Who are you…and why do you do it?

That question...I've written about it before.  And again, before.  And I most assuredly write about it again. Truly, it is a theme through most of what I (well, not just me) do...this idea of our identity, as people of faith, as people who live an incarnated existence, as followers of Jesus.  It is a question to which I do not expect to find an answer that endures for long; the answer has always been, for me, a moving target, often changing slightly with each breath that I take. So, obviously, when I hear the words of John 1:19-28, well, I just cannot help but consider the question again.  Where do…
Read More

Giant fish and soldiers…oh my!

I see at least ten stories a week like this – the “just discovered at…” kind of archaeological announcement. I fell in love with the lure of the ancient long ago, starting my academic career as a history major and ending it with a degree in Middle Eastern Studies. This story was different, though. There, on my screen, was an image made of tiny little pieces of beautiful glass, an image like I had never seen before, with a headline that shouted “Earliest Mosaic of Jonah and the Whale Found in Galilee Synagogue (The Times of Israel, July 7, 2017). This is my kind of click-bait. And so I read…
Read More

A confessing pilgrim…

'Tis the season for confession, at least if you observe the traditional church calendar and the season of Lent.  Some churches, like the Baptist church that I used to attend, only confess during the season of Lent.  I always felt that there was something missing from the service without that confession -- it seemed such an essential part of worship. Now, however, along my pilgrim's road, I have stopped awhile and worshiped with the community at St. Mark's Episcopal Church here on Capitol Hill.  I welcome the chance to confess in community each week, but I am particularly moved by the words of confession that they have included in the…
Read More

Deep roots and remembrance

Okay, I'll admit it.  I have an obsession with trees.  Wherever I go, I seek out the "local" tree -- that indigenous expression of what it takes to survive and thrive and have long life in that particular little piece of the planet.  I have countless pictures of giant sequoias, and yellow oak trees, and weeping willows, and red maples, and...well, you get the idea. I've just returned from a quick trip to Albuquerque, NM, and I had a chance to take some great pictures of cotton wood trees as I walked along the Paseo del Bosque, part of Albuquerque's great Open Space system.  Truth be told, I was surprised…
Read More

A life (and death) with grace

Grace.  We all want more of it, don't we?  We all want people to think of us as a person with grace of all kinds -- grace of movement, grace of spirit, and grace of living.  I have been luckier than most -- because for the last 10 years, I have had Grace living in my house, teaching me daily all the possible lessons that you might think about when you think of living with grace (and living with Grace). As I write this, we are walking through the final days of our little Grace's life.  And by the time I make this public so that you can read it…
Read More

Beyond my own walls…

It's Friday.  It's been another tough week in the world.  And I am sitting here, in a dorm room at Kenyon College in Gambier, OH, getting ready to head out into the last day of an amazing conference for writers of all things spiritual, the Beyond Walls conference of the Kenyon Institute. The oddest thing happened at the beginning of the week was that people asked me, over and over again, a question that I had not considered at all myself -- why are you here?  It may not seem an odd question to you, but I had not thought about that question with the intensity with which it was asked…
Read More

Goodbye woods and water…

Take a deep breath, I tell myself.  Breathe in, the scent of those Jeffrey pines is the smell of this place.  Listen to the sharp song of those stellar jays as they hop everywhere; remember their unusual blue coloring.  Listen, look, feel -- remember it all, because you do not know when or if you will ever return.  You see,  I have a long day of anonymous travel ahead of me, but first, I have a couple of hours to sit and savor the peace and quiet of this forest on the beautiful blue lake in the Sierras before I  join the moving masses driving west and south on I-80…
Read More

Unexpected roses

We've had a wet month here in the mid-Atlantic region -- and today, in true form, it is almost 90 degrees.  So much for spring.  The lack of any kind of semi-normal seasonal transition time has made getting the garden cleaned and ready for summer quite a challenge.  There have been a number of days when I have weeded in a downpour and raced to pick up necessities at the garden store in between heavy showers. Hence, there has been little time to reflect and there has been no "this is spring, here is my garden metaphor of the year" post.  Today, however, is your lucky day (or not, depending…
Read More

Baptism by bubbles…

Water. Warm marble.  More water.  Bubbles...lots of bubbles.  And laughter.  Lots of laughter.  That was my Easter worship this year -- a most amazing remembrance of my own baptism.  I have,in fact, never been so clean.  Easter day began in a hamami in Istanbul. I have for many years been a member of an institutional church of some kind, and so involved in that community that I would never have dreamed of missing Easter worship.  Right now, though, everything is different, This year, I was travelling -- this year, I was cruising through the Aegean and the Adriatic, bringing closure to a three year journey of healing.   But as is so often the…
Read More

Who are you…and why do you do it?

That question...I've written about it before.  And again, before.  And I most assuredly write about it again. Truly, it is a theme through most of what I (well, not just me) do...this idea of our identity, as people of faith, as people who live an incarnated existence, as followers of Jesus.  It is a question to which I do not expect to find an answer that endures for long; the answer has always been, for me, a moving target, often changing slightly with each breath that I take. So, obviously, when I hear the words of John 1:19-28, well, I just cannot help but consider the question again.  Where do…
Read More

Giant fish and soldiers…oh my!

I see at least ten stories a week like this – the “just discovered at…” kind of archaeological announcement. I fell in love with the lure of the ancient long ago, starting my academic career as a history major and ending it with a degree in Middle Eastern Studies. This story was different, though. There, on my screen, was an image made of tiny little pieces of beautiful glass, an image like I had never seen before, with a headline that shouted “Earliest Mosaic of Jonah and the Whale Found in Galilee Synagogue (The Times of Israel, July 7, 2017). This is my kind of click-bait. And so I read…
Read More

A confessing pilgrim…

'Tis the season for confession, at least if you observe the traditional church calendar and the season of Lent.  Some churches, like the Baptist church that I used to attend, only confess during the season of Lent.  I always felt that there was something missing from the service without that confession -- it seemed such an essential part of worship. Now, however, along my pilgrim's road, I have stopped awhile and worshiped with the community at St. Mark's Episcopal Church here on Capitol Hill.  I welcome the chance to confess in community each week, but I am particularly moved by the words of confession that they have included in the…
Read More

Deep roots and remembrance

Okay, I'll admit it.  I have an obsession with trees.  Wherever I go, I seek out the "local" tree -- that indigenous expression of what it takes to survive and thrive and have long life in that particular little piece of the planet.  I have countless pictures of giant sequoias, and yellow oak trees, and weeping willows, and red maples, and...well, you get the idea. I've just returned from a quick trip to Albuquerque, NM, and I had a chance to take some great pictures of cotton wood trees as I walked along the Paseo del Bosque, part of Albuquerque's great Open Space system.  Truth be told, I was surprised…
Read More

A life (and death) with grace

Grace.  We all want more of it, don't we?  We all want people to think of us as a person with grace of all kinds -- grace of movement, grace of spirit, and grace of living.  I have been luckier than most -- because for the last 10 years, I have had Grace living in my house, teaching me daily all the possible lessons that you might think about when you think of living with grace (and living with Grace). As I write this, we are walking through the final days of our little Grace's life.  And by the time I make this public so that you can read it…
Read More

Beyond my own walls…

It's Friday.  It's been another tough week in the world.  And I am sitting here, in a dorm room at Kenyon College in Gambier, OH, getting ready to head out into the last day of an amazing conference for writers of all things spiritual, the Beyond Walls conference of the Kenyon Institute. The oddest thing happened at the beginning of the week was that people asked me, over and over again, a question that I had not considered at all myself -- why are you here?  It may not seem an odd question to you, but I had not thought about that question with the intensity with which it was asked…
Read More

Goodbye woods and water…

Take a deep breath, I tell myself.  Breathe in, the scent of those Jeffrey pines is the smell of this place.  Listen to the sharp song of those stellar jays as they hop everywhere; remember their unusual blue coloring.  Listen, look, feel -- remember it all, because you do not know when or if you will ever return.  You see,  I have a long day of anonymous travel ahead of me, but first, I have a couple of hours to sit and savor the peace and quiet of this forest on the beautiful blue lake in the Sierras before I  join the moving masses driving west and south on I-80…
Read More

Unexpected roses

We've had a wet month here in the mid-Atlantic region -- and today, in true form, it is almost 90 degrees.  So much for spring.  The lack of any kind of semi-normal seasonal transition time has made getting the garden cleaned and ready for summer quite a challenge.  There have been a number of days when I have weeded in a downpour and raced to pick up necessities at the garden store in between heavy showers. Hence, there has been little time to reflect and there has been no "this is spring, here is my garden metaphor of the year" post.  Today, however, is your lucky day (or not, depending…
Read More

Baptism by bubbles…

Water. Warm marble.  More water.  Bubbles...lots of bubbles.  And laughter.  Lots of laughter.  That was my Easter worship this year -- a most amazing remembrance of my own baptism.  I have,in fact, never been so clean.  Easter day began in a hamami in Istanbul. I have for many years been a member of an institutional church of some kind, and so involved in that community that I would never have dreamed of missing Easter worship.  Right now, though, everything is different, This year, I was travelling -- this year, I was cruising through the Aegean and the Adriatic, bringing closure to a three year journey of healing.   But as is so often the…
Read More

Who are you…and why do you do it?

That question...I've written about it before.  And again, before.  And I most assuredly write about it again. Truly, it is a theme through most of what I (well, not just me) do...this idea of our identity, as people of faith, as people who live an incarnated existence, as followers of Jesus.  It is a question to which I do not expect to find an answer that endures for long; the answer has always been, for me, a moving target, often changing slightly with each breath that I take. So, obviously, when I hear the words of John 1:19-28, well, I just cannot help but consider the question again.  Where do…
Read More

Giant fish and soldiers…oh my!

I see at least ten stories a week like this – the “just discovered at…” kind of archaeological announcement. I fell in love with the lure of the ancient long ago, starting my academic career as a history major and ending it with a degree in Middle Eastern Studies. This story was different, though. There, on my screen, was an image made of tiny little pieces of beautiful glass, an image like I had never seen before, with a headline that shouted “Earliest Mosaic of Jonah and the Whale Found in Galilee Synagogue (The Times of Israel, July 7, 2017). This is my kind of click-bait. And so I read…
Read More

A confessing pilgrim…

'Tis the season for confession, at least if you observe the traditional church calendar and the season of Lent.  Some churches, like the Baptist church that I used to attend, only confess during the season of Lent.  I always felt that there was something missing from the service without that confession -- it seemed such an essential part of worship. Now, however, along my pilgrim's road, I have stopped awhile and worshiped with the community at St. Mark's Episcopal Church here on Capitol Hill.  I welcome the chance to confess in community each week, but I am particularly moved by the words of confession that they have included in the…
Read More

Deep roots and remembrance

Okay, I'll admit it.  I have an obsession with trees.  Wherever I go, I seek out the "local" tree -- that indigenous expression of what it takes to survive and thrive and have long life in that particular little piece of the planet.  I have countless pictures of giant sequoias, and yellow oak trees, and weeping willows, and red maples, and...well, you get the idea. I've just returned from a quick trip to Albuquerque, NM, and I had a chance to take some great pictures of cotton wood trees as I walked along the Paseo del Bosque, part of Albuquerque's great Open Space system.  Truth be told, I was surprised…
Read More

A life (and death) with grace

Grace.  We all want more of it, don't we?  We all want people to think of us as a person with grace of all kinds -- grace of movement, grace of spirit, and grace of living.  I have been luckier than most -- because for the last 10 years, I have had Grace living in my house, teaching me daily all the possible lessons that you might think about when you think of living with grace (and living with Grace). As I write this, we are walking through the final days of our little Grace's life.  And by the time I make this public so that you can read it…
Read More

Beyond my own walls…

It's Friday.  It's been another tough week in the world.  And I am sitting here, in a dorm room at Kenyon College in Gambier, OH, getting ready to head out into the last day of an amazing conference for writers of all things spiritual, the Beyond Walls conference of the Kenyon Institute. The oddest thing happened at the beginning of the week was that people asked me, over and over again, a question that I had not considered at all myself -- why are you here?  It may not seem an odd question to you, but I had not thought about that question with the intensity with which it was asked…
Read More

Goodbye woods and water…

Take a deep breath, I tell myself.  Breathe in, the scent of those Jeffrey pines is the smell of this place.  Listen to the sharp song of those stellar jays as they hop everywhere; remember their unusual blue coloring.  Listen, look, feel -- remember it all, because you do not know when or if you will ever return.  You see,  I have a long day of anonymous travel ahead of me, but first, I have a couple of hours to sit and savor the peace and quiet of this forest on the beautiful blue lake in the Sierras before I  join the moving masses driving west and south on I-80…
Read More

Unexpected roses

We've had a wet month here in the mid-Atlantic region -- and today, in true form, it is almost 90 degrees.  So much for spring.  The lack of any kind of semi-normal seasonal transition time has made getting the garden cleaned and ready for summer quite a challenge.  There have been a number of days when I have weeded in a downpour and raced to pick up necessities at the garden store in between heavy showers. Hence, there has been little time to reflect and there has been no "this is spring, here is my garden metaphor of the year" post.  Today, however, is your lucky day (or not, depending…
Read More

Baptism by bubbles…

Water. Warm marble.  More water.  Bubbles...lots of bubbles.  And laughter.  Lots of laughter.  That was my Easter worship this year -- a most amazing remembrance of my own baptism.  I have,in fact, never been so clean.  Easter day began in a hamami in Istanbul. I have for many years been a member of an institutional church of some kind, and so involved in that community that I would never have dreamed of missing Easter worship.  Right now, though, everything is different, This year, I was travelling -- this year, I was cruising through the Aegean and the Adriatic, bringing closure to a three year journey of healing.   But as is so often the…
Read More

Who are you…and why do you do it?

That question...I've written about it before.  And again, before.  And I most assuredly write about it again. Truly, it is a theme through most of what I (well, not just me) do...this idea of our identity, as people of faith, as people who live an incarnated existence, as followers of Jesus.  It is a question to which I do not expect to find an answer that endures for long; the answer has always been, for me, a moving target, often changing slightly with each breath that I take. So, obviously, when I hear the words of John 1:19-28, well, I just cannot help but consider the question again.  Where do…
Read More

Giant fish and soldiers…oh my!

I see at least ten stories a week like this – the “just discovered at…” kind of archaeological announcement. I fell in love with the lure of the ancient long ago, starting my academic career as a history major and ending it with a degree in Middle Eastern Studies. This story was different, though. There, on my screen, was an image made of tiny little pieces of beautiful glass, an image like I had never seen before, with a headline that shouted “Earliest Mosaic of Jonah and the Whale Found in Galilee Synagogue (The Times of Israel, July 7, 2017). This is my kind of click-bait. And so I read…
Read More

A confessing pilgrim…

'Tis the season for confession, at least if you observe the traditional church calendar and the season of Lent.  Some churches, like the Baptist church that I used to attend, only confess during the season of Lent.  I always felt that there was something missing from the service without that confession -- it seemed such an essential part of worship. Now, however, along my pilgrim's road, I have stopped awhile and worshiped with the community at St. Mark's Episcopal Church here on Capitol Hill.  I welcome the chance to confess in community each week, but I am particularly moved by the words of confession that they have included in the…
Read More

Deep roots and remembrance

Okay, I'll admit it.  I have an obsession with trees.  Wherever I go, I seek out the "local" tree -- that indigenous expression of what it takes to survive and thrive and have long life in that particular little piece of the planet.  I have countless pictures of giant sequoias, and yellow oak trees, and weeping willows, and red maples, and...well, you get the idea. I've just returned from a quick trip to Albuquerque, NM, and I had a chance to take some great pictures of cotton wood trees as I walked along the Paseo del Bosque, part of Albuquerque's great Open Space system.  Truth be told, I was surprised…
Read More

A life (and death) with grace

Grace.  We all want more of it, don't we?  We all want people to think of us as a person with grace of all kinds -- grace of movement, grace of spirit, and grace of living.  I have been luckier than most -- because for the last 10 years, I have had Grace living in my house, teaching me daily all the possible lessons that you might think about when you think of living with grace (and living with Grace). As I write this, we are walking through the final days of our little Grace's life.  And by the time I make this public so that you can read it…
Read More

Beyond my own walls…

It's Friday.  It's been another tough week in the world.  And I am sitting here, in a dorm room at Kenyon College in Gambier, OH, getting ready to head out into the last day of an amazing conference for writers of all things spiritual, the Beyond Walls conference of the Kenyon Institute. The oddest thing happened at the beginning of the week was that people asked me, over and over again, a question that I had not considered at all myself -- why are you here?  It may not seem an odd question to you, but I had not thought about that question with the intensity with which it was asked…
Read More

Goodbye woods and water…

Take a deep breath, I tell myself.  Breathe in, the scent of those Jeffrey pines is the smell of this place.  Listen to the sharp song of those stellar jays as they hop everywhere; remember their unusual blue coloring.  Listen, look, feel -- remember it all, because you do not know when or if you will ever return.  You see,  I have a long day of anonymous travel ahead of me, but first, I have a couple of hours to sit and savor the peace and quiet of this forest on the beautiful blue lake in the Sierras before I  join the moving masses driving west and south on I-80…
Read More

Unexpected roses

We've had a wet month here in the mid-Atlantic region -- and today, in true form, it is almost 90 degrees.  So much for spring.  The lack of any kind of semi-normal seasonal transition time has made getting the garden cleaned and ready for summer quite a challenge.  There have been a number of days when I have weeded in a downpour and raced to pick up necessities at the garden store in between heavy showers. Hence, there has been little time to reflect and there has been no "this is spring, here is my garden metaphor of the year" post.  Today, however, is your lucky day (or not, depending…
Read More

Baptism by bubbles…

Water. Warm marble.  More water.  Bubbles...lots of bubbles.  And laughter.  Lots of laughter.  That was my Easter worship this year -- a most amazing remembrance of my own baptism.  I have,in fact, never been so clean.  Easter day began in a hamami in Istanbul. I have for many years been a member of an institutional church of some kind, and so involved in that community that I would never have dreamed of missing Easter worship.  Right now, though, everything is different, This year, I was travelling -- this year, I was cruising through the Aegean and the Adriatic, bringing closure to a three year journey of healing.   But as is so often the…
Read More

Who are you…and why do you do it?

That question...I've written about it before.  And again, before.  And I most assuredly write about it again. Truly, it is a theme through most of what I (well, not just me) do...this idea of our identity, as people of faith, as people who live an incarnated existence, as followers of Jesus.  It is a question to which I do not expect to find an answer that endures for long; the answer has always been, for me, a moving target, often changing slightly with each breath that I take. So, obviously, when I hear the words of John 1:19-28, well, I just cannot help but consider the question again.  Where do…
Read More

Giant fish and soldiers…oh my!

I see at least ten stories a week like this – the “just discovered at…” kind of archaeological announcement. I fell in love with the lure of the ancient long ago, starting my academic career as a history major and ending it with a degree in Middle Eastern Studies. This story was different, though. There, on my screen, was an image made of tiny little pieces of beautiful glass, an image like I had never seen before, with a headline that shouted “Earliest Mosaic of Jonah and the Whale Found in Galilee Synagogue (The Times of Israel, July 7, 2017). This is my kind of click-bait. And so I read…
Read More

A confessing pilgrim…

'Tis the season for confession, at least if you observe the traditional church calendar and the season of Lent.  Some churches, like the Baptist church that I used to attend, only confess during the season of Lent.  I always felt that there was something missing from the service without that confession -- it seemed such an essential part of worship. Now, however, along my pilgrim's road, I have stopped awhile and worshiped with the community at St. Mark's Episcopal Church here on Capitol Hill.  I welcome the chance to confess in community each week, but I am particularly moved by the words of confession that they have included in the…
Read More

Deep roots and remembrance

Okay, I'll admit it.  I have an obsession with trees.  Wherever I go, I seek out the "local" tree -- that indigenous expression of what it takes to survive and thrive and have long life in that particular little piece of the planet.  I have countless pictures of giant sequoias, and yellow oak trees, and weeping willows, and red maples, and...well, you get the idea. I've just returned from a quick trip to Albuquerque, NM, and I had a chance to take some great pictures of cotton wood trees as I walked along the Paseo del Bosque, part of Albuquerque's great Open Space system.  Truth be told, I was surprised…
Read More

A life (and death) with grace

Grace.  We all want more of it, don't we?  We all want people to think of us as a person with grace of all kinds -- grace of movement, grace of spirit, and grace of living.  I have been luckier than most -- because for the last 10 years, I have had Grace living in my house, teaching me daily all the possible lessons that you might think about when you think of living with grace (and living with Grace). As I write this, we are walking through the final days of our little Grace's life.  And by the time I make this public so that you can read it…
Read More

Beyond my own walls…

It's Friday.  It's been another tough week in the world.  And I am sitting here, in a dorm room at Kenyon College in Gambier, OH, getting ready to head out into the last day of an amazing conference for writers of all things spiritual, the Beyond Walls conference of the Kenyon Institute. The oddest thing happened at the beginning of the week was that people asked me, over and over again, a question that I had not considered at all myself -- why are you here?  It may not seem an odd question to you, but I had not thought about that question with the intensity with which it was asked…
Read More

Goodbye woods and water…

Take a deep breath, I tell myself.  Breathe in, the scent of those Jeffrey pines is the smell of this place.  Listen to the sharp song of those stellar jays as they hop everywhere; remember their unusual blue coloring.  Listen, look, feel -- remember it all, because you do not know when or if you will ever return.  You see,  I have a long day of anonymous travel ahead of me, but first, I have a couple of hours to sit and savor the peace and quiet of this forest on the beautiful blue lake in the Sierras before I  join the moving masses driving west and south on I-80…
Read More

Unexpected roses

We've had a wet month here in the mid-Atlantic region -- and today, in true form, it is almost 90 degrees.  So much for spring.  The lack of any kind of semi-normal seasonal transition time has made getting the garden cleaned and ready for summer quite a challenge.  There have been a number of days when I have weeded in a downpour and raced to pick up necessities at the garden store in between heavy showers. Hence, there has been little time to reflect and there has been no "this is spring, here is my garden metaphor of the year" post.  Today, however, is your lucky day (or not, depending…
Read More

Baptism by bubbles…

Water. Warm marble.  More water.  Bubbles...lots of bubbles.  And laughter.  Lots of laughter.  That was my Easter worship this year -- a most amazing remembrance of my own baptism.  I have,in fact, never been so clean.  Easter day began in a hamami in Istanbul. I have for many years been a member of an institutional church of some kind, and so involved in that community that I would never have dreamed of missing Easter worship.  Right now, though, everything is different, This year, I was travelling -- this year, I was cruising through the Aegean and the Adriatic, bringing closure to a three year journey of healing.   But as is so often the…
Read More

Who are you…and why do you do it?

That question...I've written about it before.  And again, before.  And I most assuredly write about it again. Truly, it is a theme through most of what I (well, not just me) do...this idea of our identity, as people of faith, as people who live an incarnated existence, as followers of Jesus.  It is a question to which I do not expect to find an answer that endures for long; the answer has always been, for me, a moving target, often changing slightly with each breath that I take. So, obviously, when I hear the words of John 1:19-28, well, I just cannot help but consider the question again.  Where do…
Read More

Giant fish and soldiers…oh my!

I see at least ten stories a week like this – the “just discovered at…” kind of archaeological announcement. I fell in love with the lure of the ancient long ago, starting my academic career as a history major and ending it with a degree in Middle Eastern Studies. This story was different, though. There, on my screen, was an image made of tiny little pieces of beautiful glass, an image like I had never seen before, with a headline that shouted “Earliest Mosaic of Jonah and the Whale Found in Galilee Synagogue (The Times of Israel, July 7, 2017). This is my kind of click-bait. And so I read…
Read More

A confessing pilgrim…

'Tis the season for confession, at least if you observe the traditional church calendar and the season of Lent.  Some churches, like the Baptist church that I used to attend, only confess during the season of Lent.  I always felt that there was something missing from the service without that confession -- it seemed such an essential part of worship. Now, however, along my pilgrim's road, I have stopped awhile and worshiped with the community at St. Mark's Episcopal Church here on Capitol Hill.  I welcome the chance to confess in community each week, but I am particularly moved by the words of confession that they have included in the…
Read More

Deep roots and remembrance

Okay, I'll admit it.  I have an obsession with trees.  Wherever I go, I seek out the "local" tree -- that indigenous expression of what it takes to survive and thrive and have long life in that particular little piece of the planet.  I have countless pictures of giant sequoias, and yellow oak trees, and weeping willows, and red maples, and...well, you get the idea. I've just returned from a quick trip to Albuquerque, NM, and I had a chance to take some great pictures of cotton wood trees as I walked along the Paseo del Bosque, part of Albuquerque's great Open Space system.  Truth be told, I was surprised…
Read More

A life (and death) with grace

Grace.  We all want more of it, don't we?  We all want people to think of us as a person with grace of all kinds -- grace of movement, grace of spirit, and grace of living.  I have been luckier than most -- because for the last 10 years, I have had Grace living in my house, teaching me daily all the possible lessons that you might think about when you think of living with grace (and living with Grace). As I write this, we are walking through the final days of our little Grace's life.  And by the time I make this public so that you can read it…
Read More

Beyond my own walls…

It's Friday.  It's been another tough week in the world.  And I am sitting here, in a dorm room at Kenyon College in Gambier, OH, getting ready to head out into the last day of an amazing conference for writers of all things spiritual, the Beyond Walls conference of the Kenyon Institute. The oddest thing happened at the beginning of the week was that people asked me, over and over again, a question that I had not considered at all myself -- why are you here?  It may not seem an odd question to you, but I had not thought about that question with the intensity with which it was asked…
Read More

Goodbye woods and water…

Take a deep breath, I tell myself.  Breathe in, the scent of those Jeffrey pines is the smell of this place.  Listen to the sharp song of those stellar jays as they hop everywhere; remember their unusual blue coloring.  Listen, look, feel -- remember it all, because you do not know when or if you will ever return.  You see,  I have a long day of anonymous travel ahead of me, but first, I have a couple of hours to sit and savor the peace and quiet of this forest on the beautiful blue lake in the Sierras before I  join the moving masses driving west and south on I-80…
Read More

Unexpected roses

We've had a wet month here in the mid-Atlantic region -- and today, in true form, it is almost 90 degrees.  So much for spring.  The lack of any kind of semi-normal seasonal transition time has made getting the garden cleaned and ready for summer quite a challenge.  There have been a number of days when I have weeded in a downpour and raced to pick up necessities at the garden store in between heavy showers. Hence, there has been little time to reflect and there has been no "this is spring, here is my garden metaphor of the year" post.  Today, however, is your lucky day (or not, depending…
Read More

Baptism by bubbles…

Water. Warm marble.  More water.  Bubbles...lots of bubbles.  And laughter.  Lots of laughter.  That was my Easter worship this year -- a most amazing remembrance of my own baptism.  I have,in fact, never been so clean.  Easter day began in a hamami in Istanbul. I have for many years been a member of an institutional church of some kind, and so involved in that community that I would never have dreamed of missing Easter worship.  Right now, though, everything is different, This year, I was travelling -- this year, I was cruising through the Aegean and the Adriatic, bringing closure to a three year journey of healing.   But as is so often the…
Read More

Who are you…and why do you do it?

That question...I've written about it before.  And again, before.  And I most assuredly write about it again. Truly, it is a theme through most of what I (well, not just me) do...this idea of our identity, as people of faith, as people who live an incarnated existence, as followers of Jesus.  It is a question to which I do not expect to find an answer that endures for long; the answer has always been, for me, a moving target, often changing slightly with each breath that I take. So, obviously, when I hear the words of John 1:19-28, well, I just cannot help but consider the question again.  Where do…
Read More

Giant fish and soldiers…oh my!

I see at least ten stories a week like this – the “just discovered at…” kind of archaeological announcement. I fell in love with the lure of the ancient long ago, starting my academic career as a history major and ending it with a degree in Middle Eastern Studies. This story was different, though. There, on my screen, was an image made of tiny little pieces of beautiful glass, an image like I had never seen before, with a headline that shouted “Earliest Mosaic of Jonah and the Whale Found in Galilee Synagogue (The Times of Israel, July 7, 2017). This is my kind of click-bait. And so I read…
Read More

A confessing pilgrim…

'Tis the season for confession, at least if you observe the traditional church calendar and the season of Lent.  Some churches, like the Baptist church that I used to attend, only confess during the season of Lent.  I always felt that there was something missing from the service without that confession -- it seemed such an essential part of worship. Now, however, along my pilgrim's road, I have stopped awhile and worshiped with the community at St. Mark's Episcopal Church here on Capitol Hill.  I welcome the chance to confess in community each week, but I am particularly moved by the words of confession that they have included in the…
Read More

Deep roots and remembrance

Okay, I'll admit it.  I have an obsession with trees.  Wherever I go, I seek out the "local" tree -- that indigenous expression of what it takes to survive and thrive and have long life in that particular little piece of the planet.  I have countless pictures of giant sequoias, and yellow oak trees, and weeping willows, and red maples, and...well, you get the idea. I've just returned from a quick trip to Albuquerque, NM, and I had a chance to take some great pictures of cotton wood trees as I walked along the Paseo del Bosque, part of Albuquerque's great Open Space system.  Truth be told, I was surprised…
Read More

A life (and death) with grace

Grace.  We all want more of it, don't we?  We all want people to think of us as a person with grace of all kinds -- grace of movement, grace of spirit, and grace of living.  I have been luckier than most -- because for the last 10 years, I have had Grace living in my house, teaching me daily all the possible lessons that you might think about when you think of living with grace (and living with Grace). As I write this, we are walking through the final days of our little Grace's life.  And by the time I make this public so that you can read it…
Read More

Beyond my own walls…

It's Friday.  It's been another tough week in the world.  And I am sitting here, in a dorm room at Kenyon College in Gambier, OH, getting ready to head out into the last day of an amazing conference for writers of all things spiritual, the Beyond Walls conference of the Kenyon Institute. The oddest thing happened at the beginning of the week was that people asked me, over and over again, a question that I had not considered at all myself -- why are you here?  It may not seem an odd question to you, but I had not thought about that question with the intensity with which it was asked…
Read More

Goodbye woods and water…

Take a deep breath, I tell myself.  Breathe in, the scent of those Jeffrey pines is the smell of this place.  Listen to the sharp song of those stellar jays as they hop everywhere; remember their unusual blue coloring.  Listen, look, feel -- remember it all, because you do not know when or if you will ever return.  You see,  I have a long day of anonymous travel ahead of me, but first, I have a couple of hours to sit and savor the peace and quiet of this forest on the beautiful blue lake in the Sierras before I  join the moving masses driving west and south on I-80…
Read More

