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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Thank You, Cheryl

Some weeks just create a pile up. I suppose it depends on how a person responds. But sometimes things just get tough. That’s what last week was like for me. I was scheduled to be out of town three Sundays; I still had details to complete for each of those weeks. I’m in charge of…

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…

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….