It was the Right Thing to Do

Taking action because you know it’s the right thing to do is powerful. It benefits others, benefits you, and allows you to participate in something grand. Just take the action. Do the right thing.

The Pay Phone

I stood in the phone booth in January 1992 — no not just before changing into Superman!  By the way, do you remember phone booths? They were those ancient things, boxes actually. Perhaps you have seen them in Superman or Harry Potter movies? They were these glassed-in boxes on street corners in which was a…

Move Forward in Small Steps

We had two of our fuchsia winter over in their hanging pots just sitting on the ground along the back fence. Then this spring new shoots appeared so I hung them in the usual spots and began watering them. They didn’t look as bushy nor as beautiful at first as the ones brought home from…

Perseverance

Perseverance Chapel July 1, 1987 – June 1, 1988! What a name, right? Perseverance! As a fourth-year seminary student, I took the weekends-only pastoral position at this small, country, Southern Indiana church. The church’s name seemed to be my own life motto — to “try harder,” to “work more.”  The congregation was thrilled to welcome…

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…

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”…

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…