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Showing posts from May, 2016

this land is your land (but not yours alone)

happy memorial day, a day we set apart to remember specifically that the freedoms and liberties we enjoy were bought at a price, and that price was paid in the currency of human lives.  even today, as we think about our way of life, we should recognize that when we abuse our freedoms, or take them for granted, we are devaluing that price and dishonoring that memory.  when we choose greed over commonwealth; when we choose comfort over justice for all; when we choose personal gain over public health; when we choose self over community and country; we forget the great gift we've been given and we shame ourselves.

this land was never just for me.  it was always for us.  it was always about freedom from monarchy, freedom from legislated religion.  it left room for differences.  we seem to have forgotten that in our country today, when instead of welcoming the tired, the poor, and the hungry, we want to build walls and deport those who are different.  we want this to be our land, and …

catching our breath

we have one month.  one more month of putting all of our earthly possessions into cardboard boxes so we can move 60 miles west.  one more month of ministry in this place where we've been serving and sharing hope for the last 6 years.  one more month.

and now that we are down to so few weeks left, we find ourselves in a season of "lasts:"  the last day of school is next week; i sang my last anthem with the choir; last piano lesson; last prayer gathering; last board meeting; and on tuesday, we had our last soccer game.  caedmon scored two goals and played a bit of keeper in the loss.

it is weird living in a land of so many lasts.   everything has an emotional heaviness, like the next tearful goodbye is just around the corner.  and yet there is a relief to it, too.  it is good medicine in this busy season to know that we'll have our tuesdays, thursdays, and saturdays back.  that we don't have to study history cards anymore.  that we can take this month to really …

an open letter to apple

To the Good People at Apple,
Hi.  It’s greg.  You remember me, of course.  I’ve owned several of your devices and spent a small fortune in acquiring them over the years.  We’ve owned at least 4 different ipods, and an assortment of iphones and ipads.  It’s like we are family now. 
So, anyway, how’ve you been?  I’ve been okay. Well, actually, not so much.  See, I’ve lost my best mate.  He was always there for me, and seemed to have just what I needed at any particular moment.  When I was happy, he would feed off of that and make me dance.  When I was sad, he would softly whisper and give me space for my sadness to slowly spill out.  He listened to me, and I listened to him.  A lot. 
I loved him deeply.  In fact, we once celebrated his arrival with a cake. 


  see?
I also once wrote an ode to him, and put it on my blog for the whole world to see.  It went like this: 
thank you, o small sleek shuffler of songs,
for your constant companionship.
for the way your screen lights up so viv…

our (late) mother's day annual family video 2016

for the last seven years, my boys and i have put together a little family video each may as a tribute to their mom, and as a snapshot - a kind of video scrapbook page - to capture them at that particular moment of their lives.  as we look back now to the very first one in 2009, it is amazing to see how they've grown and changed.

this year, i didn't get to make our annual mother's day video in time for mother's day, which was very disappointing to me, although Shannon was extremely gracious about it, saying that it isn't something i need to do.  still, whether that is true or not, it is something i really want to do, and i was frustrated that i wasn't able to get to it in time for mother's day, but the reality of our lives right now is that we are moving in 6 weeks, and the perfect storm of packing, saying goodbyes, having yard sales, planning a good beginning in our new church, along with all the emotions involved in all of that, has just been too much.  …

standing on the promises of God

we had a great day yesterday, beginning with worship at our church, full of joy, sharing together in the Lord's Supper, and a reminder of how we ought to be investing in one another in love and service. then, our family headed up to bloomsburg in the afternoon for a farewell service for our district superintendent, the rev. dr. Tom Salsgiver.  it was a beautiful service with trumpet, powerful pipe organ, a wonderful choir anthem, and a joyful communion with a huge gathering of folks from the lewisburg district.  it was awesome for me to get to sit with my family and worship, and to pay tribute to the ministry of my friend and mentor.  he has been such a blessing to me and my whole family, supporting us as we moved back to pennsylvania from new jersey, taking a personal interest in me and my well-being in ministry, and expressing great confidence in my call and my gifts.  i respect and admire him, and yesterday it was meaningful to be with a great cloud of witnesses to honor him.