Marimba Magic

A few years ago I decided to learn to play the Marimba, that xylophone-type instrument from Zimbabwe. And I found in that experience some good fun, but also some good theology. First, when you learn marimba in the manner of the Shona people of southern Africa, you do not learn

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Cobwebs and Lent

Recently I was cleaning up my house, preparing for company when I decided to clear away the cobwebs in the corners of the ceilings. I thought this job would take just a few minutes when I hauled the little vacuum out of the closet. But the funny thing is –

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The Best Medicine

So… a horse goes into a bar. The bartender asks, “Why the long face?” Two men throw a party. Someone asks, “What’s the celebration?” They say, “We just finished a jigsaw puzzle, and it only took us six week!” “Six weeks? Isn’t that awfully long for a jigsaw puzzle?” “Oh”,

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Expanding Your Voice

When my daughter Kate was 16 she had her first taste of national politics. It happened in 2008, when she was in her junior year of high school. One of the requirements for her International Baccalaureate degree was that she had to do a certain number of community service hours.

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Just the Facts, Ma'am…

G.K. Chesterton and several other literary figures were once asked what book they’d want to have with them, if they were stranded alone on a desert island. “The complete works of William Shakespeare”, one writer quickly replied. “I’d choose the Bible”, offered another. “And what about you?” they asked Chesterton,

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Uncommon Joy

One of the books I’ve been reading lately is Gary Shockley’s The Meandering Way: Leading by Following the Spirit. In it the author looks at some of the challenges facing the church today and suggests some ways we might need to change to address those challenges. At one point, Shockley

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Too Small Plans

In the coming weeks, the Parish Conference and the Ministry Conference will be doing some work together to identify some priorities for FUMC in the next 3 to 5 years. The truth is there are about a thousand different ways we could spend our energies, and just as many goals

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One Foot in the Water

One of the things I try to do on a regular basis is swim laps. I’ve not always had the kind of nearly perfect discipline like some of you here, but I do try to get to the pool at least three days a week. This afternoon I had finished

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Snow Day

The snow started falling at my house yesterday afternoon. It was lovely to watch – especially since I had already decided that my Martin Luther King Jr. holiday would be spent at home, catching up on rest, doing a few creative projects, and enjoying being home. This morning it was

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