There is a poem by Portia Nelson that tells the story of self-discovery. It goes something like this: I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I fall in. I am lost... I am helpless. It isn't my fault. It takes forever to find a way out. I walk down … Continue reading What should we do now?
It was Winnie the Pooh who said, “Some people say that nothing is impossible. Well, I do nothing every day.” It was Audrey Hepburn who said, “I have to be alone very often. I'd be quite happy if I spent from Saturday night until Monday morning alone in my apartment. That's how I refuel.” … Continue reading What do you mean I have to stop?
There’s a story written by a brilliant, moral fiber of our American South. An author of significant renown who, upon hearing about the death of a neighbor, said, “I did not attend his funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying that I approved of it.” This witty man of significant depth of character, two … Continue reading What should I ask for?
Thomas Wolfe wrote an incredible story about a man named George Webber. George, our protagonist of the story, writes a scandalous yet, from his perspective, accurate reflection of his experiences growing up in deep-south Libya Hill. Initially, when news of a hometown boy’s story gets published, the town is overjoyed that one of their own … Continue reading Who does he think he is?
“The sun lay on the grass and warmed it, and in the shade under the grass the insects moved, ants and ant lions to set traps for them, grasshoppers to jump into the air and flick their yellow wings for a second, and bugs like little armadillos, plodding restlessly on many tender feet. And over … Continue reading Suffering, Relationship, and Baptism
Alfred, Lord Tennyson wrote: “Below the thunders of the upper deep; Far, far beneath in the abysmal sea, His ancient, dreamless, uninvited sleep The Kraken sleeps: faintest sunlights flee About his shadowy sides: above him swell Huge sponges of millennial growth and height; And far away into the sickly light, From many a wondrous grot … Continue reading When is this ever going to get easier?
"Once there was a tree.... and she loved a little boy. And everyday the boy would come and he would gather her leaves and make them into crowns and play king of the forest. He would climb up her trunk and swing from her branches and eat apples. And they would play hide-and-go-seek. And when … Continue reading Are you sure it’s me that you really need?
I’m not a joke teller. I couldn’t even tell a knock knock joke to save my life. I always get the punch line wrong or I forget to tell an important nugget of the story that is critical to making the joke actually work. So, if you ever hear me tell a complete and funny … Continue reading Did Jesus redefine what family actually is?
I read of a Sunday School class that was studying the Apostles Creed in order to more fully understand God and the Trinity. Each member of the class was given a section of the creed to learn by heart, then Sunday by Sunday they would take turns reciting the creed, each student repeating his or … Continue reading Is There a Place for Me, Too?
One of my favorites movies, probably in my top 5 favorites, is a movie called High Fidelity. It’s about a man, John Cusack, who owns a record store and measures the activities and reactions of his life to the lyrics of music. And everything is measured on a “top 5” scale. He has a conversation … Continue reading What?! Those People Too?
It’s Spring, and many of you are outside working in your gardens, gathering up the few piles of dried leaves, pulling weeds, and planting new flowers and bushes. The process of planting and nurturing and growing can be challenging and incredibly rewarding. Click here for a link to the lectionary reading for the day. When … Continue reading Are You a Liar?
My parents and I went to Branson Friday and Saturday to see Samson and another show called Six. The main show to see, though, was Samson. Several people in Mom and Dad’s church had seen the show and were going on and on about it. This was the last weekend for it, and it was … Continue reading Gratitude
“You is good. You is smart. You is important.” These are familiar words from the movie The Help. Many of you know this story, how it depicts the discrepancies within our history between the races, particularly during the Civil Rights Movement. In this film the main character Skeeter, a young, white, female journalist, asks a … Continue reading I See You
Lectionary Readings for today. As most of you know, I am an only child. I had an imaginary friend — a monkey named Muntney — that I played with and who got the blame for things I did wrong. But, I was a good girl and don’t believe I was a trouble child. My mom, … Continue reading Now Let Me Alone
Good Morning! When I wake up in the mornings, my cats are usually screaming at me to be fed while they herd me out of my room, down the hall, and into the kitchen to their food bowl. As my coffee percolates on the stove, I scroll through Instagram to see the pictures of baby … Continue reading Jesus, Take Your Time
Lectionary Reading for Today Some of us here this morning are young enough that we are building those “back in the day” stories. Some of us are, well, perhaps a little more like a fine wine or a wheel of cheese: we have lived — or perhaps survived — those “back in the day” stories. … Continue reading Who are you?
