Steve’s World

StoryCloud Counseling

Fifteen years ago, I was living living in Southern California and in grad school, working on a Master’s degree in Professional Counseling. I was about halfway through a 1,000 hour internship, doing individual therapy, group therapy, and teaching life skills classes at a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center in downtown San Diego. While it was certainly challenging work, I found it to be very rewarding and life-giving. When I graduated in 1999, I was planning to pursue a private counseling practice. As it turned out, the church I had been attending for almost a decade invited me to become a full-time member of its pastoral staff, and thus began my career in Christian vocational ministry. Since that time, I have done church-based pastoral ministry, university-based ministry, community mental health clinical counseling, and furthered my education through a Doctor of Ministry degree. My academic interests led me to start a PhD […]



So Long, Seattle

A little more than eight years ago, I arrived in Seattle, looking for some new adventures. And adventures I have had – some more painful than I would have imagined, and others more fulfilling and life-giving than I could have hoped for. When I arrived in Seattle, I decided that I was going to fall in love with it, which didn’t take very long at all to accomplish. My love for Seattle is also why I am sad(ish) to say that it’s time to say goodbye. Sarah and I left Seattle in September 2011 to go to London for my PhD studies. As it turned out, that was a shorter excursion than we had originally planned (which I briefly blogged about here). We returned in the Spring of 2012. But for some reasons I didn’t fully understand at the time, I didn’t plug back in to the Seattle scene. I […]



Life update . . . live from Seoul

It’s been many months since my last blog post. In over ten years of blogging, this is definitely the longest stretch between updates. Unlike other recent quiet periods on the blog, I have also been very quiet on Twitter and Facebook. As you’ll see below, it’s not as though I’ve had a boring life this year, I just haven’t been living it in a public way. There’s no way to do a thorough life update here without being unreadably boring, so I won’t even try, but here’s a quick overview: –       After moving to London in the Fall of 2011 in order to start my PhD research at King’s College London, Sarah and I made the decision to return to the Seattle area in Spring 2012. This was much sooner than we had originally planned, but our financial game plan didn’t work out as we had hoped. Sustainable employment was […]



My Bad Beliefs

When I was an undergrad at UC San Diego, I was also a full-time employee of the university. I had an extremely low stress, low responsibility swing-shift job, which gave me freedom to go to class during the day and a lot of time to get my reading and writing done at work. Faithful, young, fired-up evangelical that I was, I also used the quiet night-time hours at work for spiritual self-care. I did my Bible reading and prayer nightly, as well as books and books worth of journaling. I kept up this rhythm up long enough that every year, around my birthday, I’d go back to the previous years’ journal entries on that day. I remember these times of review as moments of red-faced embarrassment, because I would inevitably think, “Man, I can’t believe I wrote and thought and believed that stuff. I’ve come a long way since then. […]



London Update (just the basics)

After having arrived in London nearly two months ago, it’s probably time for me to post an update here. Obviously, with a move to another country and a change in vocation, there’s a lot to write about – too much, in fact, so I won’t even try. But just so folks know that we are alive and well, here’s a quick run-down of life in London. It’s not a terribly exciting post, but that’s o.k. We landed at Heathrow on September 15, loaded down with a LOT of luggage. We checked in to a hotel for our first few nights, but then got to look at, and move in to our flat. We’re living in Southeast London, near an area called Canada Water. The neighborhood we’re in is incredibly diverse – I’m pretty sure we’re in the minority as native English speakers, which we actually enjoy. Just a couple of […]



A Seattle Tribute

I sit in an apartment surrounded by boxes, along with other items that will soon be in boxes. It’s reality check time. In less than two weeks (which is six years and eight months after I arrived in the Seattle area) I will leave this city. Not forever, but for a long time. And even though I’m not necessarily leaving Seattle for good, it has left good in me. I could write in a number of different directions about the things I’ve loved and will miss about living here, but here are five: Seattle is globally aware. Many cities in the U.S. have a large mix of people groups living in them, but few are as consciously connected to issues and events around the world as Seattlites. I can have conversations about financial aid to Africa, food shortages, Burmese monks, or Bollywood stars with people at the produce market, park, […]



GPS: London

Is it really July, and I’m just now getting around to my first post of 2011? Yes and yes. I, like many other formerly regular bloggers, have tried to kick start some motivation to become more frequent and consistent in posting, but it hasn’t seemed to happen. The last time I posted, it was to talk about some big changes – primarily, my marriage to Sarah. That took place a little over six months ago, and I’m very grateful. Meeting her was unexpected, as was everything that followed. It’s been a gift and a joy to be with her. And now our life together is taking another somewhat unexpected turn . . . Ever since I finished my work on a Doctor of Ministry degree through George Fox Seminary in the Spring of 2009, I’ve been kicking around the thought of doing PhD work. As a part of my big […]



Major Life Update

Sometimes things in life take you by surprise. All of us, at some point, encounter moments, weeks, or years of change so unexpected that life just cannot go on the way it had been. Often these seasons of life are painful but lead to new ways of being, feeling, and thinking. When we remain open to the process and tune in to how God may be working in the messiness of our lives, we sometimes discover that we have arrived a little bit farther down the road at a deeper place of gratitude, truthfulness, and new life. Anyone who has known me even casually over the past year or two knows that I’ve had my share of that kind of change. Some of it, I’ve chosen to talk/write about in a very public way – on this blog, as well as Facebook and Twitter. Much of it has been kept […]



Turning 40: Impact

As I mentioned in my Birthday For a Cause post last week, I turned 40 recently. This, along with multiple other factors going on in my life right now, has me introspective. I do believe I’ve got a couple posts in me on this topic, hopefully relatively quick hit kinds of items. For starters, though, I’ve been thinking about the kinds of impact I’ve had on my world in my 40 years of living. In some ways, I can look back and be proud of some of the things I’ve been a part of. But I ran across a few names of people who died at the age of 39, and my resume is pretty slim by comparison. I am now older than the following men at the time of their deaths. Che Guevara – controversial figure, to be sure . . . but someone who had enormous impact during […]



My Birthday for a Cause

Those of you who follow me around on Facebook or Twitter probably know this already, but today is my birthday.  A milestone birthday, I suppose – I’m 40.  This has me reflective in some ways, and I may do some posting on what I’ve been thinking about.  But first, I wanted to do something I find important. Last fall, a pastor friend of mine here in Seattle, launched a non-profit organization with his family, called One Day’s Wages.  You may have heard of it through their Facebook group, or by seeing stories about them in the media.  It’s a pretty cool story about regular people committing themselves to doing something personally about helping end extreme global poverty. I love the concept – simple and elegant.  Every year, on your birthday, they encourage you to donate your earnings to a poverty-related cause.  Additionally, they’re just now rolling out a great new […]