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“Why I Do What I Do”

Kim Atkins works at the place my mom lived the last 8 years of her life. They took very good care of her. Here’s one example of what I mean, and I thank Kim for graciously letting me share with you something she wrote recently —

Was working yesterday and bummed about losing another patient I had gotten pretty attached to.

So I’m asking my dementia patient the questions I always ask: “Can you tell me your name?”

She answered correctly with her first and last names, and even told me her sister’s name, again both first and last. I was pretty amazed

“Can you tell me where you are?” I asked

She replied, “I’m in your heart.”

That right there is why I do what I do.

Join me in thanking Kim on behalf of who-knows-how-many people.

Leviticus 19:32 says, “Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God.” I find it significant that two of the three parts of that verse focus on one demographic, don’t you? 

And notice that the demographic highlighted twice is literally in the company of the divine there. Whoa now.

And then once again, join me in thanking Kim on behalf of who-knows-how-many people for the difference she makes every day.

And then beyond that, find a way to thank someone you know who brings to their work what Kim does every day. She, and they, are amazing.


G.E.D. Living, part 3

Someone, and I’m embarrassed to admit I’m not sure who it was, sent me a list of simple, practical things to do.

With gratitude to that anonymous source, here’s a series of somethings you and I can do to practice what I’m calling God’s Earth Day (G.E.D.) Living

  1. Let the sun shine in. Open the curtains, raise the blinds, and spend time in rooms that get natural light.
  2. Turn off lights you’re not using. Leave a room, hit the switch! Don’t forget outdoor lights.

3. Control the temperature. Adjust your heat, water heater, or air conditioner even a few degrees to lower your bills. Better yet? Use a programmable thermostat.

For the record, please note the total absence here on my part of any reference to a traditional understanding of a place of eternal punishment and its inherent heat.

This is, clearly, about the world we live in and which God has entrusted to us. See Psalm 8 for details. God really does trust us!

Ya Know Those People Who…?

“People are gonna say whatever they want about you,” says Cynthia on Mozart in the Jungle, S4E3.

She continues, “Your job is to concentrate on the music and ignore the noise.”

“Haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate,” sings Taylor Swift, and “I shake it off, I shake it off.”

“If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet,” says Christ Jesus in Matthew 10:14.

Apply as needed, and I’ll see you back here tomorrow.

Meanwhile, let’s “concentrate on the music and ignore the noise.”


You’re Not the Boss of Me!

I’m one of those people who knew everything about raising children.

Then I became a parent.

“You’re not the boss of me!” was a goofy line I thought an adult made up and blamed on a child.

Then I became a parent.

But, “You’re not the boss of me!” is something not only children say. I’ll admit that I’ve demonstrated that sentiment in both word and deed, even to God.

You, too?

From that first Christmas comes this message: Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord(Luke 2:11)  That last word, Lord, isn’t subtle or tricky or hard to understand. Lord means “the one in charge” and “the one to whom we’re answerable” and, well, yeah, Lord means “boss.”

Lord, have mercy; you ARE the boss of me.


It’s Still Not His Last Name

There they were again.

There were those same words: Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

We heard those words from Luke 2:11 almost five months ago.

We zoomed by them, hurrying to the manger.

Christ is not Jesus’ last name.

Christ is the Greek translation of a Hebrew word Messiah.

Messiah is rich in meaning and perhaps best said in English along the lines of God’s Anointed  One, or God’s Special Leader, or even God’s Chosen Liberator.

Not just almost five months ago, but today, hear again the good news of the Gospel: Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

As a favorite song of our son’s says, “Give thanks with a grateful heart.”

Just for Today

[If you missed yesterday’s blog, just scroll down and contextualize today’s.]

Let’s expand that just a bit, and go from “just this morning” to “just for today” and intentionally enjoy it.


I’ll be thankful for the ordinary joys like food and drink and sunshine floating through the window and the breeze on my face when I step outside and the joy of one memory which warms my heart and what would you add?

I’m adding music to my list.

What would you add? I’d love to know, so please let me hear from you by any of the usual means, platforms, etc., including Commenting here.

And let’s be intentional about enjoying and being thankful, at least just for today.



Just This Morning

Melanie Silva writes as part of a team producing a weekly devotional page I send to a group in our church. I affectionately call these souls our At Homers, or a bit more officially, our At Home Union-ites.

Along with a cover letter updating them on various things in our church, I also enclose a puzzle page which is usually beyond my ability to solve.  I’m told this mailing is greatly appreciated.

Recently Melanie wrote this, and it’s my joy to share her challenge with you today —

It’s only been a few weeks since we said: “Christ is risen; he is risen indeed!”

How is it that the notes and words fade so quickly from our hearts?

In just one week’s time, the loud “Hosannas” of Palm Sunday shifted to “Crucify him, crucify him.” Have we done the same thing? Can it be that already the mundane drudgery of our every day has overshadowed the Easter lilies and all they symbolize?

How to make our faith stay alive as we trudge through our every day remains a challenge for clergy and laity, theologians and stay-at-home parents, professors and students — and for those of us beset by physical limitation.

We experience the same sort of thing at the start of the new year. So often, we say
in January, “This year will be different.”

Perhaps this is the problem: A year is a long time when we talk about change. So
how about just a morning?

This morning, when I drink my hot coffee, I will be thankful for its warmth and the wakefulness it brings.

Just this morning, I will appreciate the shaft of sunshine floating through the window.

Just this morning, I will be grateful for the breeze on my face when I step outside.

Just this morning, I will take delight in the joy of one memory which warms my heart.

And before we know it, our practice of “just this morning” will be a part of our
entire day, and we will truly be Easter people.

—  I’m in.

You? Challenge accepted? 

Just this morning,” right?