We have heards lots of talk about change lately. We have heard lots of calls to change. And we have been presented with reasons why we have no choice other than to change. But, as we all know, change does not come easy. It is fraught with the unknown, a perilous journey through the wilderness. It is filled with choices and decisions. And, probably the most uncomfortable thing of all, it means that there is no return. There is no going back once the wheels of change have begun.

Isn’t that what we’re all about, though? Isn’t that what our faith journey means? God does not call us to stand still, feet planted, ignoring the winds that are blowing around us. If that were the case, don’t you think the world would be a bit more stable? But, really, who of us live a life that has not changed over the past year, perhaps even over the last three months? For that matter, who of us lives the same life that we did yesterday? No, God calls us to walk this walk through change and, for that matter, to be a part of the change itself. If that were not the case, the Gospels would not be full of things like fishermen being asked to give up their careers and their lifestyles, magi taking a different road than what they had planned, and the very heavens being torn apart.

We are called to change. Not only that, we are called to be part of making that change happen. God did not create the world and then put out a call for its preservation. Instead, God is continually turning darkness into light and death into life. And throughout it all, waters are divided, the heavens are torn apart and curtains separating worlds are ripped apart if for no other reason that that we can get a glimpse of the way things are supposed to be. So, we are a people of change–called to change ourselves, our lives, and the whole of Creation in which we live.

It is not easy. It is not comfortable. But, after all, that is not what we were promised! We were not promised that our lives would be preserved; we were promised that they would be transformed. But transformation must happen from the inside out. When we become the change, the change will happen.

Only those who live beyond themselves ever become fully themselves. (Joan Chittister)

So go forth and be the change!

Grace and Peace,

Do You Have God in Your DNA?

There’s a church that I pass most mornings in my neighborhood (unless I go a different way so I can buy coffee!) that has one of those ever-changing metallic letter boards with messages or sermon titles or just passing whimsies–I’m not sure which. This week the message is this: Do You Have God in Your DNA? Now often the messages on this board strike me as a little trite or unrefined, but I think this week’s poses an interesting question. After all, as humans, we associate DNA with the very basis of our individuality, our makeup, the thing that makes us who we are. Now I don’t really think that God has “DNA”, per se, but what would it mean for God to impart divine individuality or eternal order and makeup into who we are. Well, of course, God has. After all, we are “made in God’s image”. God has made us who we are and who we will be and breathed a part of the Godself into us.

So what does it mean to make one in your image? I think it means to imagine what they will be, to impart a piece of your own self into them (much like an artist or a composer putting all that they know and all that they have and all that they are into a masterwork). I think that’s what God has done in creating each of us–imparted a piece of the Godself, a piece of the Divine into us, a DNA, if you will, that is not of this existence, but of one to come. God did not create us and then leave us to our own devices. We are not inventions engineered to certain specifications. We are, rather, artistic and musical renderings that are affected by time and space and the definitive input of those who cross our path, those who play us or repaint us or just enjoy the fact that we’re here. But somewhere deep within our being is a part of God, an image that is not our Creation, an order that is not our doing, and an individuality that we share only with the One who breathed us into being.

So go forth and be the image buried deep within your DNA…

Grace and Peace,


Most of us live our lives as if it’s a winding road meandering through all that life offers, always looking ahead, always trudging along at the quickest gait we can manage. I am realizing , though, that it is not the road that enhances our life; it is not the road that builds our character; and it is not the road that grows our faith. It is, rather, the intersections of time and space and the experiences of others that cross that road that seasons our life. Because it is those intersections that juxtapose us with others and their lives, placing us side by side, and creating an intricate and often complicated web that calls us to further explore our own understandings of who we are, who others are, and who God is.

Over the last few weeks, I have been sort of “playing around” on the website. It gives you the tools to track your family geneology and, to the extent it’s available, marks of your heritage. At first it was almost a pain, simply inputting those things that I knew about my rather large family using data that others have gathered. And then the journey began…At the risk of sounding like the TV commercial, it really is a meaningful experience. Using historical records available, I’m in the process of journeying back into my own history and meeting characters in it that I did not know before. And, with that, these people of so many years ago whose DNA has been coursing through my own body since the day I was conceived have been placed directly at my side. I am having the gift of experiencing them, if only in a small way, not as history but as part of me and as something of which I’m a part. The excitement has built as the picture that I found of my great-great-great uncle in his uniform of the 19th century Imperial German Army brought tears to my eyes or the fact that I found out that a great-great aunt had lived into her late 80’s and then passed away in the same retirement home where I often preach. It proves that our lives are not merely roads, but webs that connect us all.

Yesterday I had lunch with a friend of mine who is a Jewish rabbi. Over the last year and a half, we’ve been leading an Interfaith Scripture Study together. I told him that I had been doing this geneology search and he was very interested. We talked about his family’s past that he knew and the conversation went to Poland and then Warsaw and then Krakow, where we had both visited. The conversation then turned to Auschwitz, where we had also both visited. I told him what a powerful experiences that was for me and we talked about it. Our pasts are very different and, yet, along the way our separate lives and experiences have been juxtaposed, placed side by side, and, with it, our shared lives have intertwined, and I am richer for it.

I’m pretty convinced this is what God intended–not that we just walk our journey looking forward, wearing blinders to the rest of the world, but that we live our lives and journey our journey aware of the intersections that God imposes and open and aware to the way that others lives are placed side by side with our own.

So go forth and look for those whose lives run alongside your own journey!

Grace and Peace,



It’s been awhile since I posted a blog. Perhaps I just needed some “down time”, as we all do. Perhaps all of the high season-high church-high energy escapades of Advent and Christmastide got the best of me. It happens to us all.

So now we find ourselves at the beginning of one of the “ordinary times” in our liturgical life. Perhaps, just like most of us, the church year needed some “down time”. But, contrary to what some may think, this is not “dead time”–anything but. In fact, it is during these periods of relative dormancy that we, like all living things, grow, gathering the nutrients for the seeds of faith to sprout.

When I started this blog, I named it “Seasonings”. If someone just found it in a Google search, they might think it had to do with cooking. Well, maybe in a way. After all, any good cook knows that it’s all in the “seasonings”, in what you add to it, in the flavors that you choose to enhance what is already there. I mean, really, admit it, with the exception of bread pudding (a somewhat cumbersome project when done right), most foods pretty much make themselves. But the flavor comes in what the cook adds. What the dish becomes has to do with the seasonings. And, like a good cook, we people of faith know that we have been given all the ingredients that we need. At our core, we’ve been given life and gifts and resources by a God who loves us more than we can even fathom, by a God that has much bigger things for us planned than we dare to imagine. And it is up to us to add the seasonings, those things through which our own flavor comes to be.

This Season of Epiphany is a “down time”–a “low season” if you will. But, really, after all of those highly seasoned and rich foods of Christmas, how many of us were ready for just some good old macaroni and cheese. It’s called comfort food. But as we bask in the comfort of this low and ordinary season, we will find our epiphanies. We will find who we are. We will find that core that we’ve been given. And we will prepare for the seasonings to come. As for me, my spice cabinet is full, I have several live herb plants hanging on even through the relatively mild Texas winter, and I have six kinds of pepper and three kinds of salt ready for anything!

So go forth and season your soul!

Grace and Peace,