Zondervan Posts

The Sunflower in My Garden

Outside the window where I sit and write, the sunflower burst to life this morning. Yesterday it was just bud on a stem. Today it is cloaked in golden glory.

The sunflower grows wild in my garden. I didn’t plant it there. We lived in this house for many years sans sunflowers. But then a few years back, a crop of sunflowers shot up among the monkey grass and cone flowers. Most things in the garden have perished this summer under the blistering heat too wicked for even the heartiest of roses. But the sunflowers seem to bloom to spite the heat. As if to say, we are strong enough to stand no matter what wickedness comes our way. read more

Trump: A Cult Personality

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Jerry Falwell Sr. & Rev. Moon

Donald Trump is more than just a president. Trump is the leader of a cult.

This cult worships Trump above all other gods, and Trump likes it that way. He prefers it that way.

I have studied cults since I was an undergraduate at Oregon State University. Back then, the biggest cult on the West Coast was the Moonies. Remember them? They were (are) followers of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon. Much like Trump, Moon was a political as well as a religious leader. Americans found Moon particularly appealing because of his outspoken opposition to communism and his embracing democracy as a divine path toward establishing the Kingdom of God. read more

Sunday Sermon on Life in a Fearful World

The message I gave at Antioch Church in Bend, Oregon based on II Timothy 1:7.

For God has not given us the Spirit of fear, but of power, of love and of a sound mind. 

Book Karen

Self-Righteousness on Window Display

Love chapter

Several years ago when I was working on the book Where’s Your Jesus Now?my editor made the remark about one of the stories in that book: So nice of Gays to make their sins so obvious for the rest of us, isn’t it? 

The remark was meant to be sardonic, a way of highlighting the unkind attitude of some Christians. I had written a chapter in the book about how I felt the Church was missing the mark in their approach toward Gays. Needless to say the book didn’t sell well. Major Christian publishers wouldn’t stock it. My husband, bless his heart, insists to this day it’s my best book. read more

Spring Break: A couple of giveaways

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It’s Spring Break around our house. You know what that means? Plenty of free time to read books I want to read, instead of books I need to read.

Here’s the thing I think people need to understand about reading – the reason so many people come to hate reading is because reading becomes the chore they don’t want to do.

When reading feels like a chore, I put the book down.

There was this novel everybody was raving about not long ago. So many people made such a fuss over it, I bought it. Then I tried to read it. And I have kept trying to read it. Maybe it gets good in the middle. Maybe I’m just too unworthy of a reader to appreciate it. Either way, I haven’t been able to get beyond the first five chapters and five chapters is all I give a book before I quit it. (I can’t tell you the book title least you think less of me for not liking it). read more