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Showing posts from September 6, 2015

Pie lessons

Pieces of pie - lemon meringue. Coffee in cups piping hot for a damp day. Shadows of sorrow put out to the warmth, of clinking spoons, children's laughter, and smiles adorned. Bowls of chowder. People fed. This lesson was worthy of rolling out of a Saturday bed.

Blinking lessons

One of my favorite villains from Dr. Who are called the Weeping Angels. They are an alien force that takes the form of statues. When you are looking at them they can't move, but once you look away they can move with great speed and strength. If they do touch you they shift you to a different time and space. All that was once normal is all gone. You start over where you are placed in a new space and time. The best defense against the attack of a weeping angel is this, "Don't blink". How can it be that this imaginary character from a science fiction program could have anything to do with real life, well it does, but it's more about the way time passes like a blink of an eye. On the morning of September 11, 2001 we all recall where we were due to the tragedy of this day historically, This day for that reason is one, due to the great loss of loved ones and life, that many wish they could blink over and make disappear. But blinking in reality does not work that way

Singing lessons

I've recently met a gentleman that loves to sing. His enthusiasm and energy is contagious. Now I've been singing for almost my whole life. I recall memorizing all the songs from a TV program on PBS called, The Song Bag , with host Tony Saletan . I'd sing in the house, the car (which my older brother loved, not! ) and I'd even sing as I played on my swing set as a child. I'd imagine that if I sung loud enough, then the people in the village might be able to hear me - and answer back with their own tune. For the life of me, I don't recall a major time in my life where I was not singing. I sang to my kids when they were babies, I sang in various bands, and even today I sing in church each Sunday. Somewhere along the way though I think my start of singing for the fun of it might have become a little fuzzy or perhaps the fact that my work did not have space for music had me set it on the back burner for a while. But music is not meant for the back burner. Mu

Poetry lessons

Mrs. H was an old fashioned teacher who wore her hair in a tight bun and a blouse that buttoned up high that was always finished off by a sparkly, but not too sparkly, brooch. When I met her the first day of fourth grade I was afraid of her sternness and her long homework assignments. We were given an assignment to write a poem about our favorite color and to my great relief the writing came to me quickly. The next morning, I was so excited to share my poem with her. When I handed it in, her reply was curt. "You did NOT write this." I was aghast. No matter what I said, she would not believe that my poem about the color red was mine! I don't know where my moment of bravery came from, but before I knew it I said, "Give me another word to write about and I'll write a poem about it right now." She agreed. So, I wrote. Thankfully, the words came. The poem was written and she knew that writing was something I had a natural knack for. I somehow, was

Vocation lessons

On Sunday morning I shared one of my favorite quotes in my sermon. The quote comes from a book written by Parker Palmer called, Let your life speak . I've written about this book and even this specific quote many times before, as this phrase came into my own life at a time I was wrestling with my own calling or vocational purpose. When I'm in the midst of confusion and worry over the course of where my vocational process may or may not be heading, I find myself returning to this well loved phrase in order to help find a center space where I cans see progress and hope in the process that is vocational discernment “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” (Note: This quote was not originate with Mr. Palmer, but he uses the statement that originates with Fredrick Buechner's little book Wishful thinking: A Seeker's ABC's   as a means of telling his own story concerning vocational wrestling.)

Tenderness lessons

Tenderness is something much needed in the world today. We think we need to be tougher, stronger, and more independent. But the truth is... we need each other. Yes we might make each other crazy at times, we won't often agree, and we all need moments alone to recharge. But, as a norm - people need to be with other people. I'd like to even suggest, that people need to be with other people to practice the art of relationship building and relationship I think relationship building requires tenderness. My grandson Owen asked to hold his brand new baby cousin Atticus at our Labor Day Picnic today. His mamma (my daughter) helped him hold him carefully and as he stared at this tiny one month old infant, he was overcome with tenderness for him and kissed him. We all gasped.We teared up. This loving display, "got us in the feels".  We were proud of this busy two-year old Owen showing such gentle intention and care for little Atticus. We all saw how

Car Wash Lessons

Original Painting by T. L. Eastman Car Wash Welcome… A few days ago I was driving down Sheridan Drive when I saw a free car wash taking place. There were tons of children and teenagers waving their arms, cheering and calling to invite the drivers to pull off the road and get their free car wash. I have to say that I was impressed with the energy and the enthusiasm of the car washers. They did not care what kind of car you drove or even how dirty it was. They just wanted to say hello, wash your car and brighten your day. The free car wash was not for the purpose of just washing cars, but its purpose was to help to connect people and build a sense of community. Being a part of a caring, inclusive community is something that is important to most everyone. We all have a desire to connect with others, know that they know us and that our presence in that community makes a difference. Both of the healing stories in today’s gospel draw my mind into the concept of “community livi