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A Celebration of Light

When I grew up in Seoul, Korea, there were war drills. Yes, war drills. On the fifteenth of each month, we had a short 30-minute war drill. Sirens went off, and cars and people had to stop in the middle of the streets, or wherever they were, to hide. Also, there was a special drill at night once or twice a year for an hour when no one was allowed to turn any lights on in their homes. When I was very young, the night drills scared me. My mom, ... Read More »

Why I’m Glad I Write in My Bible

One of the reasons I prefer “real” books over Kindle books and other types of e-readers is my propensity to underline, highlight and make notes while I am reading. Something about the process of marking a particular word or phrase serves to cement the concept in my mind. My Bible is the place where I most often leave behind a trail of ink as I find particular words and verses meaningful. The Bible I use most frequently was a gift from my mother in 2000, so this book has been my ... Read More »

Parrot Lost, Parrot Regained

My mom has two parrots: Morelia and Valentin. They are her happiness. They can sing five songs, three of which are praises to the Lord. Once, Valentin fell and lost consciousness. My mom provided first aid, and he woke up singing a song from his repertoire: “Christ is coming, there are signs. He is looking to save souls. I go with Him, I go with Him. I don’t stay, I go with Him.” My mom cried and sang the song with him, thanking God that Valentin had recovered. Now, Valentin ... Read More »

The Next Fifteen Years

I remember exactly where I was when the question came. It was last June, and my daughter, Emily, and I were on a trail at Calvert Cliffs State Park in Maryland. We were talking about her graduation in 2016 and her plans for the future. The conversation soon turned to me. She asked me how long I had been working at Floris UMC, and I told her 16 years. “Wow,” she said, “that’s a long time!” I said, “Yes, and I have about fifteen more years left to work.” We ... Read More »

When It Rains, It Pours

I write this while sitting in beautiful Hilton Head, South Carolina where I am helping out my parents for 10 days as my dad recovers from surgery. Dad is closing in on 86 years old. Frankly, surgery is not something you wish on anyone of this age, and yet, it was the only option. He’s gone from shuffling around, to walking with a cane, to relying on a walker, to barely lifting his foot as the pain in his knee went on for almost six months. During the last two ... Read More »


The season of Lent has begun. Lent is a time of prayer and reflection. On Sunday our pastor asked us to read through one of the Gospels and really take a hard look at what Jesus said (in my Bible what Jesus says is in red letters). As I read through those red letters this morning in the book of Luke, I came across this: “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” (Luke 12:25). There was a time when I was a big worrier. ... Read More »

The Hands and Feet of Jesus

“Christ has no body on earth but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours. Yours are the eyes through which Christ’s compassion for the world is to look out; yours are the feet with which He is to go about doing good; and yours are the hands with which He is to bless us now.”                                                                    ... Read More »

One Wild and Precious Life

“I don’t know exactly what a prayer is. I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass, how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields, which is what I have been doing all day. Tell me, what else should I have done? Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon? Tell me, what is it you plan to do With your one wild and precious life?” I heard these words from Mary Oliver’s Pulitzer ... Read More »

Making God A Priority

“God wants first place in our life,” said Bishop Cho Sunday morning as we closed the 233rd session of the Virginia Annual Conference. He followed with a pretty convicting question, “Who is number one in your life?” Since Sunday I’ve been thinking a lot about that question. I want God to be first place and yet, the truth is, I crowd God out. This is mostly because I’m too busy. It is also because, quite frankly, I just don’t make God a priority. Two years ago, Bishop Cho challenged us to ... Read More »

Look Up

I was shoveling in the middle of some of the heaviest snow of the season the other day when I paused and looked up. There were seemingly endless snowflakes falling all around me out of the vastness of the gray sky. I know infinity can’t really be defined, but if I had to, this image of snow is how I would define it. It was beautiful and oddly soul-stirring. I’ve always liked looking up. As a child I would float on my back and watch the clouds for long periods ... Read More »

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