January 1, 2020

What did you do over the past ten years? I fight annual celebrations. It always turns into self-criticism over the lack of accomplishment. Recognition of things not done since the previous time the holiday came by. Highlighting this feeling, over the past several days, as the calendar has turned from 2019 to 2020, a number of friends have been using social media to post lists of experiences and accomplishments. Most of these are bright and hopeful. Many recall challenges overcome…. Read more

December 12, 2019

There’s a certain family resemblance between Jesus and his Mamma. Mary follows God. She will go where God leads. And because of that, she sees things others did not see. Those who keep looking to the tradition, the familiar, and the recognized are not going to see the new things that God has in store. Jesus in the same prophetic path, likes to stir things up, too. She Liked to Stir Things Up Mary’s Magnificat cannot be read too lightly…. Read more

December 11, 2019

Advent is a season of waiting. I have used that definition often. But to a certain extent, it falls short of being a full explanation. The question has to emerge: waiting for what? If we’re unaware of what we are awaiting, we might miss it when it arrives. And we might still not be clear what “it” is. Waiting for God? We who confess that the reign of God has come already in the person of Jesus (Mark 1:15), know… Read more

December 9, 2019

A familiar motif in theological conversations is the “already but not yet” motif. The coming of Jesus? He has come already, but has not yet returned. The reign of peace and love announced as present by Jesus’ preaching, teaching, and living? It is already here…but not yet. Justice, compassion, mercy, the presence of God among God’s people and creation? Already here, and not yet. There’s a painful gap between what was begun and what fulfillment looks like. Life in the… Read more

November 29, 2019

Anything that mitigates against relationships becomes something to avoid.  As a general rule, I don’t do Black Friday sales. Shopping local on Saturday after Black Friday is more to my liking. When stores years ago began opening for Black Friday sales on Thursday evenings, it became obvious that our commitment to capitalism had surpassed our commitments to relationships, to eating pie, leftovers, and playing games. I want Thanksgiving, and the days after to be about family, friends, and community. And… Read more

November 25, 2019

Preparing to wait….Wait. Isn’t that the same as waiting? How does one begin to wait for the act of waiting? Nonetheless, this next week, I am actively waiting to wait. Advent, the Season of Waiting will soon be here. The conclusion the liturgical year is upon us. Christians, the world over, will be worshiping and celebrating the new year. Not January 1, as other do. But celebrating, commemorating, a way of counting days that is “not of this world,” but… Read more

November 23, 2019

In Article 24 for Quas Primas, a pontifical encyclical, Pope Pius XI set forth the rationale for Christ the King Sunday, the last Sunday before the beginning of Advent. Though written to Cardinals, and addressed to the Roman Catholic world, it nonetheless contains reminders for all of us. Pius explained the need for the statement arose out of the painful lessons of the Great War, and the grown concern for nationalism emerging throughout Europe in 1925. From the encyclical Quas… Read more

November 2, 2019

I think about coaching track and field a lot. But I often have a skewed way of thinking about it, I guess. This past week our pastor, Karla Morton, preached on Jesus’ parable of the pharisee and the tax-collector. Among other pious thoughts, I thought of coaching. Valuing Our Competitor In Angela Duckworth’s book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, there is an extended conversation with Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks (you can learn more about their collaboration… Read more

October 30, 2019

Have you ever had one of those experiences when you know that you don’t know, but you know so little, that you cannot even phrase the question about what you don’t know? I don’t think I have ever written a sentence with the word “know” in it that many times!  It happens often when I am neck deep in something.  Something I care about, something I have entered into willingly. Sometimes, it is thrust upon me when I have to… Read more

October 21, 2019

A recent study from the Pew Research Center announces that the trend of decline continues.  Pew is a personal favorite for a poll and survey addict like me. I’m no mathematician, I not a statistical wizard, but I love having numbers and graphs to describe phenomena that I think I am witnessing myself. Other frequent stops for me are the National Opinion Research Center (NORC), with it’s comprehensive General Social Survey (GSS). But Pew remains a favorite. Pew’s extensive surveys… Read more

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