Author Archive

Luke historian?

Gospel of Luke and Acts represent 1/4th of the whole New Testament. Luke is a historian who writes literarily, he is a theologian and he is an evangelist. GE Ladd captured the challenge posed by the expansiveness of his vision in reporting what he heard and saw. “The supernatural dimension of the Kingdom of God which has invaded history in the person of Jesus Christ Jesus creates an insoluble problem for the historian as historian, for he knows nothing of supernatural events; he can deal only with purely natural occurrences. The evidence of the supernatural is inexplicable to the historian. That is why the person of Jesus presents a continuing problem to historical scholarship, for the essential fact of his person and mission transcends historical explanation.”

Posted in Staublog in September 22, 2012 by | No Comments »


Guilty of saying things at parties and in social situations that you regret? Be ready before you head out the door. Open your door to God’s inspection, which should lead to useful introspection, before opening your mouth to others. Read More.

Posted in Thoughts in September 19, 2012 by | No Comments »

It shouldn’t surprise anybody that I am guilty of saying things at parties and in social situations that I regret. I’ve been told I’ve got a ready wit and a quick mind, but I also have a tongue that moves faster then my mind. 
The apostle James warned, “the tongue is a small part of the body, but consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.”
George MacDonald has advise for a guy like me; it may be useful to you too.
“Why is it that so often I return 
From social converse with a spirit worn, 
A lack, a disappointment—even a sting 
Of shame, as for some low, unworthy thing? 
Because I have not, careful, first of all, 
Set my door wide open, back to the wall, 
Ere I at others’ doors did knock and call.”
My takeaway? Be ready before you head out the door. Open your door to God’s inspection, which should lead to useful introspection, before opening your mouth to others.
Remember the acronym for think before you speak?
T-Is it true?
H-Is it helpful?
I-Is it inspiring?
N-Is it necessary?
K-Is it kind?

Posted in Staublog in September 19, 2012 by | 1 Comment »

ST 091712

Every man has a vocation to be someone: but he must understand clearly that, in order to fulfill his vocation, he can only be one person: himself. Thomas Merton

Posted in Thoughts in September 17, 2012 by | No Comments »

First Thoughts On the Day of My Father’s Death

First Thoughts On the Day of My Father’s Death
The day began at 5:15 with a dreaded call. “Your dad died in his sleep last night.”
And so I have lost my best supporter and friend, and by far the most interesting man I’ve ever met. Given my years in broadcasting, I’ve met a lot of interesting people.
Dad was ready to go. He was in his 90th year, which meant he was 89 and would be 90 on April 5th, 2013. He always phrased it that way, as if the 9 months in the womb counted towards his years on earth.
I was not surprised by this call. Since a hospitalization this summer he’s been fading physically and in every call he told me he was ready to let go and be with God. And so his prayer has been answered, and it seems he went peacefully, which is the way we all would want it.
AS I got in the shower at 5:20 I thought of the great repository of his mind, now inaccessible to me and others who relied on what he had stored there. He was broadly and eclectically learned. I can’t think of a subject he’d not read or thought about, and his energy was devoted to taking every thought captive and making it subject to his view that God is the author of all knowledge and deserves, maybe demands, his due.
So he was theologically alive and his mind always at work with the integrative work of finding God in every aspect of his life and thought.
Mine is a rich heritage with the combined energy, passion and entrepreneurial drives of my grandfather, the warmth, effusive, inclusive  love of my mother, and the brooding intellectual pursuit of my father, combined with his wit and an ever growing love for all people. He says he was an introvert who was dragged into human contact by my irrepressibly social mom, but I can’t remember a time when he was not actively engaged in loving and serving people.
His breadth of learning, insatiable curiosity and generous heart meant his friendships included the highly educated scholar to the rough-hewn logger in Southern Oregon. 
I don’t remember a time when he could not identify and name every bird he saw, most just by their call. His massive stamp collection was my first introduction to the many countries of the world. His library was a sprawling collection of oft read books and his classical music library second to none (He also loved Jazz…)
Just writing all this makes me cognizant of his life writ large in mine.
Men of all walks of life respected my dad, and as a younger man I could not quite understand why.  He was passionate about things most men could care less about and he was not passionate about the things most men hold dear, and yet his interests extended to everything and his love to everyone. Men saw in my Father a quiet strength and unquestioned character. He had learned how to do the things most men fail at. His love and devotion for my mom and the deeply contented marriage, his wrestling through his failures as a man and father to ultimate victory, his perseverance in faith over his doubts and questions; all these pay tribute to his greatness as a man.
When my mom died he waivered and wobbled a bit in his relationship with God. His love for her was so complete and her loss so grievous, for a while he could not find his way through to trust and hope. I remember sitting on his bed in his small room at Crista Sr. Center and saying, “dad you’ve got four kids and a bunch of grandchildren who are counting you to show us how to finish the race stong.”
And so he did.
Mention four kids and I immediately think of how being separated from our brother Timmy haunted him. Tim was born with a severe case of cerebral palsy and to this day cannot walk, talk or feed himself. He is in a wonderful nursing home in Spokane, receives great care, and visits from people who love him and loved my parents, but dad has never been able to get his head around not being there in person for Timmy. Mercifully he’s now released that unresolvable burden.
I remember my friend poet Scott Cairns saying something like, writers don’t write to tell other people what to think, writers write to figure out what they think.
These are my initial thoughts after learning of my fathers death.
I think he was the greatest of men and the pain of his loss is overwhelming me as much as the knowledge of his being with God is comforting me.
Written 7AM 09/06/12

