Pastor Jeff’s Full Blog Posts
Lord purge our eyes to see
within the seed a Tree;
within the glowing egg a bird;
within the shroud a Butterfly-
till taught by such,
we see beyond all creatures,
Sow everywhere the good seed is given you.
Sow in the good ground.
Sow in the sand.
Sow amongst the stones.
Sow amongst the weeds.
Perhaps some of the seeds will open
up and grow and bring forth fruit, even if not at once.
-Sereaphim of Sarvour, a Russian Monk
Creator God, forgive our moments of ingratitude.
The spiritual blindness that prevents us from appreciating
the wonder that is this world.
The endless cycle of nature,
Of the life and death and rebirth.
Forgive us for taking without giving,
Reaping without sowing.
Open our eyes to see, our lips to praise, and our hands to share.
May our feet tread lightly on the the path we tread,
An our footsteps be worthy of the following,
For they all lead to you.
It is written that the prayers of the righteous availeth much.
Lord through your power all things were made.
Through your wisdom all things are governed.
Through your grace all things sustained.
Give us power to serve you,wisdom to discern your
laws and grace to obey them at all times.
-Edmund of Abingdon
Last night I was at the store buying milk and a precooked chicken dinner. I had just finished the transaction when I noticed that the uniformed store security had surrounded some one in the area where the grocery carts were kept. I snuck a peek over the shoulder of one of the guards expecting to see one of my flock. What I found was a young man maybe 19 or twenty years old swaying and singing. The guards didn’t know what to do because the only thing this tall strapping young man was doing was singing, loudly.
What was he singing? A hymn.
What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
It was his volume that was the problem. So I set down my milk and chicken and stepped over to him. He became nervous and began swaying more radically. I said, “Hi I’m Pastor Jeff, whats your name?”
“Mike,” he said.
“Hi Mike. You have a great singing voice and I really love the song you are singing but………I was wondering if you could sing it quieter.”
Mike unzips his coat, pulls the left side open and grabs and invisible knob and making noise like a turning knob makes several turns. Then begins to sing in a softer and quieter voice.
I turned to the Guards and said is this okay and smiling they nodded and dispersed.
I stayed with Mike for about 20 minutes when his mother showed up asking if he had caused any trouble. “No,” I said, “no trouble at all, at least not in this realm.”
His mom explained that she has to leave him out of the store or he begins to sing hymns loudly and people get upset.
“I can imagine,” I said. “Nothing people hate worse than having their need for Jesus presented to them.”
I gathered up my stuff and walked with Mike out to their car. I invited him to come visit my church any time he wanted. Especially since they only live about 10 blocks away. Mike was very happy for the invite, but I didn’t see the same response in Mom.
But ya know, all things are possible.
Sunday night I dropped off my wife at a hotel that OSHU uses for sleep testing. As I was driving back I spotted a biker gang member riding his Hog of shimmering Black Silver Chrome. His lady perched upon her seat behind him, they were stopped at a traffic light. I was able to get within a half a car length from them and when the young lady leaned back I could see his colors. He was a Gypsy Joker.
About 35 years ago Yvan and I were buying a house on North Webster about a 1/2 block from Interstate Ave a block north of Alberta. Back then, Interstate was four lanes and was a fairly tough neighborhood. And just south of Alberta there was this old beat up house whose front yard were filled with stunted weeds and a beer can or two and broken glass from a thrown bottle of cheap whiskey. But come late Friday night one would hear the roar of Hogs stretched out westward as they came off I-5 and headed west down Alberta, and that house would be filled with Gypsy Jokers some 30 to 50 strong.
Now Portland’s police had no love for the Jokers and when they went to rattle their cage the Jokers showed up in force. On one of those occasions I happen to have been walking home and there were these two Jokers trying to load a Hog into a pick up and did not quite have enough strength between the two so I stopped and gave them a hand and we became friends. All of a sudden there were 20 police and the leader swaggers up to one of the Jokers and ask who the leader was. This guy comes out, about 6’6 muscular but skinny and the lead cop says that they can’t park their bikes in the street or on the parking strip. The ones on the lawn couldn’t hang over onto the sidewalk.
The leader of the Gypsies was just about to respond when I found myself speaking and saying to the leader of the Jokers, “Just over on Webster is my house and the driveway is pretty deep, about 50 feet and about 20 feet wide and if your guys wanted to you could park them there.”
So that day about 25 Hogs showed up on my drive way and when they left each had a track tucked neatly into the frame of their gauges. After that they called me Preacher.
Now fast forwarding to 2015. At the next light the Joker looked over to me and I gave him a nod.
“Do I know you?” he asked.
