What if The Church were more like AA?

Through our ministry with men in recovery, we’ve been introduced to AA and NA and their many partner groups. We have become proponents and believers in the Twelve Step program. We see spiritual truths woven through the principles of the steps.  The very core of AA is surrender. It’s what Bill W’s friend told him was the only thing that brought him sobriety: admitting his powerlessness and surrendering to God. Step...

When does a winning team look like losers?

At recess, I was never the first one chosen for a team but I wasn’t the last either. It was awkward for everyone when the numbers of kids left was down to three or four. I can only imagine the anxiety of wondering if you’d be chosen on knowing that you’d be picked last. Again. I’ve noticed businesses are using the word team more these days. People are part of...

On this beautiful summer day, I will not lose hope

I suppose summer isn’t the time to talk of the hollowness of grief. These are the days of long sunshine inviting us to play a little longer. These are the times of family reunions and seeing new places. These are not the days to be met with grief. But grief doesn’t wait for an invitation. Alia Joy’s words met me early this morning. They stirred the grief I thought had been...

My Undefined Obsession with Food (guest post)

“This will be the last time. I need it once more and then I’ll be OK. I know it costs too much, I know what it’s doing to me but I can’t take it…I have to have it today.” Did you think I was talking about drugs? Sex? No, sadly this daily conversation happens in my head on the way to the adorable coffee shop next to my work. I’ve...

Retreat? Hardly!

Retreat: to withdraw Often, we speak about going on a retreat, meaning to withdraw away from the busy-ness of life, the noise and distractions. We retreat to refresh and refuel. We are going on a retreat this weekend. Lord willing, we are already at Camp Keystone about an hour from Jacksonville up in North Florida. But this isn’t the kind of retreat where we withdraw but where we engage. We...

When a cigarette lighter is part of Advent

We shared in our first Advent Sunday of the year. We celebrated with our men who live in this rehabilitation center, some working for change, others wishing for it like something on their Christmas list. Three men stood to read prepared words for our first week. The second reader would light the candle before the third reader finished with his part. We do this every year, different men but the...

Thank God!

Just like the kids who come running when you call out “Supper’s ready” we come running with our thanks when the calendar reminds us Thanksgiving is drawing near. I reckon we’re all scurrying about in preparation for this weeks main event. We’re packing the car to drive somewhere or we’re packing the washing machine to prepare fresh linens for welcome guests. We’re busy as we ready ourselves for our celebration...

Word Processor

Maybe I’m a slow learner. I never thought that. I did okay in school. We moved too much in my high school years to find out my real strengths but I’m no dummy. When it comes to learning about me…..others seem better. Maybe I don’t pay enough attention to myself or my perception is entirely different. Or  some of both. Brian and I would have these long phone conversations. I’d...

At the end of the day

Is this summer really busier than most or were slower summers just seen through hazy-want-it-to-be-so memories? Summers when our kids were young seemed to stretch on with long days in the pool and road trip vacations out west. Then they started going to sleep-away-camps and working all summer at camp and summers got hotter and hurried to fit it all in. Children add the pauses in life. Appreciated only with...