Saturday, April 4, 2009


I love redbuds in the spring! The glow of their purple (and they are really purple) against the still yellow green of new leaves and gray-brown of bark is just stunning. I take pictures of them so I can recreate them in fabric some day.

What do you love in the springtime? Daffodils? The first blades of hostas coming up? The funny blossoms on some of the bushes we value for their foliage?

I appreciate the other seasons but I just absolutely LOVE spring!

And when I get the picture taken, I'll post it.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Community: fake or real?

Just when you think you've heard it all . . . there was a report on NPR last night about staging. You know, that's what realtors like to do in a house which is for sale. Keep it neutral, as if no one lived there, and the potential buyer could move right in. The buyer needs to be able to see themselves in that house.

But there's a new kind of staging out there. It's staging neighborhoods. One buyer, now owner, met the neighbors, had cookies and lemonade with them, and then moved in - to find out they were actors. In fact, the neighborhood he moved into, in one of those empty Las Vegas subdivisions which are a symbol of the real estate market, has no one - except him and his family. It was all a sham.

And that's not all - apparently realtors are now staging tennis matches, town hall meetings, and yes, here's the best part, even churches. In order to entice buyers to buy into a particular community, they make artificial community, whatever it takes.

I'm stunned - but not surprised in the end. I think that this is a symptom of a major lack in our society: people want and need community and they'll do it any way that they can, including fake ones. Gangs are another symptom: what are they but places for people to find family and community?

I chose the real community - the one that is born of the love of God. Community where I'm not looking for folks exactly like me, in lifestyle, education, interests, language, or ethnic background. I want the diversity of the various points of view, and the unity of the love of God.

What about you?

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Who's the blind (wo)man now?

John 9:18-41 (NRSV)
I'm always amazed, when I read the story of the blind man who is healed by Jesus, at the inquisition conducted by the Jewish authorities. The man who is known to have been blind is healed, and it seems they want to find someone to blame, rather than rejoice that one who could not see now can.

And it is the blind man who sees, when those who see are blind.
"Here is an astonishing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners, but he does listen to one who worships him and obeys his will. 32 Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing."

How many of us think we can see and don't realize how blind we really are? Especially in these hard economic times, I wonder if it has something to do with a bit of deprivation. When you have everything, it's easier to ignore needs, concerns, and yes, even healings of blind men, right in front of your eyes. I suspect that those who are lacking in something, food, shelter, health insurance, job, security of any kind, are far more observant, for they have to be; they can take nothing for granted.

Who's the blind (wo)man now?

Monday, March 30, 2009


As I occasionally do, I taught a new word to the congregation yesterday. I used the word "kenosis" in my sermon. The sermon was about the emptying of self that Jesus did in order to save us from ourselves. God the Son became less of what he was (as God) so that we could become more of what we should always have been.

My thoughts today are not about the doctrine of kenosis itself, but rather what it means for me. What it means to "give up ourselves to your service." (General Thanksgiving) How many of us have really done this - given up self to serve God? Or are we still serving other gods?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Well, this is certainly interesting - my last post was 1 year ago. Another crazy year, crazy for a lot more folks than me. No house yet - market took care of that. Did have to buy a new car because the old one was about to lose the differential - and that would have been more than it was worth. Like the new car - and this is important - don't feel like I'm taking a huge risk doing the long-distance drives, especially in the dark. Oh - a first for me: a sun roof! Maybe it will be warm enough to actually open it up!

One New Year's resolution: post a bit more! So today, I'll post my two bread recipes I'm trying out and a soup recipe that looks ready-made to go with them!
King Arthur's cheese bread - only I'm making mine with smoked gouda 'cause that's what's in the house!
And their English muffin bread is just out of the oven - waiting those magic 5 minutes to be turned out and cooled so I can toast and eat some!

I'll try the Tomato and smoked gouda soup and let you know how it goes. Happy Christmastide and New Year -