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Churches and Temples and Money...oh my!

Anyone want to try and guess my least favorite season of the church year??? Anyone? Buhler?....Buhler?
Well it's "Stewardship season", and I almost rather despise it at this point. I find it so frustrating, and for so many reasons. For example:
1. Stewardship should not be secret church code for a capital campaign.
2. Stewardship shouldn't be confined to a season.
3. The typical experience rarely challenges westernized status quo with gospel based instruction.
4. The typical English vernacular attributed to stewardship is wholly inaccurate and often completely unquestioned.Don't get me wrong, I have fulfilled a tithe my entire adult life. So I recognize that money is indeed an inevitable part of being a good steward, but I also feel that the biggest contributions I have been able to give to my church have always been non-monetary.
For all the times we've stated that the church is the people, not the building(s), we continue to undercut this sentiment with ou…

I can't say I wasn't warned

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I can tell quite a bit about how my health history has recently gone by some of the data from this blog. Such as: how long it has been since I last posted, how many times I've even logged in, or how many other people's posts I had backlogged to catch up on from other friends and YASCers.

But I'm catching up a little. Also, to be fair, I've had a couple other large things that had taken more of my time and energy than I expected. Or, perhaps, they are taking the same amount of time and energy they always would have, but I no longer have the reserve pool of such things like I did before my health shifted. Things that once were a small part, are now large hurdles, and sometimes I can't make it through, much less on to other things as I used to.

That's a bit beside the point though, and not actually what I came to write about today. I find myself frustrated with how focused I seem to be on all of this lately, and while it's not something I can safely ignore, I …

Why the cat stays on the floor today

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So, in the last few blogs, I've found myself reflecting most often on things of a cultural and political nature. While it has been mentioned to me that these are still interesting topics to certain folks I know read this blog, I find myself somewhat hesitant to post about them.  I am wary at the outset because, in large part, I find opinions to be very personal, and I am increasingly aware how the connected anonymity of the internet lends sharp brutality of rhetoric where I would much prefer compassion or silence, and I do not exclude myself from this indictment. I find myself frustrated and heartbroken at what I witness happening, and what is being done about it by myself, my friends, and others.  I know that, often, some excellent writing has transpired from the "greats" in times of righteous indignation, and that their prose has become inspirational and legendary and, some times, life altering for those who read what they capture in words.

The truth is, however, I am …

Social media sees everything

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So, as I'm usually pretty apt to point out in my blog, there's a lot of things of which I am not an expert. In fact, the list is so vast, it is easily summed up as "all of them". I am an expert at nothing, and I know very very very few people who are experts at anything. This is not to say I know dumb people, this is to illustrate that nearly every possible subject is quite vast, and since humanity has, individually, such short life spans, there is very little hope of truly being a full expert in even 1 field before death. So, we collectively narrow the field definition in order to specialize to the attainment of expert status, but by the time an expert is proclaimed, often the scope of their expertise is so limited that it is a niche entirely unuseful to many others. So I mindfully now choose to never be an expert.
Instead, and much more attainable, I'll just share some observations based on my personal experiences. I'm well aware that my social media feed i…

Back by popular demand: UNEXPERTING!

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One year ago today, I arrived in Brazil. I was hauling way too much stuff, probably, and felt both tired and terrified, definitely.
There are so many good things that have happened because of my presence in Brazil, and I mean to say that I have been the surprising recipient of most of those, not that I made such an impact myself. I did not go to save or rescue anyone, because that wasn't my job in the first place. In fact, it never has been, because I would be at a grand total of 0 if it had. The act of saving and rescuing in the Christian tradition is something I depend on God for, and while I do as I feel called in order to help, I recognize that, ultimately, God has the power to do it with or without me, and that my actions are never the true tipping point.
Brazil is an amazing place, where I learned and loved and received so much friendship and lessons on what a response to the Gospel looks like.  Not to mention I found it to be beautiful. However, for those Americans who spea…

How was your trip?

So, as of yesterday, I've been back home for 2 weeks. 2 very weird, long, strange, jam-packed weeks.  And I'll be leaving in 2 days (before 6am, no less) for what supposedly is the last step of my YASC journey.

I don't think I can accurately describe what it feels like, what it means to be home. But I do know that, more than any other single thing, most people have opened a conversation with "Welcome home! How was your trip?"

For the first part, I am glad.  I am grateful and lucky to come back to such supportive communities, friends, and family, but that second question causes something else.  While I try my best to keep my smile outwardly the same, inside I have a furrowed brow, a head tilt, and a mental voice saying "Really?!?!?"

Because, for starters, this wasn't a "trip".  Also, can anyone easily sum up an entire year that is inherently life altering, while it's still happening? You don't ask a mom at her kids first birthday &q…

Guess who's back???

So, back to the USA.  And after less than one week home, I had convention for the diocese of Southwest Florida.  Here's the link to find my talk:
http://episcopalswfl.org/dfc/newsdetail_2/3181691

I can be found a bit faster with these guides:
Morning Session
Time marker 02:32:25

If you are a member of the diocese in Southwest Florida and would like to talk to me further about speaking at your parish or group event, please use the "Get in Touch" option on this page.

If you are not located in Southwest Florida, but still wish to get in touch and talk further, I am also happy to consider doing Skype or Live broadcasts with groups further away.

Otherwise, I do promise to post more blog updates and such after this, because there is, of course, much to tell, but I think I need to do it on a week without a convention, a farewell dinner (for someone else this time), Wednesday night church service, 2 appointments, some errands, 6 doctor visits, making a skirt, and a birthday bash …