Thinking Changes Things

Thinking Changes Things

In October 1929, the U.S. Stock Market crashed.

Investors lost billions of dollars; were drained of their sense of invincibility; and confronted with the limits of industrialization and human power.

This unprecedented event set in motion the Great Depression—a deep…

Something We Urgently Need to Improve Upon, and One Way to Do So


We urgently need to improve our listening.

Or, more precisely, at knowing how we’re listening (or not), and how to shift listening “channels.”


Sure, we’re not so bad at hearing and receiving communication, taking in information, and doing…

One stitch at a time: What My Grandmothers Taught Me

There was Nana Olson and there was Nana Yates and there was Gramma Westcott.

The older I get the more I am aware of what a lucky woman I am.

I was well into adulthood with children of my own…

Why the Desert Mothers and Fathers Still Matter

In one of his daily emails, the popular Franciscan writer Richard Rohr once admitted that he has some issues with the sayings of the Desert Mothers and Fathers — the early Christian hermits and monastics who lived in Egypt, Palestine…

Blackness and a Theology of Care

From 2005 to 2010, I worked as a supervisor at the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Department in the county jail.

My mother retired as a prison guard after thirty years of working for the state of Alabama Department of Corrections.


How They Helped Me Recover

It was so unexpected!

I could not understand why it was happening. How ‘they’ could let me go.

My programs were successful.

I had faithfully served in this church for eighteen years.

I was hurt.

I was embarrassed.

I was…

Mentor Coaching Through the Center for Lifelong Learning

Ministry coaching has become a movement in most denominations over that last ten years helping gifted pastors get unstuck and find life-giving pathways forward.


Mentor Coaching by the Center for Lifelong Learning is offered to trained coaches as the…

Everything Seminary Didn’t Prepare Me For

I have found memories of the seminary I attended in the early 2000s and am forever grateful for the lessons, experiences, and relationships that emerged from that period in my life.

At the same time, seminary did not prepare me…

You’ve Graduated, What now?

You’ve graduated. You stared out into a crowd or intently at your screen as your name was called and your degree conferred. But what happens now? Mission work? Chaplaincy? Pastoring a small church? Teaching over the summer? More coursework to…

Delicious Can Be Good For You

With more and more people getting vaccinated, the closer we are getting to being able to gather again with family and friends, which also means that pretty soon we will once again be able to participate in one of life’s…

Touched By An Angel

I still haven’t gotten used to being called an angel.

When introducing myself to someone new, if I mention my work as a hospice chaplain the most common response is “Oh my goodness! You are such an angel.”



Christ’s Most Cherished Resources

Stress filled working conditions and even forced terminations are continuously decimating one of Christ’s most cherished resources, the ministers of His church.  Once upon a time, I experienced this myself and retired, but not happily. I needed time away from…

A Call to Compassion

 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.”  Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple…

We’re all in transition!

After serving two long-term pastorates over 37 years, I spent my next nine years as an Interim minister serving in four churches.

In those interim positions I came to realize something I had missed seeing in my long-term pastorates –…

The Stuff of Life

Recently I found a new call and made the big move from Tennessee all the way to California.

I have spent weeks unpacking boxes of books and personal mementoes, each time asking myself how I could have acquired so much…