No Clouds Here.

San Jacinto UMC July 1, 1988 – June 30, 1994 Karen and I, with Anna (3) and Grace (1) in their car seats, drove for four days, in blistering heat, from Kentucky across the country to Southern California. We put a bucket of ice on the floor under Karen’s feet, opened all four windows and…

A Life of Stories

It was the last day when we were allowed to see people face to face. March 14th. Before “the world closed” as a friend says.  I had called this friend, Leola, 97, for we had made arrangements for me to come to her place and visit. I had not seen her in person at her…

Object Lessons

Object lessons. You know them. The ones where a leader usually working with children cuts open the pumpkin and says, “Did you know that carving a pumpkin for Halloween is a lot like being a Christian?” And everyone thinks, “No way?”  And then as she cuts off the top. “When Jesus comes into our lives…

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 Stalker

March 24th, 2 years ago, I drove Gabrielle, then 26, to the airport. She then was a flight attendant.  Enroute I brought up a conversation that we had partially had another day.  During that previous conversation, I had asked if she had had any problems with stalkers. The reason I asked was because during training…

Ash Wednesday

I don’t know if this took anyone else by surprise — or perhaps some do not even note the liturgical calendar — but suddenly it is /was Ash Wednesday, that day which marks the start of the season of Lent. That season of letting go, of saying “no,” of “fasting,” of saying “yes,” of “adding”…

Unity

This week I finished reading the book entitled Hamilton: The Revolution which describes what went into the creation of the famous play that has become an international sensation.  The book describes the history of the play, the many people that went into making it a reality, the achievement of it, and the power of the…

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…