What's Been On My Mind

As I mentioned in previous post on Thinking Out Loud, I’ve been posting on Medium, an online consortium of blogs with various publications. Most of the time I post on either Publishous or Koinonia or Faith Hacking.

So, here are the latest blogs since the last time I posted on Thinking Out Loud. Click, read, and enjoy! If you have some thoughts—constructive and edifying ones—then please comment.

Thanks for reading!


Photo by  Viktor Forgacs  on  Unsplash

Want to Know the Origin of FOMO?

Why we seem to get locked into it

FOMO seems like some type of diagnosable condition or syndrome. Perhaps it will become so.

If you’re not sure what FOMO means — perhaps you’ve just spent a year on the International Space Station, been in a coma, or are unfamiliar with American idioms. Anyway, it’s an acronym for Fear Of Missing Out.

It’s a real thing. We’ve probably all felt it at some point in life. At least when we were children and we thought other kids got to do what we weren’t allowed to do. Read more…

Some people seem obsessed with FOMO


Who Has the Right to Be Called a Child of God?

When does life begin — at conception or birth?

Before 1973, the obvious answer would be at conception but the Roe v Wade Supreme Court decision changed that in America.

That decision may have changed the law of the land and people’s opinions but it didn’t change basic biology.

In Asia, age is generally determined by conception and the lunar calendar. For centuries and centuries in the rest of the world and biologically, conception is seen as the beginning of life.

Life on earth has a beginning and end date — our physical birth and death. Yet, billions of people in the world believe in some form of life beyond physical birth and death. Read more…


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His True Nature

Loyal though You were

betrayed…your true nature

is revealed…love

abandoned by followers

rejected despised and

forsaken in death

You stand by me when

I fail…fall…go my own way

this your true nature

divine…human…Son

humble faithful proven love

true friend brother Lord


Photo by  Zac Durant  on  Unsplash

Photo by Zac Durant on Unsplash

Acceptance and Approval are Keys to a Healthy Self

How I found a trustworthy basis for acceptance and approval

We need to be loved and we need to belong. This is one of the five basic needs Dr. William Glasser identified as essential to our well being as people. I learned of his Reality and Choice theories while pursuing certification for drug and alcohol counseling.

At the time, I was a full-time pastor of a growing church in the southern California high desert with a full counseling load each week. With many young families in our church and our school district’s non-existent policy on alcohol and drug abuse, I realized my need for further education.

It was the mid-eighties and self-esteem was a major focus. Theories abounded on what is needful for a healthy sense of self. They still abound.

Some theories encourage internal centeredness while others give direction on controlling and minimizing externals. But I learned to focus my heart and life on acceptance and approval from an eternal standpoint. Read more…


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I Don’t Wanna Be a Pharisee

A children’s song with a serious truth
I remember a children’s song from many years ago with a serious truth. Various versions of the song still exist but one line comes to mind as of late.

I don’t wanna be a Pharisee…cuz a Pharisee ain’t fair you see.

Unless you understand who the Pharisees were, this punning rhyme doesn’t make sense or you won’t relate to it very well. But this simple line explains in a succinct way the drawbacks of being a Pharisee. Read more…

Thanks again for reading!

People, Goodness, Love—Us and the World

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Here are a few more posts from what I’ve posted on Medium. If you missed the other posts on Medium since early May, check out Haiku for You! and Reaching Out

These were published in Publishous and cover a broad range of topics.

I hope you’ll enjoy the reads!


Photo by  v2osk  on  Unsplash

Photo by v2osk on Unsplash

As a young believer, I had to learn how to trust God.

It wasn’t natural for me. It isn’t natural for any of us.

Just as toddlers exert their free will before they can say it clearly, we like to “do it by our self!” American culture only reinforces this innate self-willed resistance to trusting God.

My worry chair

When my wife and I started our life together, we had a wing-backed, turquoise chair in our living room. Read more…


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A Humble Love

“What the world needs now — is love, sweet love…” was the recurring line in a popular song in the mid-sixties sung by Jackie DeShannon. It was and still is one of my favorite songs from the ‘60s. This YouTube video link of the song captures the innocent hope of the sixties for universal love.

Another favorite song of mine from that era became somewhat of an anthem for the peace movement of the sixties. Sung by the Youngbloods, the chorus of “Get Together” epitomized the search for a unifying love— “Come on people now — smile on your brother — everybody get together — try to love one another right now.”!

A naive hope seemed to die with the close of the decade and the beginning of the “Me Generation” of the ‘70s. Read more…


Photo by  Warren Wong  on  Unsplash

Photo by Warren Wong on Unsplash

The Need to See Beyond Ourselves

Agrarian economies still dominate a good part of the world, so planting and harvesting are important times of the year.

They impact the livelihoods of many people. How good the harvest is or isn’t impacts everyone.

Our economy in America is more diverse. In years past, we were considered an industrial economy with an agrarian backbone. But technology and its counterparts created an industry of its own.

Most Americans only see the effect of a good or bad harvest when it affects food prices. Read more…


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We Christians — genuine followers of Christ — need to stop moralizing the Christian faith. We need to quit portraying Christianity as a life of moral goodness.

Our effort at goodness is a weak facade for faith. It presents a false face like a veneer—an appearance of goodness as if it was faith. But this misrepresents genuine Christianity.

