New Day

13 Mar
Dear Friends,
I think of blogging to you so often.  I have been through amazing and terrible things in these past months.  I have emerged to begin my journey again!  I feel more whole and alive and joyful than ever – can you imagine me happier.  Well, I am.
I am reading some old books and devotional material to get ready for a Saturday Seminar on Lectio Divina: Breathing Deep into the Divine.  I found this writing from A New English Version of The TaoTe Ching and the Christian Way by Joseph Petulla
Freedom of the Children of the Divine
People tend to size up situations
And other people too quickly;
Beautiful – ugly,
Competent – incompetent, even
Living – dead,
Because life and death seem to show
The basic contradiction of existence.
We speak about what is difficult
And what is easy,
Long and short,
High and low,
And we think we’ve got it right.
But in truth, life is more like music,
With subtle differences in tone,
As what was becomes transformed
Into what is,
And what is into what will be.
The wise and healthy person
Doesn’t think in categories
Or make absolute judgments, but
 Accepts everything that happens
As it comes,
Not to possess an event,
But rather to breathe ourselves into it
And to work with it.
We should not want to own life,
But rather to sail with its breezes
Without arrogance or self-promotion.
If you do not assume importance,
You cannot lose it
I pray that you and I breath ourselves into each moment of this day and find the joy of sailing on its breezes.
I love being old, I love letting go of all the old garbage and enjoying each new wonder of each new day.
Blessings and peace,
p.s.  sorry about the ads that are being embedded, but I am too cheap to pay the website money.

Hello again

8 Jan

Since I was 16 I have been one of wrote in a journal, however, never on a daily basis.  What I have like best about journaling is reading back through what I had written.  It reminds me of what life was like, what I was thinking, and always, always how grateful that I have God’s divine presence in the center of my life.

So, I am going to try and blog again.  I have enjoyed reading back through my first blogs from 2012 so much.  And so much of life has changed.

I think only people who know me read this blog, but I will put in the basics.  My last blog was at the end of January last year.  My mom died on February 6th and life changed.  I had all the details of her personal representative, and getting the house ready for sale and finding my new place.  It would have been really interesting if I had blogged during this time because life was crazy.  Lots of stuff hauled out of my parents house, lots of work people to take the house from the 70s to the new century, and lots of details for me to buy my first house ever.

Today, I write from my wonderful little condo, and am finding my way in my new life.

I still love my little churches.  I still talk too much at meetings.  I still want to learn and experience everything I possibly can.

This wonderful life is a gift beyond measure.  The presence of the divine still molds my days and steadies my craziness.

Early in my blogging I wrote about beginning a 5 year old who jumped into a new pool when I really didn’t know what I was doing.

I feel that way today.  I have jumped into the deep end.  I have no idea what I am doing. [I have figured out how to pay my mortgage and Home Owners Associations fees] I am enjoying the present moment with the divine presence.  I laugh often.  I am grateful everyday.  And looking forward to the next adventure.

For those who will read this; know that you have shaped my life and brought joy that is carried along with me.  I have received blessing upon blessing.  Thank you for joining me in the journey.



What to carry

30 Jan

Good Morning Friends,

I am continuing my journey through the gospel of Mark.  In chapter 6 is the sending forth of the disciples into mission.  We often think of Jesus traveling around with 12 men in a clump.  However, there are several places in the text that describe the disciples going out to “test their wings.”

These stories are important to us because they describe how disciple of Christ today are to continue to be in mission; sent forth by the Spirit of the Eternal.

The Twelve

7-8 Jesus called the Twelve to him, and sent them out in pairs. He gave them authority and power to deal with the evil opposition. He sent them off with these instructions:

8-9 “Don’t think you need a lot of extra equipment for this. You are the equipment. No special appeals for funds. Keep it simple.

10 “And no luxury inns. Get a modest place and be content there until you leave.

11 “If you’re not welcomed, not listened to, quietly withdraw. Don’t make a scene. Shrug your shoulders and be on your way.”

12-13 Then they were on the road. They preached with joyful urgency that life can be radically different; right and left they sent the demons packing; they brought wellness to the sick, anointing their bodies, healing their spirits.

The instructions are to travel light, live simply, and preach with joyful urgency that life can be radically different.  And always use the buddy system.

How far we have fallen from these simple instructions.  Now we want to stay in one place, in pretty building that we can’t afford to keep up, and preach the sad refrain that we don’t know why no one shows up.

I believe what God’s Spirit is telling us that we have everything we need to tell about the radical new life that is offered.  That we do not need a lot of flashy externals, just a peaceful internal spirit focused on the joy of following Christ.

