Mike Kastis, my beloved (YES beloved) mechanic closed his full service gasoline station after many years. There were many reasons for his closing, but in part it was because the gas price surges of 2008 just about killed him. He had to compete with grocery stores and chain store gasoline prices, leaving him a profit margin of only a few pennies a gallon. As an independent shop, he had to pay his gasoline distributor up front for his gas purchases. When gas went above $4.00 a gallon, it became impractical to keep his tanks filled with gas.
Well, Mike is back. He’s opened a mechanic shop in our neighborhood. Just car repair, no gas sales this time. I wrote an article about Mike that was published this morning at the High Calling Blog network. Check it out if you want to see why I love this guy so much.
They say the two things you have to find when you move to a new city are a good doctor and a good mechanic. I’ve had several physicians in the twenty years that I have lived in San Antonio but only one mechanic. His name is Mike…read more
I have a special request – Let’s Help Mike! Here’s how:
You’ve probably heard of Google bombing by now. If you haven’t, it refers to the practice of a number of people linking to a certain website in order to influence Google’s ranking of that site. I have a Google bomb request to make – for a very good cause. If you have a blog or facebook site, write the phrase – Kastis Automotive Repair in San Antonio and link it to his website as I have done here. If a good number of people do this, Mike has a chance of coming up in a Google search for automotive repair in San Antonio.
Why do this? Because this is the guy that should come up in a Google search when someone moves to our town and needs a good mechanic!
In a few weeks I’ll do a test at Google and see if we’ve pulled this off.
A Bible study for mystics, cynics, pilgrims, and unbelievers. Live via streaming video at RLP. Tuesday, April 13th at 8 pm CST.
I’ve been thinking about this for a few weeks now. One of the things that people have regularly asked me to do is some kind of Bible study online. When I was a pastor I never wanted to do that. Perhaps because I did that kind of thing all the time at church. But now it feels right to me. So I’m going to give it a try.
What will this Bible study be like?
- This will not be a doctrinal study. I’m not interested in convincing people to become Christians. Nor am I interested in arguing for certain doctrinal positions about the life and death and work of Jesus.
- This will be a study of the teachings of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, which is (I believe) the definitive collection of the philosophy of Jesus of Nazareth.
- This will not be a “churchy” kind of Bible study. We will treat the Sermon on the Mount like a human document of wisdom. All reasonable questions will be welcomed.
- The Bible study itself will be about 25 minutes long, streaming live via Ustream.tv. You’ll be able to see it embedded on a page here at Real Live Preacher. There will be a chat room running on the same page as the video screen. I’ll take questions and comments for 20 or 25 minutes after the study.
Check back here for more details. There will be a signup of some kind so that I can send a reminder email to those who are interested.
Yes, there was a little boy with a red shirt on. Caleb took his picture and it was on his interview on the water blog. He had blood coming out of his ears. He was so weak he couldn’t even hold my hand. I cupped my hand and he put his hand in mine and just held it there for about 45 minutes.
I would say that image is not going to leave me anytime soon.
The following is an accurate account of an inner dialogue I had Sunday when I went to the San Antonio Quaker meeting. This piece was written for the High Calling Network.
Oh great. I’m at a Quaker meeting without a watch. How am I going to keep up with the time?
Now isn’t watching the clock exactly the kind of thing you’re trying to get away from? Just sit quietly. Not knowing how much longer there is in the service is part of the Quaker experience. Relax. Go with it.
Right. Yeah, I knew that. I’m not going to worry about the time at all. I’m going to sit here and meditate on God so that….Hey, there’s squirrel outside the window. Look at him run along that branch. Do you think the Quakers feed the squirrels so they’ll have something to watch while they’re sitting here so quietly?
Just sit still please. Try to think about God…
A friend called me yesterday and asked how the transition is going. “The Transition,” is how my friends describe what I’m going through. The change from being the pastor of a church to not being the pastor of a church.
It’s a big change for me. I spent ten years in college, seminary, and Clinical Pastoral Education, preparing myself to be a professional minister. Then twenty years being one. And now I’m not one.
Just like that.
When you spend thirty years immersed in professional Christian ministry, leaving that life is rather like experiencing an earthquake. Foundations shift and crack. Walls crumble and ceilings fall. You stumble outside, dazed and confused. What will you do now? Where will your home be? How will you live?
It has been a great privilege for me to create and maintain a blog about Edge Outreach’s work in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake. I recently interviewed Caleb Thomas, who went with Edge’s team 4 to Haiti.
Caleb, what were your first impressions when you drove into Haiti? What are the things that stand out in your mind?
The scale of the devastation. You look in any direction, as far as you see, and there is devastation. It’s not like with a tornado or something where you can see a path of destruction. It’s just as far as you can see in any direction. I got a chance to ride in a helicopter, and you REALLY see it then. The smells were intense. But it was more than just the smell of death that hits you. It’s the utter hopelessness in the faces of so many people. The looks on their faces is something I won’t forget…