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,…

Treasure Hunts

On Thursday, Debbie Gable and Rebecca Monoghan and I met at the church and prayed in preparation to going out to see who we could love on for Jesus.  Debbie had printed out instructions used at Bethel Church in Redding, CA when they do what they call “Treasure Hunts.”  In those, they ask God to…

Jersey — Friendship

One of the best gifts in life is friendship.  There is so much value in the face of a friend, who can look you in the eyes, and say “I love you just as you are.”  There is beauty, simplicity, and grace in this gift.  I have many such people it seems who do this,…

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…

Slowing Down to a Stroll

You may not be able to tell from this picture, but neither Theo nor I had slept well the previous night.  That previous day I had traveled from the coast to Smith Rock, about a 6-hour trip, with a few detours and rush hour traffic along the way, so the drive had taken me 9…