“Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road;
make me a fork
, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.” - Jim Elliot

Monday, May 27, 2013

In Memory of SFC Richard Henkes II

In Memory of SFC Richard Henkes II

On September 3, 2006 my dear friend, Tamara Henkes, lost her brother Rich.
On September 11, 2006 I attended my first military memorial.  On that day, Memorial Day became personal to me.

My dearest Tamara, I am so sorry for the loss of your brother Richard.  I thank God for his service to The United States of America.  I thank you and your family for the sacrifice that you have given.  I pray that God will bring you comfort and peace as you reflect on Richard's life.  I love you.

Originally Posted Monday, May 25, 2009
In Honor of Richard J. Henkes, II:
"The Forgotten Mourners"

My dear friend, Tamara Henkes,
lost her brother on Sunday, September 3rd of 2006.

Richard J. Henkes, II, died in Mosul, Iraq
serving his country with pride.

"He loved what he was doing,
and he was very, very good at what he did.
It's what he knew and believed in."

"He believed in serving his country and
doing something
that would have a positive effect.
He believed he was doing something
for the greater good."

"...Always the jokester...
But be could also be very quiet.
He was very serious about what he was doing for a living.
He was a very caring and compassionate person."

Rich was awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star.

"Rich always knew he wanted to be a soldier and believed in the mission in Iraq."

Rich grew up in Oregon and graduated from Clackamas High School in 1992 where he wrestled, ran track and was involved in band. He enlisted in the U.S. Army immediately after graduation.

Gwen Kalvelage, a friend of the Henkes family, visited this memorial in Salem, Oregon.
She granted me permission to use these photos.

Often, siblings are "the forgotten mourners."
Their grief often pushed to the side or discounted in preference to parents, spouses or children.

My small gesture... to comfort my friend,
to honor her brother... and to never forget the sacrifice made by our military.

Greater love hath no man than this,
that a man lay down his life
for his friends. John 15:13 KJV

Friday, May 24, 2013

Summer Bible Studies 2013

Summer Bible Studies 2013
Portland Christian Center
Hospitality Center
No Childcare Currently Available

Bible Study 1
June 4th-July 16th

When Godly People Do Ungodly Things: Arming Yourself in the Age of Seduction - Member Book by Beth Moore provides a personal study experience five days a week plus viewer guides for the group video sessions of this in-depth women's Bible study. In this biblical guide to authentic repentance and restoration Beth examines why devoted followers of Jesus Christ can fall into the traps of Satan.

Believers are still subject to Satan's attacks. He is determined to disrupt the lives of Christians, destroy their ministry, and steal their joy. Sadly, those who have "fallen" may not recognize the devil's schemes until they have already been caught in a snare of defeat. This six-week study is written in three parts. The first part is a warning to believers, while the second part shows women how to prepare for attacks by the Enemy. The third part is directed to those who have been snared by seduction, and compassionately points the way back to God.

Member Book (workbook) is optional.  I am selling them for $15.
No homework prior to first session.

June  4th, Introduction
June 11th, Week 1 The Warning
June 18th, Week 2 God's Permissive Will
June 25th, Week 3 The Watchman
July  2nd, Week 4 WISE UP!
July  9th, Week 5 The Way Home
July 16th, Week 6 Safe in His Embrace

Bible Study 2
July 23rd - September 3rd

No Other Gods: Confronting Our Modern-Day Idols by Kelly Minter.  Our lives revolve around our deepest needs and greatest treasures. Relationships. Family. Financial security. Private hopes and dreams. Most of our desires are healthy. Yet these longings can become passions we not only pursue, but worship. And while idol worship may seem like ancient history, we still face the modern-day equivalent, as natural needs slowly consume our hearts and minds, competing with God's rightful place in our lives.

This study offers a revealing look at the heart of a woman. We will discover what happens happens when good desires become false gods, robbing us of an intimate relationship with our heavenly father. So discover the freedom in surrender. The healing in worship. And the joy found in exchanging everyday gods for the one true God.

Member Book (workbook) is $12.95.  This study is discussion based.  No DVD.
Week 1:  Personal Pharaohs (pages 8-29) should be completed by July 23rd, so that we can discuss it at our first meeting.

July   23rd, Session 1:  Personal Pharaohs
July   30th, Session 2:  Why Idols?
August  6th, Session 3:  Lies
August 13th, Session 4:  The Problem With Idols
August 20th, Session 5:  Good Goodbyes
August 27th, Session 6:  God of Gods
Sept.   3rd, Session 7:  The Road Ahead & Session 8:  Making Room

Portland Christian Center Fall Series Gideon by Priscilla Shirer will begin on September 10th.

Monday, May 13, 2013

In The Shadow Of Terrorism: The Day After


My current view... Unfortunately our plane has been grounded due to security reasons.  Hope to make it back to Portland today.

They had taken two guys off the plane for questioning and then let them back on the plane.  They started acting suspicious so passengers got nervous.  Please keep me and anthony and christopher in your prayers.  Still waiting on plane.


Home and watching the news. Shocking to also see the United Flight that we were on this morning is National news. Two men were removed from our plane. We were almost taking off when they stopped the plane and returned to the tarmac. Federal marshals boarded the plane and removed them. Anthony was sitting beside one of them and I was right behind him. Freaky 24 hours! Grateful for your prayers!

April 16, 2013

We boarded our flight.  It was the day after the Boston Marathon Bombings.  We were leaving Boston and headed home to Portland via Chicago.  We had just been through the gauntlet of FBI agents, ticketing agents and Boston Police who had asked us if we had seen or heard anything strange just the day before.  We shared what little we knew, shuddered, and then headed to our plane.

We didn't have seats together.  Anthony had the window seat 22F and Christopher and I were sitting in 23D and 23E.  We thought once we got on the plane the person in 23F would surely switch seats with us so we could sit together as a family.  But that was not the case.  A petite woman wearing her Boston Marathon jacket refused to move.  She would want to see who would be sitting in the middle seat before she would agree to move.  I loudly huffed as she infuriatingly announced that SHE DIDN'T HAVE TO MOVE.  Which I agreed, but after what had happened the day before I thought everyone was going to be kind and gracious.  She wasn't.  And so I wasn't.  I felt the best way to spite her was for me to sit next to her.  I would be in the middle seat next to her.  Now, wasn't she glad she hadn't moved?

We had gotten settled in.  Shoved and stuffed our bags under our seats.  The other passengers were getting settled into their seats and it appeared that Anthony would have the middle seat next to him OPEN.  And so then she says SHE'D BE WILLING TO MOVE now.  I smirkingly said NO THANKS.  And that was that.

Next thing we know a few more passengers scurry on board.  One gentleman sits in the middle seat next to Anthony and the other sits in 24C.  Just catty-corner to Christopher.  Just behind him.  Within moments two Federal Marshals enter the plane.  Walk down the aisle.  Stop at Anthony's row.   And try to get the attention of the passenger that is now sitting next to Anthony.  The name they were saying belonged to the other passenger sitting in 24C.  But the Marshals asked both of the men to grab their belongings (of which they had none) and exit the plane for a few minutes.

Everyone around us is alert to what just occurred.  We are relieved they are off the plane since the Marshals felt they should be.  Settled back and waited for the doors to close.

But the doors didn't close.

Within moments one of the flight attendants walks down the aisle and stops at Anthony's row.  She quietly addresses rows 22 and 24 THE GENTLEMEN ARE COMING BACK ON THE PLANE.  PLEASE BE AWARE OF ANYTHING SUSPICIOUS AND LET US KNOW.


At that moment I knew Anthony was sooo glad that he hadn't switched seats.  He let the lady in 22D know that they could both interrogate passenger 22E.  And I knew I needed to give passenger 23F grace.  Lots of grace.  I had just been through a Sunday School class that had been teaching on not keeping offenses.  Not only for the benefit for others but for ourselves, too.  So I slowly started to thaw.

Passengers 22E and 24C returned to their seats.  We were all on super high alert.  I couldn't see anything, but could hear passengers 22E and 24C conversing loudly in Arabic.  The plane was taxi-ing to take off and the plane was quiet except for the words spoken in Arabic.


The passenger in 24F rang his call button.  Because we were literally about to take off one of the flight attendants quickly said over the intercom PLEASE RING YOUR CALL BUTTON AGAIN IF THIS IS AN EMERGENCY WE ARE ABOUT TO TAKE OFF.  And, again, came the sound BING!  A flight attendant rushed back to row 24 asked the passenger in 24F what they needed and they replied THE BATHROOM.  I expected to look back on their seat and discover a mess, but it wasn't.  As the pilot pulled back on the plane passenger 24F went to the back of the plane and DID NOT enter the bathroom but went to the galley to speak with the flight attendant.

Silence.  Well, almost silence.  Everyone was silent.  Except passenger 24C.  He was immediately on his cell phone.  And that's when I realized that I was nervous.  I was nervous and I was glad that Christopher was asleep.  And I started to pray and realize that my fear was not going to change anything.

Ultimately, the plane stayed on the tarmac for about an hour.  Multiple Federal Marshals boarded the plane and had to remove AGAIN passenger 24C from at that point the bathroom and 22E next to Anthony.  They pulled the plane up to a gate.  Had all of the passengers removed from the plane.  Searched the plane with bomb-sniffing dogs.  And then let all of the passengers back on the plane.  Except for passengers 24C and 22E, of course.  We found out later that the passenger that had rung his call button told the flight attendant in the back of the plane that he would not fly with passengers 22E and 24C.  Either they were off the plane or he was.

We reboarded the plane.  My seat mate had offered to switch seats with Anthony this time, but he said NO.  He wanted the open seat next to him.  And that was fine.  She ended up apologizing for her initial reaction saying that someone had spoken harshly to her earlier in the day and had taken it out on me.  I accepted her apology.  And then offered one of my own.  And then we had a non-eventful flight to Chicago.

As I would recount the story later, people were determined that the only reason the passengers (22E & 24C) were removed was due to PROFILING.  That the other passengers were profiling the two men speaking Arabic.  That angered me.  That wasn't true.  I blamed the flight attendant who came back initially and put the FEAR into us by asking us to report anything SUSPICIOUS.  I blamed the Federal Marshals for initially making a HUGE deal of taking the men off the plane in the first place.  And then letting them back on the plane.  But ultimately, I blame the terrorists who set off bombs at the Boston Marathon.

Not that blame is going to make a difference.  No difference.  REALLY.  It doesn't even feel good to blame.  It doesn't help me process it all. 

But telling the story does.  I think getting it out of my head.  And trying to put the pieces together.  It is happening slowly.

There's still more story to tell.

But it will wait for
another day.