Thoughts and Prayer

February 28, 2022

Read more


Still Hopeful

November 24, 2021

At least the roads and bridges are going to get fixed. Living in pot hole world and hoping for something in government to work is getting more and more challenging, even for the optimistic; even for...
Read more


Fruit Bearing

November 3, 2021

The little plum tree in our back yard outdid herself this year. Hundreds and hundreds of flowers in the early spring yielded thousands of little green plums. The birds and the squirrels loved them...
Read more


For Jayden

July 27, 2021

July 2021
Read more


Landslide

July 14, 2021

Today I was at a meeting of sojourners brainstorming about offerings we could make… in prayer… healing ministry… racial reconciliation… lectio life… and on and on to the point my head was...
Read more


If I Could Put You in My Pocket

June 27, 2021

This is a poem I wrote for my brother after he had a stroke last year. He has never seen it before.
Read more


Fruit Bearing

June 27, 2021

The little plum tree in our back yard outdid herself this year. Hundreds and hundreds of flowers in the early spring yielded thousands of little green plums. The birds and the squirrels loved them...
Read more


Pondering the Paradox

January 14, 2021

What are we to make of the dynamic tensions of life? The either/ors? The gains/losses? Few, if any, of us are not thankful to turn the page on 2020. Stark dichotomies, paradoxes, winners and losers...
Read more


Wanting. Waiting.

December 21, 2020

We say we want peace. Yet we stockpile weapons,Guns. bullets.We build walls and harbor hate. Suspicions and thirst for power rob peace.We say we want joy.Yet we resist forgivenessClose our...
Read more


5 Days Out

October 29, 2020

As I checked out at the Food Lion today, a young Black woman checking out my order, said to me, “ I like your button.” I was wearing my "Women Vote" button. I have had 500 of them printed since...
Read more


Finding 50 Righteous Men

October 13, 2020

“How great is the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah and how very grave is their sin. I must go down and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry that has come to me; and if...
Read more


When Rancor Enters the House

September 22, 2020

My husband, Tom, writes editorials that appear in newspapers across the state. Recently he wrote two columns dealing with racial reckoning. I read them before they were published. I give thanks for...
Read more


September Silence: A time of prayer for the healing of the world.

September 21, 2020

September Silence: A Time of Prayer for the Healing of the World
Read more


This.

August 31, 2020

“Let love be genuine. Hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the...
Read more


Forgotten History

August 18, 2020

A Reflection on Exodus 1:8 – 2:10
Read more


A Virtual Church

August 10, 2020

 
Read more


Stephen and the Mob

May 9, 2020

A Reflection on Acts 7: 55 – 60
Read more


We Had Hoped

April 26, 2020

W
Read more


Doubt

April 18, 2020

Dear Thomas, what questions you leave us with! You come into
Read more


Mary Went to the Phone

April 12, 2020

Perhaps it was that my mouth outran my brain, or the other
Read more


Where Can We Go?

April 4, 2020

A Reflection in Psalm 139
Read more


Watching for the Morning

April 1, 2020

A Reflection on Psalm 130
Read more


Got Solace?

March 27, 2020

A Reflection on Psalm 91
Read more


Comfort: A Reflection on Psalm 23

March 22, 2020

For a psalm that many of us learned as children, and a psalm that today we most often hear and speak responsively at funerals, Psalm 23 speaks to life today as we are living through what seems like...
Read more


Lectio Divina at Home

March 22, 2020

For the Lenten Season 2020 a small group from various churches has met at Saint Mark's UMC in Raleigh for lectio divina in the Psalms of Lent 2020. It occurs to me that the Virtual Church might...
Read more


Birdsong and evening prayer ‘gainst the setting sun. She sings in high tree top throat pulsing ...

March 20, 2020

Read more


Abba, Give Us a Word

March 18, 2020

By the 4th Century of the Common Era, monasticism
Read more


Reflection on Psalm 95

March 15, 2020

Sunday’s psalm begins with a call to song: “Let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.” As Italy is on lockdown to slow the spread of coronavirus, people have taken to opening...
Read more


SOS

March 7, 2020

SOS: A Lenten Devotional for
Read more


People of the Creed

March 2, 2020

 There may have been 70 of us gathered in worship today. We are not present in this church often, as we live in another town, but we feel part of this community. We share our lives before the...
Read more


