Spotting God in Action

He leaves us neither alone, nor defenseless. Instead, he gives us light to shine in the darkest places. Using stories from aviation, space, and life I write about God working through ordinary people like us.
Hope it encourages you to look up, not down; forward, not back.

5. The Deal

balance beach rocks illustrate the deal we thought we made with God

When we first acknowledged Jesus as Lord, most of us secretly thought, “He’s getting a pretty good deal.” Oh sure, we were in a jam and needed help, but we pictured ourselves as valuable assets to His Kingdom. We saw it as the classic win/win swap—a fair exchange where both parties bring something valuable to trade.

The truth is we brought nothing; He brought everything. We gave him all of our junk: lust, envy, idolatry, hatred, and rebellion. He, on the other hand, gave us an easy burden and a light yoke; new life, victory over sin, darkness flees at our word, death is defanged, and we get to spend forever ruling and reigning with Him. Then, as if that weren’t lopsided enough, He added, “Cast all your cares on me.” read more ...

Share This:
FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Honored by The Plane Faith Project Interview

Logo of the Plane Faith Project who conducted the interview

The Plane Faith Project, directed by Pastor Jimmy Tidmore, aims high. They come alongside potential missionary pilots to help them overcome the exorbitant cost of flight training. Jimmy recently interviewed me about both my journey to the mission aviation ministry and about my book, Mile High Missionary. You can visit their website and hear the interview podcast by clicking here.

Share This:
FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

4. Adjusted Perspective

A Cessna 206 flying against a field of stars offers an adjusted perspective

The night sky adjusts our perspective. Vast distance separates us from the stars we see. If we could fly at the speed of light (just shy of 670 million mph) it would take us 775 years to get to Rigel, the hot blue star that marks the lower right corner of Orion. An airliner could make the trip in 902 million years, while a Cessna 206 would take a bit longer—3.7 billion years, not counting downtime for maintenance.

On a practical basis, we can gaze, we can long, and we can wish, but we can’t cross. The good news is that while the stars may be unreachable, it turns out that they’re not untouchable. They send us a steady stream of photons that our retinas detect as light. Whether we open our eyes or not, we’re awash in a continual cascade of star stuff. read more ...

Share This:
FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

3. Visible Heart

Visable heart displayed by many private aircraft parked on grass field

At Oshkosh [the world’s largest air show held annually in Oshkosh, Wisconsin] last night, a MAF recruiter told the story of a national preacher speaking to a church in the US. The preacher held up one arm saying, ”These are the prayers of all of you rising up to the throne of God.” Then he raised the other, meeting the first high over his head, and said, “And these are the prayers of the believers in my country rising up to that same throne. Though only a few of us have met here on Earth, we already know each other in the Lord.” read more ...

Share This:
FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

2. Motley Crew Glue

motley crew onboard pirate ship

Have you ever wondered about the Body of Christ? What did God have in mind when He put together this motley crew of brigands? We have as many opinions about what He wants as there are members. Some days, we not only have trouble rowing together, we can’t even agree that we’re in a boat. Why does He risk His name on such a ship of fools?

Part of the answer has to be love. Paul says that as we speak the truth, we will “grow up into Him who is the Head, that is, Christ.” He goes on to say that “From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” His love squishes out from the seams of our work like magic glue. It transforms a band of pirates into a company of saints. read more ...

Share This:
FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Complications – Fixing Pipes and Publishing Books

publishing books—title page of book manuscript

One of my favorite things to do is spend an afternoon in a book store that also has a coffee shop. From thousands of titles, I pick a dozen candidates to consider. Then I order a cafe-americano accompanied by a scone and sit to choose one. Or two. Or maybe three. That simple small-table haven makes the whole book thing seem uncomplicated. Publishing books, however, is not.

Recently, I pitched my new SciFi novel, The Perelandra Paradox-Discovery (first of a three-part series) to a book publishing agent. First hope, then no joy. So, on to the next agent. Discouragement tempted me but a few days later, life reminded me that publishing books is a complex affair. read more ...

Share This:
FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

1. If You Can?

3D picture of this book

The candidates [potential MAF missionaries] arrived today, wide-eyed and willing to believe anything we tell them. But we know that after a few months struggling with bad weather, civil disturbances, poor communications, cross-cultural frustration, lost mail, and a leaky cylinder, their sharp belief will take on a fuzzy edge. Embarrassing feelings will pop up from beneath the swamp of weariness and frustration as they struggle to keep the faith.

