Hello friends.

And so it begins. It’s time for the NFL playoffs once again, and for those suffering fans whose favorite team hasn’t already been eliminated from playoff contention, hope and excitement still exist for the new one and done season that begins today. Veins of numerous couch potatoes in homes across our landscape, are flowing with high octane adrenaline, and visions of grandeur floods our minds. We imagine our favorite players hoisting the Lombardi Trophy high above their heads, and under falling confetti, on Super Bowl Sunday next month. Bragging rights and bravado will be on the line as well, and the approaching pain and agony from crushing losses and ill-timed controversies looms large.

Wild-Card weekend! What rings of do or die more than that? Eight teams enter today’s contest with inspirations of moving onto next week, but only four teams will survive. Sportscasters, football analysis experts, and Monday morning quarterbacks everywhere, will make their bold predictions with extreme confidence, but the same old cliché still applies. The games must be decided on the field.

thBeing a New England Patriot’s homer, my excitement begins next week. However I have a high interest in today’s Wild-Card games, to see who their next victim will be… excuse me, I meant opponent. Honestly, I’m very concerned for the Patriots chances of a repeat this year. I believe that they have eighteen players on injured reserve, and have played bad football for them in recent weeks. Maybe I’m spoiled. Some injured players like Julian Edelman, are expected to return for their first playoff game, but I find it difficult to believe that the Pats can immediately flip a switch and play great again. The offensive line has been an injury disaster as well, and they’ve struggled to keep Tom terrific from getting pummeled by opposing defensive lines. The injuries might be too much to overcome. We shall see.

Seemingly every team has been snake bitten with injuries this season, and I can’t remember a year when I’ve seen this much decimation and personnel loss across the league. The Cincinnati Bengals were once a favorite to win it all, but that dramatically changed after they lost their starting quarterback in a game against the Steelers. It makes me glad that I didn’t play Fantasy Football this year. Nothing rings last place or is more frustrating than losing one or more of your top point getters!

In the AFC, I have a sneaking suspicion that the Pittsburgh Steelers and Kansas City Chiefs will make a lot of noise, as do many. I’m hoping for a Patriots verses Steelers, AFC championship game, but my gut is telling me otherwise. Winners between Denver, KC, Pats, and Steelers are all up in the air for grabs, and I give the Texans no shot today. I also suspect that the eventual Super Bowl winner is coming from the NFC, but I hope that I’m wrong.

Speaking of the NFC, I’m looking forward to seeing which team emerges from that juggernaut league. Carolina and Arizona are the healthiest while also being loaded with the most talent, and both are playing like world beaters. Don’t forget that Seattle is also on fire! It’s going to be a dog fight all the way through. What is my gut telling me? Carolina emerges from the pack because of home-field advantage. Arizona has more overall speed and talent, but I think the Panthers are the more physical team, and will impose their will on whoever they play. Then they will face the…hmm…okay, I’m a homer. Patriots and the Panthers meet in the Super Bowl for a rematch of 2004! Go Patriots!

What say you?

Thank you.

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Hello friends!

Promises, promises, promises. Another year has passed us all by seemingly quicker than my Kawasaki Ninja accelerates down the dragstrip, and the dawn of a fresh new year is suddenly here. For many, this means that it’s time to make those dreaded New Year resolutions once again. Don’t feel guilty if you suspect that you won’t keep the new promises being uttered from your lips, th (11)because a lot of us are in the same boat. Wikipedia states a 2007 study that shows 88% of those who set New Year resolutions fails. It’s doubtful those results changed much in 2015. Who me, you ask? I glance down at my midsection and see that I’ve put on a few pounds over the holidays, and that I need to lose some weight. I will eventually try to do something for sure, but I won’t be making any guarantees, nor will I lose any sleep if it takes me several months to get my bulging stomach downsized again. It’s tough resisting those holiday chocolates resting on the table, and I especially love the chocolates with caramel inside.

