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Through the Bible – Through the Body of Christ

January and February
This year began quite differently.  I was involved in a service trip and in television production.  In the beginning of January my family and I went to Guatemala, to the town of Quetzaltenango, and taught English at a Christian elementary school for one week.  It was quite fun and rewarding to plan the classes with my brothers, and my daughter and her husband.  Then from January 14 to 23 I went down to Merida in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula to help produce a prophecy series I’d written, contrasting the popular focus on the Mayan Calendar, which apparently ends in 2012, with the solid track record of biblical prophecy.  I directed dramatic scenes depicting a young woman sacrificed to the Mayan gods on a pyramid.  You can see photos of at my facebook site: http://facebook.com/stevenraymosley
Then in February I helped my son produce a short film for the “168 Project” a Christian Film contest/festival.  People are given a Bible text, and they have 168 hours in which to create a film about it.  My son Jason wrote and directed the film.  My daughter Jenny played a waitress.  I played the part of a pastor talking with a skeptical, struggling young woman.  Great to work with my kids again.
The last weekend in February I presented Chosen Garment at First Baptist Church in Mesa, AZ, Phoenix area.  It was a great audience on a Sunday evening.  Pastor Rod and Karen Laymen were wonderful hosts.
Through the Bible in December
There was rain in Dallas the first weekend, which was a blessing to that state in such a drought.  At First Baptist Church in Irving (second visit) I presented “Likely Suspects, The Whole Bible in One Mystery” for their Christmas banquet.  Detective Sammy Slade made his journey from tough skepticism to the foot of the cross.  Executive Pastor Wayne Watkins is a great brother in Christ.  Then it was Garland Faith Communion Church—a very enthusiastic, diverse congregation.  Presenting in a relatively small church that’s packed to the seams energizes you as well.  Finally on Sunday night I shared my classic “Chosen Garment” for New Liberty Baptist Church, also in Garland.  Loved presenting in their beautiful Christmas setting.  On December 11 I shared “Where’s the Plan?  The Whole Bible in One Testimony” for Pastor Matt Soper at West Houston Church of Christ (second visit).  Pastor Soper had such warm comments about an artful presentation afterward.  But I need to practice this one more.  Flew up to Portland for a presentation December 18 at Evangelical Free Church in Yacolt, WA.  Gracious hospitality and lots of greenery and great comments at the book table.
Through the Bible in November
St. Louis began this month in a very big way. I presented “Chosen Garment” for five services at Harvester Christian Church in St. Charles. But thank God it didn’t wear me out. The enthusiasm of the congregation—I had to go back up and salute the Garment of Christ at the end during a standing ovation—kept me energized. Then it was the Loma Linda University area here in Southern California. Campus Hill Church the afternoon of November 19. Pastor Cristian Iordan had a great youth service that same day. And I did a Thanksgiving event Wednesday evening, November 23, at Capistrano Valley Church. Pastor Mark Fitter had such warm comments afterward.
Christian Speaker Steven Mosley’s Journal
Through the Bible in October
First weekend was Sacramento. Sacramento Woodside Church is traditional—in an interesting setting, very wooded and park-like. Feels good to celebrate the Wonder of the Word in the spread of nature. Next weekend–Anchorage, Alaska. Northside Church was quite the diverse congregation—-you listen to a classic hymn sung in an African dialect for special music. Always great to feel the breadth of praise. Sunday, October 9, I presented Likely Suspects, The Whole Bible in One Mystery at Rabbit Creek Community Church. Love that place (my second visit). It felt wonderful to connect with a great congregation—presenting a skeptical detective’s look at the cross, and his moment of truth.
Through the Bible in September
After Labor Day weekend, I was off to Kansas City, September 10, doing Wanamaker Adventist Church in Topeka, KS, then Summit Evangelical Free Church on Sunday in Alta, Iowa, and Converge One Conference for the Missouri UMC folks in Sedalia, MO. Yeah there was some driving allright—Kansas, Iowa, Missouri over one weekend. But what a great rush sharing at Summit where I felt such appreciation welling up at the book table, and it was great to do my “Show is Better Than Tell” workshop for Converge One, as well as “Chosen Garment.” Next Ohio, September 18: Akron and Canton, Hope United Methodist Church and Faith United Methodist Church—very beautiful sanctuary, classy people. The last weekend I managed to share at four churches, after flying into Austin: Waller, College Station (where my parents used to teach at Texas A&M) and San Marcos. Sunday morning, Kinney Avenue Christian Fellowship, in Austin was the bigger venue. Always a big thrill when the Whole Bible gets a standing ovation. And I peeked up at the Texas capitol dome, before heading to the airport.
