Email from the dead or an angel message?

The last couple of weeks at work have been very difficult. Today I sat at my desk and prayed because I felt like I was drowning. When I was finished I returned to my emails to find an email from my stepfather. The subject line said “I GUESS NOW I CAN SHOW YOU.”

My step-father Roy Gillim died three years ago. I never have received a spam email from him before. To top it off the text said, “What is better than coffee?” He loved coffee.  He bought me my first Keurig coffee maker. It was our thing.I give thanks that this is one of the amazing ways that God works in my life.

 I am grateful and comforted knowing that Roy is still watching out for me and still cheering me on. For the rest of the day LOVE kept me a float.


Roy D. Gillim

In His hands

The closing Eucharist of the Global Episcopal Mission Network (GEMN) was held on Saturday, May 5th. The Rt. Rev. Gordon P. Scruton was the celebrant.  During the offertory he stood before us and said, “we will have an offering today,” and he cupped his hands together, and everyone laughed.

He then said, “I don’t want your money.

I want you to give of yourself, your body, your mind, your Spirit.”  He then walked down the isle with his hand in front of him collecting what we had to offer.  As he walked back to the altar it seems as though his hands were overflowing, heavy in a new way.  When he lifted them up-offering what he had collected, into God’s “hands” it was powerful. My soul was touched and I was moved.

“Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.” Steel Magnolia

This photograph was taken in Italy in 2007.  Since my ordination they have played a major role in my life.  Magnolia trees are big and widely popular in Mississippi.  There is something about their strength and fragility that I admire.  Not long after I came to St. Christopher’s in Linthicum, Maryland, Mildred Brice took a seed pod from a magnolia tree at the old church, froze, watered and loved it until the seed was a tree and the tree was ready to stand its own ground.  In the blizzard of 2009 I climbed over ten foot high piles of snow to make sure the ice was removed and no branches would break.

Magnolias are very old. Their fossilized remains have been found as far back as the Tertiary Period, which took place an unimaginable 100 million years ago. This makes them real survivors.  And, at that time the Arctic Circle was not Arctic but European in climate, so that magnolias and associated plants, such as liriodendron and ginkgo, grew over a very wide area. Then there was a dramatic climate change, the polar ice cap expanded and the plants in the northern areas were destroyed. The plants of China, parts of Japan and eastern North America survived, however, and therefore have a great many similarities.

The name Magnolia commemorates a great French botanist, Pierre Magnol (1638-1715), who was known as an inspired teacher and a very prominent horticulturist. When Pierre Magnol died in 1715 there was but one species of magnolia in Britain, then the epicenter of botanic development. This was the evergreen Magnolia virginiana from North America, known as swamp bay or sweet bay. It was sent in 1688 by a Virginian missionary called John Bannister, who had always been interested in botany.

My will states that several magnolia trees are to be planted in my memory. Maybe it all started because of the missionary from Virginia, maybe it was the wonderful aroma of the beautiful while flower, or maybe it was because when the the flower it cut away from it’s source of strength it withers and dies.


John 15:5  I am the vine you are the branches….

One way or anther, the magnolia is my flower.