This morning I step into a unique and beautiful position. This position is one that affords a perspective of a people who has faced many challenges in the past two years. This group of people — you — have been forced to examine who you are and where you have come; in turn, you have … Continue reading The Fire is His Presence that Gives us Faith
One of my favorite books is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. This story holds a wealth of lessons and illustrations and anecdotes about life, relationships, hardship, injustice, doubt, grace, and community. In the text Scout Finch is raised by many people: her father Atticus, their maid Calpurnia, their neighbor Miss Maudie, and Atticus’ … Continue reading A Handful of Humility and a Pound of Persistence
Lectionary Reading We celebrate today the nativity of John the Baptist, the prequel to Jesus Christ. We know John. We know of his jumping in the womb of Elizabeth when her cousin Mary, pregnant with the Messiah, went to visit. We know his living in the wilderness eating honey and locusts. We know his baptizing … Continue reading Nativity of John the Baptist
Seventh Sunday of Easter Readings. When I was in college, my grandmother wrote letters and cards to me quite regularly. Most of the time, her letters were not very long — a small stationary page or two. She also sent cards and would write a note on the facing page, underline or circle certain words … Continue reading Pray for the gift of unity, and we all will be changed.
Second Sunday of Easter Readings. Today, we are a week past the crucifixion, death, and resurrection of Jesus. A week ago, Jesus left His disciples and walked the Via Dolorosa, the Way of Pain, alone. Some watched Him. Some left Him. One denied Him. One betrayed Him. And then there's Thomas. Our Thomas who says … Continue reading Where Have You Been?
Lectionary Readings for Maundy Thursday. Do you remember Big Boy restaurants? My MeMa, without Mom's okay, gave me my first solid food at a Big Boy. Mom was horrified, but I squealed and MeMa laughed. I also remember growing up and watching the commercials for McDonald’s with Ronald, Grimace, Birdie the Early Bird, and the … Continue reading Maundy Thursday
Lectionary Gospel reading for the Fourth Sunday in Lent. Because my parents are visiting this Sunday, I’m going to take advantage of their presence. I remember my summer between high school and college. I was working at Church’s Fried Chicken. I hated that job, but it got me out of the house. I was SO … Continue reading It’s Not What He Did
Our lectionary readings this morning brought to mind so many different scenarios for me. There is a wealth of instruction and encouragement from these passages, and I was inspired to reflect on stories I have heard and relationships in my life. So, this morning will be a different sort of sermon from what I have … Continue reading It’s a Matter of Perspective
I listen to a podcast from Mike Rowe. You know him, the voice behind most of our current-generation Ford commercials and dozens of nature and science related documentaries as well as the television show “Dirty Jobs.” Well, Mike has this podcast called “The Way I Heard It.” It’s reminiscent of the Paul Harvey-style of storytelling: … Continue reading .-.. . – / .. – / -… .
Little Nellie and her father were visiting an elderly neighbor. They were raking the neighbor's leaves, organizing the neighbor's garage, putting the trash out, and performing other small jobs around the neighbor's house. The little girl had not really seen the elderly neighbor closely, but on this day she was going to meet the neighbor … Continue reading God’s Ball of Yarn
A few weeks ago at our Wednesday evening study Kneeling With Giants, we talked abut Teresa of Avila. In that chapter of our text, we considered the various ways that we address God when we pray. For example, we talked about Jesus as friend: one who walks with us and remains with us through the … Continue reading Christ the King
Corrie Ten Boom, a watchmaker who lived with her family, helped to hide Jews during the Nazi occupation of Holland in WW2. Her family was discovered, and they were rounded up with other Dutch citizens and sent to concentration camps. Corrie and her sister Betsie were at the Ravensbruck camp. She wrote several books after … Continue reading All You Have
There’s a conversation in one of my favorite novels between a father and his six year old daughter. Scout is confused by the anger and tension that is going on in her town of Maycomb, Alabama. Atticus joins Scout on the front porch swing and begins talking to her about what’s going on. He says … Continue reading We Define Ourselves by What We Are Not
A group of 8 friends were having a dinner party out on the back deck of a home one Saturday evening. Nothing fancy. Mostly finger foods. Ribs. Plates of cheese. Olives. Chips. Wine. The friends had not had a chance to get together in a while, and their conversations flowed effortlessly peppered with Oohs and … Continue reading Would You Like a Glass of Wine?
