They call me the pastor.
I serve a church without walls.
I graduated from Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religion and Dallas Theological Seminary with a Master of Theology. I served two years raising missionary funds for Romania.
As one of my professors remarked about religious credentials, “Who are we kidding?”
I believe God is love and there is no theology of love, no denomination or faith with a monopoly on love or grace and no way to codify or rationalize the mysteries of faith.
The people I know who love God come from all walks of life.
Maybe you’re one of them.
Hold the door open for another person and you’re a missionary.
Keep your head during a discussion that threatens to become an argument and you’re an apostle.
Love someone without expecting anything in return and you’re a saint.
I knew a farm couple in Iowa who held their kitchen table together with baling wire. They taught me the Bible. A destitute cab driver and his wife kept me alive during the darkest days of my life. They were so poor friends stacked hay bales around the foundation of their home to keep out winter cold. They taught me charity. An elderly woman in a nursing home who resembled Queen Victoria and after a life of affluence owned nothing much more than a picture of her deceased husband of sixty-three years taught me integrity. A widow on Social Security who gave me one hundred dollars in an envelope and made me promise not to open it until after I’d long gone taught me unconditional love.
Those people all belonged to the church I serve.
None of them ever knew one another.
They are all people of God.
Felons have taught me courage.
Addicts have taught me humility.
Mental patients have taught me wisdom.
Sometimes people who want to get married contact me to officiate. I tell them it’s my honor to do so because in a world which often denies love they desire to declare publicly they are lovers. Or perhaps a loved one dies and they know words won’t change what happened, but words are needed. Maybe they believe as I do Jesus Christ gave the supreme example of sacrificial love and they desire to be baptized in His name. This I can do.
What I will not do is pretend because I attended seminary five years or became licensed and ordained I earned the right to tell anyone they’ll go to hell or deserve damnation for not doing or believing exactly what someone else told me to do or believe.
Every day I ask God for guidance and I depend on Him entirely for my life.
I’m not kidding.
Therefore I sing as
the bird sings,
because Thou art with
me, oh my God.
Let not the day
believe in heat
nor the night in
darkness any power
prevents my song.
In Thee, oh holy
One of Israel, I
sing the song You
give to me.
Trilling and clear,
the clarion call
of notes and vibrancy,
I sing to Thee.