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Fellowship of Saints and Sinners

Fellowship of Saints and Sinners

Writing Archives

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 Away? […]

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For All Restless Souls—The Love-Hate Memoir of One Churchgoing Gal

My review of Rachel Held-Evans’ latest book Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving and Finding the Church went live yesterday at the Episcopal Digital Network’s Sermons That Work. You can read it here.

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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 least a bit more often. […]

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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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Author Marilynne Robinson Live: On Soul Vs. Mind and Why It Matters

My favorite contemporary author Marilynne Robinson was in town this week speaking at an event hosted by Emory’s University’s Carlos Museum. She was speaking with an astrophysicist who was also brilliant—but I was mostly there to hear Marilynne, whose gentle, […]

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Writing Sabbatical—and “The Departure of the Prodigal Son”

I’m sorry: my absenteeism at this intersection can be attributed to a number of things lately, the most pressing of which is my forthcoming book with author and Christian addiction specialist Jonathan Benz. The book (Prodigal Church or a version […]

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Free Grace Sticks Excerpt

Thanks for bearing with yesterday’s rant against gun rights legislation in Georgia. On another note, I was delighted to learn that Beliefnet has done a special promotion piece for my book Grace Sticks, featuring an extended excerpt from the first […]

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“Mean Grace?” Via Flannery O’Connor

This week I’m making my way through Flannery O’Connor’s book of short stories Everything That Rises Must Converge.  (The book’s title comes from the first story that appears in this series of O’Connor’s stories.) Three stories in, I’m struck by […]

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Insights from Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch

Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer prize-winning novel, The Goldfinch, all 776 pages of it, was beach reading this past week.  In addition to being one of those books that drips with brilliance on just about every page and is hard to put […]

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“Wild Geese” by Mary Oliver

Each week in hospice a team of doctors, nurses, chaplains and social workers meets to discuss every patient in their care. Usually the meeting starts with a few moments of silence remembering those who have died in the preceding days, […]

Check Out My New Website—Your Writing Referrals Get Free Copy of Grace Sticks

In the New Year I’ve started a freelance writing gig to support my family. (In previous posts I’ve shared a bit about the various challenges that go along with parenting a child with special needs, one of which is providing […]

Helpful First Review of Grace Sticks Just In

There will be many firsts in the New Year. If last year’s big first was the publication of Grace Sticks, this year’s reviews of the book are another. In fact, Susan Butterworth’s review in The Episcopal Digital Network’s wonderful, ecumenical online […]

“The Lord’s Supper”: A Poem

Whiny children with grubby hands lining up to grab at the hem of Your clothes in the bread and the wine. Pretty please. Only an indulgent parent would begrudge the presumption with which we take the bite-size pieces or the […]

Help Make One Dream a Reality—Support Independent Film Artist Amy Ball

In the spirit of yesterday’s post offering 4 tips for following your God-given dream (a.k.a. personal calling), I’m giving a shout-out of support to fellow saint and sinner Amy who quit her cushy corporate job at Starbucks to pursue her […]

Remembering Joyce and Little Things With Great Love

[A correction has been made to Joyce’s age in this latest version of the post.] And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. —1 Corinthians 13:13 Right now my father-in-law is waiting […]

Lessons for Restless Souls from Ernest Hemingway’s “The Sun Also Rises”

An audio version of Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises has been keeping me company in the car; and has convinced me that Hemingway was a restless soul, too (by “restless,” I mean another soul looking for more purpose, more […]

Talking Albatrosses and Freckled Monsters: The Power of Imagination

The other day as I sent my hubby and kids off to an escape at the beach far away from my manic dash to the finish line on the manuscript for Grace Sticks, I was struck once again by the […]

Saturday Silliness: Alternate Titles for Grace Sticks

After finishing Barbara Brown Taylor’s Leaving Church– more thoughts on this wonderful book later- I picked up Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (Reading Kaling is my way of grieving the departure of my favorite T.V. show, “The Office.”) […]

Mental Health Break- “Just a Ride”

What was to be Sunday’s serenade is now music for a manic Monday: “Just a Ride” by Jem is a reminder that life, much like writing, is a ride with ups and downs. The key is to let go and […]

Living To Write or Writing To Live?

Someone the other day asked how it was that I ended up writing a book. On a week like this one, when I’m under another self-imposed deadline to finish a second draft, the answer probably would be “God knows!” But […]

The Kiss: from “The Love Dare” Series

Self-described “author, artist and everyday radical” Emily Wierenga is a new friend in the blogosphere. Her latest book debuts on Mother’s Day: Mom in the Mirror explores issues of beauty and body image after pregnancy, and as a survivor of […]

“Don’t Let My Car Fool You. My Real Treasure Is In Heaven.”

