Fire In The Belly

Lessons for the first-half crowd Subject: Fire in the Belly This is the second in a series of short letters, addressed to what I call, first-half-of-lifer’s. I grew up watching Twilight Zone and remember one episode that began with a room full of people at a masquerade ball. In his usual creepy voice, Rod Sterling…

Spiritual Desire

Lessons for the first-half crowd Subject: Spiritual Desire This is the first in a series of short letters, addressed to what I call, first-half-of-lifer’s.  There are lessons for all ages, but in the first half of life, God is like a farmer, who spreads manure across fallow acres to fertilize and ready the heart single…

When is it ever enough?

When will we ever know if our prayer life cuts the muster; is good enough, long enough, or deeply intimate enough?  I don’t think we were ever meant to, not this side of heaven. But until then this is what I know.  He wants us to enjoy Him, in the unique way He’s created us…

Forty Years

The following poem was texted to me by my friend Paul Roberts, someone who knows my story, and celebrated God’s faithfulness on my spiritual birthday, January 15th. “A cold dark night. A rangy silhouette with a wild mop on top. A lost, wandering soul. A weary thumb. A destination unknown. A kind and patient stranger….

A Fireside Chat

In the spirit of a fire side chat, I’d like you to pull up a chair with me, near the hearth.  Come a little closer…that’s it. Do you feel the heat? Can you hear the crackle of burning wood, smell the faint char, see the flames flapping, flickering up into the air?  Wood consumed into…

The Bumpy Ride Home

I can still hear his voice… “Mud, brick, Flue!” My father’s bellowing, high on the scaffold, mid-afternoon; the mason pushing hard to finish the chimney by nightfall.  The sound reached me as I hoisted a 94-pound sack of dry mortar up onto a cement mixer.  At the time I was pre-adolescent, a lanky 110lbs. His…

Of Skiffs & Galleons

Not all prayer requests carry the same weight.  There are everyday prayers, call them skiffs , and then there are rarely seen ones, like Spanish galleons that cross the oceans. The skiffs carry coal into the harbor almost daily.  The galleons remain out of sight, yet when they do come, appear low in the water,…

A Walk In The Garden

“Lord, if I could dig out of your dense and diverse beauty, just a small sample, a fragment like an artifact, I promise to use every ounce of it to lift eyes to heaven, so that some who see only black sky, could see a blue moon passing Orion, on its way to morning.”  The…

One Morning On Miller Street

The hot August air sat heavy on the street, as though too tired to stir.   Brooklyn, East New York, with few trees, just ripples in asphalt.  The window fans whirred.  Mama’s sat on fire escapes dabbing their forehead, watching children scurry after bubbles. I was here with Joy, a college sophomore from Minnesota, who was…

Michelle-A legacy

In the grainy photo I recognize her standing off to the side in a shaded corner of a hotel lobby. All around her students and staff prepare for an outreach event.  The occasion is the Urban Student Leader’s conference in New Orleans-post Hurricane Katrina.  It’s a perfect picture of Michelle, content to be silent and…

The Deeper Root–How God uses Silence

In the winter of 2005 we were living in New York, in a house with good bones, but poor insulation. It was bitter cold in the attic that night. I knelt before a candle, under a blanket, and prayed against an urgency which pressed like gusts of wind against my contemplative desires. I agonized for…

A Grace We Cannot Live Without

 “Lord, I offer this post to you, not a masterpiece, but a broken piece, to honor those, who through their broken gift, offer back a grace they cannot live without.” In my memory, I am trying real hard to coax a single word out of my voice box.  The patient lady with the long jowls…