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…

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…

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…

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…

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,…

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…

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…

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.