Wikipedia also states that resolutions began with the Babylonians, who made promises to their gods at the start of each year that they would return borrowed objects and pay their debts. I wonder how long they kept their promises? My immediate impression is that they were always in debt and borrowing from others, when making resolutions such as those? Like present Greece!

Those were actually worthy resolutions to have, if you ask me. Why, returning borrowed objects would eliminate being called a thief by friends, and paying off debts would eliminate being called a bum.

Time.com had a list of the Top 10 Broken Resolutions and if you’re curious what they are, here is their list that I found.

Lose weight and Get fit

Quit smoking

Learn something new

Eat healthier and Diet

Get out of debt and Save money

Spend more time with family

Travel to new places

Be less stressed

Volunteer

Drink less

These all look like good resolutions to have, but promises are one thing, and commitment is another story. It’s tough folks. It’s tough to break old habits, and stay committed to a new positive lifestyle that could benefit everyone involved. But kudos to those who at least try, and desire improvement. Just don’t beat yourself up with guilt if you fail by day two or three. Some would say that if you fail, get back up again and keep trying. According to Wikipedia’s 2007 study, many of us have failed, but I’m assuming that the other 12 % of the folks in that study refused to remain defeated. Awesome for them! It would be a lot easier for me if my wife didn’t keep buying chocolates.

Happy New Year!

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Hello friends!

Another year has flown past in the blink of an eye, and Christmas day is suddenly upon us. By now, most folks have already done their shopping, unless you’re a last minute shopper like me, and have stuffed presents underneath the tree; leaving children everywhere to anticipate shredding the gift wrap apart like a hungry raven attacking a discarded trash bag in the back of a pickup truck. I flashback to one time as a child, when I got into big trouble, after my older brother convinced me to open one of my presents before Christmas Day, but that’s another story for another time. Many children have probably watched all the Christmas specials on TV that I used to watch as well: such as Frosty The Snowman, and Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer, while constantly reminding their parents about their favorite toy that they want for Christmas. Where did this giving presents for Christmas idea come from anyways? Some folks might suggest that giving began with tales of Santa and his reindeer, and some might say that it began centuries ago, on the birth of Jesus in a Bethlehem manger, when wise men came to worship him in Matthew 2:11, and brought various gifts to give. I’m going to take this one step further and tell you about the most import gift that was giving for each and every one of us. This gift is priceless, and It’s more valuable than any amount of riches or gold! It’s wrapped in love and can’t be worked for, bought, or sold. So how do we get such a precious gift you ask? Here’s the exciting news, it’s free! Who could afford to give us an extremely valuable gift such as this for free, and why? God did! He was the first to give, when he willingly gave his only begotten son Jesus (John 3:16) for us, because he loves us, and wants to save us from our sins. Do you give a gift to your special someone and children because you have to, or because you love them? God gave because of his love, and because of our dire condition and desperate need for a Savior. This is what giving on Christmas is really all about. Can I tell you more?

thA50AR6Q5Did you know that before Jesus ever came to earth to be born as a little human baby in a manger, that he was God in heaven, and God in three persons: the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. John Chapter 1: 1-5, and Colossians Chapter 1: 16-17, reads that he is before all things, and by him all things consist, and In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.

This is referring to Jesus, and why he was the perfect gift for us, and the only one worthy of paying the penalty for our sins through his shed blood on the cross. He wasn’t just a normal human baby who grew into a human man, but he was God and the Son of God. All three were together since the beginning, and without blemish or sin! We can’t say that about ourselves can we? We all are full of sin, and are greatly blemished. Romans 3:23-For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

In Luke 1: 27-35, an angel told the virgin Mary, who had never been with man, that she was highly favored of the Lord and would give birth to the Son of God. Verse 35- The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall over-shadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.  Matthew 1: 21- And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

What better gift for Christmas could you receive than this? A gift of eternal life by being saved from your sins by the Lord Jesus? But that’s only if you willingly believe and accept it. Thankfully, Mary was willing to obey God. Imagine if Mary’s attitude was like some today: it’s her body, and her freedom of choice, and she refused to give birth to the savior of the world, instead choosing to exercise her right to have an abortion. Unthinkable!

