icon caret-left icon caret-right instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads question-circle facebook circle twitter circle linkedin circle instagram circle goodreads circle pinterest circle

WORDS FROM FRIENDS

TEEC NOS POS CHRISTMASES

The memories I’m about to share are most likely from two or three Christmases—from when I was about six through eight. Sixty years later, they seem to have rolled themselves into one very full Christmas.

When I was six, I attended the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) school on the hill above the mission at Teec Nos Pos. That was where I learned the Christmas song “Up on the Rooftop” with my Navajo classmates. I learned it in Dummitawry English, and that’s still how I sing it to myself around the house these days. “Gib en a dolly dat laffin’ an’ cryin’, One dat openin’ and closin’ his eye.” And so on. My mother tried to correct me when I came home singing it, but her corrections, as with so many attempts to correct my Nava-glish, just sounded wrong. And I was stubborn. After all, I’d learned it in school. Read More 
2 Comments
Post a comment

DOUG HOUCK: A MAN WITH AN "EX-GAY" PAST

Doug after the Seattle to Portland Bike Classic--204 miles in 2 days--part of his new abundant life!
I met Doug Houck this fall through a mutual friend online, when he started reading The Silver Cup in its serialized form. Perhaps because we both grew up gay in the Christian Reformed Church (CRC), which means we have a huge common background, he became one of my most devoted readers, frequently offering comments. The more he shared of his own story, the more I knew I wanted to interview him, so a couple of weeks ago, we had a two-hour phone conversation and then some follow-ups by e-mail.

My first question for Doug was, “How did you experience your faith as a child?”

“I took my faith pretty seriously, but I believe that everybody I knew was doing the same thing. We were all going to church twice on Sunday. I went to Sunday school, Calvinist Cadets, and Young People’s Society. I became a leader in those groups, won an award in Cadets, was the president of Young People’s Society, and I went to El Paso on SWIM [Summer Workshop in Missions] in 1973. I would talk to my Catholic neighbors and tell them they were going to hell because they were Roman Catholic and not CRC. Naiveté.”

He laughed and went on to catalog Read More 
7 Comments
Post a comment

SAFETY FIRST

Image from Morgue File
I can’t tell you how often I’ve heard people say that they don’t talk about religion or politics with family members. Even though most of us probably spent eighteen years or more living with the people in our immediate families, it seems we often end up with differing views, sometimes very strongly held, in these two areas of our lives. In Chapter Twenty-three of The Silver Cup, “Preparing the Lab,” I wrote about wanting, after many years of avoidance, to share my spirituality with my family. In our case, our spiritual lives were how we had once done intimacy. My avoidance had meant Read More 
Be the first to comment

A HYMN ABOUT UNDERGARMENTS AND HOW ED WON THE SILVER CUP TITLE CONTEST

A little over a week ago, I visited my brother and sister Ed and Diane and their family in Las Cruces. I’d gone down in part to deliver the prize Ed had won by naming the song behind the title of The Silver Cup. I didn’t want those beautiful gourmet chocolate tapas melting on that southern New Mexico doorstep. My brother Rick was with us, and after supper, we sat around chatting. Ed and Diane’s teenage daughter came in asking if she could meet up with her friends at the mall. After a little discussion, Diane said, “I’ll take you there.”

I started singing the Staple Singers’ song, “I’ll Take You There.”

Ed chuckled and said, “That’s how I guessed the song behind the title of your book.” The song being Read More 
4 Comments
Post a comment