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  • Thou Shall Not Be a Jerk among the Amazon book selections
    7/11/2020 Scrolling through the Amazon book selections, I ran across the title recommended to me on account of my past selections, the book Thou Shall Not be a Jerk, A Christian's Guide to Engaging Politics,” written by Eugene Cho.
    I am pretty sure this is the message, Don’t be a jerk,” reads between the lines of the top ten. If we could only act on these words and use them as a social cue, for all of our actions and inactions as a socially responsible adult/human.
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  • Fourth of July fireworks, picnics, and patriotism
    7/7/2020 This is my Song
    “This is my song. O God of all the nations. A song of peace for lands afar and mine. This is my home, the country where my heart is; Here are my hopes, my dreams, my holy shrine; But other hearts in other lands are beating with hopes and dreams as true and high as mine.”
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  • Love can build a bridge between our differences
    6/13/2020 Back in the day, when I was raising my daughter, Sarah, we lived in Cicero and then in Arcadia. The small- town hospitality was just what we needed to feel safe and cared for. Sarah went to the local elementary school and then to Walnut Grove. She played softball and rode her bike everywhere. We lived close enough to the train tracks that we could hear the train whistling and even feel the vibrations of the locomotives at night just before sleep. We established our faith community at Trinity United Methodist Church. This is where my love of hospitality and true church community thrived and grew. Maybe Arcadia was where the seed was planted to eventually become a pastor. I have fond memories and still hold Cicero and Arcadia dear to my heart. It was during this time also that Ryan White, AIDS victim, came to live and go to school.
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  • Cherry picking for using verse for inspiration
    6/6/2020 He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
    Micah 6:8 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

    Some one asked me the other day,“Pastor, what is the difference in cherry picking the scripture, versus me using certain verses for hope and inspiration?” Oh Grasshopper you know, deep in your soul, what the answer is.
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  • There is a time for everything
    5/23/2020 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate a time for war and a time for peace. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
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  • Taking time to be grounded and have faith
    5/16/2020 At the writing of this column, I sit looking out the window of my son and daughter in law’s home, outside of Cody, Wyoming, in the little mountain village of Wapiti. I decided to travel because these days all of my work is done virtually. I needed to visit again because my son and daughter in law are expecting their first baby in July. I needed to sing some songs to the belly, fill the freezer, and do a little nesting of my own.
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  • Month of May leads to many great traditions
    5/2/2020 As I write this column, it is May 1, otherwise known as May Day. In my youth, I remember fondly, gathering flowers, weeds mostly, and an occasional petty theft of flowers from a neighbor’s garden, and creating May Day baskets. I would giddily, place a basket of flowers on our neighbor’s doors, ring the doorbell and run like crazy. Happy May Day!
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  • Is this pandemic more difficult or less?
    4/25/2020 Is it getting easier, or more difficult, this pandemic? I wonder this to myself several times a day. My answer seems to vacillate back and forth several times in any given 24-hour period. I think this is why I am so exhausted. This social distancing and the lack of in person communication, finds this minor extrovert having a difficult time. Yes, I have Zoom meetings, keep up on social media, I live with two men and two dogs (who I adore) but still. I miss my people, my tribe, the physical presence, the energy that one can only feel when you are in close proximity.
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  • Hunkering down and waiting for answers
    4/18/2020 Later on that day, the disciples had gathered together, but, fearful of the Jews, had locked all the doors in the house. Jesus entered, stood among them, and said, “Peace to you.” Then he showed them his hands and side. The disciples, seeing the Master with their own eyes, were exuberant. Jesus repeated his greeting: “Peace to you. Just as the Father sent me, I send you.” Then he took a deep breath and breathed into them. “Receive the Holy Spirit,” he said. “If you forgive someone’s sins, they’re gone for good. If you don’t forgive sins, what are you going to do with them?” John 20:19-The Message
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  • This may be the “Lentiest” of All Lents
    4/4/2020 Sunday is Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy week. It is a week that many Christians observe with a certain solemnity. Many read devotions each day or find ways to walk the Stations of the Cross, attend a Passion Play, wash feet on Maundy Thursday, remembering Jesus’ last supper with his friends. We settle in on Good Friday, which marks the story of Jesus’ crucifixion and death, by fasting and prayer, grief and sorrow.
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