How Much Pain Can You Handle?

Mark 7:24-37 – The 15th Sunday after Pentecost – for Sunday, September 6, 2015

“Looking into heaven, Jesus sighed deeply and said, ‘Ephphatha,’ which means, ‘Open up.’” (Mark 7:34)

Anticipatory pain!
Anticipatory pain!

As an aging baby boomer, the infrequent conversations with my doctor frequently include the dreaded five-syllable “C” word.

Yes, a colonoscopy.

In my first colonoscopy oh so long ago, one or two persnickety polyps were found. Though minor red flags, the gastroenterologist said he removed them and I had nothing to worry about. Wrong. If there hadn’t been polyps, I could’ve avoided another colonoscopy for at least a decade. Frankly I’m fond of procrastination. It’s one of my favorite five-syllable words.

Unfortunately, polyps meant follow-up exams.

I had another this year. Such a joy, joy, joy down in my . . . Continue reading →

Words to Live By

Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23 – The 14th Sunday after Pentecost – for Sunday, August 30, 2015

“You ignore God’s commandment while holding on to rules created by humans . . .” (Mark 7:8)

High school. Circa, senior year. Note the black-rimmed glasses on geek...
High school. Circa, senior year. Note the geeky black-rimmed glasses . . .

My mother saved me.

I was a geek in high school, a guy with black-rimmed glasses more comfortable reading books than relating to people. Shy. Introverted. But occasionally, because of expectations or longing or both, I attempted to escape my geekishness. Take, for example, my high school’s Senior Ball. The “big dance” was a formal affair. I’d have to buy a corsage for a date. I’d have to . . . wait! Worse! First, I had to ask someone to the Ball in order to have a date.

Still, I thought I should attend.

Question: So, Larry how many dances did you go to in high school?

Answer: 0.

Yeah, you read the last sentence correctly. The actual, factual reality of my high school dance experience (until Senior Ball) was zero, nada, none, zilch.

Did I know how to dance? Nope. Had I ever worn a tuxedo? Nope. Would I have to ask (beg, barter, plead) to use my father’s car? Yup. Could I muster the courage to ask a girl to be my date? I recall staring at the dreaded phone, rehearsing questions while my throat filled with cotton and my armpits flooded with sweat.

Call . . . don’t call. Call now . . . call later. Continue reading →