• 1619

    by  • August 20, 2019 • 2 Comments

    “Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes,” is the opening line to “Seasons of Love” from the musical Rent, answering the question, how do you measure a year in the life. What about four hundred years? The first enslaved people arrived on our shores at Fort Comfort, Virginia four hundred years ago today. –twelve...

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    let’s finish this

    by  • August 18, 2019 • 5 Comments

    I preached this morning at our church in Guilford. My text was Hebrews 12:1-2. Here’s what I had to say. I am not a runner. I never have been. When I was in eighth grade, we had a school-wide track meet in which everyone was expected to participate. I signed up for whatever race...

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    sermon prep

    by  • August 17, 2019 • 2 Comments

    I’m preaching tomorrow at First Congregational Church in Guilford. Since it is my church, I’m going to wait to post the sermon until tomorrow, since I want to make sure no one gets a sneak peak. Instead, here’s a poem that grew out of my preparation. sermon prep what can I say what should...

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    I’m just the kid . . .

    by  • August 16, 2019 • 7 Comments

    I remember the afternoon in Fort Worth. I walked into Sound Warehouse—a regular stop on my way home from work—and picked up two debut CDs off the “Discover New Artists” rack: Shawn Colvin’s Steady On and David Wilcox’s How Did You Find Me Here?, which is still my favorite title for a first record....

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    a room of (sorta) my own

    by  • August 14, 2019 • 8 Comments

    Billy Collins has a poem about working on a poem and then talking about it before it was finished, only to watch it get up and walk away. I know how he feels. Then there are other times when it helps to get it out in the open like a promise that needs to...

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    say the words

    by  • August 13, 2019 • 9 Comments

    One of the websites I go to for inspiration and sustenance is called Brain Pickings. It is hard to say what it’s about, other than taking a meaningful look at what it means to be truly human. It is curated by Maria Popova, who has quickly moved up on my list of people I...

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    nothing matters

    by  • August 12, 2019 • 0 Comments

    nothing matters from my window seat I can see a bench concrete sides holding wooden slats under the tree that has taken a century to grow beyond the telephone pole from my window seat I can see a bench concrete sides holding wooden slats under the tree that has taken a century to grow...

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    listen up, breaches

    by  • August 10, 2019 • 4 Comments

    I’m preaching tomorrow at North Madison Congregational Church UCC, a wonderful congregation in the next town over from Guilford. In light of all that has gone on in the past couple of weeks, and also in light of Ginger’s trip to El Paso, I am using Isaiah 58:9-12 rather than the lectionary passage for...

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    I still remember

    by  • August 9, 2019 • 0 Comments

    The first Toni Morrison book I ever read was her first book, The Bluest Eye, which tells the story of Pecola, a young African-American girl growing up in Lorain, Ohio in the 1940s. Because of her mannerisms and her dark skin, she is considered “ugly.” She has a doll that is white. Pecola wishes...

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    better words

    by  • August 8, 2019 • 7 Comments

    When we were in Provincetown last weekend to see Julie, our former foster daughter, cross the finish line for the Pan Mass Challenge, I saw a t-shirt in a window that said, “I am silently correcting your grammar.” I almost bought it. The fact that language changes is both exciting and dreadful for someone...

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    compared to what?

    by  • August 7, 2019 • 11 Comments

    Teddy Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” The quote has come to mind this week in an unexpected way because I have watched the way comparison is used to deflect or derail a discussion. One says, “We need to close the detention camps,” and another replies, “Obama built them.” One says, “We...

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    finding the words

    by  • August 6, 2019 • 21 Comments

    I feel stuck today. I have work to do, manuscripts to edit filled with words by authors who have done their best to make meaning out of faith and life in these days, and I feel like I am treading molasses, doing all I can to keep from drowning. Toni Morrison died yesterday. She...

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