Men Who Put Skin on Jesus: Bob McDole, Bob Beckett and Don Hales

During seminary, we lived off my meager salary as a travel agent, what Karen earned until our daughter Anna was born, March 15th our first year at school, and mostly off the generosity of others. It astounded us how time and time again, God came through in the eleventh hour to pay bills.   One spring…

The Men Who Put Skin on Jesus: “Jack”

(This is a chapter by chapter release of my short memoirs The Men Who Put Skin on Jesus.) The day I turned 13, March 22, 1972, my parents had my birthday party at a local bowling alley. I bowled, ate hotdogs, popcorn, candy, and cake with six friends while my parents orchestrated the moving trucks…

Patience

I pulled up to the pump at Safeway.  Mike, grey-haired, a bit grizzly in appearance, with a cap on his head and bandana for a mask arrived at my care after a few moments. He apologized for the wait. I responded, “I am good at waiting.” As he pumped, Mike talked. As if it had…

Blame

The two couples were sitting having dinner on the patio behind one of their homes. They have known each other and been friends for decades. Conversation turned to the COVID vaccine somehow, and suddenly one of the women got very, very strong in her statements against the vaccine. She began arguing with the other woman…

Rain

I left my coat in the car that day. When I arrived at the office, the sky was overcast but it did not look like rain. The clouds darkened and during the day. “I need to go outside and get my coat,” I thought more than once. But by the time I stepped outside, it…

Meeting God in a Friend

The strangest circumstance occurred. The board meeting I was booked to attend in Nashville got moved to Ada, OK. It also changed so just the executive committee needed to attend. The rest were to attend via zoom. Technically, then, I could have canceled the trip and stayed home. But, I was scheduled to stay with…

Learning Anatomy

Amazing how we live in these bodies which are perfectly formed and serve us well for so many years, and can know relatively little about them. Only when there are injuries, or pain, do we learn more. I had friends who had torn their rotator cuffs over the years, but still knew little about this…

My God Sighting

Plants burned. Some folk put potatoes in their trunks and baked them. Another guy wired a hot dog to his antenna and it roasted. It was a record-breaking heat wave. I took a four-mile walk with a good friend in the 114F temperatures. I felt like the hot dog! My car was not pleased with…

God Has Brought You Here

On May 18th, I texted our daughter, “Grace, I just received some info on doctor I was planning to start with, which raised questions about him from interns who had worked with him. Could you pray and give me any guidance you might have?” (Grace is our second daughter.) It was just six days before…

“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…