16 September 2014

Joseph (Genesis 37-50)

He was favoured
he had gifts
he had dreams
he knew life
was not always
as it seems

16 August 2014

*NEW POST on MakeItMissoula.com - 'Fatuous Twaddle for a Phenomenal Friend' (Jamie Kelly)

hi, friends...

on 7 August, the city of Missoula, MT lost one of its brightest lights and biggest hearts, a gifted writer and pianist, humorist and compassionist, advocates and paracletes, Jamie Kelly.

personally, i lost one of the closest friends i've ever had.

and in the midst of the grief and sadness, loss and love, i was given the honour and privilege of co-officating Jamie's memorial service on 15 August at my former church, First Presbyterian Church of Missoula.

Make It Missoula has very graciously posted my memorial reflection for my friend, titled in honour of the regular column he wrote for the Missoulian newspaper for many years, 'Fatuous Twaddle'.

click on the title below to read the reflection:

'Fatuous Twaddle' for a Phenomenal Friend

i know Jamie's family would truly appreciate any healing thoughts, prayers and well-wishes you could offer in the ways you may feel led.

peace to you,

13 August 2014


i've used a lot of space on this blog to talk about my journey with my eldest son, Ian.

i've chosen to do this in part because the journey is a unique one on several levels, particularly given the fact that Ian has autism. And that has impacted not only his life, but my family's life and my personal life in profound and life-changing ways. (So much so that i am in the process of gradually writing a book on my journey with him over the years...hence, a lot of blogs pertaining to said journey.)

But i have two sons, both of whom i am incredibly proud, both of whom i love with my entire being.

And while at times he may get the 'shorter end of the stick' in regards to attention and exposure via this blog, Trevor Christian Marsh (or Trev...or T-Bone...or T...or Fwebbuh...or as he once instructed us to call him when he was about 5 years old, 'Fred') is his own unique, amazing, curious, creative, paradoxically and preternaturally sensitive and insightful young man.

19 May 2014

'Joyful Jim's Grand Adventure' - A Graduation Address

(Graduation Speech – School of Speech Language Pathology
San Jose State University, 16 May 2014)

His given name is Ian Christian Marsh.

He is my dear eldest son.

But early on in his unique and amazing journey, he inadvertently received another name.

When Ian was a wee lad, we bought him some little blue jeans. And we noticed that the ones that fit him the best were the 'slim' cut.

So, once we got the jeans and were heading out of the store, i simply called out to him, 'C'mon, let's go, Slim Jim.'

And a 'legend' was born.

18 April 2014

stones (israel-palestine chronicles - 2009)

it began early in the morning, ascending the Mount of Olives.
it ended late in the evening, descending to the Western 'Wailing' Wall.
in between, there were many steps and stories, silences and shouts, sights and sighs...we experienced beauty and busyness, contemplation and commerce, sanctity and sacrilegiousness, temptations and trials, glory and gluttony, tears and tumultuousness, awe and agony, love and lamentation...we were curious and cautious, fascinated and flustered, amazed and appalled, illuminated and unnerved, underfed and overwhelmed, enraptured and exhausted.
it was quite a day.
and in the midst of it all...there were stones.

08 April 2014

names (israel-palestine chronicles - 2012)

His mama named him Simon.

He didn’t like to do ‘drawerings’. But he did learn to catch fish. Enough to start his own business and become a pillar of the community.

Out in his docked boat one day on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, in Capernaum, he heard someone shout out his name. It wasn’t a voice he had heard in his neighborhood. But it came from a person he and his neighborhood had certainly heard about. The stories were astounding. The rumours spread like wildfire. The mysterious man from Nazareth had done and said things so shocking and amazing, people all over the region were fishing for the right words to describe him.

And there he stood on the rocky shoreline, yelling out to him something indecipherable. Something about following him somewhere. Something about catching something much more interesting than fish.

The man named Jesus. Not named by his mama, but supposedly by God.

Simon had a family. A home just a stone’s throw from the synagogue and the center of town. A successful business that provided for his loved ones and others. A settled and satisfying life.

And a stranger invites him to drop his life as he knew it like the nets in his hands. And follow him.

And he does.

Granted, as Simon and the ragtag bunch that also decided to heed the stranger’s call began journeying from town to town, they always somehow made their way back to Capernaum. Back to their families and homes. Back to where things were familiar. Back to where they took their first breaths of life and received their names.

But the call was always away from what was old and familiar, and towards what was new and unexpected.

05 April 2014

*NEW GUEST POST on Reyes-Chow.com :)

hi again!

my colleague and friend (and former Moderator of the Presbyterian Church USA), Bruce Reyes-Chow, recently asked this question on his blogsite: 'Why do you choose to stay in the Presbyterian Church (USA)?'

i sent in a response.

and Bruce decided to post it. :)

here it is: Why Do You Choose To Stay In The Presbyterian Church (USA)?

click on the question above to link to my response on Bruce's site.

and read some of his great writings while you're there. :)

thanks, Bruce!