The Art of Dying

When I first started doing ministry and chaplaincy work, I was faced with my own mortality. It didn’t take long for me to learn that death was real. My first funeral I officiated was my baptism into this new reality. I didn’t realize that the person we were honoring that day–that even their death–they were […]

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The Myth of Greatness

Scott Peck was a psychiatrist and spiritual director for many years. I’ve enjoyed his readings immensely. I periodically struggle with my vocation–my sense of calling and purpose in this world. On my best days, I have a sense that I have a gift to listen, care, and be a healing presence to others. On my […]

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Morning Meditation: 6.12.2020

Can you and I just confess that we need instruction and direction?  That we get stuck in life, need direction, or just some plain encouragement to keep doing good? My morning times are a means for me to pull myself together and “get into” God’s presence.  Sometimes there is a sense of God’s nearness and […]

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Morning Meditation 6.10.2020

Yoke of slavery.  I don’t like using that S word for obvious reasons.  Maybe a truer expression is to be controlled, oppressed.  A yoke of being controlled, manipulated, or made to do something out of threat.   In all four passages for today’s liturgical readings, there is a whiff of being controlled or manipulated to be […]

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Our God Reigns

There are numerous instances in my life where things (an event, musical piece, relationship, school paper, work situation, a basketball game) seem to be spinning of out control. Chalk it up to things like unknown variables, high emotions and tempers, fears or concerns, or multiple voices. Whatever it is, I feel like I’m spinning. Usually, […]

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Mutual Empowerment

Since the pain and hurt we feel as a nation is caused by un-wielded power, empower others. How? Here’s an example. A wealthy, white business man took a chance to empower me for a new service at his company. I provide corporate chaplaincy services to a dealer group because someone believed in me and gave […]

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Spiritual Formation: on Evasion

“Evasion is directly related to both the closeness of God’s approach to us and to our instinctive withdrawal from God‘s presence. Experiences of God as mystery evoke awe, even fear, in the face of the numinous and uncontrollable otherness of God….T.S. Elliot [says]… ‘if you’ve never run away from God, I wonder who your God […]

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Words I Hear as a Chaplain

Throughout the last few weeks, I’ve been trying my best to listen to each word, inflection, and ways employees are communicating. I’m convinced that it’s in these words and communion that something holy is happening. Yes, there is pain and loss. But there is also marks of God’s presence nearby. Just gotta look underneath the […]

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Rumors During a Crisis Repost

I’ve wondered how and why so many rumors are believed, shared, and talked about. We are “story” natured so we tend to make meaning through storytelling. These “stories” serve to express feelings and maybe even repressed anxieties we’ve had along the way. Rumors work in much the same way. We’re trying to make sense of […]

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Midday Prayers 4.29.2020

Psalm Reading: Psalm 38: 9-11, 15, 17, 18, 21, 22Silence 30 secondsGospel Reading: Matthew 3:13-17Silence 15 secondsDevotional ReadingSilence 15 secondsSelf-Examination QuestionPrayers of the PeopleOur Father PrayerBenediction Psalm 38: 9-11, 15, 17, 18, 21, 22 9 All my longings lie open before you, Lord;my sighing is not hidden from you.10 My heart pounds, my strength fails […]

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Curiosity is Essential to Survival

I wrote this piece for SquarePatch.org today. I’ve been thinking about what is essential during this pandemic and crisis. Curiosity is essential to survival.  Grazer uses the example of early life tribes that had to use the power of story to share experiences of new discoveries.  Fire. Water. Discovering that you can boil potatoes. Or […]

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The Entry to Joy

I guess if I think hard enough, looking back, I most experience joy when I’m not pretending. When I live in the reality that I am not whole or perfect, I can enter into the possibility acceptance and hope. When I play drums or have to track a song, I am most alive when I […]

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Worthiness in Crisis

As chaplains, our call (not our job) is to come alongside others and point them to bigger realities, even a transcendent one. The last three weeks have been heavy conversations of anxiety, questions, and uncertainties. Visiting an empty shop with tools sitting around and racks not being used was heavy. But it made me think […]

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Midday Prayers for 4.1.2020

Hosted by Rafee JajouPsalm Reading: Psalm 130Silence 30 secondsGospel Reading: Mark 10:13-16 Silence 30 secondsDevotional ReadingsSilence 15 seconds2 minutes of Self-Examination3 Minutes Supplication Prayers for the World Our Father Prayer Benediction

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Morning Thoughts 3.16.2020

From Walter Brueggemann’s Lenten Devotional with the sum of the gospel: *that we are caught in the snares of death; *that we have been rescued by the power of God; *that we are released to a new life of gratitude. We can be on our way with new life and new energy, and new noticing […]

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Ash Wednesday Homily

Readings Psalm 103:8-14 Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21 Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Lenten season. We receive ashes as a sign of humility (from dust we came, to dust we return). Lent is a time to remember themes like seek, call, forsake, and return. What is Lent but a reminder that God has demands on […]

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Week #5 Roundup 2020

I’m trying something new. Instead of posting stuff on Facebook that are thought provoking for me, I’m going to post them on my site so that I can reference them later. It’s one reason I post to FB. The other is to share and have some cordial dialogue. This week, I’m thinking about anger and […]

