Life in France, Part Three

Saturday was Jonathan’s 31st birthday and Adriana was absolutely determined to surprise him with a party and an American-style cookout. This party took a week in planning, unbelievable coordination, many hands to help, and much trust the people would keep it secret. The big fly in the ointment is that Jonathan decided on Friday that [Read More…]

Life in France, Part Two

Friday in France The day started hard. Both the children were restless during the night, especially Samuel. Little sleep for anyone and we all gave up around 6 a.m. Adriana and I had said that we’d walk together to the village at 6:45 to get some fresh crossaints and a baguette from the bakery, but [Read More…]

Life in France Journal, Part One

Initial Impressions I’m in France, about 80 km south of Paris. Here, in a small hunting cottage originally built in the 1700’s, I’m watching (and helping where I can) Adriana care for a 22 month old and a four month old in a house that was never designed with “kid-safety” in mind. About a 100 [Read More…]

Easter Living

We are in the season of Easter. This is time in the church year where we put special emphasis on living the life of those who have seen and celebrated the Resurrection. We’ve gone through the deep sadness of Good Friday. Many attended Holy Week services or took time personally to acknowledge the darkness of [Read More…]

Life Returns

I have a number of houseplants, probably too many. Each has a history, mostly gifts, some rescues from my mother who habitually kills every plant that comes near her. I bought for myself only two of them to put in an office. One of those was a small ficus tree. I nearly killed it in [Read More…]

Church is Boring

Well, yes it is sometimes. Entered into with a spirit of willingness and openness, time in church can mean that the spirit of God bores a hole all the way into the center of our beings. Oh—perhaps you didn’t mean THAT kind of “bore” with the phrase “church is boring.” Instead it meant, “I’m not [Read More…]

White as Snow

For those of us who rarely see snow, the sight of the huge flakes gently falling to the ground and covering everything with pristine white fills us with awe. Things formerly nondescript or even ugly to the sight become beautiful, transformed by the layer of fluff. Chain-link fences turn into fine lace, tree limbs bend [Read More…]

A Long Journey Nearly Over

On Monday, February 25, I met with members of the Board of Ordained Ministry of the United Methodist Church for a morning of interviews. In preparation for this time, I had written a definitive statement of my systematic theology, a defense of the sacraments, my understanding of an inclusive church and ministry, and my willingness [Read More…]

Medicine Cabinet Discernment

“I can always tell the state of someone’s soul by examining the medicine cabinet. And it’s always easy to take a peek when I visit a house. A well-kept medicine cabinet is a well-kept person–such a one can be trusted.” “I can always tell the state of someone’s soul by seeing how well that person [Read More…]

The Time is NOW

“Of course, spiritual things are important—but there are other things a lot more important at the moment.” “I’ll find time for God later. Right now, there are too many things pressuring me.” “My children will make their own faith decisions when they are adults. I don’t want to influence them one way or another.” “God [Read More…]