Through the Bible in August
Another full month of doing “Chosen Garment”–thank God. Camarillo Community Church, August 7, proved to be a rewarding event–even on a Sunday afternoon. Then off to North Carolina, a church in Greenville, and Englewood Baptist Church at Rocky Mount, August 14. Now that’s a huge venue in which to present. Home for the weekend of August 21, after a social event on the Queen Mary, did Wesleyan Christian Fellowship in Moreno Valley. You know, even smaller churches are great at the book table. Biggest trip of the month: Georgia and Florida. Another huge venue, Wednesday night, August 24, Byne Memorial Baptist Church in Albany, GA. Thank you Pastor Matthew Nance and wife Cheryl for your gracious hospitality. They have wonderful stories about years of missionary work in Korea and China. On Saturday presented at Wimbish Road Church in Macon, GA. Then down to Tallahassee for Sunday morning at Christian Heritage Church. Oh loved the responses there, such a lively Pentecostal congregation.
Through the Bible in July
After a little holiday with my brothers—July’s pretty nice in Seattle, over in the hilly green of Auburn Church of the Nazarene, July 10. Worship Pastor Cory Daker and his wife were gracious hosts. Then I was home in LA, Saturday night, July 16 at West Valley Christian Church again, this time doing “Chosen Garment.” My singles study group came—great to see them! Sunday morning at Rancho Cucamonga, presenting at North Hills Community Church—very cool art work they have on the platform. Flew to New Orleans, drove up across the swampland to Baton Rouge SDA Church, then back down to Marrero SDA Church in New Orleans, both on Saturday. Wow, the responses at Live Oak Baptist Church (Baton Rouge) on Sunday, July 24, really got me. Phrases like “absolutely fantastic” made me so thankful to be presenting the wonder of the Whole Word in this way. The last weekend I drove down to San Diego, July 31, at Pomerado Christian Church. Beautiful setting. Cleaned me out at the book table. Worship Director Rex Kennemmer and his wife started a wonderful ministry, after a family tragedy: “Community Alliance for Healthy Minds.”
Through the Bible in June
It started out with a singles workshop June 4 in LA at West Side Christian Church. Presented my Personality Spectrum test as a way to understand more about how an individual’s spectrum of traits and tendencies both reacts to and is attractive to–its opposites. Next was one of those rarer run-around-the-country weekends: Dallas First SDA Church on Saturday, June 11, First UMC of Saline (Detroit area) on Sunday, and a workshop on Monday at the Assembly of God Southern Missouri District in Springfield. In Dallas it was a pleasure to participate (with Chosen Garment) in a Celebration of the Arts weekend. In Detroit I enjoyed the classy, friendly setting. And in Springfield I loved helping people on the front lines of ministry with my Show is Better Than Tell workshop. June 18 I was closer to home, up the coast, doing Likely Suspects, The Whole Bible in One Mystery, for the communion service of a church in Arroyo Grande. Next weekend I presented at one of the friendliest churches ever: Word of Life in Memphis, TN. Wow folks, the African-American churches I’ve been at seem to have such a lively, warm spirit.
Through the Bible in May
The SAGE retreat, May 6-8, above Seattle at Port Angeles happened in quite the picturesque setting, south of Victoria island. I did “God’s Picture in You,” “Chosen Garment” and “Books into Pictures.” Wonderful to honor my mother and her act of giving—even while in a hospice. Drove up the California coast May 14 to Santa Maria SDA Church, and the gracious hospitality of Pastor Jose and Sonia Vazquez. Then it was Ohio the next weekend. Quite the trip, racing through the green hills of the midwest, Mount Vernon on Friday evening, Dueber UMC in Canton on Saturday evening, and First Presbyterian in Marion on Sunday morning. How did they create that amazing worship structure in the farmland of Marion—high, magnificent stained glass on three sides, heroic stone architecture? It was quite the setting in which to magnify the Word.
Through the Bible in April
Palisades Lutheran Church is a very classy worship center perched on the hills of Pacific Palisades that looks down over Malibu and the Pacific. Enjoyed doing “Chosen Garment” for Pastor Walter Mees and the congregation there April 3. It’s quite a unique combination of Evangelical Lutheran and Missouri Synod. Well, headed to the airport on Thursday, April 7 at 5:20 am in the dark, I did not see a wreck in the 118 freeway and rammed into an already crushed vehicle (thank God no one was in it.) Totaled my car. Front end crushed in like something already compressed in a garbage truck. And I walked away! Hard to even begin describing what it feels like to breath, have a pulse on the side of the freeway, no real injuries, just some aches and pains that would show up. I cannot thank the Lord enough. Well, what should I do? Car towed away—goodby. Maybe my brother Jerry could take me to the airport. He did. I made the flight to Nashville, but delayed in Denver. So I