What Can You Do?

Dream the impossible.  Go out and make it happen.  I walked on the moon.  What can you do? ~ Captain Eugene A. Cernan, Commander of Apollo XVII, “The Last Man on the Moon”

I am haunted by this quote after recently watching “The Last Man on the Moon” documentary.  Afterward, I visited a memorial website to honor one of our nation’s most revered human treasures, Captain Gene Cernan (1934-2017).  Like so many others, I sought to find out more about the man behind the astounding achievements recorded in his book and documentary, “The Last Man on the Moon”.  To me, his life symbolizes sacrifice and perseverance in the face of daunting perils associated with exploring the unknown reaches of space.  He faced such challenges with unwavering resolve and great faith in himself and in countless others who worked behind the scenes to place him in orbit around the earth and, ultimately, on the moon.  His story empowers me to ask the same question he did:

What Can You Do?

Or more importantly, What Can I do?

What can I do with God’s personal and precious gift of mysterious energy we call life?

On my own, I realize that my life’s achievements are insignificant in the eyes of the world.  I am a mere speck of dust – or perhaps less.  On the day of my departure from this world, I will be missed by a few friends or family members briefly and then – nothing…. but Captain Gene Cernan will live on in the hearts and minds of Americans far into the future.  In recent years Captain Cernan wanted to leave us a piece of himself while he still lived among us.  He wanted us to know that we should never give up on ourselves.  His message was to strive for our dreams and never give up on us.

Today I choose to take that advice literally both as an individual and also as a nation. Even though we live in times of negativity, division, or defeat, I am encouraged – no, inspired – by the exemplary life of  a national icon who reached out to the stars and beyond for answers to questions about our universe.  What he achieved is really BIG when you think about it.

So back to, What Can I do?

The strangest thing happened to me this morning as I pondered this question.  I felt a spiritual spark begin to pulse within me.  Do you ever get ignition – right out of nowhere? – that moment of thought conception that tugs and stretches until it becomes realization?  I’m talking about the sort of realization that comes from the gut; who knows – from the Holy Spirit?  It is the gripping realization of some genetically placed truth that I have known from before the womb.  In my case, it is the knowledge that “I can do all things through Christ, which strengthens me”, confirmed in God’s Word in Phil. 4:13.  If my obedience pleases God through Christ, it has all been accomplished under the direction and strength of His Holy Spirit.  That’s a ton of power and God-Given No-How.  Therefore, it will be remembered for eternity.


I guess Gene Cernan was right.  There is unlimited potential in each one of us, and since our Heavenly Father never gives up on me, then I shouldn’t either.

They will still yield fruit in old age, They shall be full of sap and very green, To declare that the Lord is upright; He is my Rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.   ~ Psalm 92:12-15 NASB

The Lord reigns… For He is our God, And we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand. Today, if you would hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts… ~ Psalm 93:1a, 95:7-8a NASB

“Father, please guide me by Your Spirit to live up to my potential for service to You and Your Kingdom.  Give me strength to perform Your will and the wisdom to understand it. Glory and Praise to You for Your everlasting love toward mankind.  Thank you for planting Your Greatness in me before the earth and moon were ever formed; in the powerful and matchless Name of Yeshua, our Messiah, Amen.”

I guess that brings us back to Gene’s question, “What Can You Do?”

God Bless and keep you all.

“The Last Man on the Moon” Wins Award for Best Documentary Film

Photo credit: NASA


Important Stuff Includes Important Links

I am a follower of Jan Markell’s Olive Tree Ministry, and subscribe to her “Understanding the Times” e-newsletter.  Her recent article, “An Open Door Closes”, may not surprise most readers; but may be very shocking to some.

