Sweeping Statements

There are a few things that have been driving me crazy lately – and one of those things is some of the sweeping statements I see coming from bloggers.

Christians don’t care about reconciliation
Christians don’t want to hear the truth
Christians don’t really want to welcome everyone to the table
White people don’t care about black people or understand racism
Christians don’t actually CARE

Sweeping statements drive me CRAZY. I understand people are trying to make a point about some sort of inconsistency or hypocrisy we’ve seen in the church or somewhere – but I think all we’re really achieving is making people want to listen to us less – feel defensive and closed off.

It aggravates me when I go to a justice conference and someone stands up front and says “Christians just don't care that women are raped and beaten – Christians don’t know this is happening over here – Christians think this is a problem that is only overseas” or statements to that nature. Because that’s not true. I know and I care. And plenty of wonderful people in my life do as well and have dedicated their life to being an abolitionist. And, frankly, if someone is AT that conference – they probably care!

I think this is one of my biggest frustrations with many of the emergent Christian voices today. Their twitter accounts drive me batty. They want to believe they are the bullhorns in the marketplace or the martyrs in the city square. If they call God a “she” they’re edgy. If they say they have “doubts” their the ONLY one and should be given a medal and everyone comfort them because “CHRISTIANS DON’T UNDERSTAND AND JUDGE ME”

We’re all on this journey together. We all struggle in different areas. We’re all broken. But we aren’t ALL the same. Not ALL white people are indifferent to the racism that plagues our nation. Not ALL Christians [insert whatever cause you care about that you don’t think anyone else cares about].
How about we engage in a little more conversation and a little less critical observation. Extend a little more grace and a little less judgment.

Was this whole blog a sweeping statement? I hope not :)



Where is the line between knowing that your time is not your own – and setting boundaries? Being part of a community and putting others before yourself – but also being sure to pay attention to self-care?

This becomes even more frustrating in ministry and work situations – when your decisions affect more than just yourself. When deciding to hold a strong line for your own personal boundaries puts more pressure and responsibilities on co-workers because of your pulling back.

When is it appropriate to draw those lines? When is it selfish to draw those lines? When are boundaries just an excuse to not put forward extra effort and really be part of the team? When are boundaries healthy and when do we need to take up the call to serve and put others before ourselves?



I am wrapping up a 15-week inner healing program, which has started to bring into focus to some of these things God has been doing in my life. Bringing healing and clarity and freedom from some of the shame in my life. Healing broken relationships. Creating healthy boundaries. Extending forgiveness to others and myself. And finding my own voice again – as well as the courage to use it.

I’m single. (I am sure a lot of you knew that. But there are enough of you I have talked to recently that seemed totally shocked when you found that out that I thought I would clear the air. A surprising number of people in my life have told me recently that they “totally thought you were married!” So…just to clear the air, I’m not.)

And I haven’t even dated anyone in about two years, when the dream I was dating abruptly ended things with me in an email. I think he ripped part of my heart out in the process. I am not one that easily trusts or embraces vulnerability – but he made it easy. And I really did think he was perfect for me. I also think I wrongly associated some of the work God was doing in my life with his presence at that precise moment in my journey. He brought a lot of insight to the darkness I was experiencing, gave me new language and new literature and helped me reach the surface again so I didn't feel like I was drowning anymore. So when he walked away, I was left standing perplexed and have since resisted wanting/seeking/trusting love in any sort of way for quite a while.  And I wandered around confused. Trying to find myself again and who I thought I was and what I feel I am worthy of.

It has been a longer road than I would have liked. But God has brought me to some beautiful places. It took wandering through the wilderness to break me of some of the broken identity I had been living with. And to figure out that it was God all along that had been walking with me and processing my brokenness, I just put all my hope and feelings in this more tangible man. It is frustrating that God uses the wilderness in that way – but he always has. The Israelites had to wander through the wilderness for many years, to break their identity as slaves. The first thing God commanded them to do was practice Sabbath. Because slaves never get a Sabbath – their worth is in their work, what they produce, their ability to bring about an end product. And I was putting my worth in all of the wrong things. Placing my identity in what others thought. I LIKED God, a lot actually, but it was a painful process to go through to realized that I didn't actually LOVE God (more on that later!)

