Keeping Place releases tomorrow! When asked how I’m feeling, I try for breezy nonchalance. Book, schmook! And truthfully, I do feel considerably less anxiety about this book than the last—not because I’m convinced that it’s better, but because at least this is recognizable terrain. Familiarity is a big consolation. Still, it’s also true that as time creeps closer to the actual release date, I can sometimes feel like a large animal has just curled up on my chest, making it difficult to breathe. He’s heaviest in the dark of the morning when fear comes calling. Continue Reading
I’m excited to tell you about a collection of essays, stories, and poetry from the women of Redbud Writers Guild, which releases next week! Each contribution ends with a prayer as well as a writing prompt. My own essay, “The Tamarisk,” is an exploration of the longing for permanence in a rented life. I look at the life of Abraham for how we can “begin seizing the invitation of the in-between places: find solid ground. There is greater permanence than a permanent address . . . The God of Abraham—not the land, not the son—is himself the reward (Gen. 15:1).”
But I’m not here to share with you my essay. For that, you’ll need to buy the book! Rather, I’d love to share with you a poem written by Nilwona Nowlin. Nilwona is a redemptive artist, someone who believes in the power of the arts to bring about positive transformation in individuals and communities. She is particularly passionate about helping people discover/pursue their purpose, leadership development, and ministries of compassion, mercy, and justice such as community development, reconciliation, and intercultural development. Recent publications include “To Save Many Lives: Exploring Reconciliation Between Africans and African Americans through the Selling of Joseph,” for the Covenant Quarterly as well as devotionals for the Covenant Home Altar.
Nilwona is also a regular contributor to for the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC) Commission on Biblical Gender Equality’s blog and the lmdj Voices blog of the ECC’s Love Mercy Do Justice mission priority. Nilwona earned a B.A. from Columbia College Chicago, an M.A. in Christian Formation and Certificate in Justice Ministry from North Park Theological Seminary and a Master’s in Nonprofit Administrationfrom North Park University. She blogs at thedreamerspeaks.com. You can follow Nilwona on Twitter @nilwona.
Thank you, readers, for your engagement with last week’s Christianity Today piece about the dangers I see in the self-fulfillment “gospel.” As Charles Taylor describes in A Secular Age, this modern “gospel” preaches human flourishing as life’s ultimate and final goal. The thesis of that article—that this gospel is a dangerous detour from that cross-bearing to which Christ and his followers have been called—was tied to the most recent public announcements from Glennon Doyle Melton of Momastery of her divorce and her new dating relationship.
I have people legitimately asking: why are you writing about someone’s private life? Isn’t this the kind of self-righteous finger-pointing that gives Christians a bad name? Didn’t Jesus forgive rather than condemn? And haven’t you uncharitably mischaracterized Glennon’s larger body of work and the testimony of her life?Continue Reading
You’ve probably had one of those days:
You knock on door #1, hoping to do something very simple—like make changes to your website.
You’re asked politely to try door #2, which involves, not just inputting credit card information, but contacting your bank to figure out what’s going wrong in this very simple transaction. The man on the other end of the line is extremely nice. But he breathes heavily. Loudly. At one point in the conversation, after he’s fallen silent for several minutes—breathing, breathing—you venture a “hello?” You wonder if he’s asleep. Continue Reading