Some Thoughts on Teen Pregnancy

"If you were giving a talk on teen pregnancy to a conservative, faith-based group who cares, what messages would you want to convey?" A couple of years ago I asked this question of someone in our family planning division at work. I was serious. I wanted her perspective. She did not hesitate. "I would tell … Continue reading Some Thoughts on Teen Pregnancy

The Grand Unraveling

For several months I had been calling Trump’s impending presidency The Grand Unraveling. He made campaign promises that seemed horrifying to me, he boldly made declarations of things he would do, things he would undo. During those campaigning days things seemed bleak, ominous even, but most of the time I assumed he was using loud … Continue reading The Grand Unraveling

People Have Friends; Governments Have Interests

When I first began dating my husband, I would joke that I dated him and 30 Iranians. Cliff had hundreds of friends and most of them were international students at the university he was attending. During those initial dates we would go to underground Marxist events, Nowruz parties, or sumptuous Wednesday night dinners of kebabs, … Continue reading People Have Friends; Governments Have Interests

Attending to Our Souls

A couple of years ago, over Christmas, we dog-sat an unusual Greyhound named Pickles. Pickles was a large and awkward canine. He stood taller than our coffee table and took up a great deal of real estate in whatever room he occupied. Connor and his girlfriend at the time had planned on exchanging gifts at … Continue reading Attending to Our Souls

An Appeal to Choose Fact over Fear 

"Including those murdered in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 (9/11), the chance of an American perishing in a terrorist attack on U.S. soil that was committed by a foreigner over the 41-year period studied here is 1 in 3.6 million per year. The hazard posed by foreigners who entered on different visa categories … Continue reading An Appeal to Choose Fact over Fear 

A Salute

Here's to the bridge-builders, the peacemakers, the ones who seek to understand the actions of another. Here's to those who care about people who don't believe as they do.  Here's to those who will listen to those they disagree with and seek to find common ground. Here's to the ones who quietly work behind the … Continue reading A Salute

Traveling Mercies

When I was a kid there was a prayer we prayed every time we set out on a trip, which was often. My childhood was marked by travel and transition so you can know that we prayed this prayer frequently. Every trip was prefaced with a prayer that included a little request for “traveling mercies”. … Continue reading Traveling Mercies

She’s an Angry Elf

Elf is a well-loved film about a man who thinks he's a Christmas elf. If you know the movie, you are probably smiling right now. If not, then you are shaking your head and wondering where this is going. Stay with me for a bit, I'll explain. There is a point in the film where … Continue reading She’s an Angry Elf

The Simple Pin

Since November 8th, the day that shall live on in infamy, people have started wearing little safety pins. I was unaware of this until my friend Jill explained their significance and gave me one to wear. To wear a safety pin is to make a statement. Where this began is a little uncertain. There are … Continue reading The Simple Pin

Rambling Thoughts on Confronting an Idol

I called my mom before the election with one specific question: "Mom, when did American politics get mixed up with Christianity?" I really wanted to know. I didn't grow up in the United States and throughout my childhood, my parents voted via absentee ballots. I remember political discussions about the U.S. taking place every four … Continue reading Rambling Thoughts on Confronting an Idol

After the Election:How to Build a Bridge

At 2am I received a message from a Turkish friend living in Istanbul. She wished me luck with the election. "I hope it will go well for you" she said. I was deeply touched. Global friendships are a gift that God has given me and I am grateful. Right after I heard from Elif I … Continue reading After the Election:How to Build a Bridge

Good Quotes to Get you Through Election Day 2016

"Someone is going to win Tuesday and then, if trendlines that have proved reliable in the past continue, the sun will come up on Wednesday." Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal Yesterday I walked through the leaves at twilight and knew that all would be well "It’s easy to get pessimistic right now. Lots of powerful … Continue reading Good Quotes to Get you Through Election Day 2016

The (Political) Work of Forgiveness

Here at Communicating Across Boundaries we’ve done a pretty good job of avoiding the massive elephant (and the donkey) in the room. Both Marilyn and I, although this was not planned or discussed, have largely avoided politics in our writing this election season. I’m not sure what Marilyn’s reasons are but mine have been deep … Continue reading The (Political) Work of Forgiveness

The Welcome Prayer

I have to admit I’m really struggling this week. I’m angry at some recent news from an organization close to my heart. I’m disgusted by the political situation in the country where I live. I’m horrified by the people that excuse sexual indecency and the language of predatory sexual assault. I’m embarrassed by those Christians … Continue reading The Welcome Prayer

Widening Our Embrace

Ronald Rohlheiser, in his book, Sacred Fire, addressed especially to older pursuers of the faith has a short section entitled, “Be Wide in Your Embrace.” We are constantly being overwhelmed by otherness. Nothing is safe for long. More than any previous generation, we are being stretched beyond what is familiar. Often that is painful and … Continue reading Widening Our Embrace

No Easy Answers – A Life Overseas

Readers, my mom and dad were in the country of Pakistan and raised five of us in that context.  Yesterday on A Life Overseas my mom shared a poignant story on children, choices, and ultimately learning to trust God with our kids. Would you join us there?  I have included the beginning of the piece … Continue reading No Easy Answers – A Life Overseas

The Shallow Identity of Party Affiliation

  Last night we had dinner with some new friends. We have been connecting online for about two years, and finally had the opportunity to meet. The conversation turned toward politics. Jenn talked about reading a book where the author surmised that Jesus was more liberal than the liberals and more conservative then the conservatives. … Continue reading The Shallow Identity of Party Affiliation

#FighttheFear

Today it struck me that we haven't even been able to grieve the attacks in the world because the rhetoric so quickly changed from grief for Paris to finding a scapegoat. So today I pause to remember, love, and fight fear. You are more than welcome to use the picture but you must give credit. … Continue reading #FighttheFear