IMG_4547The evening walk began on the same peaceful note as the morning, though the surf would beg to differ. I traveled down-beach this time, toward the sunset as it sank into the western horizon. The sea-birds were still busy at work, harvesting what they could amid the rushing foam.

Continuing the reflection of the day, I thought about the two unbroken sand dollars I found on the same day as I walked along Galveston’s shoreline some 30 years ago. I gave them to the friend who was with me, and later, she had them framed and gifted them back to me. They now hang on my office wall.shells

Amid the peacefulness and reflection, I headed back toward the hotel. As I approached the pier I heard squeals of delight – children’s voices. When I got closer I saw two women and three young girls bounding toward the beach. The girls’ high-pitched excitement coupled with the hotel’s welcome-bag confirmed they had just arrived. The mom and grandmother watched the girls as they maneuvered through the sand toward the water, one trying to catch it on their iPhone.

FullSizeRenderAs I got closer to them I asked if I they wanted me to take a picture of all of them together – admittedly asking as much for me as for them – and they happily said yes! In spite of the fading sunlight, I snapped a few shots for them – I hope at least one is good. It certainly was good for me – another picture of parallel sojourners. These filled with exuberance, life, and promise. Unbounded joy – hold onto it whenever it comes!

May we all continue the journey… together!

I stopped to grab a cup of coffee in the hotel lobby on my way out for a quiet morning stroll along the Atlantic shoreline. There were a few fellow-walkers in the distance, yet so few that it had the promise of a quiet beginning to a peaceful day.

Shell FootprintThe waves rolled-in gently, cresting just before reaching the shore. I noticed the broken pieces of shells strewn about – the birds have been busy already, getting their fill for breakfast. It occurred to me that we are all broken shells in one way or another. Picked-at and chipped by the struggles and circumstances of life. Some broken ones seem to congregate in large groups, while others find a solitary place in the sand.

Amid all the broken pieces, as beach-walkers we are always looking desperately for that perfect shell. The unblemished, unbroken sand dollar or conch. When we’re lucky enough to find it, we scoop it up quickly, rinse the sand from it, carry it gently, take it home, and find a special place to put it on display. We know these unbroken shells are rare. Perhaps our pursuit of them reflects the unbrokenness we long for in ourselves.

Read the rest of this entry »

Christ Church Episcopal, Norcross, GA
Day of Pentecost
Genesis 11:1-9; Acts 2:1-21; John 14:8-17, 25-27


I’d like to see a show of hands… how many of you have a birthday that falls during the summer months? I have a summer birthday. It’s in late July.

Summer birthdays are different than school-year birthdays. If you were like me, your birthday parties probably had fewer school friends, who were scattered for the summer. Instead, you’d have kids from the neighborhood pool and family. When I was young, I always wanted a school-year birthday because it seemed like they got more attention. I contend this isn’t just true for our personal birthdays, but also for the birthday of the church.

That’s what today is after all – Pentecost Sunday! The Birthday of the Church.

imageNow, unlike our birthdays which fall on the same date each year, Pentecost falls on different days because it’s always 50 days after Easter and Easter moves around. This year Easter was pretty early, so while Pentecost is usually a summer-birthday-kind-of-day, this year it’s been upgraded to a school-year birthday! So instead of a lot of folks being scattered, we’re all here to celebrate together!

We’ve got our festive red outfits on, our flamed-ribbon-sticks in-hand, a dove flying in the procession, special music – the works! It’s quite a birthday celebration for the Church!

But why is Pentecost considered the birthday of the church?

Read the rest of this entry »

%d bloggers like this: