Posts

Showing posts from September, 2016

Egyptian State of Mind

Image
In Scripture Egypt means a narrow space...
Between a rock and hard place...
Where it is difficult to breathe because,
You have six hundred Egyptian guards breathing down the back of your neck behind you...
And a churning, crashing Red Sea stirring chaotically in front of you...kind of space.

Ever been there?

Ever been there where you keep turning in circles and there are no exit strategies?

Ever been there where you look and nothing seems to be going right?

Where you around bound up by problems plaguing you from all directions?

That is Egypt.

That is where we cry out to God.

God hears...
God sees...
God knows.

Knows not only intellectually, but intimately knows the way I know "that" look from my wife.
The way I know when my daughter wants me to do something.
The way I know when my son is trying to be sarcastic.
The way we know those who know us best.

Egypt...the place that oppresses is also the place where liberation begins.

Out of struggle there is the dawn of promise.
Out…

What is Plaguing YOU

Image
Alright...I fully realize this topic sounds about as uplifting as a trip to the dentist AFTER you have had your flu shot.  We live in a world with so many negative forces.  Currently, we are still dealing with violence in communities between African-Americans and police.  We are in the midst of a political climate that feels like there is blood in the water.  There is a fragile peace in Syria and Israel/Palestine...but emphasis is on fragile right now rather than peace.  Not to mention the things in our own individual life.  The stresses and strains emotionally, physically, spiritual and mentally.  I am sure you are saying, "Thanks for bringing up the Biblical Plagues, Wes, but I think I will pass."

But part of the point of the plagues is shining a light on the problems that impact our communal life together.  Part of the point of the plagues is the inter-connectivity of the luminous web of creation.  Awhile ago scientists put out a theory about the plagues saying that the…

In honor of Fifteen Years, Part Three

Image
Welcome to the third part of this series...in the words below, I hope to capture some of the sense of how this unfolding, on-going love affair with God has led me to understand the One in whom I live and find my being.

Some talk of God like
Superman or Wonder woman or Mighty Mouse,
Waiting for God to swoop in and save the day.
Some talk of God in whispers,
Beyond all comprehension...
A "mystery"
Which means, "keep your mouth shut"
Something I struggle to do.
Some talk of God
As a ground and source of being.
God who plays in the mud, fashioning and forming all that is seen.
Some talk of God
As event itself
God not in the words...
but in the act of reading.

What if God,
Yahweh...
Is breath itself.
When Moses asked for a name...
God said Yahweh..
Well actually..."YHWH"
Which is gibberish.
Nonsensical.
Unpronounceable.
Or maybe YHWH is the sound of breathing itself.

Inhale

Exhale

God.

The very event, experience, and encounter of breath giving life.

God.

Bles…

In Honor of Fifteen Years, Part Two

Image
I continue today with reflections on fifteen years of ministry, particularly on this unfolding love affair with God and the traces of God's grace in my life.  The essay today seeks to search for God int he ordinary, even mundane, days of ministry.

The wooden stairs creaked with each step;
Cobwebs patiently waited to latch onto my hair;
Down to the old steam boiler I went,
Checking the water level before service that Sunday.
In the belly of the church,
Dirt beneath my feet,
Sanctuary above my head,
History all around me;
I tended to the boiler.
There are many ways to prepare for Sunday morning:
Sermons;
Bulletins and liturgy;
Hymns;
Ushers, greeters and don't forget the coffee!
But boilers...
Not taught or told about in seminary.

Nor were the bats that I would find sleeping on the walls of the office;
Nor snow that needed to be shoveled
Nor what to do during the church
Garage sale
Bazaar
Supper
Or other familiar fundraiser.

But in those ordinary moments,
I discovered my own bu…

In Honor of Fifteen Years

Image
Today, September 9th, is my fifteen anniversary of ordination.  In the next few posts, I want to share a few reflections about my call, my faith, and this amazing trace of God's grace that has led me safe thus far.  Today's prayer/poem is inspired by a Holy Ground event in my life when I was a teenager in the Boundary Waters of Minnesota on a week long camping trip.

Angry storm cloud hang and hover over my head
While beneath their furrowed brow,
I slowly paddled my way across a lake.
Choppy waters lap below;
Choppy wind blows wildly beside;
Choppy drops of rain splat on my shoulders...drenching my shirt.
Chaos!
Then...
A single ray of sun suddenly appears;
Grace in a time of fear.
Hope in a time of darkness.
If that moment taught me anything about God...
It is simply to be open;
Open to the possibility and promise that change happens
In creation.
In canoes.
In community.
In me.

May the traces of God's grace surround you.  May you taste and see that God is good all the ti…