The Myth of Power Part 2: Curiosity for Truth

January 25, 2020

Dorothy, Tin Man, Scarecrow, and the Cowardly Lion needed a little power – power to get home, power to get a brain, power to get a heart and power to get courage. They walked a yellow brick road in...
Read more


The Myth of Power

January 23, 2020

The Murphy house stood on the outskirts of Ayden, between
Read more


Out of the Mud and Filth

January 19, 2020

The CEB translation of the Psalms does not mince words. In fact, the words read in worship this morning, words from Psalm 40, were quite shocking in the way they spoke into today’s acrimony and...
Read more


Getting Through Death

January 13, 2020

We do not get over death; we get through it. There is no
Read more


Ever O'er the Babel Sounds

January 8, 2020

Edmund Sears was a Unitarian Parish Priest in the early 19th
Read more


Moorings

August 20, 2019

Keep us tethered to Your
Read more


Target Practice at Pierson Point

August 11, 2019

Ordinarily the POW! POW! POW! of gunfire a few backyards
Read more


Pondering Privilege

August 5, 2019

Nobody wants to talk about privilege; nobody wants to hear
Read more


Moonstruck

July 23, 2019

Fifty years ago on July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and the Apollo 11 team landed on the moon. I watched all day and night on a small black and white television holding an almost one-month old baby girl...
Read more


Enough Mud

July 19, 2019

How much mud is there in the world? We seem to find deep pits of it everywhere and we continue slinging it at each other, one blob after another, until we are covered in it and baking it on in the...
Read more


Slippery Slope Christianity

July 2, 2019

Over the past weekend, a highly elected North Carolina
Read more


Lisa is 50

June 25, 2019

If either of us had died before today, I would not have been
Read more


Bible Words

June 17, 2019

On Thursday night of Annual Conference, Rev. Greg Moore led
Read more


June 6

June 5, 2019

June 6 is my son in law’s birthday. Bless you, Wayne. Happy Birthday! June 6 was also my Mother and Daddy’s wedding anniversary. Smilax and satin marked that day. Mother was young. Daddy was a...
Read more


The Debatables

May 28, 2019

On the wall of the Visitor Center at Fort Frederica National Park hangs a replica map of the southeast coastline of the US circa 18c. To the north are the Carolinas, which are controlled by the...
Read more


Where Have You Been?

May 25, 2019

Coming out of Night Prayer into the first Great Silence I had entered in over three years, I heard God’s voice clearly say, “Where have you been? I have missed you.” Holy One, I have been busy....
Read more


73

May 17, 2019

Today is my 73rd birthday, which means that
Read more


O For a Thousand Tongues

April 21, 2019

The gulls were back tonight. Singing at the top of their
Read more


I Thought I Heard You Say

April 12, 2019

As I sat on a bench at the end of the pier, a huge flock of
Read more


Dear Aaron Sorkin - Part 2

April 12, 2019

The other night we sat in the first row of the mezzanine for
Read more


For Molly and All the Dogs We've Loved

April 3, 2019

This week we were supposed to keep Molly, Rich and Sandi's Big Brown Chocolate Lab, at our house while her “parents” were out of town. We had planned play dates, and a time at the river, which...
Read more


Bask in the Stillness

March 20, 2019

These words of prayer from Psalm 4 were the foundation of a
Read more


I Married a DJ

March 11, 2019

Okay, this is less Virtual Church and more real time realization. We are at our house at the river. Today it only sprinkled a little rain before the sun came out. The wind blew hard. Church this...
Read more


Cleanup on Aisle Three

March 7, 2019

As the Lenten Season begins, I give thanks for several
Read more


Living the Bible or The Living Bible?

March 4, 2019

In 2008, a young writer, an officially, though non-practicing Jew struck out to live the Bible. Literally. Every rule and admonition. Old and New Testaments. A.J. Jacob’s book, The Year of Living...
Read more


Oh, Jesus.. You Knew It All Along

March 3, 2019

This weekend has been glorious and tomorrow is
Read more


A Day That Will Live in Infamy

February 27, 2019

This title is not an original phrase. It was spoken by FDR in response to Pearl Harbor being bombed by the Japanese army in December of 1941. Yet on this day, February 26, 2019, something about this...
Read more


A Gaggle of Girls

February 17, 2019

Warm February afternoons bring the neighborhood children out
Read more


Lighting A Way

February 11, 2019

“Thy word in a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.”
Read more


Old Enough to Die

February 7, 2019

Barbara Ehrenreich, in her new book Natural Causes, opens her chapters with this basic thesis: Each of
Read more