Excerpt from Jan’s article:

We are now in the days of 2 Peter 3:3: The mocking and scoffing generation as to end-time events. We are in a time when Israel has been so maligned that even within evangelicalism, she is seen as an “apartheid occupier” more than God’s Chosen People. Anti-Israel sentiment is global. Anti-Semitism is raging. Entire denominations are engaging in the Boycott, Divest, Sanction Movement that harms Israel economically.
If I were to still make my living by visiting churches across America tapping into these very same topics, I would be out of business.  ~ Jan Markell

I do not feel qualified to critique her article, but I encourage anyone interested in end times prophesy to subscribe to her ministry’s newsletter.  It has given me many spiritual insights to understanding our tumultuous times this past year.

Please click if you are interested in reading more of her article titled, “An Open Door Closes”.

Thank you for following and God bless you.


Life’s Reflection

Is my life reflecting God’s Word?

“This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.” ~Titus 3:8 KJV

Father, please forgive me for my thoughts, words, and actions which are unprofitable, vain, or an obstruction to the reading, understanding, and acceptance of Your Word.  In the Name of Jesus, our blessed Yeshua Messiah, amen.


Beyond 2016

This month there will no doubt be hundreds if not thousands of reviews written about 2016.  I am not about to throw my hat into that ring, but wish to show support for the brethren who have already summarized the year’s events from a Christian perspective.

2016 was full of end time prophetic markers with Israel occupying the center of world attention once again.  While thousands of Christians suffered horrific persecution at the hands of radical Isis and other terrorists, many western evangelicals focused their attention primarily on the U.S. Presidential election.  Muslims are increasingly convinced that their long-awaited Imam will appear on the world stage soon.  Some fear that we are on the verge of the Gog-Magog War, or WWIII.  Evidence shows that more Jews are accepting Jesus as their promised Messiah, while other Jews are becoming more excited that their long-awaited non-Jesus messiah is coming soon.   Intricate preparations are being made as even the Israeli police seem to believe the Messiah is coming soon.

Another article by Jan Markell, Top Bible Prophesy Stories of 2016, sums up the year 2016 pretty well with eighteen Biblical end time prophetic events.

But why do so many people of diverse faith believe that we are on the verge of a world-changing event?  And if so, “Why is any of this relevant to me?” you may ask.

I just felt like pointing out that while many Christians may be focused on New Year’s Resolutions, politics, or faith seminars, some Christian leaders remark that the church is lukewarm and not actively supporting Israel; nor is it overly concerned with preparations for the imminent return of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

What do you think?  What is beyond 2016?

Christmas Past

Dad brought home a Christmas Tree – circa 1965

Many people experience sadness or actual depression during the Christmas season. When this happens to me, I search my memory bank for past Christmases that were joyful – hoping to lift my spirits. The Christmas Past that I chose this year is the Christmas of 1965. Nothing sets it apart from other Christmases except for the changing times.  It has become remarkable to me only because 51 years of Christmases have come and gone since then; so I have a lot to compare it with.

Life was so simple in 1965. Our family lived close to the land in a very humble home that my parents built mostly by themselves.  We lived far from the nearest town and the winters felt even more isolating as darkness spread over the northern landscape.  We seldom had visitors but our parents made sure they took us to town for church and school activities.  We would join up with carolers and walk around the community singing all of the classic Christmas songs.  People would come to their front doors to hear us sing and then invite us in for hot cocoa to warm up.  Christ was always the center of Christmas, thanks to my parents, and I wish it was more like that in our nation today.

My brother and I were in our early teens in 1965 and certainly did not appreciate how special that Christmas was.  Looking back now, I could not appreciate it more.

Undaunted by our adolescent apathy, my parents did everything in their power to bring cheerfulness into our home at Christmas.  We trimmed the tree with ornaments that we made at school in our elementary days and smothered the tree in lights and silver icicles popular for the times.  It may have looked gaudy, but we loved to plug in those lights and sit for hours in the evenings eating popcorn while we played checkers or old maid.  I don’t remember if we had a television then, but if so, it only had one military channel with very limited programming.  Dad made sure it was off most of the time.  He was against TV.  He wanted reality and his focus was always on the people in his life.

I remember our parents gifted us with snow skis that Christmas; including all the gear we needed to begin learning how to ski.  This must have been a big financial sacrifice for them at the time.  Of course, we were excited to be able to join our peers on the local ski hill, and within days we abandoned Mom & Dad for the slopes.