Posted in Staublog in September 6, 2012 by | 18 Comments »


Merely having an open mind is nothing; the object of opening a mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid. G.K. Chesterton


Posted in Thoughts in August 17, 2012 by | No Comments »


Part of my weight loss, git fit program: “Restore human legs as a means of travel. Pedestrians rely on food for fuel and need no special parking facilities.” Lewis Mumford

Posted in Thoughts in August 9, 2012 by | No Comments »


Classic: “I  don’t know how to write. Which is unfortunate, as I do it for a living. Mind you, I don’t know how to live either.”   Keith Ridgway, NewYorker.

Posted in Thoughts in August 8, 2012 by | No Comments »

If Ford Made Computers or If Microsoft Made Cars

If Ford Made Computers or If Microsoft Made Cars

For those who need a good laugh today. If Ford Made Computers; If Microsoft Made Cars

 This from my crazy friend Jim Riordan.
At a recent computer expo (COMDEX), Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated, 
“If Ford had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon.” 
In response to Bill’s comments, Ford issued a press release stating: 
If Ford had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics:
1. For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash………twice a day. 
2.. Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car.
3… Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You would have to pull to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen the windows before you could continue. For some reason you would simply accept this. 
4…. Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine. 
5….. Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was reliable, five times as fast and twice as easy to drive – but would run on only five percent of the roads. 
6…… The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all be replaced by a single “This Car Has Performed An Illegal Operation” warning light. 
7……. The airbag system would ask, “Are you sure?” before deploying. 
8…….. Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key and grabbed hold of the radio antenna. 
9……… Every time a new car was introduced car buyers would have to learn how to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car. 
10………. You’d have to press the “Start” button to turn the engine off. 
PS – I’d like to add that when all else fails, you could call “customer service” in some foreign country and be instructed in some foreign language how to fix your car yourself!!!!

Posted in Staublog in August 8, 2012 by | No Comments »

How Do I Look the Part?

How Do I Look the Part?

Has politics and pastoring come down to likability (polls show people “like” candidate Obama more than Romney) and lookability? 

This piece by Diana Reese in the Washington Post caught my eye, particularly because she singled out the dress of ministers (“I’d like my minister, my doctor and yes, my politicians, to look and dress for their parts.”). Speaking for myself, I am a person and as a pastor I am not “playing a part! (Maybe I’ve lived in the West Coast and now an Island too long. FYI today I am wearing shorts and a Hawaiian shirt-its gonna be warm today!). 

Here’s what Reese said, “ When Palin took to the makeshift stage in the middle of a Missouri farm field, she was dressed more for the part of Hollywood celebrity than serious politician. it was hard for me to take Palin seriously dressed as she was. First, her shoes: Five-inch wedges. Her black capris weren’t quite skin-tight but tight enough, and her t-shirt with its Superman logo (a Steelman campaign shirt emblazoned with “Our freedom. Our fight.”) emphasized her figure. She never once removed her oversized sunglasses. I’m sorry, but I’d like my minister, my doctor and yes, my politicians, to look and dress for their parts.”

What do you think?  

Posted in Staublog in August 7, 2012 by | No Comments »