Monday, August 31, 2009


I know that official designations have summer lasting another three weeks. But in my simple way of looking at the world, today--being August 31--is the last day of summer. I hiked with a friend at sunrise, which is coming later and later. I used the heater on my Jeep (on full blast) as I drove through the 50 degree morning on my way to the park. I noticed some ridge-top dogwood trees blushing their first maroon colors of the year. The earth is speaking of change, of a season fading and another dawning.

I love change. I often say that I spell change F-U-N. And in my life, many seasons have come and gone. Welcoming children into our home; then watching them take wings and fly. Moving into a brand new work; and then moving on with tears and anticipation of the next. Pursuing one thing with all of my heart; only to find later, perhaps it was worthy of a lesser portion.

Fall is a time of beautiful surrender. Leaves lose their lively green, then let loose and twirl down, after their dying makes them lovelier than ever. The sun fades. The warmth flees into cooler days and longer nights, and my daylight hiking hours become fewer and fewer...but more and more comfortable and indescribably beautiful.

According to scripture, we fade in the same way. We spring up with vigor and life, then fall away under the heat of the sun. And at times my life feels like a wrestling match of struggle with what strength remains within me to stay faithful, God-filled to the end of my days. I long for my life here to leave a legacy, and to fall gently down in a blaze of beauty.

And I invite you to join me in allowing seasonal changes to give you motivation for staying true. Express God-beauty as your season in life dictates. And when the time comes for falling to the earth, perhaps someone somewhere will remember you and where you were in the forest of lives. Maybe they'll walk past your old branch and twig and say: "Right up there is the place where I saw the beauty of my maker."

May it be so.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Book Covers and that that

It has been fun looking at bookcover designs for Runaway. Funny how I have such strong ideas about fonts, the feel of pictures, etc.

Also, in doing another run through the editing, I noticed a place where I had meant to write "something like that." And instead I wrote "something that that." I've heard you'll never find all the typos, but thanks to several of you before, and a current reader (C.D.), I think we are bringing this home very well.

Peace to you. Thanks for the kind emails, comments and facebook notes! This is starting to feel real.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Runaway Pastor--A New Novel Is Almost Here

I wrote The Runaway Pastor nearly two years ago. It was a quick and passionate story that came from the deepest part of my soul. I had known the pain of depression, and had spoken with many pastors who were suffering from anxiety and a pervasive gloomy sadness.

As I mentioned earlier, each twist and turn in the plot was a surprise to me. I did not write the book with a pre-planned story in mind. Rather, I sort of felt my way through, and like you I was surprised when characters did what they did.

This book was written as therapy. I had no plans to share it, or to seek its publication. As family members read bits and pieces, I gained the confidence to invite others into the story. Now there have been several hundred people to go to the first seven chapters, and many of you have communicated with me your desire to read more. Well, I guess that time is at hand.

I have hesitations about making the entire book public. But I will because it is my hope that pastors everywhere will be understood in a better way. True, Trent is not every pastor. But it is also true that he represents dozens of senior pastors who have opened up to me before I wrote this book, and many more who have communicated since. So I write for the love of pastors.

I also write out of love for Christ's Church. I know it doesn't seem that way as the pages of the story unfold. But I believe "the person and presence of Jesus" is still a needed reality. I am sad to say that too often that needed reality gets lost in the modern business model adopted many church organizations. And so with this work I seek to challenge the church as we too often see it.

Well, we are moving closer to publication, and I hope you are looking forward to getting hold of a copy as much as so many who are writing me. As the days move ahead, I intend to post a group study built around The Runaway Pastor. Follow along!

Grace and peace to you.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Updates and Fun Days

Hey everyone. I had a great time hiking with some friends last week. I hope to post some pics on facebook soon. Meanwhile, if you go to my profile you will see an album posted by Eric and Joy (fellow hikers). You can read my first impressions of our hike at .

I am making a run through of The Runaway Pastor for errors, and any of you who find typo's or other errors in the chapters I've had up, you are invited to point them out. Soon the final draft will be uploaded, and the publishing process will be underway.

I look forward to changing the format of this blog a bit in order to help get the word out about The Runaway Pastor. There will be a few initial book signings, and various events to market the book. If you would like to have a book signing in your area, I will be sure to make every effort to see it happen. This is all new to me.

I have very few extra hours in my months, and so I'll be finding my way along in this new venture. I know this has been obvious with my absence from here lately. Sorry. I'll get it figured out.

Peace to you!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

This Is It! Runaway Pastor to be published.

I spoke with my agent yesterday, and finally I have some news to give you. If things stay on course, you should be able to order The Runaway Pastor from Amazon or at your local bookstore within the next two months! I can't tell you how glad I am to finally be at this point!

So now I ask you to begin letting people know about this now. Remind them that the first seven chapters are available here, and soon the wait for a hard copy will be over.

I feel this is one of the most important steps I've taken in my life. Perhaps the most important work of ministry. I hope you will agree after you read The Runaway Pastor.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Need of Our Soul

In this week's scriptures, we find people following Jesus in hopes of another free meal (along with the sideshow of the amazing multiplication of fish and bread). Who can blame them? The next meal for these people was often a mystery, represented a lot of work, and cost them greatly. So a hand-out of local staples which didn't require catching fish or baking bread was a welcome reprieve from the standard way of doing life.

In the Old Testament, we find David hoping his armies will take it easy on his son Absalom. When they don't and his son is killed (in the process of trying to overthrow and murder his father) David weeps and grieves the loss. In the Psalm, David cries-out to God, and receives what he needs.

We are an amazing array of need. We wake with the need of companionship and food. So we fine tune the signal coming through a cable or the air, and welcome voices and faces into our room to keep us company. They tell us about our world and weather, then tell us of our needs for deoderant, pills to make us manly and insurance to keep our stuff. The remind us our car is a clunker, we have the wardrobe of a loser, and that a lawyer could help us to sue our neighbor.

And then we go out into our day, full of needs, working hard to be able to purchase all of these things that will fill us and fulfill us.

Isaiah spoke of buying bread that would not fill. Jeremiah tells us of a living well that never runs dry, but that we prefer to dig our own sisterns that won't even hold water. Jesus says He is the bread of life. And we go out looking for something more extreme than God-friendship.

How are you fulfilling your needs?

Peace to you.