When Charities Go Hollywood

“Truth never damages a cause that is just.”

—Mahatma Gandhi

“You’ve got to read this.” My friend handed me a book with a photograph of a beautiful, laughing Cambodian woman on the cover.

The two of us were sitting in my living room talking over the loud hum of the air conditioner, which tried desperately to keep the tropic heat at bay. We’d been talking about what had led me to the outskirts of the counter-trafficking… Read More

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FIRST LOOK: Rare Bird by Anna Whiston-Donaldson

Are you brave enough to step into the light?

On an ordinary September day, twelve-year-old Jack is swept away in a freak neighborhood flood. His parents and younger sister are left to wrestle with the awful questions: How could God let this happen? And, Can we ever be happy again? They each fall into the abyss of grief in different ways. And in the days and months to come, they each find their faltering way toward peace.

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You Might Be A Spiritual Misfit If… + Enter the #IAmaSpiritualMisfit Contest!

You Might Be a Spiritual Misfit If… “Christianese” makes you want to head for the hills. You ask “why?” more than a four-year-old at bedtime. You church shop as often as you grocery shop. Your favorite Bible verse is…wait a second, I’m supposed to have a favorite Bible verse? You only read Song of Solomon for the dirty parts. You think you’re being summoned to court when someone asks you for your testimony. You make it 3.5 seconds before “Oh… Read More


Why I Stopped Playing Violent Video Games

I didn’t get my first video-game console until after I was married. It was an old black Xbox, the kind my friends had owned years earlier. But video games had not been a part of my life in high school, and I was eager to make up for lost time.

There’s an ongoing debate about the relationship between video-game violence and real-world violence, with arguments and evidence on both sides. There’s causation and correlation; and nobody can agree on which… Read More


Reborn in All the Sacred Parts

“That’s your church?” he asked while we waited for the school bus. It was a cold Chicago morning, and I could see his breath when he asked the question. “I thought it was like…I don’t know, a junior college or something.”

It wasn’t the first time someone had mistaken our sprawling campus for something other than a church—a junior college, yes, or some corporate headquarters. And I could understand why. From the road you would see a long, curving driveway… Read More


Choosing to Break Bread with the Hell-Bound

As part of a seminary class, a group of us attended All Saints Episcopal Church in Beverly Hills, California. On this particular morning, the Gospel reading was as follows:

“Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the… Read More