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Those Empty Adirondack Chairs

You’ve seen them, no doubt. Down by a little pond in the front yard sit two Adirondack chairs, side by side. The perfect place for two people to relax, look out over the water, maybe notice a frog on the bank and a sparrow in the tree overhead. The settings for these two chairs are…

Two Words and a Wedding

  Tonight I will officiate at my second wedding in a week. I like weddings, but I always struggle with what to say. At baptisms, the parents in the front pews listen even though they’re often tussling with older siblings of the one in white. At funerals, people listen intently. Their stare—both skeptical and desperate—says:…

For All The Robin Williams’s in My Life

I was startled, then saddened this morning to read of Robin Williams’ death. “. . .suicide by asphyxia.” “ . . . battling severe depression.” “ . . .  addiction to alcohol.” “. . . an admitted abuser of cocaine — which he also referred to as ‘Peruvian marching power’ and ‘the devil’s dandruff’.” I…

Wrestling a Blessing (With a Limp to Prove it)

“What kind of God is this who wrestles with us, Dad?” The voice on the phone was my daughter Sharon. A candidate for ordination, she had preached on the story of Jacob wrestling with God. Now, walking home from church in downtown Atlanta, she was calling me, in a state of holy agitation. “A God…

Alone With My Thoughts? Just Shock Me.

  All mankind’s troubles are caused by one single thing, which is their inability to sit quietly in a room. -Blaise Pascal   When I leave on vacation later in August, I am leaving my smart phone at home. There should probably be some version of methadone for those who stop doodling with their phones…

Famous Little You

In his intriguing article, “Love People, Not Pleasure,” Arthur C. Brooks considers the three classic aspirations that fuel our quest for happiness: fame, wealth and pleasure. Not surprisingly, Brooks concludes that none of the big three brings happiness. The whole article is worth reading (http://nyti.ms/1rnCr3I), but I was taken by this reflection on fame. Most…

A Gardener’s Theology of Weeds

  When I go into the garden with a spade, and dig a bed, I feel such an exhilaration and health that I discover that I have been defrauding myself all this time in letting others do for me what I should have done with my own hands. -Ralph Waldo Emerson   Ralph Waldo would…

Lay My Burden Down

“Come to me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” I read this passage to my congregation yesterday, surely some of the most sublime words ever to pass Jesus’ lips. But instead of my talking and talking about those beautiful…

To Make Something of Beauty

One of the simplest joys of life is to make something beautiful.  For me that joy is greater when that something has been run down or broken or left for useless. For the past three days I have been painting my daughter and son-in-law’s new apartment in New York. Actually, I have been working on…

Losing Weight

I’m grateful for today’s guest post from my wife, Pam Anderson, who, along with my two daughters, blogs at threemanycooks.com.   David and I have lived in Darien for eleven years now—the same amount of time we were in Bucks County before moving back here. Last winter I suggested to David that, come spring, maybe…

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