Going On: A Play in One Act

An audio of a performance of "Going On" from December 21, 2019 at Christ the Servant Lutheran Church, with Lauren Diesch as Kate, Lanny Langston as Todd, and Katie Langston as Deanna. Download a PDF of "Going On." You're welcome to perform it (and to cut the swear words for a church performance); please drop... Continue Reading →

Is This What You Think I Want?

Sermon from February 9, 2020 A hopefully-not-too-presumptuous modern-day paraphrase of Isaiah 58:1-12 Listen up, people!I’ve got a message for you from God, and I’m gonna wail it out like an electric guitar.God is sick of our rebellion, our neglect of what is right.And I’m not going to sugarcoat it for you:We’re in some deep trouble.... Continue Reading →

2019 Superlatives

Favorite moments and media from the year that was. (Disclaimer: Not much of this stuff came out in 2019, this is just when I discovered it.) Reads In the Wilderness: Coming of Age in an Unknown Country by Kim Barnes. This is a beautiful memoir by poet Kim Barnes about her childhood in northern Idaho.... Continue Reading →

The Sign: An Advent Reflection

Isaiah 7:10-17 10 Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, 11 “Ask the Lord your God for a sign, whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights.” 12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask; I will not put the Lord to the test.” 13 Then Isaiah said, “Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of humans? Will you try the... Continue Reading →

What Makes a Saint?

I preached this sermon at Christ the Servant Lutheran Church on November 3, 2019 for All Saints' Day. "What Makes a Saint?" Luke 18:9-14 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) 9 He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to... Continue Reading →

How Do We Know What We Know?

The essay that follows can be downloaded as a PDF with references and footnotes here. Pernik, Bulgaria, November 2003 Ivan[1] glanced up, a mix of affection and annoyance in his eyes. “Az znam che nishto ne znam,” he said. “You know what that means, don’t you?”  I nodded. The only thing I know is that... Continue Reading →

God Invites Our Disappointment: Praying the Psalms

Back in February, I had the chance to chat with my dear friend Gina Colvin on her podcast, A Thoughtful Faith, about the practice of praying the Psalms. I thought I'd share the conversation here for those who are interested. Enjoy! God Invites Our Disappointment: Praying the Psalms (A Thoughtful Faith ep. 281)

Are Mormons Christians?

I've seen this tweet blow up in my feed the past couple of days: https://twitter.com/warriorwoman91/status/1138580226496126976 You have the typical replies. "We're not Mormons! We're members of TCoJCoLDS!" https://twitter.com/7AwesomeAustins/status/1138606129720676352 And of course the old, "Jesus is in the name of the church" canard. https://twitter.com/melaya_huffaker/status/1138865258691534848 And my favorite, the "we didn't want to be Christians anyway" response.... Continue Reading →

What is grace?

Today, as I attended Mormon services with my family, an older woman approached me and asked me, "What is grace?" She shared she'd been struggling lately. We had a short conversation, but I wish I'd had the wherewithal to tell her: Grace is bedrock of what is truly real. Grace is the assurance of God's... Continue Reading →

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