A Wonderful Fragrance

The first time it occurred I thought it was Fred walking to the sauna. Fred is this big, jovial guy I’ve met at the gym. He’s lots taller than me, three times as wide, but it works on him, and has the kindest smile. Once as he walked by me after his shower this fragrance…

Encountering Joy

It was the picture of his face which caught me.  A dear brother and spiritual son, Bradley, invited me to attend a worship gathering with him on a recent evening. Not a typical kind of gathering for me. The speaker that night was a remarkable man, Georgian Banov, used by God in reaching a nation…

Stand

This past week, on Wednesday as I got out of the pool and left the gym, and noticed, my attitude was down. I could not find my joy. A strange notion! It was like my spirit was up against a wall. I texted a good friend of mine, Rand, listing out three needs I could…

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…

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: 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: Bill, Rand and Glen

The pastor at a nearby congregation had a good friend in Bill Seagren, who was pastoring at Marquam and Carus UMCs. Some members from my previous church in California were his parishioners. I wrote of that here.   The three of us met for prayer a few times. I always longed for those prayer times…

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…