Speak the Truth

I’m working to set up a website, and keep hitting walls. Ever hit walls with technology? You know the feeling, you want to throw the computer across the room, even while knowing, it will not solve anything to do so. It is the height of frustration. Today, I remembered to lament, instead of tossing the…

The Gift of Pain

I was on a zoom call with my good brother David in England when the dog I was caring for at my friend’s house, Tundra, needed to head outside. I stepped out into the snow, barefoot. The cold felt great. I hooked Tundra onto his lead and let him go out into the backyard behind…

Hello, My Name is Phillip: Chapter Five

I entered the house as if freed from bondage. Skye and I made it upstairs and into my room and I stopped. I didn’t know what to do. I hadn’t known. No one had said anything. My furniture and floor were covered with plastic sheets. The rug was out of there. The walls were painted…

Hello, My Name is Phillip: Chapter Four

In Chapter 4 of “Hello, My Name is Phillip,” Phillip recalls what happened when he turned 5. A fight in the car, a surprise birthday party, an accident, and an encounter with Jonah converge to bring a bit of hope. He learns something magnificent certainly: he is hearing from God.

Hello, My Name is Phillip — Chapter Two

Phillip James Smythe tells how he first met Big Skye, his best friend. Phillip also meets Miss Liz, a wonderful person, wearing slippers covered in dog hair. She sees Phillip and believes in him more than anyone yet has.

The Man in the Box

Encountering death that at a funeral — the body of the deceased — found the abundant life of the stories surrounding him. 82 years of life can be summarized in a moment, so live well. Live intentionally. Live to bring honor to God.

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…

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…

Look for God

While living on earth Jesus performed many, many miracles. This has long been the focus of controversy by people wanting to see each reproduced today — and they all have been. But still, people doubt. Then Jesus topped all of them in this triumphant defeat over death! Talk about the miracle to top all others! …

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…