Body Language of Christ

Body language is communication via the movements or attitudes of the body. If I tap my foot I’m showing impatience. When I kneel or raise my hands to pray, my body language expresses surrender to God. If I jiggle my leg in church my wife elbows me. This “communicates” that I’m distracting people. Some of…

If It Quacks Like a…

That raspy staccato “quacking” — like a tiny, frantic duck — isn’t one. You are being serenaded by an Alaska wood frog (Rana sylvatica). In spring, wood frog males congregate by ponds and call females to procreate. Some of these old amphibians have overwintered in harsh Alaska conditions for up to 10 years. Wood frogs…

Flight from Perversion

The Story of Roy O Written by Richard Drebert ©Good Catch Publishing The Butcher Baker is a convicted serial killer. He was also my barber. And while we talked, sometimes his eyes glazed over as he drifted in his own private universe. He had confessed to murdering at least 17 women. I was serving jail…

Wrong Path?

“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? (Luke 15:4) The shepherd will not rest UNTIL he rescues the sheep. A sheep is seldom cooperative. A sheep will “try” the path,…

Threads of Mercy

When confusion overwhelms, When financial ruin seems inevitable, When betrayal defeats us, When stress overpowers our peace, When bad memories assail us, When panic scatters our well-being, When unbelief smothers our hope, When we discover that what we “own,” owns us, When we realize the logical way is the wrong way… It’s time to scrap…

Impossible, Improbable, Impassable

Are you standing at the edge of a ruined reputation, bankruptcy, mental breakdown, illness or other unnamed trials? Are you huddling on the strand, waiting for God’s direction, unable to see a way forward? Sometimes there is no possible “way forward” yet… You cannot retreat. The Egyptians behind you are bent upon enslaving you or…

Our Living Space

Do I take time to think? To take stock of my relationship with God? THIS is a believer’s reality: 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…

Anyways

“Anyway” means: In spite of everything; without regard to drawbacks or consequences. “Anyway” is the powerful fulcrum that, with proper positioning, leverages our choices. Anyway can help us “lift” the impossible. We position negative and positive “anyways” every day. We eat it anyway, or look at it anyway, or go there anyway. The gauge blinks…

“Hey Sweetie!”

The black-capped chickadee handles Alaska’s subzero temperatures due to its ability to convert seeds to fat quickly. Their plumage acts as insulation and they can gain eight percent of their body weight every day. At night they drop their body temperature to conserve fuel needed for foraging the next day. What a memory! A chickadee…

Midnight Gardener

The Midnight Gardener arrives in February to trim back willow and alder branches encroaching on our paths. Mule ears prick toward every sound—her nostrils flare, two craters in a prodigious roman nose. Our gardener leaves a trail of cloven imprints in her lumbering wake, and her long, stiff shanks carry a gaunt frame draped with…

Being Known

As I look back in my journal, the size of two books now, I see a pattern: I think I know, but I do not “know” at all. I stare at events like a painting and distinguish primary figures while completely missing the background that makes the picture come alive. I never see the complete…

Is it spring yet? Huh? Is it? Huh?

A little blue sky and above 40 degree weather and we all get a little crazy. Easy girl. Spring is coming, in a couple months or so… After 30 years in Chugiak, Alaska (20 miles north of Anchorage), the Chinooks (warm winds) stir up longings for a new season to commence. February is our moose’s…

Believe and Breathe

Therefore I [Jesus] tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. (Mark 11:24) When we committed our bones to Jesus, he invaded our space. God replaced our Heart 1.0 with a brand new upgraded version: Heart 10.0. Our new spiritual heart is able to…

Passover Panic

Perhaps it’s time to stop searching for an answer to the question “Why?” and embrace the mystery of God’s grace instead. Jesus was 12 years old when he traveled with his parents to Jerusalem to celebrate the Jews’ liberation from slavery in Egypt. Thousands of bleating lambs and the voices of children and parents filled…

Rock n’ Roll Blessings

On the way to the hospital to visit our 18th grand-baby on January 4th, my wife and I considered how blessed we are. Not everyone would see it this way: Due to the earthquake, the building we have used as floor space for our business in Anchorage is tagged unsafe. We are scrambling to move…

From the Edge

“Gramps!” I turned to Ivan’s voice and my heart stopped beating. Ivan stood inches from a 14-foot drop at the edge of the shop roof, smiling proudly. He was four years old. I had been nailing roofing panels, my focus upon lining up edges on a chalk line. The steep pitch didn’t scare me much.…

Beware Brooding

Jesus admonished his disciples to beware the “leaven of the Pharisees”—but also considered the Herodians to be a threat to his disciples (Mark 8:15). The Herodians were fair-weather friends with the Pharisees, but set aside their differences to brainstorm ways to catch Jesus in an offense worthy of execution. The Herodians differed from the Pharisees…