Winter Scenes

We took a family day on Saturday when we drove to Ninilchik, AK to watch the start of a dog sled race. It was a gorgeous day! The sun was bright and the temps were in the 20’s. My older children and I positioned ourselves away from the starting line to capture photographs without the crowd in the background. I included a few photos of the race below. It was neat to see how passionately those dogs love to run. They could barely contain themselves waiting for their turn.

The race, Tustemena 200, is a 200 mile race through an area known as Caribou Hills.

On Sunday afternoon the older children and I took a small hike on a nearby trail and found a beautiful view overlooking the Kenai River. I have included several photos of that as well.

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Shaken

I guess it takes the earth to move to get me to update my blog.

As you probably have heard already, we experienced an earthquake here in Alaska. It is not an unusual occurrence as we are living on the Ring of Fire but it was the first quake that ever woke me up. We were a good distance from the epicenter so all we felt was a rolling sensation that rattled the house and had our hanging lights swinging in circles for several minutes. Most people around here slept through it and those that live closest to where the quake occurred did not even have any significant damage. There were multiple tsunami warnings issued but no significant wave developed. It was a powerful 7.9 earthquake however; and it could have been much worse had it occurred closer to a large population or had it actually produced a tsunami.

I was actually looking forward to experiencing an earthquake but obviously not one that destroyed property or lives. While this quake was very minor in our area it was still interesting how it affected me. The earth is supposed to be solid; unmovable. When it moves it messes with your head. If there is anything in this world to put some faith into you would think it would be the ground beneath your feet. But, it moves too. It was just a little unsettling to think about as I settled back into bed. However, the One who made the earth is my God. He is unmovable and unchangeable. He is faithful and sure. He will never fail.

Psa 46:1-2 KJV
(1)  To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Song upon Alamoth. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
(2)  Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;

What tremendous power it is to make the earth move and shake for hundreds of miles! And yet, it is but a breath in the nostrils of God.

Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth.  (Psa 18:7 KJV)

Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered at thy rebuke, O LORD, at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils.  (Psa 18:15 KJV)

What a mighty God! Let all people fear Him!

How foolish it is to deny and defy the Lord!

Nah 1:2-10 KJV
(2)  God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies.
(3)  The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.
(4)  He rebuketh the sea, and maketh it dry, and drieth up all the rivers: Bashan languisheth, and Carmel, and the flower of Lebanon languisheth.
(5)  The mountains quake at him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at his presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein.
(6)  Who can stand before his indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? his fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him.
(7)  The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.
(8)  But with an overrunning flood he will make an utter end of the place thereof, and darkness shall pursue his enemies.
(9)  What do ye imagine against the LORD? he will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time.
(10)  For while they be folden together as thorns, and while they are drunken as drunkards, they shall be devoured as stubble fully dry.

It amazes me that so many people live as if there is no God. Even many who profess a belief in God ignore Him. What has happened to diminish the fear of God in man? Shouldn’t something like an earthquake shake the soul of man? After all, what nation or power is ever able to prevent the earth from moving? What power can stop a hurricane, tornado, flood, or volcano? God controls all things and uses them as He wills.

Two ideas have permeated society that have caused many to lose a fear of God. One is secular and one is religious. Evolution and its various so-called scientific theories have attempted to erase from man’s consciousness any thought of a greater power other than chance and change. On the opposite side of the spectrum, much of Christianity has been inculcated with the idea that God is so loving that He cannot hate. One side seeks to eliminate the idea of God and the other side the idea of a judgement after this life. Both have succeeded in abating much of any fear of God in this world and in the church.    This is a tragedy!

Heb 11:7 KJV
(7)  By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

Mat 24:38-39 KJV
(38)  For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
(39)  And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

2Pe 3:6-13 KJV
(6)  Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
(7)  But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
(8)  But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
(9)  The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
(10)  But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
(11)  Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
(12)  Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
(13)  Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

Do we really believe that the days we are living in are similar to the days of Noah? If we do, how then should we live each day?

Has God changed? Has He canceled Judgement Day when all people will stand and give an account of their actions and words? Does it matter to Him one iota what a bunch of intellectual fools (Psalms 14:1) and theologians have to say regarding Him?

God told Noah that it was going to rain. Noah’s fear of God and faith in Him immediately sprang into action.

God tells us in His Word that judgement is coming. Will your fear and faith be evident today?

“When preachers teach biblically and clearly about the judgment of God and the dangers of hell, men begin to see that their greatest need is to be saved from eternal condemnation, and the more “practical” needs of this present age become trivial in comparison.”          –Paul Washer

 

My Prayer for 2018

My prayer for 2018 is for revival.

Revival in the home.

Revival in the church.

Revival in me and you.

Revival of holiness.

Revival of righteousness.

Revival of the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit.

Revival of truth.

Revival of persistent prayer.

Revival of prophetic preaching.

Revival of hating the things that God hates.

