For as long as I can remember, I’ve had waffles and strawberries on Christmas morning. Come hell or high water, not matter what else we did that day, we always launched the morning with this diabetes-inducing feast of carbs and sugar. Some years my dad made the waffles from scratch, others we just popped the Ego’s in our toaster (truthfully, I generally preferred the latter). It is a custom that...
We all have our holiday traditions and Christmas customs. Some are handed down through the generations, others are sparked afresh in that moment of beautiful inspiration. But how do they point to Advent and the birth of Jesus? During Advent, we’ll have a few stories and examples of how the customs and traditions we use to celebrate, sometimes unthinkingly, can be powerful ways of explaining the beauty of Christmas to our friends, family and children this Advent season. What are your traditions? How do they point to the birth of Jesus 2,000 years ago?
As a pastor, I cannot tell you how agonizingly difficult it is to avoid (even accidentally) binding consciences, while also speaking Truth with Love in the midst of controversies so desperately needing (and lacking) in both. How do I serve our people and equip them with the Truth of God's discomforting Love, all the while checking my own unseen assumptions or finite perspectives at the door? Where is the line between prophetic truth-telling and complicit, silent agreement? I honestly don't know how to answer these questions, and anyone that says they have a simple one is either foolish or lying.
You could hear the pressure of asking the last question at the 2nd Presidential Debate in the trembling of his voice. Karl Becker was no doubt aware that millions of viewers, who had endured the almost 90 minutes of schoolyard cut-downs and tit-for-tat, were already fed up with the circus. No matter their respective answers, his 26-word question was, by far, the strongest statement made that night...
We all crave true spirituality, a connection to something of real and lasting worth in our everyday lives. We hunger for real community: people who give of themselves to one another with something in common beyond mere interests.
God invites us to find that in life with him and the community of Jesus around his table. He doesn’t ask that we get our lives together before sitting at his table -- he gives us Jesus’ life. He doesn’t demand that we sacrifice enough, do enough good, act out enough penance to make up for how we’ve kicked him to the curb -- he gives us Jesus who sacrificed himself for us.
Say you’ve accepted that invitation (and if not, we hope you will); you may still be asking yourself:
On July 17th, 2016 we tried something risky and unheard of: we hosted and facilitated a robust conversation between two people with wildly divergent ways of seeing the world. Part of the vision for The Table is to be a community where "you don't have to believe in order to belong," and our good friend Chris Eastment joined us to talk about how he (as an atheist) shares that same vision... for a church.
The following was published at www.carrycamp.com as a letter of encouragement to men struggling with infertility for Father's Day (2015). You can access the original post here, and highly encourage anyone walking through the hard road of infertility (men and women) to explore this most excellent of non-profits.