About this blog and me:

P1060576“Instructions for living a life:
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.”  – Mary Oliver

I’m convinced that most of us have a hard time doing any of these things.  As a result the precious of gift of life is passing through our hands, moment by moment, and we’re squandering it watching reruns, eating junk food, shopping for stuff we don’t need, or any one of countless other forms of triviality.  What if we got outside instead?  Or prayed?  Or gave ’til it hurts and we find a joy we didn’t know existed?  What if we learn the most from those who seem weak, but are actually towers of strength?  What if we jumped in the lake?

What if we paid attention; and became astonished; and told others about it?

We’d be changed: body, soul, spirit, life.

I write in order to pay attention and be astonished – believing that this is critical to becoming a whole person:  body, soul, and spirit.  Here’s hoping you’ll join me and contribute to the conversation.

I write in order to help people live well – especially those called to serve and bless others, people like leaders, pastors, parents, spouses, neighbors.

Who else am I? 

Husband for 34 years.  Dad to three amazing children.  Skier.  Climber.  Hiker.

Pastor of Bethany Community Church

Author of   The Colors of Hope (free chapter here) and o2: Breathing New Life into Faith

Teacher with Torchbearers Missionary Fellowship

25 Responses to About this blog and me:

  1. Eric Dacus says:

    Can you please enable full article on your feed? Only getting the summary makes it hard to read in a feed-reader.

  2. hi richard, i go to bethany, but we have never met. i really enjoy your blog and i have been comforted, inspired, challenged, and encouraged by your words. my husband and i are traveling all over the world, so it helps me feel connected to bethany. i am a words person, so thank you for sharing yours in sermons and your blog. i just linked to you on my own blog where i’m trying out blogging, too. hopefully your words will make it all the way to alabama where my friends and family are. grace and peace. shannon

  3. nicanor tamang says:

    Dear Pastor Richard,

    Hope you have not forgotten the Tamangs in the whirwind of blgs, twitter and facebook.
    The simple message is still valid- God loves and wants all know him, repent and come to him.
    It is wonderful to know you are still with Bethany which means commitment to the congregation and toleration of the congregation! To be pastor of one church for a long time means the people there really love you and praise God.

    Be in touch

    Nicanor Tamang

  4. Kevin says:

    Fibonacci Faith? Did you get hacked or are you just on some sort of inexplicable math kick?

    • Kevin says:

      Ah, I get it. The title change came before the explanation. But does this not somewhat infer that transformation is predictable, even rational? I don’t think I completely agree with you on that.

      On another note, I like how you refer to yourself as “The Raincitypastor,” almost like the protagonist from some long bygone radio drama.

  5. Sam B. says:

    I agree. However, I cringe when math professors emphasize how math is so beautiful.

    • Glenda says:

      Not me. I think there there is something glorious in symmetry and precision; I don’t know if I’d go so far as to call it “divine” but glorious, nonetheless.

  6. Leif says:

    Ohhh man. I thought I have been really following what you’ve been preachin’, but now? Hey,…I struggled with Math 099 and your talkin’ Fibonacci? Maybe I’m not gettin’ it?
    All things bright & beautiful brother! Keep preachin’ it!

  7. Jeff Ensroth says:

    Greetings from Michigan.
    I think you would be interested in the work of an old art teacher of mine, David Barr. http://www.davidbarrart.com/ In addition to his global conceptual pieces, his sculpture and wall reliefs are all based on the Fibonacci series. Beautiful stuff.
    Thanks for the blog. It keeps my heart and memory open to meeting with you for coffee at the Greenlake Starbucks way back when.

  8. Katie Haak says:

    Hey Richard,

    Just wanted to say THANK YOU for introducing yourself to me at church and saying hi. I have been going to Bethany for over a year now, but I am definitely a passive attender. I am a student at UW and I have many other comittments to college ministries and younglife, so I haven’t really invested wholeheartedly in Bethany.

    That being said, I just wanted you to know that your sermons are such a challenging encouragement to me. I am excited at all the ways that I have been invited to be involved at Bethany.

