December 28, 2018

So first, I must know: what indeed do I control? Answer? Me. Only me. Try though I might, I can’t control anything or anyone else. I don’t have that power. And neither do you.  My husband and I recently returned from a long and fascinating cruise that eventually took us deep into the Amazon River. On multiple levels, the trip was eye-opening for me. I learned about the gigantic Amazon rainforest and its essential, and increasingly threatened role, in global… Read more

December 15, 2018

It dawned on me later that perhaps that large howler monkey, sensing that I was ill as animals are wont to do, may have been acting as a guard, effectively saying, “Worry not. I’ve got your back.” I do remember having no fear, no sense of discomfort, just the fullness of peace and the embrace of a world that is foreign to me.  Today, we sail in the somewhat calmer, deep blue, Caribbean. But a few days ago, after the… Read more

December 10, 2018

I managed to hold on until we got off the bus, headed to the pier edge, sat down on a fortunately placed piece of covered pipe and waited. The outcome was inevitable. After a few bouts of retching, I felt well enough to walk to the boat, but I also knew exactly what would happen when the blast of the ship air conditioner hit me.  Our travels sound very glamorous—and to some degree they genuinely are. We occupy a lovely… Read more

December 8, 2018

Do we need God when all our “needs” are met? Do we need God when we no longer operate out of an economy of scarcity or of a need to appeal an all-powerful deity to stay alive? Do we need God when food is plentiful, the weather always predictable?  It’s a rainy Amazonian morning. I am sitting on our deck, a few raindrops hitting my feet, and thinking about the last few days on this trip. We’ve been able to… Read more

December 3, 2018

In the history of the Amazon rainforest, missionaries murdered nearly as many people with their microbes, carrying measles and smallpox and God-knows-what-else into these areas, as the cruel colonists with their use of metal weapons and gunpowder.  My brain stays crowded with too many thoughts on this long ship ride from Miami that will soon take us into the Amazon River for a six-day sojourn. We’ve stopped at several lovely Caribbean Islands along the way–and have seen the kind of destruction that… Read more

December 3, 2018

Since the replacement of winter solstice celebrations with Christmas, the church has inextricably tied the Christmas celebration with the idea of the light pushing back the darkness. The problem? The idea has validity only in the Northern Hemisphere and distorts the real message.  The winter solstice this year takes place on Friday, Dec. 21, 4:23 PM. Immediately after, the days begin to lengthen and will do so for six months, until the summer solstice at 10:54 AM on Friday, June 21, 2019, and… Read more

November 26, 2018

As I make some new routines, undergo withdrawal from a too-constant feast of political news and move to the too-constant feast of endless food and drink, I think this is going to be a fascinating journey, both to a different part of the world and to a different part of my soul.  We both woke this past Friday morning thinking, “What HAVE WE DONE?” A long time ago, my husband and I booked a cruise that will take us from… Read more

November 19, 2018

The advice you will never regret taking: Find time to enjoy the various types of traditions that appear this time of the year. Revel in the delights of gifts and good smells and twinkling lights. Put on some fuzzy slippers and a cozy robe and get something warm to drink and spend an evening listening to your favorite holiday music. Sing along, tunefully or tunelessly. Reach out and hold someone’s hand. You will be glad you took this piece of… Read more

November 12, 2018

The Traditionalist Plan is a classic mean girl manifesto. “If you don’t follow MY rules, I will kick you out of the group. Nyah, Nyah, Nyah.” Any rational group of delegates, assuming they are mature adults, seasoned with grace, and aware of their foibles, would laugh this plan out of the room. But I bet it wins.  OK, this post is probably only going to make sense to those who have been following the slowly sinking ship of The United… Read more

November 6, 2018

The WCA schism will lead to a tame denomination–safe and clean and neatly heterosexual, although I continue to worry about the sexual issues of the children and grandchildren of those who have founded this movement. Ultimately, however, it won’t be good.  The cat is finally out of the bag–a group of “We know we are right and anyone who disagrees with us is wrong” “united” Methodists are actively planning for schism if things don’t go their way at GC2019. It fascinated… Read more

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