Naturally Grown Faith, Family, Farming

Notes Along the Way

My Season of Pause

My Season of Pause

Going through the process of certifying as a Candidate and then Local Pastor Licensing School took me out of my regular routine at my home church. Where I had once been fairly regular in attending worship services and active on various committees and teams, I […]

When Love Meets Dust: Reflections on Parkland FL and More

When Love Meets Dust: Reflections on Parkland FL and More

Yesterday, I was sitting at home, nursing the tail end of a bout with the flu when I got an e-mail from Alana Levandoski via Patreon about a new song she’d released in honor of the day. It was the first thing I’d seen/heard/read that […]

Into the Wilderness

Into the Wilderness

The season of Lent begins in just two days. To quote the United Methodist Church: Lent is a season of forty days, not counting Sundays, which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday. Lent comes from the Anglo Saxon word lencten, which means […]

Refreshing the Dream

Refreshing the Dream

You may have noticed the logo for Spirit Dog Farm has a new look that we feel is a better reflection of who we are and of our priorities. There’s a reason for that.  Sometimes you have to take a few steps back, reassess your options, […]

A Matter of Perception

A Matter of Perception

One week ago after reading/participating in some intra-denominational discussions by clergy about whether worldly politics should be addressed from the pulpit, I was pretty sure I was seeing a pattern developing based on the comments.  Rather than try to point it out in that forum […]

Waiting and Trusting; Not My Strong Suits

Waiting and Trusting; Not My Strong Suits

One of the hardest things I’m doing right now is waiting and trusting. UMC Discipleship Ministries released two new Worship series, Rise Up! for the Season After Epiphany and Rehab for Lent, that are outstanding. If I were at an appointment, we’d definitely be using […]

I Am a 13th Generation Dreamer

I Am a 13th Generation Dreamer

Open Letter to:  Sen. Bob Corker, Sen. Lamar Alexander, Rep. John Duncan, Jr., Rep. Phil Roe, Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, Rep. Scott DesJarlais, Rep. Jim Cooper, Rep. Diane Black, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Rep. David Kustoff, Rep. Steve Cohen, all members of the Tennessee State Senate, all […]

Foot-In-Mouth Disease IS Curable … Sorta’

Foot-In-Mouth Disease IS Curable … Sorta’

se·man·tics səˈman(t)iks noun the branch of linguistics and logic concerned with meaning. There are a number of branches and subbranches of semantics, including formal semantics, which studies the logical aspects of meaning, such as sense, reference, implication, and logical form, lexical semantics, which studies word […]

Looking for the Christ In Who?

Looking for the Christ In Who?

The weekend of August 11-13, I was attending the first session of licensing school for local pastors.  The group I was with – thirteen students and two deans – was diverse in age, gender, race, church- and non-church-related experience, and (near as I could tell) political ideology. […]

Teach Us How To Pray

Teach Us How To Pray

prayer (prer) noun: prayer; plural noun: prayers a solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God or an object of worship. “I’ll say a prayer for him” synonyms: invocation, intercession, devotion; archaicorison “the priest’s murmured prayers” a religious service, especially a regular one, at […]

Reflections on Extraordinary Ordinary Time

Reflections on Extraordinary Ordinary Time

The church calendar breaks down into seasons: Advent (the four Sundays before Christmas) Christmastide (December 25 through January 5) Christmas Day Baptism of the Lord Sunday Epiphany (January 6 through the day before Ash Wednesday) Epiphany Sunday (closest Sunday to January 6) Transfiguration Sunday (Sunday […]

Hello? Is It Me You’re Looking For?

Hello? Is It Me You’re Looking For?

The world is wonkers, and it’s filled us with doubt, frustration, suspicion, fear, anger, judgment, assumption, and self. Yes … self.  We’re looking at the world from a position as center of the worldly universe. What’s in it for me? What’s it going to cost […]

Bible-In-A-Year Plans, Be Damned!

Bible-In-A-Year Plans, Be Damned!

The first Sunday of January, my church offers up a “bible reading plan” designed to take you through the bible in one year, then graciously includes the week’s readings in the Sunday bulletins. This year, they even added a chronological reading plan. For a couple years […]

The Big(ger) Picture

The Big(ger) Picture

God’s mercy when He has to grab me by the shirttail and say, “Whoa up!” is amazing to me, each and every time. Like this time. This particular “whoa” involved a trip to the hospital with my husband.  What could have been a heart attack […]