Why not accept God’s free gift of salvation and be transformed into a new life and person? The books of John, Romans, and numerous other books as well, say that it’s as simple as believing in your heart, and that no amount of good works will purchase eternal life with him one day. Only by believing in your heart. Romans 10: 9-10- That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

 What’s the other incentive for accepting this free gift? If you reject this free gift of his, which is your right to do so of course, God will have no choice but to judge you for your sins when you die, which includes an eternity in Hell with the devil and his angels. God judged is son Jesus for our sins when he died on the cross, but dying without having accepted his free gift of salvation, means that you will be judged instead. Hebrews 9:27, Matthew 25: 41-46, Romans 6:23-For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Why not let Jesus take the full payment for your sins, so you can have a new hope filled Christmas gift, with a much more promising future.

Thank you and Merry Christmas all!

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Hello friends!

Having lived in Alaska and the Fairbanks/ North Pole area since July of 1990, I’m occasionally asked by visitors, “what are the winters like in Fairbanks?”

I’m amazed at how fast time has flown by since I first moved to the great white north, especially when considering that I nearly left this great state, and returned to Maine during my first depressing winter here. That was the winter of a record 147 inches of snowfall if I recall, and at that time, I wasn’t prepared to deal with the darkness, cold, and length of the Alaskan winters. It always seemed to be snowing that year, and my 1988 Plymouth Horizon seemingly found itself stuck in my driveway each morning before work! I remember shoveling the snow away numerous evenings after work, only to discover on the next morning, that a bunch of new snow fell again during the night. I spent many hours shoveling the yard and wheels free during those wretched months, as well as cleaning a path to the out-house! If only I could have afforded a snow blower.

below zero

Twenty-five years later, life is much easier. I now live in a comfortable, ranch-style house with my wife, instead of a tiny, log cabin with no indoor plumbing, and I have a snow blower and four-wheel-drive truck, instead of a shovel and small car with twelve-inch tires.

Despite my improved lifestyle, winters in the interior  can still be harsh, and the desire to hibernate, or pack-up and leave for warmer climates can be extremely tempting at times, especially during the months of December and January.

The first of many snowfalls normally occurs in mid-October, and covers the ground until mid-April, but I’ve also seen it fly in early September, and snow as late as May. Yuck!

December is the gloomiest of months, having only three hours of daylight, that seems more like a dying ember. The sun struggles to get out of bed after 10:00 AM, and barely is higher than a house rooftop as it crawls westward, until it disappears into darkness once again before 3:00 PM. Double yuck!

January always seems to be the coldest month! Temps almost always drop to -50 F around new year’s day, and lingers for several more weeks. This creates heavy ice fog and poor visibility in the city, when the cold air prevents the carbon monoxide from daily vehicle use to ascend into the atmosphere. As you can imagine, these freezing temps are also cruel for motor vehicles, and without engine block heaters, oil pan heaters, and battery blankets, (winterization), your car or truck would never function. In case you were wondering, this is why vehicles in sub-zero climates have electrical cords hanging down from the front, so they can be plugged into an outlet, supplying electricity to the heaters.

When I leave for work on those dreadful mornings, the freezing air slaps me hard in the face, even forming icicles on a mustache. Lungs often burn at each breath and my truck’s seat is as hard as concrete, while the grease in both axles resembles thick molasses. My truck will not move an inch unless I engage the four-wheel drive. Otherwise, the rear tires will just spin, as they unsuccessfully try to propel the ultra-stiff Toyota backward or forward. I learned real quickly that synthetic lubricants were the best solution for these climates. Even the air in the tires freezes at these unbearable temps, which causes my truck to bounce up and down like a child on a trampoline, and the compressed tires remain this way for a mile or so, until the oxygen inside returns the tires to its normal round self again, and the axle grease begins to lubricate and heat up.  Please note that my truck is parked outside and plugged in all night, while my wife’s Subaru is parked inside the warm garage all night, per her request. Seems to me, that’s unfair and it’s either time for a two car garage, or time to move to Florida. At least that’s what my truck wants.

