They pay attention

I sent the little kids outside yesterday morning to pick up up the trash in the driveway from our 4th of July fireworks.*  When I went outside to see how they were doing this is what I found.IMG_5674

Of course it went up on Facebook immediately.  And Twitter. “This is what happens when you send the pastor’s kids out to clean up the trash from the fireworks.” And now it’s a blog post.  As one does. Continue reading

The Way of Peace – an Advent 2 sermon

zechariah iconThe Song of Zechariah found in Luke 1:68-79, are some of the first words the priest uttered upon the birth of his son, John, the cousin of Jesus, the one we know as John the Baptist.  Zechariah had been made mute by the angel Gabriel at the start of his wife’s pregnancy because of his fear and disbelief, but when the child was born and Zechariah and Elizabeth named him John as Gabriel had instructed them, his tongue was freed and filled with Holy Spirit John’s father, Zechariah, spoke this prophecy.  Listen now for the words he proclaimed.

Luke 1:68-79

Zechariah had been silent for the entire duration of Elizabeth’s pregnancy.  Silent.  He spoke not one word.  He didn’t ask how she was feeling.  He didn’t wonder aloud with her when the child would come.  He also didn’t stick his foot in his mouth asking inappropriately about just how big her stomach would get, so maybe there were some advantages.  But Zechariah had been silent the entire pregnancy, unable to speak at home or in the temple. Continue reading

We have time

While my daughters and I were on the drive for a spontaneous strawberry-picking trip we passed through Afton, MN, home of Selma’s Ice Cream Parlor and a perfect playground across the street. I was asked from the backseat, “Can we stop there on the way home?”

My answer was my default, “If we have time.” I don’t like to default to “No,” but often we are running on a tight schedule. Our kids aren’t so overly programmed that we can’t do any trips to parks, playgrounds, or berry farms. But at the same time, with five of us, each with our own activity or work schedules, our trips aren’t exactly spontaneous. They have to be carefully coordinated to fit into the right empty spot on the numerous Google calendars we maintain.

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Counting down to sabbatical

To Do Before I LeaveIn just over two weeks I will begin a sabbatical from my pastoral ministry at First Presbyterian Church of Hudson.  The sermon countdown has begun (two more to write).  The “To Do Before I Leave” list at the left is constantly being updated.  I’m getting excited as I imagine what it will be like to have a summer full of weekends with my family instead of trying to squeeze our fun into the 12 hours we’re all awake on Saturday.  At the same time nerves are starting to mount a little, too.  Will the kids and I get along (enough) most days?  Will I know what to do with myself when I’m not being a pastor?  Will I miss the relationships in my life that are disrupted by this time away? Continue reading