Stop and Reflect

Life in general can give us many moments or events causing us to stop and reflect. Often times without those events happening in the direct path of our personal journey.


School shootings, the passing on to heaven of an iconic pastor/evangelist, a baby being born, a mission trip, someone’s diagnoses of cancer, someone else’s passing after a long and valiant battle with cancer, a troubling yet encouraging message from a social media friend, or sometimes just looking in the mirror.

All of these have crossed my path in the past month or so, some just today, not each one a personal event or moment. However, each taking its own grip of my thoughts and feelings, causing me to take time to reflect.

Reflect on where I am headed, what I am doing, who I am encouraging (or discouraging), how I am making an impact on what God has called me to be and do. For me, as a Follower and Believer in Jesus Christ, that last one is to be my primary focus.

I had the privilege recently to travel with an American team of Foursquare pastors to gather with and build relationships with church leaders in Niger Africa. This being my first experience of mission work, I knew that it would change my perspective on life and ministry


The other events listed above have transpired before or after my trip. It has been a very interesting journey these past six weeks. Many people before the trip asked me if I was excited, nervous, or scared. My answer was that I was more ‘feeling in anticipation of what God was going to do, both in me and in Niger’.

I was also in anticipation of meeting my seventh grandchild after my return to the “real world”IMG_2509

She was born on February 7, content and healthy, although the smallest baby born into our family of all the grand kids so far at just 6lb 15oz – I know normal size for most babies but not for our family!

The trip to Niger definitely had an impact on me. How significant? Not sure since I am still processing it all, and it depends on whom you ask. One friend said I seem more internalized or reserved while another said I seem more peaceful and settled and that God has given me a new radiance of His power.

No matter what causes us to stop and reflect, the outcome should be for us to change our perspective in order to view what really matters in the long run, and what brings the most benefit to others. Those two things will really make a lasting difference in our world.

Thanks for stopping by…

Until ALL have heard! #wearefoursquare


Joining a ministry family…

Last year ministry wise was a big change for me. My Honey and I had pioneered a non-denominational church plant way back in ’04. This came after my graduating from seminary classes in ’03 and some friends posing the question, “So, how do you start a church?”

We had opened our business, a Christian Coffee House the previous year and things were going well, why not plant a church too! Fast forward ten years and the demand of business owner and shepherd to a small church was taking its toll on us. Our marriage was struggling and we had began counseling in late 2012 to get that back on track (we were given a clean bill of health just a few months ago!).

The decision came to sell the shop and focus on ministry. My Honey threw out the question, “Why are we still here in this area? Maybe God has something else in store for us. Do you still get those listings for churches needing pastors?”

I had been subscribed to church job search websites for a long time, so we began to look again. I dusted off my resume, wrote a new cover letter and began sending out feelers. We came close to going to Central Washington around March of last year, but that was not where God wanted us to be. When that was a possibility I had contacted a long time friend and fellow pastor (Neal) who had just merged his ministry with another church he had grown up in.

Their plan was to have three campuses serving together in the community but they didn’t want to move into my area of the valley without partnering with us or if by chance I wasn’t going to be in the area. I had asked him if we did move North if they would bring our church into the fold and carry on the ministry. Well when Washington didn’t come through I sat down with God and had a long talk.

I came away with the sense that I would just be content in waiting for His timing and direction. It was closing in on Easter and I figured that no church would be going through the process of finding their new pastor for a while. I had it in my heart that sometime after Easter I would get another call for an interview or something.

Well the Monday after Easter my buddy Neal calls me to talk. It had been a few weeks since he had found out the Washington position had not gone through and wanted to see how things were going and what I thought God was doing now. We met for lunch the next day and then with the other pastor (Jon) and his wife that following Friday. God was at work and we talked about making the full merge with them.

The timeline was aggressive to make the merge, plus we had our trip to Alaska planned right in the middle of it. But it was what God wanted to do so we followed. It has given me a chance to reflect on my ministry calling and gain a fresh perspective as well.

