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    I Got the P.K. Blues Part Two

    “Mommy play with me?”  I sighed quietly, staring at my desk in my home office, where piles of unfiled music and work stared back. My 3-year-old had fed, changed and walked her dolly all over the house in seven minutes. …

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    I Got the P.K. Blues

    “Sharon, you girls stop that fooling around now and start listening!” My grandfather’s correction from the pulpit stunned the congregation. Fans stopped waving, bulletins stopped crinkling, restless legs froze and a few women emitted quiet gasps. I felt a hot…

  • Encouragement

    First, Do No Harm

      My first experience with death came at age 8 at a funeral visitation for a prominent man from my church.  Colorful, aromatic floral arrangements encircled the room. Well-dressed church folk stood in conversational clusters and hugged and greeted my…

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    The Leah Syndrome

      My polite smile began to cramp my cheeks.  “Pastor Jones wife always worked at our pig in a blanket fundraiser. Such a wonderful way with pastry,” the chairwomen of the women’s guild chirped while smiling sweetly. A circle of…

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    Bright Stars in Dark Nights

    Bright Stars in Dark Nights I felt a familiar stiffness in my face while I led worship. My facial muscles ached from trying to keep joy on my face with knots in my stomach. A number of folks showed their…

  • Encouragement

    What’s the Point of Being Good?

      The stony silence of the congregation ushered me back to my seat in the second pew. The sanctuary suddenly felt chilly. I wanted to sneak out during the prayer before the sermon but rejected that kind of cowardice. So,…

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    Lonely Holidays

      “But why don’t ­we have any family to be with?”  My kindergarten daughter looked up at me, tears brimming in her blue eyes.  She is still our favorite party otter to this day, always anticipating the next opportunity to…