A Common Bond

Early last week I cleaned my 29-gallon aquarium, draining roughly half the water, using a razor blade to scrape the algae off the sides of the tank, replanting the plants that my Plecostomus—who is 17 years old and 10 inches long—continually uproots. I refilled the tank with clean water and scrubbed the filter, repositioned the […]

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Made of Clay

Two weeks ago, on a Thursday evening, I did something I’ve never done before; something I’ve always wanted to do. I went to my first pottery class. I wasn’t sure what to expect and I was prepared to look and feel a little silly, because I was a complete beginner. I didn’t know how to […]

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Patterns of Light

The idea for our message this week came when I was having a conversation with a friend at hospice about family patterns. As we talked, all of a sudden I understood some things in my own life differently. It was like someone had flipped a light switch: I thought of the way I was at […]

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Cleanliness and Godliness

Sometimes our messages are inspired by lofty moments—a breathtaking sunrise, a deeply kind gesture, a moment of peace that is so perfect it simply must be God. Today’s message is not one of those. Today’s message comes to you courtesy of Mike’s Car Wash. This week I noticed that my car was carrying much of […]

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A Peace That Lasts

I’d like to start off this morning with a kind of informal survey. Raise your hand if you are able, perhaps fairly regularly, to have a completely peaceful day. Okay, leave your hand up if you are able to experience peace two or three days in a row. How about a week? Is there anyone […]

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Rest and Restoration

Sitting here just now, do you feel rested this morning? For much of our lives, many of us have a fairly complicated relationship with the idea of rest. When we are young, we don’t really want to rest. There’s too much to do, too many games to play, fireflies to catch, baseballs to throw, friends […]

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The Gifts of Failing

Have you ever really failed at something? Like really failed. Took a chance, tried something new, fell completely on your face? The small private things we fail at—maybe several of those every week, things like sticking to a diet or giving up almost immediately on something new we said we’d do—those are hard enough. But […]

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Ways to Pray

When you were little, did you say prayers when you went to bed each night? Maybe your mom or dad said them with you, or you might have prayed by yourself in the quiet of your room. Every night I prayed that little prayer we probably all know by heart: Now I lay me down […]

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Joyful Murmurations

Last Monday on my way to the hospital, against the soft blue and gold of the morning sky, I saw two different murmurations. Seemed like a miracle—or a message. So beautiful! And mysterious. In case you don’t remember what a murmuration is, it is a big, flowing flock of birds—starlings, scientists say, in groups sometimes […]

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Taming the Wild

Yesterday afternoon, when it had warmed up enough for gardening, I spent a good long while carefully combing through a flower bed out back, trying to pull the wild strawberry plants out of the Dianthus. I don’t begrudge the strawberries their exuberance—they have lovely green leaves, sunny yellow flowers, and bright red berries—but they are […]

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