Smoking Chaff of 2021

Peter was having another difficult day… At a fish fry, Jesus and he were exploring the depths of his commitment when Peter asked about the future of his young friend, John. “What about him, Lord?” Peter attempted to deflect attention away from himself, but Jesus didn’t take the bait. He responded, “If I want him…

Tsunami of Grace

In these days of uncertainty, I’ve been soaking in Romans 5:20-21 lately.——— It says: God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant. So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s…

Never Aground

            In the early 1900s, the captain of a steamship feared running aground in Alaska waters more than gale-force winds. He might brave a storm — but grounding on ice or a hidden reef not only wrecked a shipmaster’s vessel, but also his reputation.             Only 16 lighthouses had been constructed along the 47,300 miles…

Jingle for Someone

I recall the first Christmas we were on our own. I awoke early on Christmas morning, and quietly left the bedroom before my 9-year-old sister stirred. My mother, my little sis and I had been sleeping in my parents’ king-size bed, still grieving since the divorce a few weeks earlier. I pulled on my cowboy…

Run to the Roar

When an aged lion grows too weak to kill his prey, he still hunts. He crouches in the tall grass watching a gazelle graze, while the rest of his pride stalks the quarry. The gazelle bounds off, easily outdistancing the pride, while the old hunter watches. In the gazelle’s path, the feeble old lion lingers.…

In the Furnace of “Why?”

Sweating in the late afternoon, Sanhedrin agents shouldered among shopkeepers, tax collectors and fishermen in Peter’s living room. The high priest had tasked them to investigate an itinerant rabbi. His flock was calling him “The Lamb of God,” and some even dared to call the man “Messiah.”  The threat of a violent purge hovered over…

Burden of Decision

At times I have chosen a way that I believed completely right, only to discover that the information that I used for judgement was incomplete. I am learning that God uses my inadequate insight to accomplish his purposes anyway… We often think we know, based upon information snatched from the airwaves. Taken from convoluted fiber-optic…

Science in Believing

You probably have more time to reflect upon your life lately. Perhaps, you too, are feeling that everything you observe or do is stamped with the barcode: “Eternal” or “Temporary.” We sometimes forget that an eternal world exists around us. God calls this dimension the “unseen,” and, contrary to modern thought, there is science in…

Beyond Effort

Isa. 64:4: Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him. In other words, his way of deliverance will shock you. You will find no logic in it. Acting on your behalf has its origins…

Rescue from the Plague

The pandemic of 1347 called the Bubonic Plague killed up to 30 million people in Europe alone. The name “buboes” described a victim’s infected lymph glands that swelled and turned to blackish boils. The cause of the Bubonic Plague remained a mystery until 1894, when scientists discovered that fleas and rodents infected by the Yersinia…

Grand Season

As we walked, my granddaughter Edie’s song reminded me what really matters. Together we listened to the chorus of wind as it whispered to cottonwoods and birch trees, “Get dressed for winter.” It’s hard to wrestle time from the grasp of obligations — and then give it away. But those memories linger in the heart…

Flare-up

Remember when you threw that dish or punched that wall? God wasn’t shocked. In fact, even running a red light is factored into your relationship with him. You were taken by surprise by your flare-up, but God knew it would happen.   As we wonder “What in the world got into me!” – God is…

See It

For those of us who need to SEE to believe it: The Bible says: For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they [human beings] have no excuse for not knowing God.…

In the Arena

© 2020 Richard Drebert. All Rights Reserved. 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…

Chugach Mountain Stroll

We are not the “masters of our own destinies.” No amount of planning can save us from upheavals. ‘We are always heading into a storm or coming out of one” — so it’s a comfort to know that Jesus promises his followers: “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” [Matt.…

All Heart, No Halo

Peter was a brawny, self-employed seaman who spoke his mind too often. Working with his family under the oppressive Roman government had shaped his attitude toward authority. Nothing in Simon Peter’s rough-cut demeanor would have inspired a refined, educated Jew or Roman. None of Peter’s friends imagined that Peter could spearhead a world-shaking movement—yet, God…

Bird Brain

Like a frantic typist, a woodpecker can hammer a tree trunk up to 100 times per minute–and nothing in his appearance reveals what gives him that ability. The woodpecker’s skull is padded with an inner “football helmet” made of cartilage that prevents multiple concussions. After drilling a hole in a tree trunk, his retractable tongue—twice…

Outlaws for a Season

In 1964, Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon. Indeed, it is a weapon unique in history, which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it.” (Nobel Prize acceptance speech, Stockholm, Sweden) King was echoing another reformer’s convictions—whose name was Martin Luther. Like King, Martin Luther ignited powerful…

Breaking Bad — Luck

When I was a younger man, I worked in the construction trades, and our foreman, Smothers, almost daily, quoted a proverb that he lived by: “Anything that can go wrong—will…” Smothers growled his aphorism while we hammered ribs to a house’s frame. He said it tongue in cheek—but his attitude bled into every stud and…