insistant hope | advent one
Sometimes Advent comes like an invitation. This year Advent arrives as a discipline that must be obeyed. I strike the match and light the first candle. “Hope!” it insists.   I turn to Isaiah, the prophet who most challenges and comforts me. I listen to what he says. He tells of a crumbling city. The weight of injustice, not glory, presses upon Jerusalem. He looks around and sees institutions breaking down, the economy gripped by rampant corruption and compassion for…
Continue reading »



Remember When You Were Aliens
My inheritance is a mixed bag. I am one woman’s biological daughter and another woman’s adopted child. I am a descendant of the Mexican families who populated California and also the Irish who suffered a great potato famine once. My age reveals that I am more Latina than I thought given my penchant for icons and lighting vigil candles when I pray. I even have a statue of Mother Mary in my living room. I am also more Catholic than…
Continue reading »



12 Kinds of Confession
Today I am exploring confession as witnessed across Scripture from Genesis to the Gospels. This post is part of SheLoves Magazine's month of conversation around this theme.   "I must confess in unison with the congregation that I have sinned—by what I have done and what I have failed to do. This is the ancient tradition handed down to me like a family recipe, the catechism that gives me words to say what I would otherwise resist saying. I must…
Continue reading »



Devotions Out of Egypt
This week my friends at Red Letter Christians invited me to offer their Wake Up! morning devotions. These are designed to be quick reflections to start your day thinking and practicing the words of Scripture. I decided to share all five reflections on the theme of subversive strength, as demonstrated by the women in Exodus. These women engaged in the liberation enterprise, showing what it is to be #ExodusStrong. Pharaoh never saw the women as a threat to his empire…
Continue reading »



Make Israel Great Again
Friends, I have not written much over here because I am trying to finish my book and get it to my publisher on time. But I did write some thoughts, Make Israel Great Again, and shared with Kristen Howerton. Here is an excerpt: It’s occurred to me that the call to make America great again is not new. I heard it in the Old Testament and I’ve caught whiff of it in the New Testament as well. Of course, in…
Continue reading »



Justice Work
[one_third][/one_third][two_third_last]Slow Kingdom Coming: Practices For Doing Justice, Loving Mercy And Walking Humbly In The World by Kent Annan I met Kent Annan at the end of a long table of new friends back in December. I'd already read one of his previous books, After Shock, and knew him to be a ruthlessly honest and skilled writer. He shared about this forth-coming book, Slow Kingdom Coming. The title alone captivated my imagination. The idea of articulating practices for justice work spoke…
Continue reading »



The Company We Keep
I walk the hallway of the large mission-minded church and see the pictures of women, children and men from across Central America and East Africa. Interspersed among the colorful images is a series of canvases with the words from the prophet Micah: do justice, love mercy and walk humbly before God. It is the iconic verse for mission programs, both short-term and long, wanting to do good in the world. Israel was in a bad way at the time of…
Continue reading »



March On, Sisters
In the brickyards of Egypt the Hebrew men worked under harsh taskmasters under the directive of a hard-hearted Pharaoh. In the waters of The Great Nile Hebrew boys drowned under the death edict of the same man, afraid the ferocious fertility of the slaves would overpower them otherwise. The original task of infanticide was handed to the midwives; they were instructed to kill all the boys on the birth stool. But the women conspired together, bringing both boys and girls…
Continue reading »



Easter (a poem)
Easter (a poem born on Holy Friday)   They call it Benghazi now. his childhood home a street lined with soldiers and rifles.   the locus of violence, site of mass grave(s), shuttered shops, vacant compounds.   We drove through Golgotha. too many crucifixions, not enough resurrections.   On the other side a mountain range made of clouds against the open sky of pale blue.   room for hopes to catch the wind flutter like a kite floating above the…
Continue reading »



Footwashing
Matara is a land of milk and honey, a land filled with God’s abundance. Claude and I went to visit our friends there wanting to spend time in their homes and surveying the bounty together. It was a great morning witnessing the staggering progress of this once impoverished community. Now they are local leaders, now they have food to share with neighbors, now their children are top of their class! The rain came suddenly. We decided it was time to…
Continue reading »