I spend a lot of time generally agitated. Why shouldn’t I? The world is a mess. But then so am I. By “nature” I inherited an analytic disposition, verging on obsession; it drives me to take everything apart – strip it bare – stare at the essence. I don’t always put things back together. By “nurture” I had the stuffing kicked out of my soul at a tender age. Family can do that. At first glance, I don’t always see the best in people or situations. I want to lock myself in my room and brood about the way things are.
I also spend a lot of time overflowing with gratitude. Joy settles on my soul like a comforter in a chill. And why not? The world astounds me with its beauty! The love and hope of Christ outweigh the load of hurt from my past, by far. There’s a new lens fitted to my obsessive analytic eye – Christ centered and Gospel shaped. Sometimes I see things beyond imagining: love, goodness, redemption, and God’s hand at work. I see possibilities. I want to race into the street shouting; I’m looking for people to link arms with, to share the adventure, to change the world.
I converted to Christian faith from hardened atheism at age 19. Two ends of the spectrum.
I’m a pastor now and a spiritual brawler. That means I’ve been a church planter for 36 years. I have planted two churches; each starting from a small group meeting in someone’s living room. This proves two things – I am a glutton for punishment, and I believe in the church with all my heart. In my mind, nothing comes close to the privilege of being called pastor. My church is River West Church, in Lake Oswego, Oregon.
I have been married to my incredible wife Maureen for 36 years. We have 3 grown children, all married. We have 3 grandchildren.
Salt and Stir
Salt and Stir is my pastoral word for a church on mission. Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt has lost its savor it is good for nothing.” Strong words. They thrill us with the promise that we can make a difference. They also warn us not to lose our bite, our sting, our savor.
Jesus Gospel Church World
The subject list for Salt and Stir is as big as the world. But there is a certain focal point – a lens: Jesus, Gospel, Church. The point isn’t to isolate or compartmentalize. The aim is to stir things up. Be the salt. Touch and change the world.
These words are first and foremost for my own church community. But I I’m more than happy to have others join the discussion!
Here’s the link to my church: www.riverwest.org