The Purpose of This Website

"Awaken" carries a few meanings. First, it is meant to be a site that you can count on to wake you up daily with a unique devotional. (It is free and is delivered to your email inbox.To receive it, write to Secondly, it is meant to capture the symbolism of the sunrise; that is, that each day is to be embraced as a gift and the life of some new resurrection, second chance and hope. Thirdly, we pray that the Body of Christ would be awakened to the reality that we are of one spirit and that accompanying revelation occurs as the church is unified. 

In that hope, we would like to develop a regional calendar that will give us the opportunity to pray for the larger Body of Christ as we see their activities and programs appear on the calendar. Incidentally, this was actually a reality in the capital district of New York for many years under the inspiration of Don and Joyce Mostrom.

As the vision for a unified Body is embraced, Christ will be glorified through the works of diverse community of believers.

We also hope that many creative gifts will emerge and contribute to this website.

The devotional content is led by veteran author Robert J. LaCosta and the weekend message is penned by Pastor Jay Richmond.

To contribute, contact us at

Hi! I'm Robert

Robert J. LaCosta is the founder of’s “Awaken” and the phone app, MobileGod.  His novels, journals, screenplays and thousands of songs are driven by a passion to steer people to Jesus in the every day, every moment of their lives.


Through his popular online devotional, "Portals to Heaven," the Beloved Blogger coaches how to see and hear God in-the-now through metaphor and analogy.


His three-decade career in the hearing aid field led him to understand that we can draw many lessons from our natural senses and apply them to an awareness of God’s presence in each moment.


By paying attention to the obvious and subtle symbolic and metaphorical cues of the supernatural, those who have been born-again into the kingdom of God will gain a sharpened sense of The Holy Spirit’s abiding presence, direction and counsel. Those who are seeking God will also be able to use these tools to build this awareness into a full-blown walk with Jesus. No matter where a person is in their spiritual walk, they will find help by learning to observe the metaphor-du-jour.

LaCosta and longtime friend Pastor Jay Richmond share a common vision to churches come together. “Awaken” is an opportunity for believers to contribute to this effort while being inspired by the devotionals and other works to come.  

Robert and his wife Vini reside on the historic Hudson River in Coeymans, New York and have a combined four adult children, three grandchildren, two beautiful cats and fellowship at Bethlehem Community Church.

Hey! I'm Pastor Jay

Rev. Jay Richmond has been serving our Lord in the Capital Region for 3 decades.  Starting with Capital District Youth for Christ in June of 1987. Jay serve as youth pastor of Princetown Reformed Church, 1989-1991.  He was the assistant pastor of Tabernacle Baptist Church of Schenectady, 1992.  Jay became the pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in 1993 where he served for 11 years.  Jay Served as pastor at First Baptist Church/City View Church in Scotia form November 2004 thru May 2016. Jay has served on staff for Renewal Prayer Network since its inception in 1994 and is currently serves RPN as its President.

Jay lives in Colonie, New York with Adrienne, his wife of 30+ years.  They are proud parents of Bethany and Matthew and can be seen beaming around their beautiful grandchildren.  

Biblical Orientation
While doctrinal statements in some particulars may be needlessly divisive among Christians, we do not believe that Biblical truth can be totally dismissed in the interests of cooperation.  For Renewal Prayer Network, Inc., we state that the irreducible core of truth which makes it Christian includes:
The authority of Christian Scriptures for our faith; God as Trinity; The Divine-human Person of Jesus Christ; 
His substitution atonement and resurrection; Salvation by grace through faith in Christ.
In some degree and manner this Gospel will be used by the Spirit of God in producing new Christians.  But when this happens, even though lesser differences and enculturation may exist, Scripture tells us that such believers “are baptized into one Body and made to drink of one and the same Holy Spirit” (1 Cor. 12: 12, 13).  The Renewal Prayer Network, Inc., intends to build its work on the reality of that spiritual union.