The Moment We Knew

We weren’t sure how to feel driving to the hospital for the ultrasound. So many things could happen.

The results from genetic testing came back weeks prior, so we had an idea what to expect. But you can never be sure.

I met Karry and the boys in the hospital parking lot. My three-year-old made a beeline in my direction, arms wide and plugged with a paci.

The pacifier was a battle. I snatched it from his lips and put it in my shirt pocket while glancing at his mother.

“I know,” she defended, “but it was an emergency.”

I scooped him up and slung him inverted.

“Ready to see your little brother?” I asked him.

Big, exaggerated nods.

“Okay, let’s go.”

The technician was conducting a level-2 ultrasound to determine exactly what was going on with the baby. It was an important moment for us.

We had already been advised about the most likely condition of our baby. But we wanted to know for certain. We needed to be sure. (Read more . . .)

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3 Radical Practices of a Christian Apologist

What happened to philosophy?

Have all the thoughts been thunk?

I guess we’re tired

Of truth now mired

In apathetic funk

I ask these questions from time to time, but I ask them more frequently after hearing men like Dr. Ravi Zacharias.

Rightfully touted as the world’s most renown living Christian apologist, his recent visit to the Anchorage area included a presentation on Apologetics in the 21st Century. Each speaking event was booked solid and bookended by standing ovations from people visibly quenched by the eloquence of his truth-laden insights.

RZIM

Dr. Zacharias and his team of apologists with Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) travel the globe preaching the Gospel, serving the community, and defending the faith. Statesmen, dignitaries, and citizens alike come bringing questions and leave with transformation.

For some reason, their ears are opened, and their hearts are softened.

What is it about this man and his team that draws people near?

Of course, Dr. Zacharias has read the Bible, believes in God, and in his Son Jesus Christ. But so have many of us. What then, sets him apart?

Could it be that he’s doing something that we are not?

3 Radical Practices

When men like Dr. Zacharias speak, the words flow from a lifetime of reflection on life’s most important questions. The answers to these question form what can be described as a worldview and seek to explain origins, meaning, morality, and destiny.

The words flow from a heart that burns for the wicked and grieves for the lost.

To be sure, Dr. Zacharias has credentials enough to satisfy the most curious of challengers. But let me suggest that his influence is about much more than formal education. Surely, a fool can rise through the ranks of academia and gain a following.

Let me suggest a more simple theory: he’s doing what the Scriptures command all of us to do. (Read more. . .)

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A Heart of Wisdom and White Sulphur Springs

The sun was setting behind Hezekiah Ridge, the peak of a small mountain on Victory Trail winding through Pennsylvania’s Allegheny country. I stood at the top looking down on the 1,000 acres of land surrounding the Heritage House at White Sulphur Springs thinking about a heart of wisdom.

 

Porcupine

Shale formations covered with green moss and a brown crust I couldn’t identify rose from the ridgeback like the plates of a stegosaurus.

This was my time to reflect, to synthesize, and to pray.

On the lower trail, I came upon a porcupine. Not yet off the path, it lay motionless. It was not sleeping. It was dead and newly so. I tried and failed to determine why. It simply died.

 

Heart of Wisdom

Two hours prior, we had concluded the Quantico / National Capitol Region Area Annual Conference hosted by Tun Tavern Fellowship, a network of current and former Marines working to support our service members following Christ. As a part of Officer Christian Fellowship’s Conference Center ministry, White Sulphur Springs is a venue for Marines, their families, and guests to enjoy a time of refreshment and fellowship.

 

The theme for the conference was taken from Psalm 90, verse 12:

“Teach us to number our days,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12).

I am always searching for mentors–men of faith with the wisdom and tools to help others face life’s most difficult challenges. When I arrived at the Jean Bonnet Tavern for an informal dinner on the first night, I found them. Across from a large brick fireplace and with ghosts of the American Revolution, I sat by candlelight with the hope of our military and of our nation.

These men of principle and faith–men who’ve served from Vietnam to Afghanistan–share a burden to help others discover a life that not only fulfills our purpose here on earth, but that also prepares us for what is beyond. (Read more. . .)

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Tarzan

  
This is not Alaska. But it was fun. 

“Awwe-eeyayeeahhhhhh-eeyah-eeyahhhhhh!”

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Chasing Alaska: Skittle Triage and the Runaway Loo

It’s settled. We’ll drive to Alaska.

After days of intense planning, I have us from Phoenix to Alaska in 10 days.

But Karry doesn’t like straight lines.

“I want to go through Grand Teton. That’s a must,” she says.

No problem. It’s already a stop on our route.

“And I want to see the big trees again,” she adds.

“The big trees are in Sequoia. We’re driving north through Utah,” I say. “Besides, didn’t you see them a few years ago?”

“I want to see the big trees,” she says, un-phased.

That’s when we decide to slalom to Alaska adding several days and an unbearable leg from Tahoe to Salt Lake City.

Might as well hit up Big Bear on the way.

The first night at the military recreational campground in Big Bear is off to a flying stop.

The five-year-old we call the Prospector disembarks from the PZ (parking zone) and runs his face directly into barbed wire I’d expect to find in Belleau Wood.

I’m out of QuikClot after defending my wife’s honor from a pack of wolverines, so I cauterise his gashes with powder I make from crushing Skittles from the baby’s car seat.

(What would you do in a situation like that? Gosh!)

It doesn’t work, but he stops screaming. And I give him credit for a homeschool science experiment. (Read more. . .)

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Chasing Alaska: I Can Tow My House Now

So we recently moved to Alaska.

We generally enjoy road trips. I just don’t usually bring my house with me.

First we had to get the house. And by house I mean 29-foot travel trailer.

My wife had told me:

“I want something big enough for the kids, small enough to be uncomfortable, expensive enough to stress you out, yet cheap enough to break often. Can you find us something like that?”

So I brought home bunk beds from IKEA.

She told me she was talking about the trailer.

I told her I wasn’t listening. She didn’t look surprised.

“Get something with slide outs ,” She said. “Oh, and I want the inside to look nice, but don’t pay too much.”

In other words, go pay a used price for a new trailer.

That’s fine. We believe in miracles.

We finally found something in a consignment lot in Yuma. It was a bunk house model with two slide outs and ugly curtains.

“I don’t think this is gonna work…” Karry whispered from the side of her mouth.

“Well take it!” I said.

What? I had a feeling. (Read more. . .)

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The Force Awakens, Hits Snooze and Sleeps In

Stars Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens has taken over the world. And rightfully so.

(Photo left: Lego Vader brandishing a light shaver, “I can’t believe I slept in again.”)

I’m a huge Star Wars fan. I grew up on Star Wars. And I’m taking my family to see The Force Awakens on opening night at an IMAX theatre.

My kids have been vanquished by the darker side of light many times over and into the night, replicating the famous whom-whoum/ crack-crckkk-ckk-crack until the Duracells run dry.

But I’m glad I know better than to worship God according to Star Wars.

The Force Awakens

Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens will no doubt be like the rest in the series: entertaining.

But the makers of Star Wars knew they would need something deeper than space war to make a lasting impression.

Director of Empire Strikes Back Irvin Kirshner, a Zen Buddhist, says of the film: (Read more. . .)

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