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Easter IX

Tomorrow Pentecost begins. The birthday of the church! At my church we’ll wear red and celebrate the coming of the Spirit with wind and fire and bells. But right now it is the last day of Eastertide. On Good Friday, April 2, our family and some friends spent a good portion of the day putting in a quarter acre garden. The Great Flood of Nashville hit a month later May 1-3. We suffered very little damage to personal property. With the exception of the garden. It was under eight-to-ten feet of water for most of two days. And it was pretty well destroyed.

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Easter XIII

Healing Part III: Honest Music
I’ve found myself in the past couple of years in search of music that speaks to life. Really speaks to life.
So much popular music is mainly the girl meets boy (or boy meets girl) variety of sentimental or sensual romance. I’m not totally against this. It just has limits. I’m looking for the kind of lyrics and musical composition that goes deeper than feelings and hormones.

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Easter XI

Healing
Part II: Trees

One of this Sunday’s passages is Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17, 20-21.

As one commentator summarized it: “The conclusion of Revelation has seemed to many interpreters to be a bit choppy, a barely-held-together conglomeration of leftover pieces, stumbling toward the close of the book.” I’ll say.

Earlier this week I heard a sermon which dealt with the morass of endings by focusing on one image from the text: the tree of life. Just that phrase took me like a hyperlink to one of the most healing images of my own life time . . . . the tree of life.

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Easter X

I’ve wanted to start a series on healing for several weeks now. But every time I get plans underway it seems something new crops up that needs healing . . . like discovering how many files are really unrecoverable from my defunct hard drive, or seeing our drowned garden, or finding myself living in a city experiencing its worst devastation since the Civil War.

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Easter IX

This week’s floods in Nashville, Tennessee have been overwhelming to many and devastating to others. So much has been lost . . . lives, homes, livelihoods. In comparison to the magnitude of losses that others have felt, my family has mostly been inconvenienced. Still I am struck by the sheer force of it all. Water has such incredible power for both good and tragedy. Reading this week’s lectionary texts, water is at every turn. You’ll hear echoes of those scriptures in this short poem . . .

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@childdefender1973 
#backtoschool means so many things. God’s mercy on every child who struggles with these questions.
  • What a beautiful day to start the fall teaching term!
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  • What a full day it has been! The first day of orientation is done. I’m delighted to meet the incoming students and imagine our work together this year in pastoral theology and care as well as the death, dying, and bereavement course next spring. It is also joyful to meet colleagues in the work of theological education. And this evening on a walk I even spotted @alexisinnyc having dinner with her family along Broadway. [This is the part where you break into it’s a small world after all.] . 
many things will no doubt “pull me up short” in the days ahead. And you can read about my first experience of that at my blog. Today’s #Episode39 of @threeminuteministrymentor is about learning from the moments that happen when we don’t know how to respond. From this kind of pain can come truly transformed learning. #backtoschool #BackToSeminary #3MMM #3MinuteMinistryMentor #TheologicalEducation #Seminary #SeminaryLife #MinistryLife #PulledUpShort #Learning
  • Last gasp of #summer at the #mnstatefair 😎🤩😍
  • Advanced my summer writing projects and turned in one more this week. The grading is all finished and posted. New haircut yesterday. Now I have one more decision to make… Which T-shirt should I buy? ‘Cause Orientation is next week and I wanna look sharp. 😎

#VisitingProfessor #UTSNYC (Translation: This year I‘ll be a visiting assoc. professor of pastoral theology at Union Theological Seminary, New York.)
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