The Blessing of Wilderness–Reflections for Lent 4

I am notoriously bad with directions. My ability to get lost has amazed and astounded my friends throughout the years. Some of them have found out the hard way that just because I’ve been somewhere before does not mean I know how to get there again. For that matter, just because I’ve gotten somewhere does…

On Sacrifice and Suffering

Lent was a fairly new concept for me when I was in college, and one year I decided to make the ultimate sacrifice—chocolate. I still remember standing in the ice cream parlor, looking at the luscious rocky road and chocolate swirl and brownie chunk ice cream–and choosing butter pecan. Butter pecan. Such is the suffering…

Reflection for the Third Week of Lent

In the Celtic spiritual tradition, people refer to “thin places”–spaces where the veil between the Divine and the earthly is especially thin; places where you can easily have a sense of the holy, a feeling of connection to God. There are places commonly recognized as thin, as holy. The places where Jesus is said to…

Practices for the Second Week of Lent

Creative Prayer Experience You will need a piece of brown paper; pen, colored pencils or markers; collage materials if desired Cut or tear a cross shape from the piece of brown card stock. On one side of the cross, write, draw, or collage the burdens that you feel you are carrying.  On the other side…

Reflections for the Second Week of Lent

As spiritual descendants of Abraham and Sarah and as followers of Jesus, we live within the holy space of covenant–of God’s promises to us and our promises to God. It might seem on the surface that this holy space of covenant is restrictive. We cannot step outside the boundary of the covenant. We must be…

Reflection for the First Week of Lent

*This reflection is inspired by the Lectionary readings for this week: Genesis 9:8-17 and Mark 1:9-15. The reflection comes from the Lenten Retreat I wrote a few years ago. – – – – – – – The first time I went water skiing–when I was in college–I was a little worried.  I’m not particularly athletic,…

Family-Friendly Ash Wednesday Service 2015

Several people have contacted me asking for more details about the family-friendly Ash Wednesday service we did a few years back. This year I revised the service to go along with the wonderful “Lenten Practices Calendar for Families” that Traci Marie Smith has made available. Ash Wednesday Family Worship Station 1: Introduction Open with prayer.…

Preparing to Enter Lent–Thoughts on Ash Wednesday

Three years ago I developed a creative arts Lenten retreat based on the Revised Common Lectionary passage. And guess what? The Lectionary has cycled back around to those same passages this year! So I will be sharing from that retreat material throughout Lent: scripture reflections, visual art prayer practices and creative writing prayer practices. The…

Matthew’s Marys: Thoughts on the Resurrection

[This post is adapted from a sermon on Matthew 28:1-10] A rather interesting discussion emerged on my Facebook page this week about Easter sermons. Many were lamenting how difficult they are; a couple were suggesting that there is no need to even preach on Easter–that the story speaks for itself. And then my college chaplain…