Let’s Recapture Appropriate!

Think about the word “Appropriate.” What a powerful idea! If something or someone is “appropriate” then that thing or that person or that situation is laudatory, worthy of emulation, and creates a space where there is a sense of well-being. In other words, the complete opposite of the current American election for president! OK, no politics, but seriously, dear ones, can this society support even the vestiges of the concept of being…

Made Able!

I really like to write and I enjoy public speaking, but I had a hint of my tendency to wordiness when my first time in seminary produced a comment from one of my favorite professors. I had just finished a fairly intensive philosophy paper for his class and was really sweating the grade he would give me. Most everybody got their papers back quickly, but mine wasn’t in the first batch handed…

No Longer Strangers!

I was embarrassed. I was ashamed. I had wandered into the wrong place. Everything about me screamed, “he doesn’t belong here!” And it was confirmed when a waiter came to escort me out! There is nothing quite as cutting to anyone than to be made to feel unwelcome or unwanted. The stigma of being the “outsider” is a heavy burden to bear. This is especially true when all those “insiders” have their own…

There Is No “Lone Ranger” Christianity

OK, so I have a hard time asking for directions. But, hey, since the invention of the GPS, I don’t have to! My man’s ego is protected by technology once again! Seriously, I do admit to not being crazy about asking for help. It feels like weakness to me and that plugs into my own weakness and pride. I guess that’s why I keep getting into situations where I have no choice…

The Blessing of An Inheritance

“Count your blessings. Name them one by one. Count your many blessings, see what God has done.” When I sang that old hymn as a boy, I wondered what it could mean. After all, how can you count your blessings? There are so many. All you’d do is count all day long. But maybe that’s the point! If we learn to focus on our blessings maybe we won’t let what we don’t…

One Use Only!

OK, so one of my most favorite movies in the whole world is “Princess Bride” and one of my most favorite scenes in the movie is when Vincent keeps using the word “inconceivable!” Finally, after so many times of hearing this word from Vincent, Inigo Montoya responds “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” The truth is words matter, and the meaning of…

An Angelic Spectacle

“Father is not a title!” By now my parishioners and catechumens are sick of hearing me say this. But I say it so much because there is real healing truth in this reality. The Church isn’t some collection of “club members” or a “society for the preservation of baklava.” No, the Church is a Family. The Church is the New Society. The Church has fathers and mothers and sisters and brothers. The…

Simple But Not Easy!

“It is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones, after all.” So says the author of Little House on the Prairie, Laura Ingalls Wilder. But life is so very often not simple. It’s complicated and difficult and filled with so many motivations all mixed together and hard to tease out the good from the bad. So, how do we live in this complicated world with the truth that…

God Is Free

You’ve seen the bumper sticker “Practice Random Acts of Kindness.” I confess I’ve seen them all over and my reaction to this altruistic admonition ranges (depending on my mood) from mild annoyance to a twinge of guilt. But rarely does this bumper sticker psychology move me to action. But, hey, that’s the weakness of a bumper sticker mindset! So, why is it so easy to be moved but never changed? Why do…