One Small Child

February 7, 2019

There is a little boy whose name is Casey. He is barely
Read more


Lead me Lord. Lead me in thy righteousness

January 8, 2019

Make thy way plain before my face. Your way, Lord. Jesus is your way. I have told you, O mortal, what is good…. And you didn’t get it. So I came down myself. In person. A small baby we might have...
Read more


Dear Aaron Sorkin

January 2, 2019

Dear Aaron Sorkin,
Read more


All About Eves

November 6, 2018

Eves are part of us. They have import in our faith and in our life. Eve....apple serving Eve. Who wouldn't want an apple? Sorry we have paid such price for  that apple. All Hallows Eve... goblins...
Read more


A Quiet Night and Peace at the Last

October 12, 2018

The howling wind has ceased. The breaking waves in the river have subsided. Stars are out. Tideland EMC has the power turned on. Lucky – my skittish dog who has sat in my lap all day as Michael...
Read more


Proverbs

September 16, 2018

Tonight hurricane Florence is making her way through North Carolina. Her guile is becoming obvious. Not only has she destroyed a lot of the Carolina coast, but now her rain dump into tributaries and...
Read more


She Who Bakes Bread

September 7, 2018

Her first call was to ask me to pray for a young man who had been her student many years ago. He was 31 now and just diagnosed with acute leukemia. I added him to my prayer list; she who bakes bread...
Read more


Navigating the Shoals

September 3, 2018

North Carolina’s coastline had been known for years, longer than I have been alive, as the Graveyard of the Atlantic. Now, that does not have the same appeal as being known as the Garden State, or...
Read more


A Time of Re-Becoming

August 30, 2018

A few weeks ago, I was at my home church in Ayden preaching the funeral of a dear childhood friend. As I mingled among the people there – other classmates and old friends - I thought about how in...
Read more


Count Me a Heretic

July 20, 2017

Recent headlines in the news show a group of pastors praying and laying hands over President Donald Trump. I was not present and do not know their prayers; they were not praying to me. In a more...
Read more


Woman in the Yellow Shirt

February 2, 2017

I saw you today in the Orlando Airport. You were holding back tears as you talked to someone to the phone. You had a yellow shirt and a yellow legal pad and you wept as you wrote. I thought about...
Read more


I Did. I Do. I Will.

December 29, 2016

Today is December 29, 2016. It's a Thursday, our 51st Wedding Anniversary. Tom and I got married after Christmas, because I wanted to be at home for Christmas in Ayden with Mother and Daddy just one...
Read more


Delight and Detachment

April 16, 2014

The necklace was an exquisite Mother-of Pearl cross, adorned with silver filigree decoration. It was a gift to me from Jeanne, a dear and cherished friend. I love her and I loved the necklace. I...
Read more


And Richard

April 9, 2014

The way I signed the family mail at Christmas... Christmas Blessings to you and yours from Tom, Lib, Lisa, and Richard... It was the same with Easter cards, Birthday and Mother's and Father's Day...
Read more


On Hunger Games and the Road to Dystopia

April 2, 2014

This blog was begun well over a year ago after reading the book The Hunger Games and viewing the movie on the big screen. Only now am I brave enough to finish it:
Read more


Psalm and Solace

March 31, 2014

It's likely that no one on the planet has not seen the pictures and heard the reports of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. Exploitive and heart-breaking scenes of anguish and anger have flooded the...
Read more


The Drumbeat of Peace

March 12, 2014

China is “boosting its defense budget by 12.2 percent” in the coming year. So says the budget report released at the annual meeting of the People’s Congress last week. Scott Pelley of CBS News...
Read more


Rethinking Church: A Lesson from Disney

March 4, 2014

Our recent week away ended with three days cruising on the Disney Dream with our children and grandchildren. During those three days, I gave a lot of thought to the ways of the Disney operation....
Read more


Next, The Fiddles

February 21, 2014

On the table beside my bed is a book by Elizabeth Kolbert titled: “The Sixth Extinction.” It is not a religious book, not theological, not Spiritual Formation. Rather it more education bordering...
Read more


Midnight Clear

December 24, 2013

There are seasons of words and seasons of silence. For me, since October of this year, words have been hard to come by. My words got buried in busy-ness and grief over the loss of a beloved dog,...
Read more


