Hail Mary

Hail Mary! Several years ago a church I was serving as an interim had a Live Nativity. Various members of the congregation, units of family or friends, signed up for 2 hour shifts each evening the week before Christmas. The United Methodist Women were in charge of serving cider and donuts in the Fellowship Hall. [Read More…]

Happy Thanksgiving! from the Book of Proverbs

I heard a counselor interviewed on CBS “The Early Show” give some good, practical advice about navigating Thanksgiving. It reminded me of the good, practical advice about life and relationships we find in the Bible’s Book of Proverbs. What follows is the pundit’s advice followed by that of the sages of Israel responsible for the [Read More…]

Losing Control of Your Cursor

Losing Control of Your Cursor I have several friends right now who are struggling with unexpected illnesses or accidents. One has a chronic debilitating disease. Another was mowing an elderly neighbor’s lawn and fell, fracturing her ankle, an injury that has required multiple surgeries. I’m sure they hate losing control. We all hate situations that [Read More…]

Preaching and Magnetism

November 23, 2010 I’ve been at a conference for the past five days. It was a combined meeting of the Academy of Homiletics and the Society of Biblical Literature held in Atlanta. I’m suffering from meeting withdrawal. I miss wearing my name badge and walking back and forth across the skybridge between hotels 30 times [Read More…]

Naming Grace and Un-Grace

Mary Catherine Hilkert, in her book Naming Grace: Preaching and the Sacramental Imagination, defines preaching as naming that which is not Grace and naming Grace in the world. Not just for preachers, but for all people of faith, naming that which is not grace is a prophetic, crucial prelude to naming grace, that which God seeks to do to repair the world, what the rabbis called Tikkun olam (repairing the world). [Read more…]

Safety Man?

Some people want God to be their safety man. Make their lives more convenient, keep his mouth shut, and not even speak when spoken to. [Read more…]

Falling Back or Springing Forward?

I enjoy falling back every year. That extra hour is always a Godsend. More time to fold the laundry and unload the dishwasher and put the recyclables in the bin in the alley and mop the kitchen floor and write my Sunday School lesson and still be only 5 minutes late for the choir warm up at 9:15 am. [Read more…]

“Surrounded!” A Sermon for All Saints Day

Surrounded! 1 Kings 3: 3-12; Hebrews 12:1, 2; 12, 13  ” Sermon for All Saints Day”  My grandmother, after whom I am named, passed away in 2000 at age 95 in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. She was one of a kind, like all the people we honor today. Cook Extraordinaire. Enemy of all moles- because of the [Read More…]

Blackbirds and Haunted Houses

“Blackbirds and Haunted Houses” When my kids were younger I used to enjoy taking them to haunted houses. Nowadays, they’ve outgrown going to haunted houses with mom. I still string a few orange lights around the house and put a couple of pumpkins on the front porch, but it’s not the same. I miss my [Read More…]

October’s Promise

When I was younger, say in my teens and early twenties, May was my favorite month. I grew up in Pennsylvania and springtime was green shoots and chirpy birds and people who were naturally more cheerful because they didn’t have to shovel snow anymore. I liked October, but mainly for the candy corn and the costumes.

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When Fresh Breath Matters and When It Doesn’t

The ad showed two people kissing and the caption read, “The original instant message.” “What could this ad be for?” I wondered. [Read more…]

Eat, Pray, Love:

Maybe it’s because she eats unlimited pasta without getting fat, buys lingerie for the heck of it and meets a series of hot guys, but there is a reason for the fascination of thousands of readers with Eat, Pray, Love. [Read more…]