• advent journal: habitation

    by  • December 18, 2018 • 1 Comment

    A season isn’t something that befalls you, it is something that you inhabit. —John Berger, The Seasons in Quincy: Four Portraits of John Berger habitation in the fulness of time they hit the road when the days were accomplished they stayed a couple of nights then they went back home when the king got...

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    advent journal: memorying

    by  • December 17, 2018 • 6 Comments

    My dear friend David Gentiles died on December 18 nine years ago. I am still conscious of both his absence and his presence. Going through some old poems tonight I found this one that I wrote after he sent me a note to say he was listening to his John Denver records, a musical...

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    advent journal: family business

    by  • December 16, 2018 • 9 Comments

    Maybe it’s because I went into the family business. My grandfather, Milton I, was a preacher. My father, Milton II, was a preacher. I am Milton III. In the spring of my first year at Baylor, I walked down the aisle at Columbus Avenue Baptist Church one Sunday night and told Marshall Edwards that...

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    advent journal: wait here

    by  • December 15, 2018 • 3 Comments

    One of my favorite Advent songs comes from Tom Petty. the waiting is the hardest part every day you see one more card you take it on faith, you take it to the heart the waiting is the hardest part Though the baby he’s talking to in the song has nothing to do with...

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    advent journal: you say it’s my birthday . . .

    by  • December 13, 2018 • 6 Comments

    I didn’t write yesterday because it was my birthday. I turned sixty-two. If my father were still alive, he would have told me I was beginning my sixty-third year. I like both marking the accomplishment—and turning sixty-two is an accomplishment—and seeing it also as a beginning so something new, even as I acknowledge that...

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    advent journal: connections

    by  • December 11, 2018 • 2 Comments

    Kenny Chesney followed me on Twitter this week. I have no idea why. But Kenny, if you’re reading this, would you mind promoting my books at your concerts? But seriously . . . I continue to be amazed by how we are connected. I met my friend Vijaya when we both were new teachers...

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    advent journal: understatement

    by  • December 10, 2018 • 0 Comments

    And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. (Luke 2:6 KJV) understatement I first learned the story the same way Linus told it: in language so old that some of the words were forgotten or meanings had changed “the days were accomplished” who says...

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    advent journal: hail mary

    by  • December 9, 2018 • 7 Comments

    We talked about Mary in church today, as I am sure many did. Growing up as a Baptist boy, I was not taught to hail Mary. In a theology that did not have much regard for women in general, Mary was little more than a holy container for the Christ-child. But if one of...

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    advent journal: songs to sing to the dark

    by  • December 8, 2018 • 0 Comments

    You’ve put up with a lot of poetry this week. Tonight I offer the words—and music—of others that moves me. The list is not exhaustive, but these are the ones that pulled me tonight. I noticed, as I got to the end of my selections, that they are all male voices this time around....

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    advent journal: resounding

    by  • December 7, 2018 • 0 Comments

    resounding there is no such thing as silence in the calm of any quiet you can hear hearts breaking dreams dying thanks giving sadness sounding hope harbinging losses mounting faith enduring love outlasting grief weighing grace pervading hands holding listen closely listen . . . for your name your name mine, too Peace, Milton

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    advent journal: thank you note

    by  • December 6, 2018 • 4 Comments

    thank you note the certainty of cynicism has no room for gratitude power never says thank you we are a culture short on courage and long on loud to choose to be thankful requires the tenacity
of a heart broken open and willing to sit silently on a starlight night or in the shadow of...

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    advent journal: two-lane

    by  • December 5, 2018 • 6 Comments

    two-lane life is a road but not the interstate think two-lane blacktop that hits all the lights intentional inconvenience that makes you stop in soul food cafés filling stations of the heart hurry is not on the menu the details of our days are not detours traveling together takes time . . . whatever...

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