Scattered and Sown

So this farmer went out with a bunch of seeds. And he scattered them far and wide. Some fell on the road, so the road runners ate them. Some fell on the red rock; those seeds sprouted quickly, but their roots didn't go very deep. The saplings whithered and died in the blazing sun, and the remains were trampled by coyotes. Some fell in the dry and thorny weeds; those seeds never had a chance. And some of those seeds fell on rich, fertile, life-filled soil, and grew forth abundant … [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...]

Ask: Why Fear of Death is Killing the Church

A telemarketer called the church. She was selling neighborhood mailing lists. I told her no thank you."I'm just trying to help you grow your church! Don't you want your church to grow??" she shouted angrily. Whoa. Where was this coming from?I said (with the manners of a saint, given her tone), "we have a budget for resources like this, but it's been designated for other things.""Yes," she said, "but the church doesn't really run on a budget, does it? I mean, it's all donations, ri … [Read more...]

For Such a Time as This

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I was sitting on the floor of my crummy first-year-of-being-a-grownup apartment, doing grad school homework that i should have done the night before, and getting ready to go to class. Which means I probably shouldn't have been watching tv, but was. When the plane hit the first tower, i went and woke up my roommate, who was still sleeping. "What? That's crazy!" she said. I ran quickly back to the tv to find out what a breathless world was waiting to find out--what sort of mechanical error, … [Read more...]

A Cup of the Good Stuff

When's the last time you got out the good china?After I went on and on yesterday about the blessedness of a messy house, I think I should clarify--though I blamed the chaos on the kiddos, I have to own that much (much) of the mess is mine. And not quite so much of it is my husband's. He does his best to keep some order, but he is only one person. Much like my mother (and oh, they do talk about me) he finally stops cleaning up after me so that I will one day go oh, my, this place is a … [Read more...]

Bless This Mess (without the stress)

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Listen to me, young folks in your 20's, figuring out what you're going to be--I want to tell you something. You can, in fact, have it all. You can have a meaningful, fulfilling career, AND a healthy, happy family. Those who say you cannot are haters, so don't listen to them. You can do both and live. It is possible.What you will probably not have--nay, what you will never have, in that particular life combination--is a clean house. Just live with it. You will be happier, and so will your … [Read more...]

Unknown

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It was a rare (RARE) Saturday afternoon moment. Both kids were asleep at the same time, and my spouse was out of the house. I had just settled into the good chair with a library book, and the phone rang. I glanced over and there it was...the "unknown caller."What do you do? I almost never answer. Especially not on a Saturday, when there are sleeping babies and good books to be read.  It was almost a no-brainer.And yet, this time, I answered. For whatever reason. And it was my brother, ca … [Read more...]

Saturday Night’s Alright (just alright)

One thing they don't tell you when you go into the ministry [wait--there are about a THOUSAND things that "they" don't tell you, but this is one] is that you should say good bye to Saturdays. They no longer exist. Well, at least not for you.This is why many clergy take Fridays off--to have the whole day free, knowing the next morning does not press too closely in on your sabbath day. But even then, busy churches have life on Saturdays, at least on occasion.I am a Monday-off person myself. … [Read more...]

The Greatest Sweepstakes EVER

My aunt has won vehicles in sweepstakes contests. Not once. Not twice. But THREE TIMES. Impossibly good luck? Maybe that too. But mostly, it's because of the sheer volume of entries. Filling out those forms is how she unwinds. She doesn't knit or watch junk tv or go on frivilous shopping errands. She does plenty of worthwhile things in her very full and busy life, like granparenting and teaching nursing students and being a full-time minister's wife, just to name a few. But when she has downtime … [Read more...]


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