That’s partially what renewing this blog has been about. Trusting my healing - trusting my voice. Having the courage to share my thoughts and opinions and being vulnerable enough to even share the stupid stuff. To share my experiences again. To wander with God again. And realize that maybe a bit of it just might be relatable. 


Who is My Neighbor?

We talked a lot about loving your neighbor this last weekend at the Inhabit conference I attended. Which is cool, because it is scriptural and Jesus did it and it is a great idea.

But I have been doing a lot of thinking about how to convince your neighbor that they WANT to be loved.

About two years ago my roommate Brittany and I decided to make cookies for all our neighbors so we could get to know them a bit more and start to build relationships with them. We spent hours cooking and wrapping and packaging and going door to door delivering them.

But here’s the thing – a good majority of our neighbors didn’t want them.
Or were afraid of them.
Or really didn’t like that we had knocked on their door and interrupted their afternoon.
Or felt it was an intrusion.
Or thought we were just plain weird.

How do you follow Christ’s example to love others when the other doesn’t want to be loved?
What if they would prefer that you don’t persist?
Is sometimes the best way to love your neighbor to look out for them but NOT come on their front porch and invade their privacy?

Or is that the only way to actually BECOME a neighbor? Do you have to sometimes awkwardly force yourself into relationship? Has our society created systems that make us believe we are an intrusion when actually we are not and we have to break that cycle?

How would you respond if someone walked up to your door? Do you take that as a grateful opportunity to get to know your neighbor more (even the Jehovah’s Witnesses) or are you annoyed that you had to pause your Netflix and get up off the couch?


What's So Wrong With Formal Education?

There is a recent trend against education. At least formal education. And I find it so interesting (and a little bit frustrating if I am honest with you all)

I will admit that I am a highly educated person – so perhaps my resistance to their resistance (was that confusing?) comes from wanting to justify all the education I have pursued and paid for. I have a High School diploma, a Bachelors degree, two Masters degrees and am half way through a Doctor of Ministry degree.  I (clearly) LOVE education. I love to read, and write out my thoughts, and challenge my preconceived ideas and see how my actions, behaviors and beliefs change over time. I love to have conversations with different backgrounds and belief systems in a room that make me see things in a way I never have before.

And I think a lot of people, whether they engage in formal education or not, are like this. Because conferences are huge and hip right now, people love going and chatting with like-minded people and taking about how we will change the world. They just don’t see that as education. Or at least a formal form of education.

I was working the Fuller booth at a conference this last weekend and someone came up just to tell me they were not interested in Fuller because they were more of a practitioner and didn’t want to do any of that formal education.

But that’s the thing – I am a practitioner too! Academics and the practice of ministry aren’t mutually exclusive. We should all be continually learning and retooling and sharpening our skills. We should all be in rooms with people different than ourselves having conversations that push us deeper and challenge the ways we’ve been thinking about God, ministry and theology.

I was also sitting across the table from a friend the other day that said to me: “I don’t know if your Doctor of Ministry degree should make me listen to you more, or actually make me listen to you less! I lean toward the latter!”

Education isn’t bad. And I know you don’t have to go to a graduate school to get it. It can happen, in very deep and profound ways, at conferences and bible studies and church and by reading books. But it CAN also happen in an academic setting. Through curated conversations and lectures and paper writing and research. So stop looking down on people who have formal education – they have a lot to bring to the education. And stop looking down on people who don’t – they have just as much to bring.

We’re all lifelong learners. We’ve just got to find those environments that challenge and stretch us. What’s yours? Have you found it yet?