2018

It’s time to hang the new calendar on the wall! it’s a good time to briefly celebrate the victories, recall the blessings, forgive those who have hurt us, forgive ourselves as necessary, and move on to 2018. For the new year, I have adopted three values that I want to… Continue reading

Peace. Love. Joy.

Do you have a mantra,a frequently repeated word, formula, or phrase, often a truism? I do. It has been my personal focus for quite some time. I wrote it down and remind myself of it daily. Here it is. Peace. Love. Joy. Peace. I am at total peace with God, so I will be at peace with… Continue reading

Criticize by Creating

One of my gifts as a writer is being to identify what is wrong. Unfortunately, it is a common gift. Most people need very little prompting to complain because it is vastly more difficult to suggest a positive way forward and become part of the solution. It is time for… Continue reading

Feeling Alive!

I felt alive yesterday. Today, too, for that matter. By the way, just because you are alive, doesn’t mean you feel alive. Our winter has been mild. It snowed a few times in December and was quite cold, but January and February have been odd months; mild, thirties and forties… Continue reading

Junctures

Sometimes life gets our attention. In fact, it may be God who is getting our attention. Sometimes something happens that forces us out of our regular pattern of activity and causes us to reflect. I’m there right now. My dad’s death was a big part of the things that got… Continue reading

Slow Beauty

Have you ever surprised yourself? What I am really talking about is change. I usually fight change, but appreciate it in retrospect. I used to think that art museums and galleries were a waste of time. Now I am the one who who moves the slowest when we visit one.… Continue reading

Evolving

It’s a good thing to evolve, to change, to adapt, to develop, to grow. The alternative is to stay exactly the same. There are some people would say there is great virtue is staying the same. Talk of evolving is unappreciated heresy. They already have things all figured out, so… Continue reading

Sixty-Two

I recently celebrated my sixty-second birthday. Those words, sixty-second, seem incredibly foreign to me. I feel like I ought to be in my mid forties or even younger. Part of me doesn’t mind being sixty-two at all. Part of me can’t believe that I am sixty-two. I don’t know what happened.… Continue reading

Now Year

Living in “the now” is a big challenge for many of us. I love those year-end-review TV shows and newspaper articles. Even though I lived it, I always forget so much of what happened and I am informed for the first time about some of the important events of the previous twelve months.… Continue reading

What Do You Think About in the Shower?

I am writing a novel. It’s one of my many pursuits, right now. I am not sure where it is going, I just know it is therapy for me. It’s only been recently that I have ever thought about writing fiction. Not long ago I never thought I could  write… Continue reading

Dead or Alive

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ― Howard Thurman I that is true, then I have been at least half dead now for quite awhile. My focus has been… Continue reading

Hate Mail

You may hate me after you read this. If you do, you won’t be alone. My hate mail file has suddenly gotten rather thick, after a recent post.  For decades, I have endured the disdain of church members who felt their church was drifting out of their control under my… Continue reading

Mr. Mellow

This post is a  follow-up to “Preoccupied Pastor.” I’m not there yet, but I have mellowed out tremendously. I wonder why? Well, I couldn’t have been wound much tighter. Mostly, I mellowed out because I had no choice. Things happened, unexpected, unwanted things. Different kinds of people came into my… Continue reading

Confessions of a Preoccupied Pastor

I am absent minded! I loose tract of my eyeglasses and my beverage everyday. When I get ready to go somewhere, I often return to the house from the garage to pick up something I should have taken with me. Behind the wheel, if I am in conversation, or deep… Continue reading

Things I Don’t Ever Want to Forget

It’s hard to remember, and it’s not just due to my age, or getting so lost in a thought that I forgot which route I took to get home. Our culture is not given to remembering. It’s more about what’s trending on Twitter at very this moment. So, this month’s… Continue reading

Trials and Tribulations

Within days, the sump pump quit, as did the furnace. The toilet overflowed. The car still won’t start, and the furnace went out again this morning when it was -9. There was also a big disappointment concerning a business opportunity, and a few other things happened that seemed to do… Continue reading

My Addiction

  Ah ha! Gotcha! You thought this article was going to reveal some deep, dark secret about me. It does. I have a confession. Hello, my name is Glenn, and I am addicted to writing. Oh, the weight that was just lifted from my shoulders. I have been preoccupied with other… Continue reading

Puppy Love

 Boyd & Ava chillin’ in a chair I didn’t know if it would work. We had inherited two long-haired Chihuahuas. Due to no fault of their own, we were their fourth home. They are siblings, brother and sister. While they are off-the-charts cute, they are also needy, attention hogs, who… Continue reading

When Mental Illness Strikes Home

I talked to my Dad last Saturday on his eighty-eighth birthday, and he was surprising like his old self, chatty and congenial. What a relief. For so much of his recent years he has lived in a state of agitation. Contentment has been something he rarely experienced. Hence, much of… Continue reading

Dealing with Parents’ Dementia

Yesterday, my Dad was kicked out of his nursing home due to bad behavior. Today, he is being transported to a Geriatric Psych Unit, a few miles from his home. His diagnosis: Vascular Dementia. Patty’s Mom had the same diagnosis. Mom’s was caused by a stroke induced by a common… Continue reading

The Reluctant Time Lord

Warning: This post involves time travel, which may affect the space-time continuum, thereby, altering the very course of human history forever. Great Scott! My monthly synchroblog assignment  necessitated time travel to answer the question that holds the key to what I have been learning the last twenty years of my life.… Continue reading

Funky Grace

I was in a funk, terribly bored by the Internet, television, and movies; despising the regular patterns of my life. The more I dreamed of something that would bring a glimmer of life to my soul, the more unattainable it seemed. Fear was holding me tightly, even though I hardly… Continue reading

