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Lent V

shining sun and skies azure
praying in time with my own beating heart
the smell of my daughter’s hair
remembering the rhythms of work
soup for dinner
pumping weights and running three miles
listening to the lament of crows
(opening notes. . . of a requiem . . . for grief)

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Lent III

“On practicing Our Faith” On practice. On practicing our faith. On practicing our faith with the Jesus story.
Where exactly are we in the Jesus story, right about now? Let’s try to locate ourselves on our journey through the Jesus story. The lectionary. You recall what that is: the list of scriptures that reaches out across the Christian landscape and leads us week by week and season by season through each church year. Each year we follow the Jesus story in the Gospel readings . . .

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Lent I

Lent should not ever really begin the way it did. But then tragedy does not seem to have a timetable. At least not one I like. My feelings are still too raw to blog about this now. And some of you who read this are raw as well. So I’ll stick with one of the prayers I prayed in the funeral today. It’s a prayer for children, and it followed a reading of Luke 18:15-17. Jesus Christ, we love our children. You love our children. You love us as your children. And so we bring you our children now . . .

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Epiphany IX

Embodied Practice: Three Crashes from the Past Week
I stood looking at my things for the Prayer and Pastoral Care class: papers, books, chime. I was missing my water and one book. My watch said I had about three minutes before it was time to start the class. Just enough time to run up to my office and back down to the classroom. I turned quickly to my left and headed for the door. Half way there: Crash.

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Epiphany VII

Laundry. It seems like a good night to write about something mundane. And besides I’m doing laundry while I write. Multi-tasking is such an unexamined part of life for most of us. We do the laundry, run the dishwasher. Back up the computer. All while we’re taking out the trash. Or we send three emails, write a blog, pay the bills and post on facebook, all in an hour on the computer. Does this way of life really accomplish more? Or is it just a sign of an overly-busy and distracted existence, endemic to the middling classes?

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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 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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