God turns a desert into pools of water, a parched land into springs of water. The upright see it and are glad; and all wickedness stops its mouth. Let those who are wise give heed to these things, and consider the steadfast love of God. Psalm 107: 35; 42-43 I spend a lot of time with folks who have no interest in the Bible, less interest in Jesus, and zero interest in the church. I’m not surprised. Too many “christians” have done so many hateful, despicable, and disgusting t
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. – Eleanor Roosevelt “Futuring” is a special discipline within the humanities that is used a lot by businesses trying to get ahead of new market opportunities. It is also a fairly complicated and incredibly inexact science with high stakes outcomes for companies seeking to remain profitable in a rapidly-changing world. Lots of church folks trying to understand the decline of oldline churches such as the Un
I often tell folks that the most important and useful training I received for ministry came from my days as an opera stage manager and production coordinator. Seminary certainly taught me a great deal about theology, exegesis, and history, but doing triple rep in an opera company taught me about the power of patterns. Patterns are everywhere and yet they can often be elusive to discern. On the other hand, it is also pretty easy to establish a new pattern and it can be trans
Psalm 104 : 1-4 (NRSV) Bless the Lord, O my soul.
O Lord my God, you are very great.
You are clothed with honor and majesty,
2 wrapped in light as with a garment.
You stretch out the heavens like a tent,
3 you set the beams of yourchambers on the waters,
you make the clouds yourchariot,
you ride on the wings of the wind,
4 you make the winds yourmessengers,
fire and flame your ministers. Human mastery of fire is a key moment in our evolution. From the momen
What a crazy political time it is, this summer of 2013! The Supreme Court of the United States has just gutted the voting rights act making it easier for states to discriminate against minority groups in the balloting process and then on the very next day allowed a lower court ruling to stand that repealed Prop. 8, paving the way for marriage equality in California. It also repealed the federal ban on same-gender marriage (DOMA) thereby granting same-gender couples in state
“You can safely assume you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.” – Anne Lamott I recently got to live-tweet the final dress rehearsal for San Francisco Opera’s new opera, the Gospel of Mary Magdalene by Mark Adamo. For the record, I like this new work in many ways and I am completely smitten by the performance of Sasha Cooke in the title role. I’m looking forward to seeing it again as part of our season tickets. But I
Hands knead the sprained flesh where rib number five has worked itself out of line and out of order. Ugh. Getting a massage used to be more pleasure and less work. Breathe in . . . breathe out . . . breathe through . . . The massage therapist continues along, digging out the past trapped in my body, like an archaeologist mapping a new site. Left knee cap – Cracked in 1982 while running upstairs to the light booth in Hammond Hall at Rice. Coccyx – Shattered by fall down a mar
On a personal note: I never intended to become an actual blogger who got comments from folks beyond my normal sphere of activity. I really appreciate all the wonderful discussion that continues to take place concerning my first “off -the-cuff” piece about the San Francisco Symphony strike. I am especially moved to hear from classical musicians around the world who are hopeful that their San Francisco colleagues can prevail in this situation. Still, my crackpot theory is t
Happiness depends, as Nature shows, less on exterior things than most suppose. – William Cowper (1731-1800) English poet and hymnodist I never cease to marvel at human diversity when it comes to happiness and suffering. Despite all contrary indications, some of the happiest people I have ever met had little “reason” to be happy. Ironically, some of the most miserable folks I have ever met had the most going for them. It is also true that two children raised in the same fam
The mind is its own place, and in itself, can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven. – John Milton (1608-1674) Want to change your life? Change your practice. Want to be loved? Change your heart. Want the world to be different? Change your mind. But don’t expect anyone else (or your church or your family or your community or your whatever) to fix you or change things to make your life better. Our grasp of heaven is always in our hands and we are in the hands of God whose