    Your sermon today warning agains “spiritual consumerism” was a good reminder to me to actively seek out time to be in intimacy with Jesus, as well as others who know and love him. I know this can be a conscious choice we make every day, regardless of where we are in life/work/school.

    Thank you!
    In His Love,

  9. Kristi says:

    Lovely new theme! Also… tag cloud!

  10. Ken Karg says:

    I’m a past student and now full time staff member of Capernwray Harbour on Thetis Island we met briefly last fall when you taught here. i was the guy who helped you miss the float plane on the friday afternoon you were trying to get back home.
    Just a note to say how much your ministry has been apart of the Christ transforming power in my life. I read your book at christmas and attended bethany a few months ago with a group of Capernwray students on a missions trip. Your sermon was on Romans 8 and was one of the best sermons i’ve heard in years (especially with the hockey analogies). Since then i’ve been downloading the sermon podcasts and listening to them while i work here in the maintenance department.
    Thank you so much for your faithfulness it has been a really blessing and encouragement!

  11. Deborah Ferguson says:

    Hi Richard,
    Didn’t know how else to contact you. After hearing your sermon on Aug. 15 about the beauty of Christ, I found this and thought you might be interested. Blessings!


  12. Hannah Lunstrum says:

    Hi Richard, I work with youth in Monroe Wa and I really enjoy your podcasts and blogs. Obviously you dont know who I am but I wanted to ask for your help. We are trying to make Monroe a better place for teens by starting usic programming and we need people to vote for our idea. You can see everything at http://www.refresheverything.com/letteensrock

    Please, please please at least look at it and decide of you can help pass the word from there. Thank you so much for your time and consideration! I dont usually beg people but when its something you are passionate about its funny the things you will do!


  13. mrmealor says:

    Love the site. Just found it tonight.

  14. dena dillon says:

    Hi Pastor – question re: O2. In chapter on the Intimacy Invitation (or Invasion :-)): Prayer, you say that I can find more information on your blog about the practice of “silent” prayer – “focused on silence, sitting with the conscious awareness of Christ’s presence and listening for His voice.” (p169). Perhaps it’s on your blog somewhere, but I can’t locate it. Could you please provide the link or where I can find that resource? BTW – thanks so much for your powerful, timely messages. God has indeed given you a wonderful gift and you are using it to speak to us! Thank you and thank God!

    • raincitypastor says:

      Thanks much for the encouragement and I’m happy to provide the “missing link” (and grateful we’re talking about prayer rather than evolution!). This article covers the essence of the subject well, though I’d suggest starting with five minutes or so, rather than 25! I’d also suggest that it’s possible to use longer prayers or passages of scripture, such as the 22rd Psalm or the Lord’s Prayer, matching phrasing with breathing and repeating.

      I hope this is helpful, and know that the broader American church, distracted as we are with pop stars, loud music, and glitter, desperately needs this simplicity. May you find joy in pursuing Him through this. PS – I’ve a new book coming in May, which I hope you’ll also enjoy.

  15. Brian Barnes says:

    Greetings Pastor Richard. Please consider publishing your blog on Kindle. It’s a very simple process that takes about 5 minutes to set up and then you don’t ever have to touch it again. It just picks up the feed from your normal blog and makes it available on Amazon for Kindle e-reader users. The only downside is that Amazon sets the price for the blog subscription ($.99/month), but I would gladly pay that for the convenience of receiving Fibonacci Faith on my Kindle. Here’s the link for setting up your Kindle Publishing account:

    Brian Barnes

  16. Where are you located state wise?….Need to get message out “JESUS is COMING….angel unaware*

  17. jon demeter says:


    We met last summer at Forest Home. I work with Athletes in Action. We hung out a couple times during camp, we talked about ministry and how to be a better communicator. I have a super hot wife and I made fun of those crazy shoes you wore to the pool.

    I just wanted to let you know that I just received a copy of your new book. Thank you so much for thinking of us! I can’t wait to dive into it. I’ve also been listening to you via podcast over the last year. Very encouaraging to my soul.

    I still have you on my radar for people to contact when our football team (U of Arizona) comes up to play the Huskies this fall. Thanks again for the book!

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