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…

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…

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…

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…

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,…

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…

Cut It Loose

When we are at the end of our rope, sometimes we hear the old saw: “Tie a knot at the end of the rope and hold on!” while at the same time Wisdom hollers: “Let go of the rope, Dummy!” About 50 years ago, Fashion’s Shadow pranced like a parade horse, with me walking at…