The cool thing about blogging is that you get to cover a whole host of topics over the course of a year. Pop culture, sex, and race tend to fly to the top of the charts, so I've picked ten posts from the past year that represent the most popular as well as the breadth of topics this blog tries to cover. Faith, family, disability and a whole lot more:
Ezekiel Emanuel says he wants to die at 75. Why we can support his reasoning.
"It’s a somber reminder that we don’t live forever, and for Christians to accept the physical limitations that come with these bodies demonstrates a humble response to our creatureliness. How many of us instead look to our culture as a guide when it comes to aging? How many of us hope that we can avoid death altogether?"
Instead of framing those disabilities as weaknesses deserving pity or as frightening or negative differences, we talked about them in terms of our common humanity.
"As I’ve taught my kids to talk about disability and difference, I’ve found myself learning even more. I’ve been able to claim my own abilities and gifts and admit my own vulnerabilities and needs. And I’ve started to see everyone around me in terms of what we hold in common instead of what divides us. I have my daughter to thank."
The Christian civil rights leader responds to the shooting death of Michael Brown.
"In Ferguson, I know it was a tragedy that happened and a tragedy in the reaction. And we as Christians have to take some responsibility for that hostility and affirm the love God has for all people. We don’t want to be hostile but exemplary, not angry but affirming."
Struggling to love my neighbors in grace and truth.
"What would it look like for the church to care for transgender people—whose rates of depression and violence indicate that they have been beaten up along the way—in the same manner that the Samaritan cared for the man by the side of the road?"
It's about a princess who refuses to let go, out of love.
"But the pop cultural takeaway from Frozen can be summed up by those three words: Let it go. As if all our problems will be solved if we just start being true to ourselves, throwing responsibilities and expectations aside."
For years, I’ve erred on the side of modesty. Maybe we need a little nudity after all.
"God gave us our physical bodies, not just our souls, and the two remain intimately connected. Perhaps the experience of nakedness has something to teach me about the freedom of being accepted, as I am, without needing to cover up my flaws or brokenness. Perhaps nakedness has something to teach me about grace."
It's inconvenient and inefficient and sometimes doesn't even feel spiritual. But I'm glad we keep showing up.
"I cannot predict what my children will believe as they grow up. I know that sitting in the pews cannot guarantee their faithfulness or even their intellectual assent to the creeds of Christianity. But one thing I can predict is that my children will encounter hardship...My hope and prayer is that at those times, they will remember a place where they were always welcome, a place where the net of God’s faithfulness will catch them as they fall."
Among other things, great books help us love our neighbor.
"Good novels—whatever world-view they profess—challenge us to love others better. They disrupt comfortable assumptions about reality. And, to the degree that these books state something true about the world around us, even if that truth is about God's apparent absence, they also invite us to know God better by loving our neighbor all the more."