Then he changed lanes and we both went into a parking lot. I got out of my truck and took off my sun glasses and he took off his.He stared hard and circled me twice and then closed his eyes and jabbing his finger into the air looks up suddenly and says, in a low whisper, “Your The Preacher.” Then, in a shout at the girl, “This is the Preacher!”
Then he recounts the story to his girl who turns out is his oldest daughter and he was taking her to work. “Wow the guys are gonna bust a gut when they hear this.” Then he gets all serious and says, You still a preacher?”
“Worse,” I said, “I’m a Pastor.”
Shaking his head, he places a hand on my shoulder and says, “Well a bunch of us became Christians. We meet in a house church and study the word and try to reach out to other Jokers.”
Then the daughter reminds him that she is gonna be late for work. So after a short time of prayer and the gift of my phone number we part company.
Just goes to show that the seeds of the kingdom can germinate anywhere and anytime and that all things are possible with the Holy Spirit.
So after the check up, I decided to treat myself to a donut and coffee. Did you know that they have TEXAS donuts. This one was a full 10 inches across and 2 inches thick and glazed. O’ the bliss…….and so instead of coffee I went for a Mocha.
Hey if you’re gonna be decedent, BE DECEDENT!!! So there I was stuffing my face and enjoying every blissful mouthful.
Now in the VA’s cafeteria there is this giant window looking out on to the main floors parking and drop off point. Outside was a guy in a wheel chair missing a leg up to the hip and his left hand was partially gone as well. He bummed a cigarette and a light.
He was heading for the smoking area when two police officers stop him and begin to hassle him about not being in the smoking area, then they ask for Identification.
He tries to explain that he was rolled the other night and he has been here trying to get some help.
Then this cop chose the wrong path and says “You’re no vet. You’re a bum.”
Now I was prevented from entering into this fray because of the wall of glass even though I could clearly hear all that is being said. But I did let out a gritted teeth prayer for intervention.
Apparently God heard, for a retired First Sergeant, who was a Marine, comes up and asks, “What’s the problem?”
The guy in the chair said “I am a Marine but I was robbed the other night and I don’t have ID so they think I am a bum.”
The First Sergeant whips out his iPad and says, “Name!”
“Hansen, John L.”
“SSN?” and he gives it.
“Sergeant.” and with a few swipes and pokes and jabs he proclaims, “WA LA Hansen John L Sargent, 3 purple hearts, a bronze star, bronze star cluster, and a silver star, wounded while rescuing two fallen comrades.”
John says,”They shot our truck with a RPG.” (rocket propelled grenade)
The First Sergeant turns to the cop and ask for his card. “This is no Bum. This is a Marine, who gave his all and this nation owes him big time……..and you sir are a coward.”
Then he stepped behind John’s wheelchair and began pushing, heading for the front door. I met them and explained I had witnessed the whole affair. I joined the company and we went to the Inspector Generals’ office where what normally takes weeks was reduced to about an hour and John had his ID back and all the paper work for his disability and orders for a flight back home to Atlanta Georgia courtesy of the Armed forces of the United States.
When Last I saw John he was heading to the hospital wing for a hot shower and clean clothes and a hot meal. Kinda reminded me of Anawim, they come in wounded for a hot shower clean clothes and some hot food.
Anawim believes that all vets should be treated with dignity and assistance from the nation who called them to sacrifice their all. -SK
This morning when I stepped outside the Motor Home, the air was brisk with a slight breeze. The birds were singing and I saw a small flock of them head for the feeder that I had refilled the night before. One of the recent additions has been a bird bath and so I crept to the end of the barn to take a peek. There were several sparrows and finches feeding from the feeder and several more splashing in the bath. But the real treat was the sparrow who was building a nest in the bird house.
Suddenly there was a flight of crows swarming the park. Must have been 20 or 30 of them cawing and circling and then they all came in for a landing on the basketball court. They were surrounding a long narrow object some 16 inches in height.
It was in fact a homeless guy who sleeps on the court. You see, the court is coated in a black emulsion and so it absorbs a lot of heat during the day and then radiates it back into the air and in this case this guy’s sleeping mat and bag.
Well the Crows made the determination that this was *road kill* and a huge feast! At first their were but 30 but soon more were arriving and more.
Finally the leader of this flock hops up onto the center of the mound and lets loose with a big PECK.
Maybe it was the thickness of the bag I do not know but the Leader of this Squadron, for what ever reason, walked up towards the head and to what I thought would be the shoulder and rears back and unleashes a mighty peck.
There came a loud howl of pain and a flailing arm and the flock now some 40 in strength takes wing.
So it will be interesting to see, if the recipient of the ‘ Looks Like Road Kill To Me’ award, chooses to tempt fate again. Could be worse, next time a giant condor could be the next caller……..