Talk with the Preacher

Monthly Archives: February 2012

from Searching for Mercy Street, by Linda Gray Sexton “As I wrote the book, I found myself reliving times that were both painful and joyous, accompanied by intense emotion.  Many readers asked me if the process of writing it had been cathartic, and the first time the question was posed, I hesitated, looking for the right way to explain how writing a memoir impacts one’s life.  It had not been cathartic, exactly. … Read More

They say the wheel was invented and fire was discovered.   When you sit in the circle and rub together the sticks of your life, what grey smoke-signaled stories rise in the starry black sky?   Listen and pay attention.   Warm what has grown cold. Shine a light on what has darkened. Stoke the embers around your gritty ashes. Fire up the vitality lurking in your everydays. Fan the flame of… Read More

I don’t like Lauren Winner.  I guess that’s not really fair, since I’ve never met her and I am sure she is a nice person, but I mean I don’t like her in the sense that I didn’t like her book Girl Meets God.  It may be surprising, then, that I am reading her newest book, Still, during this Lent.  Or maybe it’s not so surprising, since Lent is all about admitting… Read More

Promises, Promises: Never Again Genesis 9:8-17 I will never forget that fateful day, about two years ago, at 10:45 one Sunday morning.  It was the day I sat down to print out my final copy of the sermon for that morning and somehow that I can’t figure out still to this day, managed to delete the file.  It was not a delete in the “undo edit” sense of delete.  I completely, somehow,… Read More

Trying to Be Thoughtful in the First Brights of Dawn I am thinking, or trying to think, about all the imponderables for which we have no answers, yet endless interest all the range of our lives, and it’s good for the head no doubt to undertake such meditation; Mystery, after all, is God’s other name, and deserves our consideration surely.  But, but – excuse me now, please; it’s morning, heavenly bright, and… Read More

It’s only a couple days in and I am not feeling so sure about this whole giving stuff up for Lent thing.  I mean, I do something every year—take something on, give something up, etc., but the degree to which the practice actually affects my spiritual life, I will confess, varies widely from year to year. Or day to day, to be honest. This year after talking with several friends about Lenten… Read More

Ahhh, it’s Lent. I’m not going to lie: yesterday, Ash Wednesday, was a little rough for me.  Perhaps the melancholy came as a side effect of spending an entire, 12-hour, professional day thinking about sin, but I found myself tearing up as I recited over and over again: “The steadfast love of the Lord endures forever…”.  Thank God for that, because while there’s a whole Lenten season stretching out ahead of us… Read More

                                God, how well we remember the celebrations of last year– the hopes and dreams and wild expectations that we dared to allow in our hearts. And now, how troubled we are to recall our faliures! We have not lived up to our own expectations. We have not measured up to your call. The world has not… Read More

The Rules of Improv: Characters and Relationships 2 Kings 5:1-17 In 2009,America’s longest running soap opera aired its final episode.  Seventy two years and more than 15,000 episodes after its first broadcast as a radio program in 1937, Guiding Light’s main characters drove off into the sunset for their next adventure and left millions of fans hanging. Seventy two years of following three families fromSpringfield,Illinois…to keep a story interesting for that long… Read More

The Rules of Improv: Change, Change, Change! Mark 1:29-39 I’d like to begin today with a rather unusual approach to examining the text.  Look down your pew…these are the people with whom you will now commence to tell a story, in full, from start to finish.  I’ll begin, then the person on the furthest left (my right) of your pew should continue, all the way down the pew until the final person… Read More