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…

“I wanted to punch your lights out!”

1988. My first pastorate in San Jacinto, California. The church statistics in the Annual Conference Journal said there were 166 members. It felt like a daunting step from seminary and my student pastorate into my first church. When I arrived I discovered the difference between stats and reality. The previous pastors had not done an…

The Meeting

I felt shy, self-conscious, and little, but could not resist the draw to meet her. I reached my right hand across the barrier, “Hi, my name is Brian Shimer, what’s yours?”   “Karen Cook” she said, shaking my hand. Later I learned her last name was spelled K.O.C.H    “Good to meet you. Are you seeing…

The New Caste System

I met friends on my walking team on June 6th and arrived first. Val arrived next, saw me standing outside in the cool and rain and waved me over. “Hey Brian,” she said, “Come sit in my car and we can talk while we wait!” I started toward her car and then she stepped out…

The Gate

(Continued from last week’s post titled “Walk by Faith.” This is from the opening chapter of my memoirs. I’m 19-years-old, selling books door-to-door.) Door-to-door, I walked on that summer of 1978 in Newton, IA. In my flip-top steno pad I tracked every house on every street with a box and house number. I tracked who…

Brokenness Isn’t An Ending

Everyone asks when they hear about the injury, “How did you do that?” I have a torn rotator cuff — the supraspinatus tendon and a labral tear. I’ve learned more about shoulder anatomy as a result. But I don’t have a single answer to the question. Several falls, the most recent in November while cross-country…

Walk by Faith

(This is the start to a book I am writing about my life. Hope you enjoy this dip into the past.) “I want you to leave early, on August 20th.”   At 19, I had heard the voice of Jesus since May 23rd the Summer of 1978. So, this time I had no doubt it was Jesus….

What If…

After graduation from seminary, the movers arrived taking all of our belongings and we packed what was remaining into our mustard-colored Dodge Colt wagon. Anna, just over 3, and Grace, 11 months, sat in their carseats in the back, Karen navigated and I drove. We traveled from Kentucky to San Jacinto, California that week in…

Hello, My Name is Phillip: Chapter Thirty

(Welcome to the final chapter of this serial release of my book Hello, My Name is Phillip, copyright Brian Shimer 2021, All Rights Reserved do not copy or print. Click here to order your own copy. I hope you have enjoyed this story. Do share it with others.) I lean into dad as he reads. I…

Just a Piece At a Time

My neighbor told me he’d rather watch paint dry than to do a jigsaw puzzle. But, I actually like them. I’m not fast at them, like our youngest daughter. Watching her do a puzzle is like watching a tennis match. She’s like watching a tennis match. She’s been known to complete a 1500-piece puzzle in…

Exhale Fear, Inhale Faith

The mask I often wear says these words: Exhale fear, Inhale faith. When I found it, I bought it. I felt it was important for me to wear. Since, I needed the reminder. I want to dwell in faith, but battle fear time and again. So, exhale fear. Let it go. Inhale faith, take it…