Suffering

I Refuse to Cede to Death the Win

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

Within days, our eyes and ears and minds and hearts have drawn in far too much smoke and fire and blood and weeping. One event, the bombing of the Boston Marathon, is clearly an act of terrorism. The other event, the explosion at the Texas fertilizer factory, appears to be an accident of terrible proportions. […]

“Hell-oween:” Scaring the Hell out of People

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Last week, I got this query: Hello Anna, As I walked to work this morning I saw posters for a “Hell-oween” event…I called the number on the poster and learned that it is going to be a haunted house similar to “Hell House”  which highlights “real-life” terror such as abortion, suicide, homosexuality, etc. I am concerned, and frustrated. You […]

Rogue Waves

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

The other day, my good friend told me that she’d watched a show about the Rogue Wave Phenomenon. I’d never heard of the things, but wowza. You don’t want to meet one in a dark alley, or anywhere else for that matter. Here are several links to give you an idea about why a whole […]

Bonhoeffer: Assassin (wannabe) and Patron Saint of Lutheran Ambiguity

Friday, February 4th, 2011

Today is Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s birthday. I was reminded of this on today’s Writer’s Almanac by Garrison Keillor.  We wake up at 6:00 a.m. to classical public radio in my family, and at 6:15 Garrison lulls us right back to sleep with his tales and poetry and voice. But it’s worth your time to look up […]

Rabbit Rabbit

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

Two days ago I learned that my friend Ellie committed suicide. I am very sad. Ellie was the secretary in the foreign language department at St. Olaf College, where I went to school.  For some reason or another the work study gods smiled down on my blonde head instead of all the others on the […]

What’s Up with Ascension?

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

Reader Question: Advent, as you note in your defining of the term, comes from the Latin “to arrive”. We as Christians anticipate the second arrival, or as we commonly say, second “coming”, of Christ while celebrating Christ’s first arrival. In Christ’s first arrival, God offered Her only Son to die for the sake of all […]

Stewarding Presence Even When God Seems Absent

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

I was so pleased to have been asked recently to prepare a presentation for the Stephen’s Ministers of my congregation, and I decided to make the gathered group into guinea pigs. For some time, I’ve been mulling the experience of pain, grief, and suffering as it is experienced in the Church.  I wanted to use […]

Sacred pissiness

Monday, September 27th, 2010

I just finished reading a review of Barbara Ehrenreich’s book Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking has Undermined America. You can find the link here. If you’re wondering why you’ve heard of Barbara Ehrenreich before, your memory is tingling because she wrote the notable book Nickle and Dimed. This latest book was born […]

Hunches, hopes, hints about grace

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Question: If we are saved by God’s grace and yet we continue to turn our back on God, i.e., we don’t practice our faith, we don’t pray, we don’t read God’s word, we continue to repeat the same sins over and over, etc. if we die are we saved or did we fall short of […]

Hope against Hope

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

So. I recognize that I have been lax in writing. I have not been lax in thinking, however. This summer has been as crazy-busy as it is hot. OMG open house in April. Wedding in May. New husband in China and Thailand for two weeks. Family from Alaska in June, their visit culminating in a […]