The Way

October 12, 2013

The great Egret sat in the pine tree next to the front porch. All at once his catch was in sight. He dove with great intention into the river water with one purpose on his mind. One purpose that is...
Read more


Ardie

August 31, 2013

Henry Arden Stroud was my first cousin. He was what we in Eastern North Carolina would call “a mess.” He was never without a smile and a good word, a story true or false. Who knew? Ardie was born...
Read more


Damascus

August 27, 2013

O God, your people have not changed. Persecution and pain rule and human arrogance abounds.  Your people “have committed two evils: they have forsaken God, the fountain of living water, and dug...
Read more


The Book Club

August 12, 2013

Several years ago I was part of a book club of clergy women and other women from various churches in the District, and the Conference Staff. From the beginning it was decided that we would read...
Read more


Seeing Through the Eyes of a Child

August 7, 2013

Jesus says, “Let the children come to me, for to such as these belongs the Kingdom of Heaven.” I have figured out why he said it. It only took a few hours to see imagination and wonder, delight...
Read more


The Labyrinth Journey

July 22, 2013

The Labyrinth Journey
Read more


Happy Birthday, Lisa

June 26, 2013

Today is your 44th birthday. I probably should not announce that to the world; it could damage your game. Plus, after all, I still feel like I should be 44. But alas, I am not. The day you were born...
Read more


Jenny

June 19, 2013

“Train up a child in the way the child should go…” so goes Wisdom from the Ancient Scripture. I saw witness of this proverb today. Truthfully, I was only an observer. Likely allowed in only...
Read more


Goodnight and Happy Birthday, Dear Barb

June 15, 2013

Word came on Tuesday that a Healing Prayer Service would be offered for Barb Garlock, a long time member of Saint Francis United Methodist Church, and a former parishioner of mine. The note said that...
Read more


A Psalm, Moral Monday, and the Rest of the Week

June 11, 2013

North Carolina Senator Thom Goolsby certainly got the attention of some of us in his rant about “Moron Monday” and a “Circus coming to town.” I read his words and the words of Larry, Moe, and...
Read more


A Piano Lesson

May 31, 2013

For years I have known that although I am no Liberace, I love the piano. I have two of them. One was a gift on my fiftieth birthday. It sits in my home in Raleigh. The other is a piano that was in my...
Read more


Harold Gay, I Remember You

May 28, 2013

Sun sets on the day that is Memorial Day, 2013. On Memorial Days past, I remember selling poppies for the VFW in Ayden at a card table in front of Edwards Pharmacy. Daddy was a veteran of WWII. He...
Read more


O God, Never Let a Soul Be Lost to You...

May 3, 2013

The news of the day is disheartening. Mistrust, fear, and acrimony fill the air… putrid smells not borne of the goodness of You, O God, and the blessing of creation and a realization that life on...
Read more


Enough

April 16, 2013

The psalmist cries out, “How long, O Lord?” When the news of the day is tragedy, once again our hearts are broken, and our questions rise in the night. My prayer tonight has altitude…  I keep...
Read more


The Mother-In-Law: Tribute and Triumph

April 3, 2013

Happy Birthday, Grandma, you’re 91 today. April Fool’s! Really, April Fool’s Day. April 1st. Your birthday. Kind of an unfortunate trick. But you have handled it well for 91 years. Good for...
Read more


Rise and Shine

April 2, 2013

The road to Camp Don Lee from our house is part dirt, part pavement just wide enough for one car most of the way. It takes maybe five minutes, depending on traffic, to reach camp where our Easter...
Read more


11:16

March 31, 2013

Holy Saturday. Jesus has been hastily buried, thanks to Joseph of Arimatheia. The disciples are holed up. Everyone is distraught. Another sad day. Easter Eve is not celebrated in the same way as...
Read more


Tenebrae 2013

March 30, 2013

Tenebrae, A Service of Darkness, is a Holy Friday worship from the early Roman Church in which a series of candles is snuffed out following a reading from Scripture. The light goes dimmer and dimmer...
Read more


'Tis Midnight

March 29, 2013

Maundy Thursday 2013 is finished. The table was filled with simple food. Rice, beans, skewered meat. Wine and a quick remembrance of the supper Jesus was having with his friends around another table...
Read more


500 Beds

March 26, 2013

Today is Monday of Holy Week 2013, a day when thoughts gather toward the coming events of the week. Two thousand years ago, plus, Jesus was in Jerusalem. He had angered the religious authorities of...
Read more


