Natural Disasters: Judgment or Grace?

A few weeks ago, we were treated to a minor onslaught of media coverage about a few outspoken Christians who claimed Superstorm Sandy was an act of judgment from God. The specific target of God’s judgment wasn’t quite clear–it differed, depending on who was making the accusation. It’s interesting that no one seemed to blame […]

14 Things I’ll Miss after the Mayan Apocalypse

Since we are only 18 days away from the Mayan Apocalypse–the much-publicized but ill-defined end of the world as we know it, I think it fitting to pause and pre-memorialize 14 things I will really miss afterward. Why 14? I really have no good reason. I am, of course, assuming I will be among the […]

The Hardy Boys and the Dangers of Safety

Driving home from a Thanksgiving road trip last weekend, my family and I listened to a Hardy Boys audiobook. We like listening to stories as we travel, and among our selections on recent trips, we’ve chosen several Hardy Boys tales. Along with the boys’ adventures, I’ll confess we enjoy the old-fashioned cultural references, characters, and […]

3 Reasons We’re Growing More Polarized

As I write this, I’m sitting on a train, traveling to spend Thanksgiving with family. My seatmate is a stranger on his way to Reno. That’s pretty much all I know about him. I don’t have any information about his political leanings, his religion, or the country listed on his birth certificate (although based on […]

Too Many Bosses for Church Staff

I know a thing or two about living in the parsonage. As a pastor’s kid, I spent 10 years living in the house next door to the church. And later, as a youth pastor’s wife, I spent a few more living in a bubble that may as well have been a parsonage. The thing about […]

Women Leading Men at Work

How to lead men in a professional setting: I’ll admit I don’t have much to say on this topic. It’s not because I haven’t led men, and it’s not because the topic doesn’t matter. It’s because I don’t think a lot needs to be said. When women lead men in their work, gender doesn’t have […]

The Only Way I Know How to Live

Last week I made four trips to the doctor. One for me, one for a sick kid, and two for my other sick kid. I spent the week trying to ease muscle spasms in my neck, which have afflicted me for three weeks. I had several frustrating and discouraging social interactions. And I nearly cried […]

TMI: Keep Your Eyeballs to Yourself

Last week at a school orchestra concert, I saw two moms engaged in a heated argument while the poor assistant principal tried to mediate. My husband, a school counselor, mediates these kinds of conflicts all the time–usually between moms, usually over a conflict that actually belongs to their kids. It reminded me of the time […]

Why Are “Psychos” So Scary?

Last week, on my way to a lunch meeting, I drove by a billboard advertising a Halloween attraction called Statesville Haunted Prison. I suspected it somehow capitalized on mental illness, so I looked it up. Sure enough, Chicagoland’s “greatest haunted house” is a celebration of popular cliches about mental illness–among other stupidities. The prisoners have […]

How NFL Referees (Like the Rest of Us) Proved Their Value

“Oh, Now You Love Us.” That’s the headline overlaying a picture of beloved NFL referee Ed Hochuli, staring at me from the cover of the Sports Illustrated issue I pulled from my mailbox this morning. Referees, players, and fans are all breathing a sigh of relief after September 29, when the NFL officially ended its […]

© 2012 Amy Simpson.