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Scientists Agree: Sex, Money, and Power Don't Make Us HappyJesus told us this a long time ago.
Scientists Agree: Sex, Money, and Power Don't Make Us Happy
Dustin Quasar/Flickr

For anyone who lives in New England, the weather this summer has been lovely. The app on my phone keeps predicting relatively low humidity, sunshine, a slight breeze and a chance of a thunderstorm overnight to keep the grass growing and the temperatures lower than usual.

On a more personal level, ...

Don't Worry, Be Happy—According to JesusRemembering the reason and way to let go of our worries.
Don't Worry, Be Happy—According to Jesus
Alon/flickr

Recently, I was reading the Bible and thinking about Bob Marley. In the parable of the four soils, Jesus describes worry as one of the things that thwarts our spiritual growth (the other thing he cites as a problem is pleasure, which is a post for another day). A few chapters later, he commands his ...

Four Questions I Have About Transgender IdentityStruggling to love my neighbors in grace and truth.
Four Questions I Have About Transgender Identity
wikicommons

Last week I wrote a post called "Let Kids Be Kids Instead of Sexualized Little Adults," in response to a YouTube video about a "transgender" girl whose parents helped her "transition" into a boy at age 6. I cautioned against the idea that children's gender identity ...

Let Kids Be Kids Instead of Sexualized Little AdultsWhat both conservative and liberals miss about children’s gender identity.
Let Kids Be Kids Instead of Sexualized Little Adults

For a long time, my little sister Elly was a boy. It started on her second birthday, when she received her gift from Kate, another of my sisters (I'm the oldest of four girls). Elly opened the box—a blue corduroy dress Kate and my mother had stitched themselves—and threw it down: ...

Who is the Sabbath for? Some thoughts on the differences in the Biblical accounts of the Sabbath commandment, and on why that matters to us now.
Who is the Sabbath for?
Sky Noir/Flickr

I've been thinking about the Sabbath—this weekly day of rest, or is it a day of worship?—for years now. It first piqued my interest in college, when a Christian friend of mine decided to stop doing homework on Sundays. I was intrigued—he looked so happy and relaxed outside throwing ...

Should Christians Support Reparations for African Americans?Some thought on collective sin, responsibility, and healing.
Should Christians Support Reparations for African Americans?
Matthew K/flickr

As Ta-Nehisi Coates documented recently in his long and compelling cover story for The Atlantic, "The Case for Reparations," the government of the United States for centuries has perpetuated systemic injustice against African Americans. These formal legal practices explain many of the broad ...

Kids--Naked and UnashamedFor years, I’ve erred on the side of modesty. Maybe we need a little nudity after all.
Kids--Naked and Unashamed
Kymberly Janisch/Flickr

I've heard Christians say that if we still lived in the Garden of Eden, we would all be walking around naked. The story in Genesis 2 seems to support this idea. It was only after God confronted Adam and Eve about their tragic and rebellious decision to eat the fruit that they realized they were ...

Why Christians Should Read Secular NovelsAmong other things, great books help us love our neighbor
Why Christians Should Read Secular Novels
Vainsang/Flickr

A lesbian wedding, childhood sexual abuse, alcoholism, violence, pornography, and murder all show up within the pages of Wally Lamb's most recent novel We Are Water. So does love, loyalty, healing, beauty, and a confused evangelical Christian. In many ways, it was a hard book to read, particularly ...

How Sex, Busyness, Mobility, and the American Dream can Impede FriendshipHouse of Cards, my kids, and a Tedx talk all got me thinking about the nature of friendship
How Sex, Busyness, Mobility, and the American Dream can Impede Friendship
Dani vr/Flickr

I've been thinking about the nature of friendship.

It started, oddly enough, with House of Cards, a show in which no one has any true friends. But as the season progressed Rachel—a former call girl who is trying to keep her head down and create some stability in her life—was befriended ...

We Can't Care About Everyone All the TimeWhen I didn't feel upset about horrific news reports, I wondered if something was wrong with me.
We Can't Care About Everyone All the Time
See Li/Flickr

I have only paid cursory attention to the hundreds of girls kidnapped recently by a militant group in Nigeria. And even when I have stopped to listen to an NPR update on the situation, I haven't registered any emotional response. I could have tried to get my heart to go there—I knew in ...