Thank you!

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Hello friends!

One only need to watch the World News channels to see the ever increasing violence across the globe becoming alarmingly rampant, and not just in foreign places like the Middle East, but within our homeland as well. Daily, tragic and senseless shootings are seemingly occurring at a crisis level, and are being reported on both local and World news channels alike, as well as Social Media outlets, while many other tragic crimes not involving terrorism, gun violence, police shootings and corruption, or gang violence, are often being reported in local newspapers. First let me say that my prayers go out to the victim’s families and friends of the most recent mass shooting tragedy in California, which now appears to be terrorism. While it is instinctive for folks to come up with an emotional knee jerk reaction or solutions to these horrific shootings, while also blaming guns, politicians, political parties and their policies, I personally believe that the gradual erosion of societal ethics, morality, and value of life over the years is also responsible. Please allow me to show you a few things from the Bible if I may.

There was once a time long ago, when the world was corrupt and violent in similar fashion as today. In fact, so much so, that God repented that he created man, and destroyed the world and its inhabitants with a flood, save a just man named Noah and his family who walked with God and found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Genesis 6:11, 6:13-The earth was also corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.

Sorry to disappoint, but no firearms existed during this time period, but yet the earth was still filled with corruption and violence. No mention or blame of guns here by God, or swords, knives, spears, arrows, or whatever weaponry was used during this time, but instead, God places the blame solely on man himself. It seems that there was a violence problem throughout the earth in those days, much like today, and the problem is with man’s inherited sinful flesh and nature, not with weapons. God held them responsible and he is holding man accountable today.

th (10)Personally, I do feel that more should be done to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals and nut jobs, but not law abiding citizens who deserve the right to protect themselves from those criminals and nut jobs. Do everything that we can to stop senseless shootings and if one should occur, instead of demanding for something to be done with guns, why not demand for violent behavior of any nature not to be tolerated any more?  Why not mandatory Capital Punishment for first-degree murderers and harsher penalties against other intolerable crimes? If so, I do feel that our justice system could use a little tweaking to better prevent against an innocent person being wrongfully accused and executed, but the fact that many folks appear more sympathetic toward the guilty than the victims, is also part of the problem. James Holmes of the 2012 theater shootings in Colorado should be executed, but sympathetic jurors spared his life. That’s wrong in the eyes of God. Did you know that God endorses the death penalty? Genesis 9:6-Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for the image of God made he man. Exodus21:12- He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall be surely put to death.

This is not referring to vigilantism mind you, but in 1 Peter 2:13-14, Titus 3:1, and Romans chapter 13, we are not only subject to principalities and authorities, but God grants approval to them (government, military, and police) to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil, verse 4. It’s the right thing to do!

I also believe this to be true not only because of the commandment- Thou shalt not kill, but because of what is written in Genesis 4:10-11, when Cain killed Abel. The blood of the murdered cries out to God from the ground and with it came a curse. I believe this includes all murdered victims throughout time, even the spilt blood of every innocent  and  aborted  unborn baby in the name of government sanctioned free-choice as well. God will judge and perhaps curse our country for legalized abortion among other things, which might already be in play. However, the good news is that forgiveness from a merciful and loving God is one repentant, heart believing prayer away! America and its leaders could use a little repentance could it not?

Lastly, ever since I was a child, I recall reports from the World News on TV or radio concerning the need for peace in the Middle East, especially between Israel and its neighboring countries. In fact, there has been little peace there since the Old Testament days. Genesis 16:12 discusses the future of the folks of Ishmael’s Middle Eastern lineage, whom are always seemingly in conflict with Israel. And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against man, and every man man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren. Sound familiar?  In Genesis 17:20, God promised to make them into a great nation, as he also did with Israel.

Escalating violence, wars and rumors of wars, along with pestilence, famine, and other various natural disasters are also prophesized in the Bible as occurring in the last days. Sounds a lot like what is going on today, which means that Jesus could be coming back any day now. The time to become a believer is now, before it’s too late.

