My husband Steve and I are blessed to lead an incredibly loving congregation in Portland, OR. We are part of a worldwide fellowship with a history of deep convictions about following the scriptures and truly loving God.
I have been in the full-time ministry for decades, having passionately preached Jesus on every inhabited continent. Steve and I believe in partnership. We learned so much from planting a church in NYC with a small group of Christians and leading that church for 20 years. God blessed that church with tremendous growth, opportunities for training leaders and the ability to plant churches elsewhere, especially in Africa and in the Caribbean. In an eight-year fight with cancer, God gently laid me down and gave me time to meditate about life and death, truth and traditions. It was during that period that I had my light-bulb moments about mutuality. In a spirit of not wasting my pain and through much prayer—having outlived my diagnosed expiration date and adopting a rigorous protocol that includes taking over 200 pills a day—I am convinced more than ever that the keys to sustaining a passionate and growing relationship with God are these:
- To pray consistently for an open heart.
- To always keep learning and humbly questioning why we believe what we believe.
- To have the willingness and courage to change our minds.
- To figure out what is truth and what is the tradition that hinders us.
- To maintain our Berean fervor we learned from Acts 17:11 (NIV)
“Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”