Notes from Jan

Solitary Refinement

First of all, human beings and solitary confinement are natural enemies.  We’re relational beings.  It’s a cruel punishment. When in doubt,  consider how we’ve felt with minor constrictions after just a few months. Imagine enduring years of  solitary confinement. For sure, this pandemic reminds…

August 8, 2020
Notes from Jan

Uncommon Grace

Two avocados, four peaches and one cantaloupe struggle to ripen while I watch. It’s one of those lazy, hazy days of summer. But not quite as still as ones I remember as a kid in Georgia, when the heat and humidity bore down like…

August 1, 2020
Notes from Jan

The Gospel According to John

John Lewis preached the gospel. He proclaimed good news to the poor and those punished and disadvantaged because of the color of their skin. He wasn’t Saint John but that’s not the point. Some preach with words.  But nothing  speaks like our lives.  We…

July 23, 2020
Notes from Jan

Weighing in on Faithfulness

It’s what I called him, Uncle Faithful, but not ’til after he died.  He was daddy’s eldest brother, a bachelor.  Uncle Jack lived one of those quiet lives that doesn’t make much difference unless being faithful in small ways adds up to more than…

July 18, 2020
Notes from Jan

Of Pancakes, Pandemics and Protests

It all came back  as I  warmed  syrup and mixed the batter to make Norwegian pancakes for my grandson, Basil.  It seemed as good a time as any to tell him the story that happened almost fifty years ago.  With so much bad news,…

July 13, 2020
Notes from Jan

Monumental Mistakes and Moments

We  keep making them, monumental mistakes and I’m not just talking about statues.  However,when it comes to  some of those sacred symbols of history, we bet on the wrong horse.  We put our money on clay-footed folks, instead of  on the horses.  W.C.Fields put…

July 3, 2020
Notes from Jan

Picture Perfect

It’s been almost a month since Jud and I took a drive.  No, really. May 31st would’ve been our 57th wedding anniversary, but who’s counting? Me!  Since Jud left for heaven more than five years ago, you might need an explanation. It was Sunday…

June 26, 2020
Notes from Jan

Keep Counting

Music matters.  Almost every day, my brother forwards links to YouTube music.   Sometimes it’s hand-clapping-foot-stomping songs, other times orchestral, soul-soothers, or amazing skyped-together pieces. This morning Dan sent the Salvation Army Songsters singing, Count Your Blessings.   Actually, that’s a good practice. As for me,  it …

June 22, 2020
Notes from Jan

Lets Write Better Stories

We need stories.  The least interested child or adult, whether in class or church snaps to when they hear, “Let me tell you a story.”  History’s  a story.  We need it taught, but even more  to remember so we don’t repeat the worst of our…

June 19, 2020
Notes from Jan

Called to Cushion

The story’s old, yet eerily new.   Jeremiah was a prophet from 626 BC to 587 BC, not a job folks stood in line, hoping to land.  God called prophets to be Truth-Tellers, which meant saying things folks didn’t want to hear, then or now.…

June 12, 2020