Revival of separation from the world in thought and deed.

Revival of love.

Lord, send revival! Start with me!

 

 

 

 

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.

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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!

Selfishness Ends in Death

I am not saying how he died but only that he is dead. It was his greed and selfishness that led eventually to his demise. He could have been satisfied with the things God created for him but his covetous heart was emboldened every day as his thievery went unpunished.  The victim of his greed and selfishness tried many times in vain to capture him but he escaped every time. His selfish behavior did not go unnoticed and soon his siblings, close and distant relatives, and probably his own offspring began showing signs of greed and selfishness. They all became bold thieves and the poor victim watched haplessly as these scoundrels devoured her food right before her eyes. At times she would leap at them and other times she would lay low and stalk close hoping that their bold and selfish heart would keep them a second too long. But these thieves were very good thieves. They were not satisfied with just stealing for their daily meal but they horded up the excess that they couldn’t eat!

One day he did meet destruction. Many of his relatives bodies have also been seen scattered near the source of their stolen meals. Selfishness affects many more than one’s self.

If curiosity kills the cat, then selfishness kills the bird.

The thief

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The Victim – actually the true victim was me because I paid for the dog food.

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The Gray Jay – a.k.a. Camp Robber. These birds are extremely bold and will even steal food off your dinner plate if you are not vigilant. They will empty a dog dish very quickly. Below one is sizing up the dog food in the dish.

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The Gray Jay is one of the few birds that will store up food for the winter. We actually enjoy the birds but they do become a nuisance when they start devouring too much dog food. We have had them steal meat from our dinner plates while eating outside, steal pieces of fish while butchering, and one even stole a fishing lure from my tackle box while I was standing next to it.
Proverbs 1:19 So [are] the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; [which] taketh away the life of the owners thereof.

Proverbs 15:27 He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house; but he that hateth gifts shall live.

These, of course, are just birds that are only doing what they are created to do. They cannot be selfish; but, I can. My selfishness also affects others and if it is not crucified will also lead to my destruction and possibly my children.

“Let this be thy whole Endeavour, this thy prayer, this thy desire, that thou mayest be stripped of all selfishness, and with entire simplicity follow Jesus only.”- Thomas a Kempis

 

 

Each Step #2 – For the Girls

I learn slowly. Even after all the pain and anguish of the hike I mentioned in the previous blog entry, I couldn’t leave those caribou sheds up on the mountain.

Last weekend a friend, Joe Troyer, and his daughters, Hope and Joy; accompanied my daughters, Makayla and Zoey, and I back up to the caribou antlers to bring them home. It was a good excuse for a father and daughter excursion. Actually I wouldn’t have been surprised if the antlers were already gone but, then again, not many people make it back to that wilderness.

We crossed Tustumena Lake and hiked up to the Emma Lake cabin on Friday afternoon and evening and spent the night in the primitive late 1800s era cabin. The cabin was restored but still had all of its hand hewn charm. The logs were chinked with moss and the roof was made of wooden shingles. Bunk beds were more modern – they were plywood. There was a fairly new outhouse near the cabin which seems to be a chewing toy for the bears. Every exterior wall of the cabin has many claw marks which gives much evidence of the number and size of the bears in this region.

I copied the devotions that I read via flashlight for the girls below.

Our plan was to hike to the high country the following morning and spend the rest of the day hiking back to the boat. This time plans held out perfectly. It was an incredible hike with stunning scenery and beautiful weather. The girls did very well and, although I hate to admit it, seemed to endure the 14 miles better than the fathers.

It was a privilege and blessing to spend great time with my big girls. Fathers, I highly recommend a father/daughter excursion just as much as a father/son adventure. It was very rewarding and will be a precious memory.

We took many pictures but they do little justice for how huge and beautiful this country really is. Standing on the top of mountain in the midst of many more mountains and sheer wilderness makes one feel very small. What a great and awesome Creator!

Everyone seems to love pictures so here is a bunch of snapshots of the trip.

 

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Proverbs for girls – I selected a few Proverbs and slightly adjusted them for daughters.

Proverbs 1:8-10 (NASB)

The Enticement of Sinners

Hear, my daughters, your father’s instruction
And do not forsake your mother’s teaching;
Indeed, they are a graceful wreath to your head
And ornaments about your neck.
10 My daughters, if sinners entice you,
Do not consent.

Proverbs 6:20-25 (NASB)

20 My daughter, observe the commandment of your father
And do not forsake the teaching of your mother;
21 Bind them continually on your heart;
Tie them around your neck.
22 When you walk about, they will guide you;
When you sleep, they will watch over you;
And when you awake, they will talk to you.
23 For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching is light;
And reproofs for discipline are the way of life
24 To keep you from the evil boy,
From the smooth tongue of the arrogant young man.
Do not desire his attention in your heart,
Nor let him capture you with his affections.