Thank you!

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Hello friends!

One rainy evening while I sat in a rocking chair inside my father’s living-room during my recent two week visit in Maine, my mind began to drift off when I suddenly spotted a fancy looking Banjo resting against the corner at the opposite end of the room. My father was busy reading the newspaper and I was feeling a little bored because dad has no TV or internet, so I decided to give it a try. I walked over and eagerly retrieved the Banjo from the corner behind my dad, before returning to my chair again where I began strumming away on its strings. I would love to tell you that upon first try that it sounded as if I belonged in the Grand Ole Opry, but unfortunately, quite the opposite is true. My father glanced over as I recklessly plucked the strings with my fingers and gave me a helpful suggestion.

“There’s an Instruction Manual resting on the piano beside you, that will instruct you on how to play it.”

I momentarily glanced to my left and spotted the manual that read something like this: Banjo For Beginners-Learn To Play The Banjo, Instruction Manual.

“Nah…” I replied. “I don’t need that. I’ll figure it out on the fly and on my own.”

And so I continued plucking away and moving my fingers around for several more minutes in a desperate attempt to create a beautiful noise, before I eventually gave up and called it quits.

Suddenly a thought popped into my head! That’s human nature for you. Reject an Instruction Manual that could teach, guide, and give solutions and answers, when pride-fully believing that we could figure it out on our own instead.

thDSMX9TEBThen I thought about the Bible-God’s Word and Instruction Manual for us, and how often, many respond to it in the same manner. For Christians like me, God gave us his Word full of instructions for daily spiritual guidance and wisdom, to strengthen us, to aide us in growing closer to him through Bible reading, obedience and prayer, and to show us the vital importance of introducing the lost world to Christ, among many other things. But often I get busy and it’snah… I don’t have time to read it now. Maybe later. Or, I’m fine…

And for a period of time, a Christian might feel or appear fine without the important daily spiritual guidance and input from his Word. But it won’t take long, before you could find yourself subtly drifting away from him and his will, before you could begin making the wrong choices, or responding to problems the wrong way, which also can cause relationship struggles. It also won’t be long before you begin replacing the good and right instructions from his Word with the wrong worldly advice, which can take you down the wrong path, and steal your peace and joy. The good news is that God will never leave or forsake his children despite the fact that we allow ourselves to drift away from him. Hebrews 13:5.

On the flip side, some unbelievers who I have talked with, have little interest in what God’s Instruction Manual has for them either. God also gave his Word and instructions to show unbelievers his great love for them, in providing a simple way to him through his Son, and how to achieve eternal life after death. How to avoid eternal damnation. The answer is in the Bible and is simple to understand. Begin with the books of John and Romans and you’ll discover the way to him, but often we complicate his message into thinking that it can’t be that simple, or that more is needed from us. I’ve heard some unbelievers respond by saying things like, “I’m fine!” Or, “I can figure out the way on my own and on the fly.” Or,  “I’m a good person, and I know I’ll go to heaven by being good.”  But when you ask for the opportunity to show them the truth in the Bible, they’ll often say with pride,  “I’m not interested in what the Bible has to say. I know the answers.”

Sadly, If you’d rather try to achieve eternal life on your own, and without heeding to the truth in God’s Word, than that is your prerogative. But I believe that your success rate will be no better than mine, when trying to play the Banjo without reading the instruction manual. Proverbs 1:7- The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Thank you!

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Hello friends!

I had a conversation with some coworkers the other day, about which superheroes power they would choose, if they could have one. There are a lot of Superheroes to choose from, which makes this a very difficult decision for me. But without hesitation, they chose Superman, which at first seems like an automatic easy choice, until you give it some serious consideration.