didn’t make the dinner theatre that night at First Baptist Church Clarksville. But did manage “Likely Suspects, The Whole Bible in One Mystery” for their dinner theater Friday night. Hard to believe you’re performing in Tennessee by the Cumberland River when you should have been plastered and gone on an LA freeway the previous day. Oh OK, maybe there was a reason I didn’t get booked the next weekend. Really needed to rest after the trauma of that violent collision caught up with me. And I did, with some physical therapy. Then had a great Easter weekend. Presenting at Paradise Valley Church in San Diego, with Pastor Will James. My story about rediscovering God’s Wonderful Plan, after your life turns upside down, definitely came from the heart: “Where’s the PLan? The Whole Bible in One Act.” Then rushed up to the church associated with Loma Linda University Medical Center. And evidently the video clips people saw managed to pretty much fill that huge sanctuary there. “Chosen Garment” in the evening. It came to a climax in the garment of the Risen Christ. And I feel risen too, out of the wreckage. Thank God.
Through the Bible in March
It started out in Wheeling, West Virginia at the Mountain Top Conference in a beautiful resort there, March 5 and 6. Anne Robinson and Joyce Watson started this yearly retreat 25 years ago and, independent of any big organizations, turned it into a spiritual impactful event in that part of the country (not far from Pittsburgh.) The next weekend I was off to Chicago and up to a town below Madison, Wisconsin and Yorkville United Methodist Church. Great to do “Chosen Garment” as part of Rev. Sue Leih’s creative (and heartfelt) ministry there (and not nearly as cold as it could have been, March 13. March 19 and 20 I presented at Littleton Adventist Church, Saturday, for Pastor Bruce Aalborg (great to see my brother Dan there, who lives in Littleton) and then drove down toward Colorado Springs and over to First Southern Baptist Church of Canon City. Very interesting to chat with Tom Killgore, who just became pastor there after a career as chaplain in the military. The last weekend in March I did Dallas. Some African-American churches gave me an extrardinary wave of affirmation. (Yea, OK, we white folk are pretty stiff in the pew.) Dallas International SDA Church had quite a few folks who’d immigrated from Africa. Destiny Church in Cedar Hill was an ethnically diverse crowd, with an awesome worship band. Their enthusiasm took me right through the sound difficulties of having to use a hand-held mike. Pastor David Smith and I resonated with each others spiritual journeys. And then up in Rowlette I did a couple of Sunday afternoon/evening presentations for First Christian Church there. Pennie Chandler did a great job of promoting it, filling the church. And Rev. Chad McMullin was gracious enough to tell me afterwards “Chosen Garment” moved him to tears.
Through the Bible in February
This was another full month (after the superbowl.) Saint Matthew Lutheran Church up in the Bay area had a wide variety of churches all studying through the Bible together, following the “Covenant and Kingdom” book. It was beautiful to see this mutual journey—and wonderful to energize it with “Chosen Garment.” Also encouraged them to make discoveries with my talk on “Look, Admire, Express.” Then it was St. Louis; actually did six different venues, February 17 through 20, starting with Missouri Baptist University and ending with Calvary Life Church in Granite City. Also was able to do a chapel at Sunnydale Academy where my parents taught back in the 50s, when I was born. Very nostalgic trip. I ended the month with LA engagements, doing Likely Suspects for a winter banquet at First Baptist in Torrance, and the service at Christ First Baptist Church in Covina Sunday morning February 27.
My daughter’s wedding. January 30. I am so thankful for this beautiful couple: Benjamin and Jennifer. God bless your union abundantly.
Through the Bible in Illinois
Fairbury First Baptist Church – January 23
Down from Chicago in the snowy farm fields, quite a large American Baptist Church appears, and Pastor Steve Anderson takes me out for a pizza buffet after I set up. Thanks for your hospitality. Did both “Chosen Garment” and “Likely Suspects” there, and cheered for the Bears between the two presentations. Also that weekend was able to present at All Nations Church in Normal, and Decatur Adventist Church.
Through the Bible Up the Coast
New Hope Christian Church – January 16
Oh it was a beautiful drive, up past Santa Barbara, stopping for a stroll on the beach before heading inland. Did two churches in Lompoc. Pastor Vazquez of Lompoc SDA Church and his family were wonderful hosts Friday evening.
Through the Bible in the Bay area
Trinity Community Church – January 9
Crossing the bridges in the San Francisco Bay is always a flighty experience; landing in the San Rafael community where I can share Chosen Garment, was somewhere I haven’t quite been. Wish I could have gone out to lunch with Pastor Nelken—had to run. Also did Fremont SDA Church this weekend. Small church with an amazing stained-glass window. Sometimes smaller groups do really great at the book table.

