I retired in June 2011 after serving for 43 years as a United Methodist pastor in urban, suburban, and rural churches in Arizona, Southern California, and Southern Nevada. During that time my wife and I raised three children who have given us four wonderful grandchildren (soon to be five!). I have seen the best and worst of the church and church people. Our world has experienced revolutionary changes, but the church has failed to adapt. The most obvious result has been the institutional decline of the organized church. Another is the host of false and distorted understandings of Christians and Christianity among people in general and also among those who call themselves Christians.

I believe one major reason for the church’s decline is our failure to be “still learning”. If 87-year-old Michelangelo could say “I’m still learning”, the 2000-year-old church of Jesus Christ must learn the same humility and hungry curiosity.  Human knowledge began growing exponentially in the late ’60’s and isn’t about to stop. “Lifelong learning” is not a nice slogan for retired people with nothing to do. It’s a way of life for folks who know God isn’t done with us yet. It’s a necessary discipline for people whose head spins every morning when they awaken to another new day in our dizzily changing world. It’s a survival skill for the church and every institution caught in the “perfect storm” of change that is life in God’s world in 2012.

I dare to hope that this blog will stir up in its readers that energizing combination of humility and hungry curiosity. I welcome your contributions as we move forward.

19 Responses to “About Me”


  1. 1 Joandare March 19, 2012 at 9:42 PM

    Very interesting Mike and I’m glad to see you are having and taking the time to follow through on a dream! I really have no idea what a “blog” is but will look forward to hearing more from you about various things. Would it be OK to forward to some other people also? Interesting thought on timing and how God works sometimes…this is a particularly significant title for me right now as I’m trying to figure out the next phase of my life and am sure learning will be involved. Hmmmm, to whom do the comments we post go and what’s the funny red symbol in the corner below? I don’t want to end up on Facebook please. Hugs to you and Dianna too. Looking forward to the future.

    • 2 soulmanlv March 20, 2012 at 2:27 PM

      Thanks for your interest. “Blog” is short for “web log”. They vary from running diaries or journals to more formal writing about practically anything you can imagine. Yes, Joandare, feel free to share this with anyone you like. Comments may be seen by those who view the blog. They don’t go automatically to Facebook or anything like that. I’m not sure what red symbol you’re referring to. I’ll look again. You probably found the button in the lower right of the front page that says “Follow”. That will get you an email whenever I put up a new post–hopefully about once a week.

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  6. 8 Nikia Vandenburg February 20, 2013 at 4:21 PM

    Have you ever considered writing an ebook or guest authoring on other blogs? I have a blog based on the same subjects you discuss and would really like to have you share some stories/information. I know my audience would enjoy your work. If you are even remotely interested, feel free to send me an e-mail.

  7. 10 Ema Rily February 21, 2013 at 8:16 AM

    When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get three emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove people from that service? Thanks a lot!

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  12. 18 Daniel A Turner April 25, 2013 at 6:22 PM

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