Lent: Do what you are doing

“Do what you are doing.”This is a lesson I have learned and relearned hundreds of times over the past four decades. “Do what you are doing” is one of the lessons from Hugh Prather’s Notes to Myself, given to me in 1975 by my dear friend, Carolyn. Writing about Lenten disciplines yesterday prompted me to […]

We’re taking back which country?

“We’re going to take our country back!” That has been a rallying cry for Republicans for the past several years. It underlies the Presidential race and was a prevalent theme of the Taylor County Republican forum a few weeks ago as candidates for county, state, and national offices introduced themselves to the eager crowd. At […]

Lent: The Disciplines

Growing up Southern Baptist, I was not exposed to Lent. I heard people talk about giving things up for Lent, but it was usually a joke, promising to give up things they had no intention of doing anyway. It was not until seminary that I attended a church that took Lent seriously. And it was […]

Lent: Removing barriers

From the time I was 11 until I was 16, my family lived in a house that had a small creek that ran along the back of the yard. It was just a tiny little creek that in most places you could just step over it. During the East Texas spring we had plenty of […]

Lent: New possibilities

When I was very young, I was terrified of getting a shot. I don’t know where that came from. It might have been as simple as hearing one of my parents say, “I hope this won’t hurt much.” All I know is that whenever I was to get a shot, I threw a screaming, thrashing […]

Lent: Subtle judgments everywhere

I felt restless yesterday. I paced around, my mind jumped around, I expended a lot of energy being busy but not being focused. It was not until this morning that I sat still long enough to pay attention. I had judged those thoughts and feelings yesterday as “bad.” I paced around thinking I should do […]

Lent: Careful with those labels

We label things out of necessity. How difficult daily life would be without labels for things and experiences. “I’m going to pick up this object that has a substance for cleaning my teeth and I’m going to squeeze it onto this other object with bristles…” We need labels to make our lives manageable. But labels […]

Lent: Suspend judgment

When Jesus admonished his followers to not judge, lest you also be judged, I always assumed that was just about not judging people. The short version is, “Don’t call someone an idiot. That’s a judgment.” Of course, I would often then mutter to myself, “No, it’s just telling the truth. “ OK, maybe it was […]

Lent: The Beginner’s Mind

Stillness is difficult, still. Mental chatter still takes most of my attention. For the next few days I want to identify the chatter of judgments, labels, and explaining things away rather than listening carefully and seeing clearly. Richard Rohr is one of my current favorite thinkers and writers. He is currently experiencing the 40 days […]

Lent: Letting go of the outcome, Part 3

Nothing tangled me up or stopped me dead in my tracks faster than mixing God up in an important decision. Let me explain with some personal history. Growing up in the home of a Southern Baptist minister, I heard from the pulpit and around the dinner table the importance of seeking God’s will and following […]