A Pandemic of Pandemics

On March 10, 2020, I started my first experience of living in a pandemic. I have survived the Great Depression, World War II, forty-one nonwar wars (search online for a list of wars involving the United States since 1950), a bunch of recessions, and fifteen presidents.

The dictionary says a pandemic is “the outbreak of a disease that is out of control worldwide.”… Read more >

I’m Back

I have not written a blog post since September 2020 when I was diagnosed with lung cancer, a sobering moment in my life. I was then living in the unknown and thought it best to take a break for an operation, maybe more treatment, recovery time, and my mortality.

I had my biopsy in September, and on October 14, the surgeon removed the upper third of my left lung.… Read more >

I Need a Break

Two weeks ago, I was diagnosed with lung cancer. Fortunately, we appear to have caught it early, and it doesn’t seem to have metastasized so far.

But I need time to treat the cancer. At some point in the near future, the surgeons will operate and remove the cancerous portions of my left lung.… Read more >

Was Paul Gay?

In 2 Corinthians 12:7, Paul said, “To keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan.” What was that thorn, other than painful?

Early in my ministry, I was told that Paul might have had epilepsy, an eye disease, or some other physical impairment.… Read more >

My New Prayer

Because I call myself an A-theist (someone who doesn’t believe in a human-like god UpThere), people think I can’t, don’t, or won’t pray. In truth, I pray every day, usually early in the morning.

I pray that people find strength and hope, live with reality, forgive, and deal creatively with what life has to offer.… Read more >

Watch Me

My wife, Annie, and I recently drove to Lake Tahoe, California, for our annual ski vacation. During a stopover in Sacramento, we went to breakfast in our hotel’s lobby. As we entered, I noticed a man sitting by himself and wearing a T-shirt that said Watch Me.

I thought that was a strange message and wondered whether I should watch him all the time, some of the time, or just occasionally.… Read more >

Silence Is Not the Answer

My wife and I met George and Vivian Johnson at Irvine United Congregational Church ten years ago. George was a retired progressive Lutheran pastor who had an exciting, challenging ministry but wanted to continue sharing his gifts with our church family.

About four years ago, George began to suffer liver problems, diminished eyesight and hearing, and some memory loss, but he still wanted to share his gifts with the world.… Read more >

Peter the Pebble

The apostle born as Simeon or Simon was later in life called Cephas or Peter, both of which mean “rock.”

To me, Peter is an enigma. Most of the time, I see him as weak, dense, unfaithful, and confused, more of a pebble than a rock.

Most believe Peter was one of Jesus’s closest confidants and a great leader in the early church.… Read more >