A Funeral Sermon at Christmas

Where do we go with our pain?

[REPOST: This was originally posted on my previous blog in December of 2014 for the one-year anniversary of my grandfather’s death. The response has been so overwhelming over the years I am posting it again this Advent season.]

This is the sermon I wrote for and preached at my grandfather’s funeral December 21, 2013.

James T. Boyd left us December 10, 2013. It is also written for all who sorrow, for any reason. Peace and rest to you this season.

Oh God, where do we go from here? Where do we go when our loved one passes while we are left to refigure life anew? Where do we go with the unanswerable questions… and even deeper pain? What if there are regrets, unspoken honor, and unfinished conversations? Where do we go with longings cut short by uncontrollable events?

Reclaim Your Soul

Welcome to my new website! It seems appropriate to launch during Advent (the season in which we await the Christ child’s birth), as this is a long-awaited birth for me. To get us started, I want to give you a flavor of this site by telling you about a disaster of a daily life experience I had a couple weeks ago…and the treasure of transformation found within it.

How To Get Gratitude All Wrong This Thanksgiving


November, for all intents and purposes, is our national invitation to gratitude month. Schools promote, pastors sermonize it and commercials monetize it.

But I sit here wondering: are you able to engage it? Is all of that push for gratitude working any good inside of you?

From personal difficulty, painful loss, maybe political upsets, there are many people who are struggling to engage in gratitude. Can I let you in on a little secret? Back when that “write down your gratitude” stuff started up and was all the rage, I felt like it was a call to put a dress on a piece of sh…errrr, feces. My life was so hard in so many categories and trying to be thankful felt like kindergarten stuff. Please, I have better things to do than think about unicorns and rainbows. I am pretty sure I had that actually thought; I am certain I had that sarcastic tone.

Sometimes the best and most life-giving thing is to be wrong.