Loneliness and Solitude

From the book, The Eternal Now, sermons of Paul Tillich written for college aged young people:  "Our lanugage has wisely sensed two sides of man's being alone.  It has created the word "loneliness" to express the pain of being alone.  And it has created the word "solitude" to express the glory of being alone." On … Continue reading Loneliness and Solitude

Far and Wide

In seminary at Yale Divinity School I was awed to find myself in a vast landscape--that of the Christian witness spoken through the centuries.  My perspective, having grown up in the Southern California United Church of Christ, was limited by comparison.  I realized I had only seen faith from one small corner of scholarship in … Continue reading Far and Wide

If

My daughter’s school assigned her fifth grade class to create a poetry notebook, to contain both poems she wrote and those she found and enjoyed. To further this I read a poetry anthology from my childhood with her, and we came upon Rudyard Kipling’s poem, “If—.“ On revisiting this poem for the first time in … Continue reading If

Pleasing to God

When the firm ground shifts, praise God. As I started to prepare for my next preaching assignment (North Long Beach Christian Church, January 22, 10:45), I turned to this week's lectionary texts--a set of readings used by many Christian churches across denominations.  They struck me with full force. "If riches increase, do not set your … Continue reading Pleasing to God

Speak, I am Listening

Last week, a friend of mine unplugged herself from her cell phone, in spite of the fact that she is a “connector” who enjoys being called. Somehow it had become clear to her that it was the week to stop answering the phone; to stop hearing the stories she had heard again and again. Instead, … Continue reading Speak, I am Listening

A Wandering Aramean was My Ancestor

Change is difficult, especially when it means leaving behind close relationships, financial security, and cherished plans. Last week I spoke with a “new church start” pastor, Reverend David Shirey, who hails from the Midwest.  He had followed God’s leading to Arizona, where his startup church, after 8 years of devotion, has 150 members.  “God has … Continue reading A Wandering Aramean was My Ancestor