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Showing posts from May, 2015

Three in One, there's nothing wackadoodle about it...

Years ago one of my favorite articles in the NY Times Magazine was “On Language,” written by the late William Safire. One Sunday, back in 2008, Safire wrote an article on the word “Wackadoodle.” Have you ever used wackadoodle in a sentence? Well, Safire stated that it’s become quite a popular word. 
Safire quotes examples of a well known pastor being called a wackadoodle, a state legislator being labeled a wackadoodle for some of his beliefs and public statements, as well as Michael Jackson and Tom Cruise being called wackadoodles. 
Safire defines Wackadoodle, its an adjective and takes its first syllable from wacky – that is, ‘far-out, eccentric, off the wall’ possibly from ‘out of whack.’ The doodle ending means “simpleton” and has its roots in the term Yankee Doodle.
Today, Trinity Sunday, has reminded me of Safire’s article and the word wackadoodle. Perhaps my thought process makes sense to you? I mean the Christian understanding of God in three persons can seem a bit “far out,” …

The Holy Spirit: glue in diversity, creative instigator, wildly playful

For a couple of years Dan and I lived in the desert southwest. It was an interesting place to live, especially if one loves wildlife. Our house sat on the foothills of a mountain range that housed a canyon known world wide for its variety of birds, especially hummingbirds. Walking our dogs around our neighborhood was a lesson in observance, particularly if we were walking in the early morning or evening, during the cool of the day. It was during the cooler times of day that the wildlife came out. Every day we had to navigate around the packs of coyotes in the arroyos, or the bobcat family that lived on the roof of the house across the street. One day we encountered a gila monster sunning itself in a driveway. Vultures flew over head and with their keen vision scoured the earth for animal remains from the night before. Occasionally we were blocked from walking part of a street because of an infestation of Africanized killer bees. Particularly striking were the tarantula wasps. These wa…

The Holy Spirit, An Agitator for Justice

A reflection on the readings for Easter 6B
In 1914 President Woodrow Wilson declared the second Sunday of May as the national day of observance for Mother’s Day. However, the history of Mother’s Day is much longer than the legislation of a 101 years ago. The ancient culture of Greece and Rome, out of which our Christian faith grew, worshipped the female goddess Rhea, who was the mother of all the Gods. Christians have worshipped Mary, the mother of Jesus, and held her up as a model for womanhood and motherhood. In the 17th century England created Mothering Sunday designed to allow working people to have a day off in order to travel home and spend the day with family. Woodrow Wilson’s declaration was the result of the efforts of two women, Julia Ward Howe and Anna Jarvis. 
You might remember that Julia Ward Howe, following a visit to Civil War battlegrounds in 1861,  wrote the Battle Hymn of the Republic. The hymn’s theology is based on the Book of Revelation. Then, in 1870, in respon…

The Holy Spirit, an Equal Opportunity Lover of People

A reflection on the readings for Easter 5: Acts 8:26-40; 1 John 7:7-21; John 15:1-8
The other day I had a conversation with someone about their childhood and whether or not faith was an active part of it. This person shared stories of growing up in a church with a progressive priest who took the confirmation class to Detroit to participate in the civil rights marches in the 1960’s. It was the first time this person had been in a crowd of black people, and, as an adolescent, the experience made a life-long impression on her.  She was in Grant Park in Chicago during the Democratic Convention of 1968, another transformational experience. Racial and gender issues have defined her life.  Deeply invested in the causes for equality for all people, she said that living a life of privilege pushed her to become of aware of and re-evaluate her assumptions. As a person of privilege she had to unlearn assumptions about the economy and its impact on poverty, race, and gender. She has had to unlearn…