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Weekend Speaking Fun! And Other Announcements

This is going to be a quick post because a) I don't want to use my blog as a shameless self-promotion destination, and b) I just typed in this whole blog post, got up from my desk for a moment without saving, and returned to find that the server had timed out and I lost everything I wrote. Good times.
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DIT Spirituality: Do It Together

If you've read Flunking Sainthood, you'll know that I now realize that I was an idiot for trying all those spiritual practices alone rather than in the company of other people. DIY spirituality is not, at least for me, nearly as effective as DIT: Do It Together. Lynne Baab's new book helps groups do just that.
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Who Believed in You?

When I was 17, some total strangers believed in my and my abilities. They invested in my future by giving me a college scholarship that has enriched my whole life. Which has gotten me thinking of all the people -- teachers, youth leaders, and of course my mom -- who helped me along the way.
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Businesses Must Change or Die (aka “ADT Sucks”)

The iPhone 5’s unveiling last week—coupled with Amazon’s startling announcement that it is implementing next-day shipping on the way to an eventual goal of same-day delivery (!)—are signs of companies that continue to innovate in a fiercely competitive environment. Contrast those companies’ commitments to improvement and customer service to two of my family’s experiences this past month with other, less forward-looking, businesses. (I'm talking to you, ADT.)  
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The Muslim “Other” Is Your Brother

This week, as we try to understand protests in Libya and anti-Muslim hatred in our own country, I've been thinking of a simple but powerful story that Brian McClaren shared at this summer's Wild Goose Festival. After the 9/11 attacks, Brian was praying about what to do and received a clear message from the Holy Spirit saying, "Your Muslim neighbors are in danger." He's not one of those types who receives crystal-clear instructional blueprints from God every day, so he took it very seriously.  
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Ideacity Talk on Canadian Radio Tonight

My Ideacity TED talk from a few months ago is going to be featured tonight on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's national show "Ideas with Paul Kennedy."
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Everything I Need to Know About Hospitality, I Learned from Molly Weasley

The first time we meet Molly Weasley in the Harry Potter books, she welcomes the stranger. As I explore our spiritual practice of hospitality throughout September, I keep circling back to Molly as the hospitable person I want to become.
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Jesus’ Body, and Not in a Metaphorical Way

Comedian Samantha Bee said this about Jesus' body: “He wore a fleshly pressed robe all the time, but you knew He had a great ass and could have pulled off a pair of jeans and worn-out cowboy boots, even if you weren’t sure why you would want that.” I laughed at that, then felt slightly guilty. Why do we joke about Jesus' body parts and race?
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Which Presidential Candidate Is the Best Cross-Cultural Ambassador?

Without getting overly political, megachurch pastor David Ireland wants Christian voters to look beyond the issues of the day to a larger question: which presidential candidate would make the best cross-cultural ambassador?
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Is Your Church As Welcoming As You Think It Is?

On my first visit to a neighborhood yoga studio, someone took the time to ask my name; by my third visit, I was a known and welcomed quantity. Teachers took the time to ask me how I was doing and genuinely care about the answer. They also didn't judge my mistakes or shove me into the right position (I hate that), but gently showed the way. Why can't church be like that?
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