“That’s PASTOR Mom to you, missy.”

When I saw my mom kneeling before the bishop of our synod to receive the stole I'd made her as a symbol of the office she would bear, I saw a woman who had been in (sometimes agonized) conversation with this call and the Holy Spirit for over thirty years. She has struggled with and overcome abuse, self-doubt, academic challenge, separation from her home and family, and health issues, and she's done it all while still handling the responsibilities being a mother, a wife, and a homemaker.


Cry Me a River, Pooch

I was brought forth from the bathroom this morning in emotional disarray, fully convinced, by the sounds Barnaby was making, that in the five minutes he'd been alone he'd fashioned a bear trap out of the coffee table and had gotten stuck in it. But no. My dog's full-on cry for help was initiated by the loss of his Squeaky Rubber Kong Toy under the bed.

Seeing in the Rain

The tune to the old hymn runs, "I once was blind, but now I see." The falling waters of baptism call us to recognize a different way of seeing the world: grace-saturated, soaked with abundance, streaming with justice and mercy, and surrounding us with the dripping sound of steadfast love.

Civil War in an Efficiency Apartment

My beloved pooch hit week four of being in this apartment and something flipped in his synaptic connections, some switch that was telling him at first that the apartment was mine and he just lived there has suddenly started telling him that this space is his personal kingdom, and his new mission is to disabuse me of the notion that I am in charge of it.

What makes music Lutheran?

Isn't Lutheran music Christian music? Well, sure. But Christian rock has been redefining what most people think of when they hear the phrase "Christian music," and as it grows more popular on the airwaves it grows more popular in church, too. Lutherans, along with plenty of other mainline Protestant denominations, have been slow to jump on this trend. We are not trendy people. We like traditions, not trends. We wouldn't eat lutefisk if we didn't.

Lutheran Contemporary Music Resources

As part of the my independent study on contemporary music, I compiled a resource that I hope will be particularly useful for Lutheran pastors who are either trying to make a foray into the world of contemporary Christian music, start contemporary services, or who are trying to get their congregations to rock out with their Bach out. So here's a list of books, websites, and artists that I started...please help me add to it!

On summer supply and being dragged to church

Most Sundays I would have been happier staying in my pajamas and watching cartoons, but Mom would harass me until I got out of bed, dressed reasonably, and crawled sulkily into the car. But now that I’m a little older, I’m grudgingly grateful that she and my dad were so faithful in my spiritual formation, because being dragged by my parents to church every week is the closest thing I can think of when I try to understand how God is dragging us to Jesus.

Jesus: Sarxy and he knows it

There are moments when knowing Greek makes the Word of God weird for me. Moments like the one I had with the gospel text this week, when I realized that “sarx” occurs six times in nine verses, with a form of “estheo” paired with it three times. Moments like the one when you realize that a sarcophagus isn’t just a cool Egyptian coffin. It’s what Jesus is calling his followers to be in today’s gospel.