If you ask most people to describe Christianity, believer and non-believer alike, you’ll get a reply related to some form of moral goodness…

I try to be a good person, who does good things and is kind to others.

Read more…

Reaching Out

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As I mentioned in an earlier post on Thinking Out Loud, I’ve been posting to a few online publications on Medium. Here are posts and Bible studies I’ve revised, edited, and reformatted from previous posts on Word-Strong for the publication Koinonia.

Take some time to read, think, and respond if you’d like. Thanks for reading!


How is a Spark of Faith Ignited in a Person’s Heart?

What does it take for a person to become a believer in God? Is it a certain understanding?

How is a spark of faith ignited in a person’s heart?

I don’t know of one specific answer. In fact, when you ask a hundred different people how they came to believe, you may get a hundred different answers.

If you ask a theologian, he may give you one specific answer. But if you ask several different theologians and philosophers, you’ll get a gaggle of answers. Read more…


Photo by  Jon Tyson  on  Unsplash

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

The Word of God in Person

My own darkness

The opening verses of the Gospel of John are important and significant to me. Though I believed in the existence of God from my youth, I had a nebulous, vague sense of God.

Throughout my teen and college years, I wandered in the darkness of my ignorance and whatever the world around me had to offer. Read more…


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How Acceptance of God Brings Acceptance and Inclusion

When does life begin — at conception or birth?

Before 1973, the obvious answer would be at conception but the Roe v Wade Supreme Court decision changed that in America. That decision may have changed people’s opinions but it didn’t change basic biology.

In Asia, age is generally determined by conception and the lunar calendar. For centuries and centuries in the rest of the world and biologically, conception is seen as the beginning of life.


Stop Trying So Hard to Be a Good Christian!

Bob Newhart has a hilarious comedy skit as a psychiatrist. His therapy is a simple, two-word solution for problems — “Stop it!” If you’ve never seen it, click on this link–Stop it! for a good laugh, but keep reading!

If only solving life’s problems were that simple—to just stop doing something. Well, in some ways it is. But many difficulties in life continue to trouble us. But why?

Why don’t we just stop doing not-such-good things in order to start doing better things? Read more…

Haiku for You

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I’ve been posting on Medium to 3 different publications— Publishous , Koinonia, and Haiku Hub.

Medium was created by the founder of Blogger and Twitter. It is an online magazine but not a Christian one. However, there are a few publications that are Christian or have a Christian channel.

I post there to reach out to people who probably won’t visit my website on their own. Many of them are seeking, were former believers, quasi-believers, and some are solid believers.


I haven’t done much in the way of poetry for a long time, so I thought I’d try my hand at some Haiku. So, here are a few of my Haiku’s for you! Enjoy!

Haiku for You!

The Long Drive

grey-black forest path

bridges…rivers…flowers…grass

interrupt boredom


Photo by  Robert Bye  on  Unsplash

Photo by Robert Bye on Unsplash

Deeper

Deep calls me deeper

Waterfall’s roar…is hushed as

waves sweep over me


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Art of Teaching

the art of teaching

make complicated simple

true complete in-depth


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standing at the edge

waves washing over my feet

horizon gazing

sedated calm thoughts

watching the sea…birds in flight

sand water sky meet

Listening to Podcasts!

© Lightstock.com

© Lightstock.com

The first 3 months of 2019 I found myself doing a lot of driving each weekend. As part of my work with Poimen Ministries, I’ve been assisting a young pastor dealing with some serious health issues. He and his young family moved to the Florida panhandle from So California to plant a church a few years ago.

Each Saturday morning for 3 months, I made the 4 1/2-hour drive to their area and back again Sunday afternoon. So, I put the time to good use by listening to podcasts. It’s been a blessing for me to come alongside this pastor, preach through much of the book of Hebrews, and encourage he and his family as we pray for his healing.

Thankfully, he is recovering his strength and health, so I’m only going out to help once a month. Also, it’s been great to see the church rally in support of him and develop fresh vision to see how they can continue impacting their community with the gospel.

A new podcast launched!

I’ll share more about the podcasts I’ve listened to but first— Check out the newly launched Poimen Ministries podcast—Strength for Today’s Pastor—hosted by our director, Pastor Bill Holdridge! Although our primary goal is to provide practical help and insights for senior or lead pastors, there are plenty of great thoughts for everyone to glean.

Here are a couple podcasts to check out—

So far, we have 6 episodes uploaded and each week a new episode will be released. You can listen to, subscribe, and download episodes from ITunes, Spotify, and Anchor.

Some other podcasts

Other podcasts I’ve appreciated and gained insights from include— 200Churches, Revitalize and Replant, and Making Disciples.

Here are some links to podcasts I liked and many be of interest to you, if not just because you might wonder what interests me…lol.

From 200Churches.com primarily targeting small church pastors but relevant for all pastors

From Revitalize and Replantfocuses on revitalizing churches and replants but relevant for pastors and leaders within all churches

From Making Disciples with Robby Gallaty this brother practices what he preaches and is quite knowledgable with great insights on disciple-making and disciple-makers

There are other podcasts I like to listen to but these stand out as a few of my favorites related to ministry, especially with Poimen Ministries. Give them a listen and let me know of any podcasts you like and why!