PRESENTATION JOURNAL 2012

Through the Bible – Summer

June began at Albuquerque Central, then up to Santa Fe and St. John’s UMC.  That is a very artsy community!  June 10 I shared at churches near Atlanta, Carver Road Baptist in Griffin, Royal Baptist in Newnan.  The latter pastor actually had brought the former pastor to Christ!  (I relaxed at a retreat near Lake Arrowhead the last weekend.

July brought me two trips to Nashville.  Northside Baptist Church in Murfreesboro, Springfield Baptist Church in Springfield.  The first a big, dynamic church.  The second a very fun pm gathering.  Visited The Hermitage, President Andrew Jackson’s mansion.  Fascinating plantation.

August started with First Lutheran Church in Pontiac, IL.  Chosen Garment was the climax of their read-through-the-Bible-in-90-days program.  And Pontiac is a key historic town on Old Route 66.  Could talk about my book: “Route 66 Revisited, The Bible as a Road Trip.”  Great pleasure to be there.  The month ended in Chicago.  I presented at Downer’s Grove SDA Church and at First Christian Church of Chicago.

Through the Bible in May

It started out with a big Oklahoma weekend.  A banquet the evening of May 3 at Emmaus Baptist Church in OKC.  Pastor Mike Booth is a wonderful man to get to know.  Saturday at Tulsa First SDA Church, where the worship people actually put together slides that wentalong with “Chosen Garment!”  Sunday morning at First UMC Claremore, where Pastor Ray Crawford led a standing ovation in three services.  That evening I shared at First Assembly in Enid.  Thank you Oklahoma—where I was a 10-year-old kid, between Mexico and Columbia!  Next weekend, May 13, I presented at Capitol West Christian Church in Jefferson City.  Great for Mother’s Day.  And the following weekend: Christ’s Church of Fountain Hills, in Phoenix.  Absolutely wonderful responses there.

