God Has Brought You Here

On May 18th, I texted our daughter, “Grace, I just received some info on doctor I was planning to start with, which raised questions about him from interns who had worked with him. Could you pray and give me any guidance you might have?” (Grace is our second daughter.) It was just six days before…

“I wanted to punch your lights out!”

1988. My first pastorate in San Jacinto, California. The church statistics in the Annual Conference Journal said there were 166 members. It felt like a daunting step from seminary and my student pastorate into my first church. When I arrived I discovered the difference between stats and reality. The previous pastors had not done an…

The Gate

(Continued from last week’s post titled “Walk by Faith.” This is from the opening chapter of my memoirs. I’m 19-years-old, selling books door-to-door.) Door-to-door, I walked on that summer of 1978 in Newton, IA. In my flip-top steno pad I tracked every house on every street with a box and house number. I tracked who…

Saving Grace

Sunday mornings I sit in the narthex of my wife’s church building, running the zoom service during the in-person gathering. I’m sitting out there because it currently has the only live outlet to plug in my computer. In this area of the building is the rope pull for the bell in the steeple; I’ve had…

Moving On…

Sunday afternoon, I met three of our daughters at Michelle’s Pianos in Portland. Susanna had flown in from Boise in order to select and purchase a piano. When she and her husband had married, Collin told her he wanted to her to have a good piano someday. Susanna had been a piano performance major, so…

Hello, My Name is Phillip: Chapter Eighteen

(This is the serial release of my book Hello, My Name is Phillip. It is available here on Amazon. We begin here on the day after Phillip’s 6th birthday. Enjoy and share these posts!) As I get up the next morning, I look out the window. It is raining and I am so excited for…

A Hope Reborn…

When I chose to step away from my 33 years of work as a local pastor to enter mediation, it was in obedience to a clear direction from Jesus. In March 2018 God had said “You have two more years at Westside.” Then, the door opened to train in mediation, and I stepped away. Over…

Marching Orders

Recovery from any violation takes time but we often don’t want to take the time it takes. I know for me, I’ve wanted to rush it, deny it, bypass it. But it takes time. I remember when I first recalled the abuse and tell of a recent experience of encountering Jesus

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.