Sunday, January 31, 2010

don't forget?

Most of us can forgive and forget; we just don't want the other person to forget that we forgave.  Ivern Ball  photo from here

Friday, January 29, 2010

slip n' slide

Last Sunday at St. Paul's annual meeting our youth director (Steve Roe) mentioned the importance of  developing an attitude of  youthfulness for our congregation.  I've been thinking all week about what that would look like - and then I saw this photo and realized that youthfulness requires some elements of playfulness. 

Look at that man...for all we know he might have just left the office of his supervisor upstairs, who informed him that his job was being downsized, but after sliding he is able to shake the bad news off and his inner child is delighted!

Imagine if every time you had to retrieve something from upstairs what joy you would anticipate knowing that you'd be able to slide back down?  Is this just a fabulous way to embrace youthfulness?  All offices, churches, and homes should be required to have one.  And for those of us with grandchildren, it would only raise our coolness factor with them.  Now, all I need is a two-story house. 

Thursday, January 28, 2010

step forward

"Take one step towards God
and God takes
seven steps towards you;
Walk to God

and God comes

- Muhammad

photo from here

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


This cartoon gives a whole new meaning
to that infamous 1960's quote:
 Today is the first day of the rest of your life.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Waiting patiently...

"Patience is seeing people not seeing,
and not trying to convince them."
Rinon Hoxha

Saturday, January 23, 2010

our value is a gift

"Of God's love we can say two things: it is poured out universally for everyone, from the Pope to the loneliest wino on the planet; and secondly, God's love doesn't seek value, it creates value. It is not because we have value that we are loved, but because we are loved that we have value. Our value is a gift, not an achievement." William Sloan Coffin, Jr. from his book "Credo"

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Genius of Jesus

"The absolute religious genius of Jesus is that
he ignores all
debt codes,
purity codes,
religious quarantines,
and the endless searching for sinners.
He refuses to divide the world into the pure and the impure,
much to the chagrin of almost everybody—then and now.
Unlike most churches, he is not into “sin management.”
He is into transformation."

Richard Rohr

to read the rest of this quote go here

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

the need for new glasses

"The key to our deepest happiness
lies in changing our vision
of where to find it."
- Sharon Salzberg

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


"Each person enters the world called." - James Hillman

Really? I watched Jenna Wolfe's segment on her return to her native Haiti on the Today Show this morning. In the middle of her piece she approached a little girl whose mother had died in the earthquake. It seems that no adult woman can comfort this child as she only wants her mother.

You know how some things affect you more than others? That little girl has haunted me all day. What is she called to? What am I called to? What are any of us called to? Tonight I'm just not sure if I really know.

Lord, comfort your babies from the pain of this tragedy. Protect these helpless ones from those who would take advantage: the abusers, the sex traffickers, and the kidnappers. Bring every one of these confused and frightened children into loving arms who will care for them. Provide a way for these babies to experience your peace through the love of your saints on the ground....and yes Lord, may we all act upon our call to love our neighbors in this time of overwhelming need. Amen.
no picture today - we're all on visual overload.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Prayer for Haiti

a hopeful prayer for an overwhelming crisis

An injured man carries his dead daughter in the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake.
A Prayer for Haiti
"O Father of the poor and Mother of the oppressed: Enfold in your arms the suffering people of Haiti. Comfort those in mourning; relieve those in pain; give shelter to the homeless and hope to those in despair. Feed your people, O God, with bread both earthly and divine, and give them your water and wine. Help them bury the dead, nurse the sick and wounded, and raise their faith and dignity, for they are some of your dearest children. Silence those who falsely claim that Haiti is somehow accursed; proclaim the truth that this vibrant, creative nation still shines as a beacon of freedom throughout the Americas. And help us, the nations of the world and the people of means, to help rebuild this colorful land in the image of your Son Jesus Christ, who knows our suffering because he took our mortal pain into his own body on the Cross; then rose again to live and reign with you and the Holy Comforter. Amen"

To read more from Josh visit his daily posts at The Daily Office.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Look! They're back!

My little guys have made it back home, safe and sound. 
Don't they look happy?

Monday, January 11, 2010

God's work

"Fickleness and indecision are signs of self-love. If you can never make up your mind what God wills for you, but are always veering from one opinion to another … from one method to another, it may be an indication that you are trying to get around God’s will and do your own with a quiet conscience. So keep still, and let God do some work."

Thomas Merton

photo is by Jane Manzer

Saturday, January 9, 2010


"The store was closed
so I went home and hugged what I own."
Brooks Palmer

OK, so this little girl isn't exactly embracing this concept,
but perhaps, like the rest of us,
 she can learn to at least loosen her grasp
on her excess of material gods (oops, I meant goods.)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Feast of Epiphany

Finally! Those very wise Gentile priests from the East
have arrived to bring their gifts to this newborn king!

"The magi who traveled long and hard to worship Jesus with extravagant gifts remind us that He is not only the King of the Jews; he's the King of all nations and peoples. In contrast to our propensity to privilege one ethnicity or people (usually "mine") over another, to view one's own people as exceptional to God and others as at best unexceptional, and to exclude other people who are different (usually "yours"), the pagans from Persia show that God welcomes the worship and the gifts of all people everywhere."  (excerpt from a reflection written by Dan Clendenin)

I'd love to know the artist for this rendition of the Magi.  Anyone know?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Twelfth Night

It's Twelfth Night - a day in ages past when there would be great carousing with rich feasts of food and the drinking of fine wassail as people celebrated the end of the Christmas season. This is a custom that has almost died out as we usually stop celebrating Christmas after New Year's Day.

And for the past 20 years my parents would drive a very long distance to a British bakery to purchase an authentic British Christmas Cake and send it to me on Christmas Eve. My father died earlier this year and I really didn't expect the infamous cake to appear. But my sweet sister Becky drove my mother to Santa Monica to get the cake and mail it to me - just in time for Christmas.

If you've never tasted Christmas cake it's quite similar to fruit cake with a "wee" bit of alcohol thrown in. The white icing on top is hard and it covers a thin layer of marzipan. It's really rich and one piece is usually more than enough. And so I am celebrating this 12th Night by cutting into the cake (which gets better with age) and raising a toast to my dad - knowing he is with us in spirit.

Monday, January 4, 2010

11th Day of Christmas

It's the 11th day of Christmas and frankly I'm beginning to feel like this dead christmas tree. Are we just so over this whole Christmas season or what? I arrived at work at just before noon today and I swear it was beginning to get dark. Really.

I am very aware of the darkness this winter here in the Northwest. And frankly, if "11 pipers piping" came dancing through my door at this very moment I'd probably shoot them. All of them.

Fortunately I don't have to depend on my emotional state for joy. Emotions pass by like clouds. I know that I will feel the warmth of the sun again. (Of course, that might take quite awhile.) So I leave you with my last Christmas focused quote of this season. It's a great one by Thomas Merton.

"Into this world, this demented inn, in which there is absolutely no room for him at all, Christ has come uninvited. But because he cannot be at home in it, because he is out of place in it, and yet he must be in it, his place is with those others who do not belong, who are rejected by power, because they are regarded as weak, those who are discredited, who are denied the status of persons, tortured, exterminated. With those for whom there is no room, Christ is present in this world. " Thomas Merton

photo from here

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Almost there...

It's the 10th day of Christmas and the Magi have traveled so far.
Determined to follow that star, they aren't letting anything stand in their way!
Of course, it would really help if everyone pitched in.

(ok, this graphic is supposed to show the dirt coming
out of the hole as the 3rd wisemen digs under the wall.
i have no idea why it isn't working, but if you click on the
picture you will see it move:)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

9th Day of Christmas

"Seasons of Love" is from the Broadway musical "Rent." The lyrics speak of how we measure a year of life & they come to the conclusion that the only way to do so is in seasons of love. As we come closer to the end of the season of Christmas (Day 9) and edge closer to the season of Epiphany, it is good to look back and forward for we all have something in common - we have all experienced 525,600 minutes in 2009. How did you measure those days? How much love did God measure in sending his son to the stable in Bethlehem? As the song says "know that love is a gift from up above." How do you plan to measure your days in 2010? Click here to enjoy the song.
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes,
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Moments so dear.
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?

In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights
In cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.

In five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes
How do you measure
A year in the life?

How about love?
How about love?
How about love? Measure in love

Seasons of love. Seasons of love

Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes!
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Journeys to plan.

Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes
How do you measure the life
Of a woman or a man?

In truths that she learned,
Or in times that he cried.
In bridges he burned,
Or the way that she died.

It's time now to sing out,
Tho' the story never ends
Let's celebrate
Remember a year in the life of friends
Remember the love!
Remember the love!
Seasons of love!

Oh you got to got to Remember the love! remember the love,
You Measure in love know that love is a gift from up above Seasons of love.
Share love, give love spread love Measure measure your life in love.

Friday, January 1, 2010

8th day of Christmas

What? How can it be the 8th day of Christmas if it's New Year's Day? Haven't we moved on? Aren't we busy making resolutions that will last about as long as it takes us to write them down? According to several online news sources the following are the most popular resolutions made by Americans:
1) Spend more time with family
(and with the high level of unemployment this is becoming much easier to do)
2) Exercise
       3) Lose Weight
        4) Quit Smoking
5) Enjoy life more (which if you did #2,#3,#4, & #6, could actually happen,
unless of course your only enjoyment in life comes from #2, #3, #4 & #6.)
      6) Quit Drinking
        7) Get out of debt
                   8) Learn something new
 9) Help others
   10) Get organized
Over the years I've made almost all of those & broken every one of them. They are all great things to do and I would not discourage anyone from attempting any of them. It's the hope of being human that we want to make changes both in and for ourselves. So no matter where I'm at with any of these desires for change, I want to delight in the realization that God is in all aspects of life. And here is the good news - this has been gifted to us through the love and light of a child born to Mary, who on this 8th day of Christmas is given the holy name of Jesus - Savior.

And this is my resolution for 2010. To live each day in that love - by becoming more present to the good and the bad, the light and the darkness, the joys and the sorrows, the extraordinary and the mundane moments - remembering that God is "with me" in all of it. May you know that God will be "with you" in all the moments of this coming year.