Concrete Cancer and Discrimination – Day Twenty-Two

Yes – good word!


concrete imperfect strength

Reinforced concrete was once called “liquid stone.” It is made of a combination of three main ingredients: 65% aggregates such as sand, gravel, crushed rock, recycled glass; 10-15% cement (calcium silicates and aluminates); and 15-20% water: and was invented in 1867 by Joseph Monier. The word “concrete” is derived from the Latin concretus that means, “grow together.” The crushed stone and gravel are mixed with the cement and water. And as the water hydrates the cement, the silicates grow and crystalize binding the strong rock powder, making it stronger than it was in the first state. By continuing to wet the mixture the binders grow further, strengthening the mass still more.

Interesting, the crystals are not crystalline as such, rather a more random structure (much like glass) that traps air pockets. In this way, this super strong concrete mass is also flexible. By adding twisted strands of steel—reinforcing bar, or…

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Grace Forthwith – Day Eighteen

Wow – Amen! So thankful for that heritage in you Nicole, as well as in my children. You are a beautiful reflection of a lovely man.


may the 4th be with you

When I was about to turn ten years old, the first Star Wars movie was released (May 25, 1977). Following the rejection of his Flash Gordon pitch George Lucas developed the idea of a space opera that included a hero that fought space creatures in foreign galaxies, by tracing the genres origins to the 1905 science-fantasy Gulliver on Mars, by Edwin Arnold. We would not see the movie until the next year when my Aunt Louise took my brother and I to viewing at a Denver theatre.

My aunt was with us because my dad had just endured an horrific accident related to his work. He was severely burned and would succumb to the injuries’ relentless tax on his body eight months later. So, as one might expect, my memories of the movie are mixed. It was a relief to be drawn into this galaxy far, far away—if only…

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The Politics of Pink – Day Eight

So I coined this term “masculist” many years ago in response to my pastor (at the time) flipping out to the idea that I would call myself a feminist. I assumed I was the originator of this word. To me it meant that I reject the notion that certain traits that are considered to be feminine traits or roles and assert men’s rights to have gifting and desires to nurture their children, to change their diapers, to be a person that cries and likes drinks with umbrellas in them and so on. But Googling the word, I find that there is much more history with the term and its related masculism, which has taken a much different meaning to others where it is more characterized as anti-feminism & machismo. Which is actually the opposite of my intention for the use of the words! So to others, masculism was as a rejoinder to feminism, but to me, it was actually a rejoinder to the negative reaction to feminism! …if you can follow. But just sharing this for the record based on my wife’s blog here mentioning my use of that word… 🙂


feminism quote korean food

The most popular Christmas present in 1967 was Battleship. It had actually been around as a pencil and paper game since 1930s until Milton Bradley released it as a board game in 1967. And while there were unmistakable elements that marked many toys as intended for a specific gender (e.g., dolls and kitchen sets for girls, GI Joe and die cast cars for boys), the color of these objects were not so obvious (i.e., pink for everything-girl) and still more toys were available that were merely intended for any kid to enjoy (Wham-O, Lite-Brite, jacks, marbles, and kazoos).

sam of the jungle

When my girls were young, we enjoyed watching Dora the Explorer. They learned a little Spanish and loved the quests Dora led them on, and she did so with a sense that anyone is able to go on such a quest. So when I went in search of a Dora-themed toy one…

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Multiple Dimensions to Healing Earth – Day Six

Best Earth Day Ever! Beautiful bike ride enjoying the earth, beautiful time with the fam and sharing about the cosmos and the deeper wave of love!! 🙂


Love is the seventh wave

Peace activist, John McConnell, believed humans have an obligation to take care of the earth, and to share its resources equally, based on such passages as Psalm 115:16. Two years before I was born, in June 1965, McConnell spoke at the National Education Association Convention in Madison Square Garden where the public came together for a “Minute for Peace.” In October 1969, at the National UNESCO Conference in San Francisco, McConnell proposed a global holiday to celebrate Earth’s life and beauty and to advance peace. And in 1970, US Senator Gaylord Nelson established April 22nd, first as an environmental teach-in, followed by the annual observance.

palm sam bw

Growing up in Denver, CO, I remember years of looking toward the foothills, not able to see them for the perpetual brownish haze that lined the Front Range. Despite regulations imposed on oil and gas industries, air samples in some areas remain at greater than national percentages…

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Love Mercy – Day Four

Wow, what a quote… and reflection!


Mercy anne lamott

On this fourth day into contemplating turning 50, desperately resisting the compulsion to take the easy route and apply the term angst (though it is likely more akin to ambivalence—but, more on that later), I am drawn to consider mercy. A recent entry to a blog I follow reviewed Anne Lamott’s book, Hallelujah Anyway, with a beautiful hand and great wisdom, but mostly leaving Lamott’s words to speak for themselves. She calls mercy “radical kindness” and it occurs to me that kindness is the last thing I give myself when I begin the long spiral down the chute of “what ifs” and “too old now fors.”

