beyond my
       own capacity to
       understand the call.
       There seems to be no middle ground.
    Either you are immersed in the silence of waiting
 you are being flushed
   through the fine tuning chasms of faith
as if
Grace was so excited
by your potential learning that its patience
had been pruned to the wick.
So we slip into the free falling potential of
Will intertwined with Radiant Purpose
    fulfill our gazing into the all knowing love of the Cosmic Christ…
        Lover of each and Ruler of all. This is our promised place.
Hello friends and co-conspirators…

It has been too long since I’ve shared the adventures of a free range, cage free follower of Jesus… and to be sure, they are better heard around a fire, cold beverage in hand.
Yet this will have to do and I hope you have the time and patience to spend a moment to understand the amazing grace that continues to embrace us.
This first page will cover the nuts and bolts. If you’d like more, keep reading:-)

Music and Mission 24 is upon us and I am ecstatic about the potential influence of these six high school and college musicians. We learned so much last year and have worked hard to create an even more amazing opportunity to grow, both as musicians and people of faith.

The first three weeks are spent fine-tuning the craft of our musicianship…theory, performance, song writing, recording and group cohesion. Then we are off to Bend to play lunch sets for The Council on Aging, The Bite in Tumalo, a Block Party for some local businesses and closing with a church service at Bend SDA Church. Following that we head to Walla Walla ( hoping to play the Smith Farm ), Boise ( playing at The Hub 365 ) and Burlington to finish off our first six weeks.

During these first six weeks the band members will be putting together a two week tour of their own which will begin, following our last home gig on July 28, 6:30 pm at 3111 SE Concord Rd, Oak Grove, OR 97267.

You are ALL invited!

The Challenge this year is that we still need $27,000 to be fully funded. Last year we had the privilege of several big donors and this year God has not opened those doors yet…but we are praying:-) We know He wants this to happen and that He has provision for us and He has always been faithful with us.

You  can help us by donating ( all donations are tax deductible ), sharing our purpose with friends, attending our gigs and by adding us to your prayer life. All are deeply appreciated.

Support or Donate

The Road has been a big part of my ministry the past ten years. The end of March I started a 4,000 mile trip that took me from Portland through Salt Lake and then down into Phoenix and Southern California ( see the last page for pictures ). The ability to step into an old friends life for a couple of hours seems to draw us into the deeper parts of our life perspectives. Sometimes the shared stories are a heavy weight to hold but, so far, it’s always been worth it.The March excursion took me through most of April and then Shelle and I took some time to hang out in warm weather south of Florida. Great times. And then the second road trip hit to Bozeman…saying goodbye is hard.

It’s been a strange year for me. I’ve lost 6 family members, friends and mentors in the past 8 months. Some were not unexpected and others came, lost out of the blue.  The folks you know are leaving…you get to make a plan, if you choose…like my friend and college room mate, Fred Cornforth. Two years before he died, Rick Fox and I headed to Boise. Fred was in fine form and his lovely wife, Jill, was very kind in putting up with our shenanigans. They had just found out that Fred had glioblastoma…brain cancer…and there was little hope of recovery. Yet, Fred did what Fred has always done…he went to war. And the 1 year prognosis turned into over 2. During those two years I saw Fred a half dozen times…sometimes I was his driver and sometimes his driveway was my parking lot for the big red bus…but I chose to stop by because there was coming a certifiable day when I wouldn’t be able to ( unless the miracle we prayed for happened. Ironically it did, but not as we expected ).

By the last time Rick, Fred and I hung out, things had drastically changed. Fred participated in partial sentences…the finishing ideas trailing off. He tired easily and initially, I’m not sure he was excited to see us because we would wreck the routine…and we surely did! Showing up with maple bars…our college room mate food of choice since we lived next to Rogers Bakery on College Avenue:-) And when the conversation lagged, we relived stories, mostly true for intention at least. Jill sat curled up, cup of coffee in hand, watching three boys in old man suits bolster the passing of time…holding on to each other like sailors clutching a life boat that will not last. As we left, Fred looked at Rick and said, “ Keep telling the stories! “ and then it was off to the airport and a long drive home and a weight of sadness, like the tolling of cathedral bells in the deep fog of a winters night, crept into the corners of my life.

