Move Forward in Small Steps

We had two of our fuchsia winter over in their hanging pots just sitting on the ground along the back fence. Then this spring new shoots appeared so I hung them in the usual spots and began watering them. They didn’t look as bushy nor as beautiful at first as the ones brought home from…

Perseverance

Perseverance Chapel July 1, 1987 – June 1, 1988! What a name, right? Perseverance! As a fourth-year seminary student, I took the weekends-only pastoral position at this small, country, Southern Indiana church. The church’s name seemed to be my own life motto — to “try harder,” to “work more.”  The congregation was thrilled to welcome…

Quarantine

Who knew that I would struggle this much with quarantine. I love being at home. I love doing art and cooking and doing dishes. Vacuuming is fun. But when I am restricted home, it feels different. When my day is filled with silence, because there is no coffee shop atmosphere, there are no other people…

Time to Sing

Church worship moved online.  Sports canceled. State of emergency declared.  Panicked shoppers. No toilet paper anyplace.  What a strange and wild time we are living in.   While waiting for the customer service at a Walmart, the worker took a phone call and I overheard her saying, “Sir, it is an epidemic. I don’t have enough…

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…

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…

Mary Poppins

So, I don’t know all that was involved. But here is what I do know. The movie Mary Poppins which might have simply been some kind of fun adventure, the placing of the book on the screen by Disney, God used in my life. That’s what I know. I cannot tell you HOW that is possible….

Recharge

In the Ontario International Airport in California they have podiums at which to plug in and charge devices while sitting on stools or standing next to the podium. I had plugged in my computer, plugged my phone into the computer and began a personal hotspot and gone to work. I had been hammering away at…

The. God. Who. Speaks.

We were quietly sitting in worship.  I had directed people to listen and write what they heard God speaking to their hearts in that moment of quiet. Dressed in a bright red vest, with her red piece of paper before her, this woman was ready to write what she heard God speaking.  Instead of writing,…