There is a children's story written for adults. It's called The Little Prince, and it tells the story of a small Prince from an asteroid far, far away. This Prince meets an airplane pilot who has crashed landed in the Sahara desert; the pilot is attempting to fix his plane before his rations run out. … Continue reading Tend Your Baobabs
The squirrels are out. They’ve always been out, scampering around, chasing one another, barking and chirping at one another, flicking their tails in territorial aggression. I sit at my table and look out my back window and watch “my” squirrels. My dad made a little platform that stands on a steel pipe. This platform stands … Continue reading Be Prepared
Had I been given both of my grandmothers' first names, I would have been Nellie Margie. Thanks Mom and Dad for looking ahead into my future and bestowing your mothers' middle names to me so that I am Janie Layne. When I was growing up, my friends wanted to be "Beth" or "Liz" instead of … Continue reading What I Heard from the Pulpit
Described as "a 'wet blanket in any company which was innocently enjoying itself,' " such is Margery Kempe according to a source included in Anthony Bale's introduction to her Book. Bale offers an objective -- if not twinged with tongue-in-cheek -- observation of Kempe's colorful life. He includes the standard background to the life of … Continue reading Margery Kempe
Historical Challenge of Chronicles The inconsistencies within the text of Chronicles versus Samuel-Kings does not imply that one is truth and the other lies. Inconsistencies also occur in the creation narrative. What comes to mind, however, if we allow the inconsistencies to occur and still regard the whole text as valid is that we must … Continue reading Chronicles (in two threads)
Today is the celebration of the Transfiguration, a moment in Luke's Gospel (our reading passage for today) in which Jesus reveals Himself in His Divine Glory to Peter, John, and James. The sermon this morning offered a different perspective on this event. The lectionary reading also included Moses, face shining from having experienced the Glory … Continue reading What I Heard from the Pulpit…
Life is funny: there can be times when we feel so connected to one another, we are in sync and almost finishing one another's sentences, and there other times that we could be sitting beside one another right now but there is a gap miles wide between us. Sometimes we can be engaged with one … Continue reading Dancing About Architecture
Think back to that year before you were officially a “teenager.” What were you doing when you were 12 years old? I think to when I was 12 and remember I was completing my last year of braces, worried about pre-pubescent acne, and getting irritated on a daily basis at how nosey my parents were. … Continue reading Agnes, Martyr of Rome 304
Pray with me. Almighty God, whose blessed Son our Savior Jesus Christ ascended far above all heavens that he might fill all things: Mercifully give us faith to perceive that, according to his promise, he abides with his Church on earth, even to the end of the ages; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives … Continue reading John 17:6-19
Agnes, Martyr of Rome, 304 Think back to that year before you were officially a “teenager.” What were you doing when you were 12 years old? I think to when I was 12 and remember I was completing my last year of braces, worried about pre-pubescent acne, and getting irritated on a daily basis … Continue reading Millstones and Innocents
Why is it so difficult to rouse children from their beds during the year for school, yet they spring out of bed and dash outside quicker than you can say “Jack Sprat” during the summer months? There is an enthusiasm for summer: freedom! New adventures to be had, vacations to take, visits with grandparents, … Continue reading Summer Camp was SOOOO Long Ago!
The Angelus tolls in the crisp air, and I am reminded of the gift of God bestowed to the Virgin Mary. As the bell continues its patterned ring, I speak my prayers and offer my heart to the Lord. May this pause offer an opportunity to be mindful of Christ in my life … Continue reading Without Ceasing…
Before the days of cell phones and texting, many children knew when it was time to go indoors in the evening by the sunset. When that last sliver of the sun sank into the horizon, we knew we had to stop playing hide and seek or riding our bikes or fishing for crawdads at the … Continue reading St. Teresa of Avila
1 Peter 13-9 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who … Continue reading I’m suffering… Where’s the protection??
Last week, when I was doing a residency week at Nashotah for my next course, some friends of mine and I were invited to share supper with a resident and her husband. When I walked in, I immediately heard the phone ring several times and wondered why no one attempted to answer it. As … Continue reading “Hello! My name is Chad!” squawked God.
Are you addicted to religion? As some may know, I have become disillusioned (Ha! interesting word considering what I'm about to say...) with evangelical, emotion-laden, mega church environments that seem to be taking over the Christian world in these last several years. I do not agree with a church environment that attempts to illicit … Continue reading Skeezer wants an Abe of Kibbles and Bits
"Bless, O Lord, this House, set apart to the glory of thy great name and the benefit of thy Holy Church; and grant that thy Name may be worshipped here in truth and purity to all generations. Give thy grace and wisdom to all the authorities, that they may exercise holy discipline, and be themselves … Continue reading Daughter of the House
John Donne penned: "No man is an island, Entire of itself, Every man is a piece of the continent, A part of the main…" There is so much negativity in the world and in the community. There can be so much that can come against us that seeks to tear us down, hurt us, diminish … Continue reading What You Don’t Know
"I know I got really, really angry. And I kinda feel bad about that. But they really, really pissed me off! And I was justified to get angry -- I really was justified! *hands on hips for emphasis* I don't think I should have to apologize. Well, I'll just get them a small gift instead. … Continue reading Is it really so difficult?
* This is a not cohesive post! It started out with a singular thought, and morphed into a mass of opinions and responses. But I will leave it as it is without editing, a jumbled mass, and let you sift through it. 🙂 * I have been following the Duck Dynasty, much like many others, … Continue reading A Murder of Crows
It's -19 degrees in Billings, MT, today. I went outside to shovel a small patch of frozen ground out of the ice and snow for my long-hair dachshund to potty. As soon as I stepped outside and I breathed the ice-crystal-saturated air, my nose hairs bristled and my eyes stung. It. Is. Cold. And my … Continue reading Wisdom Denied
I’m in the airport looking forward to my return flight home to Montana. I’ve got all my security items with me: cell phone, books, planner, laptop, lip balm, cinnamon gum, small Americano. I have had a wonderful Thanksgiving visit at my parents’ with Dad’s family visiting. Too much food. Lots of peace and quiet. … Continue reading The Bulkhead Did It!