Talk with the Preacher

Monthly Archives: July 2007

There is far too much in this book, Elizabeth Gilbert‘s Eat, Pray, Love, to mention in one small blog entry, so over the next little while (just warning you) I’ll be sharing some passages in the book that resonated with me. Haven’t read it? You must. Really. Here’s one for today, from page 61. “Generally speaking, though, Americans have an inability to relax into sheer pleasure. Ours is an entertainment-seeking nation, but… Read More

I was reading the other day about all the new words and phrases that have recently been added to the dictionary of the English language.  It’s nice to know those words that we use all the time (?) are now official: ginormous; netnanny; mouse potato, supersize . . . you know, those. The invention of new phrases, of course, is nothing new to me.  When my kids were learning to talk they’d… Read More

Okay.Here’s how it all went down.Some time ago, the executive director of a local group to which the church belongs sent out a mass email to clergy in the area introducing us to new a new religion reporter on the staff at the Washington Post. Well, let’s just say that I have a love/hate relationship with the press, and since my most recent run-in I’ve been working hard to fly beneath the… Read More

It’s that time of year again . . . you know, Vacation Bible School! If you are a church member you face this part of the summer suppressing memories of macaroni necklaces and crosses made out of toothpicks and Elmer’s glue.If you are the pastor, you work very hard to be supportive in every way excluding the creation of macaroni necklaces, and then you get busy doing everything you can to avoid… Read More

I’ve been thinking a lot about writing and the kind life-giving and often life-saving role it plays for me. Here’s what’s on my screen saver–I read it somewhere in a book and I can’t remember where now–but it seems to sum up how I feel a lot. “I drift around my rooms and write, to shadows, thinking, as I always did, that writing only can make peace, can right and heal that… Read More

I’ve long since come to terms with the unarguable reality that my job often brings me to the doorstep of deep pain . . . . . . and to the edges of a precipice overlooking some of the most wonder-filled human experiences . . . . . . and then drags me (often kicking and screaming) up and down the rocky path spanning the distance between the two. It’s one of… Read More

We’re still waving goodbye to the caravan of Baptists that came through town a few weeks ago. It was tiring and great and wonderful and a little nerve-racking to have so many folks here and so many opportunities to get involved in really great Baptist events. I realized early-on (like, last year) that, to navigate the week and emerge with what little sanity I possess still intact I was going to have… Read More


People weren’t meant to fly. That’s what I told her when she told me there are times in the life of every human being in which we hang, suspended, between what used to be but is not anymore . . . and what will be but is not yet. It’s like a trapeze artist, she said. Part of the artist’s job is to let go of something . . . and grab… Read More

Hannah (10) and Sammy (9) and I (no comment) were driving home from church discussing a very important day this week: Mark’s (36, uh, 37!) birthday. To celebrate Mark’s birthday Tuesday, I explained, the kids and I would be making cupcakes and taking them down to cheer for Mark and the Baylor Alumni Softball Team during their game Tuesday night. We’d make enough cupcakes, I explained to Sam and Hannah, for everybody… Read More

It’s a little dangerous for the preacher to get political, I know. It’s risky to speak truth to power, but the fact of the matter is, while government needs to keep itself out of institutional religion, our faith informs who we are as citizens of this country and of the world. If our faith doesn’t compel us to speak out, what will? The commuting of Scooter Libby’s sentence this week was the… Read More