When I look around the office, I am surrounded by a "great cloud of witnesses" as the writer of Hebrews describes it. A picture of one who died long ago. An angel colored by a member who died more recently. A gift from a pastor that just received a new call, and an embroidery from my mother-in-law, now in memory care. A picture of one of the first classes I confirmed. Within a year, one student had been murdered. A picture from my ordination – 20 years ago as of October
I have told many people over the years that grief is unpredictable, that grief comes and goes like the tide. And now I am living it again. And the littlest thing, the seemingly most insignificant thing can lead me to tears. A note to encourage me after a puppy love ended. A picture. A frog that winks at me. The picture of me walking down the wedding aisle. May we give ourselves room and permission to grieve. May we be kind to ourselves and not judge. And may we know,
Have you ever noticed that when it is cold, when wind whips around us and snow piles up, that you can hear people complain about the weather? But when it is warm and clear, when a pool or lake beckons, when snowflakes are but a memory, people complain? Yes, there are allergies and medical conditions that are a challenge depending on the season. But I wonder. I wonder if there are just people who get their energy from complaining? What if we looked at a new day as a gift?
Did you know? Did you know that wearing a mask in public is a way to show others you care during a pandemic? It protects them. Did you know that COVID-19 is still with us?
Some states that opened early, are seeing spikes worse than April. As society opens up, it is not a sign that scientists found a cure or vaccine, it means there is now room for me in the hospital if I get it. Did you ever stop and think – God did not create one person, God created two. God created u
On hot, sticky, humid, summer nights in Charleston, SC, when it was my week to stay with my grandparents, my grandmother did all she could (before air conditioning) to keep me comfortable enough to sleep. She partially froze an old-fashioned rubber hot water bottle, and I slept with it like a teddy bear. Then she turned on the box fan and tucked me in. The office at St. James has a box fan. We turn it on to direct the air-conditioning into the side offices. While I have
My family has a long tradition of celebrating Christmas in July – you see, 4 of us are pastors. And, well, it has always been a bit tough to get time off for Christmas! We used to all bring gifts for the children. And the adults would draw a name and bring a gift for their designated person. Over the years we have enjoyed a miniature tree, a Ficus decorated with Christmas lights, a grilled turkey and battery powered snoring Santa! The first two babies in the group are pa
You know you are stressed when: · You eat miniature cupcakes like Tic-Tacs. · You cry for no apparent reason. · You cannot sleep. · A phone call makes you jump. · A smile evaporates 15 minutes after a joyful event. · You doubt what you have always known. YOU fill in the blank! The good news is, God's love for you remains constant! And as I have shared before, if you can benefit from an impartial listener, don't hesitate to call the Mental Health Hotline: Monday – Fri
I have heard folks say, "I sure will be glad when things get back to normal. "Others have said, "I wonder what the new-normal will look like?" Normal can refer to what one expects, what is familiar or even what one wishes for. According to Webster's, "normal" means: conforming, adhering to or constituting a typical or usual standard, pattern, level or type. So for most, a "normal" worship service would take place in the sanctuary with a choir singing. And yet a different
I don't know about you, but ever since March, it has been hard to keep up with what day it is! When we first received "stay-at-home orders," I covered our calendar with a family picture. Sounds odd, maybe, but it was a bummer looking at a calendar with every single meeting and event crossed out. I turned the calendar to April, then to May, then to June – each time rehanging the family picture. The calendar will be uncovered – and I wonder, how many things will we be able