In the church have come to a place where we exhaust church folks with a need to “pay the bills.”  We alienate outsiders with our bickering about unimportant power struggles.  We have forgotten what the disciples were sent out to do and how they were sent.

I don’t know the answers, yet I do want to remember the focus of the work and the way to do it.

Keep it simple.

For me that means to preach words of healing, forgiveness, and power of transformation in God’s eternal, divine, radical love.




What you think you know

17 Jan

Good Morning Friends,

I have always taken encouragement from the story of Jesus returning to his hometown.  As Rodney Dangerfield says, “I get no respect.”   It is often that those who know us the best cannot accept the changes that have happen in our lives.  They knew us when, and therefore they believe they know exactly who we are and what we are capable of doing and not doing.  This prejudiced can deaden the spirit of anyone.

Just a Carpenter

1-2 He left there and returned to his hometown. His disciples came along. On the Sabbath, he gave a lecture in the meeting place. He made a real hit, impressing everyone. “We had no idea he was this good!” they said. “How did he get so wise all of a sudden, get such ability?”

Here the people see but don’t believe.  They experience the presence and power of Jesus, but their prejudice against the hometown boy means they cannot find faith in him.

But in the next breath they were cutting him down: “He’s just a carpenter—Mary’s boy. We’ve known him since he was a kid. We know his brothers, James, Justus, Jude, and Simon, and his sisters. Who does he think he is?” They tripped over what little they knew about him and fell, sprawling. And they never got any further.

Note: I wonder how the Catholic church overlooked this verse when they proclaimed that Jesus was an only child.  It looks to me that Joseph and Mary were fairly busy.

4-6 Jesus told them, “A prophet has little honor in his hometown, among his relatives, on the streets he played in as a child.” Jesus wasn’t able to do much of anything there—he laid hands on a few sick people and healed them, that’s all. He couldn’t get over their stubbornness. He left and made a circuit of the other villages, teaching.

And these last two verses give the crux of the matter.  “Jesus wasn’t able to do much of anything there. . .”  It is always about relationship and belief in the world of the Divine.  We are never taken by force.  The Divine Presence begins the conversation, but it is up to us to join in, to believe, to risk in faith, to become a part of the Divine reality; rather than our own stunted, limited, very small world.

I pray this day you join in the adventure.  Look beyond your own preconceive ideas and immerse yourselves in the limitless vision of the Divine Presence.






Life is what happens.

15 Jan

The John Lennon is quoted as saying, “Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans.”  For me, it seems to fit well with events that are recorded in the second half of Mark 5.  This passage is one of the healing within a healing stories in this gospel.

Jesus is in new territory having crossed over the Sea of Galilee (actually it is a lake).  His reputation proceeds him and people are looking for healing.  The person who come to ask for healing for his daughter is a VIP, the woman who is healed on the way is not.

A Risk of Faith

21-24 After Jesus crossed over by boat, a large crowd met him at the seaside. One of the meeting-place leaders named Jairus came. When he saw Jesus, he fell to his knees, beside himself as he begged, “My dear daughter is at death’s door. Come and lay hands on her so she will get well and live.” Jesus went with him, the whole crowd tagging along, pushing and jostling him.

It is a fairly good guess that this woman is bleeding from her vagina.  She was not to be out in public, and she certainly was not suppose to be touching a man.  The woman had been ill treated by doctors – actually I hear this kind of story constantly during my pastoral visits.  Doctors who don’t listen, don’t solve the actual problems, take the money and leave people worse off than they were before.

25-29 A woman who had suffered a condition of hemorrhaging for twelve years—a long succession of physicians had treated her, and treated her badly, taking all her money and leaving her worse off than before—had heard about Jesus. She slipped in from behind and touched his robe. She was thinking to herself, “If I can put a finger on his robe, I can get well.” The moment she did it, the flow of blood dried up. She could feel the change and knew her plague was over and done with.

Her faith that Jesus’s healing power is real leads her to take a terrible risk.  Her faith that Jesus’s healing power is real draws the healing from him without his intentional focus.  Her faith that Jesus’s healing power is real heals her when nothing else has.

30 At the same moment, Jesus felt energy discharging from him. He turned around to the crowd and asked, “Who touched my robe?”

This is a amazing question, “who touched my robe?.”  Jesus can feel the power leave and as the woman absorbs the healing.  I remember seeing Bishops Felton May after an ordination service.  He looked completely exhausted, and I asked if he was OK; if he needed anything.  He said that when he lays hands on the people during their ordination he can feel energy flow through him and it always leaves him drained.

31 His disciples said, “What are you talking about? With this crowd pushing and jostling you, you’re asking, ‘Who touched me?’ Dozens have touched you!”

