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…

Proof of Love

God’s justice outguns every terrestrial court that has existed. God’s justice steamrolls every model of jurisprudence (philosophy and principles that lead courts to make the decisions). Your trial, the verdict, and your sentence has been absorbed into Jesus Christ. As Sovereign God yet man, Jesus Christ stands as your perpetual heavenly defender. He lives inside your circumstance…

Creating in the Crucible

Often we reflect upon the values we learned from our wives, husbands, fathers and mothers AFTER they leave us for their heavenly home. Perhaps we should appreciate their worth more—before they’re gone. My mom has sketched with charcoal and dabbled with oils for as long as I can remember. She still chides me about testing…

Missing

Yesterday she drove me to-and-from the airport, so that I could catch a round-trip flight to interview a wonderful couple for a book. We got up late today, and I mixed her eggs and potatoes on a plate–the way I did when she was 17. We lived in a one room studio then, and our…

Mushing Memories

At 93, pleasant memories glisten like snowflakes in my mother’s mind. Her paintings remind us of when she served up hot chocolate and mushing stories to parka-clad clients at our Mush A Dog Team theme park. Twenty years later, it’s hard to believe it was us who lived this Alaska life–with 40 howling huskies, harnesses,…

Magpies and Mercy

Some creatures mentor their offspring to be wild and malevolent. Their family is ruthless. Opportunistic. But then, that’s just the way magpies are. A sudden flash of ebony and white warns any living thing smaller than a fox that the deadly pica hudsonia (scientific name for magpies) is on the hunt. About 180,000 magpies call…

Reasons

That week in ’73 I wondered, “Will this really happen?” Carol struggled to focus on her school work at Rogue River High School, while I slammed particle board sheets through a panel saw at a cabinet shop in Grants Pass. It seemed like a dream when Carol’s mom agreed to legally emancipate her from her…

Restore the Reed, Ignite the Wick

A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice… (Isaiah 42:3). (Scriptural Context: Isaiah reveals the coming Messiah as “Servant.” God will unlock eternity and justice for the “Gentiles” (everyone who is not of Jewish descent). As a boy, if I…

Our Story My Way

One Saturday, Tom, my youngest adult son, challenged me to get away from the computer and play outside. I followed him to 4-wheeler territory that locals call the Jonesville quarry. I remembered the Fossil Canyon trail from several years before — a pretty tame 4×4 jaunt, and easy on my 63-year-old bones. After traveling for…

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…

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…