Rescued and Redeemed

  I saw his grizzled face, breadcrumbs around his dry mouth, as he offered a smile that looked genuinely happy to see me. I returned the smile that probably showed more concern than joy. He didn’t look well, not like the last time I saw him. He was much thinner, unkempt, but his eyes eager to be seen, to be welcomed ‘home’. He’s not the only one I’ve seen worse...

More than a good story

Please to have my friend, Janice, share her thoughts on Advent with us today. She’s a sometimes-but-rarely blogger and an everyday, all-the-time, servant of Jesus Christ. I’m grateful to call her friend. Advent. It truly is my favorite season of the year. I love a lot of things about Christmas but it’s the celebration of Advent I look forward to each year. I love the preparation of our church, our...

Advent ignores the urgency of now and says ‘Wait’

We can’t wait for the oven to preheat to 350* and then more time to bake so we microwave. Why spend time writing a note inside a card, finding a stamp and sending off in the mail knowing it will take days when we can email now? We have 24-hour news services where we can get information from anywhere now. My impatience grows sitting at red lights or with drivers...

The battered and smudged angel

A glance across the room at the shelf lined with colorful figures depicting the nativity, a star-fashioned vine, an old bottle brush tree, I noticed my angel, the one given by a dear friend that is set out every year reminding me of her and proclaiming “REJOICE” is smudged. She looks like she’s been belted right in the eye and is sporting quite the shiner. An angel with a black...

Wait for it…..

Welcoming my young friend, Jaime, today. Her words are wise beyond her years and her heart is always open to take in one more soul. Thanks, Jaime, for sharing Advent with us. Advent. It’s that beautiful part of life where the world shines and sparkles and everything is decorated. Well, usually. A few years ago I was responsible for programs and activities at a sort of drop-in cafe for homeless...

Is your craving lying to you?

I’m more likely to crave those tortilla chips than chocolate. You know, the blue ones that aren’t overly salted and a tad thinner than the ‘other’ ones? Yes, I’ll choose those any day over chocolate. Even Dove (seriously, Hershey doesn’t compare!) I remember hearing about the odd cravings pregnant women would have but I never had any nor did my friends. Sure, we enjoyed in more indulgences and blamed that...

Out of Sync with Advent

If there are Advent rules, we’ve broken one. Right from the start, we’re out of sync. Advent begins the fourth Sunday before Christmas but when Christmas is on Sunday….hmmm. I went with the thought that of course Christmas counts so Advent begins the first Sunday in December this year. It will end on Christmas day. Perfect. Only, it seems most churches that celebrate Advent (maybe all of them?) began last...

When ordinary Sunday church turns extraordinary

We are sort of like your average church. Our Sunday service outline is basic with slight changes week to week. Sunday after Sunday will look like this: Welcome & Announcements Doxology sung before the offering is collected A Call to Worship will be read responsively Congregational song Prayer Someone will read selected scripture Another song will be sung Sermon an invitation for prayer at the altar Amazing Grace will be...

Finding gratitude in the sorrow of lament

“There’s this loneliness springing up from your life Like a fountain from a pool” Fountain of Sorrow, Jackson Browne Lament: a passionate expression of grief or sorrow, New Oxford American Dictionary It must have been after the third or fourth death this year that the word lament became cemented in my thoughts. The word stayed with me as if I were wearing it. It fit heavy like a winter coat only it...

It’s not about the White House but Our House

Our feelings about the campaign process are stronger than who’s running. Every 4 years we’re subjected to name-calling and finger-pointing but this year’s race has taken it to new levels of hate, vitriol and fear. The media is telling us voters are casting their ballots for who they dislike least. Some people are fearful of a certain candidate being elected. This is playing out like a reality show only this...