Through the Bible in April

Easter weekend involved flying around.  Friday night, April 6, I presented “Likely Suspects” at Sligo Church in Takoma Park, MD, a place my parents attended after Dad got back from Guam in World War II.  Nice to give back to a church that had blessed my young-couple-Mom-and-Dad.  Then I flew to Calgary, Alberta, presented “Chosen Garment” for Easter Sunday at Royal Oak Victory Church. Wow, an absolutely electrifying, awesome audience in this packed church.  One of the best connections ever.  Loved getting to know Pastor Dave Meyers and his family afterwards at an Easter lunch.  April 21 I did “Likely Suspects” at Dallas International Church for Pastor T. Masina.  Quite the congregation with many immigrants from Africa.  Very responsive, lively people.  Final weekend in Augusta, Georgia.  Augusta First SDA Church on April 28 (nice to be able to do churches on both Saturday and Sunday.  Sunday, April 29, Crossbridge Baptist Church, very cool, contemporary congregation.  Thank you Pamela and Steve Losgar for your hospitality.  The Riverwalk in Augusta, along the Savannah River is beautiful.


Through the Bible in March

The third weekend I did in Colorado (where my brother Dan lives).  On March 17 I presented “Chosen Garment” at Elm Haven SDA Church near Loveland.  Pastor Larry Hoskins’ family knew my parents back in Illinois, when I was in college.  Sunday, March 18 I shared at Grace Church in Aurora.  Pastor Larry Hoskins and the congregation were very appreciative.   On March 25 I presented “Chosen Garment” at Fountain Valley UMC in the LA area.  Staff would tell me afterward, folks had wonderful comments.  Old-school, skeptical Detective Sammy Slade’s look at the cross made an impact.  The last weekend, March 31 I was off to my high school, Valley Grande Academy in Weslaco, Texas.  Their 75th year anniversary, alumni weekend.  The dramatic presentation “Chosen Garment” flew out over an auditorium dressed like a wedding chapel—lace and fine linen covered everything.  People were great at the book table.  Sunday, April 1, I did Church of the Living Word in Weslaco. A charismatic congregation with a great worship band.  The great, contemporary Christian music really got to me—because I remembered the old days at the academy when guitars in church were very questionable.

January and February

This year began quite differently.  I was involved in a service trip and in television production.  In the beginning of January my family and I went to Guatemala, to the town of Quetzaltenango, and taught English at a Christian elementary school for one week.  It was quite fun and rewarding to plan the classes with my brothers, and my daughter and her husband.  Then from January 14 to 23 I went down to Merida in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula to help produce a prophecy series I’d written, contrasting the popular focus on the Mayan Calendar, which apparently ends in 2012, with the solid track record of biblical prophecy.  I directed dramatic scenes depicting a young woman sacrificed to the Mayan gods on a pyramid.  You can see photos of at my facebook site: http://facebook.com/stevenraymosley

Then in February I helped my son produce a short film for the “168 Project” a Christian Film contest/festival.  People are given a Bible text, and they have 168 hours in which to create a film about it.  My son Jason wrote and directed the film.  My daughter Jenny played a waitress.  I played the part of a pastor talking with a skeptical, struggling young woman.  Great to work with my kids again.

The last weekend in February I presented Chosen Garment at First Baptist Church in Mesa, AZ, Phoenix area.  It was a great audience on a Sunday evening.  Pastor Rod and Karen Laymen were wonderful hosts.

Through the Bible in December

There was rain in Dallas the first weekend, which was a blessing to that state in such a drought.  At First Baptist Church in Irving (second visit) I presented “Likely Suspects, The Whole Bible in One Mystery” for their Christmas banquet.  Detective Sammy Slade made his journey from tough skepticism to the foot of the cross.  Executive Pastor Wayne Watkins is a great brother in Christ.  Then it was Garland Faith Communion Church—a very enthusiastic, diverse congregation.  Presenting in a relatively small church that’s packed to the seams energizes you as well.  Finally on Sunday night I shared my classic “Chosen Garment” for New Liberty Baptist Church, also in Garland.  Loved presenting in their beautiful Christmas setting.  On December 11 I shared “Where’s the Plan?  The Whole Bible in One Testimony” for Pastor Matt Soper at West Houston Church of Christ (second visit).  Pastor Soper had such warm comments about an artful presentation afterward.  But I need to practice this one more.  Flew up to Portland for a presentation December 18 at Evangelical Free Church in Yacolt, WA.  Gracious hospitality and lots of greenery and great comments at the book table.

Through the Bible in November

St. Louis began this month in a very big way. I presented “Chosen Garment” for five services at Harvester Christian Church in St. Charles. But thank God it didn’t wear me out. The enthusiasm of the congregation—I had to go back up and salute the Garment of Christ at the end during a standing ovation—kept me energized. Then it was the Loma Linda University area here in Southern California. Campus Hill Church the afternoon of November 19. Pastor Cristian Iordan had a great youth service that same day. And I did a Thanksgiving event Wednesday evening, November 23, at Capistrano Valley Church. Pastor Mark Fitter had such warm comments afterward.

Christian Speaker Steven Mosley’s Journal

Through the Bible in October

First weekend was Sacramento. Sacramento Woodside Church is traditional—in an interesting setting, very wooded and park-like. Feels good to celebrate the Wonder of the Word in the spread of nature. Next weekend–Anchorage, Alaska. Northside Church was quite the diverse congregation—-you listen to a classic hymn sung in an African dialect for special music. Always great to feel the breadth of praise. Sunday, October 9, I presented Likely Suspects, The Whole Bible in One Mystery at Rabbit Creek Community Church. Love that place (my second visit). It felt wonderful to connect with a great congregation—presenting a skeptical detective’s look at the cross, and his moment of truth.

Through the Bible in September

After Labor Day weekend, I was off to Kansas City, September 10, doing Wanamaker Adventist Church in Topeka, KS, then Summit Evangelical Free Church on Sunday in Alta, Iowa, and Converge One Conference for the Missouri UMC folks in Sedalia, MO. Yeah there was some driving allright—Kansas, Iowa, Missouri over one weekend. But what a great rush sharing at Summit where I felt such appreciation welling up at the book table, and it was great to do my “Show is Better Than Tell” workshop for Converge One, as well as “Chosen Garment.” Next Ohio, September 18: Akron and Canton, Hope United Methodist Church and Faith United Methodist Church—very beautiful sanctuary, classy people. The last weekend I managed to share at four churches, after flying into Austin: Waller, College Station (where my parents used to teach at Texas A&M) and San Marcos. Sunday morning, Kinney Avenue Christian Fellowship, in Austin was the bigger venue. Always a big thrill when the Whole Bible gets a standing ovation. And I peeked up at the Texas capitol dome, before heading to the airport.

Through the Bible in August

Another full month of doing “Chosen Garment”–thank God. Camarillo Community Church, August 7, proved to be a rewarding event–even on a Sunday afternoon. Then off to North Carolina, a church in Greenville, and Englewood Baptist Church at Rocky Mount, August 14. Now that’s a huge venue in which to present. Home for the weekend of August 21, after a social event on the Queen Mary, did Wesleyan Christian Fellowship in Moreno Valley. You know, even smaller churches are great at the book table. Biggest trip of the month: Georgia and Florida. Another huge venue, Wednesday night, August 24, Byne Memorial Baptist Church in Albany, GA. Thank you Pastor Matthew Nance and wife Cheryl for your gracious hospitality. They have wonderful stories about years of missionary work in Korea and China. On Saturday presented at Wimbish Road Church in Macon, GA. Then down to Tallahassee for Sunday morning at Christian Heritage Church. Oh loved the responses there, such a lively Pentecostal congregation.

