A Prayer for Students

God, Teacher, Friend, We are starting something new; You know what that’s like. We are starting the new school year. Backpacks are by the door again. Lunch boxes are packed daily again. Paper is stacked; notebooks purchased; classrooms assigned. Some days we feel ready. Some days we really don’t. We are excited. We are nervous….

In Search of Quality Time: Ephesians 5:15-20

“Make the most of your time,” Ephesians tells us. These days, I often want more time. I wish I could add 2 hours to every day. Maybe you wish that too. And, I worry about how I am spending it. Am I spending enough time exercising? Is my child spending enough time sleeping? So hearing…

Reading the Bible with Mary Oliver, Vol. 5: Unstinting Happiness

It’s late summer, and although fall’s busyness is fast approaching, I refuse to let go of summer’s grace-filled happiness. READ Psalm 84:1, 3-5, 10, 12 How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts! Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at…

My Imperfect Lent: Monday, 2.19.18

I got a silly/sweet valentine this year that says, “I love you when you’re smart, and when you’re following a clue…” Adjacent to ‘smart’ is a picture of a cat holding a Physics book, and next to ‘following a clue,’ is a cat looking for her sunglasses, while her sunglasses are clearly sitting on top…

My Imperfect Lent: 2.17.18

Jesus prays to God, for us: “As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us… that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent…

My Imperfect Lent: 2.16.18

Paul writes Philippians from prison, probably in Rome. And, he urges two women, Euodia and Syntyche, to get along. Evidence, today, that life is complicated, uncertain, and guarantees suffering and disagreement. No flowery language of feel-good faith should hide or cover-up or erase life’s challenges. This hurts people. But, Paul sure tries his best to…

My Imperfect Lent: 2.15.2018

CONFESSION. I spent way too much time writing yesterday’s post. READ. Psalm 27: 1, 4 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? One thing I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: to live…

My Imperfect Lent: Ash Wednesday

“God, I thank you that I am not like other people.” This prayer sounds familiar. I’ve said it before, if not in these words, something similar. Although it sounds like I said it in 2018, this prayer is actually ripped straight from the pages of Jesus’ teachings in Luke. It’s a parable. One person prays,…

My Imperfect Lent: Starting Out

“I’ve got a lot of work to do,” I said last week to my partner. “God’s doing it with you,” he said. “I’ll just have to do it imperfectly… with God’s help,” I affirmed in the dark of our room. For a person who delays writing an email because I don’t know the exact, perfect…

Reading the Bible with Mary Oliver, Vol. 4: Isaiah’s Grasshoppers

In a recent Bible Study the gathered group wanted to know: What does it mean that to God we look like grasshoppers? Does it mean we’re rare and beautiful? Timid and flighty? One person suggested that we appear as grasshoppers because we are capable of incredible destruction, and we swarm. READ Isaiah 40:21-26. Have you…

Sea-Changes: Mark 1:4-20

“This story begins and ends on the water,” writes Shauna Niequist. Shauna’s not talking about our story from the Gospel of Mark. She’s not talking about Jesus’ Baptism in the Jordan. She’s not talking about Jesus’ walk along the Sea of Galilee calling disciples from boats. Although both are water stories–beginning and ending our story…