Life is full of doorways.
Every doorway is an opportunity to enter or not.

This is a gift.
We choose the doors we enter and the doors we don't.
The paths we take and the paths we don't.

Some doors are locked for a long time. 
When we circle back around years later, sometimes they are unlocked.

Some doors are perpetually open. 
For all of our days, we can enter those doors.
Some doors are perpetually closed.
That's okay, too. 
We can't enter every doorway. 

This is life.
Doors and doors and doors of possibility. 

Here's another gift: we can't get it wrong. 

Often we mistakenly believe that there's a right doorway and a wrong doorway.
We believe that if we end up choosing the wrong one, we will have spoiled it all. 

"The right door is long past now"
"I ruined everything"
"I can never have the life I should've had because I picked the wrong door"

These are all lies. 
They've been around for a long time.
These are the lies that prevent us from exploring all the beautiful doorways.
These are the lies that leave us frozen and afraid.

A beautiful mystery: there are always more doors.

Every day. 

Every day we wake up and we can't even imagine the new doors that will unfold.

We turn right and there are doors.

We turn left and there are doors.

It's an adventure. 
It's a gift.
We can't do it wrong. 

Just keep going. 


This Week's Column

It's about weeding and tarps. 


Landscape & Wilderness

 Artist: Denis van Alsloot (late 16th-early 17th century, Brussels)

“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” 
- John Muir


This Week's Column

Good morning! I hope you all had a great weekend! This is a photo taken with Justin's parents and my mom yesterday! (Thanks for the pic, Mom!) We had a nice Mother's Day picnic. It was a lovely day!

Here's a link to this week's Post-Bulletin column. It's about meditation and the stories we write in our minds every day.


Smelling like Dirt

Artist: Roger de La Fresnaye
Artist Info: French, 1885 - 1925
Title: The Watering Can
Dated: 1913
Medium: oil on canvas
Classification: Painting
Source: NGA Images


Beneath Cherry Blossoms

Camille Pissarro
French, 1830 - 1903
"Orchard in Bloom"
Dated 1872
Medium: oil on canvas
Source: National Gallery of Art

Blooms outside Assisi

What a strange thing!
to be alive
beneath cherry blossoms.

― Kobayashi Issa (1763-1828)


Flower Pot and Lorde

Flower Pot from The Met's public domain collection

"Earth is still sweet, for autumn teaches bearing
And new sun will warm our proud and cautious feet"

-a few lines from "Second Spring" by Audre Lorde

(a beautiful poem about grief and sadness and hope)


Synod Assembly Sermon

Howdy! Here's the text and images from a sermon I shared Saturday for the Southeastern Minnesota Synod Assembly.

John 21:15-19: When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my lambs.’ A second time he said to him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Tend my sheep.’He said to him the third time, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ And he said to him, ‘Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my sheep. Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.’ (He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.) After this he said to him, ‘Follow me.’

Sculpture and Poetry

Artist: Wilhelm Lehmbruck (1881-1919)
Title: Seated Youth
Medium: Composite tinted plaster

Some lines from Mary Oliver's "In the Storm"

Belief isn't always easy. 
But this much I have learned - 
if not enough else - 
to live with my eyes open. 


2017 Synod Assembly

Today is set-up day at the Mayo Civic Center, and this weekend is the 30th annual Southeastern Minnesota Synod Assembly. It's that time of year again! Wow! May has arrived! 

I wrote about the "tech" aspect of the experience for a column in the Post-Bulletin a few years ago; here's a link to that column. I'm excited to see Ed, Skot, and Paul again this year as well as an awesome crew of videographers and volunteers. It takes so many people to make the assembly happen. Quite an eye-opener for me. I had no idea!

A bonus of this year is that I've been invited to preach tomorrow morning for the assembly's opening worship. Please send your warm energies and prayers. I'm really grateful for the opportunity to dive into the 21st chapter of John and swim around with folks. Nervous? Of course! But most trying to remember to breathe and meditate and trust that all shall be well. And then I'll rejoin my crew in the booth and jump right back into the "tech production" role which will be life-giving/anxiety-provoking/awesome as well. 😜

If you're interested in any of the assembly materials, they're all on the synod website at http://semnsynod.org/assembly2017. 

Have a great day and a beautiful weekend! Here in Minnesota, they're predicting warmth and sunshine. Soak it in!