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A Time to Feast and a Time to Fast: Ash Wednesday Approaches

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 … Continue reading A Time to Feast and a Time to Fast: Ash Wednesday Approaches

Denton Mystery Worship Seventeen: Dust to Dust

“Remember you are but dust and to dust you shall return.” With these words, the The Rev’d Canon H.W. Herrmann, Rector of St. David of Wales Episcopal Church in Denton, marked the foreheads of approximately 30 early morning worshipers on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015. The familiar words of the readings and prayers swirled around me. I read the collect of the day, “Almighty and everlasting God, who hatest nothing that thou hast made, and dost forgive the sins of all them that are penitent . . .” God, who “hatest nothing that thou has made,” and yet as I … Continue reading Denton Mystery Worship Seventeen: Dust to Dust

I Would Have Cut and Run As Well

I would have cut and run as well. I would have run into that darkness to save my body, not caring that I was leaving behind my soul. You see, before anyone saw the light and bright of Easter Sunday, darkness prevailed. Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem probably led many to hope, “Now, someone will get rid of these Roman oppressors!” They saw Jesus as “messiah,” the sent one who would set them free. Messiahs live in a world of misunderstanding, especially those who come preaching peace and concern for the outsiders, not war and gaining as much as possible … Continue reading I Would Have Cut and Run As Well

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

The Taught Being the Teacher

During Lent, I’ve been leading a study I called “Doubters Anonymous” which was set up to give those with questions about our faith a place to express them openly and without condemnation.  I had no idea what would happen when we began this.  I planned to simply let it unfold. What we ended up doing was examining this scenario:  a pastor (married), runs off with the choir director (married), both divorce their spouses and then marry each other.  Church left devastated in their wake.  Several years later, the former pastor and choir director return to the church and request to … Continue reading The Taught Being the Teacher

The Hope of Spring

The hope of spring:  it amazes me each year. Saturday morning, as I promised myself, I headed to the yard to begin the process of cleaning out the flower beds and see what needs to be done next. Last year, I had planted three unusual crepe myrtles, a low-growing, small variety with cascades of lavender blooms appearing in the hot weather.  They didn’t do particularly well last year–fairly normal for newly planted landscape foliage, but by late fall, I wasn’t sure they would survive at all.  I guessed they didn’t make it through the winter–going into those really cold days … Continue reading The Hope of Spring

Second Saturday of Lent

Today, the second Saturday in Lent, I shall spend as much of the day as possible in the garden at the parsonage.  I hope by late afternoon to be extremely dirty, tired, sore and with a stronger sense of the things I use to protect myself from entering the kingdom of heaven. On Sunday, I’ll be telling the story of the man who comes by darkness to talk with Jesus.  I’m going to tell this through the eyes and ears of Jesus’ disciples, who themselves were surely very confused by this man they had decided to follow and yet who … Continue reading Second Saturday of Lent

Second Week of Lent

Into the second week of Lent, I find myself distracted from the time necessary to really do the important self-examination necessary for real repentance.  A continued battle with severe allergic response, which exacerbates the constant problem of projects unfinished, has very much affected me plans. That, actually, I suspect, is what is making this Lenten journey even more enlightening. I have learned that a quick “I’m sorry” or a “I’ll fix this later” does absolutely nothing to bring about real transformation.  For me, it is a question of facing squarely those things, and I sometimes call them “my demons,” that … Continue reading Second Week of Lent