Lift up your mugs, ye patient, possibly tired, preachers and disciples of Jesus, winding down the Advent season and preparing for the celebration of Christmas. And be lifted up, ye ever flowing caffeine rich substances.

The King of Glory comes. The King of Glory comes, whether we get it all done, whether we think we’ve been devoted and faithful, whether we’re well practiced in the disciplines of discipleship or whether we haphazardly joined in whenever we remembered to make time.

May you have a blessed fourth Sunday of Advent.

Psalm 24

1 The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it,
   the world, and those who live in it; 
2 for he has founded it on the seas,
   and established it on the rivers. 

3 Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
   And who shall stand in his holy place? 
4 Those who have clean hands and pure hearts,
   who do not lift up their souls to what is false,
   and do not swear deceitfully. 
5 They will receive blessing from the Lord,
   and vindication from the God of their salvation. 
6 Such is the company of those who seek him,
   who seek the face of the God of Jacob.*

7 Lift up your heads, O gates!
   and be lifted up, O ancient doors!
   that the King of glory may come in. 
8 Who is the King of glory?
   The Lord, strong and mighty,
   the Lord, mighty in battle. 
9 Lift up your heads, O gates!
   and be lifted up, O ancient doors!
   that the King of glory may come in. 
10 Who is this King of glory?
   The Lord of hosts,
   he is the King of glory.


re·store   /rəˈstôr/
  • bring back (a previous right, practice, custom, or situation); reinstate
  • return to a former condition, place, or position
  • repair or renovate, so as to return something to its original condition

Today as I walked my 901st mile of the year, I spied this library card lying on the track. Now the walking track is in our backyard, in the park next to our apartment.

On the other side of our apartment complex, opposite the park, is the north branch of the Cumberland County public library in Fayetteville. So I picked up the library card, put it in my jacket pocket next to my keys, finished my lap around the track, left the park, and walked to the library. I waited in line and handed over the card, with the explanation that I had found it at the park.

“How kind of you to bring it in!” the woman at the circulation desk exclaimed.

“Library cards are serious business,” I assured her.  And then I returned to the park to finish my miles.

Hopefully the card was restored to its rightful owner this afternoon.

1 Thessalonians 3:6-13

Timothy has just now come to us from you, and has brought us the good news of your faith and love. He has told us also that you always remember us kindly and long to see us—just as we long to see you. 7For this reason, brothers and sisters, during all our distress and persecution we have been encouraged about you through your faith. 8For we now live, if you continue to stand firm in the Lord. 9How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy that we feel before our God because of you? 10Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you face to face and restore whatever is lacking in your faith.

11 Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you. 12And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we abound in love for you. 13And may he so strengthen your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.

Home Is Wherever I’m With You

We took a six-day trip home to Henderson so Jason could participate in the Art Hop (it was his best show ever) and so I could participate in the Leslie Newman for District Court Judge election day festivities (Judge Newman will be sworn in early January).

We ate so much food.

And hugged so many people.

And soaked up every moment of being with people who know us and love us so well.

But now we’re back home in Fayetteville. It’s funny how home can be two places for us now.


“I Will Give Thanks to the Lord with My Whole Heart”


“How to Break into the Youth Director’s Office When the Keys are Missing”

This is the last sermon I preached as a commissioned ruling elder, a youth director, and a non-Minister of Word and Sacrament.

Psalm 9:1-2

I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;
    I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
I will be glad and exult in you;
    I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.


(Recorded at Presbyterian Church of Henderson, June 10, 2018 at the 10:30am worship service.)

Jason’s Birthday

Happy birthday to Jason! For the last 17 years, life has never been boring for me, and I know that’s been true for the whole 46 years of your life. You are kind and caring, smart and thoughtful, dedicated and hardworking, full of puns and nonsensical word combinations (“wordbinations”), creative at problem-solving, and supportive in this season of preparation for something brand new around the corner. You always know how to find the adventure and wonder, and you have always been the one who notices new flowers breaking through the ground and the moon rising in the sky. 💜 The world is better because you are in it.

#Might and #Carry

We have ten year-old Nelson staying with us for a few days while his mom had his newest baby sister, Kyah.

He came over on Thursday night…so here it is Sunday morning and I’m just getting it together to post photos for the last two days. We are a little bit out of practice when it comes to having a 10 year-old around. We have had a good time together.

On Friday, Jason took Nelson climbing and he climbed to the top of the wall at Vertical Xcape several times. What a mighty kid!

Yesterday, before visiting his mom, dad, and sister at the hospital, we stopped and picked up 8 blankets for a friend’s blanket drive. Nelson insisted on carrying them through the store, to the car, and up to the house where they were being delivered.

Get you up to a high mountain,
   O Zion, herald of good tidings;
lift up your voice with strength,
   O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings,
   lift it up, do not fear;
say to the cities of Judah,
   ‘Here is your God!’
See, the Lord God comes with might,
   and his arm rules for him;his reward is with him,
   and his recompense before him.
He will feed his flock like a shepherd;  he will gather the lambs in his arms,
and carry them in his bosom,
   and gently lead the mother sheep. (Isaiah 40:9-11)


It is Saturday.

On Thursday, I finished my fall semester at UDTS. Yesterday, I cleaned, ran errands, got a haircut, celebrated my mother in-law’s birthday, and made a late night run to Michael’s with Jason.

Today, I slept all the way until 7am, something I haven’t done for weeks. And then when I got up, I poured the coffee and started making my pretzel, chocolate, M&M buttons to give away to neighbors, delivery people, co-workers, and some of Jason’s clients. And–here’s the confession–I turned on the cheesiest, happiest, most implausible Christmas movies I could find. And I’m currently on my third Christmas movie. And I expect to watch at least three more today as I finish writing cards, crocheting gifts, and wrapping things.

Tomorrow is church-a-palooza with all things 4th Sunday of Advent. And Monday, my J-Term professor gives us our pre-load for the class that starts January 2. So today? I’m doing whatever I want.

Oh, and hey, I found this: