This risky, uncertain life: Embrace it

Embrace today the now the unknown uncertain Embrace failure new things trying the learning Embrace making a mess letting it go reaching out reaching for more Embrace the parts of you that don’t fit that are awkward and a singular beauty Embrace grief its loss that was full full of hope joy promise Embrace it because it moved you, stirred your inner being and filled you with life. Embrace the...

Everyone worships something

Once a year we have our Sunday worship gathering in a park. It’s intentional though started by necessity. It began by needing to vacate our building that shelters a maximum of 100 men for at least six hours while the electricity was turned off to install a generator. The generator is needed in the event of power loss from a hurricane. (Since hurricane season is one of our two seasons...

There’s grace with the abandon

I have a tight schedule this morning. I need to pick up our kids from Miami from a cruise they’ve been on and traffic is…well, it is. My first thoughts were I’ll have to abandon this week’s Five-Minute Friday. Because, really, 5 minutes? There are rules for this free-writing frenzy. Rules that I often abandon. I don’t set a timer but were I to guess, I’d say it’s closer to...

Squeaky wheels and birds in bushes

My father-in-law knew all the idioms that have become American Proverbs. The squeaky wheel gets oil. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Don’t cry over spilt milk. You have to know when to which. I didn’t always understand them or how they fit but he seemed to pull one out for every situation. Do you remember the father in My Big Fat Greek Wedding? Remember...

I Don’t Fit In {church, music & me}

Much of my childhood I felt I didn’t fit. We moved so much in my junior and senior high school years I didn’t have time to join so I didn’t have time to fit. By the time I figured out the rhythm of this new school we were moving to another state where I’d have to observe and learn again. Move from Arkansas to Baltimore: note to self: they don’t...

We’re on a mission

The organization we’re with has a purpose statement for the area we’re assigned to. We have an overall mission statement but in our singularly focused area of ministry, we also have a statement defining our purpose. It says, in part: “The primary purpose of an Adult Rehabilitation Center is the spiritual regeneration and rehabilitation of men who have undergone a process of disaffiliation from those significant ties, which enable individuals...

No thanks, I can do it myself

I have a love-hate relationship with our local Target’s self-serve lines. They lure me with the no waiting temptation and then they frustrate me when they don’t register I’ve bagged something and the voice comes on and says: Please wait for assistance Everything stops. Sometimes the clerk is near and sometimes she’s busy with another customer. The frustration mounts that this stupid thing can’t register that I moved a bag...

Because the small things matter

There was a moment the world seemed to feel bigger and smaller at the same time. Bigger, in that we seemed to be on our own, our great big country with its big ideas and advancements enjoying the American dream. Smaller, in that we didn’t have immediate access to the rest of the world. Technology changed that. Reporters appear on screen live from Russia offering commentary on our recent election. Sporting events are telecast...

Learning to Love ‘These People’

“Mama, are you going to give that man some money?” We stopped for after school Icee’s at the corner convenience store. The homeless man stood at the corner in his rumpled, dirty clothes and his blank stare. “No. We don’t give money to those people.” I continued the education that had been given me as a child. These people were different. They’re on drugs or drunks. They’re not like us....