A Swim Filled with Thanks

At 24-hour fitness I had a one-hour personal trainer session with Bryan the trainer manager at my club. It is a way for him to get new clients. He spent a half hour with me, taught me better stances, use of breath, and walked me around the club. At the sales portion of his presentation,…

Thank You For Changing My Life

I just left a Marco Polo for Bradley. Some 30 years my junior, Bradley is one of the men God has placed in my life for me to pour into. He and I have begun to enjoy leaving frequent MarcoPolos for one another day by day as we encounter life, have needs for prayer and…

Men Who Put Skin on Jesus: Steve, Bob, Reid and Kevin

Dave S. from my last post, connected me to a group of guys called “Brothers in Christ” or BIC. This group of Portland businessmen of all ages was founded and led by a local lawyer named Don. The group met monthly for breakfast at a downtown club, hosted a Christmas lunch, and a yearly retreat….

Men who put Skin on Jesus: Mike M.

I had been serving Banks 15 years. “Don’t call unless the appointment makes your heart sing,” I had told my District Superintendent (DS), Kate. In my denomination’s vernacular an “appointment” was a church to serve as pastor. In addition, I had told my leadership team what I had heard from my DS, “There were no…

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: 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…

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…

I Awoke at 3:30 am…

I awoke at 3:30 am and began to pray. I prayed through until 5 am, then I got up. Reverberating through my heart was this one line: “This is wickedness.” Antifa: The name is short for Anti-facist, but they seem to be against all kinds of things and groups and people, indeed, perhaps against anything…