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Homilia – 1.22.2020 John 1:19-28

This gospel, and especially the first chapter of John (and especially the first 8 verses), are saying this:  Jesus Christ of Nazareth is indeed God in the flesh. God has become human so that humans might be made in the image of God.  John is not just writing, but proclaiming that the long awaited ruler […]

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Homilia 1.15.2020

The intro to this gospel can conjure up all the big, existential questions we ask ourselves: What is the meaning of life How did we get here Is there something bigger at work What or who is the source of life How did this all begin This is a book a child could read, and […]

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Longing for Revival pt2

When I was 12 years old, I started praying for my dad’s reconversion to faith. He was a minister and left the pastorate for reasons that are beyond me. Growing up in a Pentecostal church means that we pray. And when we were done praying, we prayed some more. Prayer was a desperate cry for […]

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Longing for Revival pt1

Every once in a while, I read a book that provokes, incites, and inspires. It challenges my beliefs and apathy. “Longing for Revival” is one of those books. In the first ch, author James Choung talks about his hatred for the word “revival” and shares why. I had similar feelings and experiences. Growing up in […]

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Ten Missiological Principles

Many moments of learning to be faithful lead me back to simple things like God’s desire to be near and close to humanity and creation. The God of the Bible is not one to be distant, full of vengeance, or cold-rigid-frigid. Incarnational, caring, compassionate, just. That’s the God of the Bible. Followers of Jesus are […]

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Vices To Avoid, Virtues to Adopt

In Nehemiah 9, there are two words that I’m curious about. They’re marked by a transition in the storyline, “But they…”, which signifies a turn. The writer had just recapped all the things the Lord their God had done for them. It should have translated into a life of gratitude and humility. Instead, Nehemiah says […]

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Lebron James and Home Building

Home is still the primary place where we shape and form the future. It’s a great reminder for me to be (and live out) what I want my kids to become in this world (what a tall order!). And it’s also a reminder that the Church is called to be a social communal reality of […]

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Oceanside Church Planting Update

Letter Ethnos Network Global Church Gathering 2019 To My Ethnos Network Fam: Hi!  Roy here from Oceanside, CA (San Diego North County).  I wanted to say how sad I am that I can’t be there with you this week.   Some Family Updates Recently, my mother in law had life saving surgery.  She was going into […]

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Church Memories

When I was a young kid (into my late teens), I belonged to a church community. From the ages of 10 until I was 20, I attended the same church. A predominantly Latino American church, we had three services: 830am, Sunday school, 11am, and Spanish service at 2pm. This is where I learned about Jesus, […]

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Caring for Aging Parents

As a Chaplain, I’ve visited employees’ parents and have prayed with the family as they work through health issues requiring more caregiving from the adult-children. Stability Undone Imagine that you have a way of living, set routines that allow you to connect with your immediate family, work at your own pace, and a sense of […]

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Becoming Intentionally Worthless

“they followed worthless idols and became worthless”“They lived a “nothing” life and became “nothings” 2 kings 17 (NIV, MSG) Before I exposit my deep knowledge, I’ve been trying out different ways to read the bible on a daily basis. I’m not the best at it but I’ve been trying different lectionaries. The Daily Lectionary is […]

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This Little Girl

Many times as I’m about to pray or read the bible, I’m anticipating and hoping for a life changing experience. I want the feels, the revelation insights, or the sweet moments of inspiration. I pray and read thinking that I will find a new insight that will transform my life. If you’ve been in christian […]

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Day Dreaming or Daily Depression

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about dreams and listening to others about their dreams. When Brene Brown (famous TEDx speaker and therapist researcher) speaks, it’s like God herself spoke through the prophet! In one of her books, she makes the case that when we squander our gifts and dreams, we become depressed and anxious. […]

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CCM Drumming. Lord, Help Me

The other day, I played at a worship night event and had lots of fun. I used the house kit: a Ludwig Keystone. I loved this kit. But this isn’t the point. The worship set was a mixture of some gospel (not hard core, but some), African, and CCM. In all, it was a multi-genre […]

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Faithful Beyond Shame

The voice of shame distracts. Insecurities, self doubt, and fear hijack my brain, triggering an emotional spin cycle of depression, withdrawing, and infidelity. Yes, in my hijacked state, I become unfaithful to God’s purposes, vision, and call on my life. I fantasize about other ways to live my life, trying to run away from God. […]

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A Precious Container of Enough

I’m doing this Ignatian Spirituality Daily Devotional this month. It’s been great! Today’s was especially encouraging. I was listening to it on my run through the neighborhood. A prayer I needed this morning. What I have (and offer) is enough…because it loves You! “Lord, I am a precious container of love, genuine and costly. When […]

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Progression of Desires

During my training as a spiritual director, I was fascinated with how much Ignatian spirituality was focused on exploring desires. It’s one of Jesus’ primary questions: “What do you want?” This was life changing for me because we are basically a big mess of desires! And who doesn’t care deeply about their desires, their wants! […]

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