When Death Comes

March 24, 2013

Whether death comes as waves crashing on the shore, or earthquake shaking the foundations, or like fog, creeping in on cat feet, when death comes, things change forever. There is forever an empty...
Read more


On to Jericho...Again: A Reflection on Psalm 31:11b

March 22, 2013

"Those who see me in the street flee from me."
Read more


To Infinity and Beyond

March 4, 2013

"You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." Acts 1:8
Read more


Lectio Divina and Psalm 27

February 19, 2013

The great blessing of time in lectio divina today... besides the time spent with the Living Word in Scripture... was being in the company of saints in communion and song and silence. The Spirit was...
Read more


Wilderness, Evil, and the Opportune Time

February 17, 2013

Icy road conditions have closed many a church in Raleigh this morning, including the one I was to preach in today. This is the sermon they would have heard. Welcome to the Virtual Church this first...
Read more


February 11 - Evening Prayer

February 12, 2013

O Lord, dusk settles and my eyes look up to You. Tall pines sway in a February breeze and gray clouds scurry across the sky as if drawing a blanket up on the coming night.  Thank you for this...
Read more


Writing a Love Chapter

February 5, 2013

Dear Virtual Church, The following post is a sermon I preached at Elizabeth UMC last Sunday. The Scripture reference for the message is I Corinthians 13: 1 - 13. Paul's Love Chapter is almost...
Read more


Breaking Dawn

December 28, 2012

Little children all across town were awakening to gifts and surprises galore. The young woman in my car was not. Instead we were driving to the Camel Club where she would spend Christmas day in AA...
Read more


A World in Need of a Savior

November 27, 2012

Thanksgiving Day is come and gone. Fellowship, over-eating, laughter and family togetherness have been great blessing. In the insulation of the family unit, in the comfort of a warm home, in the...
Read more


My One Vote

November 6, 2012

It is 6:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, November 6, 2012. Polls on the East Coast will open at 6:30 and remain open until 7:30 this evening. Lines will likely be long at polling places and Americans...
Read more


For All the Saints

November 4, 2012

The little church we attended this morning is our summer church. We have attended on Sundays we were away from home for a lot of years, enough so that we know people and they remember us. This...
Read more


A Promise in the Clouds

August 28, 2012

"I have set my bow in the clouds and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth..... I will remember my covenant that is between me an you.... I will not destroy you." Genesis 9...
Read more


The Journey of Red Hutch

August 27, 2012

She stood in the kitchen of our first home on Ninth Street in Greenville, North Carolina. By the time we met her, she had already had her oaken boards and oval trim painted white for kitchen use. We...
Read more


A Night Prayer

August 9, 2012

Almighty God, night falls on a day filled with so much emotion that all I can do is turn to You. You who calms the storm, You who waters the land and brings forth life. So much works against the joy...
Read more


A Lectionary Thought

July 31, 2012

The Old Testament lesson for Sunday was 2 Samuel 11: 1 - 15. My professor of Old Testament at Duke encouraged her students to preach from the Hebrew Scriptures. She urged us to remind parishioners...
Read more


A Thirst Quenched

July 29, 2012

For as many times as I have read the Psalmist's words about being in a "dry, waterless land," and for as often I have read the lament "my soul thirsts for You," my experience in worship today is the...
Read more


Higgs and God

July 18, 2012

The ancient story begins...."In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving...
Read more


The Freedom Bit

July 3, 2012

On the eve of another July 4th, thoughts turn to freedom proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence of these United States as "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Always turning an ear...
Read more


The Prophet's Bus

June 22, 2012

The prophetic voice is often found outside the church. Witness Jesus. His radical call to justice and unity was a threat to the religious authority of his day. Status quo faith is too comfortable....
Read more


My Brother's Keeper

May 14, 2012

Bipolar Disorder like other serious mental illnesses takes a toll on life. Besides being a thief of a person's potential, it comes into a family as a great hungry beast. It eats away resources of...
Read more


The Sarai Covenant

April 24, 2012

“Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age; it had ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. So Sarah laughed to herself saying, 'After I have grown old and my husband is old, shall...
Read more


Yellow Corvettes

April 19, 2012

Frequently in the Scriptures there is reference to "signs." Noah is given the sign of God's covenant in the rainbow that follows the flood. Abraham is given a sign. Jesus's birth is told in the words...
Read more