Through the Bible in July

After a little holiday with my brothers—July’s pretty nice in Seattle, over in the hilly green of Auburn Church of the Nazarene, July 10. Worship Pastor Cory Daker and his wife were gracious hosts. Then I was home in LA, Saturday night, July 16 at West Valley Christian Church again, this time doing “Chosen Garment.” My singles study group came—great to see them! Sunday morning at Rancho Cucamonga, presenting at North Hills Community Church—very cool art work they have on the platform. Flew to New Orleans, drove up across the swampland to Baton Rouge SDA Church, then back down to Marrero SDA Church in New Orleans, both on Saturday. Wow, the responses at Live Oak Baptist Church (Baton Rouge) on Sunday, July 24, really got me. Phrases like “absolutely fantastic” made me so thankful to be presenting the wonder of the Whole Word in this way. The last weekend I drove down to San Diego, July 31, at Pomerado Christian Church. Beautiful setting. Cleaned me out at the book table. Worship Director Rex Kennemmer and his wife started a wonderful ministry, after a family tragedy: “Community Alliance for Healthy Minds.”

Through the Bible in June

It started out with a singles workshop June 4 in LA at West Side Christian Church. Presented my Personality Spectrum test as a way to understand more about how an individual’s spectrum of traits and tendencies both reacts to and is attractive to–its opposites. Next was one of those rarer run-around-the-country weekends: Dallas First SDA Church on Saturday, June 11, First UMC of Saline (Detroit area) on Sunday, and a workshop on Monday at the Assembly of God Southern Missouri District in Springfield. In Dallas it was a pleasure to participate (with Chosen Garment) in a Celebration of the Arts weekend. In Detroit I enjoyed the classy, friendly setting. And in Springfield I loved helping people on the front lines of ministry with my Show is Better Than Tell workshop. June 18 I was closer to home, up the coast, doing Likely Suspects, The Whole Bible in One Mystery, for the communion service of a church in Arroyo Grande. Next weekend I presented at one of the friendliest churches ever: Word of Life in Memphis, TN. Wow folks, the African-American churches I’ve been at seem to have such a lively, warm spirit.

Through the Bible in May

The SAGE retreat, May 6-8, above Seattle at Port Angeles happened in quite the picturesque setting, south of Victoria island. I did “God’s Picture in You,” “Chosen Garment” and “Books into Pictures.” Wonderful to honor my mother and her act of giving—even while in a hospice. Drove up the California coast May 14 to Santa Maria SDA Church, and the gracious hospitality of Pastor Jose and Sonia Vazquez. Then it was Ohio the next weekend. Quite the trip, racing through the green hills of the midwest, Mount Vernon on Friday evening, Dueber UMC in Canton on Saturday evening, and First Presbyterian in Marion on Sunday morning. How did they create that amazing worship structure in the farmland of Marion—high, magnificent stained glass on three sides, heroic stone architecture? It was quite the setting in which to magnify the Word.

Through the Bible in April

Palisades Lutheran Church is a very classy worship center perched on the hills of Pacific Palisades that looks down over Malibu and the Pacific. Enjoyed doing “Chosen Garment” for Pastor Walter Mees and the congregation there April 3. It’s quite a unique combination of Evangelical Lutheran and Missouri Synod. Well, headed to the airport on Thursday, April 7 at 5:20 am in the dark, I did not see a wreck in the 118 freeway and rammed into an already crushed vehicle (thank God no one was in it.) Totaled my car. Front end crushed in like something already compressed in a garbage truck. And I walked away! Hard to even begin describing what it feels like to breath, have a pulse on the side of the freeway, no real injuries, just some aches and pains that would show up. I cannot thank the Lord enough. Well, what should I do? Car towed away—goodby. Maybe my brother Jerry could take me to the airport. He did. I made the flight to Nashville, but delayed in Denver. So I didn’t make the dinner theatre that night at First Baptist Church Clarksville. But did manage “Likely Suspects, The Whole Bible in One Mystery” for their dinner theater Friday night. Hard to believe you’re performing in Tennessee by the Cumberland River when you should have been plastered and gone on an LA freeway the previous day. Oh OK, maybe there was a reason I didn’t get booked the next weekend. Really needed to rest after the trauma of that violent collision caught up with me. And I did, with some physical therapy. Then had a great Easter weekend. Presenting at Paradise Valley Church in San Diego, with Pastor Will James. My story about rediscovering God’s Wonderful Plan, after your life turns upside down, definitely came from the heart: “Where’s the PLan? The Whole Bible in One Act.” Then rushed up to the church associated with Loma Linda University Medical Center. And evidently the video clips people saw managed to pretty much fill that huge sanctuary there. “Chosen Garment” in the evening. It came to a climax in the garment of the Risen Christ. And I feel risen too, out of the wreckage. Thank God.

