Talk with the Preacher

Monthly Archives: March 2011

Ice-crusted mud puddles and fallen branches Piles of brown, crumbling leaves, Former life blocking muddy trails. Who can see promise in these?   Remember when you painted the sky with brilliance, Your arms reaching toward heaven?    Now you curl on the ground, broken, Sad memorials to a past of graceful swaying in the summer breeze.   But winter doesn’t last forever. Slowly, painfully, quietly, life persists even when no one can see…. Read More

For all of you who are wondering, that’s not me in the picture.  No, really, it’s not.  I mean, I was going to demonstrate this balancing pose and have someone take a picture so I could put it on the blog, but then I got too busy so I had to find a picture of someone else…. Whatever.  We started yoga classes at Calvary this week.  The advent of yoga at Calvary… Read More

A Lament: I’m Desperate Psalm 22  When I was a kid we always played sword drill at church.  Anybody know what sword drill is? To become a good sword drill competitor, you (obviously) have to know your way around your Bible pretty well—you’re never going to get anywhere in competition, in other words, if you have to look in the index every time a new biblical citation is called. I don’t want… Read More

I do concede that I’ve been writing on the subject of grief rather frequently lately, but here I go again.  Maybe I think about grief a lot more in general than normal people do because my job often takes me into situations where grief is fresh and raw, but I started thinking about it again this week because of an intersection of my work and my own life.  My aunt died very… Read More

A Time to Weep: I’m Broken Psalm 12  Welcome to the first Sunday of Lent, the season of the church year during which we set aside some time for confession, for mourning the sin of our lives and the broken state of our world, for placing ourselves in a posture of repentance as we wait for what we believe with all our hearts: that death is not the end, and that sin… Read More

Blessed Ash Wednesday, all. On this day of reflection and confession I have two things to offer you.  For the spiritual among us, the following beautiful prayer by Ann Weems.  For the rest, my favorite Ash Wednesday memory ever. A Modern Psalm of Loss O God, find me! I am lost In the valley of grief, and I cannot see my way out. My friends leave baskets of balm at my feet,… Read More

Hear the sermon via audio file here! In the Meantime Matthew 17:1-9 Transfiguration  This morning I would like to experientially introduce you to midrash.  Midrash is a type of biblical interpretation that has been used for centuries in the Jewish tradition.  There are thousands of volumes of midrash written on Hebrew texts by Jewish teachers over many years.  Some midrash has the tone of scholarly interpretation.  But there is also midrash that is… Read More

Today in worship we offered thanksgiving and celebration for the life of Sallie Tupitza, a beloved Calvary member who died in November of 2010.  Sallie’s husband, Victor, asked that this prayer be offered in worship.  Several asked for copies, so here is the link one more time.

Words of Warning Matthew 7:13-23 If you’re a habitual rule follower like I am, I know you can’t help but face something akin to a moral dilemma whenever you buy new throw pillows for your couch.  It’s true.  You know whenever you purchase a throw pillow—or any kind of pillow—they come with these big, white, ugly tags sewn into the seams.  I think normal people don’t think twice about ripping these tags… Read More