The obituaries that never get written

“It is appointed for mortals to die once, and after that the judgment.”  Hebrews 9:27 —– Nearly every day in the Arizona Republic (Arizona’s flagship newspaper), there appear between 4-6 obituaries with names of people who died but whose body has not been claimed. The obituaries say the Maricopa County Indigent Decedent services is looking […]

Ash Wednesday in the desert

Just after 6am this morning I pulled onto Thompson Peak Parkway in Scottsdale, Arizona, and headed to St. Patrick Community Church, one of 40 Catholic parishes in the diocese of Phoenix. Standing in the dark, two lines of people, all wearing masks and standing 6 feet apart, already had formed in front of 2 tables […]

Finishing well is not as easy as it sounds

“How we spend our days, is, of course, how we spend our lives” … Annie Dillard —– A few days after my dad turned 64 my mom called me from the bank where she worked. “Dad got let go,” she said. “He came into the bank a few minutes ago to tell me. His face […]

Shoot ’em up in the wild west

In the summer of 2017, my Pastor-to-Pastor Initiatives board gave me an 11-week sabbatical. Jennifer and I came to Phoenix that summer, where I studied spiritual formation at Phoenix Seminary with Dr. Ted Wueste. I made several good contacts with pastors that summer. This winter we are back out in the valley of the sun […]