LIFE: on our street

Living in a Time of Trauma

By Guest Blogger Dr. Penny Freeman

Barbara Brown Taylor says “Pain and suffering makes theologians of us all.”

It’s true. There is no shortage of trauma these days. This summer our eyes have been glued to the devastation of hurricanes. Harvey left Houston in a state of disrepair that left me slack jawed. Irma wiped out Barbuda (an island I didn’t know existed until three weeks ago) and Maria totaled Puerto Rico the same time an [...]

The End of the Rope

I picked up my Bible and hurled it out the tiny window of our basement apartment. The thin pages wrinkled. The leather cover folded.  But there it hung, caught between the iron bars of our city window. “I can’t succeed at anything, I thought, not even throwing my Bible away.”

I was at the end of my rope. Finished. Disillusioned. We were church planters in a foreign country, in a global city, in a language [...]

By |September 28th, 2017|Shari Thomas|21 Comments|

The Sting of Messing Where You Shouldn’t

Yesterday, we ended a lovely family weekend with a walk to The Museum of Natural History. Hidden behind the museum is a small water fountain park. Our grandson excitedly ran through the soft green grass towards the water and right over a swarm of yellow jackets. Surprisingly he didn’t get stung. But like all New Yorkers, I expected at minimum a warning sign to be posted about the danger.

Penny’s yellow jacket experience turned out [...]

Raising Kids In The City

‘What’s up with my kids? They climb on everything. And our furniture is so cheap, it’s always breaking.’

‘I regret now buying what we did when we moved here. It’s not holding up with our boys.’ Another woman added.

Before you think this is a discipline issue, this conversation came from our Brooklyn cohort this past Wednesday night. They are raising kids in small city spaces. 650-square-foot is the average size of a NYC family apartment. We [...]

Preparing My Heart To Be With Others

Friends were over last week and I stumbled out of bed and into the kitchen, talking. About ten minutes into the mostly one-way conversation I caught myself. “Meds. I haven’t taken my meds!” Thankfully, I was with friends. They love me in spite of what I say or my need for meds. Still, I was reminded how easily I can go about my day completely unprepared to be a member of the human race.

My [...]

Living With Stress?

 

At one of Parakaleo’s early training events, we came up with a mnemonic device to help us remember some components of healthy living for a profession that can suck us dry. Obviously, we could add more, but when living with stress we need simple. So here you have it. Our Five S’s that can be listed on one hand.

Sun

While you might enjoy a good tan, we’re referring to the effects of light. Are you [...]

Our Top Training Tips

My dad, Allen Thompson, a gifted trainer by nature, taught me to sail as a young teen. On a 12ft somewhat battered catamaran, he showed me the basics in Key Biscayne Bay before handing me the tiller. I don’t recall if it was that first day or our second time out when he asked about my greatest fear on the water. At that time it was capsizing. You can guess the next lesson.  Once [...]

The Zookeeper’s Wife

The inspiring yet heartbreaking story of one woman’s courage during wartime is the plot for the book and now the movie, The Zookeeper’s Wife. This true story, set in Warsaw during World War II, shows not only how war impacts women but also how they fight and risk all for their beliefs.

One wife’s courage saved over 300 Jewish lives from extermination. When Poland is occupied by the Nazis, zookeeper Jan Zabinski and his wife [...]

The Joys of Church Planting

One Sunday, John and I walked to the #2 subway line, headed to Penn station, caught a train to Flushing and arrived in Asia in less than 45 minutes.  Actually, we were visiting Kings Cross Church, a church plant in Queens. Only the travel time belied the fact that we were still in NYC.  It’s one of the things I love about living in this city and that I [...]

Longings, Losses and Limitations

By Dr. Penny Freeman

Today I planned my garden…

Not the one I usually do…

In fact, I pulled up to the outside of my scraggly house and assessed the outside beds and grass. Usually, as soon as we have a few good weekends in the 70s, I migrate outside as my neighbors do into the yard to rake and bag leaves or sticks blown down by the winter. I attempt to start weeding beds that are [...]