I resist the good-natured counsel I often hear to “be gentle” with myself and to call it “grace” without any sense of doing something about it. How can I be kind to myself, radically or no, and not get stuck binge-watching Netflix with cumin…

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Endure, Stand, at the Pace of Grace – Day Three

Good words from Nicole here and she even gives me props! 🙂


endure with grace

On this day, fifty years ago, Katherine Switzer began the #BostonMarathon. The problem was, women were not allowed to participate. Two miles into the contest, the race director, Jock Semple, fully angered at the realization that a woman had somehow slipped in attempted to physically force her out. Tom Miller, her boyfriend at the time, fought Semple off and Switzer went on the complete the marathon. On Monday, at the age of 70, she again ran the Boston Marathon, this time comprising 45% women.

I am a runner, though I will never run a marathon. Still, it is women like Katherine Switzer who, in the year I was born, had courage to do what she was capable of doing despite the arbitrary social conventions that would prevent her. She helped to forge a path for those of us who were born that year, and enable and encourage us to…

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A Case for Faith

Really good word here from my wonderful wife and her physical struggles and having faith in the midst of it all. And she says a good word about me too! 🙂



Today’s Ignatian reading is taken from Jeremiah 17:5-10, and the question was asked, “Do you extend your roots to the streams of water? where do you find it hard to trust God?” I have an autoimmune disease that is beginning to show more outward obvious signs of its nefarious campaign against my body. It has been a decades-long journey making the rounds of specialists in each city in which I’ve lived (10+). Disparate symptomology coupled with negative test results makes an overarching diagnosis problematic. While I currently see a wonderful physician who understands there is a definite rheumatologic factor underlying my condition, “proof” as sine qua non pervades my psyche.

Faith is a quality of being human.

And proof does not indicate that which we often expect it to. That is, proof does not mean that something is indisputably what one purports. Rather, to offer proof is to provide a…

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The Healing Dust of Ash Wednesday

I’ll be talking about this Prayer Guide and being a part of this tonight at the Ash Wednesday Service at 7pm at Downers Grove First United Methodist Church.



. . . “then the Lord God formed hā ādām (the first person) from the dust of hā ādāmāh (the earth), into whom God breathed the breath of life; and hā ādām became a living being.” (Gen 2:7) Shaped from the same particles that make up the cosmos, the first person was fashioned—and will return. The first two people made in the very image of this same God. What does it mean, then, for the fullness of God’s healing to be accomplished?

This is what the ancient tradition of Ash Wednesday is all about: confession and forgiveness. And what is confession, really? It is recognizing the presence of God and acknowledging that I have not acted, not aligned my thoughts with the truth and character of who I am most truly—formed by the dust of the cosmos in the image of the Creator God. It is a return to my true self…

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2017 Lenten Season Prayer Guide

My wife helped me out with this project by doing an amazing job on this Prayer Guide. Lent ends with Easter on April 16, which is one week prior to our Confirmation Service. So this is a vital time to be praying for the youth who are in our Onward Bound Confirmation Program. If you are an adult of our church (First United Methodist Church of Downers Grove) and would like to be paired with a student to pray for, please private message, text or email me to let me know. We’ll provide an opportunity to volunteer for this at the Ash Wednesday Service as well. If you are a student and would like to be prayed for over the next 40 days, please let me know as well. Excited about this Lenten Season and anticipating God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit in our midst in this time!



My husband, Howie, as youth pastor is asking the adults of all ages to consider committing the Lenten 2017 season to pray specifically for one student involved in the church community. To this end, I developed a prayer guide meant to assist that process by directing the one praying in centering prayer and then focusing prayerful attention on one of the teenagers.

This Lenten prayer guide will also be modified so that it can be used across multiple social media and can be engaged piecemeal or in its entirety.

If Lent is not a feature of your faith tradition or current practice, I still welcome you to participate in the mindfulness spiritual practices of inward centering prayer and outward graced attention toward another.

You may wish to follow this guide to help center yourself during Lent. Perhaps, there is a justice concern or family member or particular group of people that…

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Mindfulness and the Car Radio

Love this song by Twenty One Pilots. Love this blog by Nicole. Love the connection. Love to rest and breathe and contemplate, though harder to do when things seem to be terrifying within…



Writing can be a very lonely vocation. The struggle to craft words that faithfully describe thoughts, an epiphany, musings, a deeply formulated conviction . . . and effectively communicate even an approximation of the idea to the reader . . . well, it can be excruciating and exhausting. The process does not even begin to cover the vulnerability exposed of the words just lain in wireless space; that space where the radio waves of Wi-Fi tech make all information—good or bad—available anytime anywhere.

A writer has to write. Thoughts and ideas must get written and dispersed. But those thoughts and ideas are a part of the person who writes—they are a part of what makes me, me. So if the reader flippantly comments with a criticism, replies out of anger, or (even worse) doesn’t like my writing, it hurts. Here is where I must engage the mindfulness practice of holy…

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