Tuesday, January 25, 2022

The Wealthiest Man in Town

Above: Pastor David & David House Build Trip w/ Bethel Ministries International July, 2021

    Financially, my dad was never a wealthy man. Like George Bailey from ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ though, he was “the richest man in town,” relationally. Right before dad died, he donated a complete house with bunk beds and stove to a family in Guatemala through Bethel Ministries International. He knew what it was like to grow up in a single mom household and he was so excited to give a home to a single mom in Central America. He’d never want me to tell you that as it might throw off some of his “rewards in heaven,” but I’m not too worried about that anymore. Being that he’s already in heaven, he’s all set, so I freely share what he did. I also share that I have the incredible opportunity to build this house dad donated with my own hands... and so much more. 

    On April 22nd-29th a team from Calvary Chapel Sequim (and others like myself from around the country) will build 4 houses, distribute wheelchairs for over 50 people as well as food and Bibles to as many individual families as we can. 

    Each complete house including stove and bunk bed cost $3700. Each wheelchair, $170, and month+ supply of food for a family with Bible, $50. Would you consider donating one of these items or part of one of these items for the ‘Mike Piper Memorial Trip’ by clicking the link HERE or below? Total material cost for this trip will be approximately $24,905. Whatever you donate towards, I will take a picture of the person who receives it so you can see them and cherish what you gave towards. 

Donate to Mike Piper Memorial House Build Trip

3/31/22 Update - We've Raised $24,119 of our $31,130 goal. $7,011 Remains

Thursday, January 13, 2022

My Dad (Part 2)

From the moment I was born my dad was always bigger and stronger than me. I would jokingly say that I was (literally) half the man my father was... because I was. He was big bodied with a big voice, personality, and heart. I could tell if my dad was on shift at his Costco-side-hustle within feet of walking in the front entrance without seeing him. At a young age his mother would tell him “Michael, out of all the people in this building, your voice is the only one I hear. You need to quiet down.” He was larger than life and wanted to make sure everyone was enjoying themselves. He loved to tell stories and jokes - often the same ones repeatedly. He also lacked what you would call a filter, would overshare, and was honest to a fault; this reminds me of Hebrews 11:34 when it says “…whose weakness was turned to strength,” and was a lot of his rustic charm. You never had to guess how dad was feeling. He loved driving his old Lincoln Towncars (just like his dad use to drive) to California for comedy work as well as to visit friends and family. Without fail, each of the many Lincoln’s he bought were always “better” (and cheaper!) than the last with various internal/external aesthetic flaws. He was quick to throw burgers on the grill if you said you were remotely hungry and was always ready to listen to folks who were hurting. He brought introverts out of their shells and could get even the quietist people comfortably talking. He was always hospitable and generous with his time, talents and treasures. He could also say some cringy things and mostly get away with it as he was 100%, unblinkingly, genuine. He liked everyone he met. As president of DeAnza High School and voted most popular, he would often recount the names of his former (and current) friends and the fact that he was still praying for them after all these years. He wanted every person in school to know Jesus then and now. Around 1964 he accepted Jesus into his heart through Billy Graham on TV. His father wasn’t really around, so in a very real way God became the Father figure he had missed. Dad was always bigger and stronger than me until I saw him in the hospital struggling to breathe without a machine. Then came the painful realization that he would never leave that hospital room. I find myself crying at random times. I miss my larger than life dad. I know where he is now, but I also know where he isn’t, and that’s right here with us. I think it was a line from ‘Remember the Titans’ where a guy said, “Superman can’t die,” after his friend was in a nearly life ending car accident. My Superman died the other day though. I miss my dad, our bigger than life Mike Piper.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

My Dad (Part 1)

 My dad went to be with Jesus yesterday at 5:37pm after battling Covid for a few weeks. He was surrounded by family and profoundly loved by all.

On Saturday the 8th I was able to visit him in the hospital as his ordained minister. We said all we wanted to each other for an hour and it was a beautiful time. Even in this current moment of grieving I recognize that it’s a sacred gift to be able to be with a loved one when they pass. So many don’t have that opportunity and I’m thankful I was able to close my fathers eyes with my own hand Gen. 46:4. The Saturday before he passed, he asked me to talk about something else other than his health etc. He asked me what I was learning in seminary. I shared with him that what’s been gripping my heart recently is the gospel experienced by Jesus from the Father in Matthew 3. Before Jesus had begun any of his earthly ministry, overcoming temptation in the desert, healing, preaching, performing miracles and ultimately going to the cross for the sins of the world… the Father pronounced his love on the son saying, “this is my son in whom I’m well pleased.” My dad then looked at me and said, “I never told you this before, but I use to tell you as a baby, “you’re my boy in whom I’m well pleased.” I know I’m not God, but I loved you because you were mine.” For me, this was one of the most profound moments I ever had with my dad. To know you’re loved before you’ve ever done anything is huge. To live from the Heavenly Fathers love is everything. We can’t earn what’s already been pronounced over us. I’m so thankful for the loving life of my dad.