I missed the funeral. My father in law took a turn for the worse and so I missed my flight from Phoenix to Boise for a car ride to Loma Linda. Fred was honored on Sabbath and James Locke Perry died on Sunday.

The road trip continued and I was excited to get home and spend some time with Shelle in the warmth of the British Virgin Islands. While we were there I received an urgent message from an old friend and former student, Katarina. Her grandfather had been in a motorcycle accident and they were pulling the plug. WHAT?

I had just had a late breakfast, less than a month earlier, in Sun City, Arizona with Al and Amparo. Al was the vision of transformation. Once a bar room brawler who could bench 400 lbs…he met AA, Amparo and Jesus…and the lifetime of resilience built a man who was as faithful and true as the orbit of the moon or the flight of an arrow from the bow to the center of the target. What a story.

He asked me out to coffee one day after church. I didn’t know him then. He was big and kind of friendly. I thought I’d humor him and hang out a little. Just building church community. Right? That coffee lasted for 22 years until a railroad crossing arm hit him in the head as he was driving his Harley to his AA meeting. No train was coming. Just a weird circumstance. It broke his nose, his jaw and gave him a concussion which turned into a brain bleed. A couple days later, he died.

Al and I had mentored a young gun named Casey. He would come in off the streets for coffee, cigarettes and conversation…Al and I always included Jesus! As life would have it, Casey eventually served 5 years in prison. I went to see him, Al never stopped praying for him and after his debt to society was paid he found work and a girlfriend in Havasu City. Several months before Al died, Casey and his girlfriend went to visit. Two ex-troublemakers sitting at the dinner table, sharing the art of reformed intent and focus that only they could truly understand. I wish I could have been there.

My mentor says I share too much. He’s probably right, and yet, the stories shared seem to foster an openness that allows us to be just a little bit more transparent…because at the heart of these stories is all of us.

You may not have know Fred, James or Al but chances are you’ve know someone who’s known someone who wears the weight of the loss. 

It’s not a crown of lead, at least for me, that buckles us at the knees. 

It’s more a memory, now, that leads to a promised, then… that “ then “ that has always been playing hide and seek within our day to day ordinance…those constructs that fill our time with excuses to not make the call, to not pen the letter or punch out the text…until, one day, the opportunity is gone and we will have to wait until whatever is on the other side.

Living beside this much loss has reminded me…

1. This life is frail at best and yet, resiliency calls for us to take risks in the things that matter…spiritual things, purposeful things, relational things…things that expand our life beyond the day to day and into the eternal life of influence, camaraderie and grace.

2. Our legacy is not based on million dollar donations but by the consistent, seemingly insignificant investments of time and attention. While money certainly serves its purpose ( as you can tell, I need it to run my ministry ), its best use is investing in people, not stuff…unless the stuff serves people:-) Pay attention to the daily thoughts of people that rotate through your mind. If someone keeps popping up take the time to reach…a prayer, a text, a Starbucks card…for the Spirit is moving upon us every day to provide connection…that love could foster opportunity for Christ to reveal His true intentions of loving and being loved.

3. Forgive your self. God/Jesus/Spirit is not looking for ways to point the finger and condemn your great or feeble efforts. All that awaits is love. Why not offer a bit of it to yourself every day. Start and end the day forgiving yourself. Let peace reign, at least while you rest:-) You are so brilliantly loved, even coveted by the LOVE that surpasses all understanding.

To my agnostic friends…choose love. I know the confusion that reigns within selves, families, structures of community…I am with you…and even as I am a follower of Jesus I am also, often at a loss to understand. So, like you, I choose love.

To my christian friends…choose love. If you claim Jesus as your fearless leader in a fearful world…we have to live beyond the eases of wealth, culture and accommodation…for me too. Our lives have to reveal in human form…faith, hope and love…with the greatest being beautiful, magnificent, self sacrificing, beyond our grasp, fulfilling in all ways….LOVE.

I can hear my mentors voice already, kindly, saying “too much, too much! “. 

I am exploding at the seams as Christ continues to remind me, daily, that love is the only expression that will matter in revealing His heart to the world He adores…with all its paradox, distortion and loss.

This is the horse I bet it all on…in the only race that matters…Love is everything.