April 6, 2008

OK, the question has been, “How can I spend two weeks in France just 100 km from Paris and not see Paris itself?” Since it was becoming clear that I was in danger of doing that very thing, today, Sunday, April 6, became the day to remedy the problem. Although we had originally planned for all to go, it turned very chilly overnight and snow was predicted, so at the last minute, just Jonathan and I went. As we entered… Read more

April 6, 2008

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 he wanted to taken me and the family to Paris on Saturday so I could see the city, and Adriana just had to agree to… Read more

April 4, 2008

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 it was clear that she couldn’t leave the fussy Samuel. So I threw on some clothes and left the house. The sky was turning light… Read more

April 4, 2008

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 yards from this cottage is the estate house, built some time in the 1800’s. Beautiful, white stone with numerous outbuildings, including a greenhouse. To get… Read more

March 25, 2008

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 human nature that insists on killing the good and celebrating the wicked. On Easter Sunday morning, people thronged into churches all over the world to… Read more

March 18, 2008

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 the office and ended up bringing it home to rejuvenate it. It is now over six feet tall, with large spreading branches. Most of the… Read more

March 11, 2008

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 being entertained in church.” Hmmm—definitely truth there as well. Although some churches do have “entertaining” worship services, the church really isn’t in the entertainment business…. Read more

March 7, 2008

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 as though offering their load of snow as a gracious gift, free to the taker. When the snow falls heaviest, sounds are muffled, a deep… Read more

February 27, 2008

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 to enter into a life of itinerant ministry, serving wherever the Bishop and Cabinet deem appropriate at any given time. I turned in two recorded… Read more

February 27, 2008

“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 cares for the family pet. Ten minutes a day is the absolute minimum that must be spent on grooming the animal. If that is not… Read more

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