Men who Put Skin on Jesus: Mark, Dex and Dick

Beginnings are tough, no matter where. I had arrived in Banks straight from the revival in San Jacinto and was full of how much I could offer. I was full of myself. This is never a good start for pastoral ministry. A constant refrain for many years there was, “They just don’t get it.” As…

Men Who Put Skin on Jesus: Bob McDole, Bob Beckett and Don Hales

During seminary, we lived off my meager salary as a travel agent, what Karen earned until our daughter Anna was born, March 15th our first year at school, and mostly off the generosity of others. It astounded us how time and time again, God came through in the eleventh hour to pay bills.   One spring…

Men who put Skin on Jesus: Dr. Steve Harper and Dr. Reg Johnson

Called into ordained ministry in the winter of 1983, Karen and I left for the Wilmore, Kentucky campus of Asbury Theological Seminary the following fall, in 1984. I arrived believing I was there to prove I was ready to do the work God had called me to rather than understand I was rather there to…

Men who put Skin on Jesus: David Luce

If you searched my posts for “David Luce,” you’d find many mentions of him. At 19 while a student in London, I met Rev. David Luce who then lived with his wife and three children (Philippa 17 and Joe and Carey, twins, age 9) in North London and pastored Muswell Hill Baptist Church. I’d wandered…

Men who put Skin on Jesus: “Ken Marshall and Herr Huber”

(this is the third installment of my short memoirs) After 8th grade graduation, my mom and dad again gave me the option of continuing at a high school closer to the ranch or returning to Turlock. I wanted to return. Again, I wanted to start over. We lived six miles from Turlock High School. I bought…

The Men Who Put Skin on Jesus: “Jack”

(This is a chapter by chapter release of my short memoirs The Men Who Put Skin on Jesus.) The day I turned 13, March 22, 1972, my parents had my birthday party at a local bowling alley. I bowled, ate hotdogs, popcorn, candy, and cake with six friends while my parents orchestrated the moving trucks…

The Men who Put Skin on Jesus: “Little”

Memoirs On the outside, I looked like a man, grown-up, clean-shaven, sometimes dressed in black slacks, a colorful Ariat shirt, and Altras. But inside, I was just a pup, like Ben the grizzly, old funeral director in Forest Grove called me. It was a freezing cold winter day when he picked me up in the…

The Men who Put Skin on Jesus: Introduction

Memoirs Karen shouted back and threw a small couch pillow at me. It hit my shoulder. As it hit, something snapped inside of me. No longer was I a 34-year-old pastor and husband, arguing with his wife of 12 years, the father of four daughters. Instead, I became a little boy.   I felt seven or…

A Burn, A Deer and a Miracle…

Last Thursday, I flew to Phoenix. The night before Southwest shifted me from a one-stop flight at 7:15 am to a nonstop at 6:05 am, so I arrived four hours earlier than originally planned. As a result, I got to spend a full 24-hours with friends at whose home I swam for the first time…