Tuesday Miscellany (Things That Don’t Work As They Should)

A disparate collection of reflections on a few of the things that don’t work as they should for your Tuesday afternoon… —— I listened to the most recent episode of This American Life while out and about this morning. The episode is called “Seriously?” and talks about the bewildering reality that this American election campaign has […]

Dream On

Schlaflosigkeit. The German word for insomnia. Our family is currently visiting dear friends in Germany and my body is performing its usual stubborn revolt against the rude imposition of foreign time zones and unfamiliar schedules. I’ve been tossing and turning since five am after only falling asleep around one. Eventually, as always, I give up. […]

Friday Miscellany

A bit of a grab-bag of unfinished thoughts, provocations, and observations collected over the past week… —— I spent my morning commute listening to the first few minutes of this week’s episode of On Being. The episode was an interview with Jonathan Haidt and Melvin Konner and had the delightfully breezy title: “Capitalism and Moral Evolution: […]

Like Sheep

A few Sundays ago, my daughter bought two little sheep. She needed these little beasts to provide companionship for her peculiarly needy horse who was losing her previous roommates to another pasture. My daughter’s horse has, in the past, demonstrated an affinity for sheep. She thinks they are her offspring or something. It’s strange. And […]

Frozen: A (Whiny) History of Suffering

I spent part of yesterday morning in the dentist’s chair. Now, I know that nobody enjoys going to the dentist. But I really, really, really don’t like it. I am, undoubtedly, the worst of scaredy-cats and neurotically frightened of pain, but in my (meager) defense, my cowardice has a back-story.

On Not Being a Jerk

A few years ago, I spent a week at Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg as “pastor in residence.” It was an interesting week full of informal conversation, public lectures, worship services, and question and answer sessions. Toward the end of the week, I attended a lunch with a group of students who were considering pastoral […]

Call to Prayer

My first night in the West Bank came to a rather abrupt, if expected end with the Islamic call to prayer (adhan) outside my window at 4:00 am. The song from the muezzin was haunting and beautiful. And rather longer than I expected. Given that I had collapsed into bed around 9 pm the previous […]

Found in Translation

trans·la·tion noun: the process of translating words or text from one language into another; the conversion of something from one form or medium into another. Over the past few days, our local sponsorship group has begun the process of helping our new Syrian friends take their first steps in Canada. We welcomed them to our city […]

If I’ve Told You Once, I’ve Told You a Thousand Times

You must not judge what I know by what I find words for. — John Ames (in Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead) Given the heavy themes of recent posts, it occurred to me that perhaps we could use some lighter fare around here. I could, at any rate. And what better way to accomplish this goal than to compose […]

Thursday Miscellany

You know the drill, by now. “Miscellany” means fragmentary, unrelated mind scraps hastily assembled and lumped together for your reading, um, pleasure? —- I’ve talked to enough pastors over the years to know that I’m not unique in saying that I have some ambivalence toward the whole “visitation” thing. Some pastors are born for the task […]