Mike's Death

April 12, 2012

Is sympathy a synonym for compassion? Does it mean that a sympathetic person is a compassionate person? Do we know what it is like to walk in each other’s shoes? Really?
Read more


Grief from the Other Side

April 11, 2012

"I lift up mine eyes unto the hills from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, maker of heaven and earth..."  These words from Psalm 121 came to my mind and heart on Tuesday morning...
Read more


Sparrow Song

April 9, 2012

Easter is heralded by all sorts of sounds. Lyre and timbrel sound. Brass trumpet and organ, voice and clapping. But no sound is a glorious this Easter morning as that of the sparrow singing from the...
Read more


Skin in the Game

April 6, 2012

Good Friday at the river. Rain is pouring. Even heaven cries. Scripture tells the awful, amazing tale. John 18:1 through John 19:42 takes us across the Kidron Vally to the garden where the fray...
Read more


Ah, Holy Jesus

March 29, 2012

Dr. Russell Richey was the professor at the Duke Divinity School who taught me Methodist History and Polity, but also something more. Dr. Richey would open every class reading the words of the Wesley...
Read more


A First Sunday Hope

February 27, 2012

Sunday, February 26, was the first Sunday of Lent 2012. The gospel readings for this year are from Mark. Mark, the first written of the gospels is a little like the Reader's Digest of the New...
Read more


The Shining

February 19, 2012

"Jesus led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them....." Mark 9: 2 - 9
Read more


7th Grade Lesson

February 8, 2012

"Train children in the right way, and when old, they will not stray."
Read more


A Remembering and A Reminding

January 29, 2012

The line at the Farmer Funeral Home in Ayden snaked around every room in the building and out into the January night through the parking lot. Many of them were teenagers there on a Saturday night to...
Read more


Tabula Rasa

December 31, 2011

The first time I heard the phrase, Tabula Rasa, I was blown away by the idea of a blank slate and how new beginnings offer a blank slate on which to write a life - a day, a year, a moment at a time....
Read more


The Christmas Card

December 22, 2011

For many years I sent Christmas Cards. Sometimes they were hand drawn... figures from the story of Christmas in line drawing with Scripture as the border. There was Mary..."my soul magnifies the...
Read more


Hopes and Fears

December 20, 2011

"The hopes and fears of all the years are met in Thee tonight..." So says the hymn that sings the good news in Bethlehem long ago, hopes and fears that are met in the Christ born anew among us at...
Read more


No Room for a Bed

November 28, 2011

For all the years of our marriage, Tom and I have decorated our home for Christmas on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Up and down the stairs come the "treasures" of a lifetime's collecting. It usually...
Read more


In It All..... Thanks

November 23, 2011

Folded newspaper Pilgrim hats and fringed felt Indian vests are long gone from my house. Gone are the times of going to Aggie's house or the Silo Restaurant for Thanksgiving Dinner. I remember being...
Read more


Those Who Seek

November 1, 2011

These words in Psalm 34:10 speak to me this All Saint's Day. The lectio divina group met at my house today. On this beautiful, cool November day, God spoke through the Scripture, and a faithful group...
Read more


746-6432

October 24, 2011

Grandmother Harris referred to the autumn of the year as "the season of melancholy." She found the closing down of plants and flowers a portend of cold weather to come. She was not a fan of the cold....
Read more


The Placemaker

October 18, 2011

"If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you . . . that where I am, you shall be also."
Read more


The Old Soul

October 16, 2011

From where does wisdom come? Is it born in the depths of suffering? Does it rise up out of imagination and possibility? Who has it and who does not? Does wisdom have value for the world today, or are...
Read more


A Prayer for Grady

October 5, 2011

At the dawn of creation God spoke forth light and dark and creatures from the seas and woods and God called it all good.... every living thing... good. In the dawn of this day I sit with blanket...
Read more


A Quiet Night and Peace at the Last

October 2, 2011

The blessing of evening prayer is found in the reading of the Nunc Dimittis, the Canticle of Simeon. In the Gospel of Luke, Simeon is found in the Temple in Jerusalem. Luke tells us that Simeon is a...
Read more


A Slow Rain

September 24, 2011

Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like the watercourses in the Negeb. May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy. Those who go out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with...
Read more


