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Last night, I had the chance to chat with our minister.  Our church is hosting a series of dinners.  Come in because you are hungry.  Come in because you want to spend time with other people.  Whatever.  Food and fellowship are here and you are welcome.

I’m not sure how many people we had the first time we did this.  40?  45?

Needless to say, the organizers were disappointed. But these things take time to build momentum.  One of the things that we’re taught in the publishing world is that you need to make a positive impression about 4 times before you can expect someone to give you a chance.

Like it or not, we human beings can be a tad suspicious.  You seem to be offering me something but what’s your angle?  We’ve all been taken in by the high school friend who just wants to get together but just happens to have all of the paperwork for a prime investment opportunity in a briefcase.

So even doing good can be an uphill struggle.  And that’s okay.  Just make sure to wear comfortable shoes.




Creating change is tough.  All of us who are dissatisfied with the world or work or home know just how hard change is to bring about.

And it is especially difficult when you feel like you are the only sane person in the room.  The solution that I’ve found?  Just get to work.

Walk away from the group that is making disparaging comments about who made the mess.  Pick up a broom either literally or figuratively.  Be the solution.

It’s nice not to be the only sane one and sometimes you’ll discover you aren’t. There were one or two other overwhelmed people lurking in the corners.  When you get to work, someone else will pick up the dustpan.  Someone will fetch a damp cloth.

Or maybe you’ll have to tap one of the teens on the shoulder.  That’s what I did last Sunday.  She looked up, popped out her ear buds, and we had a genuine conversation.  And the best part?  I’ve recruited a new young ally.

You don’t have to wait.  If you work for a time alone, that’s okay.



Being the last rat off the sinking ship
because it will give the other rats a chance to swim,
or because the ship, to its last gasp, is dear to you.
Not following the crowd, especially when the crowd
is wandering aimlessly and without a working compass,
moral or otherwise. Being a good Samaritan
when Samaritans are in short supply.
Choosing the careful answer when the witty one
is easier and could earn you a seat with the cool kids.
Praying not for things but for things to be as God wills them,
especially when you want something very bad or badly.
To listen without speaking, to accept without
exception, to create when others destroy.
Blessing the last word when it is not yours
and blessing the mouth you wish had not spoken
in language you wish you could unhear.
Appreciating puce, the ugliest of colors,
simply for being different.
Singing, loudly and often.
Hugging for no reason.
Saying yes, of course,
and no as needed.
Flying in dreams.


Have a Mary Little Christmas

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