Merry Christmas 2017

Isa 9:1-7
(1)  Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations.
(2)  The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
(3)  Thou hast multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.
(4)  For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian.
(5)  For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire.
(6)  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
(7)  Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

Isa 60:1-3
(1)  Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.
(2)  For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.
(3)  And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.

Joh 12:46
(46)  I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.

Rejoice for the Light has come! Light that overcomes the power of darkness! Light that frees the captive and brings relief to the oppressed! Light that heals the sick and causes the blind to see!

Come to that Light it is shining for thee!

Arise! Awake! The Light is here. People do not grope around in darkness because of a lack of light; rather, it is a lack of sight. They are blind or sleeping.

Eph 5:14
(14)  Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.

Rejoice for the Prince of Peace has come! Of His Kingdom there is no end! Gone is the noise of battle and the weapons and attire of war. This Kingdom is a Kingdom of peace.

Glorious Light! Light that brings life instead of death! Freedom instead of bondage!

Are you filled with this Light? Are your eyes opened to see this glorious Light?

Or, are you sleeping? Is Jesus a cute baby to you? A neat Christmas story?

Has this Light changed you?

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Time for a Diversion

I had the amazing opportunity to go on a deer hunt on Kodiak Island this winter. We were given the hunt as a Christmas bonus by the business where I work. My boss also invited along several other men from the local church. We flew to Kodiak then were picked up by lodge employees and ferried on one of their boats to Port Lions, AK. We stayed in a comfortable lodge called Wilderness Beach.

Below is a panorama of the boardwalk that connects the small town of Port Lions.

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The scenery was absolutely splendid! I did not take my camera so I had to use my phone to take the pictures.

Another 180 degree panorama from the side of a mountain on which we were hunting.

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The first day of hunting did not result in any meat but I was fortunate to shoot a nice 4×4 Sitka Blacktail on the 2nd day. The island also has a large population of fox. I managed to harvest a silver/red cross fox while dragging my deer back to the beach.

Buck in the skiff on its way to the big boat.20171206_163439-1

Unfortunately the lighting was poor and the picture got blurry.

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I also had the opportunity to hunt waterfowl and do some fishing. Because I am still considered a nonresident in regards to hunting here in AK I just had 1 deer tag. The remainder of the time that I had on the island was spent with a true Alaskan name Gabe who has a waterfowl guiding business named “Fowl Weather”. We had a great time together and found that much of our theology and views regarding family, technology, etc… were similar. It was a blessing to see how God orchestrates circumstances to bring people together to encourage one another. It turns out that Gabe lives nearby and we intend to continue our friendship.

Some of the waterfowl and fish. The fish are a Rockfish know as Black Sea Bass. They are very good to eat and very enjoyable to catch. These bit so fast that it was like catching bluegills in the farm pond. We had our limits in very little time.

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It was truly a privilege that I will never forget to spend those several days getting to know all the men that went along on the hunt and to be immersed in God’s marvelous creation. Being in the vast wilderness makes one feel very small. Yet, God cared for the little birds that I saw flitting through the willows and alders. Amazing!

It was very good to get back to my family and to share the stories of our week apart. Kirk, my nearly 8 year old son, really wanted to go along on the trip so I consoled him with a promise that I will take him hunting when we get back. We went out the other day and he got his very first game, a nice red squirrel. He is still talking about it and it actually brings tears to my eyes to think of how easy it would have been to crush the joys and dreams of my child with my own agenda for the day. It is so simple to go on a little hike, hunt, fishing trip, or some excursion; and, yet, it can make a huge positive impact in a child’s life. Too often I find my time filled up with “other stuff” and I begin to treat my children as if they are in my way. God help us see how damaging that is to a child.

Happy & proud hunter.

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A few more photos of the trip.

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It’s Dark

Winter is here and with it came snow, cold, and darkness. It is beautiful! We have had one good northern light show and many clear cold nights when the moon and stars were brilliant. During the daylight the winter landscape is breathtaking!

Below are a few photos of a small nearby lake that Makayla and I hiked to on a Sunday afternoon. It is  refreshing to hike in negative temps!

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Obviously the scenery is beautiful; but Alaska does have a dark side. It is a darkness not because of the absence of the sun but because of a rejection of the Son.

  • Alaska has the highest suicide rate per capita in the U.S. (alaska.gov)
  • Alcohol abuse is 3 times higher in Alaska than the national average. (Anchorage Daily News)
  • One out of three Native Alaskan women have reported that they have been raped in their lifetime. (justice.gov)
  • Alaska has the highest violent crime rate in the country. (USA Today)
  • Alaska’s drug abuse rate is among the highest in the country. (alaska.gov)
  • Alaska ranks near the top for number of STDs per capita. (Anchorage Daily News)
  • Only 34.8% of Alaskans affiliate with a religion. (bestplaces.net)
  • I do not have statistics regarding, but there is a more noticeable presence of paganism and occult than I have experienced elsewhere.

Please pray for us as we shine the Light into this darkness. We (a small congregation of several families) are in the beginning stages of establishing a church near Kasilof, AK.

Pray for opportunities for us to begin outreach work in our own communities and in the neighboring Native villages.

Please help us pray against the powers of darkness and against selfishness in our own hearts. Alaska is America’s huge playground and it is easy to get distracted.

God bless!