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…

Share Your Heart

I walked in to my counselor’s office and said, “Okay. Today I want to talk about two things. Money and Exercise.  I want to start with money.”  My counselor, Kate, and I have worked together for decades, literally. Over the years, we have processed the stress of ministry, the challenges of life — all those…

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: Ed D. and Dave S.

“I need to nail your feet to the ground,” Ed quipped on the way out of church one Sunday soon after I had arrived at Westside. It became his standing joke. He said it with a twinkle in his eye and a laugh. Ed, a barrel-chested, big guy, almost a decade older than me, has…

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: 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: Bob McDole, Bob Beckett and Don Hales

During seminary, we lived off my meager salary as a travel agent, what Karen earned until our daughter Anna was born, March 15th our first year at school, and mostly off the generosity of others. It astounded us how time and time again, God came through in the eleventh hour to pay bills.   One spring…