The Piano – and the painful goodness of letting go

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I didn't know on Saturday night that they'd be the last notes I'd play on it.  I sat down a few minutes before a woman came in response to our Craig's list ad and touched the keys with a tune I made up on the fly.  It's what I do best with pianos.  Those pesky notes from Bach or Mozart have always felt too confining for me.  So I simply sit and play, letting the music well up from my soul and pour out over the keys.  I've done that multiple hundreds of times on this piano.  It's been a friend.  L … [Read more...]

Unlocking Potential by Practicing Presence

Everything can be taken from a man or a woman but one thing: the last of human freedoms to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way. - Victor FranklDo you ever wish you were somewhere else?  Of course you do! You wish you were on the other side of that right light which is holding you back from where you want to be.  You wish you were at a job that pays more, or is energizing rather than mind numbing.  You wish you were with a spouse that is harder wo … [Read more...]

Light, Shadows, Snow… and faith

When I say that we all need to learn how to read from the book of creation, sometimes people wrinkle their noses and wonder what I'm talking about.  This morning's journal entry might offer a helpful example, written after a morning walk with the neighbors up at the writing cabin.Good morning God...My heart is full this morning, grateful for the walking friends up here and the refreshing conversations when we do our mile together.  This morning though, most of my gratitude stems from t … [Read more...]

Focus on the Dysfunctional Family

I love my friend, Larry Shallenberger's paragraph in this post, about the danger of "Christian Church Culture".  He likens God's transforming process to that of a mechanic restoring an old motorcycle, believing that the old rusted bike has its best years ahead of it.  We religious people, meanwhile, tend to handle each other like airport luggage handlers. This leads to the false belief that its better to lower our heads and fit in.Lower our heads and fit in. Covertly demand that, as a p … [Read more...]

While you were protesting…

Luke 19:10 offers an interesting perspective on the word "occupy" because this is where Jesus tells the parable of the talents.  A master hands over some money to various servants and tells them to "occupy" (King James) until he returns.  Then, of course, some do that well, and bring the master a return on his investment, and others, not so much."Occupy": to fill or take up space.  The word can mean many things I suppose, and there's a sense to which the occupy movement is giving us a li … [Read more...]

What dreams may come – living with fulfillment and delay

DONNA STUDYING

Yes, there was that little 32-year delay – but eventually it happened, or will happen very soon.  My wife was up until after 2AM last night writing a paper and preparing a presentation for her last day of class, which is today.  She’s been involved in a two-week intensive class, studying the holocaust.  Each night she’s been reading history and writing about it.  Sometimes we’ve had conversations about it, and at times her content has intersected my world as I’ve been bringing a teaching series o … [Read more...]

Smoke…and the aroma of grace

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After leaving my wife at the bus station today in Concord, NH, the drive back to the camp where I'm speaking has me thinking about change.  My youngest daughter will soon be arriving home from a summer in Rwanda, changed utterly.  In a few short months both she and my wife will graduate from Seattle Pacific University, and this will mark the end of college careers (at the very least, for the time being) for our whole family.  Change.  The church I lead is moving into a new season in a few short w … [Read more...]

Smoke…and the aroma of grace

After leaving my wife at the bus station today in Concord, NH, the drive back to the camp where I'm speaking has me thinking about change.  My youngest daughter will soon be arriving home from a summer in Rwanda, changed utterly.  In a few short months both she and my wife will graduate from Seattle Pacific University, and this will mark the end of college careers (at the very least, for the time being) for our whole family.  Change.  The church I lead is moving into a new season in a few short w … [Read more...]


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