Showing posts from July, 2013


According to Goggle...source of all that is true :-)...there are about 4,000 new words added to the English language each year.  Yet, there are some words that could use a little more from the support cast in our daily language.  There are some words that are in the spotlight so often, fall from our lips with such frequency, and honestly cannot bare the weight of the sentiment they are trying to carry.  I think of words like: "Love" or "Beautiful" or "Sorry". Of course, part of what has emptied "Sorry" of some of it's power is the recent development of the non-apology, apology.  This is when a celebrity or sports star or someone more famous than us, makes a mistakes, stands before several microphones in a room full of media and says something like, "I am sorry, if I offend you ."  Or, "I am sorry that you feel that way."  By emphasizing that part of the problem is the way others are reacting to the offense, they p


Ever notice how often during the course of a conversation you say, "Oh".  It is one of those great verbal cues that when paired with punctuation can be used in lots of different ways.   Someone tells you a sad story and "oh" becomes a sympathetic response. Someone tells you something that confuses you and you say "oh" with a slight raise in your voice and a quizzical look on your face. Someone tells you a fact and "oh" said in a monotone acknowledges that you heard them and perhaps that you prefer to not talk about it. Yet, within faith "O" signals something else.  O is when we are lost for words in God's presence. The psalms often pair O and God together.  "O God how majestic is your name," sings out Psalm 8.  Or one of my favorite Christmas carols is "O come, O come Emmanuel".  There is a deep longing that is found in the use of that single letter "O".  There is something that wa


What are you grateful for today?  What is it that when you look around your life brings a smile to your face?   When I think about responses to those questions, some answers that immediately come to mind are: my family, my work, and sun shine.  I could think about the joy of running yesterday...okay the joy when I was done  running yesterday, the indescribable feeling that stirs within me when I listen to music, or having a few days of rest. Practicing gratitude in our world today is counter-cultural.  So much in our world today says to us, you need don't have enough...don't slow down...don't quit.  Gratitude is the practice of taking a deep breath, stopping, and surveying our surroundings long enough so we can actually see what is around us rather than the blur of our usual frenzied pace.  Gratitude says to a world of constant consuming..."No, I am good right now."  Gratitude says to a world of constant criticism, "Yes, there is jo


  One of the best books I have read recently on prayer is Brian McLaren's Naked Spirituality. In the book, Brian offers twelve words that can ground our prayer life and immerse us into the presence of God.  He groups these words into four sets of three; one he says for each corresponding season.  Here is a quick glance at the way the book is laid out: The Spring-like Season of Spiritual Awakening The three words are: Here Thanks O The Summer-like Season of Spiritual Strengthening The three words are: Sorry Help Please The Autumn-like Season of Spiritual Surviving The three words are: When No Why The Winter-like Season of Spiritual Deepening Behold Yes […] or silence Whether you have read the book or not, my hunch is that some of those words make frequent appearances in your prayer life, while others perhaps rarely fall from your lips.  Which of the twelve words do you find yourself saying most to God?  Which do you say least? Mor


12 Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. 13 You shall not murder. 14 You shall not commit adultery. 15 You shall not steal. 16 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. 17 You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor. No one likes to be told, "No".  As a matter of fact, we do everything possible to avoid hearing that word in our lives.  No seems to carry more weight than it's counter-part, more positive sounding, "Yes".  When I am standing at the door on Sunday morning, twelve people could say, "Yes" to the sermon and one could say, "No" and for some strange reason, my mind will dwell with the "No".  We want to try to turn "no" into "yes".   I don't know why the l