…but the Lord was not in the wind

They're like Voldemort.Or perhaps I should say, "he who must not be named.' Because really, naming them gives them power.They are people who show up at a soldier's funeral to spew hate rhetoric. They are people who move in when there is tremendous grief; and sometimes, like dementors, they are also drawn to celebration. They make hideous signs, and they make the news.They are pastors who teach their youth that a little bit of harrassment might be a good ministry to the gay kids. They are … [Read more...]

Simple Gifts

Every year we complain."The traffic is terrible!" "The lines are ridiculous!" "The stuff is out in October!" "If i hear one more Celine Dion 'O Holy Night,' I'm going to puke!" "My credit card bill is outrageous!"And then, every year...every year of the world...we do it all again.Why do we think this is what the season has to look like? We've been programmed, is why. And who is programming us? Retailers. Credit card companies. The vast and varied entertainment industries. They are counting … [Read more...]

A Bad Political Hair Day

My goodness. I am so grossed out, i do not know where to start.Wait, yes i do. Mr Trump--you have bad hair. It makes you look like a ridiculous charicature of yourself. But since you are a (straight white) man, nobody much cares. Well...a straight white man with big ol' piles of cash. You can say and do whatever you want. You can sleep with whomever you want. You can 'fire' whomever you want--and get paid for doing it in an entertaining fashion. You can put a resort or golf course anywhere you … [Read more...]

Primetime Throwdown (yes, Brian Williams just said ‘throwdown…’)

It was a long night.I went to sleep at a decent hour, then woke up at a distinctly INdecent hour, and lay awake until right around the time my kids started stirring. Isn't that always the way...Normally, I'd attribute my nocturnal twitchiness to some ill-advised afternoon coffee, or a pressing deadline. But no. I woke up in the middle of the night, rehashing the presidential debate; and in my sleep-deprived mind, it sounded something like this: 'did not.'  'did too.' 'nuh-uh.' 'yes-huh.' 'he … [Read more...]

Like a Child

We are celebrating Children's Sabbath at church this week. As i think through what that service should look like, I am mindful that it should not just be a service for children. It should be one that honors the spiritual gifts that children possess, and recognizes them not as the 'future church,' but as fully active and vital parts of the body, right now.Scripture refers to God as "father" so often, that many people hold a firm image of God as not only parental, but fully male. Even those of … [Read more...]

Unto Others

I'm preaching on the Golden Rule this Sunday. Total snooze, right?It seems like the very heart of simplicity. Otherwise known as the 'ethic of reciprocity,' there is an equivalent of this directive in every faith tradition in the history of the world. And yet, the notion of treating others as we'd like to be treated is the most challenging, transforming, life-giving concept imaginable. Even if we memorize it in kindergarten, it has a way of getting lost among the other platitudes of our … [Read more...]

Benediction

'Saint' is a word i don't throw around much. I often find it trite, empty, and too dang precious. But in the case of Dorothy, I can say many things things that I don't normally say. Like the fact that she has "crossed over," or "gone to glory." And yes, that she is a saint of the church. Dorothy was from Kentucky. From the same small corner, in fact, that produced me, and every woman of faith who raised me. In many ways, Dorothy was my 'people' long before we met as two mountain women, set in a f … [Read more...]

Preparing a Place

Sometimes the best, most life-giving things in the life of a church evolve without a great deal of planning. They emerge out of daily life without meetings, without a line-item in the budget, without a major marketing campaign or overhaul of policy.A few weeks ago, I overheard my yoga instructor say that she was looking for a Tuesday morning gig. I said, "I know of a place..." And before i knew it, there were 7 of us gathered in the narthex on mats, engaged in community, mindfulness, and of … [Read more...]

The One Where I’m the Grownup

Find a person who is good at what they do, and ask them a simple question: who shaped you for this? I'm willing to bet that the person you're talking to is more than ready with a litany of people who helped mold them for leadership. Whether their career path is ministry, teaching, business, art, media, or some kind of trade, ANYbody who has managed to get good at something will be able to tell you who first (and best) modelled that vocation for them. Just sit back and hear the story.I can no … [Read more...]


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