Talk with the Preacher


The following is pretty personal . . . it’s one of those entries you probably don’t want to read if you like to think the pastor is all shiny and perfect.  But if you’re okay with the preacher as a human being, well, then, you might be okay reading this.  It’s comforting that I’m not the only one out there who struggles with this.  I know this time of year is hard… Read More

He could tell that I was green, green, green, and profoundly unsure of what I was doing that day, the Wednesday of my first week ever as a pastor. I could tell he was wondering what parallel universe he had entered to find himself sitting across the table from his new pastor-a woman fully 50 years younger than he was. He was guarded. And dubious. It was clear that anything approximating friendly… Read More

This is the way I heard it: Our friend Carol was standing at the counter in her kitchen rolling out cookie dough for the hundreds of sugar cookies she’s baking for our church Christmas craft fair. Candy canes and stars, Christmas trees and angels-they quickly spread out over the counter as pan after pan came out of the oven. The word in the kitchen was: you can have ONE since the rest… Read More

We have a budding artist in our house. Don’t ask me what genetic mutation occurred for me and Mark to produce a child as artistically gifted as Hayden; he keeps surprising us with the stuff he produces. Although he has been pursuing his drawing habit for some time now, only recently has he been pushed out of his comfort zone (charcoal pencil and paper) into other forms of expression (collage, pastels, markers,… Read More

It was Paul who talked about this human life as “seeing through a glass darkly.” That metaphor has always been a powerful one for me, but lately I’ve been cursing the darkness a lot more than lighting a candle, if you know what I mean.  It’s common at Calvary to deal with the homeless population–as it is for any downtown church–but lately we’ve been struggling with a situation in which the person… 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

I got back into town very late last night (really, very early this morning) having heard the news that a Calvary friend was in the hospital. I knew this was urgent; though he’d been battling cancer for at least a year, we all knew he couldn’t hang on much longer. I kept thinking of the grief his wife has been bearing as she’s watched him suffer, and so I scrambled around this… Read More

The other day I was shaken into the reality of my own inability to see clearly. Again.In a moment of weakness I’d promised offspring Sammy I’d go with his class on a field trip visit to National Geographic headquarters. I’d been traveling earlier in the week and had conveniently forgotten my offer . . . only to return home to a very excited 8-year-old who informed me he’d been sleeping with his… Read More

There are days when I feel absolutely certain I have the weirdest job on the planet. Okay, I know that is probably not technically true, but you do have to admit that I have some pretty strange experiences at work. Yesterday was no exception.I was preaching, as I usually do on Sunday mornings. And I have to say that this was one sermon I really liked; I felt like I’d really wrestled… Read More

I’ve been pondering how to write about this week I’ve had, which has perhaps been the hardest ever in my professional career. Actually, in my life, pretty much. Until now, I couldn’t seem to find a handle for writing my feelings down . . . the details of the week are too raw and too tender to put into words. Thank goodness for my colleague Mary, who reminded me of one of… Read More