Pastor Jeff’s Full Blog Posts
An old man, trapped on a small island of cement in the middle of 82nd avenue, crying.
I pull over and brave the current of prisoners, being swept north in their bubbles of metal and plastic……
I reach the island and its lone resident, hugging desperately to a worn and tattered 18 inch long teddy bear, weeping uncontrollably for the answer of why his mother abandoned him 75 years ago on this very spot. This island of cement had become a memorial for this once child of 8 years.
It was 1935 and it was autumn for the leaves were changing. His name is Marcus Samuel Barker. His Dad had died the year before of the Flu. “Mom had a chance at a job, but couldn’t have me with her. So she gave me $2 and a blanket, then climb on the wagon and left. I tried to follow,” he said, “but the wagon sped up and left me behind. I started walking towards the river and came to a church and went in. It was warm and quiet and I went up front to ask God why?
“While I was waiting for God to answer I fell asleep on the altar. Turned out to be a Franciscan Church and a priest found me and they kept me and so I eventually became a priest.”
Then he said,” I just retired.”
Then this sheepish grin came over his face and he whispers, “Well you never really retire….” Then with a sigh and the drying of the eyes and the blowing of the nose he says, “So each year I come here and pray and weep for my mother, even though she is long dead.”
Then together we braved the flow of traffic and I offered him a ride home. He accepts but insists on buying me a soda.
As we sit in a little dive on Foster, Marcus is staring into his glass and then says, “You’re a pastor or a priest, aren’t you?”
I smiled and said, “Guilty as charged.”
“ I knew it,” he said. “Only a priest would sit in the middle of a four lane road and listen to and old man’s story.”
Smiling I say, “Convicted as charged. But! I am not Catholic I am Celtic.”
Marcus waves his hand as though brushing off the answer. “You are a Shepherd just as I am. We both serve the King. We are brothers!”
The meeting was over and I dropped him off at the door of Our Lady of Sorrows just in time for Mass. Marcus laid his hand on my shoulder and prayed for me and then with a wink and a smile says, “See ya pastor,” and gets out and slips into the doorway of the Church.
On a side note; Marcus went home to the Lord last year.
Yesterday I was having a conversation with a brother and some how the conversation ended up on wealth and leaving and inheritance to my children. He quoted some passage and asked how I justified my self for I have no wealth that if I died today I couldn’t even afford a decent funeral. I said nothing, I just sat their staring down into my now cold coffee.
When he had finished with his…..exhortation I looked up and said, “Well, ya know, Jesus said we weren’t suppose to store up our treasures where rust and mold could get at it or where others could steal it. And nowadays we find that the banks are filled with thieves and our government is constantly trying to stick their hands into our pockets, even us who don’t have pockets.
“But seriously, my son enjoys the inheritance of my provision right now for he has embraced Christ and has passed the inheritance on to his son, my grandson, already; where as your kids have to wait for you to kick the bucket. I will say that mine are the richer and it appears my friend that I am richer than you.”
At this he shook his head and tossed me the bill and walked out and as I walked to the register Karen the waitress smiled and said, “This one is on me.”
From November, 2011
May the blessing of Light be on you
Light without and light within,
May the blessed sunlight shine on you
And warm your heart till it glows like
A great peat fire, so that the stranger
May come and warm himself at it,
And also a friend.
And may the light shine out of the two eyes of you,
Like a candle set in two windows of a house,
Bidding the wanderer to come in out of the storm.
And may the blessing of the Rain be on you
The soft sweet rain. May it fall upon your spirit
So that all the little flowers may spring up,
And shed their sweetness on the air.
And may the blessing of the Great Rains be on
You, may they beat upon your spirit
And wash it fair and clean,
And leave there many a shining pool
Where the blue of heaven shines,
And sometimes a star.
And may the blessing of the Earth be on you
The great round earth; may you ever have
A kindly greeting for them you pass
As you’re going along the roads.
May the earth be soft under you when you rest upon it,
Tired at the end of the day,
And may it rest easy over you when,
At the last, you lay out under it;
May it rest so lightly over you,
That your soul may be out from under it quickly,
And up, and off, and on its way to God.
It’s not mine, I found it somewhere -Jeff
Yesterday I was in Walmart getting cat food and litter and I went for a stroll to see how they had remodeled the store. As I came around a corner of this isle there was this little boy of about 4 or 5 years old admiring this large bin of basketballs. A moment later his mother came to him and said, “ I’m sorry honey, but we just don’t have enough money to afford a basketball. “
Not to be deterred he said, “Momma, Jesus can afford it can we pray and ask.” And so the mother stooped down with her son and prayed, and the little boy’s prayer was,”Mr. Jesus sir could you please buy me a basketball. My old one went flat. Thank you. Amen.” and the Mom whispered with a tear streaking down her cheek “Amen.” Brushing away the tear she arose and taking her son’s hand started walking away when the little boy look back and said “Good bye basketball, see you soon.”
Now there is and adage that says “God works in mysterious ways” and so as I was approaching the checkout stand there was the young mom and her son and as she was collecting her bags and walking towards the exit and she was stopped by the store security and one of the managers came up and gave the little boy his basketball.
The manager looked at the mom and said “I heard the prayer and your son saying good bye to the basketball and that he would see him soon and well,…… this is soon.”
In the book of Ephesians in the 6th chapter the Apostle Paul talks about the Armor of God. The last piece is the sword which is the Word of God. It is wielded through speech. Used correctly it can set people free and set the enemy fleeing in abject terror.
Words, in and of themselves are weapons of mass destruction or they can usher in great healings.
This afternoon I was at Walmart picking up Yvan’s prescriptions. As I walk out there is this guy at the top of his lungs railing on these two young ladies. His words were a blend of Spanish and English but the theme of his rant was that they were ugly and stupid.
So, me being me, said in a loud enough to be heard by both the women and the guy, “That’s not true.” Before he could respond, I continued and said, “Now Ladies have you ever wondered why he wears dark glasses on a cloudy day? He wears them because his eyes cannot handle the radiance of your beauty. “ Well that brought a smile to both their faces.
I then turned to him seeing a rather Crucifix dangling around his neck and said,”I see you believe in God, haven’t you ever read the book of Proverbs where God refers to Wisdom as a women and encourages us men to seek her council. You should be careful for God the Father gets rather testy when you attack her daughters. I suggest you stop yelling and start listening.”
His response was to be expected with a “Who the f- are you, some kind of priest?”
I smiled handed him a card and said, “Something like that.” This was followed by a bunch of religious apologies and promises of changing his language and going to mass tonight and tomorrow. But when I asked if he would like to pray right then and there he wanted no part of that and left.
But the two young ladies were a different story. I asked if they knew Jesus and they had heard about him a little and so I shared the gospel with them and we prayed and they received Jesus as Lord.
Now I know of a Hispanic Church in Southeast Portland and as it turns out they live close by it so I directed them to attend there. I have also contacted the Pastor and he will be looking for them.
So the Kingdom has grown by two souls and the angels are in party mode again.