Surprise Yourself

May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.  
{Neil Gaiman}

Saying Grace

You say grace before meals.
All right.
But I say grace before the play and the opera,
And grace before I open a book,
And grace before sketching, painting,
Swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing;
And grace before I dip the pen in the ink.
{G.K. Chesterton}
image: mattox

Words I’ve Heard

A few things I’ve read or heard this week that made me sad, made me laugh, made me want to be a better man:


“This is it. This is when it all went away. The Anglican Communion is not going to make it.”
Diana Butler Bass on Episcopal Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori’s “fighting words” tossed toward the Archbishop of Canterbury and the wider Anglican world.


“Wow!! This is AWESOME!! You are the high king of the church and you get to run the slides!?”
Wyatt, trying to understand what it means for his dad to be a pastor (and confusing it with a certain Chronicles of Narnia character) but actually far more plussed about the revelation that his dad was tapped to run slides for an Evensong gathering at All Souls (our church).

“Dad, I’ve been thinking about it – and when we get to heaven, I think you’ll be able to drink and drive.”
For once, this wasn’t one of our boys (could have been though). After a discussion the night before on the dangers of alcohol, one of Wyatt and Seth’s friends said this (loudly, and among a large crowd of other parents) to his dad when he was picking him up from an event. 

//want to be a better man//

“The truth’s not foolish.”
Colum McCann’s character Claire in Let the Great World Spin

“I gave them all the truth and none of the honesty.”
Colum McCann’s character Gloria in Let the Great World Spin

A Remedy All Divine

We are in Christmas week. I love how these celebrations come to us – not as days – but as seasons, stretches of time where we discover an invitation to live in the moments. Will we live? Will I live? I’ve felt much joy and laughter these days, but I’ve also felt fear, more than is necessary (is any necessary?). Jesus has come. Jesus is here. Hope is here. Live.

Enough of fears and doubts, poor earth, and you poor trembling children of men! Your deepest ground for fear is taken away by him who comes as the Prince of Peace! Fear not! A remedy that is all divine is provided for your malady, whatsoever it may be.
{Theodore Christlieb}

Until the New Year,

Hodge Podge

A few random tidbits on random arenas of thought, two from Wyatt (our 6 year old) and one from a sportswriter:

Wyatt on politics

God is like the president because the president owns the country.


Wyatt on theology

The Trinity is like root beer. There’s lots of brands, but they’re all still root beer.

a little improvement on the Nicene Creed from the mind of a first-grader.

a Sportswriter on the ACC’s horrific first week woes

Heck, this league can’t even get a pregame flyover right — the Tar Heels hired a crew to parachute in the game ball. They landed at Duke’s Wallace Wade Stadium, eight miles away.

I wish Clemson had stayed eight miles away.

Words from the Diamond

I’ve mentioned I’m an assistant coach for Wyatt and Seth’s t-ball team, the fightin’ Tarheels. That means I get to be on the field during the game, coaching the tikes. It’s quite a privilege. When they are batting, I might be at first base. When they are fielding, I might stand near second. I couldn’t possibly tell you every off-the-wall thing said to me by these kindergarten ruffians between pitches, proof positive that their mind is absolutely in a different orbit. Merely a sampling:

“I want a mustache.”

“I got five dollars for my teeth.” (with wide, toothless grin)

“I have an imaginary friend: Dennis.”

“You’re scary.”

“Mrrmmmppph…..Elephant” (with glove covering face, apparently to serve as an elephant’s trunk)