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About Us

Before Lily

       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, well, quite a culture shock.

     Who is helped by recounting a laundry list of sin? Suffice it to say that two divorces, an over dose in the occult and a problem with alcohol had a major impact on the way I was raised by a Southern Baptist grandmother. The impact of every Sunday trips to church faded in the peanut shell covered dirt floor bars of West Texas. This would probably have been my final phase of degeneracy, if the Lord had not brought Lily into my life.

     On 7/20/83 Lily walked into my life. Her car had two flat tires at the same time in front of the store where I worked. Who has two flats at the same time? Two days later we went on our first date. She made it clear we had no future unless I changed. I said good-bye to the bars and alcohol and we were married 11/15/83.

     God is still using her to change me by how she responds to unkindness, selfishness, thoughtlessness and worse. She very frequently says “God is our portion” when clients cancel an appointment or someone takes financial advantage. Almost as frequently she says, “Let it go.” After 35 years of hearing her make these comments and knowing she believes them ... all I can say is, “I’m blessed.”

Staying busy

     Lily worked in various positions at Sears in Washington and California for almost nine years. From replenishment to Department Manager to inventory and point of sale management she excelled in everything she did, but when they started pushing her to go into general store management she declined and left Sears 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 or passes on.

M-Div, but not a pastor

     I was in my last interviews with Home Depot and Target for a General Store Manager position when the opportunity to go to seminary presented itself. Lily and I discussed it and talked about how our lives would change going from a six-figure income to almost nothing, but we believed this was something God wanted us to do and we wanted to trust God.

     While in seminary, 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. I told him my past disqualifies me from being a pastor. I do want to love God with all my heart and all my soul and all my mind and with all my strength. I thought seminary would help with that goal. Now I know the right church is more important.

     Since 2003 our path has not been a path that Lily or I would have chosen for ourselves, but through it all, as Lily has always said, God has been faithful and certainly our portion. He has blessed our marriage with love and health and God has met our needs. Not only has God met our needs, God has blessed us with healthy sons and daughters-in-laws and ten healthy grandchildren.

... and now

     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. Most people think living the good life is somehow tangled up with what you see on television; career, nice house, car, money in the bank ... you know the narrative. I would certainly like to have those things for Lily, but God has finally brought me to the place where I understand that truly, when stuff is more important than your spouse, children, grandchildren, friends ... then your last breath and words will probably echo a dying Saul, “I have played the fool.”

     In January 2009 George Fox invited me to serve as a spiritual director. I did this for the Seminary as well as the University in Newberg from January 2009 till July 2018. Meeting with pastors, chaplains, and Psychology PhD candidates was an absolute joy. What can I say, I loved it, but a new head of the spiritual direction department made it clear it was time for me to leave. I still have the last email I received from Portland Seminary. It is signed - As-salāmu ʿalaykum (Arabic - may peace be upon you).

     I consider Lean-into-God a ministry, but I am not a 501 so donations, though greatly appreciated are not tax deductible. As Lily says, "God is our portion."

     David sums up my goal when he wrote:

Psalm 71:17  O God, from my youth you have taught me,
and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds.
18  So even to old age and gray hairs,
O God, do not forsake me,
until I proclaim your might to another generation,
your power to all those to come.
19  Your righteousness, O God,
reaches the high heavens.
You who have done great things,
O God, who is like you?

Church Home

     After all these years Lily and I finally found a Church Home, Athey Creek. Washington and Oregon are the most unchurched states in America, so imagine our shock the first time we went on a Wednesday night and the parking lot was full of cars!! It is excitng to know there are several thousand people in Portland who love God and God's Word.

     My website was created to encourage people to read through the Bible in a year, so finding a Church built on going through the Bible, book after book, chapter after chapter, verse after verse is a great blessing. Our excitement continues to grow.

     I Love to make videos

Least We Forget
     I made this in 2008

Least We Forget
I made this video in 2006

Chariots Of Fire
     I made this video in 2006

Chariots Of Fire
I made this video in 2006

Praise You In The Storm
     Casting Crowns

My Remix

I Exalt Thee - Phil Driscoll
     Great story about this song

I Exalt Thee

Christmas Memories 2014
     I love doing videos

Christmas Memories 2014

2008 - Tom’s No Greater Love
     My oldest son Tom wrote and sings

2008 - Tom’s No Greater Love

2008 - Learn To Be Still
     Remember the Eagles

Lily told me to listen to the words

My Redeemer Lives
     Nicole Mullins

I added clips to the official video
to fit the length of my CD.

Tom Nicholson
     Corners Of My Soul

My son Tom again with another great song

Twin Rocks
     At The Coast

3 -Day retreat at the coast.

Mount Up Like Eagles
     Phil Driscoll


The Starbucks Priests
     A Video Poem

Video based on poem

In Excelsis Deo
     Remember Our Veterans

I edited a segment of West Wing
to make this video for our veterans.

Why God
     A Video Poem

A Video Poem

     A Video Poem

A Video Poem

A Seminary Project
     Social Justice

Social Justice

Footsteps To The Cross
     A Church Project

Footsteps To The Cross

Sounds of Silence

A whole different sound
to an old favorite.

Psalm 119

Psalm 119

Greatest Commandment

Greatest Commandment

Come To Me
     A Sad World

Come To Me

Sands of Time
     A Video Poem

Words by Anne Cousin
Based on Samuel Rutherford's Letters

Armor Of God

Armor Of God

     From Morgan MacPherson

Adapted from a Prayer by
Rafael Cardinal Merry Del Val

Ragged old flag
     I like this a lot

Remembering our Veterans