Ontario Watershed

rescued_sheep1It isn’t unusual for me to get hit by the Holy Spirit while I’m listening to a storyteller’s testimony during an interview. The stories I write for Good Catch Publishing tend to be a bit more compelling than the average Christian testimony. The storytellers are handpicked by their churches. The people often relate how God brought them safely out of multiple suicide attempts, severe alcoholism and drug abuse, long stretches in prison, horrific abuse during their upbringing — and the list goes on. Continue reading

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Barrel Nuts

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen it happened, I was up to my elbows in dowels, washers, screwdrivers, panels — and barrel nuts. I had spent most of the day building pre-fab furniture my mom had bought for her new Portland apartment. It is mostly enjoyable work. The instructions are clear and seldom incomplete. Continue reading

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An Unwanted Blessing

PC AwardsI was at work last night when I committed a great breach of decorum. I told a co-worker, “God bless you!” Another co-worker was nearby and repeated my statement derisively. “God bless you?” she said, shaking her head. (She is apparently an atheist.) Her tone was what I would have expected had I said, “May you be attacked by a knife-wielding maniac.” Continue reading

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The Muzzling of America

PC.2 (2)I hope the reader will permit me to share a bit of “emotional writing” on this post. I normally attempt to use a light hand when I discuss social evils. It is a more persuasive way to write. But there are times when it seems right to pull out the stops.  Continue reading

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ConfessionMany of life’s most vital lessons come out of the blue. Conversely, few of them seem to come as a result of focused effort. When I try to apprehend them deliberately, it is as though God says, “That’s my job,” and then, accordingly, nothing happens. I can’t count the number of mysteries that have resisted solving until I ceased to gnaw at them with my human faculties. I suspect that organized human effort somehow precludes the vital elements of surprise and divine impetus that are necessary for perspective-shaking discovery.  Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Erica

Paul & Erica (2)Erica would have turned 48 today. She probably would have spent a quiet evening at home with her family. There would have been a modest number of gifts and most likely a nice dinner. She might have received a visit from her neighbors as well. Continue reading

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rescued_sheep1One night many years ago, I was walking home from work on a cold Anchorage night. I was house sitting for a friend who lived down a long, dark street in southwest Anchorage. It was late in the year, and Jack Frost had settled in for the duration. I was bundled up, but my nose and ears stung slightly from the cold. The night was quiet; I could hear nothing except the crunch of fresh snow under my shoes.

The road I was on was 300 West Klatt. It was little more than a feeder road Continue reading

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