Re-Membering

September 11, 2011

Harmon Smith, who was one of my professors at Duke, is the one who taught me to hyphenate prefixes to gain better understanding of a word. In the case of re-membering, as in re-membering Christ, or...
Read more


In Harm's Way

September 6, 2011

Because God inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live. The snares of death encompassed me; the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me; I suffered distress and anguish. Then I...
Read more


At the End of Lament

September 4, 2011

"Be merciful to me, O God, for in thee my soul takes refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by...." So begins the lament of Psalm 57. The voice of lament is heard often in the Hebrew Psalms....
Read more


The Survival Kit

September 2, 2011

The woman in the checkout line at WalMart had two items in her cart. A loaf of bread and a large bottle of wine. I asked her if this was her survival kit and she replied, "It's amazing how much of...
Read more


Home Again

August 31, 2011

This is surely how Dorothy felt after a wild time in OZ. The last two days in Pamlico County, North Carolina have been a wild ride indeed. We had seen the pictures that the two brave souls had sent...
Read more


The Eye of the Storm

August 29, 2011

"When the storms of life are raging, stand by me....."
Read more


Making It Work

August 24, 2011

"And a man shall leave his father and his mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let...
Read more


A Prayer for Nana

August 21, 2011

When I first met Nana, her granddaughter was soon to become my Daughter-in Law. She and Papa were retired and still living outside Baltimore in a home they had shared for fifty or more years. She...
Read more


The Help: A Truth Revealed

August 14, 2011

I need to begin this blog with a truth of my own. I am white. I am American of English descent. I am a privileged person. As such I realize that my reflections on the Jim Crow South are likely...
Read more


"I Love Humanity..."

August 11, 2011

"It's people I have trouble with." These words were spoken by a pastor who was near and dear to my heart, my Father-In-Law. He was a graduate of Yale Divinity School, ordained and called to a Baptist...
Read more


Trapeze Living

August 9, 2011

If you have ever been to the circus, you will see the trapeze artists who fly from swing to swing with great ease. The work of the trapeze artist is to let go of one swing while at the same time...
Read more


Trapeze Living

August 9, 2011

Annual Conference this year was my last as a pastor under appointment in the North Carolina Conference. It might have been a little bittersweet, except that I had such a profound realization in the...
Read more


Rethinking Relevance

August 7, 2011

Recently in the newspaper, in the comic section which I normally read immediately after reading the obituaries, was a strip "Lio," which I cut out and put in my Bible along with other cartoon strips...
Read more


Pool of Blessing

August 1, 2011

In the company of friends and fellow travelers, Jesus was always renewed and refreshed for the work and the journey ahead. He would go to the home of Mary and Martha and Lazarus, break bread and...
Read more


Picking Up Knitting

August 1, 2011

The July gathering of the Ayden Strouds was the first time there has been a reunion of the family that was not at the occasion of someone’s death. Rather it was the time we all long for when we...
Read more


The Garden of Eden

July 31, 2011

“Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. And God saw everything that he had made and behold it was very good.”
Read more


Hart of my Heart

July 19, 2011

Your 17th birthday is on my mind and in my heart today. You were born on a hot, hot day that July 19th. We went to the hospital in both joy and anxiety for the day your mother and dad were going to...
Read more


Securities and Exchange

July 14, 2011

The discussion at breakfast this morning centered on investment portfolios and such. Moody's indicators and current fiscal climates are increasingly scary. The brink of financial ruin is not a...
Read more


This Day I Will Not Worry

July 13, 2011

"Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink or about your body or what you will wear....look at the birds of the air, they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and...
Read more


Boat Encounters of the Best Kind

July 11, 2011

The saying among boat people goes..."The best day in a person's life is the day someone buys a boat. The second best day in a person's life is the day when the boat is sold." Boats are a good...
Read more


Let Freedom Ring

July 3, 2011

We are usually not early for worship. So imagine our surprise when we arrived at 8:30 for a worship that began at 10:30! At one point I confess that we talked about leaving; Thankfully we did not....
Read more


Mr. Bo Jangles

July 1, 2011

Tom came back to the car visibly shaken. He had just gone in to order a chicken sandwich for his mother who was sitting with me in the car. That's all. But that's not all he got. Here is the rest of...
Read more


The Martha Mary Life

June 29, 2011

Read Luke 10: 38 - 42. This is the story of Martha and Mary, one the cleaner-cook, the other, the adoring listener. Read it and see who you are in the story. Most of us will choose either one or the...
Read more


The Light Shines!

June 26, 2011

Walking down the hill from the Wild Goose Festival, I remarked to Tom and others that I knew how Peter must have felt as he walked down the Mount of Transfiguration. It was sad to leave. We had...
Read more


Open My Eyes, Lord....

June 23, 2011

I want to see Jesus. Just like Zacchaeus who climbed a tree. Just like Moses who climbed a mountain. Just like shepherds who left field and flock... and the Magi who traveled from afar, so we have...
Read more


The Arts of Living

June 19, 2011

Under the trees in front of the Toucan Grill, with the smell of the fish house wafting in the warm breeze, we set up the tent. For Lisa, my daughter, this was her first outing as an artist. Both of...
Read more


All in the Game

June 13, 2011

" Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I tell you, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter will pass from the law...
Read more


Record in my memory.....

June 12, 2011

and in my heart, O Lord, a time of rejoicing in the good gifts of family and friends and the blessing of celebrating music and giftedness this night. We who are made in your image sometimes bring a...
Read more


Nibblers and Gobblers

June 8, 2011

"Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?" Matthew 6: 26
Read more


One of the Hungry

June 5, 2011

"Come to me you who are burdened and heavy laden......"
Read more


The Honor of Age

June 2, 2011

"Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you." Exodus 20:12
Read more


Today

May 29, 2011

Today has been a day in which I have known you, Lord. Not in the silence that calls me so often, nor the solitude when I know you up close and real.  Today, I have known you in both blue sky and...
Read more


Memorial Day Thoughts

May 29, 2011

Just before Memorial Day when I was a child, Mother would take us downtown, set up a card table in front of the drugstore where we would sell VFW poppies all morning. Daddy was a veteran and the...
Read more


Going Home

May 27, 2011

Today was a day that I have come away from thinking that Thomas Wolfe may not have known exactly what he was talking about. I spent this day in my hometown of Ayden, North Carolina, at a benefit golf...
Read more


Henry

May 23, 2011

Truthfully, we did not know what kind of guest Henry would be. We know that he has separation anxiety problems. When we have seen him and been around him, he has actually appeared quite neurotic....
Read more


Wednesday's Gift

May 20, 2011

Bite Size Bible Study is the name I gave the evening lectionary class this year. It seemed catchy and non-threatening. It was a drop - in kind of class, no real accountability. That said, it did not...
Read more


Light of the Moon

May 18, 2011

"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Nor does one light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so...
Read more


65

May 16, 2011

In the world where days are numbered and time is measured to the nano-second, in this day which is my 65th birthday, in this hour of reflection and prayer, I realize that the gift of years is wisdom....
Read more


Tuesday's Gift

May 14, 2011

"...Their delight is in the law of the Lord, and on God's law they meditate day and night. They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do...
Read more


Being Saved

May 12, 2011

"Day by day, as they spent much time in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and hearts, praising God and having the good will of all the people. And day by day, the Lord...
Read more


Learning Joy

May 9, 2011

The group is small. Mostly they are early middle aged men living with their house mother in a group home. Elsie brings them to church when she can. They sing songs in the Joy Class and hear the...
Read more


The Last Days

May 7, 2011

This week is my last week under appointment in the United Methodist Church. I begin these last days with reflection and prayer about what has been and what will be.
Read more


Mothers and Grandmothers

May 6, 2011

"I am grateful to God when I remember you..... I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you." ...
Read more


You Have Heard It Said.....

May 3, 2011

When Jesus sees the crowds that are following him, he goes up a mountain, sits down, and begins to teach them. He is a good Jewish Rabbi who sees that the ways of the world and the ways within the...
Read more


A Royal Gift

April 29, 2011

"Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife... and they become one flesh." Genesis 2: 24
Read more


In The Shelter of Your Wings, O LORD

April 28, 2011

Storm clouds and high winds march across the flatland of the southeast. Trees sway and fears rise as we watch doppler radar. We can almost see fate on the horizon. Where can we go but to God?
Read more


Of Gods and Men

April 27, 2011

For anyone who has ever said, "Yes, Lord. I will follow you," this movie is a great call to self-examination. The cinematography is sweepingly beautiful, capturing the majesty and mystique of place...
Read more


Healing in a Name

April 25, 2011

"Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed...."                                  John 20:1
Read more


Lectio Divina for April 21st

April 21, 2011

Psalm 118: 18
Read more