About us ...

Before Lily

From 1/2/64 till 7/20/83 I lived on the dark side of life.

In 1964, on my fifteenth birthday, I went to live with my Dad in California. A few months later he got a job working for Lockheed in Saudi Arabia. Suddenly I was on my own. I had my Dad’s financial support, but from strongly regimented everything is black and white Alabama grandparents ... to no supervision, anything goes in Southern California was a dramatic change to say the least. Let me just say that no one profits by recounting a laundry list of sin. Suffice it to say that two divorces, an over dose in the occult and a close relationship with alcohol and peanut shell covered dirt floor bars in West Texas drew me a long way from the Southern Baptist teenager my grandmother took to church every Sunday.

All that changed on 7/20/83 when Lily walked into my life. Her car had two flat tires at the same time in front of the store where I worked as a co-manager. Who has two flats at the same time? Two days later we went on our first date. I said good-bye to the bars and alcohol and finally made a good decision. We were married 11/15/83.

After thirty-three years Tom, Ryan, Chris and Spence are all grown now and we have ten grandchildren. Lily has always been excited about grandchildren. I didn't come on board till I held my first grandchild in my arms shortly after she was born 9/19/03. It was as though God made one pass with a clean cloth over a filthy window. One pass didn't remove all the grime and grit, but it wiped enough away for me to finally begin to see that career and stuff are only vanity.

Staying busy

Lily worked in various positions at Sears in Washington and California for almost nine years. She resisted their efforts to recruit her for general store management and finally left in 2004. Shortly afterwards she went to work for herself, cleaning people’s houses. Word of mouth recommendations, including requests for pet / house sitting keep her busy. She can only take on new clients if and when someone moves.

M-Div, but not a pastor

Dan Brunner, one of my professors at George Fox, asked me why I wanted a M-Div if I didn’t want to be a pastor. 1 Timothy 3:2 and 1 Timothy 3:12 in the Greek is “one-woman man.” People interpret this differently, but in addition to being the husband of one wife, 1 Timothy 3:2-7 lists several qualifications: blameless, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, teachable, not given to drunkenness, gentle, not quarrelsome, not greedy, a good father and husband, seasoned believer with a good reputation. While I am not the person I was before I met Lily, none-the-less, those adjectives make me feel unqualified.

I wanted to get my M-Div for two reasons. I still feel like I wasted the 28 years I spent as a general store manager for Kmart, managing stores in California, inner city LA, Texas, Washington and Oregon till July 2003. I pray that God will give me an additional 28 years to participate in what God is doing instead of pursuing my own interests.

Since 2003 my path, our path, has not been one I would have chosen, but God has been and we believe God will continue to be our portion. Secondly, when I held our first grandchild the very first time I realized I had missed what life is all about. That is when I began to seriously pursue God. Now I want to draw as close to God, Lily, my family and others as I can. I figured going to seminary was a good start. I started attending George Fox Evangelical Seminary in September 2004 and received my Masters in Divinity and Certificate in Spiritual Direction in 2008.

I've been on staff at George Fox Evangelical Seminary as a spiritual director since January 2009. In 2013 I was invited to do spiritual direction for Psychology PhD candidates at George Fox University. I also work occasionally with private clients, but self-promotion is not one of my strong suits.

Video editing is a hobby, passion and joy. Like spiritual direction it has provided me the opportunity to meet folks I would not have met otherwise. Yukon Angel Productions is my video web site.

I wrote almost 300 online articles for The Examiner, but their over-the-top advertising really bothered me and I finally stopped.

I consider Lean-into-God a ministry, but I am not a 501.

Moving closer

I've always loved Lily and my family, but I began to see that people, starting with Lily and moving outwards to family and friends and others are what give life its value. If I had to choose one word to represent where I am now it would be, "grateful."

Lily and I are now what society calls empty nesters. We are healthy, un-medicated, and not ready to retire; physically, mentally or emotionally. We understand that who you are is NOT what you do or what you have. If anyone has the idea that living the good life is somehow tangled up in those concepts than inevitably they will echo the words of a dying Saul, "I have played the fool."

Our identity is in Christ and our identity with Christ is reflected in our relationships with others. As Christians we may nod our heads in agreement with that statement, but most of us are too busy and too distracted to ask ourselves what that statement really looks like. We frequently see what it does NOT look like in our local newspaper or on the National News, but if we could slow down and take a good look at how we relate to others, even our own family members, we would see that most of us fall very short of the life God intended.

Unfortunately, what we do has become more important than the relationships around us. We say we'd love to be a missionary, but we fail to reach out to the people God has placed around us; on our walks, in the stores, in church, even in our homes.

We say we love God, but we make excuses why we can't spend time alone with God. We claim to know God's word, but we can't make time to read it for ourselves. We refuse to be still unless we are planted in front of the television, computer or texting on our cell phones. We say God is our best friend, but how much time do we spend with our best friend?

Our country, indeed, the global community is on the verge of great change. Hollywood echoes our unspoken fears and expectations. Something world changing is coming, but we don’t know what it is. There is only one way to prepare for the unexpected and that is to pursue God. How can you love the Lord with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself if you are not drawing ever closer to God?

We are walking this labyrinth called life, hungering and thirsting for more than meets the eye and hoping to stumble on the pearl of great price. We are told if we seek we will find. As we move closer to one another we move closer to God, but likewise, the more space we put between one another through jealousy, un-forgiveness, hatred, being judgmental etc. the more space we put between ourselves and God. The Bible makes it clear if we cannot forgive others God will not forgive us.

In my very favorite Bible passage Jesus says, “Come.” When we come to the Lord we move closer to one another. These two are linked together. Jesus said, (Matthew 22:37-40) ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the greatest and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Everything in the Bible rests on these two commandments.

Rope holders and extension cords

Lily and I are fine striving to be rope holders. When we think of rope holders we think of those who helped the Apostle Paul over the wall. Only God knows their names and isn't that enough?

We want to encourage others the way Jonathan strengthened David. We recognize our best efforts are not sustainable unless we are plugged into God.

A long time ago we heard the evangelist, Bob Gass, say that God is looking for extension cords. He said extension cords are under the rug, behind the chair, and that people sometimes trip over extension cords. He added that no one writes songs about extension cords. Lily and I love the extension cord metaphor.

God’s extension cords are only useful when they are plugged into God. Love, compassion, mercy, patience, wisdom, discernment come from being plugged into God. Nothing is more important than intimate time with the Lord and you can NOT draw closer to God if you are NOT, likewise, drawing closer to other people.

I must constantly remind myself what Jesus said whenever I get angry, feel hurt, left out or envy someone else's blessings. When Peter asked Jesus about John's future, in essence Jesus said, "What's that to you?"

About this web site

I work with my web site every day hoping it will somehow touch and benefit others. There is nothing here you cannot find elsewhere, but I have broken readings into daily sections. Anyone can spend as little as fifteen minutes a day on this website and find something to help their walk with the Lord. The most important thing is to develop a daily routine. In addition to scripture, devotionals and theological readings there are some absolutely wonderful lectures embedded on this site from Biola, Dallas Theological Seminary, Catholic University, Yale Divinity School and many, many others; over 5,000 videos in all.