I never became a good skier, but it was fun.  We spent some of our Christmas school vacation ice skating on the frozen ponds near our house, too.

This trip down memory lane may not seem relevant to your Christmas, but I guess the Lord put it on my heart to show that even though over half a century has passed since this Christmas Past, the true Christmas story as recorded in the Gospels never changes.  Nowadays it seems that Christmas is celebrated far differently than in 1965.  Jesus is not the center of the season and even the word “Christmas” has disappeared from most greeting cards.  No wonder some people feed sad at this time of year!  Rejoice in the belief that Jesus is our divine Messiah who became flesh in order to redeem mankind from a sin debt we could never pay.  That is the true joyful message of Christmas.


I hope that your Christmas 2016 is one to be remembered as a happy time spent with family and friends; that is spirit-filled, and full of peace and hope that only the Holy Spirit imparts.  Regardless of your circumstances, may your hearts be lifted up this Christmas with the knowledge that our divine Savior came down to earth as a tiny baby who chose to be born in squalor in order to bring us hope, love, and peace.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. ~ Luke 2:10-14 KJV

MERRY CHRISTMAS PRESENT and may God bless you all.

Humble Pie on the Rocks

How long will I continue to indulge in airing my grievances about the cares of this world?  A strange and uneasy feeling has crept into my heart lately that I am as much a part of the social unrest in our nation as anyone in post-election America.

How can this be?  I did my best to be informed on national issues.  I compared candidates’ views.  I prayed, cried, cheered, posted and commented.  I voted.

And the outcome?  The once silent majority has spoken and that suits me fine.  Then I gloated.  I ate humble pie on the rocks.

That is not the same as humbly giving glory to God for answered prayer.  The outcome could have just as easily gone the opposite of my own hopes.  It didn’t, so what is my problem?

Election Reflection:  There seems to be a nationwide obsessive need to analyze, criticize (and in some cases), condemn others of opposite views.  How did I fall into that worldly abyss?  I fell prey by caring too much about what Jesus warned us about in Luke 21:31-36.  I watched (fearfully) the vengeful, hateful and shocking post-election public protests of the past few days and thought in my heart, “Thank God I don’t feel that way,” and other sanctimonious thoughts I am too ashamed to share.  I didn’t realize until this morning that my opinions do not stand up to God’s instruction in His Word – even when it seems that my motives are consistent with “Christian” views.  This came about as I prepared to re-share a wondrous scripture post on social media that shockingly contained venomous remarks about others in the comments section; coming from what I can only assume are believing Christians.  What in this world are we thinking?  I sadly did not share the post and am on my guard in future against sharing any message that links hate to The Gospel of Christ.

I am not demeaning the importance of a believer’s call to stand up for justice and what is right.  The problem is a crushing reality that I do not know God’s plan other than what He has revealed in His Word.  His plans for our nation in particular are either not mentioned in the Bible or are veiled in mysterious symbolism.  Perhaps it will become clear in the future; perhaps not.  Regardless, until Jesus returns and governs in His perfect way, none of what man does to self-govern will ever achieve peace.  There will always be division and major differences of opinion between groups of people on the earth. My thoughts are to continue to pray for our new leadership; that all governing members will seek the wise counsel of our Father in heaven before any and all actions whether domestic or foreign.  I turn my thoughts away now, and embrace:

Maranatha!  Maranatha!

Read Isaiah 55:6-13.

I can aspire to humility but not lay claim to it without remembering the holy words of Almighty God that bring me low:

For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts. ~ Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV

Verse 13 describes my thoughts. They have been mostly of the thorn-bush and briers.

History has shown that Jesus came to earth to save mankind almost 2,000 years ago at a time when the Roman Empire ruled most of the known world.  Roman rule was brutal, pagan, terrible, and even the instrument of Christ’s own crucifixion… yet history also shows that The Gospel of Good News spread victoriously like wildfire throughout the world on Roman roads and trade ships that networked three major continents.  That would not have happened had not God allowed Roman rule at exactly the time of Christ’s appearance on the world scene.

