Christmas Deer

As I left church on Christmas Eve I noticed five deer grazing through our “back forty.” I typically see these deer on Christmas Eve (technically Christmas Day). I haven’t seen them on any other night. I call them Christmasdeer. I look for them on Christmas; they rarely disappoint. 
This year as I watched them peacefully make themselves at home at St. John there was something holy about the moment. See, at 12:00AM on Christmas Day things feel different at St. John. In fact, things feel different in Williamsville. The world seems different. Stars shine brighter. Life is calmer. Individual snowflakes seem precious - each in their own way. The world is quiet. Silence speaks. The Divine seems near. 
As I drove away from church I thought briefly about the faith of those deer. How wonderful, I mused to myself, that even the deer know to worship baby Jesus on this night.How great is it that creation itself pauses for adoration!? I thought of the animals present at that first Christmas (a don…

The Pajama Package


Awkward, Again.

So, I’m by myself in Sheboygan, Wisconsin at a bar that is waaaaaaaayyy too hip for me (and, quite frankly, I cannot believe there are places in Sheboygan that are too hip for me). Ten minutes ago, I asked the receptionist in the hotel lobby where the “cool kids” grab dinner (I, by the way, did not sound like a “cool kid” when I asked that question). She sent me here.  
I’m desperately trying to fit in. The only problem is it is awkward. No, actually, I’m awkward. I want to order a beer but based on the tap handles it looks like my options are clown juice, buffalo something, or Budweiser (and I’m not ordering Budweiser). 
I say, “Can I just have a pale ale?” The bartender asks if I want circus-something or bison-whatever. “Whatever most people like,” I say. He asks if I want a pint or a mug. I say, “Whichever is bigger.” A moment later he approaches with a beer in the biggest mug I have ever seen. As I take my first sip, I look like a toddler trying to drink milk from a gallon jug. I…