abundant life starts with release

Last night in worship, we used sand to represent our confession. Bins of sand lined the walls of the sanctuary with signs describing character traits and experiences that get in the way of our relationship with God: selfishness, despair, greed, self-doubt. As we added sand to our personal bags of life, the heaviness was obvious:Continue reading “abundant life starts with release”

time to start living

I have spent far too many Ash Wednesdays dreading the words “Remember that you are dust.” As a teenager, those words resonated with my already-low self-image and it felt like God was reiterating what I believed: I was worthless. As a young adult in seminary, I felt resentment as I participated in an out-of-touch ritualContinue reading “time to start living”

Choose Life

So about Ash Wednesday. . . It’s coming, and coming soon. And even though I’m a pastor and I spend months planning for the church’s observance, it always sneaks up on me. Personally, I mean. I am so wrapped up in helping others journey through Lent that I don’t have time to pause and considerContinue reading “Choose Life”

There’s a Hole in the Middle of a Pretty Good Life. . .

David Wilcox wrote those lyrics years ago. I fell in love with his songs my freshman year of college. He sang about taking risks in life and letting go of love that wounds and feeling alone and finding yourself again, all of which resonated with me. But one of his songs I didn’t understand: itContinue reading “There’s a Hole in the Middle of a Pretty Good Life. . .”

Go Tell It. . . on a mountain

Christmas is full of songs that conjure up memories of another time and place. I grew up singing Go Tell It On the Mountain every Christmas Eve at St. Michael Lutheran Church in Greenville, South Carolina. And since we were¬†close to the mountains, the Blue Ridge Mountains, to be exact, it meant something specific toContinue reading “Go Tell It. . . on a mountain”

Feeling Better

I just lost weight without trying. As I type that, I’m flabbergasted myself. Who does that? Born-skinny models with over-the-top metabolisms? That’s never been me. I was born chubby, wore “husky” fit jeans as a child, and started dieting when I was 11. I found my mom’s old diet books in her closet and realizedContinue reading “Feeling Better”

a big day

I never thought it would happen. Yesterday, a woman was elected to lead my denomination. I’m a pastor in the ELCA, ordained for over 11 years now, and while I have seen several women come and go as bishops of the smaller regions called synods, I really thought it would be years, decades even, beforeContinue reading “a big day”