Great is Thy Faithfulness

“Dad, did you hear what I chose for my processional music?”  “No, I didn’t,” I said, as we stood waiting our cue to walk in for the wedding rehearsal.  She named the songs before the processional and then said, “And for the processional, ‘Great Is Thy Faithfulness.’ So, we need to walk slowly. I want…

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,…

Life Comes in Waves

Listening to my CEO doing a training I was suddenly struck with this fact — he is leading from his strengths. Of course, hopefully this is true for all of us in life, but I imagine many of us are not leading from our strengths but wishing we had different strengths. The only reason I…

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: Iron Sharpens Iron

The “South Banks Project” was a bitter pill for Banks’ residents. Streets and utilities had been completed in what had been a field and construction had begun on the houses, when I arrived at the church.  By and large, the predominant attitude about the project in the community was critical. The folk of the Banks…

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: 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…