6.16.2016

On Pulse.


My family listened to news of a mass shooting at a gay nightclub in the U.S. unfold on an AM radio station as we drove through the arid Karoo region of South Africa. Far from home, far from the internet, and far from the ensuing flood of public opinion, we did the only thing we could, we mourned with those who mourn. By the time we returned to the noise of the world, a few days later, I still didn't know what to say. Nothing felt adequate, nothing felt appropriate. In the face of such evil, nothing felt right coming from the straight, white, middle-class American enjoying a dream vacation with her family. The truth is, I didn't have anything important to say, except for "I'm sorry." I am so very sorry.

At a time such as this, it seems far more valuable that we hear from my friend Jenna. Jenna has something important to say. I pray we will listen.

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4.28.2016

Last Days in the Desert

A long time ago, in a desert far, far away, I found myself standing in a half-circle with a handful of professional Christians on a film set in the middle of effing nowhere. I was invited there, along with a pile of smart people, for a sneak peek at a little indie art house production, written and directed by Rodrigo Garcia. The film, Last Days in the Desert, imagines Jesus toward the end of his famous 40 days of prayer and fasting, as his journey intersects with that of a boy and his parents, dwelling in the desolate dry wilderness. While Satan continues to pluck at his insecurities, Jesus finds himself drawn into the little family's plight, as they grapple through sorting their lives. The screenplay was short, the dialog sparse, the cast and crew minimal, and I was super curious to see how this would play out on screen.

Cast, crew, dirt.

Shortly after we arrived on set, actor Ewan McGregor came over to shake hands and introduce himself to us, one by one, saying, “Hi, I'm Ewan...I'm Ewan, nice to meet you...I'm Ewan, how are you?...Hey, I'm Ewan...” Like we might not know he was Ewan. When I called home that night, my kids asked what Obi Wan McGregor was like, and I told them the truth. “He was kinda like a homeless person...but, like, if a homeless person's eyes were made of the Caribbean Sea.”

4.20.2016

Missionaries probably shouldn't be jealous of a strippers. But sometimes they are.


I'm really looking forward to speaking the Love Made Claim annual fundraiser this Saturday, in Denver, CO. If you're in the area, YOU SHOULD TOTALLY COME! (ticket info here) Anyway, I was sitting here preparing my talk, when I remembered this old post from back in the day, so I thought I'd throw it out there again, for old times sake.

I still think about this girl... I wonder if she's still working in the sex-industry... and I wonder if she knows her great worth...


Check out Love Made Claim, Inc.


The other day I boarded a plane from Reno to San Francisco, and I was stoked because there was no one else in my row, and I wanted to read People magazine, but I would never want anyone to see me reading People magazine because I have a serious aversion to freaks who carry on weird, one-sided relationships with famous people. (What!? People is the fastest way for me to see how out-of date my clothes are. That’s all. That’s why I read it. Sheesh, let it go...) ANYWAY. You can imagine my dismay (and also how quickly I shoved Sandra Bullock’s tragic smile back in my bag and pulled out Sedaris’ Me Talk Pretty One Day) when someone stopped at the end of my row.


It was a girl, and she was wearing one of those tight black velour matching two piece sweatsuits with fake Uggs. When she turned around to shove her crap in the overhead, her butt said “Juicy” which, in my opinion, has about the same sexual appeal as having the word “Pfffffft” stamped across your rump. But, I'm old, so what do I know.

2.09.2016

How Going on Vacation Might be Better than Going on a Mission.


The other day someone asked if we have any big plans for this summer, and El Chupacabra and I looked at each other and smiled because we do have big plans for this summer. We have really big plans...

WE'RE TAKING OUR FAMILY TO AFRICA! WHAT?! I KNOW!!! 
I CAN'T BELIEVE IT EITHER!!! SQUEEEEE!!!!!!!!

When we shared our big news, we probably should have expected her response, but it still caught us off guard when she said, “That's amazing! Who will you be working with?”

We glanced at each other, “...Working?”

“Yeah. Like, what organization are you partnering with? What are you going to do there?”

And then it got awkward, because we were all, “Ooooooh. Oh. Yeah. No, it's not like that. We're not going on a mission, we're going on vacation... You know, just for fun. Entertainment. Relaxation. Adventure. That sort of thing.”

She blinked and looked confused.


I guess that's understandable. I can see how it might be counterintuitive to imagine a Missions Pastor and a writer who has the word “missionary” in the title of her blog taking their kids to Africa and not going on a mission. But that's exactly what we're doing. We're going to fly all the way across the world, and then we are not going to dig a well, we're not going to hold any orphans, and we're not going to treat anyone's parasites (unless, of course, they're our own). We will not be seen in matching T-shirts or praying in a circle at the airport, and you won't catch us “loving on” complete strangers with sweaty hugs, zealous high fives, or bullhorn street-corner evangelism.