When we joined up we still felt as though God was calling us out of the area and that this new merge may not be permanent. The plan was to get me licensed in Four Square and then just see what God was going to do. Well I started the process of licensing and we were six months into the merge. Neal, Jon and I sat down for a focus group kinda meeting…where are we, where are we headed, what’s the plan for the next six months?

Well, a couple weeks later I get a phone call from Jon and he’s telling me that they heard from the divisional supervisor of a position open about an hour East of us. They warned me when I joined up with Four Square that it was a family type relationship and that things like this happen a lot. Things like getting a phone call instead of the whole resume and searching process.

One of the big things we ask about life in ministry is this – What is God saying and what are you going to do about it?

A big part of my ministry family! Amie, My Honey, Me, Jon, and Neal (Stacy wasn't up there with us but she's a big part too!)

A big part of my ministry family!
Amie, My Honey, Me, Jon, and Neal (Stacy wasn’t up there with us but she’s a big part too!)

We decided to see what God was saying at that point. You’ll have to wait for my next post to see what I am doing about it though…

Enjoy your life and try it without socks!

Lets end the stigma of “step”!!!

A very well known radio personality specializing in family ministry has been doing a series lately on “steps”. As I listened this morning I continued to grow aggravated as the show progressed. I couldn’t pin down if it was what the guests were saying or the host or what. Sure, they had some really good points, and this is a common situation in our society today. Shoot, I’m divorced and so was my wife, we know first hand the stigma.

When I was a kid (eons ago according to some people you talk to) I think I could count on one hand the kids in grade school whose parents were divorced. In junior high the numbers went up as with high school. But still, back then it was a minority. When my kids went to school it was no longer a minority. In fact, our youngest was a minority having parents who were married.

Yes, we are a “blended” family (I don’t really like that term either, I make drinks in a blender, not families)! We never qualified it as that, nor did we use the term “step”.  Our kids had extra parents that came with other families. I’m Dad and my wife is Mom. The kids are Son and Daughter. That’s it. As soon as you put a “step” in front of a person, you degrade that person. They become something less.

So much talk is being thrown around about ending stigma…maybe it’s high time we do the same in the families!

Here’s a visual to help make my point…

These are steps…


Just a few of the steps up to a fire look out!

And here is a picture of what some consider “steps”. Pick them out if you can, maybe I’ll throw in a prize if you can figure it out. Here’s your clue (no cheating by going on FB), we have four adult children ages 22-30! And if you know my family you don’t qualify for the prize!


The whole Fam-dam-ily! I love this bunch!!!

That’s this shepherds stance for today!

Delivered, 19 years and counting!

Yesterday marked a rather important day in the history of my life, well not just mine but ours, meaning my wife and me. Check out her telling of the story at

Yesterday was the end of 19 years drug free! Today began year 20!

I had spent about 13 years lost in that lifestyle, from age 15 to 28. So the way my twisted brain sees things, I’m almost half way into the positive side of things after giving God back those 13 years I stole from Him.

It’s been a long hard journey to say the least, but Oh so worth it!

April 9,1994 seems like a lifetime ago, and it was. Because April 10, 1994 was when I rededicated my life to God and fell into a new way of living my life with a whole new family to help me. That family was Colton First Baptist Church, now know as Center Point –

If it wasn’t for the love and acceptance we received that very first day from the people there, I don’t know where we would be today. God was guiding us to that place and has not stopped leading us since.

Sure, I’m not always paying attention to His directions. And NO, it’s not because I’m a guy, it’s because I’m human!

Just a fragile lump of clay that He continually, lovingly, and thoughtfully molds into the man He wants me to be.

Today, I’ve been the shepherd/teacher of a Small Church – – for the past 9 years. And we have a good portion of our folks who are involved in “the program”, AA or NA or both. I never did attend any meetings, but I have a high regard for what it can do in a persons life.

A man I consider my brother and friend did a wonderful thing this past Sunday. He presented me and my wife with 19 year chips. It touches my heart and I am honored to be “inducted” into the family in this way.

To God be the Glory!