Talk with the Preacher

Monthly Archives: July 2009

I was never very good at languages . . . which can be something of a handicap when you spend your graduate school days in a foreign country studying a text written originally in several different ancient languages.  I’m not overly proud that I only (barely) managed a C in biblical Greek and never learned to converse very well in Swiss German or Czech.  I just have always thought that my gifts… Read More

In the hardship post that is the house where we are staying on Oahu this summer, I sit sometimes and watch the ocean.  It spreads out in front of the back porch, coloring the background behind Diamond Head.  Completely upstanding citizens would kill for a view like this to narrate their morning coffee . . . in my best moments I remember to be grateful and astonished, really, that childhood neighbors would… Read More

It’s strange and surreal to watch your children relive your childhood.  Inevitably the memories come rushing back, but I am finding that they are not the factual kind of memories at all. In other words, I don’t remember how old I was when my Grandma taught us to dance the hula, but I can still feel her hands lifting my wrist into the correct position.  I can’t mark the exact dates we… Read More

What do you do, I wonder, when there are no words?    What do you do when the powerful tool you’ve always used to express the deepest wonderings of your heart doesn’t seem to work anymore, when it just lies there, dusty and broken on the ground?   To me, words have always been a world of wondrous possibility, all shiny and full of potential, just waiting for that miraculous weaving process… Read More

I’m spending some time this summer at the offices of Baibala Hemolele, the Hawaiian Bible Project.  On my first day I heard the history of the Hawaiian Bible, which I was assigned to write up in an article, the text of which follows here: The Hawaiian Bible, Baibala Hemolele, is a critical document in the history of the Hawaiian people.  From a sociological standpoint, the translation of the Bible into the Hawaiian… Read More

I categorically refuse to engage in any platitudes about rain and rainbows, but I guess this morning I could see why God decided a rainbow might be a nice touch after the flood.  Off the back porch of our house we watched these rainbows grace the sky as the rain clouds moved off into the ocean.  Sam and cousin Eli didn’t stare too long; they were busy planning hikes to find the… Read More

On Sunday we attended worship at Kaumakapili Church.  There was a guest preacher as their pastor is away on sabbatical (Sam’s comment: “Where would you go on sabbatical if you LIVED in Hawaii??!?!?”).  The sanctuary is beautiful; the music was very nice; it was fun to watch the kids trying to sing familiar songs in Hawaiian.  Most of all, I could feel God there and, for a few minutes, felt surrounded by… Read More

View from our house . . .

One of the strange and wonderful experiences of sabbatical is attending church.  Since I work most Sunday mornings I rarely get to be an anonymous attendee at a worship service.  So, our first Sunday on the Big Island we put on our shorts and t-shirts, slipped on our flip-flops and went to church.  Since we found ourselves in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island, the obvious place to go was Mokuaikaua Church, the first… Read More