A desperate father once cried out to Jesus, “… if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”

Jesus replied, “`If you can?’ Everything is possible for him who believes.”

The honest father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” When we confess the truth, the Lord carries us, while, at the same time, demanding deeper faith.

While He’s holding your program together, what gauntlet of impossible belief has He thrown down before you?

Jeremiah 33:3 1 John 1:9 Mark 9:14-29 Ephesians 3:20-21

Excerpt from Call For News-Reflections of a Missionary Pilot

Share This:
FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

I Used to Be Cool

a cool F-15C jet aircraft flying low

My friend, Ivan, shared this video (03:53) of his USAF unit conducting F-15C low-level training in Wales, UK. Then he sighed and said, “I used to be cool.” His comment struck deep because I felt both his messages.

First, what Ivan did was cool. An elite team selected him from a multitude of applicants. They spent a lot of money and risked their lives to train him. Then, they sent him out to fly multi-million dollar, supersonic aircraft worldwide, trusting him to defend honor, hearth, and home. His daily work was the photogenic essence of great stories. Many dream of that mantle, but few ever wear it.

Second, after a whole career of daily significance, he confessed his retirement felt less important, not so cool.

I used to do cool stuff, too. For almost two decades, I flew out on the pointy end of the ministry spear. A rigorous selection process granted me membership in an elite team. Then they, too, spent thousands of dollars and risked their lives training me to throw a ton and a half of aluminum at mud strips you wouldn’t drive your car on (if you could get it there).

Our team provided the Amazon Jungle’s indigenous people with their only alternate travel option—walk for days or fly for minutes. We impacted someone’s life every day. We saved someone’s life every week. The heady wine of significance became the color of daily life.

After returning home, I was happy to help the team from afar. But I never noticed withdrawal setting in. I accepted, without conscious choice, that my life and work were now ordinary, average, second class. In other words, I was no longer cool.

It took me a long time to see it. My feelings were real enough. But my thinking rested on the lie that said my value was only as good as what I acquired, produced, or accomplished. If I did cool stuff, I was cool. If not, well . . .

The truth is, God designed me even before he made the world. He sent me for birth at precisely the right time, free to choose—or not—to fulfill my purpose. He formed me in his image and gave me everything needed to succeed. But I, myself, brought no ability or quality to the table.

Even so, after I rejected him and his plan, he loved me so much that he sent his Son, Jesus, to pay for my failure. His sacrifice demonstrated how much he valued me—and every other person on the planet.

So, yeah, we’re cool because God says so. That’s what Easter is all about.

Share This:
FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Foggles Focus Practice on Good Days for the Bad Days

Focusing on an aerial view of farm land from banked airplane

My view focused on God’s good Earth

On a bouncy Spring morning, cotton-ball clouds topped the mountains edging our valley. The glistening Snake River cut through rich green, and brown fields that tipped and turned below. Mesmerized, I thought it almost too beautiful to waste on work. Better a dreary day, overcast and gray to focus on the business at hand.

I worked my flight student hard. “Climb and maintain 5,000 feet,” I commanded, mimicking Air Traffic Control. “Turn right to [a] heading [of] 340 [degrees]. Report reaching PARMO intersection.” He repeated the instructions and maneuvered the airplane. read more ...

Share This:
FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Time: Liquid, Eternal, and Vacation

Rome’s emperors spent time, money, and the lives of thousands to ensure their immortality.

 

Time’s a funny thing. On one hand, it seems so absolute, unalterable, a one-way arrow to which we are all irrevocably tied.

On the other hand, we all perceive it differently. For example, I know time as a pilot—tangible, measurable, available in limited, finite quantities. Here in Rome, the “Eternal City”, I find ample evidence of those who judged it differently. They considered themselves exempt from its constraints. Their best efforts at immortality, however, served only to produce tourist revenue and archeological delight.

I’ll be back next week to explore some aspect of flight—in the air, space or imagination—as a metaphor on life. This week, however, my honey and I are on vacation confirming the ancient wisdom that says, “life’s too short to drink bad coffee.”

Share This:
FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Air, Space, and Life