When God Seems Absent…

I don’t know if you have read the book of Esther recently, but we have been walking in it for a number of weeks and it is a stellar walk. Therein we find that although God is not mentioned, not one time, God is there. Again and again — in a king’s sleepless night (ch…

Just Plain Lost…

“Just plain lost.” That’s what this guest in worship had written on his prayer request card.  Life was tough with surgeries, with financial issues, with housing, then he wrote those three telling words which caught my heart.  I had never read a clearer lament.  Lost.  That pervasive sense of hopelessness and despair.  I reached out…

Cancer, Control and Freedom

I have many partial blog posts that I’ve written but haven’t published any for a month. This has been for multiple reasons — the heart, the mind, the stress, the feeling of inadequacy, the dealing with shame, or more likely, shame dealing with me. When I read this post by brother David Beck, a man…

David Beck

When I first heard his story, I was incredulous. A well-loved pastor, David Beck, takes another pastoral position at a church hundreds of miles from his current home. Within a month of arriving, he’s diagnosed with the worst form of pancreatic cancer. Most patients die within months, few live a year. Now a year since…

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…

Rise Above the Clouds

A while back a friend of mine, Mike, and I got on the phone. Mike and I have a weekly phone conversation on Wednesday mornings. He is a pastor in my denomination and lives across the nation in Virginia. We have been friends for 16 years. When we started talking that particular Wednesday and he…

Touch a Rock

I’d been using stories less than a year, back in 2012, and flew to Fresno to participate in a workshop there. I floundered. I found myself not recalling the simplest and plainest details in stories. The issue, however, was not so much the actual facts I’d lost but the feelings of shame that engulfed my…

Just Show Up

I arrived at the hospital parking lot later than I had hoped to get there.  The situation was critical, I knew, indeed, it was life-threatening.  I had been on the phone with this couple while en route.  The woman predicted that I would get there in time.  We had prayed then while on the phone. Jesus…

Silence…

For four Sundays I have been sharing out of my experience walking the Camino de Santiago de la Compostela.  That is the journey which birthed this blog. I have already written about the days of that journey here, extensively, both in posting day-by-day reflections on the journey and in the ongoing posts birthed by that…

Discouragement and Hope

In the middle of a prayer time, January 23rd, the Lord spoke: “Son, I am FOR you.  I love you.  Sometimes you give in to the doubt of Moses (see Exodus 4) — that you are not good enough, strong enough, not eloquent enough.  All about not measuring up. Yet you measure up to my…