35 Years in the Desert.

I was born in Washington DC on a warm November 18, 1939. My father was an assistant district attorney and my mother a registered nurse.

The headlines that day were about Nazis executing Czech students, the king of England giving a DFC to an RAF pilot, an American promoting a Nazi political movement in the US, and Hitler’s minister Goering working on the German alliance with Italy.

A couple years later in 1941, I listened to the radio with my parents, and remember the president’s words citing a “day of infamy” when the Japs killed 3,000 Americans in a sneak attack on Pearl Harbor.

Two years later, in 1944, at age four, my mother took me to Providence Hospital where I was diagnosed with Bulbar Polio. I found myself enclosed in a glass room on the Isolation Ward. The boys on my right and left stood in their beds to greet me. Within a few days, I watched both removed on gurneys, covered by sheets. Though only four years old, I knew they were dead. But I survived.

Later that year, I entered kindergarten.  I was skinny. My father called me “Mahatma Ghandi.” I didn’t understand until I met my first bully. I never won a fight until age 13, when I learned to attack, and never lost one afterward. At the time, I didn’t realize the implications of my attack strategy, and its disconnect from my moral upbringing. This disconnection would transform my future.

Our neighborhood did not have fences.

We played sports on the stone and tar streets. A fall was painful, so we learned to stay on our feet. I lived there until I left home.

Across our street was the Potomac River valley, and a couple hundred feet down the hill the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal. The first lock and bridge over the canal were a ten-minute walk away. On the far bank of the canal was the tow-path. Beyond the tow-path, the Potomac River sometimes flooded into the canal, ripping away a section of the tow-path, and as the flood subsided draining that part of the canal.

Also on the hillside across the street lived my best friend: Bobby Burchell. We fished the canal and river and got good at it. Both of us built model airplanes which we flew “free flight” and on control-lines. And we attended Trinity Grammar School together. Upon graduation, he entered a Jesuit high school in Washington DC and I a public school in Bethesda, which separated us forever.

At midnight, two weeks after high school graduation, I stood with 72 other recruits before three Drill Instructors at Parris Island, South Carolina.

The Marines taught me self-discipline, comradery, and how to defend myself with weapons including my hands and feet.

I crossed the Atlantic, Mediterranean, Aegean, Pacific, and South China Sea on ships, and discovered the rest of the world while doing so.

During the three years on active duty, I was stationed at Marine bases in Florida, North Carolina, California, and Okinawa.

In my job as an Intelligence Analyst, I learned politics by studying failed countries.

I earned two ribbons serving with Expeditionary Forces sent to Beirut and Taiwan.

Three months after leaving the Marines, President Kennedy announced we’d put a man on the moon by 1969.

I then started classes at the University of Maryland, seeking a Bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering.

Nearing graduation, I found the interesting Apollo engineering work was completed.

But graduating first in my class opened doors. I considered three Ph.D. programs suggested by my Dean, but decided to leave this field.

Three months after leaving Maryland, I started a two-year Master’s program at the Yale School of Management, tuition-free. I married Nancy, and she worked at Yale and elsewhere as a secretary to pay for an apartment, and put food on the table. Graduating second in my class didn’t feed my ego. I missed a tie at straight High Honors, with one Honors grade where I tried to do with a computer what my professor said couldn’t be done with a computer. He was right, and I missed a full-house and tie for first in class. But lots of doors opened.

After receiving my Yale degree, I joined General Dynamics at their head office in New York. The job was as a corporate management intern reporting to subordinates of the CEO. After completing their program, I was the only intern who didn’t leave.

General Dynamics then sent me to solve a scheduling problem with their testing of the 673-class attack submarines. When I presented them a solution, they sent me to a surface shipyard where scheduling was killing them.

Two years later, I supervised 4,100 men in controlling production, warehousing raw and finished steel, construction by 23 unionized trades, building and launching steel ships upon 3 ways and 3 basins, and helping other trades install machinery, piping, and electronics. I trebled the launch rate and helped General Dynamics avoid bankruptcy. At 31, I was the youngest by 10 years in their “Brown Book” of top 50 managers.

By my 7th year, I thought my ego wouldn’t let me stay because they didn’t pay me enough from what I had already done—which was true and important—and weren’t transparent regarding their plans for my future—also true and important. My reasons were logical, but superficial.

The real reason was that I had gone so far astray from my upbringing that I finally became uncomfortable with what I had become in the shipyard, my behavior was scandalous and far afield from my roots, something which I recognized as Satanic was urging me to end my life, and I felt with clarity that I should “bail out” of that situation as fast as I could. I wanted to clean up my life—to walk myself back from the edge of the cliff.

With Yale Alumni Association’s help, I was steered away from my inclination toward aviation (airlines, manufacturers) and, at their erudite suggestion, I landed a job with Citibank in New York for a 25% increase in salary.

After a year proving myself to Citi management, they assigned me to a team planning Citi’s expansion.

I later presented my plan to Citi’s EVP of Operations and was assigned to apply it to integrate three recently acquired banks.

To celebrate, I took a fishing trip to Maine.

I now foresaw success ahead, having shed my moral upbringing, broken the Ten Commandments, become a Narcissist, provoked my marriage toward divorce, and convinced myself I was the Captain of my Fate—but I recognized that I was changing, now found repugnant the debased path I had been sliding down, and sensed that there was an immensely powerful force opposed to the demonic, self-destructive nihilism that had recently sought to destroy me.

I thought I owned my future at age 34.

What I expected was not to be.

Unsolvable Problems Disappear Before Creator When Asked

Thursday, May 10, 2018. From last Saturday until yesterday, I was trapped in a technological maze, not of my own making. It frazzled my mind for reasons I shall present below, and I pleaded with You, Lord, to give me wisdom, courage, and strength to overcome this Spirit of Confusion and solve the snarled mess. I kept at the problem, but couldn’t unravel a loose end to start. I trusted You, for you have walked me through many of these dark valleys and back into sunlight.

It started when my DOT COM website went down (Problem #1) and I repeatedly talked to host’s support, mostly in East Asian countries, with no lasting results. The site would resume running noticeably slower, then collapse. Was restarted, collapsed. This dragged on through four days until Tuesday night as I exchanged calls and chat board conversations with the host and their security management firm, emails with a premier plugin’s smorgasbord of products including a site malware firm (an independent plugin when I started with them) and their recently absorbed real-time backup plugin (also an independent plug-in when I started with them) who had provided me continuous backups and technical support (with great success) for the last 2 years.

By late Tuesday (May 8th), the website was up and running reliably for my subscribers and other users (Problem #1 solved), but on “autopilot”, for I could not get to the Administrator’s Control Panel to manage it or write new posts (Problem #2). I felt like I was juggling the host’s support offices in the US and India and Indonesia and Philippines and their security vendor, my website’s software provider, the new superplugin (newcomers) and the backup and malware plugins’ personnel—the “too many cooks” syndrome was obvious.

But, You, Lord are the Creator God, the one to help me unravel the snarl of “too many cooks.” I knew You would walk me through and out of this latest dark valley (the valley of passwords) like you have led me through the multitude of dark valleys during the past 44 years I relied upon You.

So, I focused on the host’s support on Tuesday evening and chose the chat option where chats are recorded. The recorded conversation showed a place to start, and the solution revealed two more problems before—it seemed miraculous to me—all three critical problems vaporized within one hour late last night.

This problem is no longer a critical threat to my activities. Obviously, I redacted all vendor-identifiable material and most of the blow-by-blow walk through this valley from the 5-page entry in my spiritual journal.

Forgiveness is an Eternal Commitment.

Charlotte’s just written a blog (CharlottesSoul.com) on forgiveness, and I responded with:

Charlotte, you’re spot on. Decades ago, in the bruising corporate world, at the top of my game, I lost everything I’d worked for as an 8-year CEO to a corporate coup d’état. I had two kids in college, another in high school needing a $25,000 a year drug after removing a brain tumor, and another who needed good support as he was deaf and mainstreamed in a local Elementary School, and a $36,000 per year mortgage–in the middle of a recession. I had immediately forgiven those involved in the treachery, and, after using up my fortune in an unprofitable start-up over three years, moved to a faraway city to restart at a lower level. For 30 months, I supported my family back home while living alone in an apartment 2,000 miles away. While living alone, I kept asking the Lord, “Since I forgave John (not his name) immediately, I continue to discover the damage he did to me is even greater than I had imagined, and I find myself forgiving him again, and again, and again. What gives? How can I forgive him one last time and make it stand? The Lord immediately put a new thought in my mind and I replied to Him: “O.K. Here’s what I ask of You, Lord. When You greet me as I arrive in Heaven, I want to find ‘John’ there beside You.” Although John’s harm to me and my family remains to this day, I know that I have asked the Lord to forgive him, in a way that will require John being saved, and dropped my charges. Not amazing, but truly stupendous, I know this is a done deal. Then, I started asking that for everyone who has harmed or hated me before or since. I figure there will be hundreds by the time I get there. But here’s the punchline, with John and all those hundreds, I’ve never again borne them ill-will, it has vanished, for He gave me this gift and I fill in the blanks and return it to Him. It all really started when He forgave me, and my job is to pay it forward.

Review of Linda Ronstadt’s novel: The Fifteenth Article

October 9, 2017. My review of Linda Ronstadt’s book: The Fifteenth Article.

 

Customer Review

5.0 out of 5 stars Evocative of classic dystopian novels, one Christian, one not.

By Richard E. J. Burkeon October 9, 2017

Format: Kindle Edition | Verified Purchase

Fair notice: I read a final draft of this book on my PC before it was published, and gave a thumbs up to its author, who participates with me in a wannabe-Inklings writers critique group, that meets at the Desert Rose Cafe in Williamsport, Maryland, on the second Saturday of each month. I bought the published version for my Kindle Paperwhite, because I intend to read it again, and share it with my wife. In this novel, we have current events extrapolated into the near future, evocative of the classic 1984, but written in Christian-friendly prose with a fresh plot. I recently finished the C. S. Lewis space trilogy with a Goodreads book review (see that review in Amazon, as well). This novel’s antagonists demonstrate similar contempt for their clinically red-lined humanity, as do their counterparts in the 3rd book of that trilogy: “That Hideous Strength.” Comparisons aside, this book engages from beginning to end. I’m not a patient reader and fail to complete more than 80% of the novels I start–no matter how far I’ve read into the book, or how much I paid for it, or who thinks I should read it. 4-stars for any book I read all the way through, and 5-stars if I’m still thinking about it a month later. I don’t rate books I haven’t finished, and I try to rate all which I have.

The Fifteenth Article

I enjoyed reading Silas Marner, written by a lady with a male pen name.

 

I returned this afternoon from a 9-day retreat with my son, David, to a rented cottage on East Grand Lake Stream, a portion of the U.S. border with Canada in northeast Maine, where we had heard the fishing was stellar. Not so much. The round-trip drive of 1600+ miles consumed 13 hours (a day and a half) each way–so I’m a little woozy as I write this, being out of the saddle only a few hours. But, although disappointed with the fishing I’d dreamed about for 15 years (the reality of harvesting a bucket on the list is never as good as the dream), I did finish reading a charming novel there that I want to share with you.

Rick’s Review of Silas Marner by George Elliot.

 

Mitigate danger & trust the Lord

PA32-300 Piper Cherokee Six like one I had

In my preceding post, I described my feeble methods for staying alive in the Argentine civil war, now called “the Dirty War” by historical revisionists. After describing how I turned my safety over to the Lord, I said:

“From that day on, I have not feared for my life–despite being in great danger on numerous occasions. If I discover myself in danger, I do whatever I can to mitigate the risk. But, the Lord is in absolute control of the outcome.”

Over later posts, I’m going to dig into my spiritual journal for examples demonstrating what I meant in the above quote. These examples will illustrate what I mean by doing “whatever I can to mitigate the risk,” while accepting that “the Lord is in absolute control of the outcome”

I previously wrote how flying fighters became my childhood ambition during World War II. As a Marine I failed the color-blindness test to be a fighter pilot. However, I couldn’t shake my love of flying, and when I could afford it, I secured a private pilot’s license, instrument rating, commercial pilot certificate, and an airplane: a Piper Cherokee Six, PA32-300(hp).

Over the years, I flew 49 different aircraft (20 designs), logged 878 hours of flight, of which 505 were cross-country, 40 at night, 103 solely by reference to instruments (actual IFR); including 950 takeoffs and landings. I kept intellectually committed through thousands of hours of courses, seminars, reading accident reports, and reading articles like mine below.

Piloting aircraft has been defined by one wag as: “thousands of hours of boredom punctuated by rare moments of sheer terror.”

In May of 1989, I encountered my first (and only) such moment. The following is taken verbatim from my personal journal (edited only for clarity):

Sunday, April 30, 1989 to Sunday, May 7, 1989 [inflight icing nearly kills me].  Flew alone on business in Delaware, regarding relocating my company there. First leg, flew to my folks’ house in Williamsport, PA, for dinner and the night. Same day, took (sister) Josie’s family for ride. Monday, flew to Allentown, PA, which was as close as I wanted to go in (the prevalent bad) weather, because it had (the) best instrument facilities. After business, I took off for Ohio State University field, where I refueled. The account of the icing encounter follows below the (following) logbook entries.

Date From To Flight time Aircraft ID Make & Model Remarks
4/30/89 SUS IPT 4.5 N2174S PA32-300 non-stop using 55% power and had 38 gallons (2.5 hrs.) left!!!
4/30/89 IPT IPT 0.5 N2174S PA32-300 Josie’s family for ride.
5/1/89 IPT ABE 0.8 N2174S PA32-300 Allentown ILS to 400 feet; drove to Dover DE
5/6/1989 ABE OSU 3 N2174S PA32-300 OSU NDB
5/6/89 OSU DAY 0.8 N2174S PA32-300 DAY ILS: Heavy icing caused me to abort flight and overnight here
5/7/89 DAY SUS 3 N2174S PA32-300

IPT = Williamsport Regional Airport, Williamsport, Pennsylvania, USA

SUS = Spirit of St. Louis Airport, MO

ABE = Lehigh Valley International, Allenown, PA

OSU = Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

DAY = James M Cox Dayton International, Dayton, OH


Below is my article published in AOPA Online (Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association). (article was still online there on June 10, 2008, 19 years later)


Weather and Flight Experience

Listen to your Briefer

This is taken from my journal. At the time, I was an 800-hour pilot, current for IFR and flying the same plane that I had earned my IFR rating in five years earlier. I flew all cross-country under IFR and had about 80 hours actual IMC experience.

May 6, 1989: Returning from Dover, Delaware, where I had been involved in stressful business, I was traveling home to Spirit of St. Louis airport using my Cherokee Six.

I stopped at Columbus, Ohio, at the Ohio State University airstrip for refueling. As I got my IFR weather debriefing over the phone, the briefer told me that there was a Pirep (pilot report) that a Cessna had encountered light icing southeast of the field. Yeah, yeah, I thought to myself. Just like the “chance of thunderstorms” you get all summer long from the FSS in CAVU. Well, they had cried “WOLF” so many times that this Pirep went right through my ears. But, I was now alerted to the possibility of icing, although I considered it remote in the month of May and with the temperatures aloft along my route.

Then this intrepid aviator took his beloved Cherokee Six off into a four hundred foot ceiling (IFR, remember) in light rain and was chugging onward at four thousand feet under Dayton Approach Control about twenty miles out, when I entered driving snow, which changed to sleet and freezing rain, which made my engine run rough, so, because I was a well trained and current IFR pilot with 5 years in this airplane, I opened the air cleaner by-pass by rote for the first time in five years. But the engine continued to run rough as the prop iced up. And ice started to form on my leading edges and on my windscreen.

This situation got my undivided attention. So I yelped: “Dayton Approach Control, this is Cherokee xxxx Sierra IFR to St. Louis. I have encountered freezing rain and need to land immediately”.

“Cherokee xxxx Sierra, are you declaring an emergency?”

“Yes I am!”

“Cherokee xxxx Sierra, turn left to a heading of 210, immediately descend to two thousand feet and intercept the localizer for runway 24 Right. I have put all other traffic on hold.”

“xxxx Sierra. Thank you!”

Moments later, I broke out of the clouds and the ice started to melt and break off the prop, cowl, windshield, wings, wheel fairings etc. I kept the indicated airspeed up to about 140 knots on the approach and 120 knots over the threshold numbers, because I knew that the ice might seriously degrade lift on my wings. Moreover, despite the pitot heat, the pitot tube might be iced up and not giving airspeed correctly. Normal stall was about 65 miles per hour without flaps. You don’t use flaps in this situation. Training pays off in the knowledge that this is not the first time this type of situation has been thought through.

Then I touched down with a loud “CRASH” sound as all the ice fell off the plane as I touched down and, once on the ground, I cut the throttle, pushed the nose down and slowly lowered full flaps. It was a 10,900-foot runway, so I had no problem stopping with a mile to spare from the high speed.

As I walked into the FBO’s office, the phone rang for me. The briefer who had told me about the icing Pirep on the phone briefing in Columbus asked me: “Why did you decide to go after I told you of the Pirep about icing?”

“It was southeast and I was going west. I went up to take a look for myself. But, thanks for saving my life”, I told him.

The briefer was gracious. No infractions were levied on me. The FAA controllers saved my life with immediate rerouting, putting all the incoming airliners in holding patterns, as they are prepared to do when the pilot declares an Emergency.

The moral and lessons of the story are several. Listen to your weather briefing carefully. To assure that you get full benefit from the briefing, do not “tune out” what you perceive as boilerplate. And Pireps are far from boilerplate. Know the risks ahead before starting. Always keep trained for the worst (icing does happen in May), and ready to recognize and declare an emergency IMMEDIATELY. If I had waited five minutes, I would have been buried in a hole in an Ohio cornfield. The logic is this: if I make an error in judgment, own up to it, get out of the danger and deal with it on the ground.


So, you might ask, how does this incident stand up to my words about risk:

“From that day on, I have not feared for my life–despite being in great danger on numerous occasions. If I discover myself in danger, I do whatever I can to mitigate the risk. But, the Lord is in absolute control of the outcome.”

For my part, I did what I could to mitigate the risks:

  1. Aircraft maintained in excellent condition;
  2. Pilot well-rested and healthy;
  3. Pilot well-trained in this aircraft;
  4. Recent Pilot experience in Instrument Meteorological Conditions ;
  5. Pilot pretrained for this specific meteorological condition (icing);
  6. Pilot alert for and recognized conditions as they deteriorated;
  7. Pilot immediately announced problem to Air Traffic Control;

God has a plan for my life, and another plan for yours. This situation could have easily led to a wide range of outcomes, with death as most likely. The icing could have been just a little worse, and the plane would have become uncontrollable. Or, I could have tried to solve the problem on my own, because I didn’t want to admit I had made a mistake–or was afraid of what the FAA might do to me. But, I did what I had previously trained to do, including the preset decision to immediately declare an emergency.

That’s one example, of how a Christian can live without (groundless) fear, and take reasonable risks by training beforehand for adversity. Some had thought I was a control freak in flying. Actually, I was only complying with regulations and industry guidelines for safe flying. That I misread a piece of data was a human mistake, but I was up front in admitting the problem to authorities who could help, and they did. The FAA encouraged honesty at that time by foregoing penalties when pilots reported their errors.

Since I pray as a regular element of daily life, wherever I may be, and start every day with the Holy Spirit and the Bible (which He inspired various men to write)–including on that day described in the article–I live with the indwelling Holy Spirit inside me wherever I go. When this crisis arose, I acted through training, but accepted that the outcome was in His hands.

Thanks for visiting,

Rick Burke

 

A Christian Rests In Eternal Security

Many call themselves Christian. I am one of those. But there is a vital difference between calling oneself Christian and being a Christian. I can call myself anything, but what I call myself has nothing to do with what I am.  If I walk into an airplane hangar and call myself an airplane, I am still not an airplane. If I walk into a Christian church and call myself a Christian, I do not become a Christian by saying so, or any other action.

I am defined as a Christian by what I believe about Jesus, and not just because I believe Jesus existed, for the men who nailed Jesus onto a cross believed Jesus existed, bleeding right before them. Nor am I a Christian because I believe in God–even Satan and his devils believe God exists.

I am a Christian because of what I believe about Jesus.

Jesus is Who he is, not who we merely think he is, and certainly not who many want Him to be. Jesus says of himself, “I am who I am.”

St. Peter hit the nail on the head when answering Jesus’s question, “Who do you think I am?” Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus responded with, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.”

There’s the rub. We don’t study, strive and will our way to being a Christian. All our desires and hopes about Jesus are examined by God before he gives us the gift of faith to believe Jesus is all he claims to be.

In reading this morning, I thought the following represents one concise summary (there are many more) of this matter:

1 John 5:1-13 (NIV)

“5 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. This is the one who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify: the[a] Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. We accept human testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. 10 Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts this testimony. Whoever does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because they have not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. 11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.”

If I’m a Christian, how should I live?

When I was the pilot of our family plane, we often wanted to travel when the weather required flying on instruments. Moreover, enroute weather can rapidly turn bad and the only options are to land at an inconvenient airport, fly around the worst of it, or through it if it’s mild enough. Since I was also flying on business trips, I trained for instrument flying and added that rating. I logged nearly two hundred hours in the soup—with zero visibility. The reason I didn’t feel alone was that I was in constant radio communication with various enroute Air Traffic Controllers.

Before I went to the airport for a trip, I checked the weather over my intended route by calling a Flight Service Station, explaining what I wanted to do, and receiving a synopsis of weather and other factors which should be included in my plan. If there were no show-stoppers, I’d then file my flight plan in detail over the phone, with the understanding I should radio the tower before starting to taxi, and write down the final flight plan that was approved. I wouldn’t think of going to the airport until it had been filed.

Before we left home, everybody got weighed, each piece of baggage was weighed, and I calculated the weight of passengers, baggage, and how much fuel we would carry—even where people were seated and where baggage would be stowed. Then we left for the airport.

At the airport, while the kids and Nancy waited, I preflight checked the plane using another checklist, then told the gas truck how much fuel I wanted, and loaded the baggage. Then we boarded the plane.

Only after all that, did I radio the tower (or Clearance Delivery) to get my approved routing clearance, and wrote it down as it was read to me. Then I started the engine, got clearance to taxi to a specific runway, and when there tested my engine, before calling the tower to say I was ready to take-off.

The success of such a flight pretty much depended on how well I executed those preceding steps. Flying the airplane on an Instrument Flight Plan is one of the easiest exercises in an airplane. Once I’d flown us into position to lock on, I flew using radio aids which my autopilot could track. The rest of the flight was managed by communicating with enroute Controllers until reaching the destination, getting clearances at each transition point, including on the ground at the destination airport. Then I closed the flight plan.

Only once in 840 hours of flying did I experience an emergency, and immediately telling the enroute traffic controller gave me priority to land at a nearby city’s airport, with airliners told to hold. The incident introduced a ten-minute interruption in the flow of traffic at that airport, but it saved my life.

Flying is easier than life. Why do we leap out of bed, shower, eat, dress, and run out the door to our workplace, school, or other destination without a plan presented to our Life Controller, the Lord? Why don’t we ask Him for guidance on what we should include (or not) in our day’s plan?

I was called and responded to the Father’s call to Jesus when I was 34—not because I got smarter. No. In fact, it seemed the longer I followed the path at that moment, the worse things got. My career was o.k., and our marriage had held up for ten years (barely) until that time. I had two very young sons. And I was full of pride. People called me “lucky.” Then my firstborn son drowned behind our house.

Over the next two weeks, I came face-to-face with God and found He was the one I had been seeking. With my entire being, I signed up. And I have never started a day since, without first checking with him on how I’m doing, the fitness of my plans, and the specific things he wants as first priority that day. Our communications were less precise (on my side) in the beginning, but after 42 years, his instructions are as clear as Air Traffic Control’s revised flight plan.

O.K. I understand nobody likes to copy somebody else’s methods, but over the past 42 years—which included 6 years surviving amidst South American terrorist wars and the morning before I flew into that inflight emergency—I quickly fell into a routine like my preflight procedures. I rise from bed before I normally would, thank God, sit down with a Bible, and follow my current plan for this “quiet time,” which today includes two “primers” –akin to the weather and route briefing before I file my flight plan. One is a little booklet called Our Daily Bread which gives a small lesson on a specific passage of scripture, and then I do the same with another called InTouch. In the appointed scriptures and lessons, I find guidance and encouragement for the day—like that fuel truck filling up my tank. Afterwards, I make sure to wait for my approved clearance, which is usually the sense of peace Jesus promised (you’ll know it), and sometimes specific guidance to do or be alert for something specific. Then I start my day knowing I’ve prepared for whatever lies ahead.

Both tiny books come free to your mobile phone or computer. Just follow these links to the two web sites: Our Daily Bread and In Touch. Listen to them—you may like them. If you have no morning routine with the Lord, you can start with one or both of these on your mobile phone.

Thanks for visiting this first time.

Your brother in Christ,

Rick

Introducing Rick Burke’s Personal Blog

picture-10-croppedHi! This is my personal blog. I also have a weekly blog called Raising Up Pharaoh.com that is dedicated to my archaeological research and related work as an author of novels; it was launched in early 2014. After establishing that blog with 115 posts and now able to publish each week with a couple days work, I’m preparing to dedicate another couple days a week to writing a new novel. But, I find I need this new arena to speak to friends and soon-to-be friends who are interested in discussing how we can live as Christians and deal with this tumultuous world around us. All having good will are welcome, from all religions, disbelief, or habits.

Each post will be something fresh that I recently found useful in dealing with a personal issue which I feel is widely encountered by most of us. I’ll share how I deal with it and the reasons why I respond that way. And I hope you’ll offer your point of view in the comments, which I’ll moderate. Any comment that deals with the issue without rancor will be OK’d by me.