32-33 But he went on asking, looking around to see who had done it. The woman, knowing what had happened, knowing she was the one, stepped up in fear and trembling, knelt before him, and gave him the whole story.

No wonder that this woman was fearful.  She was bleeding from her vagina, touched him and then took, essentially stole, his healing power from him.  He could have brought charges against her.  The emotional crowds that had gathered around Jesus probably would have stoned her to death if he wanted them to.  Yet, Jesus honors her risk of faith.

34 Jesus said to her, “Daughter, you took a risk of faith, and now you’re healed and whole. Live well, live blessed! Be healed of your plague.”

35 While he was still talking, some people came from the leader’s house and told him, “Your daughter is dead. Why bother the Teacher any more?”

36 Jesus overheard what they were talking about and said to the leader, “Don’t listen to them; just trust me.”

The focus of this passage is trust and faith.  It is not what we believe we know, or even what we see, but it is our faith that can transform our lives.  It is not what we see in our lives, but what we trust that God can see for our lives that can heal us and give us new life.  One of the lines I like in The Santa Claus is spoken by an old and wise elf.   She says, “Seeing isn’t believing, believing is seeing.”   When we believe we can see the Divine Presence working in our lives, we can see the shimmer of hope even in the darkness, we can see the promise of healing even in the midst of pain.  Yet, we must risk.

37-40 He permitted no one to go in with him except Peter, James, and John. They entered the leader’s house and pushed their way through the gossips looking for a story and neighbors bringing in casseroles. Jesus was abrupt: “Why all this busybody grief and gossip? This child isn’t dead; she’s sleeping.” Provoked to sarcasm, they told him he didn’t know what he was talking about.

40-43 But when he had sent them all out, he took the child’s father and mother, along with his companions, and entered the child’s room. He clasped the girl’s hand and said, “Talitha koum,” which means, “Little girl, get up.” At that, she was up and walking around! This girl was twelve years of age. They, of course, were all beside themselves with joy. He gave them strict orders that no one was to know what had taken place in that room. Then he said, “Give her something to eat.”

The two healings are complete and new life is given.  The Divine Presence that Jesus shared so freely is still with us today.  God relies on us to avail ourselves of the healing power and as whole people share that gracefilled presence with others.

Blessings and peace,

note:  it has taken me a full week to get this blog written.  during this time a friend has died and another friend is in the hospital is last stages of life.  I believe in hope, I take the risk of believing that God’s love and power extends beyond anything we can image.  I believe, so I can see.


The Cost of Healing

30 Dec

Hello again,

I am working my way through the Gospel of Mark and hoping to be more faithful to my blogging in 2018.  There really is not much exciting to report about my life, but I love talking about the scriptures.

The next story in Mark is a healing story.  But, it has a lot of elements that will make it sound very strange to our modern ears.  The man in the story is demonically possessed.  This was the name of epilepsy back in the day.  This man is possessed by a crowd of demons; strange.  The demons talk to Jesus and ask not to be cast out from the country, stranger.  So Jesus sends them into pigs; stranger still.

Yet, if I go with my system of trying to hear the emotion and word of faith that the writer is talking about then I start to get somewhere.

I have known a number of people in my life who seem possessed by a crowd of demons.  I can even understand the uncontrollable nature of the man and the demons speaking for him.  In my teen years my brother was drinking and smoking pot too much.  I remember my parents trying to control him; it did get physical at times.  And he said things that really did not seem like things he would be saying.  Today I see him each week.  He will celebrate 14 years of sobriety in a couple of weeks.  I think he would tell you that it was the healing power of Christ in his life that gave him his life back.  So, in my experience, the healing was not as immediate, but it was healing all the same.

The Madman

1-5 They arrived on the other side of the sea in the country of the Gerasenes. As Jesus got out of the boat, a madman from the cemetery came up to him. He lived there among the tombs and graves. No one could restrain him—he couldn’t be chained, couldn’t be tied down. He had been tied up many times with chains and ropes, but he broke the chains, snapped the ropes. No one was strong enough to tame him. Night and day he roamed through the graves and the hills, screaming out and slashing himself with sharp stones.

6-8 When he saw Jesus a long way off, he ran and bowed in worship before him—then bellowed in protest, “What business do you have, Jesus, Son of the High God, messing with me? I swear to God, don’t give me a hard time!” (Jesus had just commanded the tormenting evil spirit, “Out! Get out of the man!”)

9-10 Jesus asked him, “Tell me your name.”

He replied, “My name is Mob. I’m a rioting mob.” Then he desperately begged Jesus not to banish them from the country.

At this point in the story you should remember that the Jewish community were not allowed to eat pigs.   It just the way it was.   And perhaps the writer wants us to know that demons have the power to destroy the lives of whomever they touch.  Again, I can say Amen to that.

11-13 A large herd of pigs was browsing and rooting on a nearby hill. The demons begged him, “Send us to the pigs so we can live in them.” Jesus gave the order. But it was even worse for the pigs than for the man. Crazed, they stampeded over a cliff into the sea and drowned.

14-15 Those tending the pigs, scared to death, bolted and told their story in town and country. Everyone wanted to see what had happened. They came up to Jesus and saw the madman sitting there wearing decent clothes and making sense, no longer a walking madhouse of a man.

16-17 Those who had seen it told the others what had happened to the demon-possessed man and the pigs. At first they were in awe—and then they were upset, upset over the drowned pigs. They demanded that Jesus leave and not come back.

This is the part of the story that is most like people I know.   They see someone whose life has been made whole and they complain about the cost, then they kick Jesus out of town.  We do not want the cost that goes with the Jesus-life.  We want peace, and healing, and the power of the Divine without changing a single thing in our lives.  Usually it is not until we are in complete pain and destroyed our lives that we are willing to consider what God could have for us.  But, let’s be honest, we usually are still not willing to make changes in our choices.

18-20 As Jesus was getting into the boat, the demon-delivered man begged to go along, but he wouldn’t let him. Jesus said, “Go home to your own people. Tell them your story—what the Master did, how he had mercy on you.” The man went back and began to preach in the Ten Towns area about what Jesus had done for him. He was the talk of the town.

Finally, the man wants to go with Jesus, but he is told to tell the Good News to those he knows.  We do not have to travel to far off places, we do not have to do extraordinary things, we just need to tell the good news of what God is doing in our lives.

That’s all.

If you are looking to change something in your life in the new year, ask God about that.

If you don’t think you need to change anything in your life, ask God about that.

Blessings and peace,



The Anchor Holds

8 Nov

How do we speak about the power of the Eternal Presence in our lives?  How do those who personally encountered Jesus of Nazareth tell the story of his power?

Too often, we have had conversations about the details described in the sacred history of our faith actually happened, rather than seeking the experience that is embodied in the story.  I believe the story at the end of the fourth chapter of Mark is diminish by questioning the details of how it happened rather than experiencing the power that is described.

Jesus has finished talking to the crowds and gets his disciples in a boat to find some quite, going to the other side of the lake.  A storm arises. . .

Mark 4:35-38

35-38 Late that day he said to them, “Let’s go across to the other side.” They took him in the boat as he was. Other boats came along. A huge storm came up. Waves poured into the boat, threatening to sink it. And Jesus was in the stern, head on a pillow, sleeping! They roused him, saying, “Teacher, is it nothing to you that we’re going down?”

39-40 Awake now, he told the wind to pipe down and said to the sea, “Quiet! Settle down!” The wind ran out of breath; the sea became smooth as glass. Jesus reprimanded the disciples: “Why are you such cowards? Don’t you have any faith at all?”

41 They were in absolute awe, staggered. “Who is this, anyway?” they asked. “Wind and sea at his beck and call!”

So my question is, “have you experience God’s divine love calming the storms in your life?”

This is my story:  2010 was a difficult year in my life.  In January an earthquake hit Haiti and shook up my life.  In April my husband, Mike, was headed to Haiti for a 6 month assignment to help those effected by the earthquake. I was filling in for his full time pastorate and continuing my part-time pastorate, my dad had a very serious heart attack in May, and my young adult sons were busy with their own thing – some things not so good.

I remember standing in my kitchen, exhausted, overwhelming, trying to continue to put one foot in front on the other.  Christian music has always helped me to make it through difficult times and I was listening to Micheal Card’s Scribbling in the Sand album and Soul Anchor came on.  I had probably listen to the album a dozen times, but this time I stopped cold, tears running down my face and knew, “It’s a soul anchor, Hold on to the hope.  It is a soul anchor, Just hold on to your courage.  Before we call, He answers us with hope.”  I felt the storm calm and the loving power of the Divine Eternal strengthening me; in my kitchen, in my exhaustion, in all things. . .

I believe the scriptures are to be lived.  It is a sacred story begun by people of faith thousands of years ago, written down as best they could, so we could continue the story.


Maybe we shouldn’t ask if Jesus actually calmed the storm on the lake for the disciple, but if his presences calms the storms of our lives so we can continue to be his witnesses.

Note:  I hope the video works. .  I have never tried it before.  It should be the song I heard that day in my kitchen.

Blessings and peace,