beach-dancingI was born in Southern California and graduated from Thousand Oaks High School. I received a B.S in Ministry from Bethany Bible College in Scotts Valley, CA, and a Master’s in Ministry (Leadership) from the Graduate School at Southwestern Christian University. I moved to the Little Portion Community in Eureka Springs, AR to join the Brothers and Sisters of Charity, where for four years I was the only Assemblies of God minister who was also a monk. After leaving the Little Portion, I married Barbara in 1994.

I enjoy playing piano, photography (the family calls me Papa-razzi), and writing. But my real passion is teaching Scripture and seeing lives changed by the truth of God’s love.

I’ve written a book about my time at the Little Portion Hermitage called Taking Off My Comfortable Clothes. Many of the posts are from this book that was published in August, 2010. Other posts are from a collection of essays I call Scriptures That Bother Me: Letting the Message Shape the Messenger. Everybody has their favorite Scriptures. These are my least favorites, because the pinch and prod and remind me of how far I’ve yet to go in my decision to be a disciple of Jesus of Nazareth. I figure if I’m bothered by these Scriptures, then I’ll share my misery with you!

On September 13, 2009, I became the lead pastor at Journey Church, Independence, KS. If you are ever visiting our town, you are welcome to be our guest.

33 comments on “About

  1. Wow. Very interesting. Your posts have a very interesting angle.

    Would love for you to join the Assembly of God Blogs network! (The website it the Network ‘home’. Look along the right hand side for ‘click here for code’ on how to join this growing network.)

    (An A/G Pastor’s Wife in Indiana)

  2. Hi Jim

    You and I went to Bethany at the same time, but I can’t remember you and your face doesn’t look familiar. (I’m from Marin County, CA, and was at Bethany from 1981 – 86). Another old Bethany friend pointed me to your website yesterday. It’s quite interesting.

    I’ve been married to a lady from India since 1987, and we now live in Calcutta.

    I’m still Pentecostal, but both my wife and I now find that Catholic writers are almost the only ones who can nourish us spiritually and intellectually. My wife is a big fan of Brother David Steindl-Rast (she has most of his books); and the only theologian who is helping me make sense of my bizarre Indian life is a Jesuit scholar from Harvard Divinity School named Francis X. Clooney.

    Please write back to my email if you get a chance. And if you can attach a picture of yourself during the Bethany years, it might jog my memory.

    God bless,
    Jonathan Rice

  3. I’m going to spend some time looking through your blog (after dinner and the kids are in bed).

    Some time ago my pastor helped me realize that I “think out loud.” For me, sometimes it’s messy. But not as messy as it was.

  4. I told my wife about your comment. She said that she should get together with your wife and start a support group for wives with husbands like us!

  5. Jim,
    Hey Brother, Aimee Larson Murphy here….from looooong ago and far away!!! From reading your blog, you seem to be doing well, PTL!! It’s been a long time and I’ve thought of you often, glad to see you are an old married man…any kids?? Robie and I will be married 18 years next Monday and have 22 grandkids!!! We are blessed! Write when you get a minute…Blessings in Jesus!!

  6. Jim-

    Yet another blast from the past- TOHS. I’m not sure what possessed me to Google you, but I’m glad I did. You seem very well. I am also. Response unnecessary – assuming that you remember me. Know that I think of you often.

    Angie Robinson

  7. So I’m just curious how you deal with the things in your community that are contrary to your beliefs. I mean, there are many many Catholic teachings that conflict with Assemblies of God, so how do you reconcile that?

  8. Hello, Mr. Thornber,

    I stumbled across your blog while researching The Woman at the Well. I found your post concerning John 4:1-42 to be incredibly insightful and challenging.

    I am leading a ladies’ retreat for our church in October and this passage is my text. I am seeking God’s face (and favor) to see what he wants these women to glean from this unprecedented event in the New Testament.

    Often we are far too gullible–accepting interpretations of Scripture blindly. I, too, have swallowed others’ interpretations and have failed to follow the Bereans’ example.

    Thank you for a candid survey of a story we think we think we know and understand so well, but not perhaps as well as we thought.

    May our God continue to speak and teach through you and your blog.

    Because of his grace,


  9. Exploring Protestant Evangelical Monk and Intentional Christian Communities (Acts 4). Desire for Christians to disciple/live/serve/pray/study together. Just starting out with 3 houses on 2+ beautiful acres in inner city, high crime, low economic area of Orlando (NOT Disney World). Accepted 9 residents (needed $) before fully forming thoughts on mission. We have community gardens, bible study, discipling, tutoring, music classes, and art. Any advise for finding the right people or bringing the ones we have together.

  10. Dude,
    You’re in Kansas! If you’re ever in KCK, you ought to visit a new order that has moved in, the Community of the Lamb, from France. The support themselves by begging, and spend their time evangelizing and praying. We got Benedictines in Atchison, Too.

  11. I am an ordained Assemblies of God minister with monastic and liturgical leanings. There are others as well. I thought I pass along my blog site address in case you would be interested.

  12. Great blog, brother! I always love meeting people who are willing to ask tough questions, think outside the box and “color outside the lines” as it were.

  13. I would like to speak with you. I am currently an Anglican priest who was raised in the Assemblies of God, was an ordained minister with them for many years and departed that fold at the calling of the Lord. Also use to live on the Bethany campus, just next to the ball field – also know Mark Buntain and so much more similar to your journey. I would like to speak to you personally about Little Portion . . . and more.

  14. Wow. I knew this guy (Jim) a very long time ago in a small AOG church in Thousand Oaks California. He gave me a book called, “Fearfully and Wonderfully Made,”because of my calling to the helping professions” I still have this book and I became a Pediatric Occupational Therapist and an adjunct professor. Glad to hear that you are still following your calling and Jesus as am I. Greatings form Dallas, TX

  15. Yes, Kate. I remember you well. I also remember talking with your dad about the author Agnes Sanford. It’s good to know you pursued your dream about becoming an occupational therapist. God bless you in your work for the Lord!

  16. Hey Jim,
    Picked up your book again today and felt the need to re-read it. I love the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Don’t go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” That’s what you have done. Thanks for sharing your spiritual journey!

    Felt the need to contact you. Shoot me an email would you? Thanks John

  17. Hi Jim,
    Working on the family history for some time now and was wondering if you have any information that would help. From your picture, it looks like you’re happy and doing well. Cousin Sharon

  18. Jim and Barb, I was just messing around and happened upon this. I have also read your book and consider you two good friends. You are what you say you are and I appreciate your Christian values and faith. Still want some swing time with Barb.

  19. I just read my comment again and I am glad you clarified that is porch swing time. I listened to some of your sermons tonight. Please let me know when Barb gets home.

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