I’m sniffing in the air a new/old favorite trick: believeing the worst.

Innuendos get shared about and titillation ensues and the trashing commences.

This plays out on national and communal stages all too often.

You know the drill.  People start saying things a bit outrageous and someone else pounces upon it as great gift and the conversation gets to be truly delicious because suddenly the unsubstantiated becomes the main course and the outpouring of passion and outrage feel so good and, well, you read the papers.  You know what happens next.


While trashing the supposed actions of others, we can lose ourselves but good.  The problems of the country or our families or any organization become the topic of choice and we skirt oh so nimbly our own complicity and our own chance to examine our own being.

While we are trashing others, we are blissfully off the how-do-I-improve-my-own-self-and-actions hook.

And there is this: why is finding the warts in others such delight, anyway?  Why do we gleefully believe the worst?

It seems to me we are trashing our country, our schools, our churches and our homes with this race to ruin.

What would happen if instead of pouncing on the perceived worst in people, we approached others with a desire to see the Christ in them?

Jesus taught some about that “logs in our eye” business and about the toxic sludge that poisons when baleful judgements are nurtured and shared.

We can do better.  We’re called to do better.

I believe we can.


ahh, vacation

I am readying myself to rest.

What this means is that many bulletins must be prepared and many phone calls made in order for things to be tended while I am gone.

It’s worth it!

In the midst of all the getting ready, the stack of books intended for vacation reading is growing by the back door.  They are legion.

Too, I have the great good of feeling into days of unstructured being.  In the midst of the stretch of days will be a weekend with my children and bike rides and tennis games and walks and swims and time with my guy away from phones and did I mention, books to read.

I love my work.  I get to be engaged with amazing people doing work that gentles the world to a better place.  It is creative and meaningful work, this ministry.

And, in order to be fruitful, fallow times are crucial.

So, come the final “amen” on Sunday I am off seeking Sabbath.

Holy work, that.


We all lead.

Sometimes we do that leading in acknowledged and titled ways.

Always we lead; titled or no.  We do it through the ways we speak and listen as well as take action and rest.

Leading in a church is an adventure like few others.  We are grounded on the teachings and leading provided by Jesus.  Jesus knew that people were going to bump into each other in ways that would sometimes provoke hurt.  Knowing that, he taught much about forgiveness and about being willing to know the larger heart of the Holy that connects and grounds us through pain and joy alike.  He taught that our larger identity, beyond any other labels we might graft onto our sense of self, is that of follower of the Way.  We stumble, we lurch, we glide and we fly and in all of those human beings, we are people connected by Holy grace.

Not a one of us does life without bruises inflicted and received.  To be in community is to know hurt.

My prayer in all of our attempts to live the teachings of Jesus is that we remember our larger holding.

At RUMC, we seek to live in such a way that we see the Christ in all.  We make decisions and make life seeking to create community in such a way that when hurts happen, as we know they will, there is a sense of the larger heart holding us as we discern our call to fullness of life.

On this day, I want to name the courage it takes to step into the world and seek to live teachings meant to bless and provoke.

In all things, at all times, this thing called leadership calls for mindful, courageous, humble and compassionate engagement of whole selves.

This thing called “church” is a wholeness laboratory.

Thank God for holy Petrie dishes.


We are rooted.

Today the Roto-rooter team is coming to pulverize our basement floor in order to tame the roots that have taken over our sewage system.

@#$% indeed!

Cooper spent a fine Wednesday dealing with the geysers that erupted in our basement.

Today we live into the healing of the problem, complete with a 24 hour no-water-use edict.

This root addressing comes on the heels of a wedding weekend that still has my heart humming.  Family came together to celebrate the wedding of Cooper’s youngest and on the dance floor and throughout the weekend we were a weaving of those who have gone before us and so very powerfully we participated in weaving that which is yet to be.

Blending families is no small adventure.  Those seeking to create the new are rooted in systems unquestioned and ways of being passed on from generation to generation.  In coming together through divorce and re-marriage, the ground shifts and sometimes it feels like nothing will ever feel stable again.

But oh, the fruit of years of negotiating and breathing and praying is heart luscious!

We are a different people now.  Somehow, in marking the powerful rite of passage that comes in joining families and hearts, we know ourselves to be rooted and grounded in amazing grace and we are whole and we know this.

We know this.

So the roots strangling our pipes?  They can be dealt with and matter not much (except for the obscene amount of money leaving our house with them).

The roots that ground and nourish heart are alive and well and we are family and thank you thank you thank you God for roots.

Ground is good.