Reflection, Faith, & Family


For me, Christmas and the week or so before it are a time for reflection, faith, and family. I try hard to work less and spend more time reading and with family. At this time of year, I try to read the first two chapters of Luke about the birth of John the Baptist and Christ. Yes, I’ve read them many times before, and even read it with my family, but it is the reason for the season.

I also listen to a lot of Christmas music with my wife. Most of it is older, traditional or classical music like Silent Night, Joy to the World, or the Hallelujah Chorus, but some can be more modern. I recently discovered the a cappella group Pentatonix. They don’t appear to be a Christian group, but they are talented and include many great Christmas songs in their repertoire. I’ve been lately watching them on YouTube.

So, that is my plan for this year, spend more time with family, read some from the good book and listen to good music. I’m thinking that is a perfect way to enjoy Christmas.

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas. Immanuel hallelujah.

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On Christmas

I Guess I’m just old-fashioned.

In an age where saying “Merry Christmas” is considered a political act, and Christmas for many is just the holiday after Black Friday, I still enjoy this time with my family, a real Christmas tree and candlelight in church and home.

My son, Robert with his fiancee, Carol. In the middle is my son James and on the right is my wife Lorraine. I'm the old guy in the back. 

Where we live, in the Pacific Northwest, we often don’t have snow on Christmas, but it is cold. This is a time to stay inside, read a good book or the good book, and put another log on the fire, but most of all this is the to remember and reflect upon the birth of Christ.

The day after Christmas I’ll be back at my desk writing, but between now and then I’m taking as much time as possible to be with family and friends.

For all of my readers, I wish a very Merry Christmas and blessings in the New Year.

Click on the following links to read my author bio or read more about faith and family.

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Please don’t read this

At least not on Christmas Day.

I posted this earlier because, on this day when we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus, I’m going to be with family and friends and hopefully having a joyful Christmas day.

So, I’m hoping that you aren’t on your computer reading my blog on Christmas Day. I hope, pray actually, that you, and all of my readers, also have a joyful day with family and friends.

Immanuel hallelujah

Merry Christmas

This month’s cover picture is a special one, for a special time of year.

Usually these blogposts are about the pictures, but not this one. As we gather together to celebrate the birth of Christ, I like to reflect upon the blessings of family and faith.  

The cover page of my website is titled, “Finding the narrow path to hope and survival.” Readers of the New Testament will probably spot the Biblical allusion. My books are written for the general audience, but I am a Christian. I don’t try to hide my faith, but it is usually a subplot, more hinted at than explicit. I enjoy writing about good people, but usually not Christians, searching for answers in extraordinary, even post-apocalyptic, situations. My characters search for a means to survive, but they also search for answers to the bigger questions. I know I search for answers. I think we all do.

Over the years my family has strengthened my faith. I haven’t always been a good Christian, but I have been a believer. In those times that I search for direction, my wife has been the lighthouse that guided me. She has also been the one to instill Christian values in our children. Together, as a family, we shine the light down the narrow path for each other. I am very blessed.

Christmas is my favorite time of the year because of faith and family. I hope it is for all my readers. Merry Christmas!

Find previous cover pictures here.

Renewal at Easter

My oldest son James posted this picture online and I found myself pondering it.

Many think that Christmas, not Easter, is the most important holy day of the Christian year and many of them don’t know the story of Barabbas

Easter, of course, is the celebration of Christ’s resurrection, but I always think of it as a time of rebirth and renewal. I don’t know if it is a coincidence that Easter comes in the springtime or if it is some Godly metaphor, but for me, Easter and spring shout renewal.

For us in the northern hemisphere of the planet the long winter is over, the snow is melting, and the birds are returning. There are flowers on the fruit trees, the fields are sprouting and tiny chicks are chirping. Chores on our small farm that waited all winter can now be done. Every year is much the same, but still glorious.

I often wish that for our nation there could be a similar renewal. In proverbs 29:18 we read, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” When the nation was young it was energetic and purposeful. As a nation we knew who we were. We were a free people in a free land, but more than that, we were a Christian people.

Today, so many have forgotten, or never learned, our heritage that we have lost our way. We are stuck in an endless winter. Many years ago C.S. Lewis said, “The real job of every moral teacher is to keep on bringing us back, time after time, to the old simple principles which we are all so anxious not to see; like…bringing a child back and back to the bit in its lesson that it wants to shirk.”

There is a Roman saying that has come down to us, “bread and circuses.” The Roman people, who had thrown out kings, established a senate and had the mightiest army and navy on the planet, had grown fat and lazy and now cared only for food and entertainment. So that is what Roman politicians gave them, cheap food and the mass entertainment of the coliseum.  

At one time the Ten Commandments and Judeo-Christian principles were the foundation of our law and government. Now the government that we elect literally tears down the cross of Christ, displays of the commandments and ignores the principles the Founding Fathers embraced.

Perhaps we are shirking lessons, or perhaps we never learned them from our parents, but we, as a nation have lost our way. We need to return to the faith of our fathers and those simple principles that we know are true and stop voting for the government that gives us more bread and circuses.

If we don’t we are just part of the crowd shouting, “Barabbas.”

Merry Christmas

The temperature was -20 as we waited for the plane to arrive in Eek.

That was last Thursday.  The plane arrived on time, thankfully, for the flight to Bethel, Alaska.  I stayed the night in Bethel and then caught the morning flight to Anchorage and another plane to Seattle.  My youngest son was at the airport to pick me up for the hour and a half drive home.  It was a long trip, but thankfully, I arrived home safely late on Friday.

Connie and Caitlyn waiting for the plane in Eek.  Dirk in Background.

It is Christmas morning now and looking out the window beside me I see a few of the many evergreen trees near the house.  A light snow has fallen and the temperature is hovering around freezing, but blades of green grass still poke up through the snow.  It might be a good day for a warm fire.

I may be down in Washington State, but I still think of my other home up in Alaska.  Thinking of Christmas in Alaska led me to recall the Hallelujah Chorus video that the nearby village of Quinhagak made and uploaded just before Christmas of 2010.  It has gone viral with over a 1,555,000 views.  I hope you enjoy it.  Merry Christmas.