which case feel free to leave them below): 1. Chances ...

posted 6:14:59pm Aug. 27, 2015 | read full post »

John Oliver vs. Televangelists and Their "Big Seed" Prosperity Gospel
If you've not seen it, you must: John Oliver on "Last Week Tonight" offered the most brilliantly funny rebuke of televangelists and the prosperity gospel I've seen to date. Oliver doesn't mince words, including the four-letter ones, in blasting ...

posted 2:21:12am Aug. 18, 2015 | read full post »

How the Latest Revelations Re: ISIS' Systemized Sexual Violence Against Girls Remind Me I Am Not a Pacifist
As if ISIS had not already convinced us enough of its total depravity ... the latest revelations by The New York Times —(be forewarned, they are disturbing to read) — remind me why I am not a pacifist. As if turning small boys into child ...

posted 5:54:37pm Aug. 14, 2015 | read full post »

Mustard Seed Faith and a Mustard Seed Kingdom of God, Via Mary Oliver
Last ...

posted 1:47:32pm Aug. 12, 2015 | read full post »

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