No, I do not know God’s thoughts or plans but I do know that He deserves my praise and thanks for blessing our nation for over 200 years.  I have strong faith that He is not giving up on America just yet.  He always redeems even a remnant of people who believe on His Name.

My prayer“Change me, Lord, and grow juniper and myrtle thoughts within me for Your Glory!  Forgive my prideful thoughts and actions and stir up Your powerful Holy Spirit in me to love all people like Jesus did.  Help me to shine Your Light upon the whole earth and give You Praise!

This will be for the Lord’s renown, for an everlasting sign, that will endure forever. ~ Isaiah 55:13b NIV
This is what the Lord says: “Maintain justice and do what is right for My Salvation is close at hand and My righteousness will soon be revealed. Blessed is the one who does this – the person who holds it fast, who keeps the Sabbath without desecrating it, and keeps their hands from doing any evil.” ~ Isaiah 56:1-2

I belong to Jesus – not to this world system.  I owe Him everything including my very existence.  My opinions are subject to the Word of our King Over All.  Jesus came to save the whole world, including those who do not share my views or belief in Him.  Hallelujah!  What a Savior!

Growing Up

I recently read a post that stated simply, “The first 50 years are the hardest part of growing up.”

Can I get an amen?

After living over half a century my response is, “Still working on it!”

I used to think that growing up was so complicated.  I took life’s challenges seriously and wore myself out trying to live up to public opinion instead of what God’s Word has to say about it.  My moral compass was skewed by the changing times.  I was more intent on meeting expectations of the world system than I was on finding out what God’s plan was for my life.  Decades passed and after my nest emptied I began to realize that getting an education, raising a family, and making a living was just getting me older.  I did not feel as grown up as my image reflected in the mirror each morning.

Thank God for not giving up on me!

He has not given up our nation, either.  Nations also struggle with growing up.  Our United States is groaning under the stress of moral decline.  It’s time to grow up!  We as believers are part of the problem, but we can be part of God’s solution, too.  I want to be part of God’s plan for my own life and for that of my nation.  I want my nation to turn away from foolishness, repent, and place our government once again under God.  Our loving, faithful Father has delivered us and shown us the way:

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.  ~John 16:33

It starts with me.  It’s time to grow up spiritually.  It’s time for me to be His Voice and spread good cheer in a time of national tribulation.  His promise is that in Me you may have peace.  Praise and thank you, Lord!god-is-good


Greater Things

A church block party last month was one of the greater things being done for the kids in the neighborhood.  The men of the church are always looking for creative ways to reach out to local kids.  This month they are hosting a Fall Festival for kids and families with lots of games, candy and fun.

We live in a small community of Alaska.  But we can still make a difference in our town.  Lives are touched at any location when God’s love is poured out like a river.

Men of the church, you are God’s grassroots leaders of our nation.  God bless you all and thank you for doing the greater things that many others overlook as insignificant!

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” ~Matthew 19:14 NIV



If My People

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. ~2Chronicles 7:14 NIV

According to this verse of scripture, it is not necessary for unbelievers to repent of evil and turn to God in order for God to forgive their sin and heal their land of drought, locusts, or plagues (read preceding verse 13).

How’s that???

The often quoted biblical If my people verse is not a salvation message for individual unbelievers.  Why would the unsaved bother praying to a God that they do not serve, or repent, or turn from sin?  Truly, 2Chron 7:13-14 is a healing message from Almighty God to His own people – the believers of a nation! Are we American believers praying that others are repenting, praying, turning, or humbling themselves instead of ourselves?

What do you think?

“If my people” =           Old Testament Hebrews                      New Testament Christians

This tells me that if the Christians of a nation repent of their own pride, sin, and hypocrisy, that God will hear, forgive, and heal their land.  The whole population does not have to participate.  However, God calls all nations including the U.S. to righteousness.  I know that thousands of believers are praying for our nation daily.

But what are we praying?