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Earth Day

hoh rainforest

The summer of 2008 was life changing.  That summer Brandon and I completed one of our seminary requirements by doing a three month long internship.  Many of our peers were working in local churches or hospitals, but Brandon and I were blessed to work with an organization called A Christian Ministry in the National Parks.  We were placed at Kalaloch Lodge in the Olympic National Park.  It was a rough gig.  The lodge we worked at was right on the western coast of Washington, and I mean right on.  The lodge sits on the bluff over looking the surf at the mouth of a river.  It was stunning.

As part of our placement we held worship services on Sunday morning at the campground amphitheater.  Again it was rough (double sarcasm).  The amphitheater sat in the midst of the Olympic rainforest on the bluff overlooking the Pacific.  As we worshipped we could hear the waves hitting the shoreline below and were engulfed in the green moss covered forest.  We also visited throughout the week with the campers who were blessed to soak up the natural beauty.  The other part of our job was working in the lodge dining room.  Brandon was a server and I was the hostess/ poorly trained bartender.  We worked along side locals and met amazing people as they traveled through the park over the summer.  When they learned that we were seminarians, we had great theological conversations as they drank a pint or enjoyed a bowl of clam chowder.  We had an amazing time.

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Tax Day

tax day

As I write this many of you are probably scrambling to finalize your tax documents and get the checks in the mail.  As you read this hopefully the stress of tax deadlines is behind you and you are able to breath a little easier knowing that, at least for this year, that chore is behind you.

I, like many, fall into the routine of grumbling this time of year.  As I write my check and send it off, or as the final total for my taxes is tallied and I see how much of “my hard earned money” was required of me by the government, it seems the typically response is bitterness.  Part of it is that the money just goes away, we don’t see the tangible effects of our taxes instantaneously or consciously recall what it is that our money is funding.  I won’t pretend to know all of the ins and outs of our tax allocation, or that all of the money is used in the most efficient and responsible way.

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Living Passionately

“I’m discovering that a spiritual journey is a lot like a poem. You don’t merely recite a poem or analyze it intellectually.  You dance it, sing it, cry it, feel it on your skin and in your bones. You move with it and feel its caress. It falls on you like a teardrop or wraps around you like a smile. It lives in the heart and the body as well as the spirit and the head.”
– Sue Monk Kidd from When the Heart Waits

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In Sunday’s sermon I briefly mentioned that children run everywhere (to the car, to get dressed, to the playground, to the bathroom…).  Since then I have been paying even more attention to how often my kids run.  This has also led me to notice other small things they regularly do that I often overlook— like dance when they think no one is looking, sing while they are playing, jump just for the fun of it.  When I compare their daily actions to my own, they seem to be having a lot more fun!  Something infuses their actions that often seems be missing from mine.  If you had asked me a week ago I would have said they do these things just because they are silly, but today I think there is more to it.  I think they are living life passionately.  Passion is what infuses their actions, its what makes them run, dance, sing… They live life fully embracing each moment, allowing everything to have the potential of being meaningful and fun.  

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