Category Archives: Blogging

Les and Henrietta

ChauvenistLes was an old river rat who learned how to craft a life out of little wealth or conventional experience.

Henrietta, his wife, was a good partner because she was just as tough and creative as Les was. Sadly, Les did not treat Henrietta with the respect she was due. Like when she called up to Les while he was roofing a house, asking for some money to purchase shoes for herself. Not wanting to leave his perch, Les wadded up dollar bills and threw them down at her making her look like a bird hunting for worms. Continue reading Les and Henrietta

The Gargoyle

GargoyleA gargoyle looks down menacingly from its perch on the top of my book shelves.  It’s easy to notice in the little 11.5 by 10 feet room.

My office was larger when it lived in a church building. In those days it had room for my 2000 book library and an area large enough for a small meeting. But now my office will hold only 1000 books, a desk, and a small couch.

But that’s enough.

A friend of mine once came into my Lodi office and asked, “Why do you have those evil-looking things in your office,” gesturing toward the ever-vigilant gargoyles.  I explained that gargoyles used to be ornaments on ancient church buildings, meant to both act as a rain gutter to direct water away from the church’s walls and also to frighten away evil spirits.  But that didn’t comfort her much. Continue reading The Gargoyle

Guilt by Catastrophe

Tower-of-Siloam1People have debated the cause and purpose of suffering for centuries.  Job is the person most associated with this struggle to discover why.

The book of Job is about 4 miserable friends who visit Job to be of some comfort to him.  Instead they only add to his pain.  “Stop assuming my guilt,” he told them.  “….for I have done no wrong,” Job 6:29.

The question of suffering is never solved.  No one has ever been able to say categorically that this or that is the reason suffering occurs.  The best answers are simply a well-educated guess based on the character of God and the evil of our world. That said, I believe that suffering arises from the choices that human beings make in the exercise of their free will.
Continue reading Guilt by Catastrophe

Want a new drug?

Drug SalesmanAcross Embarcadero from the Ferry Building there is a phalanx of flea market booths staffed with people who want to tell you why their product is superior quality or designed just for you.  They sell liquor bottles smashed into small platters designed to hang on your wall or hold a messy spoon used to stir a pot.

Jewelers turn spoons into bracelets.  Little Asian women create necklaces made of stones or shells.  There’s something for every taste.  And only the brave steers his/her way through the forest of stalls. Continue reading Want a new drug?

Who & Why I Am Here

Why am I hereMonoLogue started in 2005 as a way of letting friends and family follow our new venture – a pretty simple goal.  But the thing we describe and participate in today in 2016 is decidedly different from what we described in 2005.  As the adage says, “Time and tide wait for no man.”  Merced is a different city than it was in 2005.  What was our new church in 2005 is now a church of deeper relationships, greater spiritual insights, and more well-defined commitment to Jesus.  And MonoLogue thinks differently than it did in 2005. Continue reading Who & Why I Am Here