Superman’s power would be difficult for me, because I’m scared of heights, and flying like he does, often involves heights, not to mention the aero acrobatics that would be needed just to avoid flocks of birds and airplanes . Another thing to consider, is the heavy baggage that having his powers would bring. Would the pressure be on to save the world and everyone’s butt, every time they got into trouble? I can imagine hearing them on the news now… “where was Super-Dan?!’  ‘Why wasn’t he here to rescue me and my friends when we needed him?!’ ‘He should be using his powers to help people, not live selfishly!” My heated response might be something like this; “You got yourself into that mess, get yourself out!’ And, ‘I can’t be everywhere at once…ok?!’ ‘I’m doing the best that I can!”

th (4)Having Spiderman’s abilities seemed like it would be cool too, but the heights factor comes into play again, and I prefer to remain on the ground, unless I’m in an airplane. Besides, Fairbanks would be a terrible place for Spiderman, because there aren’t any sky scrapers in the city, and all of our buildings are covered with snow and ice during the winter. That means a lot of slipping and falling to the icy pavement below!

Who hasn’t fantasized about turning into the Hulk just once, and smashing things into bity pieces when we didn’t get our way? But being that destructive could mean a lot of bad press and jail time, and as a werewolf needs the full moon to get his strength, the Hulk needs anger to get his, and being that angry is just not healthy.

 I decided to search Google for the most popular Superhero, and I found a website called, The Most Popular Journal@ most popular.net/superhero.  I discovered that Batman was number one, followed by Spiderman, Iron man Superman, and then the Hulk!

Batman would just involve too much money and work to pull off for me, especially since he doesn’t have any real superpowers. Iron Man would be awesome, but there’s the heights problem again, and getting all of his weaponry could be an issue. How does he fly so well in an iron suit anyways? You’d think that suit would be difficult to maneuver and steer.

I think being like the Wolverine would be cool, but he has anger issues too. The Green Arrow? I’m a lousy shot with a bow and arrow. Having any mutant or superhuman abilities, could also mean that you’d want to keep it a secret, in order to prevent any of the world Governments from attempting to snatch you up, for use as a sinister weapon. I make some mention of this in my second novel, Sky Streak Of Terror.

After much consideration, I finally settled on the Flash, as the superpower that I’d most want to have. Just imagine being that fast! I could be a kickoff return specialist for the New England Patriots, and we’d win the Super Bowl every year! I would remain on the ground where I’m comfortable, and be faster than the speed of sound, while creating sonic booms just for fun! I could run to Maine every weekend in a flash, to visit family there, instead of hassling with airplane tickets, airport security, and lengthy flights. However, I wonder if I would have to buy new shoes after every high speed sprint, or what would happen if I accidently tripped at such high speeds? Or would I get hit by bugs in the eyes while running? I guess being super-fast would have its drawbacks too.

What superpower would you like to have?

Thank you!

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Hello friends!

When I reflect back to the more spiritual days of my youth; well let me clarify that at that time, I thought that I was spiritual, I found it easy to criticize other Christians who were going through difficult struggles in their lives. However, the fact that I was often critical of others, was proof in itself that I wasn’t very spiritual at all. One of the traps that I fell into back then, was when believing that everything was just hunky-dory in my life, but John Hancock sure needed to get his act together. For example, It seemed okay for me to judge another who struggled with addictions such as smoking cigarettes, because it wasn’t my struggle. John Hancock’s struggle with smoking was much worse that any struggles of mine in my own eyes, so I felt justified to criticize and judge, rather than pray for them. Even though the Christian life is a daily growing process and we will never arrive down here, I still grimace with thoughts of my former attitude, because I have come to learn over the years through life’s hard lessons, my own personal struggles, Bible reading, and from numerous humble pies being delivered by God, that I am as guilty as another. Romans 3:10- As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

And we are nothing without Jesus. Romans 5: 1- Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 

thVGLOR7MJWhat I am hoping to relay with this blog, is the importance of Christians daily praying for one another. You won’t find a verse anywhere in the Bible that commands us to be critical of others, but instead commands prayer. James5:16 tells us to pray one for another for healing, and I can testify from my own experience that prayer works! It is one of the most powerful tools at our disposal, to help others whom are going through hardships, difficult times, trials, and struggles. Never the less, even if not, praying for others is still good. 1 Samuel 12:23- Moreever as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way:

Not long ago, my marriage had hit an all-time low because of our own lack of a personal prayer life, but is now restored once again because of the fervent prayers of other good and committed Christian friends. They weren’t condemning or judgmental, but instead became prayer warriors for several Months, while also offering helpful council. Of course my wife and I had to take certain steps for restoration in conjunction with those prayers, but all the credit goes to God and prayer.

