Resurrecting Hope

The woman who sat before me said, “Six family members died the between April and December 2020, the last of these was my husband. None from COVID-19. It’s been a tough year.” Devastating losses. How does a person walk through such losses? She is reacting in anger toward others around her. That made sense knowing…

Heal What Ails You

Matthew called to unpack his time at his parents and then said, “Dad, I have a question and it is okay to say no.” Matthew is our chosen son. He dated one of our daughters for a very short time five years ago. They broke up, but he has remained a part of our lives…

Saving Grace

Sunday mornings I sit in the narthex of my wife’s church building, running the zoom service during the in-person gathering. I’m sitting out there because it currently has the only live outlet to plug in my computer. In this area of the building is the rope pull for the bell in the steeple; I’ve had…

Hello, My Name is Phillip: Chapter Twenty-Four

(This is the serial telling of my book Hello, My Name is Phillip. Available here on Amazon. Search for “Phillip’s Story” on this blog site for the other chapters. Enjoy stepping into this story of a 6 year-old named Phillip.) Kevin meets me at the car every day. He slings his arm over my shoulder,…

Gardens

What’s the benefit of a garden? For me, beyond the beauty, the pleasure of growing living things, the joy of the fruit from it, these are among the gifts it brings into life. The main gift is the intentional pause. I love gardens!

Hello, My Name is Phillip: Chapter Twenty-two

A midnight trip to the hospital opens up the possibility for unexpected miracles. You never know when Jesus might show up. And in this story, he does! Encounter a whole new meaning for the color blue.

Hello, My Name is Phillip: Chapter Nineteen

(This is the serial release of my book Hello, My Name is Phillip. You are welcome to share these posts with friends, and welcome also to buy the book here. The story picks up as Phillip eavesdrops on an important conversation.) It is Mr. Clay, from the church. He stands there, smiling that wide grin…

Moving On…

Sunday afternoon, I met three of our daughters at Michelle’s Pianos in Portland. Susanna had flown in from Boise in order to select and purchase a piano. When she and her husband had married, Collin told her he wanted to her to have a good piano someday. Susanna had been a piano performance major, so…

It was the Right Thing to Do

Taking action because you know it’s the right thing to do is powerful. It benefits others, benefits you, and allows you to participate in something grand. Just take the action. Do the right thing.

Spread light

The stress of this season — COVID, FIRES — can create emotional backlogs which then get expressed against others around us. Instead, be self aware in order to spread light not darkness. Bring peace not discord. Examples of this abound. Spread light.

Be the Neighbor

It was over 11 years ago I first walked into Papa’s Haven, a coffee shop near to where I was pastoring a local church. Dreamed into existence by a guy named Jerry and his wife Jane, as a second career this place was perfect for me. I began to come there for most of my…

Connections Matter

Connections with others and how they happen are mysterious, aren’t they? In BC — Before COVID-19 — (which feels like lightyears ago,  when we could just board planes and travel with relative ease) I flew to London from Los Angeles. Needing to board from the third floor of the terminal because of the height of…

I See You

“I see you!” Those are famous words from the 2009 James Cameron blockbuster movie AVATAR as the heroine, Neytiri, rescues the hero, Jake Sully, in the final scenes. She can see “him,” even though looking into his human not his avatar’s face. To be thus seen is to be seen as who he is, it…

Be Bold: Vote

Polarities abound in today’s culture. And people hold to their beliefs about why whatever their stand is, is correct. And yes we live in a tense time, but it is not the first tense time. And this is no time to step away from making your voice heard, from signing the petition that matters to…

Counting Pills

July 1, 2020 my life changed. I left the job I had had for over three decades of pastoring local churches to work in mediation and pastoral counseling. This has been a whole new world for me. It has meant a change in how I live every day. The change has been life altering and…

A Wonderful Fragrance

The first time it occurred I thought it was Fred walking to the sauna. Fred is this big, jovial guy I’ve met at the gym. He’s lots taller than me, three times as wide, but it works on him, and has the kindest smile. Once as he walked by me after his shower this fragrance…

Encountering Joy

It was the picture of his face which caught me.  A dear brother and spiritual son, Bradley, invited me to attend a worship gathering with him on a recent evening. Not a typical kind of gathering for me. The speaker that night was a remarkable man, Georgian Banov, used by God in reaching a nation…

Jesus in a Bus Driver

(Guest Post written by Karen Shimer) I was having a rough week. Down, overwhelmed, challenged, a bit sad. I was out on a walk in a Beaverton neighborhood at 7 am. A school bus rounded the corner and stopped, ready and waiting for his first passenger. I looked down the street to my right, a…

Stand

This past week, on Wednesday as I got out of the pool and left the gym, and noticed, my attitude was down. I could not find my joy. A strange notion! It was like my spirit was up against a wall. I texted a good friend of mine, Rand, listing out three needs I could…

Great is Thy Faithfulness

“Dad, did you hear what I chose for my processional music?”  “No, I didn’t,” I said, as we stood waiting our cue to walk in for the wedding rehearsal.  She named the songs before the processional and then said, “And for the processional, ‘Great Is Thy Faithfulness.’ So, we need to walk slowly. I want…

Covid-19 And Life

After a full day on Saturday, I went swimming Sunday morning at 6 am for an hour and drove home. Already we were planning to stay home from church because Karen had been sick, so when I arrived, I sat down. It was like I had been caught in a wave, suddenly I was underwater,…

A Swim Filled with Thanks

At 24-hour fitness I had a one-hour personal trainer session with Bryan the trainer manager at my club. It is a way for him to get new clients. He spent a half hour with me, taught me better stances, use of breath, and walked me around the club. At the sales portion of his presentation,…

Share Your Heart

I walked in to my counselor’s office and said, “Okay. Today I want to talk about two things. Money and Exercise.  I want to start with money.”  My counselor, Kate, and I have worked together for decades, literally. Over the years, we have processed the stress of ministry, the challenges of life — all those…