I’ve missed you here at this intersection between life and God!  Last week’s scramble to meet a self-imposed deadline for Grace Sticks meant a cyber fast of sorts, but I’m grateful to be back. By way of an update to catch us […]

Writers’ Retreat

Last week we heard Lloyd Cole live at my favorite, local live music joint, Eddie’s Attic.  Lloyd even let us take a picture afterwards.  (Yes, you can say it: we’re groupies.) This week as I reluctantly peel away from blogging […]

“There’s Power in the Pen”: An Interview with Author Amy Julia Becker, Part 2

We’re back with evangelical author Amy Julia Becker for the second and final installment of our conversation.  Becker was named last fall by Christianity Today as one of a handful of influential women writers whose writings are shaping the church […]

“There’s Power In the Pen”: An Interview with Author Amy Julia Becker, Part 1

  Last fall Christianity Today named writer Amy Julia Becker one of “Fifty Women You Should Know.”  Becker has authored four books on faith, family and disability, the latest of which made its debut last week: What Every Woman Needs to Know About […]

Finding One’s Voice and Why It’s Important

Yesterday I made my first visit to my daughter’s prospective new school.  Founded in 1938 by the formidable Katherine “Kitty” Cathcart Hamm, the embodiment of the best in Southern gentility and herself the mother of a deaf son, the Atlanta […]

Publication Here We Come and The Joy of Being Impractical

It’s official: I’m pregnant, with a book that is. This morning I signed a contract with CASCADE Books, a division of Wipf and Stock Publishers, for the publication of Grace Sticks: The Bumper Sticker Gospel for Restless Souls. Grace Sticks […]

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 […]

“A Brief for the Defense”

  My favorite poem from the recent series by Andrew Sullivan (The Dish), Poems from the Year, contains refrains from the Old Testament, especially Ecclesiastes.  Even today’s reading from Nehemiah 8, where “the joy of the Lord is my strength,” […]

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 […]

Of Hate Mail and “Oxford Commas”

I got my very first piece of borderline hate mail recently. Since it has been said by writers far more seasoned than I that you haven’t really “arrived” in the blogging world until the hate mail starts accruing, I’m actually feeling […]

“When Death Comes”

It’s good to be back at this intersection between life and God- I’ve missed you all! Yesterday’s traveling companion home was the last chapter of Parker Palmer’s gem of a book, A Hidden Wholeness.  (It has convinced me that in another […]

Writing Your Life’s One-Sentence Summary

If you don’t hear from me for the next few days, it’s because I’ll be in Chicago, Illinois for the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion.  If you’re not familiar with AAR, it’s a very large gathering of […]

New and Improved “About Me,” Thanks To Bigtime Blogger Michael Hyatt

New York Times best-selling author Michael Hyatt knows a thing or two about blogging.  More than 272,000 people subscribe to his blog on “intentional leadership.” Hyatt’s book, Platform: Get Noticed In a Busy World, contains all sorts of helpful tips […]

Christian Meteorology: A New Series

The other day in class, someone made the following declaration: “That’s not theology.  That’s meteorology!,” he said.  I love it- hence the inspiration for a new series here at the intersection between life and God, titled “Christian Meteorology.”  We’ll feature […]

Reading, Writing and…Reviewing Books

“Doing what you’re doing- writing a book- is like running naked through the town square,” a friend of mine recently remarked. Thankfully, we don’t have much of a “town square” where I live in downtown Atlanta; and, besides, in the […]

Georgia’s First Female Catholic Priest To Be Ordained Today

It wasn’t supposed to be this way…but then again, nothing worth doing usually ever is.  Today longtime Catholic nun Diane Dougherty is being ordained just miles from my home in Atlanta’s First Metropolitan Community Church.  Doughterty’s ordination will not be […]

“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 […]

Is Rick Warren’s Daniel Plan An Exercise in “Selfish” Bible Reading?

Lately, as I make my way through Rachel Held-Evans’ A Year of Biblical Womanhood- (stay tuned for my upcoming review in the online ecumenical publication, Sermons That Work)– I’ve been obliged to reflect on the nature of “biblical authority.”  This […]

The Quality Difference: “Habit” Versus “Act”

“Quality is not an act but a habit.” So reads the banner which hangs in the warehouse of a trucking company where I serve as a corporate chaplain.  The mantra, I’m discovering, holds equally true whether we’re talking about marriage […]

Previous Posts

The Recovery-Minded Church Available for Pre-Order—and a Peek at the Cover!
It's been too long! Vacation, a family lice infestation, sickness, and preparation for a home renovation—much of it occurring at the same time—fun, huh?—have kept me away from this intersection. But I couldn't not share my delight at the ...

posted 6:07:11pm Jul. 01, 2015 | read full post »

Poverty vs. Privilege
Lately, I've been learning about poverty ...

posted 8:02:30pm Jun. 10, 2015 | read full post »

David Brooks and "The Big Me"—A Critique
In the midst of preparing for this major house renovation, ...

posted 3:55:10pm Jun. 02, 2015 | read full post »

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 »

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