When praying for others, sometimes we can become discouraged when immediate results don’t occur but never quit. Sometimes positive changes happen quickly but sometimes could take much longer, even years. Trust in God’s timing and his will. I have heard testimonies from Christians who had prayed for their loved ones for many years, before supernatural changes or healing had occurred. Sometimes you can even sense the spiritual strength when others are praying for you, and don’t be afraid to tell others that we are praying for them as well. What can prove our love for them more than that? So what do you say? How about I pray for you and you pray for me?

Thank you!

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Hello friends!

Several years ago there was a weekly, reality TV series called Fear Factor,where-upon contestants were competitively challenged to tackle some of their biggest fears head on, for a chance at winning fifty grand if I recall. The premise of the show was an attempt at exposing the contestants biggest fears, by inducing a negative response of fright and failure while viewers eagerly watched on. Those tactics often proved successful, for many of the contestants wilted under the pressure of being confronted with nightmarish ordeals being brought to reality. I found the show to be interesting and intriguing, and often wondered how I would have responded at some of the frightening courses that the show’s producers came up with. However, I will tell you right now that I never would have made it past Day Two of the competition, which always involved eating something disgusting, like Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches for example. I never considered those nasty meal competitions as something to be afraid of, but rather something to abhor and often wondered why it was included in the show. A gagging reflux isn’t frightening to me, but that’s just me.

It would appear that many of us folks have a fear or two that makes us feel uneasy, whether we care to admit it or not, and we oft try to avoid those negative experiences. Those fears might be the result of a past traumatic experience, or some might even be justified, like when packing out Caribou meat deep inside Grizzly Bear country. However in most cases fear is usually created within our own mind.  Even when we know that those fears are all in our head and no realistic threat looms large, we still struggle with them at times. Some folks are afraid of flying, some are afraid of the water, some afraid of spiders and snakes, and some folks have social fears like the fear of rejection or being alone. We’ve all heard those bizarre stories of poor folks with unfathomable phobias like for example, being afraid of clowns, haven’t we? Naturally, most of our past youthful fears change and depart as we age from childhood to adulthood, but a few of those stubborn buggers never diminish. I’m about to reveal my two biggest fears that remain today, but I also feel that I’m not alone and that many share my fears as well.

thO386HDBAOkay, I’ll begin with my second biggest fear. The fear of public speaking! Yes I’m an author, and I talk to many folks at my signing table, but whenever I stand up in front of a group of people to speak (a rarity), my knees buckle and I hyperventilate. I’m lucky if any words come out of my mouth at all. I recall an experience many years ago while at a restaurant Christmas party, when I was called upon to stand up and speak words of cheer to every guest there. I stood up, but no words came out! Being red-faced and embarrassed, I quickly sat down again without uttering a single word.

Believe it or not, I have socially improved by leaps and bounds since my teenage years; my days in High School when I was even too shy and afraid to talk to the pretty girls. Traumatic!

Okay, my number one biggest fear is this. The fear of heights! I have no problem flying inside of an airplane, but put me on the edge of something like a building’s ledge or rooftop, tall bridge, mountain cliff, or even a tall rollercoaster, and I’ll go numb. My arms and legs literally go numb and I can barely move from fright. Weird huh? Maybe it was because of all my childhood nightmares involving me falling from off high places, when I always woke up with a pounding heartbeat just before I hit the ground. Perhaps the most recent memorable experience involving heights, was several years ago when I was persuaded into going for a ride on an Ultralight Aircraft. I felt as if I were sitting in a lawn chair with wings, and the pilot flew so high that the Spruce Trees far below looked like green colored toothpicks. In hindsight, I wished that I could have relaxed and enjoyed the experience more, but I was scared out of my mind, and my eyes remained closed for most of the fifteen-minute flight.

