Try it, you’ll like it, maybe {#fmf}

As parents and caretakers we urge children to try it; the broccoli, swim lessons, piano, and sleeping with the light off. We stand beside them, urging them through life. “Just give this a try, you never know”, we say. As adults, when the urge to try something comes from outside sources, the resistance is still there. The stubborn woman that I am, I’m more willing to try something that’s my...

The Pathway of a Brokenhearted Friend – Linda Stoll

A relational breakdown starts slowly, almost imperceptibly. Something isn’t right but you can’t quite put your finger on what’s out of kilter. A dark cloud drifts over the friendship and refuses to leave. A subtle shift emerges, its unspoken message rather clear. Idle words cut deep. Eye contact becomes non-existent. Texts go unanswered. Plans get cancelled with the wave of a hand and vague, hurtful excuses. Something disquieting is floating...

Great Expectations?

Sometimes I have to pause and ask myself, “What’d you expect?” Answer: I don’t know, but not this. I never expected to be married at 20, our first baby at 21 and second at 23. I never expected to find ourselves in full time ministry as, what I joke, was my husband’s mid-life crisis. I never expected my parents to divorce or my mom to have Alzheimer’s. But I did,...

What if this were my prayer?

What if this were my prayer? thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank...

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...

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...

Is God only good when we are spared from tragedy?

  It seems every town will have its moment of tragedy. We know them by name: Newtown, Columbine, VA Tech and now our town that lives in the shadow of Miami made headlines last week as a lone gunman opened fire in the baggage terminal of our airport. Ten days before, we’d made several trips to that airport picking up family for the holidays. It’s a relatively small airport for...

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...

How do we thank God no matter what?

Is this the year we sit around our Thanksgiving tables in fear and loathing, wondering where did it go amok? Do we rattle off our list of thanks with all the enthusiasm of reciting the multiplication tables? I’ve lived through elections since the late 70’s when I became eligible to cast my ballot. Saturday Night Live heavily influenced my choice for Carter as I’m sure it’s influenced many a generation...