In many ways I grew up in London.  Not literally.  The first time I went I was 19, had just met Jesus in such a transformative way that He seemed real and was in college there.  But in other ways I did my first growing up there, met my English family who have all been so significant and continue to be so significant in who I’ve become and net my wife. 

 When I met David, he was then pastor of the muswell hill baptist church. He was the father of three kids, the oldest Philippa was my age. The twins around 8. Mary the mom and David’s wife was this joyful, laughing, friendly, welcoming woman who was happy to include me in their home.  In London I fell in love both with Karen, whom I married three years later, and with London itself.  The combination of the adventures with Karen, fresh experiences of love, around the city and the beginning friendship with David cemented London as part of my dna.  My heart.

David and I are still great friends at 82 and 56 and his and my family have expanded to include more children, grand children and great grandchildren if you count the children of my kids who consider David like a grandpa. 

I’ve been privileged to travel to England many times over the decades since that first visit in 1978.  Most recently in November 2015. And in this most recent visit David and I visited the famous hamley’s toystore in regent street. 


In front was this bear and there’s always a worker there welcoming you.  David was receiving instructions to look at the camera here which I love.  David was too taken with chatting with the bear to notice I was taking a picture!! 


David is an “in the moment” kind of guy.  He lives the moments of life fully. Now. He was interested in the person trapped in the bear outfit.  He was connecting with a real person.  Pictures were not on his priority list – and if you do take one, include the feet!😄

David told me this time– “remember to connect with people in life, chat with them, notice them”.  Sometimes in life we can miss the moments given because of the manner in which we live them.  Perhaps we are meant to connect with this store clerk not just get on with our day.  

I am a guy who has been transformed by such encounters — like mine with Davud that began with me walking into that particular baptist church on a Sunday in the fall of 1978.  He took time to build a connection and the rest is history…

About Camino Way 2016 Shimer

On August 22, 1981 I married this wonderful woman, Karen, who has consistently blessed and changed my life and days. We are still in love, all the more with the years. We have four daughters, two sons by marriage, and three delightful, wonderful grandchildren. So, that makes me a husband, father, and grandfather all in those sentences. But mostly just a guy who loves my family. Today Karen and I planted beautiful plants in numerous pots. She had come home with the plants and that experience reminded me how much I enjoy simple things and simple pleasures -- like digging in dirt to plant a flower, like sunlight through glass on a spring day, like clean windows -- just washed ours today -- like a melody that won't escape from my heart. I've been a local church pastor for 30 years as of this June, a number that staggers me for I feel about that age on the inside, but clearly that's not the case. Back in 1988 I graduated from Asbury Theological Seminary with an Mdiv-- a time of schooling that has been a foundation for years of ministry. But it is mostly in the building upon that foundation, that has most changed my life. I love people, love seeing Jesus work in people's lives. One of my favorite joys is to pray with someone through some horrible place of memory and see Jesus walk right into their memory world, and turn on the lights in a way that sets their soul free and brings healing. There's nothing like this privilege and I have been there to watch it happen more times than I can count. Between 4 and 7 the associate pastor of my family's congregation sexually abused me, first grooming me, then repeatedly violating my young self. This marked my life. It changed my bearings. It ripped at my faith. It wounded my image of what it meant to be a little boy, and later a man. It has been a point from which I have been in the process of healing for many years now. I'm a survivor, but more than that, I am one who lives beyond what was done. For in the middle of all that stuff, Jesus was calling me, speaking to me, bidding me to follow him to bring change to people's lives within the realm of the very office that was used to harm me. Only Jesus can make light from darkness, hope from despair, and healing from brokenness. I love Jesus. He really is alive, no matter what others may believe. And his life, his presence, his words into my world, his healing power have continued to be the foundation point of what it means to experience life to the fullest. I love writing. I don't really know why on that score for really writing has never been a central tool in my world, nor has it come easily. But I love seeing how words released heal. And I love the way words can connect me to other people's worlds. So, that's why I started blogging. It began because I was planning to blog on a weekly basis when I went to walk the Camino de Santiago last fall. And in order to be able to blog while walking, I knew I had to begin to practice blogging before I was in another country. A friend told me that. Friends are good to help us find ways to live more authentically into our daily lives! So, I started. But what I have discovered is there is something powerful about sharing the story of life with others. So, I have continued. And I love the connections being built through those words. In 2011 I experienced my first seminar in Simply the Story, a bible story telling method that involves those listening in discussion and I decided then -- "this is what I plan to do when I retire." But really-- "why wait until then?" -- so I use this method while I continue pastoring. It sets people free and allows the Word to take root in ways that preaching never has. So again and again I am practicing asking questions and that is good practice for me, because I am frequently better at "telling" than "asking." This has been such a freeing gift. I love training others in this skill. So, a storyteller would certainly be true of me too. Years ago I discovered my mission in life is "the joyful transformation of people's lives through the person of Jesus Christ." And that continues to be where I find my home base, in joy. Where there is joy, I find, there is Jesus, and there is the possibility of transformation. Of course Jesus is in places where there is no joy as well, and once He is there, the place kind of changes because of Him. I love that.
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1 Response to London

  1. Pingback: Humbled – caminowalk2016

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