One Word for 2017

Every year, I choose one word to represent my hopes, dreams and goals for the upcoming year.  I love the one word philosophy.  Choose one word that will drive and influence the year.  Forget the resolutions that don’t happen anyway and leave us guilt-ridden and discouraged.  One word.

In the past, my one word has proven powerful and transformative.  It has also proven prophetic!! I’ve learned to choose my word with great care because it WILL impact my life for the entire year.

This year, my one word is SIMPLIFY.  My life has gotten complicated and busy.  It threatens to overwhelm me sometimes.  I’ve begun dropping balls and being forgetful at times.  I have too much to do and it makes me feel tired even when I’m not actually in need of sleep.  My goal for this year is get a handle on it, to simplify and make my life more manageable and happier.

Stand in the Gap

Now that I (and everyone else) has had a day to process, to talk, to grieve, I find myself thinking about what it means to be living as a citizen of the Kingdom of God while also a citizen of the United States of America.

As a citizen of the United States of America, I am committed to certain principles and ideals.  I am committed to the election process and to the peaceful transfer of power.  Even when I don’t like or want the candidate who is chosen, or perhaps especially then, I respect the process and the tradition of peaceful transfer of power.  I am committed to the idea of the “will of the people”, even when I fundamentally disagree with that collective will.  I am committed to free speech, to equitable opportunities within the confines of the system, and to the basic protections of the constitution.

As a citizen of the Kingdom of God, I am committed to certain principles and ideals also.  In many cases, those ideals overlap with the ideals of the United States of America.  Sometimes, they do not.  I am committed to the principles of taking care of the poor, the outcast, the widow, the orphan.  I am committed to being hospitable to strangers, to providing care for the sick, to binding up the broken hearted and setting the captive free.  Right now, some of those ideals are in conflict with the rhetoric in the United States.  We shall see what comes with reality.  Our constitution and system of government have checks and balances in place to ensure that certain lines cannot be crossed.

In the meantime, I am reminded of Ezekiel 22:30  “I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one.”  A gap in a city’s wall was an opening that an enemy created in order to enter the city and destroy those within the walls. The only way to prevent the enemy from entering the city through the breach was for a warrior to put his life on the line and literally stand in the wall’s opening and fight back the enemy.  That warrior had to be committed to standing ALONE, by himself, to protect his city.  There are gaps in our current rhetoric.  They may become gaps in our actions, our laws and certainly our values.  My response needs to be to “stand in the gap” and protect those who need protection.

The Results No One Expected

The polls were wrong.  My friends and colleagues who said it could never happen were wrong.  The guy I met on the plane last week who told me that America was changing and that the Trump campaign was the last gasp in the struggle to hold on to the old ways, well, he was wrong too, as it turns out.  And sometime in the middle of the night last night, the votes were counted, the Electoral College votes were assigned, and the unthinkable, unexpected occurred.

“When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn” -Proverbs 29:2

That about sums it up for me.  I mourn.  I mourn the loss of the great dream that has been the America of my lifetime.  I mourn the loss of the progress on racism, misogyny and hate that I have worked to create.  And I mourn the future for children who will inherit this legacy.

But understand me, this is not mourning because a Democrat lost and a Republican won.  And this is NOT mourning because a woman lost and a man won.  This is not political or ideological in those ways at all for me.  This is about caring for the outcast, the orphan and the widow.  And recognizing that over the last several months, the outcast, the orphan and the widow have all been attacked and demeaned.  And now those who have uttered those hurtful words are now in power.  I mourn because I fear what is to come.

So now, I have a challenge, as do my friends an colleagues:

martin_niemo%cc%88ller_1952First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Martin Neimoller lived it.  And he recognized the failure of his contemporaries to live up to the challenge.  I pray that we will do better.

Election Day 2016

Its Election Day and I’m struggling.  I’m struggling with the dialogue that we’ve been having in this country.  I’m struggling with the hard feelings between neighbors.  I’m struggling with the very real possibility that we might be crashing 200 years of our history of peaceful transfer of power this time.  And I’m struggling with the very words of this campaign season.

So, this is my prayer for today.  This is the reminder from God to me.

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness (I Timothy 2: 1-2)

Walking Each Other Home

I’m at a conference for work and just heard Tricia Skyles, a conference staffer, talk about her faith in the workplace.  I loved her explanation.  She talked about her own faith journey and then said:  What it all comes down to is that we’re all on the same ride here and it all ends the same way.  She went on to talk about our responsibility to make things better for everyone else on the ride along the way.  Her closing really hit home:  We are all just walking each other home.

You can watch here here.

Riverside Church Paraments

These were the paraments in Riverside Church last year around this time.  Its Lent, so the season calls for purple paraments, but this use of black and a graduation of colors is fantastic and speaks volumes with its symbolic placement and use of the colors.  So simple, but so powerful and beautiful.

Corn Salad

We headed out to Tanglewood the other day with a group of friends and a potluck meal. The concert was fantastic and I walked away with this tasty new recipe.

Corn Salad

2 ears of fresh corn, cooked and shaved off of the cob
1 pint of cherry tomatoes
2 scallions, chopped
1 pint of baby mozzarella balls (yes, I know they have a name, but you know what I mean)
A handful of basil leaves, cut into pieces if they’re large
white wine vinegar

Cut the tomatoes and mozzarella balls in half
Mix the corn, tomatoes, mozzarella, scallions, and basil together in a bowl
Dress with EVOO and white wine vinegar

Farm Share: 7/19

Shares contain:

· Lettuce

· Salad mix with edible flowers

· Beets/beet greens

· Kale

· Green pepper

· Kohlrabi (Tuesday only)

· Cucumber (Saturday only)

· Lemon basil

· Parsley

· Oregano

· Peppermint

· Chives

· Red Currants

· Eggs

· Bouquet



Farm Share: 7/12

Shares contain:


· Lettuce

· Snow & snap pea mix

· Garlic scapes

· Salad greens adventure mix

· Beets/beet greens

· Radishes

· Kale

· Basil

· Dill

· Chives

· Red Currants

· Bouquet




Farm Share: 7/5

It was a beautiful Fourth of July!  And now we have a beautiful farm share to feed us for the week. This week’s share included:

  • lettuce
  • curly cress
  • garlic scapes (yum!!)
  • snow and snap pea mix
  • Swiss chard
  • cilantro
  • carrots
  • spearmint
  • kohlrabi
  • bouquet (I passed)


We’ll be eating the usual salads this week.  The carrots and peas will go well with the hummus that we made.  Super snacking on veggies and hummus this week!  The spearmint will pinch hit in the Cucumber and Celery Salad with Feta and Mint.

The Swiss Chard will likely end up as a side dish somewhere (haven’t figured out where yet) and the Kohlrabi is still a mystery in our house.  This is why we love having a farm share!  We keep learning new vegetables and new ways of preparing them.