A Personal Resurrection Story

We all need a personal resurrection. After all, there are a lot things trying to hold us down and keep us from being our best, truest, most unique self. This month’s broad synchroblog topic is simply New Life. (See the other posts on this topic listed at the end of… Continue reading

Parenting My Parents

I just turned sixty a few days ago. My Dad is eighty-seven, my mom, eighty-five. It is a bitter sweet time in life. Sweet because my relationship with my parents is the best it has ever been. They need my help, and though, it can be challenging at times, I… Continue reading

When People Hurt You

Image by Nicholas Canup. Creative Commons This is not what I was going to write about today, but life can change things. Just a few minutes ago I was on the phone talking to a loved one (not an immediate family member) trying to arrange a way to help them… Continue reading

How I Became Irreligious

This post is part of a synchroblog in which the contributors tell their own faith story. The links to the stories of the other contributors are listed at the end of this post. How did you answer the Facebook profile question about your religious preference? I couldn’t think of any… Continue reading

How to Starve Religion and Feed Life

The sun is making my computer screen hard to see as I sit here at our patio table in the backyard. I feel good, especially good, since I had a run of several days last week when I didn’t feel well. I was not suffering from anything physical and, as… Continue reading

Why My Kids Will Never Forget When They “Forgot” Me

This post is part of a synchrobog in which we recount our favorite prank. The links to the other writer’s contributions are listed at the end of this post. After work, the kids and I met Patty at Giordano’s, a deep dish, Chicago-style pizza place in a neighboring suburb. Upon… Continue reading

Feeling Flat

When you’re stumped, when you have writer’s block; write about that. That’s a paraphrase of what Bono said about said songwriting. I can always think of something to write about. This blog is evidence of that fact. But I do feel a little flat. I feel like I need a challenge,… Continue reading

Stuck?

Yesterday, I tried to remove all evidences of winter from my property. I picked up the maple sticks that had fallen in the yard, as well as the dog poop. Both had been held in the icy clutches of the snow and re-frozen snow that became ice for months. I… Continue reading

Weirdness and Beauty

I am sitting here is the darkened breakfast room of The Holiday Inn Express adjacent to the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City. It’s almost eleven at night. I am out here so my mom has a dark and quiet room to try to get a head start… Continue reading

Every Selfless Act

I have to tell you what happened while we were in St. Paul enjoying Thanksgiving, our grandson’s birthday, and our daughter and son-in-law’s anniversary, all between last Wednesday and this Sunday.  First, I asked a neighbor to take care of our crazed cat and watch over the place while we… Continue reading

The Kind of Person I Want To Be

I usually think about values in terms of my obituary, what I would want people to remember about me when I am gone. I would like them to say: He was real. Pretension makes me nauseous, and sometimes I am nauseating, but my goal is to be real. Being real gives other… Continue reading

An Unconventional Faith

My faith is unconventional to say the least. I have been a pastor for over twenty years, but I no longer “go to church.” I have read and studied each book of the Bible and I have taught several of them in great detail, but I don’t read it much… Continue reading

How I Became a Troublemaker

My life, my vocation, my identity, and the church have always been intertwined. I finally came to the realization that somehow these things had to be unwound. Being my vocation was just too painful. My emotions, sense of worth, and well being would rise and fall like the tide, depending on how… Continue reading

Blessed

We have been road trip warriors this spring with a 3,500 mile tour of the South and a trip to Northwestern Missouri to visit family only three weeks later. I confess, I had mixed feelings about the latter trip because I knew it would be busy, if not chaotic. Five… Continue reading

Margaritas, Metallica, and a Serious Case of the Giggles

After a couple (or was it three) very potent Margaritas and several hands of Rummy, someone said something that I found amusing at the time and I broke out in uncontrollable giggling. When I say giggling, I mean I sounded like a Junior High girl. And when I say uncontrollable, I… Continue reading

The Blank Page­­

  Am I staring at it or is it staring at me? I could say anything, but not just anything comes from my soul and not just anything will touch another soul. Sometimes the words flow much faster than the spelling and grammar can keep up with. Other times, the… Continue reading

What’s Wrong with Me?

Why can’t I be happy sitting in the pew and doing a little something to help out at church? Why can’t I be content to be a part of community association and help out at various fundraisers? Why can’t I become a part of the system and just shut up? Look… Continue reading

Route 7

Transitions are always unsettling, filled with thoughts of excitement, fear, anticipation, and anxiety. It would be great if we could set our personal GPS and follow the directions to our desired location, never needing to redirect. But, alas, that is not at the way life plays out and it really… Continue reading

Fighter

Right now, I am frustrated. My current circumstances provide lots of opportunities to find myself in such a state. Fortunately, I have been in good spirits for some time. Roadblocks have led to creative thinking or an acceptance of the uncertainty of all that hangs in the balance. I am not… Continue reading

Splainin’ 02

This part of me trying to explain my relationship to the church. You might want to read Part 1, first. Question #2  Why don’t you go to church anymore? Short answer: I am currently following Jesus without being a part of the institutional church because I like the freedom that it provides in living… Continue reading

Splainin’ 01

I write as a way to help me make sense of things with the hope that it might help someone else who happens to read it. So, I thought I would tackle questions about my relationship to the church. I know by delving into this personal area that I am opening… Continue reading

Moses

When thinking about a framework for laying out my personal story, I thought of Moses. While I don’t rate the same biblical or prophetic pay grade as Moses, the great movements in his life remind a bit of mine, only not in the same biblical proportions. Okay, the Moses comparison… Continue reading