Campfire Communion

After Jesus’ resurrection, he gathered his disciples around a campfire on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. They likely ate Tilapia Galilea (also known as Saint Peter’s fish), but an ugly specter haunted the disciples. Only days before, their friend had been nailed to a cross of timbers by Roman soldiers. In the glow…

Controlling Control

Control is the bully we should lose once and for all. We can’t seem to stop it, though it ruins our health and shreds precious relationships. Our need to control EVERYTHING has become our bread of life, and we meddle as if we possess sovereign foresight. Control commandeers the cable “remote” and infects our minds with…

Rest in the Roar

God had something to say to me as my newborn grandboy, Rapha, cuddled against my chest. “This is YOU, Son,” Jesus said. My soul nodded–a little grudgingly, and Rapha wrapped his tiny pink fingers around one of mine. “I know, Lord: I’m helpless without you.” I sighed. Younger Rick never would have admitted it. Sixty-three-year-old…

Hold Fast

By perseverance the snail reached the ark. (Charles Spurgeon) May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance. (II Thes. 3:5) 

Why Wait?

Because you are preparing for the PUSH. The revelation. The answer. The deliverance. You are preparing for what God decides is best for you–his son or daughter. Don’t get itchy feet, but while you wait, speak to yourself and God.   This was David’s inner conversation as he waited: “Hear my voice when I call,…

Climate Changing–Again

Here come the fall colors on the Last Frontier: Red, like rust. Red, like roses. Crimson red. Cherry red. Honey amber. Yellow-gold and bronze. Leaves cling or cartwheel everywhere. Needles and cones hold on for dear life in autumn winds. Night and morning clouds hide the mountains–until the sun shines a brief revelation: termination dust…

Her (Coffee) Cup Runneth Over

“Bring towels! I spilled some coffee…” An understatement… In the crevasses between the seats. Puddles in the cup holders. On the back seat floor too, rivulets of sweet, sticky home-made espresso. And Sweetie is nearly late to her appointment. MY MISSION: to hold the line against morning frustration—so I laugh as I swipe and dab.…

First Conversation in Heaven

What will your first conversation with a loved one be like–in heaven? “What’s on for tomorrow? Got plans?” I ask. “Not sure,” she says. “Can I see you again?” I ask. “Of course,” she says. I look down at our bare feet—feeling the smoothness of gold pavement. “We sure had a time, didn’t we?” my…

Years of Reflection

So much water over the dam for us two. Still overboard in love. For you younger-marrieds: It gets better season-by-season if you let it. You can start fresh right where you are. Commit to her. Commit to him. Don’t give up.

Marital Glee

Driving along Glenn Highway (Alaska) today I shared a wistful longing with my wife: “Sweetie, someday I want to climb that bluff and sit where the ancient hunters made their arrows, you know?” “Hmm. Yeah…” Sweetie’s forehead rests on the car window as she stares sleepily across Eklutna wetlands. Is she listening? “…that’s where they…

In the Arena

The Roman senate turned thumbs down on Nero’s egotistical request to demolish one-third of the city of Rome—but the great-grandson of Caesar Augustus wouldn’t take no for an answer. Nero wanted to build a series of palaces on sites of revered Roman monuments. Not long after the political fracas, shops lining the chariot-racing venue, Circus…

Cache of Reverence

 Wales juts into the Bering Sea like the tip of an arrowhead, pointing at Russia 55 miles to the west. Before 1918, five hundred Kingikmiut Inupiat Natives lived in Wales. It was a thriving trade center until the influenza epidemic killed over half the village.  The Kingikmiut Inupiat Eskimos (people of the bluffs) had hunted…

Breaking Through

In HIM [Jesus]……was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:4-5 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 In…

You Can Trust Her

Empathy, Sympathy, and Intercession are sisters who find fulfillment in helping others. Empathy will defend you when others bail. Empathy “feels” your pain, and knows your struggles because she has been there. Sympathy also shares your feelings. She strokes your emotions and comforts you—but if your situation gets too hot to handle, she may have…

Eternity Inside

Denali (Mount McKinley) amazes us with its visible landscape: Snow. Ice. Moraine. Rock. Wildlife. But an array of invisible life and elements are just as real. On Denali, thousands of creatures emit clouds of microscopic pheromones to communicate with their own species. Molten lava seethes beneath the mountain’s earthen crust. Wind rips through icy chasms…

Mom and Monet

Claude Monet was the driving force for Impressionist painting in the 1800s, and a master at capturing emotions in water and shadow. His rapid brush strokes apprehended color and light, with little emphasis on exactness. Monet painted the same scenes of flora as many as 200 times, his brush serving as a “time-lapse camera.” Monet’s…

Root Bear

Eustice dropped his bulldozer’s blade and squinted through drizzle where I pointed. “See it?” “Nah… Oh, wait… A-yuh!” A good-sized black bear hunkered on its haunches staring at us, motionless. Eustice flipped the bulldozer’s kill switch and twisted in his seat to get a better look. He shook his head. “Not movin’ a dite…” I…

The Shepherd Boy in Us

David’s mistakes echo throughout his 40 years as king like the hiss of a drawn sword. Adultery, murder, deception, rage, hubris… But despite all of his failings, God called David, “a man after my own heart.” (Acts 13:22) How is that possible? Learned commentators parse God’s reasons for this declaration: “David was quick to repent.”…