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 Six

Phillip is 5 and on the spectrum and in a trouble home environment when the worst night so far in his life happens. As a result he is on the run with Skye his dog and ends up hiding in a root cave tree. There he experiences Someone he had heard before but not met. Someone whose name is the brightest color of all.

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.

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…

Just Plain Lost…

“Just plain lost.” That’s what this guest in worship had written on his prayer request card.  Life was tough with surgeries, with financial issues, with housing, then he wrote those three telling words which caught my heart.  I had never read a clearer lament.  Lost.  That pervasive sense of hopelessness and despair.  I reached out…

God’s “no one knew was there” Path

(Reprinted from David Beck’s blog)– I’ve shared thoughts from David previously. This dear brother and pastor from Bellevue battling pancreatic cancer is a witness to the faith from the “valley of the shadow.” His words struck home to me today. Sometimes when we are hitting tough situations it helps to hear from a fellow traveler…

Recharge

In the Ontario International Airport in California they have podiums at which to plug in and charge devices while sitting on stools or standing next to the podium. I had plugged in my computer, plugged my phone into the computer and began a personal hotspot and gone to work. I had been hammering away at…

The. God. Who. Speaks.

We were quietly sitting in worship.  I had directed people to listen and write what they heard God speaking to their hearts in that moment of quiet. Dressed in a bright red vest, with her red piece of paper before her, this woman was ready to write what she heard God speaking.  Instead of writing,…

Meaning…

John and I had just finished our laps and I began to stretch and asked, “So, John, what gives your life hope and meaning?” He looked at me surprised and said, “Isn’t that a kind of heavy question for first thing in the morning?” “Perhaps,” I responded, “but never a better way to start a…