Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Justice and the Meltdown

A wonderful reflection by Gordon MacDonald of Leadership Journal is available here.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Big Story

The good news in 3 minutes.

The Monkey and the Fish

From the book by Dave Gibbons . . . the opening parable on liquid leadership in a third culture church:

A typhoon stranded a monkey on an island. In a protected place on the shore, while waiting for the raging waters to recede, he spotted a fish swimming against the current. It seemed to the monkey that the fish was struggling and needed assistance. Being of kind heart, the monkey resolved to help the fish.

A tree leaned precaioursly over the spot where the fish seemed to be struggling. At considerable risk to himself, the monkey moved far out on a limb, reached down, and snatched the fish from the waters. Scurring back to the safety of his shelter, he carefully laid the fish on dry ground. For a few moments, the fish showed excitement but soon settled into a peaceful rest.

Friday, March 20, 2009


Started stamp collecting as a kid and picked up this beautiful commemorative piece at the local post office today.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


My favorite annual competition is in full swing. The Iditarod started last Sunday (after a ceremonial Saturday start) and the lead team (two time defending champ Lance Mackey) has crossed the state and reached the coast town of Unalakleet. From there, the trail follows the coast to Nome. It is brutal and beautiful. In the first week, Mackey estimated that he got only 12 hours of sleep. No wonder he fell asleep on the sled runners at one point, his dogs took a wrong turn, and he lost about 2 hours of time. (As dog sledding is less critical for distance transportation in Alaska, and as the old gold mining towns have become ghost towns, much of the old trail is used only once a year, or once every other year, for the Iditarod, which has two alternating routes.) I won't ramble, but if you care to get a peek at this grand event, check out the main Iditarod site and the Anchorage Daily News reporting. The pic is of one of the premier competitors showing up at the Kaltag checkpoint, coming off a 70 mile river run at 40 below.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Good Day

Saint Patrick . . . "Pi" Day . . . the Matthew 28 assessment process . . . the Iditarod race in full swing . . . Gotta love it!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Men's Lunch - Romans

From St. Augustine, on God's "invisible qualities" being "clearly seen" in what God has made:

I asked the whole fabric of the world about my God, and it answered me, "I am not he, but he has made me!" Is not this beauty apparent to all men whose senses are sound and whole? Why then does it not speak the same to all men? Men can ask questions, so that they may clearly see the invisible things of God, "being understood by the things that are made." However, through love for such things they become subject to them, and in subjection they cannot pass judgment on [exercise reason in regard to] them. (The Confessions, 10:6:9-10).

From an email by a friend:
What hurts the victim most is not the cruelty of the oppressor but the silence of the bystander. - Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate

A Prayer for Lent

Jesus said, "Take up your cross and follow me". Below, a prayer of Francis of Assisi:

O Lord Jesus Christ,
two graces I ask of you before I die:
the first, that in my lifetime I may feel,
as far as possible, both in my soul and body,
that pain which you, sweet Lord,
did endure in the hour of your most bitter Passion;
the second, that I may feel in my heart
as much as possible
that excess of love by which you, O Son of God,
were inflamed to suffer so cruel a Passion
for us sinners.

Contemporized from The Little Flowers of St. Francis

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Singing a New Song

From the original Indelible Grace album (the latest was the 5th project in the series), a collection of fresh music for old - and often no longer sung - hymns. I've got two of the CDs so far, and really enjoy the music and the lyrics. Sheet music and chord sheets are available free. One that is nurturing me right now:

Dear Refuge of My Weary Soul
©1998 Kevin Twit Music. Words: Anne Steele. Music: Kevin Twit.

1. Dear refuge of my weary soul,
On Thee, when sorrows rise
On Thee, when waves of trouble roll,
My fainting hope relies
To Thee I tell each rising grief,
For Thou alone canst heal
Thy Word can bring a sweet relief,
For every pain I feel

2. But oh! When gloomy doubts prevail,
I fear to call Thee mine
The springs of comfort seem to fail,
And all my hopes decline
Yet gracious God, where shall I flee?
Thou art my only trust
And still my soul would cleave to Thee
Though prostrate in the dust

3. Hast Thou not bid me seek Thy face,
And shall I seek in vain?
And can the ear of sovereign grace,
Be deaf when I complain?
No still the ear of sovereign grace,
Attends the mourner’s prayer
Oh may I ever find access,
To breathe my sorrows there

4. Thy mercy seat is open still,
Here let my soul retreat
With humble hope attend Thy will,
And wait beneath Thy feet,
Thy mercy seat is open still,
Here let my soul retreat
With humble hope attend Thy will,
And wait beneath Thy feet

Taking Advantage of the Weather

I find myself needing to be more and more deliberate about what I do that nourishes my soul - the Scriptures and prayer, worship and sacrament, spiritual reading, contemplation, exercise, fresh air (of any temperature), sunshine, elemental tasks. With the March-opening snow and the schools closed, we took the opportunity for a big cooking day and we did a turkey dinner. By Friday, with the warm weather, instead of waiting in the outer room and working feverishly during Caleb's guitar lesson, I read a short Scripture and took a twenty minute hike to and through the nearby park. Simple disciplines, but that is what Lent is about, the simple things that draw us nearer to God.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Summer Church Camps

A wonderful slate of church camps are planned for this year. The complete brochure is available online.

Upcoming Event, Lenten Cycle

In our cluster cycle of Sunday evening Lenten services, one extra-special night to lift up:

Trinity UMC Sponsors KAREN KNIGHT, Star of Sight and Sound Theatre, as she performs "Because of Me". Claudia, Wife of Pilate, struggles with the question of what she believes and who this man, Jesus, really is. In song and story, she finds herself drawn to a faith she never expected as she witnesses events that will change her life. This special event will be held Sunday, March 29th at 7:00 P.M. at Trinity, 241 E. King St., York, PA 17403. For information, please call (717) 854 -5795.