I have been attending West Hills for something like eight years now. During my early years here, I remember that one or more of Mike’s messages involved Jesus appearing in the form of a stranger at the door, speaking directly. I have also heard others stand up to give First Word or messages where they have clearly heard the voice of God speaking to them. The Bible is full of stories of God appearing or... [more]
Our Collective Journal
April 2015/ June 2015
"I have often felt a motion of love to leave some hints
in writing of my experience of the goodness of God."
When has the Light called
you to wait or be still?
J. Doyle Penrose, Presence in the Midst
When I was about 4 years old, my mother bent down until she was level with my little face, pointed a red-nailed finger at me and asked, “Why did you do that?!” I vividly remember my shock. This was my first inkling that other people knew why they did things. Apparently, some could even put their motivations into words! I had come into the world an impulsive little person who raced through life on a... [more]
Why do Quakers want to remove us from the Yearly Meeting?
My wife Pat and I have been part of Northwest Yearly Meeting for a combined total of nearly 140 years. Pat has served on several yearly meeting boards, including the Ministry Committee, where she was Clerk.
I served for 23 years on the George Fox College Board of Trustees and many years with Friends Fund. At Reedwood Friends, I negotiated the land purchase and clerked the stewardship... [more]
“Slow down!” What? That didn’t make any sense, but that was the message I “heard” as I entered the on-ramp to the Houston freeway. To successfully merge into the speeding traffic you speed up, not slow down, and I could see the cars beyond were moving at a normal fast rate.
That on-ramp was an unusual one, though. It went up an incline and then dipped down before merging with the freeway, so when you started... [more]
Don’t go to sleep one night.
What you want most will come
to you then.
Warmed by a sun inside, you’ll see wonders.
I’m not very good at being quiet. Internal stillness is not a natural state for me. To tell the truth, external stillness isn’t my strong suit either. I’m always busy doing something. I don’t like to wait, and I’m beginning to realize this does not leave me space for the quiet reflection and meditation necessary... [more]
When I was a Quaker Voluntary Service fellow serving in Atlanta, I experienced what felt like a leading to travel to Uganda. Oh man...planning a trip into a country for the express purpose of breaking their laws by assisting LGBTQ people would require a lot of support and preparation. I really did not fear consequences if this was indeed a leading, but I knew that the severity of those consequences meant that I had to be absolutely sure... [more]
I’ve spent most of my life looking to the future, dreaming, and waiting. When I was young, I waited for a better house, meeting “the right person”, and turning 18 so I could start my own life. I wanted something better than what I had. I dreamed of what my reality might look like in a far-off-distant future. I’d have a husband who loved me, children I would love deeply, and a community where I could feel... [more]
Though recognizing and honoring Gods’ leadings to wait has long challenged me, I hadn’t been able to think of a related story worth telling in “Minding the Light.” Then one morning I woke from two significant dreams.
In the first, I was playing a ball game with another person. Though the ball remained on the floor the whole time, it bounced off the walls of the small room, as in handball. One of us would roll... [more]
William Penn. N.C. Wyeth, 1933, Mural painting for Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company, Philadelphia, PA