A Time to Feast and a Time to Fast: Ash Wednesday Approaches

If every day were Christmas, we’d be miserable.  We’d be stuffed, bored, broke and fractious.  Irritations would win the day and gloom and unfulfilled expectations would slather everyone with despondency. Adults would desperately turn to TV, youth and teens to … Continue reading A Time to Feast and a Time to Fast: Ash Wednesday Approaches

Denton Mystery Worship Eleven: Reflections on The Messiah and Methodism

[Note: I am working on assignment for the Denton Record Chronicle to visit different places of worship weekly and write about my experiences. Those columns can be found here. Full disclosure: I am affiliated with the church described below and … Continue reading Denton Mystery Worship Eleven: Reflections on The Messiah and Methodism

Denton Mystery Worship Nine: Incense, Bells, Exclusion, and the Economy

“Advent is not Christmas. We want the celebration of the day without the hard work of preparation.” With these words, the Rev. Kathryn Thompson, Rector, began her first Sunday in Advent message at the Episcopal Church of the Annunciation in … Continue reading Denton Mystery Worship Nine: Incense, Bells, Exclusion, and the Economy

Promiscuous Love

This time of year when the acorns and pecans cover sidewalks liberally here in North Texas, I start thinking about how nature, with its powerful urge to reproduce itself, shows us much about the nature of God’s love. There is so much of it that we can trample on it and still have plenty left over to feed wildlife abundantly and see many new trees sprout in the spring.  The nuts fall apparently without discernment–they are not parceled out or rationed, but are available to all comers. Promiscuous, actually. And, quite a picture of God’s love. The Bible simply abounds … Continue reading Promiscuous Love

A Stress Free Christmas: Five Ways to Keep Santa in the Season

Happy holiday time has arrived. Way too many folks suffer unnecessary stress during this time, mainly because of a lack of focus on the really important center, which is, of course, Santa, gifts, family and fun. However, we all face multiple distractions which dilute the reasons for the season. So, below, you will five suggestions that, faithfully followed, will guarantee a relaxed, fun Christmas celebration free of distraction. ONE: MUSIC Choose carefully the kinds of seasonal music surrounding you and your loved ones. Again, the Holidays are a season of happiness, family, joy and gifts. Accompanying music should be full … Continue reading A Stress Free Christmas: Five Ways to Keep Santa in the Season

Christmas: It’s Worth Celebrating

It’s about the poor and left out. That’s the main message of Christmas–doesn’t matter what religion or beliefs you hold, the center of this crazy, shopping-exhausted, fueled-by-adrenaline partied, frenzied decorated, over-the-top worship-extravaganzad day is that invisible, lonely, cast-out, poor and powerless people matter. We just tend to forget that in the stampede for the “perfect” Christmas, be it gift, meal, family, event or decor. Christmas is about the minimum-wage person who exhaustedly checked you out on the last-minute shopping. Christmas is about the “undeserving” poor, who are currently the object of much disdain. Christmas is about the people who are … Continue reading Christmas: It’s Worth Celebrating