What are you afraid of?

Thank you!

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Hello friends!

I am getting excited about my upcoming, two week trip to Maine in early November, for an long overdue visit with family and friends again. It’s a decent time of the year to visit my home state, providing the weather co-operates with my traveling plans. Although New England’s beautiful autumn foliage will be in gradual decline during my visit, my favorite McIntosh and Cortland apples should still be readily available, and I especially can’t wait to devour the best brand of hotdogs in the world, Rice’s! Okay, that might be an exaggeration, but those red colored hotdogs are the best tasting wieners that I’ve ever eaten. No store purchased hotdog I’ve tried in Alaska comes close. In fact, there’s only one brand of hotdog in this area that I find to be decently flavored, and that’s Hills brand from Oregon. I prefer to grill the Hill’s dogs, then stuff them inside a toasted bun, and top them off with mustard, ketchup, and my wife’s homemade sauerkraut. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!

Some local folks ask me if I’m looking ahead to eating lobster when there but honestly, I’ve never been much of a seafood eater. I don’t mind it, but I don’t seek it either. That category belongs to my wife, for she’s the seafood connoisseur. This might be blasphemous to my fellow Mainers, but if my wife and I had a choice for a last meal, we’d both choose King Crab over lobster. We agree that it’s a little sweeter tasting.

thJN10O80ROkay, I didn’t write this blog to talk about food, but about my upcoming trip. As eager as I am to arrive there and fellowship with family and friends, I still dread the long flight from Fairbanks to Bangor more than anything. The lengthy grueling trips are the main reason why my dad doesn’t fly to Alaska anymore, and why I only fly there for a visit once every two or three years. In fact, flights usually depart here in the middle of the night, and this specific trip to Bangor will require twenty-four hours, which includes an eight hour layover time in Seattle. Should I wear my Patriot’s hat while there?

Take the realizations of being stuffed into a coach class seat like a sardine for several hours at a time, combined with airport security hassles, lengthy layover times, and running for your life to the next terminal in order to avoid missing a flight, and I’m already wishing that I had a private jet or transporter like on Star Trek to send me there. However, I wouldn’t want to be the first person to test a transporter either. I wouldn’t want to arrive in Maine with my right arm attached to where my left leg was supposed to be, or vice a versa.

When it comes to flying across the country, I admit that I can be a whiner at times, but I’ve  had a few bad experiences to justify this in my mind. For example, I absolutely refuse to connect in LaGuardia anymore. I’ve had nothing but bad experience after bad experience in that NY airport, which usually involves missing connecting flights, and I do everything in my power to ensure that my tickets no longer include LaGuardia. The only positive experience that I can draw from my past connections there, was the time years ago when meeting Montel Williams. I got to chat with him for a minute but he didn’t look happy to be at that airport either. I despise that terminal!

If it weren’t for my wife, I most likely wouldn’t have travelled to many of the places that she and I went to. She loves to travel more than I do, and I’ve often needed her prompting to push me out of my comfort zone of staying put. Once we arrived at our intended destinations, we’ve had a blast at those places, while making memorable moments that will last for a lifetime. But it was those grueling trips to those far distant places that I dreaded most, like our tremendously lengthy trips to Europe and China, when we were in the air for fifteen hours at one point. During those flights, I swore never again! But in order to have fun and accumulate those memorable experiences of a lifetime, than I’ve concluded that one day of traveling discomfort is worth it. Take the good with the bad and be thankful for the entire experience. I often wished that Maine and Alaska were closer together, and that travelling across the country to see family was quick and easy. Quick and easy it’s not, but it’s definitely worthwhile. My parents and relatives are getting older by the minute, as we all are, and we have no idea when God will remove any of us from this planet. None of us are guaranteed a tomorrow or future, which makes the present time the most important day to leave our comfort zones, in order to make new lasting memories, and to be a blessing to someone.

Thank you!

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