On a Holy Lent

I come from a non-liturgical background so the idea of observing Ash Wednesday seemed utterly foreign to me until my middle adult years when I found myself deeper drawn to both the contemplative life and the rhythms of the liturgical church year. The first year I observed the Lenten fast transformed my understanding of sin, grace and redemption. Easter made sense for the first time ever. Each year since then I have spent a few days asking God to show me what would be the way of my Lenten discipline for the season knowing the moment I said “oh no, … Continue reading On a Holy Lent

We Do Love Our Tools

Humans are tool-making and tool-using creatures.  Our opposable thumb and finger grasp strength provide the springboard to create and use machines as extensions of our bodies and brains. We are also tool-purchasing creatures.  Tools to cook, tools to communicate, tools to study, tools to build, tools to create, tools to clean, tools to repair, tools to heal, tools to build muscles and increase stamina, even tools to help us relax and have fun. We really do like ‘em. Last spring I saw what a tool-wonder New York City is for my two-year old grandson. A north-south avenue near his house … Continue reading We Do Love Our Tools

A Week In The Life of a Very, Very Tired Pastor

Saturday: A day in the garden:  pulled weeds, planted onions and a tree, got a flower bed rebuilt, cleaned up the yard, got garden ready for rest of early and late spring plantings, did laundry, straightened up the house, dealt with mail, went to bed early, ready in body, spirit and soul for the week. Sunday: Three powerful, rich worship services filled the morning and I acknowledged once again that I work with not just a first-rate team, but with a first-rate team who love Jesus, honor and care for each other, and are willing to essentially be invisible with … Continue reading A Week In The Life of a Very, Very Tired Pastor

A Time to Feast and a Time to Fast

If every day were Christmas, we’d be miserable.  We’d be stuffed, bored, broke and fractious.  Irritations would win the day and gloom and unfulfilled expectations would slather everyone with despondency. Adults would desperately turn to TV, youth and teens to video games, as a way to disconnect from person-to-person contact.  Children, surrounded by piles of overly-stimulating toys, would resort to whining, “Is that all there is?” as a way to remove themselves from their mental and emotional chaos. Christmas is special because it comes just once a year. But no one can stay in a fever pitch of excitement for … Continue reading A Time to Feast and a Time to Fast

Let the Children Lead Us

The children came forth in droves to have their foreheads marked with ashes last night as we formally entered Lent in preparation for Easter.  Close to 50 children and youth from our LOGOS/Midweek Miracle ministry along with parents and others from our church community and neighborhood, participated with both solemnity and hope. I found it hard to hold back tears of joy as I had the privilege of imposing those ashes onto those beautiful young faces and upon those who are now preparing for Easter yet once more as they have for over 80 years.  With that many children in … Continue reading Let the Children Lead Us

Redemption Through Reading

I just read a riveting article about a college teacher who had a murder suspect in her classroom for a semester.  The article, “Prime Suspect, Second Row,” can be found here (only for five days, through March 14, after that only for subscribers of The Chronicle of Higher Education website). The young man, handsome, poised, well-dressed, was a prime suspect in the ax murder of his father and the attempted murder of his mother.  The professor knew the family and had known this young man from his youth. It was a course in English Literature. The professor knew that many … Continue reading Redemption Through Reading

One Step

Overwhelming–I often hear that word and even more often say it when faced with what seem to be impossible tasks. Occasionally I watch a TV show about people who suffer from compulsive hoarding tendencies or who are long neglectful of day to day clean-up. All have reached a point where the clutter or hoarded items become impossible to deal with. Too much. Overwhelming. Unfixable. Yet, I know there is a way through this. This ordinary saying rings in my head when I look at what seems like an impossible task in front of me: “The journey of thousand miles begins … Continue reading One Step

Heathy Gardens and A Holy Lent

My yard is full of weeds this late winter week.  I’ve seen this happen before when we’ve moved into a different house and started the progress to an organic lawn and garden maintenance program.  Without harsh weed suppressants, the not yet healthy lawn is permeable to every possible weed right now. It’s messy and a little frustrating.  I want to just blast it with some magic quick fix product and be done with it.  I also know the cost of doing that.  While it may better in the short run, I’m continuing to contribute to the essential unhealth and unsustainability … Continue reading Heathy Gardens and A Holy Lent