What's Tony Thinking

A Poem for Easter

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March 31, 2018 — “The First Green of Spring” by David Budbill   Out walking in the swamp picking cowslip, marsh marigold, this sweet first green of spring. Now sautéed in a pan melting to a deeper green than ever they were alive, this green, this life,   harbinger of things to come. Now we sit at the table... Read More

Rejoice with those who rejoice

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March 28, 2018 — “Rejoice with those who rejoice,” Paul encourages us in Romans 12: 15. Sounds like a slam-dunk. You’re happy, I’m happy. But is it? Perhaps this is not so easy as it sounds. In fact, “rejoicing with those who rejoice” may require a transformation of our inner being. How come? Well, sometimes when others rejoice, we... Read More

The Passion According to St. John: A Feast of Irony

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March 26, 2018 — At our church yesterday, we heard the Passion narrative (Jesus’ arrest, trial, crucifixion, burial) from the Fourth Gospel (John 18 – 20) as the central part of our Palm/ Passion service. Each of the four gospels tells this story with slightly different and particular accents and emphases. As always, John is the most different of... Read More

from The March for Our Lives

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March 24, 2018 — Almost everyone, it seemed, had a sign of some sort. Many were home-made. Mine, displayed right, was provided by an artists collective that was giving away posters outside Elliot Bay Books, near the March starting point, Cal Anderson Park. Some of the homemade signs/messages that caught my eye: “What Part of ‘Well Regulated’ Don’t You... Read More

How To Think

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March 22, 2018 — How To Think: A Survival Guide for a World at Odds is a terrific little book (160 pp.) by Alan Jacobs, who teaches in the honors program at Baylor University. Despite the title, it isn’t really a “how-to” book, at least in the sense of boiling thinking down to a technique or number of steps. It... Read More

Leading Change

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March 19, 2018 — Over the weekend we happened to be at a kind of fitness/ sports facility, the Pro Club in Bellevue. No, I was not refining my golf swing (I don’t have one). We were taking one of our grandchildren to his swimming lesson. The Pro Club, which is quite a complex, is in the midst of... Read More

What Happened to Evangelical Christianity

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March 16, 2018 — I’ve written before about the sad and dis-spiriting alliance of many evangelical Christians and their most prominent leaders with Donald Trump. It is, among other things, hugely perplexing that those who claim to care about morality can embrace such an awful human being. One is tempted to simply write such evangelicals off as “hypocrites.” But... Read More

Our Personalized Rituals

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March 12, 2018 — We went to the service of ordination for Susan Fairo at Alki UCC on Sunday. Susan is our new pastor at Spirit of Peace. It was a joyous celebration, fueled in no small part by the fantastic Alki Choir. Led by the African-American director, Marshan Goodwin-Moultry, the choir proved that white people can clap —... Read More

Watching My (Trump) Diet

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March 8, 2018 — I’ve never found Norman Peale-esque “positive thinking” or “looking on the bright side” advice particularly compelling. Life is more complicated than that. But there’s a danger of going too far in the other direction — a danger in dwelling on the dark side, if you will. These days I find myself struggling (and it’s a... Read More

Notes of an Urban Naturalist

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March 6, 2018 — This Saturday (March 10) I will be one of a team of “urban naturalists” leading a Seattle Parks “Great Blue Heron Walk.” We meet at 10:00 at the the Environmental Learning Center at Discovery Park. From there we walk to the Heron rookery near the Ballard Locks. The GBH pictured right is one I spotted... Read More