Archive for February, 2013

Roger That

Posted: February 17, 2013 in 5 Things

This post originally appeared on the wordpress site¬†“My Heart Is Going To Explode!” where we attempted “The Gratitude Project: Practicing Communal Thanksgiving and Mindfulness of Joy”

Today marks the first Sunday in Lent.

I don’t have much Lenten experience. I know the basics, that Lent starts on Ash Wednesday. That it lasts 40 days until the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection on Easter Sunday. I know traditionally people who observe Lent attempt to fast or refrain from participating in a selected activity of their own choosing. I have discovered here on the East Coast, Lent means a rise in fast food fish sales (seriously). But I am a relative newcomer to the Liturgical calendar, so leave it to a rookie like me to get this backwards, but this year for Lent I’m thinking subtraction through addition.

A few weeks ago, we received the newest issue of CONSP!RE magazine, the Winter 2013 edition titled “Gratitude, Grace and Celebration.” The first essay was written by the quarterly’s editor, Dee Dee Risher, and chronicled her transformative journey of incorporating the discipline of gratitude into her life. Two years ago Ms. Risher began keeping record each day of five things she was grateful for in the moment, moments of joy waiting to be unwrapped but often overlooked. I have included excerpts of her article on the Inspiration page above for those interested.

Since I have been struggling attending my own church, disappointed by my own expectations of progressing toward our collective Kingdom potential, I decided to institute my own “5 Things” initiative on Sundays to see what I have been missing.

Here is my first list from February, 3, 2013:

1. God’s healing power and the power of prayer as evidenced by Suzanne Lavoie’s brother walking out of the hospital this week after falling down stairs which fractured his skull, vertebrae, ribs and ruptured an ear canal.

2. Men like Kevin Freitas who are willing to serve in worship despite any fears, anxieties or speech impediments and for Roger Lavoie who courageously muscled through today’s Scripture reading from Acts loaded with ancient unpronounceable city names.

3. Garrett’s smiling face and eyes and Missy Fenner’s emphatic and understanding nods when I looked out into the body this morning during the beginning of our service.

4. My little son Shepard’s fingers interlocked with mine while singing praises to God, and having the privilege to help point those little fingers to each successive word in the songbook, helping him learn to read. Then being given a gold star sticker by this little 3 year old boy.

5. Bud’s story about a man named William from Rocky Hill and the 12 year journey a Bible inscribed with his name,¬† took to be gifted and treasured, an example of God’s Providence, timing and faithfulness in finishing good stories.

Honestly, Roger Lavoie should have made this list twice because before the church service even began he tracked me down to tell me that the Padres are playing at Fenway Park this Summer and that no matter what we would find a way to get tickets to the Saturday game. Made my day. Which Roger so frequently does as one of the most genuine and giving guys on this planet. When the following week Blizzard Nemo dropped 35 inches of snow on us here, we were also gifted with Roger’s sense of humor as evidenced by this Facebook post:

Rogers Facebook

It got me thinking though, what if there was a website called Not a space collecting occasions of being out of breath or out of shape, but a place where we all could record these moments of joy that are so frequently presented to us making our hearts want to explode with joy, but then are too quickly forgotten. So here it is! My hope is that especially during this season of Lent, you would join me in recognizing, celebrating, recording and sharing your moments of gratefulness, gratitude and joy. Send me your list of “5 Things” on a given day or a write-up of your appreciation of the Roger Lavoie in your life and I’ll post them here. You can email submissions to

Thank you for participating in the Gratitude Project! After you submit your own reflections of gratefulness, continue to come back and visit us as we communally practice mindfulness of joy and God’s blessings.