Welcome to my web log! (blog) I hope that these entries will give you a glimpse into my world and the spirit I bring to my ministry. I write new entries every couple of days, so check out the archives and check in again in a couple of days. Looking forward to meeting you in person…

Today is a gray day in Chicago, the kind of day where we are reminded once again who has the upper hand in deciding on the weather. The spring limps along in the slushy, cold reality of March in Chicago. Would that April would come! Of course April, as T.S. Eliot reminds us, is the cruelest month!

Karate training today limped along. Many of us had trouble remembering our forms, partner work was sometimes strained in our frustration, and some of my fellow classmates are training with injuries that bring the art of karatedo to a whole new level of spirit challenge.

We have a phrase that we use in karate that you would hear all over our dojo: OSU! It is a contracted version of a much longer phrase which means, “striving with patience.” Osu is used in a number of ways..a greeting coupled with a bow, a reponse to instruction from a senior student, or an utterance similar to “Oy” or “Uff Da!” Osu is the reminder that we must keep our spirits focused and allow the clatter of the mind to fall away. Tighten the fist. Deepen the stance. Block the punch.

Osu translates into everyday life. As I prepare my sermons and anticipate worshiping with you, I resound my mighty Osu from the rooftops of the world å la Whitman. I breathe in, I breathe out, I wait. In the spaces between the breaths, I listen for what needs to be heard and focus. (And then drift to blogging!)

Of course, you are likely enjoying a sunny day today. But it may be limping along. I invite you to come up with your own phrase that will remind you to strive with patience. And if you are feeling grand, please do sound your barbaric yawp from the rooftops of the world!

OSU kanji