Near Christmas Calamity

The day after Christmas, we discovered a giant spruce tree leaning toward the corner of our house. A little wind and crash! The tree would have gouged a sky light into our bedroom! To make matters more interesting: The spruce inclined within inches of a metal storage shed. The tree couldn’t be felled without flattening…

His Pic

We have no ability to “google” zoom in or zoom out as God can. We can be content that Jesus knows the landscape better than us. His choices are viewed from every possible angle. And thankfully, our mistakes are calculated into his choices, too. God owns the canvas of our lives. He determines where to…

Able

My prayer verse today: Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. [Ephesians 3:20, 21 KJV] God is able: I depend upon God…

The Broken Road: Addiction and Redemption

The Story of Chaplain Mike Ensch, Former Administrator of Chaplaincy Services for the Alaska Department of Corrections. Written by Richard Drebert (c) Good Catch Publishng Please note: I interviewed Chaplain Ensch in 2011 for a book written by several authors for Alaska Correctional Ministries called Warriors of Transformation. Mike passed away Monday, 11/11/19 and his…

The Promise

An Alaskan storm roared outside his cabin as Grandpa tucked his granddaughter into bed one evening. Thunder crashed and the child snuggled deeper beneath the covers. “Can you leave the light on, Grandpa?” she asked.           “Sure.”           “…and not turn it off ALL night?”           “Of course, sweetheart.”           Granddaughter looked thoughtful, listening to…

Lighting the Path

Charles Templeton and Billy Graham had been charismatic, soul-winning evangelists who worked together in the 1940s—before Templeton renounced his faith in Christ and became an atheist. Templeton was in his 80s when he completed his book Farewell to God, and in it he recalls a frank discussion he had with his old friend, Billy: “In…

Certainty

The Devil visited an elderly man at his kitchen table one morning. “Old Timer, do you remember the date you committed your life to God’s son, Jesus?” The man thought hard, and realized that he could not recall. “I was very young,” he said. “Then, are you certain that you will go to heaven when…

Am I “Raised?”

Forty-six years ago a ceremony and certificate told the world that my wife and I were married, but this isn’t what validates our relationship today. What enriches our oneness is KNOWING we are married. In every decision we make, every thought that passes through our heads, every moment awake or asleep (without analysis) we KNOW…

Obsess or Rest?

For followers of Christ, DUE DILIGENCE is our “conscientious effort to serve God in a given circumstance.” But what happens when we have exhausted our due diligence—when all that we CAN do has been done? When all options have been tried? When our minds feel drained of ideas? When our resources cannot deliver resolution? When…

Worth It?

Psa. 46:-1-3 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,  though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. God is an “ever present” help. He is nearer…

Heart View

An illuminating truth is found in I Samuel 16:7: …For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” A commotion interrupted Jesus while he taught in the temple courts one day. A group of religious men dragged a woman to him whom they…

Question Authority

What do you think of when you read the word “party?” I think of birthdays. I think of pin-the-tail on the donkey. Pointy hats, laughing kids and cake… But in our culture, most people associate “party” with plenty of alcohol, hooking up, or some other kind of adult activity. I had a particular intent in…

Facing Change

            A few of us are blessed with a primeval sense of abandon. We live for the satisfying shudder — bungee jumping from a bridge, or standing pat in the face of a grizzly’s false charge. Far more of us are contented to “partake” of Alaska’s perils behind a telephoto lens.              Adventurous or not,…

Wisdom or Worldly Wit

As a younger man, I never gave damaging noise a second thought when cradling a hunting rifle against my chin, or shoving particle board through a screaming panel saw. I wear hearing aids now. It’s taken me a while to adjust to hearing with the help. With practice I’m getting better at using hearing aids…

Too Many Elephants?

When an Asian ruler wished to honor a subject, he rewarded the person with a beautiful and highly-valued gift: an elephant. But if a subject displeased the king, the ruler delivered 10 elephants to the person. All of a family’s resources had to be reallocated to care for too many elephants. How many elephants are…

Casting Care

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (I Peter 5:7) Thank goodness my trout bait was half the size of a pea… I stood in a creek flinging a black gnat into an eddy, immersed in my fishing space—when a “yelp!!” splashed me awake. My eyes followed my tangled line to…

Fish On…Ice

A Norwegian fisherman named Peter Buschmann gazed into the fluorescent blue depths of the mighty Le Conte Glacier in Southeast Alaska, dreaming. In the 1880s, millions of pounds of sockeye salmon were salted and shipped to Seattle in wooden barrels. It was risky business preserving fish — ferrying them to steamships, then delivering the barrels…

Notion of Wings

I sloshed waist deep in a slow, friendly creek, inhaling forest smells and an occasional gnat. A beaver slapped its tail a few feet away, and his image faded under water before I refocused on the elk-hair caddis sinking ahead of my fly line. Perhaps it was time to refit my tippet with a woolybooger……