Conservative Christian contortionism

Donald Trump is on a campaign to win over conservative Christians. This would be laughable except that Christian conservatives appear to be buying it. Even James Dobson testified that Trump, who recently stated he had nothing to confess to God because he didn’t do many bad things, is now a “baby Christian.” This particular sideshow […]

Three days in the woods

Three days with my son, Austin, in a cottage in the woods of Southern Maine. I wasn’t sure he would join me. I wasn’t sure we were ready for that kind of time together. The previous few years had been full of drama, from moments that seemed to tear us apart for good, followed by […]

How will this turn out?

We have some big decisions to make in the next couple of days.  Those decisions will be difficult, painful, and will have significant consequences for our family in the coming months.  As we lay in bed last night, doing our final hugs and a kiss, Judy said, “It’s so hard to know the right thing […]

Giving thanks for the leftovers

Thanksgiving has come and gone, but some thoughts about gratitude remain along with the leftovers.  I find it easy to give thanks for a steaming, savory turkey surrounded by dressing, sweet potatoes covered with pineapple and tiny marshmallows, hot buttered rolls, and pumpkin pies.  I have more difficulty with the turkey sandwiches, sweet potato remnants, […]

Preparing sermons and ripping off scabs

If you’ve sat through many church sermons, you’ve probably heard some challenging and stimulating ones, and you’ve heard some boring ones.  At one time or another, particularly during a boring sermon, most of us have asked ourselves the question, “How hard can it be?” My answer to that is, it all depends.  I’ve had the […]

What if… Part I

One of my favorite forms of emotional self-abuse is to engage in long musings of “What if”.  This is the futile, tail-chasing exercise of running mental scenarios of what’s ahead if this or that happens.  I have been holding this game at bay for the past couple of weeks.  I can hear my inner sinister-self […]

Just enough light: Part III

Have you ever been overwhelmed with too many options?  How about too many GOOD options?  I’m the kind of person who likes to consider as many possibilities as possible before a decision, and it doesn’t help me if the options are all favorable.  I frequently get overwhelmed with such decisions.  Even if it’s a relatively […]

Just enough light: Part II

If you haven’t read “Just enough light” yet, take a minute and do that. Arriving at the cottage after dark is always an adventure, particularly if I have forgotten to bring along a flashlight.  Without one, I shuffle carefully toward the cottage, mindful of but blind to the many roots, rocks, and bumps that lie […]

Getting centered

I love watching a skilled potter.  As the wheel turns, it almost looks like the potter’s hands bring the clay to life, forming the outside and inside of the vase from the bottom up.   It looks easy enough.  I know it’s not. A student told our university class about making pottery on a wheel.  She said there were […]

Just enough light

Four squirmy boys, smelly from two days in the car, grew suddenly quiet as the sedan entered the woods.  My brothers and I craned our necks from the back seat, trying to see beyond the next curve in the winding dirt road barely wide enough for Dad to maneuver the car among giant pines. The […]