From the Dirt

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New LifeI am amazed with composting.  I find it to be one of the most beautiful ways of experiencing new life after death.  The materials that go in, from: egg shells to radish tops, leaves to grass clippings.  You stir it, cultivate it, allow it to “heat up.”  And then, one day, rich soil is ready to produce more life.

Scripture says that God took some dirt from that ground, formed it into a human creature then God blew breath into it’s lungs, and now the human was alive.  We are the the result of composted lives;  Mothers and Fathers of the faith.  We are ready to be cultivated and made new in God’s continuing creation.



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Eart2014-05-26 07.29.53h

Earth is LONGING

Earth is LONGING for Life

Earth is LONGING for Life – Unknown

Earth is LONGING for Life – Still Buried

Earth is LONGING for renewal

Earth is is PREPARING



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Our oldest son, Jacob, recently finished performing “Fiddler on the Roof” with Children’s Theater of Madison. I am continually captivated by “Tradition.” I like the song, but there is so much more to it than just fun lyrics.
There is one portion of the show where Tevye is talking about traditions, listing them off and telling the audience why that particular tradition is important. Some of the traditions, Tevye has no idea why they are the way they are.
What I’d like to chat about is when is tradition a significant grounding for faith; and when is it “we’ve always done it this way.”?
What are the positives and potentials pitfalls of tradition?

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2014-05-11 11.15.33On the corner of Linden & Dunning there is a contemplation garden.   Sometimes I just sit on the grass; others on the memorial bench.  I particularly like it when the air temperature is a bit cold, but the sun is out in full force.

I find it amazing to see flowers grow from just bursting through the earth to full bloom and color. As I look at those petals, seeing their shape, texture and shades of color I am struck with awe for all of God’s creation.

What I have noticed most, is that now I actually notice.  By that I mean that I take in my surroundings in a different way than before.  Not necessarily better, but with deeper appreciation.  Robin (a man who sleeps on Zion’s front steps) all it takes is a smile to unfurrow his brow.  Another man who hunts for cigarette butts so he can smoke them – he does’t want a pack of his own (I tried that) but he freely received help when I noticed a pretty big butt by the church door.  I hear more sounds, smell more smells, and see more sights…simply because I notice.

Are you able to notice?  What could be standing in your way?

Emotional Confusion

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Many of you have heard or read about Bishop Bruce Burnside hitting and killing Maureen Mengelt this past Sunday afternoon.

Allegations are that Bruce was intoxicated and fled the scene of the accident.

As of now (Tuesday late morning) Bruce is still detained and awaiting arraignment.

My post today is to allow you (and myself) a place to question, pray, potentially vent if need be.

Personally, I’m angry, confused, heart broken for Maureen and her family, concerned for Bruce, at a loss for what this could mean for our Synod and the list goes on…

Conflicted Religious Identity Syndrome (CRIS)

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Anne Rice, after she announced on Facebook, that she is no longer a Christian.

“My faith in Christ is central to my life. But, following  Christ does not mean following His followers. Christ is infinitely more important that Christianity and always will be, no matter what Christianity is, has been or might become.”

New Book to Discuss

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I recently began a book titled “Why did Jesus, Moses, the Buddah, and Mohammed Cross the Road?” by Brian McLaren.

Even within the initial pages, McLaren poses wonderful questions that should help all of us to consider standing in solidarity with “the other”, as Jesus did.

I hope to consistently blog quotations and questions from the book that we can discuss.Image

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