Unexpected roses

We've had a wet month here in the mid-Atlantic region -- and today, in true form, it is almost 90 degrees.  So much for spring.  The lack of any kind of semi-normal seasonal transition time has made getting the garden cleaned and ready for summer quite a challenge.  There have been a number of days when I have weeded in a downpour and raced to pick up necessities at the garden store in between heavy showers. Hence, there has been little time to reflect and there has been no "this is spring, here is my garden metaphor of the year" post.  Today, however, is your lucky day (or not, depending…
Read More

Baptism by bubbles…

Water. Warm marble.  More water.  Bubbles...lots of bubbles.  And laughter.  Lots of laughter.  That was my Easter worship this year -- a most amazing remembrance of my own baptism.  I have,in fact, never been so clean.  Easter day began in a hamami in Istanbul. I have for many years been a member of an institutional church of some kind, and so involved in that community that I would never have dreamed of missing Easter worship.  Right now, though, everything is different, This year, I was travelling -- this year, I was cruising through the Aegean and the Adriatic, bringing closure to a three year journey of healing.   But as is so often the…
Read More

Who are you…and why do you do it?

That question...I've written about it before.  And again, before.  And I most assuredly write about it again. Truly, it is a theme through most of what I (well, not just me) do...this idea of our identity, as people of faith, as people who live an incarnated existence, as followers of Jesus.  It is a question to which I do not expect to find an answer that endures for long; the answer has always been, for me, a moving target, often changing slightly with each breath that I take. So, obviously, when I hear the words of John 1:19-28, well, I just cannot help but consider the question again.  Where do…
Read More

Giant fish and soldiers…oh my!

I see at least ten stories a week like this – the “just discovered at…” kind of archaeological announcement. I fell in love with the lure of the ancient long ago, starting my academic career as a history major and ending it with a degree in Middle Eastern Studies. This story was different, though. There, on my screen, was an image made of tiny little pieces of beautiful glass, an image like I had never seen before, with a headline that shouted “Earliest Mosaic of Jonah and the Whale Found in Galilee Synagogue (The Times of Israel, July 7, 2017). This is my kind of click-bait. And so I read…
Read More

A confessing pilgrim…

'Tis the season for confession, at least if you observe the traditional church calendar and the season of Lent.  Some churches, like the Baptist church that I used to attend, only confess during the season of Lent.  I always felt that there was something missing from the service without that confession -- it seemed such an essential part of worship. Now, however, along my pilgrim's road, I have stopped awhile and worshiped with the community at St. Mark's Episcopal Church here on Capitol Hill.  I welcome the chance to confess in community each week, but I am particularly moved by the words of confession that they have included in the…
Read More

Deep roots and remembrance

Okay, I'll admit it.  I have an obsession with trees.  Wherever I go, I seek out the "local" tree -- that indigenous expression of what it takes to survive and thrive and have long life in that particular little piece of the planet.  I have countless pictures of giant sequoias, and yellow oak trees, and weeping willows, and red maples, and...well, you get the idea. I've just returned from a quick trip to Albuquerque, NM, and I had a chance to take some great pictures of cotton wood trees as I walked along the Paseo del Bosque, part of Albuquerque's great Open Space system.  Truth be told, I was surprised…
Read More

A life (and death) with grace

Grace.  We all want more of it, don't we?  We all want people to think of us as a person with grace of all kinds -- grace of movement, grace of spirit, and grace of living.  I have been luckier than most -- because for the last 10 years, I have had Grace living in my house, teaching me daily all the possible lessons that you might think about when you think of living with grace (and living with Grace). As I write this, we are walking through the final days of our little Grace's life.  And by the time I make this public so that you can read it…
Read More

Beyond my own walls…

It's Friday.  It's been another tough week in the world.  And I am sitting here, in a dorm room at Kenyon College in Gambier, OH, getting ready to head out into the last day of an amazing conference for writers of all things spiritual, the Beyond Walls conference of the Kenyon Institute. The oddest thing happened at the beginning of the week was that people asked me, over and over again, a question that I had not considered at all myself -- why are you here?  It may not seem an odd question to you, but I had not thought about that question with the intensity with which it was asked…
Read More

Goodbye woods and water…

Take a deep breath, I tell myself.  Breathe in, the scent of those Jeffrey pines is the smell of this place.  Listen to the sharp song of those stellar jays as they hop everywhere; remember their unusual blue coloring.  Listen, look, feel -- remember it all, because you do not know when or if you will ever return.  You see,  I have a long day of anonymous travel ahead of me, but first, I have a couple of hours to sit and savor the peace and quiet of this forest on the beautiful blue lake in the Sierras before I  join the moving masses driving west and south on I-80…
Read More

Unexpected roses

We've had a wet month here in the mid-Atlantic region -- and today, in true form, it is almost 90 degrees.  So much for spring.  The lack of any kind of semi-normal seasonal transition time has made getting the garden cleaned and ready for summer quite a challenge.  There have been a number of days when I have weeded in a downpour and raced to pick up necessities at the garden store in between heavy showers. Hence, there has been little time to reflect and there has been no "this is spring, here is my garden metaphor of the year" post.  Today, however, is your lucky day (or not, depending…
Read More

Baptism by bubbles…

Water. Warm marble.  More water.  Bubbles...lots of bubbles.  And laughter.  Lots of laughter.  That was my Easter worship this year -- a most amazing remembrance of my own baptism.  I have,in fact, never been so clean.  Easter day began in a hamami in Istanbul. I have for many years been a member of an institutional church of some kind, and so involved in that community that I would never have dreamed of missing Easter worship.  Right now, though, everything is different, This year, I was travelling -- this year, I was cruising through the Aegean and the Adriatic, bringing closure to a three year journey of healing.   But as is so often the…
Read More

Who are you…and why do you do it?

