Regarding the Loss of Robin Williams: A Note to Church Leaders

Source: The Wrap

Source: The Wrap

No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.       – Robin Williams

Like so many of us, I was devastated to hear about the death of Robin Williams yesterday, August 11. As I struggle with my emotions, I feel an overwhelming compulsion to address church leaders.

Pastors, preachers, teachers, and leaders, I implore you: Please don’t reduce the loss of Robin Williams to a talking point about Hollywood ‘not having the answers’ or ‘not having anything to offer’ this weekend. Continue reading


10 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Graduating High School

1. It’s OK to not know what you want to be when you grow up.

It’s crazy the way we expect young people at the age of 17 or 18 to know exactly what they want to do, or be, with their lives. Our experiences have a way of shaping our ideals, our worldviews, and our passions. It’s OK to not have it all figured out right now. Focus on experiencing and learning new things. Your passions will make room for themselves.

2. College isn’t for everyone.

I’m not saying that college is a bad idea. I’m not trying to discount the benefits of continued education. I’m not even suggesting that college isn’t the right choice for most students. Just keep an open mind about your education. College isn’t the only option. You might want to consider a tech school, internship, apprenticeship, or any number of other options. However, if you know that college is for you, be careful about putting it off. Once you get used to life sans college, it can be hard to get back!
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Teen Suicide, The LGBT Community, And The Church

Recently, I wrote a paper about adolescent suicide as an assignment for a counseling class. While researching this topic, I came across some startling statistics that I feel like I need to share. First, did you know that suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States?[1] In adolescents (15-24), suicide is the third leading cause of death[2]! That means that, after accidents and murder, suicide kills more of our young people than any other factor.[2] This blows my mind! Still crazier, this rate skyrockets for adolescents in the LGBT community, with suicide being the number one cause of death.[3] In fact, LGBT youths are “two or three times more likely to commit suicide” than there straight peers, typically as a result of “the debilitating effects of growing up in a homophobic society”.[3]  Some research suggests that upwards of 50% of LGBT adolescents attempt suicide.[4] I think it obviously points to a larger societal issue when nearly half of any one demographic attempts suicide.  Continue reading

People Need Other People

A few months ago a personal hero, Jamie Tworkowski (from To Write Love On Her Arms), wrote a blog post entitled, “People Need Other People”. His post helped to clarify an idea I’ve been mulling over for a long time. The idea of dependency, of belonging.  This idea:  it’s terrifying and it’s sketchy and it’s beautiful. I stole his title.  Continue reading

Grace is Dirty

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.”

-Ephesians 2:8 (KJV)

If you had asked me a couple of weeks ago to play a word association game and then presented me with the word “grace”, my response would probably have included words like delicate, gentle, beautiful, tender, and maybe even soft. In my head, grace had become this really clean concept that involves all these beautiful ideas like love and hope and reconciliation.

It’s not. I mean, it does involve love, hope, and reconciliation. But, it’s not clean. The reality is this: Grace is dirty. Continue reading