Kris and I are in Santa Barbara where I’m speaking for a generous Montecito Covenant Church (up in the foothills and near Westmont). One of my striking impressions is that this place is filled with runners and walkers. We are near the beach front and there is a long walk with a regular stream of folks on the path.
We walked out the Stearns Wharf and then way down the path and back this morning, and took in some skateboarders at the ramps — one of whom was no more than 4 and singularly adept at what will undoubtedly become a lifelong passion.

Our first order of the day, after our constitutional walk, was to see the Mission of Santa Barbara. Up State Street, right on Mission and up to the fortress-like mission center that got its act rolling late in the 18th Century. Hard to describe, but it was easy in our tour through the place to imagine our way back into the early days of rigorous, simple priestly discipline and routine catechism and pastoral care. The chapel was made more splendid by the playing of John Michael Talbot.
We made our way into the business/restaurant district for dinner time. People here are very friendly. And, by the way, when it comes to dress: my socks and sandals fit into what can only be called “wear whatever you want and no one cares.” No one did; so I will keep with my style, thank you. If the young girls can wear Uggs with shorts, I can wear socks and sandals. Matter over.
Oprah is supposed to be there this Sunday at a book signing at Border’s, but we’ll be busy at that time doing what we were asked to do. Oprah must have followed us from Chicago, but we didn’t see her on our little flight from LA up to SB on that little prop plane. Ha ha.
Notably, while watching a group of about 15 young boys playing drums (of a sort) we heard a disturbance of a man who was himself obviously disturbed. Well, we followed him through Barnes and Noble and then out the back while he yelled obscenities and routinely chanted “God of eternity, if it be thy well-pleasing, in Jesus’ name. Amen.” Eventually the police had to calm him down and then he was taken away for some help.
A highlight for us was the walking path near the beach: there is about a mile long, 40 feet wide, growth of a waxy, thick leaved plant that blossoms in vivid colors. Quite spectacular.

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