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Showing posts from April, 2009

My brother, Thomas

ACTS 4:32-35; PSALM 133; 1 JOHN 1:1- 2:2; JOHN 20:19-31

Where was Thomas when Jesus appeared in the upper room that first night? When everyone else is locked in for fear of being associated with Jesus and, thus, receiving the same treatment He did, Thomas is out and about. Why would that be?

We get a little glimpse of the character of Thomas earlier in John, when word comes to Jesus that Lazarus is dying. Some of the other disciples are concerned that heading back toward Jerusalem will mean certain and sudden death for Jesus. Jesus slows his own walk, so that Lazarus might be raised for the glory of God. However the other disciples hope to dissuade him from the plan all together. Another dramatic healing within close proximity to the holy city is just too dangerous.

Finally, it would seem, Thomas gets tired of the hemming and hawing of the others and realizes Jesus is going to do what he’s going to do. Thomas turns to the others and says, “Let us also go [meaning to Jerusalem], that w…

Friday Five- Time Out Edition

The Friday Five prompts come from here.

Holy Week is almost upon us, I suspect that ordained or not, other revgal/pals calendars look a bit like mine, FULL, FULL, FULL........

Jesus was great at teaching us to take time out, even in that last week, right up to Maundy Thursday he withdrew, John's gospel tells us he hid! He hid not because he was afraid, but because he knew that he needed physical, mental and spiritual strength to get through...

So faced with a busy week:


1. What restores you physically?

I do love a nap. It's not just the pregnancy talking. In college, I got very good at the twenty-minute power snooze. I don't even have to have a bed or a couch. I can lay flat on the floor in a slightly darkened room and be asleep. 10 years later, I hardly ever need an alarm clock for that kind of nap. I wake myself up almost 18 minutes from when I fell asleep. I usually set a little buzzer, just in case, but I typically wake up in time to turn it off, get up, brush my hair and t…

Time Out

Yesterday, I had to put my dog in time-out (in the backyard) and myself in time-out (under the covers of my bed). When I came home from work, I discovered that he had amused himself during the day by chewing on a photo album that holds (held?) recipes and a box of dust masks. The scraps were strewn all over the living room.

This isn't the first time something like this has happened, but, for me yesterday, it was a final straw in my currently tenuous grip on emotional control. I put Ivan outside and then while he howled at the door, I went upstairs and howled into a pillow.

In my theological tradition, I understand (spiritually and intellectually) that God is in control. Yet each day that I manage to do what I need to do without breaking down about my husband's imminent deployment or being pregnant or any number of other things that are well beyond anything that I can change or alter- each day I *handle* these things, I feel like I have myself under control.

Well, my s…

Lent 4 sermon (March 22)

NUMBERS 21:4-9; PSALM 107: 1-3, 17-22; 1 CORINTHIANS 1:18-25; JOHN 3:14-21

How many of you have heard of Eric Liddell before? How many of you have seen the movie Chariots of Fire? Some of the life of Eric Liddell is portrayed in that movie as the runner who would not race on Sundays and had to change events in the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris.

Liddell was born in China where his Scottish parents were missionaries through the London Missionary Society. When Eric was six, he and his older brother were sent back to Scotland to be educated. They were both very athletic, but Eric could run and run. He was rumored to be Olympic worthy, but very few people from Scotland or Britain in general won Olympic running events.

Liddell was also famous for something else, during his younger years in Scotland. When he was a university student, he could draw enormous crowds who came to here him preach. He was a dynamic and powerful speaker who talked about the importance of the life of faith a…

Lent 3 sermon (March 15)

EXODUS 20:1-17; PSALM 19; 1 CORINTHIANS 18-25; JOHN 2:13-22


When my husband, Rob, went to Iraq in the first time, in 2007, I felt very overwhelmed in the weeks leading up to the deployment. I felt upset all the time and I felt frustrated by how depressed and upset I was. I could not change the situation, but it also seemed that I could not even change how I felt about it either. Nor I could I accept that I would stay in this bottom-dwelling darkness for the entire six and a half months.

I felt that my every waking moment was either spent in grief or in being frustrated at grieving. I literally felt consumed by all of this. Then one day, driving through around New York City, (don’t ask) I had an epiphany. My grief had become an idol for me. I wasn’t spending time even thinking about Rob or my schoolwork or even the actualities of deployment, but the majority of my energy, the place where my heart was hung was on the actual horribleness of how I felt.

I realize many of you may …