The importance of Last Things

It was Maundy Thursday 1983. That is the service before Easter Sunday that celebrates the last night Jesus spent with his disciples. I was sitting in the choir at St. Mark United Methodist Church in Santa Barbara, California. Jimmy Gibson was preaching. Jimmy was an Irish-born evangelist then in his 70s. He’d retired to Santa…

Relationships Bring Hope

The team of 11 missionaries — all from Westside Journey UMC — returned from the Dominican Republic July 29th, 2019.  We experienced great cross-cultural training and a great week of missions work and life impact.   The best moment for me in cross-cultural training was when our group was divided into four different “cultures” for which…

Unto You…

Sheep are known as “golden hoof” by some that raise them, for the land becomes better because of them.  But this was not apparent on the sheep farm nearby where we lived with our family for 15 years.  There the pasture divided between the goats, and sheep and King, the llama, was just mud most…

Christmas Eve — almost Christmas

I love Christmas Eve. Although that’s not always been the case. Here’s a line from a journal, years back now, thankfully. “I hate Christmas Eve. It’s too hard. Too rushed. Too many people with too many expectations. Too much stuff to juggle. God, I hate it!” That from a pastor… Thankfully after that confession, I…

Can we talk a walk?

“Can we go for a walk Tuesday morning and memorize scriptures?”   The request surprised me.  It came from our 30-year-old daughter Susanna in anticipation of our arrival in Boise for Thanksgiving. Her mom was taking her to lunch for her birthday on that first Tuesday, and I think she really wanted some time with me…

Raised from the Dead

I knocked on the door and my sister opened it tears immediately brimming her eyes to see me standing there, opened the screen door and stepped out into my arms and began to cry. We just held onto each other. It had been so long. I had last seen her at our mom’s funeral. For…

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…

Joy. In. Relationships.

Roberto and Dorothy Escamilla are saints in Christ, in their 80-something’s, and present at a board meeting for the national Christian Ashram I attended a while back. Roberto And I had met the previous year. And decades earlier I had replaced him as a speaker at the Redwood Christian Ashram when he’d had a heart…

The Next Step

Many of you know, I took a sabbatical in 2016. It was time for me to slow down, to walk more than 1,000,000 steps on the Camino de Santiago, and get in touch with my own heart.  What happened was I discovered emotions I had not felt, and learned how much I valued silence, and…

Seat 20D

I was just at the doorway of the Alaska flight, heading home after an all-day meeting in Ontario, and prayed, “Lord, I know you have already chosen whomever I will seat next to, but I ask, if you have something for this person or for me, make me available, let me be who you want…