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Epiphany I

A wing and a prayer . . . This morning I prayed in darkness. And then I saw a great light. It was the sun. Filling up the all of the cold morning. My husband called me into the kitchen. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a sparrow breathe,” he said. Not taken to fits of poetry or even flowery prose, he had to be speaking literally. He began to explain. It seems that the sun is at just the right mid-winter angle to fill our backyard bird feeder with light. If they perched just right the birds at the breakfast buffet were silhouetted by the rising sun. As they took their turns and tilted their heads just so, puff, their tiny warm breath exhaled in a little cloud.

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Christmas II

Pastors don’t pray much it seems. They are busy. But they are not filling their time with prayer, meditation or personal devotion. At least a study that came out this week says this is the case. Seems to me that more than families are likely hurting if pastoral leaders are spending so little time attending to their own spiritual lives. But lest I sound too judgmental, I remember well the struggle to care for my own spiritual well-being while also attending to the spiritual well-being of those I served in the years when I was full-time on a church staff. Even when I was doing what I knew to do to care for my own soul, it was not always the most effective or spiritually nourishing thing I could be doing.

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Advent VIII

Unhinged and upended . . .

In my first Advent post I wrote about opening the little doors on an Advent calendar [link]. Today I’ve been thinking about a different set of doors.

It was 1993. (Don’t tell me, please, if you were in kindergarten that year.) I was just graduating from seminary. And I attended a worship service in Birmingham at the annual Baptist Women in Ministry (BWIM) meeting. Nancy Hastings Sehested was the preacher that day. The occasion was a ten-year anniversary of BWIM.

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Advent VI

Reshaping the body with prayer

As I lay face up on the table a few weeks ago, my massage therapist interrupted my reverie.

She said, “Do you know that your right leg is listing outward.”

“Nope, I had no idea really.” She was standing at my feet and gently adjusted my wayward right leg. “Now that you mention it . . . I notice what you are saying.” My left knee cap pointed straight toward the ceiling, but my right one was tilted outward.

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