Through the Bible in March

It started out in Wheeling, West Virginia at the Mountain Top Conference in a beautiful resort there, March 5 and 6. Anne Robinson and Joyce Watson started this yearly retreat 25 years ago and, independent of any big organizations, turned it into a spiritual impactful event in that part of the country (not far from Pittsburgh.) The next weekend I was off to Chicago and up to a town below Madison, Wisconsin and Yorkville United Methodist Church. Great to do “Chosen Garment” as part of Rev. Sue Leih’s creative (and heartfelt) ministry there (and not nearly as cold as it could have been, March 13. March 19 and 20 I presented at Littleton Adventist Church, Saturday, for Pastor Bruce Aalborg (great to see my brother Dan there, who lives in Littleton) and then drove down toward Colorado Springs and over to First Southern Baptist Church of Canon City. Very interesting to chat with Tom Killgore, who just became pastor there after a career as chaplain in the military. The last weekend in March I did Dallas. Some African-American churches gave me an extrardinary wave of affirmation. (Yea, OK, we white folk are pretty stiff in the pew.) Dallas International SDA Church had quite a few folks who’d immigrated from Africa. Destiny Church in Cedar Hill was an ethnically diverse crowd, with an awesome worship band. Their enthusiasm took me right through the sound difficulties of having to use a hand-held mike. Pastor David Smith and I resonated with each others spiritual journeys. And then up in Rowlette I did a couple of Sunday afternoon/evening presentations for First Christian Church there. Pennie Chandler did a great job of promoting it, filling the church. And Rev. Chad McMullin was gracious enough to tell me afterwards “Chosen Garment” moved him to tears.

Through the Bible in February

This was another full month (after the superbowl.) Saint Matthew Lutheran Church up in the Bay area had a wide variety of churches all studying through the Bible together, following the “Covenant and Kingdom” book. It was beautiful to see this mutual journey—and wonderful to energize it with “Chosen Garment.” Also encouraged them to make discoveries with my talk on “Look, Admire, Express.” Then it was St. Louis; actually did six different venues, February 17 through 20, starting with Missouri Baptist University and ending with Calvary Life Church in Granite City. Also was able to do a chapel at Sunnydale Academy where my parents taught back in the 50s, when I was born. Very nostalgic trip. I ended the month with LA engagements, doing Likely Suspects for a winter banquet at First Baptist in Torrance, and the service at Christ First Baptist Church in Covina Sunday morning February 27.

My daughter’s wedding. January 30. I am so thankful for this beautiful couple: Benjamin and Jennifer. God bless your union abundantly.

Through the Bible in Illinois

Fairbury First Baptist Church – January 23

Down from Chicago in the snowy farm fields, quite a large American Baptist Church appears, and Pastor Steve Anderson takes me out for a pizza buffet after I set up. Thanks for your hospitality. Did both “Chosen Garment” and “Likely Suspects” there, and cheered for the Bears between the two presentations. Also that weekend was able to present at All Nations Church in Normal, and Decatur Adventist Church.

Through the Bible Up the Coast

New Hope Christian Church – January 16

Oh it was a beautiful drive, up past Santa Barbara, stopping for a stroll on the beach before heading inland. Did two churches in Lompoc. Pastor Vazquez of Lompoc SDA Church and his family were wonderful hosts Friday evening.

Through the Bible in the Bay area

Trinity Community Church – January 9

Crossing the bridges in the San Francisco Bay is always a flighty experience; landing in the San Rafael community where I can share Chosen Garment, was somewhere I haven’t quite been. Wish I could have gone out to lunch with Pastor Nelken—had to run. Also did Fremont SDA Church this weekend. Small church with an amazing stained-glass window. Sometimes smaller groups do really great at the book table.