That question...I've written about it before.  And again, before.  And I most assuredly write about it again. Truly, it is a theme through most of what I (well, not just me) do...this idea of our identity, as people of faith, as people who live an incarnated existence, as followers of Jesus.  It is a question to which I do not expect to find an answer that endures for long; the answer has always been, for me, a moving target, often changing slightly with each breath that I take. So, obviously, when I hear the words of John 1:19-28, well, I just cannot help but consider the question again.  Where do…
Read More

Giant fish and soldiers…oh my!

I see at least ten stories a week like this – the “just discovered at…” kind of archaeological announcement. I fell in love with the lure of the ancient long ago, starting my academic career as a history major and ending it with a degree in Middle Eastern Studies. This story was different, though. There, on my screen, was an image made of tiny little pieces of beautiful glass, an image like I had never seen before, with a headline that shouted “Earliest Mosaic of Jonah and the Whale Found in Galilee Synagogue (The Times of Israel, July 7, 2017). This is my kind of click-bait. And so I read…
Read More

A confessing pilgrim…

'Tis the season for confession, at least if you observe the traditional church calendar and the season of Lent.  Some churches, like the Baptist church that I used to attend, only confess during the season of Lent.  I always felt that there was something missing from the service without that confession -- it seemed such an essential part of worship. Now, however, along my pilgrim's road, I have stopped awhile and worshiped with the community at St. Mark's Episcopal Church here on Capitol Hill.  I welcome the chance to confess in community each week, but I am particularly moved by the words of confession that they have included in the…
Read More

Deep roots and remembrance

Okay, I'll admit it.  I have an obsession with trees.  Wherever I go, I seek out the "local" tree -- that indigenous expression of what it takes to survive and thrive and have long life in that particular little piece of the planet.  I have countless pictures of giant sequoias, and yellow oak trees, and weeping willows, and red maples, and...well, you get the idea. I've just returned from a quick trip to Albuquerque, NM, and I had a chance to take some great pictures of cotton wood trees as I walked along the Paseo del Bosque, part of Albuquerque's great Open Space system.  Truth be told, I was surprised…
Read More

A life (and death) with grace

Grace.  We all want more of it, don't we?  We all want people to think of us as a person with grace of all kinds -- grace of movement, grace of spirit, and grace of living.  I have been luckier than most -- because for the last 10 years, I have had Grace living in my house, teaching me daily all the possible lessons that you might think about when you think of living with grace (and living with Grace). As I write this, we are walking through the final days of our little Grace's life.  And by the time I make this public so that you can read it…
Read More

Beyond my own walls…

It's Friday.  It's been another tough week in the world.  And I am sitting here, in a dorm room at Kenyon College in Gambier, OH, getting ready to head out into the last day of an amazing conference for writers of all things spiritual, the Beyond Walls conference of the Kenyon Institute. The oddest thing happened at the beginning of the week was that people asked me, over and over again, a question that I had not considered at all myself -- why are you here?  It may not seem an odd question to you, but I had not thought about that question with the intensity with which it was asked…
Read More

Goodbye woods and water…

Take a deep breath, I tell myself.  Breathe in, the scent of those Jeffrey pines is the smell of this place.  Listen to the sharp song of those stellar jays as they hop everywhere; remember their unusual blue coloring.  Listen, look, feel -- remember it all, because you do not know when or if you will ever return.  You see,  I have a long day of anonymous travel ahead of me, but first, I have a couple of hours to sit and savor the peace and quiet of this forest on the beautiful blue lake in the Sierras before I  join the moving masses driving west and south on I-80…
Read More

Unexpected roses

We've had a wet month here in the mid-Atlantic region -- and today, in true form, it is almost 90 degrees.  So much for spring.  The lack of any kind of semi-normal seasonal transition time has made getting the garden cleaned and ready for summer quite a challenge.  There have been a number of days when I have weeded in a downpour and raced to pick up necessities at the garden store in between heavy showers. Hence, there has been little time to reflect and there has been no "this is spring, here is my garden metaphor of the year" post.  Today, however, is your lucky day (or not, depending…
Read More

Baptism by bubbles…

Water. Warm marble.  More water.  Bubbles...lots of bubbles.  And laughter.  Lots of laughter.  That was my Easter worship this year -- a most amazing remembrance of my own baptism.  I have,in fact, never been so clean.  Easter day began in a hamami in Istanbul. I have for many years been a member of an institutional church of some kind, and so involved in that community that I would never have dreamed of missing Easter worship.  Right now, though, everything is different, This year, I was travelling -- this year, I was cruising through the Aegean and the Adriatic, bringing closure to a three year journey of healing.   But as is so often the…
Read More
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