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Yesterday, today and tomorrow, our city celebrates their annual May festival. Last year, our church participated for the first time in the parade.  We’re doing it again this year and instead of decorating a car we are decorating a float.

Simply put, this is an exercise in try, try again. Something is too long, covering the door that needs to open.  The tape won’t stick to something else.  And that?  It just isn’t high enough.

Trouble shooting and multiple attempts accompany almost every step in the process.  Fortunately, when you’re working with others, you can laugh and get back to it.  Which is a good thing because the next thing you try?  That too may take multiple attempts even when you are using the gifts God gave you.





Ready or not, here Easter comes.  I understand the feeling that Lori shared.  I feel like I’m tumbling into Easter which is, apparently, in three days.  You know how it goes – you know it is just around the corner but three days?  That little reality hit me yesterday as I listened to the preacher speak at a friend’s funeral service.

He was one of those people who was a champion at building something out of the stones that life through his way. He had to be.  The 9th of 10 children, he was 2 when his father died during the Great Depression.  It would have been easy to grow up a child of sorrow but that wasn’t Roy’s way.  When my son didn’t get the college scholarship he needed to attend his school of choice, Roy heard him out.

“So you’ll take this other one for two years and its a full scholarship?  Sounds like a good deal.” Roy wasn’t going to let him focus on the down side.

Things seldom go the way we plan.  People are seldom as cooperative and sunny as we would like.  We can mourn the reality of this or we can take what we have and build something new.

The life of a carpenter or even a rabbi would have been easier, but Christ walked towards the passion knowing his suffering would bring grace for those of us who could never achieve it on our own.



One of my all time favorite Billy Graham quotes.



Hope.  It isn’t something you have, use and never need again.  Why?  Because so many of the things that require hope are not quickly achieved.

But how much better to think of it all as an adventure vs an ordeal.  Have an adventure.  Have a forward journey.  Definitely a better way to go.

So – have hope!


Love is a powerful force.  But for it to work fully we need to look beyond ourselves and see.  We have to stop announcing what we think and listen. When need to put aside our offense and feel.

And then?

Most important of all, we need to do.


By nature, I’m a “prepare for the worst, hope for the best” kind of person.  On a good day, I manage to believe peace is possible.  Here’s hoping and praying for a good day…



Have you ever noticed how one negative post on Facebook or a negative comment on a blog post is followed by a flurry of such activity?  Negative attracts negative.  It almost seems to spread like a virus.

In truth, I think that part of the problem is what we see.  When we see something bad, we think about it.  “Oh, I wish people weren’t so . . . negative/hateful/stupid.”  Then we observe more of the same.

I recently saw a psychologist speak and he discussed how when someone goes to med school, they rather obviously study a series of ailments.  But they also tend to get so wrapped up in that ailment that they see it everywhere including in themselves.  He encouraged his listeners to spend sometime focusing each day on things that went well, on what they accomplished, and on what made them happy.  Think about what is positive, he contended, and you would see more of it.

Personally, I think God has observed this in us.  That’s why he tells us to avoid bad situations and bad people and focus on the good.  On what is excellent and praiseworthy.

Why not give it a try for a few days?  At the end of each day, or the beginning of a new day, write down something that you really liked in the last 24 hours.  It may be a bit of a struggle at first, but if you try it I suspect you are going to start seeing more positive things and people in the world around you.

Dwell on these things.


Sitting on my bedside table is a copy of Waking Up White by Debby Irving.  If you haven’t read it, Waking Up White is a memoir about race in which Irving discusses her own early misconceptions and how she eventually woke up.  As I was reading last night, it brought to mind the above quote from Lewis.

Race is a tricky thing.  It can take a long time to realize this if you’re white because you may not realize that your own race is baseline normal.  This means that anyone who isn’t white, or white enough, is abnormal. I can’t think of anyone who isn’t white who fails to understand this most likely because it is daily reality.

But if you’re white?  You can stumble along oblivious.

That almost makes it sound like I think races are separate and isolated but they aren’t.  How we see race is a function of different peoples bumping up against each other just like the rooms in a house.  Most houses have multiple rooms – kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms.  Together they make a building a house. Our racial issues are not the problems of black people, Asians or First Nations.  They took all of us, white people included, to come into being.

If you haven’t read Waking Up White, I recommend it.  I’m sure some of you have already come fully awake but if you have the book also contains talking points to help initiate discussions.




There is so much noise in society today.  People telling you to buy.  Music and sound bites.  It can be hard to keep track of the small voice of God and the inner voice that urges us on.  That’s why, at least for me, quiet it vital.  Spend some time listening today.


Have a Mary Little Christmas

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