Tag Archives: tired

Speaking out

I am tired. I don’t know about you, but I am weary of the hate-filled rhetoric. There are many times I might have blogged, but chose not to. I,often, have no words, I who am supposed to have a “word” for everything. I am a preacher after all, and am called to have something to say in times of joy, in times of sadness, in times of uncertainty, in times when words seem to fail.

I often have had to something to say, when there has been horrible violence:

Horror and Violence in the nth degree

Prayers for Paris,  

Another Shooting

When there are times that are anxious:

Anxiety, Fear, and Rumors of Wars

When I am upset and overwhelmed by racism or sexism:

Standing up, Speaking Out, Praying for Peace


And my blogging started years ago with the shooting of Dr. George Tiller and then the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford in a post:

Words Matter

Today, once again, I KNOW that words matter, that denigrating human beings and their homelands is bad, period. I can not be the only tired of the words that are coming from our nation’s capital. Words matter, language matters, manners matter and holding one’s self to a higher standard matters. It matters when the president of the United States does not condemn racist language or hateful speech. It matters when the president of the United States uses twitter to belittle other people, to bully other people, to make policy statements or post anything untrue. Words matter, even on twitter, even in private meetings about immigration.


As an “old pastor,” one who has been around for a while, I often talk with new clergy about things that matter, words, certainly, but also dress and behavior and the higher standard to which we are held. It isn’t fair, it isn’t! When I was young, I lived in a very small town and not long after I was there, some of the people came to talk to me about how I dressed when coming downtown to pick up my mail. I saw nothing wrong with wearing shorts and a t-shirt. Some people saw it differently and said they didn’t want to be embarrassed to introduce me as their pastor.

Did that upset me? You bet it did. However, I decided as a young clergy woman, I had enough strikes me against me that I didn’t want my appearance or my clothing to distract from my service, my work, my calling, my ministry. I probably over dressed for a long time, but no one ever said they were embarrassed again about the way I dressed.

I also over the years have become aware that my facial expressions, my aside comments, my overheard comments and critiques can also be incredibly damaging. I confess, I have not always done well or that I don’t still fail pretty regularly. Rolling my eyes at things I think are ridiculous, making comments about situations or people, these are not only unhelpful, they are wrong and hurtful.

Anyone in public service, whether ministry, or teaching, or government are held to a higher standard of behavior and they should be. We are called to be leaders, we are called to thoughtful rhetoric. That doesn’t mean we have to agree with everyone. It doesn’t mean there can not be deeply held beliefs that are divisive. It doesn’t mean there can’t be heated argument, debate and disagreement.

What it does mean is that WORDS MATTER. Using offensive language to describe a person’s home country, making insulting and derogatory comments about human beings is unacceptable as a public servant, or for anyone. The Council of Bishops of the United Methodist Church have made this statement about the offensive remarks .

I would invite the President, but more importantly all of us to re-think how we behave in private and in public. What he says, what we say can make a difference for good or ill, for peace or violence, for what is right and what is wrong. As a follower of Jesus, I am convicted that I must stand against racism, bigotry and words that incite hatred and violence.

My words matter, as do all of ours. I call on all of us to stand up against hatred, against racism, against any language that is used to put down, bully or insult other human beings regardless of their race, their age, their nationality, their gender, their orientation, their religion. I, we, can do better than this. Let us choose justice, let us choose goodness, let us choose a higher road and a higher standard for our behavior.






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Final Mission Team Update

This post should have been written two days ago. We drove home Wednesday evening and I was tired. A good tired, bones and body ached, feet ached, but the memory of what we accomplished made the aches a blessing.

Our third project was to assist a group of students from Iowa State. They were part of the SAGC (student association of General Contractors) construction majors who were spending spring break helping others. They were siding this house and our job was to caulk, add fascia, window trim and then paint. We began this third project after lunch on Tuesday and then finished Wednesday. Tuesday had a blustery north wind and we helped with putting up the plastic barrier that the siding would go over.

It was a little scary, you can see that we were holding up the plastic with long sticks to keep it from blowing away. We were all tired but we had to stay up to watch the Shockers win!!

Wednesday morning we were up, had breakfast, devotions and then loaded up for we knew we would head home that evening. At the job site, we got ready to caulk and to paint.


Have caulking guns….ready to rock and roll! In this next picture you can see both the siding and the back of the house ready to side.


We got all the windows and trim and siding caulked, windows trimmed out, the whole house painted once and in places twice before we had to leave.

There was work for all of us!

At one point, we were joined by two Americorp volunteers. This group that had been there for ten weeks and had two more weeks to go. According to Hal, our project manager, there help had been invaluable. Tess and Grace were great fun and fell in love with some baby squirrels that Hal had rescued from an attic that was being re-roofed.


We were able to do all the work we did because of the generosity of donors. The Tool Trailer from the Oklahoma Conference was filled with everything we needed. Donations provided for materials like wood, shingles, nails, paint, caulk, and every possible power tool.

Finally, it was time to clean up and head back to Wichita. I am grateful for all the prayers and support that went with the West Heights team and the donations that made it possible for us to help three families. One last picture, and a big thanks to Dave Glover, who headed up our team, Brian Johnson, Andrew Stover and Rusty and Pat Allensworth! What a blessing they have been to me and to those we served.


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Resting on Sunday

Today has been a typical Sunday. Church was wonderful. The youth delivered their pies, we were challenged to remember to give thanks.

This afternoon, I had plans. Thanksgiving is this week and my to do list is long for home and for church. I laid for my normal every week Sunday “sacred nap.” I woke up after about 10 minutes, but decided to stay in bed a little longer.

Two hours later, I finally drug myself out of bed. I told my husband, “maybe we could go for a walk,” but we didn’t. There was an event down at Century II I thought about attending. I just couldn’t move. I was tired, really tired.

Then this came across my facebook newsfeed from Love What Matters:


My husband said, “pay attention. You always work, it is okay to just take the afternoon off.”

So I have. I read the paper, the Sunday paper ON Sunday. I have watched a little football with my husband (don’t ask who is playing.) I have done basically nothing.

Tomorrow will be here soon enough. I will have a very long to do list, a three day week at church will require me to be at the top of my game to be ready to have a holiday. The house will have chores to be done and food to be prepared. What will get done, will get done. Today, I rest. I replenish, I refill, I refresh. I am grateful for the time to do so. It is enough.

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