Remembering Mark Palmer Today

Mike and Palmer 2001
Palmer & I in Norwood, OH at Vineyard Central during the third Organic Church Planter’s Greenhouse Training with CMA Resources. (September 2001)

On this very day seven years ago, one of my friends and a spiritual giant, stepped into the face-to-face presence of Jesus.  Mark Palmer influenced me and many others who had the privilege of walking alongside him.

He was the only one of my friends who had a “one-word name.” Like Cher or Bono, he was just Palmer. He was tall physically, and even taller in his love of God. He walked through joy and great tragedy in his short life on our planet. The ripples of his influence are still echoing peace (or “el pida”) to many.

I’m not sure what all to say as I attempt to piece words together in Palmer’s memory.  I suppose I will never be as articulate as him, nor shall I try. Instead of dribbling over my words, I’ll just share the words left with each one who attended his memorial service:



Hopefully this is worthy remembrance. Below are some links that might shed more light on Palmer.

I’m praying today for the two loves of his life that are still making an impact on this world – Amy and Micah.



A link to the Columbus Dispatch Obituary for Palmer

A link to the Memorial Service Program

Blogpost of Palmer’s Day by Alan Creech

Words by Palmer remembered and posted by Kevin Rains

An article on “Organic Church Pioneers Remembered” by Neil Cole




Exploratory Meeting about English Learning as a Ministry Opportunity @LosAltosGrace

For several months, Phil Helfer, myself and several others have been dialoguing on the possibility of using English Learning/ESL as a cross-cultural ministry opportunity for Los Altos Grace Brethren Church and more broadly for Long Beach as well.  We had an exploratory meeting on March 25 with some folks from Los Altos Grace, Seal Beach Grace, Cecil O’Dell and Kathy from CSULB!

I’ve placed some resources from our time together here:

Notes I took from our gathering (Open/Download/Print PDF)

Worksheet created by the beloved Jay Bell that was distributed. (Online Here PDF) [via Encompass World Partners]

Audio Recording of most of our meeting together captured by Cecil O’Dell (Thanks Cecil!)  

(55 minutes 22 seconds  26MB [Right click the link and Select “Download as” to save])


Next Meeting – April 24th @ 7pm at Los Altos Grace

If you are interested in getting involved, drop me an email

Core Orientation with @EncompassWorld


core_2013_group_photoA great week with some great people! This week of core orientation for Encompass World Partners was really helpful in getting “indoctrinated”:-)

We did talk about the stuff of vision, mission and values, and we were inspired by the story of James Gribble and other Encompass missionaries. Their life stories and lessons learned were very pithy!

IMG_9252We also got to go to a different ethnic restaurant each day, and pray for that part of the world. The food was great, and Atlanta is a very diverse place! A great place for the future of being an apostolic center!

If God continues to raise up workers like the men and women I spent the week with, the building of Jesus’ Church is in good hands!

Encompass Core Orientation



Seed of the Gospel and Indigenous Christianity

“The Gospel is like a seed and you have to sow it. When you sow the seed of the Gospel in Palestine, a plant that can be called Palestinian Christianity grows. When you sow it in Rome, a plant of Roman Christianity grows. You sow the Gospel in Great Britain and you get British Christianity. The seed of the Gospel is later brought to America, and a plant grows of American Christianity. Now, when missionaries came to our lands they brought not only the seed of the gospel, but their own plant of Christianity, flower not included! So, what we have to do is to break the flower pot, take out the seed of the gospel, sow it in our own cultural soil, and let our own version of Christianity grow.”
-D. T. Niles ( from Sri Lanka)

A hero of the faith speaks about obstacles – James Gribble

This is taken directly from the journal of James Gribble:

“There is no place in all the world more needy, no place more dark than [central Africa]. It seems as if all earth and hell have united in saying ‘No’ to the carrying of the Gospel there.

Yet we know that it shall be preached there, for the ‘Great Commission’ implies it. And we find that the church will be composed of representatives from every tongue, tribe and nation (Rev. 5:9).

“So even if the obstacles that confront us tower up to heaven, we know that we will, by the grace of God, overcome them.”
– James Gribble


If you’d like to know more about James Gribble and his story, I’d recommend this video “A Grain of Wheat” by my friend Dave Guiles who masterfully tells the story.

What the church should be about…

“I simply argue that the cross should be raised at the center of the marketplace as well as on the steeple of the church. I am recovering the claim that Jesus was not crucified in a cathedral between two candles, but on a cross between two thieves; on the town’s garbage heap; at a crossroad so cosmopolitan that they had to write His title in Hebrew and Latin and Greek … at the kind of place where cynics talk smut, and thieves curse, and soldiers gamble. Because that is where He died. And that is what He died for. And that is what He died about. That is where church-men ought to be and what church-men ought to be about.”

George Macleod, founder of the Iona Community in Scotland

Missions Mobilizers meet in Wooster, Ohio by @DaronButler

My friend Daron posted a little pic and article about this important meeting I was at last week:

Daron Butler Blog: Missions Mobilizers meet in Wooster, Ohio.

Also, @JohnAWard caught me doing a little presentation:


Here’s a further list of resources which were talked about during the day: