(Photo © 2020 Greg Richter)

It was the mid-1980s when I picked up a copy of a book by Mary Stewart Relfe, Ph.D. titled “The New Money System: 666” which set about explaining how the newly implemented UPC barcode system was actually a cleverly hidden numerical system that — once decoded — contained the very thing John the Revelator had been warning humanity to avoid for almost two millennia: The Mark of the Beast.

I’m no stupe, so I read this book with a wary eye. After all, I’d already been through Hal Lindsey’s “Late Great Planet Earth” end-of-the-world claims and so far … bupkis.

Photo © 2020 Greg Richter (All rights reserved)

I’ve got a feeling deep down in my bones.

It’s a groaning, a growing, an aching for something that was, that is and is to be.

It hurts real bad, a little more with every setting sun, but it’s an old man dying and a new man being born.

There’s no trade-off of a beat-up jalopy for a brand new Lamborghini. It’s slow decay, replaced piece-by-piece by fresh sinews and flesh with real life in them.

Everybody’s gonna die, but the point is to live.

So what you gonna drive? And where’s it gonna take you? …

(Photo © 2020 Greg Richter)

I was running for my life today when a helpful voice came out of nowhere:

“Tell Google Voice what you want it to help you with!”

“I would very much like to continue my run while listening to my podcast uninterrupted,” is what I wanted to say, but, instead, I said nothing because I’ve learned that saying anything only encourages further conversation.

Yet Google Voice persisted:

“Tell Google Voice what you want it to help you with!”

I tried unplugging my earbuds and plugging them back in, but to no avail. Google Voice was intent on helping me although I…

Photo © 2017 Greg Richter

I’ve dreamed thousands of times that I could fly. I don’t know why — I’m just able to do it. Usually, I pull my legs up under my chest and am amazed that I hadn’t figured out I could do it all along.

But that’s all in dreams.

One thing I’ve never dreamed — or at least I have no memory of it if I have — is being able to swim. If I do dream about being in or near the water it’s usually about a fear of drowning.

I assume this is because I never learned to swim…

Molly (Photo by Laura Axelrod)

We talk about how God is love and how he is merciful. One day this week he showed me his kindness amid fear and heartbreak.

I woke up Tuesday morning already knowing my wife, Laura, was having car trouble. The night before, she had stopped halfway home from a trip because of the weather, but she also noticed, just as she reached her hotel, that her oil light quickly blinked on and off.

Knowing that meant she had an oil leak, I told her to see if she could get it looked at first thing in the morning. Turns out…

The old, left, and the new, right, looking pretty much the same.

They once were lost, but now they’re found. Was blind — okay, unable to read — but now I see

I bought those old, original Timberland boots back in the 1990s, and I still have them. I keep saying I’ll get them bronzed because I’ve worn them at the Temple Mount and at the top of the Empire State Building. I’ve worn them in the excavated synagogue in Capernaum where Jesus drove a demon out of a man and at the foot of the Twin Towers before the spot became hallowed as Ground Zero.

Now, I most often wear them to do yard work since they’re old and falling apart.

A few years after I bought that first pair, I…

Was It an Oracle From On High — Or Just a Stupid Dream?

The Oracle at Delphi

“If a man is aggrieved by the sound of nothing he is already on fire.”

Thus spake Owen Tew’s old friend Tim Terry, though it wasn’t in real life, so Owen couldn’t ask him what it meant.

It was, rather, in a dream, so it wasn’t really Tim Terry saying anything at all, but actually Owen’s own conscience, or subconscious, or maybe an oracle of the Almighty. But whatever it was Owen remembered it immediately upon awakening and thought it so significant as to write it down lest he forget it when he re-awoke later in the morning.

He’d had…

Vitruvian Man (Leonardo da Vinci)

Hint: It’s Because We Are All Equally Vital Parts of the Body of Christ

I’ve never had a favorite Scripture verse. I always figured they were all equally important — even the ones people today might not find much use for. I’m talking about all those “begats.”

But there is one passage that sums up all that bugs me about divisions in the church: 1 Corinthians 12:12–31, where the Apostle Paul compares the Church — the Body of Christ — to a human body in which different parts have different functions, but all are equally vital to the perfect functioning of the body.

Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a…

Secularists May Not Understand Christian Thought as Much as They Think They Do, But Christians Can Be Just as Unthinking

Well, now it’s time to say goodbye to Ned and Rod and Todd;
And I’ll remind all you folks you should be praisin’ God.
If you don’t you’ll rot in hell for all eternity;
It’s all a part of God’s great love he has for you and me!

That parody of The Beverly Hillbillies’ closing theme was sung at the end of a Simpson’s episode in Season 29 titled “No Good Read Goes Unpunished.” (You can watch it below at the 19:57 mark.)

Is it funny because it’s true? That depends on your perspective. If you think it’s true, it…

Walter Crane

Take It From Joni Mitchell and King Solomon: With Age Come Some Sad Realizations

Sometimes I feel like a guy putting Just for Men on his back hair: He’s trying to reclaim a past glory that never was really there.

I’ve been trying valiantly over the past several months to recapture the early days of my spiritual walk — back when I was convinced that by now I’d have squashed all the Screwtapes who’d dare tempt me away from godly perfection.

I was misinformed.

I decided a few months ago to quit the lukewarm Christianity I had fallen into and reignite the fervor I had when I first came to faith almost 30 years…

Greg Richter

Journalist, author, faith-based essayist, podcaster. Author of “The Bee Attitudes: And Other Spiritual Lessons From Everyday Life”

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