Thanks: November 2002

Sometimes the prayers of the people bump to a halt at the moment of offering thanks. It feels like running on stairs and expecting one more step: a moment's stumbling pause as we adjust to the flatland.
Perhaps the gasp of silence comes because our forward momentum is so driven by making things better, by keeping a constant eye on what needs improvement, what is lacking. To reorient towards what we already have is a major shift in perspective.

An Odd Mix: January 2003

The people who receive this newsletter are an odd mix: Family and friends who have known me for ages, folk from church and family camp, customers and people who have taken classes at The Word Shop, people I've connected with through the "In the Spirit" column, Toastmasters, staff and those who contacted me via our website.

Hanging In: March 2003

The thief comes to mind. The one crucified next to Jesus who said, "Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom." It's an essentially selfish prayer; a prayer by someone still looking out for number one. Not exactly a great moment of faith. What other options did he have? End of the line. Throw your dice here. What have you got to lose?
So also I, in the midst of trials great and small, look to the Lord for the kingdom yet to come. "Remember me," I say, "when the tides turn."

Coming Together: April 2003

On Palm Sunday we move with breathless speed from shouting "Hosanna" and waving triumphant branches to yelling "crucify him" through contorted lips. It is a reminder of the fickle nature of public opinion; that yesterday's hero can become tomorrow's victim, that we change our minds with the ruthless ease that comes of long practice.

Family Foibles: May 2003

It was a tough two days. I tried to navigate around the hot, inner point of fury; lest it boil over and scald those I most love. I actually remembered to pray once or twice, and aimed for the images that floated in unbidden. Not that I wanted to go there. Not that I was able to make a blind leap of faith or muster up some form of heroic obedience.

Handing on the kingdom: August 2003

From the outset forgiveness of sin was a primary gift of grace; not the mere shrug of "that's OK--who cares," but rather a dynamic "go and sin no more" that delivers release from shame and freedom from the snares of destructive patterns. Testimonies from the New Testament onward continually tell stories of lives changed, of freedom from bondage, of hearts set free.

Blocked: September 2003

A number of years ago, when I began to suspect that some of my problems with the pastor were wrapped around his secret homosexual identity, a friend suggested I read Leanne Payne's books. My friend had turned from a lesbian orientation, joined YWAM and pointed to THE BROKEN IMAGE, and CRISIS IN MASCULINITY as books that had aided her healing. A year or two later Payne's THE HEALING PRESENCE came out; the best book I read all that year.

Cacti: December 2003

I sat in the healing service feeling prickly: easily offended, old wounds ready to flare at any minute. Desert imagery came forth. I realized that being a prickly cactus is a good thing if you live in the desert. Then I thought of the Christmas cactus in my bedroom. Most of the time it doesn't look like much. A bunch of straggly green arms. Easily ignored. Then in the late fall, red drops appear at the end each branch. You blink and suddenly BOWANZA: red and white froth shoots forth; flames blossoming at the ends of green waving arms. It is, to be frank, slightly ridiculous.

One Book: December 2010

That is a good book which is opened with expectation, and closed with delight and profit. - Amos Bronson Alcott

...not to even mention what happens along the way:

I am halfway through Mink River by Brian Doyle of Leap and Leaping, the two jumpings of which I have carried on about sufficiently in previous newsletters (archived at ). This being the time of year that people revel in making lists, I hereby give you a Mink River list: