Please read Psalm 139

Reflecting on our theme for Lent, “Quenched”, and the focus on “God moments” in our lives, many have come to mind. But as I continued to contemplate this theme, I became aware that, for me, there is more to it. I realize that those moments only stand out because of my heightened awareness.  I was tuned into the present moment and open to the presence of God.

As I look back over this pandemic year, I am offered something precious and important. The “God moments” have blurred as life has become both simpler and more difficult. If I believe that God is present here and everywhere in this moment and all moments, then every moment has the potential to be a “God moment”. It all depends on my presence, level of awareness and how I interpret what is happening. As a spiritual director, I often ask the person with whom I sit the question, (and have been asked many times by my spiritual director!) “Where is God in this?” and then begins a deeper exploration.



Luke 9:28-29

Now about eight days after these sayings Jesus took with him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray.  And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white.

There are many references of mountains in the Old Testament as places of refuge or places to flee when things get rough.  Mountains are also places where God meets and speaks to his people.  Mountains are holy places full of mystery, quiet, and peace.  That is what I needed in December of 2015.  I was in the midst of a painful divorce. I was feeling deeply wounded and trying to rediscover the person I seemed to have lost during a troubled marriage.  I packed up my car and headed north to Sequoia National Park.  I knew the journey up the mountain would not be easy.  It took resilience, courage and nerves of steel. 



The Voice of an Angel

By Christina Hobkirk

“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1Cor. 6-7

   It’s been several decades ago now, but much too memorable to forget. Carl and I brought our four children to their Grandmother’s for a swim in her pool. We always loved playing in her pool and spending time with her.

   Erin was about two years old and Katey was five. I took them both out of the pool for a warm bath. Carrying Erin in my arms, I used my foot to open mom’s screen door. Others were in the pool, so I didn’t close the door, knowing they’d be coming soon. I stayed with Katey and Erin while they played in the tub.

Taking Erin out first, I dried and clothed her. Katey wanted to show me her bubble beard she made on her face, while Erin walked out.

   Suddenly, a voice came to me. I did not recognize the voice or whether in was a male or female. It was just a voice with an urgent sound. It only said one word, “DOOR!”.  That one word was enough for me to run to the sliding door, which was still open. Everyone had left the pool and gone to the kitchen, but they didn’t close that door on this warm summer day. As I ran through the open door, I saw Erin standing at the edge of the pool. When I grabbed her, I felt her body was ready to jump in the water. I held her tightly and with tears of appreciation I prayed.

   God sends angels to us in so many ways. We only need to listen and look around us to find them. His love, “always protects”. 

2-23-21 REV. LORA EAST

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

I really wasn’t convinced that parish ministry was for me. I was in my mid-20s and working at a synagogue in Evanston, IL as the Assistant to the Rabbis and Cantor, and my eyes were opened to the complicated inner workings of houses of worship. In fact, I hadn’t been going to church, either, because going to church felt too much like work. I still don’t know how Mo Ranch had my email address (I don’t recall ever receiving an email from them before) but I received an email from the place in central Texas where I grew up going to summer camp inviting me to the first annual young adult weekend retreat. It happened to fall over Yom Kippur weekend, and I had the holidays off, so I decided to travel to Texas for a long weekend to attend the retreat and visit family. It was my first time back to Mo Ranch since I was 19, and it was hands down one of the most formative places for my faith since early childhood. I was thrilled to return to this hallowed ground. Over the course of the weekend, I met young pastors and others in seminary, as well as reconnected with people I’d grown up with at summer camp. It was a magical weekend. When I made it home to Chicago, I decided it was high time for me to get back to church. I googled “Presbyterian churches + 60657” and found what was to instantly become my new church home at Lake View Presbyterian Church. It was there that I pursued my call to ministry and eventually moved to the Bay Area to attend San Francisco Theological Seminary. When I think back to a moment that changed the trajectory of my life, to a “God Moment,” I can definitely point to receiving that email from Mo Ranch. I had no idea what doors it would lead me through, but I’m so incredibly grateful to God for putting the opportunities before me.

Dear God, please keep my eyes open to the doors you are opening for me, and keep my heart and mind open to receiving and following the nudging of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


My idea was born in the early 90’s, to create a Foundation that would help inner-city girls have scholarships to college. The idea grew and I found many people to donate to the Fund. The Fund was managed by a larger charity that was serving these kids. Each year I was able to double the donations. I truly felt God was pushing me to achieve that goal each year because, each year, sometimes even on December 31st, a donation would come in that was the last piece to that goal. I truly felt the presence of God in this endeavor. Hundreds of scholarships were awarded to hard working and challenged young women. The obstacles that these young girls faced to achieve their dream of higher education were sometimes horrific and seemingly insurmountable. But they reached for the stars and grabbed on. Each year when the scholarships were handed out, the recipients spoke about the obstacles they had faced to their achievement and it felt like I was meeting real-life heroines. It was a joy and a passion of mine for almost three decades.


2-20-21 JIM VARGA

Psalm 92:1 A Song of Praise.  

   How good it is to give thanks to you Lord and sing in your Honor ……(92:4) because of what you have done I sing for Joy

One of the most moving parts of worship for me prior to Covid was singing along with all of our BPC community in the sanctuary at 8 am.  I so miss not gathering but thanks to our amazing worship team I get to sing along at home and that has to be enough for now. I am so grateful  and quenched .  I can not wait till we raise the roof off the sanctuary with our voices lifted up to the heavens.

“I heard there was a secret chord that David played and it pleased the LORD..”

                       from Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen ( and by the way Glen has educated me that there really is a “secret chord”)