• advent journal: songs for the journey

    by  • December 3, 2016 • 3 Comments

    As the first week of Advent comes to a close, here are some songs that can help make up a soundtrack for the season. They aren’t necessarily Christmas songs, but they speak to me. First is Amos Lee’s “Cup of Sorrow.” I want to drink from your cup of sorrow, I want to bathe in your...

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    advent journal: limited perspective

    by  • December 2, 2016 • 1 Comment

    limited view Somewhere in the soundtrack of my life these words broke in: “the things we are bounded by make us capable of excellence.” Not bound like a prisoner— shackled—but bounded, perhaps even boundaried: put the rails up on the lane and we all throw more strikes. Freedom, at its finest is more than...

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    advent journal: one particular evening

    by  • December 1, 2016 • 7 Comments

    I know. It’s still the first week of Advent and I have already missed a day writing. I have a good reason: I went to see Billy Joel at his monthly concert in Madison Square Garden. Last night was his thirty-fifth show, and my first in the Garden. Last Christmas, Ginger and our friend...

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    advent journal: will you find me

    by  • November 29, 2016 • 9 Comments

    One of my early sixtieth birthday presents happened this summer when I got to go to Camp Copperhead, which is Steve Earle’s songwriting camp. Since he and Shawn Colvin put out a record together this year, she was there as well. There are many stories to tell of the week, but tonight I want...

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    advent journal: books, bells, and bicycles

    by  • November 28, 2016 • 6 Comments

    Writing everyday for Advent means reading everyday; if I have any hope of saying something fresh, it will be with the help of traveling companions willing to let me borrow their words. I have seldom had a plan for what I would read. I wander the house, or a bookstore, looking for the volume...

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    advent journal: starting in the darkness

    by  • November 27, 2016 • 7 Comments

    As Advent began last year, I did not see the gathering dark heading my way. I was preparing for my mother to come for Christmas so she could see our new home in Guilford. We were still unpacking boxes from our move from Durham and she was determined to see our new house. She...

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    by  • November 15, 2016 • 24 Comments

    I’ve allowed myself to become stuck in the aftermath of both the campaign and the election. The volume of discourse has been overwhelming, even when those talking on the same side. Opinions about everything from sexism to safety pins feel as though most all of them are shouted. I haven’t wanted to join in,...

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    by  • September 27, 2016 • 13 Comments

    aftermath   I didn’t watch the debate last night on purpose. I went to bed and woke this morning to screens strewn with the debris of comments and video clips like empty beer cups and hot dog wrappers left after a WWF cage match.   Orange is the new angry. No. It’s the same...

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    further along

    by  • September 19, 2016 • 4 Comments

    This is the manuscript of the sermon I preached yesterday at First Congregational Church of Guilford UCC. The text was Genesis 37 and the sermon was the beginning of a series on Joseph that Ginger and Sarah will be continuing. I titled it, “Further Along”. ______________________ Family: it’s one of the most comforting and...

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    tell me a story

    by  • September 13, 2016 • 7 Comments

    It’s a little after sunrise, an early autumn morning— a chill of hope in the air; the sunrise is the color of stories. Today is your birthday. I’m still keeping count though you are no longer celebrating: eighty-eight. I live in a house you never visited, in a town you never saw; I have...

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