Smell: Week 2, Day 3

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My kid's got a nose on her.I don't mean a glaring, unfortunate feature. I mean, she has a sensitive olefactory device. She has been known to tell her daddy that he smells like "beard." (Translation: something involving hops). Or to tell her brother, "Baby brother, you smell like waffles!" No man or child in her life will ever be able to sneak a cigarette, that's for sure. She will never be able to walk by a bakery un-tempted. She will never be able to live in a place that has a damp carpet s … [Read more...]

Listen: Week 2, Day 2

"What a thing it is to sit absolutely alone, in the forests, at night, cherished by this wonderful, unintelligible, perfectly innocent speech, the most comforting speech in the world, the talk that rain makes by itself all over the bridges, and the talk of the water courses everywhere in the hollows! Nobody started it, nobody is going to stop it. It will talk as long as it wants, this rain. As long as it talks I am going to listen."       --Thomas MertonWhat a notion--that we might be cheri … [Read more...]

Breathe: Week 2, Day 1

To the tune of finding a little wilderness this season, here's an excerpt from "National Parks: America's Best Idea." It's short but meaningful, with some stunning visuals. Also, for you sunshine-spoiled Phoenix folk who are freezing in the 50-degree mornings... THIS is what cold looks like. … [Read more...]

Camel Hair is the New Black

Advent Week 2:Bible Study and Discussion QuestionsWhy do we never see John the Baptist on a Hallmark card? Or a giant, blow-up snow globe to put in your yard? Come to think of it, we don’t even include him in our sanctuary tableau. Our songs, our greetings, our pageantry, all seems to skip straight from Isaiah to the annunciation. What it comes down to, I think, is that the wayward 2nd cousin is just not sexy. Not like the angels—I mean, they’ve had a whole holiday lingerie show modeled after t … [Read more...]

Week 1, Day 5: Antici…pation

““Well,” said Pooh, “what I like best…” and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called.””That word you’re after, Pooh Bear, is “anticipation.” It’s a lovely and mysterious feeling that often eludes us in an instant-print, overnight delivery, one-hour eyeglasses and buy-today-pay-later kind of world. But in this season, we tr … [Read more...]

Advent Week 1, Day 4

For your listening pleasure, an Advent song (no, really!) that encompasses all the hope, the dwindling darkness, and the anguished beauty of the season. Thanks, Emmylou."There's a Light"Really, just do yourself a favor and download the album, “Light of the Stable.” The whole thing is flat-out fabulous. Worlds better than Celine… Sometimes, it just takes a country girl.  … [Read more...]

This Little Light of Mine

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Advent; Week 1, Day 3Today, right this minute, some 34 million people are living with AIDS.Wait a second...That's not very festive.December 1 is World AIDS Day.  It is a day to commemorate the loss of life; to raise awareness; to advocate for those needing treatment; and to work for a cure.  This is a cause near and dear to my heart, and to my calling as a minister. I've been involved with AIDS service organiations in Kentucky, North Carolina, Phoenix, and have even travelled with a … [Read more...]

There’s an App For That…

Advent, Week 1, Day 2No, not a Droid thing. But a practical application for the theme of "waiting" this week.Know what I find most difficult about the holiday season? (People whining about it? Well, yes. Unless I'm the one whining. Then it's ok).  What bugs me most is how long it takes to run a simple errand. I try to simplify my life as much as possible in December. I shop online so I don't have to run from store to store; i cook at home more and eat out less; i say "no" to some things; but … [Read more...]

Advent Reflection: Week 1, Day 1

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A Waiting Hymn  (tune: Greensleeves)Show us the way to Bethlehm, O Prophet you have spoken.You listened in the darkest night, God's silence now is broken.       ChorusShow us the way to Bethlehem, God's chosen mother, Mary.With you we wait with joy to see the miracle you carry.      ChorusShow us the way to Bethlehem, you Shepherds in your wonder.Your star, a sign that joy has come, and evil lies asunder.      ChorusShow us the way to Bethlehem, all you who kno … [Read more...]


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