This Was Not Part of the Plan

This wasn’t supposed to happen. I wasn’t supposed to be here. This wasn’t part of the plan… if there was even any plan at all. When I was a kid, I was an acolyte, just like all of the other kids in my church. We would wear albs that were a lot like the one

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Unashamed

In the beginning, God planted a garden. That’s not a scientific statement, it’s a theological one. It’s not about the material origins of the cosmos. It’s about the relationship between God and the world. And I understand that it might seem like a delicate distinction, but it’s an important one. And if you want to

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Everything We Need

I have been told that you can’t pick and choose what parts of the Bible you believe. It’s all or nothing. And that if I want to be a real Christian—a real follower of Jesus—I have to believe every chapter and every verse: the easy parts about love and grace; and the hard parts about

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Work

I am incredibly lucky. There’s a quote from the writer and theologian Frederick Buechner: “The place where God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger coincide.” It’s a quote that I heard a lot in seminary and continuing ed. Someone would bring it up almost any time

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With Glad and Generous Hearts

A few years ago, when I worked for Back Bay Mission, we got a new executive director. She wasn’t a member of the United Church of Christ, and I needed to introduce her to the denomination and to a whole bunch of people. So I took her to Cleveland. I took her to the annual

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Orange Team, Turquoise Team, Purple Team

At about 5:40pm pacific time on Monday, July 29, a young white man opened fire at the annual garlic festival in Gilroy, California. At about 10:40am mountain time on Saturday, August 3, a young white man opened fire at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. At about 1:20am eastern time on Sunday, August 4, another

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Kids These Days

Many of you know that I’m an amateur musician. I play clarinet and tenor saxophone. And while my clarinet is reserved for things like summer band, I actually practice my saxophone. It sits on a stand in my office at home. Sometimes, I can pick it up and work for an hour or so. Sometimes,

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Markets, Charity, and African T-Shirts

Recently, I was interviewed for an article from the United Church of Christ’s Tri-Conference Ministries. During that interview, I mentioned that I had recently read about the idea of doing good recklessly (I didn’t originally read it on Cheezburger, but you can read the same thread that I did there). The interviewer pushed back a

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The Rules

Linda Tirado is an author and a journalist. And she told this story to some people at NPR: In 2008, Linda and her husband moved to Cincinnati. They didn’t have much money, so they got a cheap basement apartment. And then a summer storm came through and the flooding ruined a lot of their stuff

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Radical Charity Discussion Guide Available!

Radical Charity: How Generosity Can Save the World (And the Church) isn’t just for solo reading. It also makes a great book for discussion for your church, organization, or book group. And now there’s a discussion guide available! You can download it here!

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