• christmastide: this day after

    by  • December 26, 2014 • 3 Comments


    My friends, Burt and Julie, are celebrating the wedding of their son tomorrow. Several years ago, I wrote this poem remembering the birth of their daughter. Today seems a good day to look at it again. this day after Some time after seminary my best friend, Burt, got married; then a few more years...

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    advent journal: an old story

    by  • December 24, 2014 • 4 Comments


    This story is not new, but then neither are the feelings it names. Thanks for making the journey with me this Advent. A Faraway Christmas by Milton Brasher-Cunningham A Faraway Christmas As we gather together on this Silent Night, To sing ‘round the tree in the soft candlelight, From a Faraway Christmas, from time...

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    advent journal: we are the sunshine

    by  • December 23, 2014 • 3 Comments


    Tonight Ginger, Jay, and I sat at Geer Street Garden and, among other things, talked our way through the litany of sadness and grief that grips our world both far and near. We remembered people close to us who are learning to live without those they love, those we are getting close to the...

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    advent journal: listen . . .

    by  • December 22, 2014 • 0 Comments


    Today was dark and cold here in Durham. I drove to work in the dark early this morning and drove home in the dark this afternoon. In between I heard snippets of stories that passed for news that were mostly people yelling. Listening does not often get reported as being significant. Yelling makes for...

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    advent journal: percussion

    by  • December 21, 2014 • 2 Comments


    love is the drum that beats in our bones even in our broken melodies of grief our symphonies of sorrow and sadness relentless resonance in the late night club of all that could have been the hope of the high hat the syncopation of surprise the gentle jazz of joy put your hands together...

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    advent journal: the way it is with love

    by  • December 20, 2014 • 4 Comments


    I will tell it to you as it was told to me. Somewhere early in my day I read these words from my friend Olivia, who lives in Boston. She is someone in love with life who looks for ways to feel connected to the world around her. Here’s what she found: I spotted...

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    advent journal: good measure

    by  • December 19, 2014 • 6 Comments


    I can show you a cup of flour, or a pound of sugar, and I’ve gotten pretty good at scooping a two ounce cookie, but I am at a loss to quantify how heavy grief is, how long a heart stays broken, the depth of damage done, how far it is to forgiveness, the...

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    advent journal: dinner together

    by  • December 18, 2014 • 3 Comments


    If you have followed this blog for any length of time, or if you have read Keeping the Feast: Metaphors for the Meal, you know about Thursday Night Dinner. We gather each week with friends around our table for no other reason than to be around the table together. OK, so it also gives...

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    advent journal: without

    by  • December 17, 2014 • 3 Comments


    One of my favorite Pierce Pettis songs begins, “The presence of your absence follows me.” The song has played in the background of my week because tomorrow, December 18, will mark five years since my dear friend David Gentiles died. I could say many things about David, but maybe this will give you an...

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    advent journal: singing in the dark

    by  • December 16, 2014 • 2 Comments


    Going to the mall each day means being inundated with holiday music — well, the same ten songs. I thought tonight I might offer a soundtrack that has found me in these days. Talking about Patty Griffin’s “Mary” a couple of days ago set me to thinking. My list is by no means exhaustive,...

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