Superpower

Day 18/30 Our little side ministry had a big week last week. I started Armchair Theology with the goal of reading the Bible cover to cover. I’d tried and failed several times before. But I lacked the structure and accountability to persevere. In those days I thought pure determination was enough. And I interpreted failure…
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A Hard Letter to Read

Day 17/30 … I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the last few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not…
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My Almost First Kiss

Day 16/30 At fourteen years old I almost had my first real kiss. It was the fall of my 8th grade year. I had just moved to town the previous spring. One day in between classes my friend told me the prettiest girl in 7th grade wanted to “go with me”. That’s what we called…
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How

Day 15/30 In the 4th century BCE Constantine became a Christian and our faith became entangled in politics. Up until that point, I’d argue, the practice of following Christ was more important to the early church than the dogma. The HOW was more important than the WHAT. So the church emphasized community, shared resources, care…
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The 500 lb United Methodist Gorilla

Day 14/30 The United Methodist Church isn’t doing a good job loving our gay and lesbian neighbors. In February 2019 in St. Louis, MO, the members of our called special conference doubled down on existing restrictions and expanded punitive measures against any clergy who crossed them. But this post isn’t an argument about the issue…
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The Blue Hairs

Day 13/30 While in seminary we served Bardstown First United Methodist, a beautiful and historic downtown church, in a small town that was just as beautiful and historic. In the summer busses parked by the courthouse spilled retirees onto the sidewalks to see the tavern where Abraham Lincoln passed the time and to invade the…
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Bigdaddy

Day 12/30 When I was five or six my grandparents came up to visit us in Chicago. One evening before supper I was in the bathroom washing up. Actually I was peeing and Granddaddy walked in to wash his hands. I finished and went to wash my hands when Granddaddy swapped places with me and…
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What Kind of Psycho Takes Teens Hiking in the Woods at Night?

Day 11/30 When I was in student ministry I got pretty involved in the psychological development of teenagers and young adults. Aside from our earliest years, our brains are most pliable in our teens. But where babies’ brains grow in the back, learning motor function, how to walk, use the potty, etc, teen brains grow…
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Reading Scripture How Scripture Reads Scripture

Day 10/30 We’re addicted to simple answers. School curriculums teach for the test. Pundits reduce meaningful debate into soundbites. What’s the bottom line? In the words of Derek Webb: “Don’t teach me about moderation and liberty. I prefer a shot of grape juice.” Certainty is comforting. The problem, of course, is life is uncertain. Especially…
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The Word of God for the People of God

Day 9/30 I managed to graduate seminary, get ordained and work in full-time ministry for over a decade before I read the Bible cover to cover. I lacked the perseverance or accountability or knowledge of habit formation. So every road paved with good intentions dead-ended at a Leviticus-sized wall. So in 2012 I started Armchair…
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