Women Don't Need to Become Men in Order to SucceedIn the classroom and the workplace, boys and girls aren't the same. We need to figure out how to support them both.
Women Don't Need to Become Men in Order to Succeed
Alex/Flickr

I have always been an overachiever and a perfectionist. It might be because I'm a girl, or because I'm the firstborn of four, or because my parents are type-A personalities or just because. But either way, I remember the panic that shot from the center of my torso in every direction when ...

Can Pro-Life Christians Be Genetic Counselors?Virginia's problematic new law contains possibilities for creating a safe space for counselors and clients alike
Can Pro-Life Christians Be Genetic Counselors?
Torsten Mangner/Flickr

Virginia's Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe recently signed two bills into law that provide rules for licensing genetic counselors. Genetic counseling has been recognized as a field since the late 1970s, but many states still fail to regulate it. With advances in technology and an increase ...

Why You Should Tell Your Family's StoryWhat memoir-writing has to do with Christian faith
Why You Should Tell Your Family's Story
Pedro Riberio Simoes/Flickr

I started teaching a memoir class in our local library last week. I've never done a class like this before, and the local program coordinator said she hoped for about twenty people from our town of 3,000. Forty-five people showed up, from age ten to eighty-five.

Apparently there are a lot of ...

The Song Jesus Sang on the CrossJesus' final words communicated both despair and hope
The Song Jesus Sang on the Cross

Just before Jesus died, according to Matthew and Mark, he cried out in a loud voice, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" It's a question that has rung out ever since, as Jesus' followers continue to wonder exactly why he uttered this "cry of dereliction" among ...

How Christians Should Talk About Sex What Rolling Stone and Paul have taught me
How Christians Should Talk About Sex
Valeria C Preisler/Flickr

I'm starting to feel like an old lady. I shook my head at Miley Cyrus at the MTV Music Awards and at Beyonce's performance for the 2013 Superbowl halftime show. I went out for a drink with friends on my 37th birthday, and we talked for an hour about how to protect our sons and daughters from our ...

God Loves Rich People TooChristians need to adopt Jesus' attitude toward the one percent
God Loves Rich People Too
greenkozi/flickr

It's been six years since the beginning of the Great Recession. Six years of conversations about unemployment, underemployment, mortgage-backed securities, and millions of Americans who have seen their fortunes fall. Six years of bemoaning Wall Street. Six years of reports about growing wealth ...

What Happens When we Turn (For Real) To GodThis Lent, I've learned again that He runs to meet us and welcome us home
What Happens When we Turn (For Real) To God
archer10 (Dennis)/Flickr

Repent sounds like such a religious word, like street preachers shouting, like moralists wagging fingers. But I learned a long time ago that the literal translation of "repent" is to turn around. "Hey, buddy, you're headed in the wrong direction"—that sounds like a helpful, ...

In Defense of Helicopter ParentingI wouldn't go back to an earlier era of parenting even if I could.
In Defense of Helicopter Parenting
stephanski Flickr

I think of myself as a rather laissez faire parent. I believe in germs and dirt. My kids, including my three-year old, go outside and play without my immediate supervision. When they fall down, I wait to make sure they are really truly hurt before I comfort them (like when Marilee, the three-year ...

Why Pope Francis is Right About ConfessionI'm not planning to become Catholic, but I am grateful for the Pope's example
Why Pope Francis is Right About Confession

Last Friday, Pope Francis broke with tradition when he knelt down at a confessional in public view and gave his confession to an ordinary priest. Typically the Pope confesses in private, but after preaching a sermon in which he talked about our common sinfulness, he also personally demonstrated his ...

Disney's Frozen: Not About Letting It Go After AllIt's about a princess who refuses to let go, out of love.
Disney's Frozen: Not About Letting It Go After All

Peter and I took Penny and William, our two older kids, to see Frozen in the theater in January. I was nearly as excited as the children. I had read the endless praise, including the writer who called it the best Disney movie since The Lion King (which I saw four times in the theater back in 1994). ...

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