Proverbs 4 (NASB)

A Father’s Instruction

Hear, O daughters, the instruction of a father,
And give attention that you may [a]gain understanding,
For I give you [b]sound teaching;
Do not abandon my [c]instruction.
When I was a son to my father,
Tender and the only son in the sight of my mother,
Then he taught me and said to me,
“Let your heart hold fast my words;
Keep my commandments and live;
Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding!
Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
“Do not forsake her, and she will guard you;
Love her, and she will watch over you.
“The beginning of wisdom is: Acquire wisdom;
And with all your acquiring, get understanding.
“Prize her, and she will exalt you;
She will honor you if you embrace her.
“She will place on your head a garland of grace;
She will present you with a crown of beauty.”

10 Hear, my daughter, and accept my sayings
And the years of your life will be many.
11 I have directed you in the way of wisdom;
I have led you in upright paths.
12 When you walk, your steps will not be impeded;
And if you run, you will not stumble.
13 Take hold of instruction; do not let go.
Guard her, for she is your life.
14 Do not enter the path of the wicked
And do not proceed in the way of evil  women.
15 Avoid it, do not pass by it;
Turn away from it and pass on.
16 For they cannot sleep unless they do evil;
And they are robbed of sleep unless they make someone stumble.
17 For they eat the bread of wickedness
And drink the wine of violence.
18 But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,
That shines brighter and brighter until the full day.
19 The way of the wicked is like darkness;
They do not know over what they stumble.

20 My daughter, give attention to my words;
Incline your ear to my sayings.
21 Do not let them depart from your sight;
Keep them in the midst of your heart.
22 For they are life to those who find them
And health to all their body.
23 Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life.
24 Put away from you a deceitful mouth
And put devious speech far from you.
25 Let your eyes look directly ahead
And let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you.
26 Watch the path of your feet
And all your ways will be established.
27 Do not turn to the right nor to the left;
Turn your foot from evil.

 

Each Step

Several weekends ago I had the opportunity to explore some wilderness when my brother-in-law enlisted me to help pack a caribou out that he planned for his wife to shoot. I was really itching to get into some real wilderness and the hunt was very deep in the Kenai Wildlife Refuge. Except for boat access across two bordering lakes and float plane access on a small lake, the Refuge is off-limits to any other motorized access.

Matt, Marlene, and Shane – my brother-in-law, his wife and son – planned the hunt after Marlene drew a caribou tag for the region. A friend dropped them off via a boat after a twenty mile ride across Tustumena Lake. The plans were to hike up into the area where the herd was located and shoot a nice caribou. A friend, Luis Yoder, and I were then going to hike up to them and help pack out the meat and antlers.

I was able to make contact with Matt briefly on Friday morning when we decided that Luis and I will start in awhile even though no animal was down. It was a long boat ride and 6-7 mile hike to get to their campsite so we thought it would be best to get started as soon as possible as both Luis and I wanted to be home for Saturday.

After retrieving the boat at Matt’s place we launched on the Kasilof River which is the only access to Tustumena Lake. We managed to get across the lake in 45 minutes despite some moderately rough water. Tustumena Lake is notorious for big waves because of the way the winds tend to come off the glacier on its east side.

We tied the boat at the trailhead and began our trek up into the mountains. It was a gorgeous day and the scenery was spectacular. We hiked through broken burn areas, alongside massive ravines with roaring streams, through thick Spruce forests, and some muskege before we arrived at Emma Lake. There is a neat public use cabin at Emma Lake and it was there that we lost some time and energy. I had received brief directions from Matt when I spoke to him on the phone but I was planning to be able to communicate with him again before the hike. Obviously, his satellite phone was not working. I vaguely remembered that we were supposed to make a right turn at the cabin so that is what we did. We didn’t hike very far until it became obvious that we had lost their trail. I found plenty of moose, wolf, and bear sign but no boot prints. So we turned around and climbed back up to the cabin and searched again to see if we could find which way they might have gone. We found where their trail crossed a beaver dam at the lake and we followed it up into the high country. We found their tent site after a short hike up the hillside and sat down to rest and eat our supper. We had barely set down our packs  when we heard voices coming down the trail above us. The weary hunters seemed very happy to see us.

Below are some pictures of the various scenes we enjoyed. Photos do not come close to the reality of the awesome scenery.

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On the way up – we found these Caribou sheds and planned to pack them out. Tustumena Lake is in the background.

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On the way down the sun was setting, which added a bit of urgency to our descent – we left the sheds where they were.

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As it turns out, the hunters gave up on the caribou when they realized that the herd was another exhausting 4+ mile hike across several high ridges. Instead of a caribou Matt took the opportunity to shoot a nice black bear that was devouring some of the delicious blueberries that grow all over the high country. Matt and his crew were very tired so they left the bear in hopes that Luis and I had found our way up to them.

Since we still wanted to be back that day Luis and I quickly set off for the bear. The bear was approximately 1.5 miles up from the camp site which didn’t seem like it should be that hard to get up there, skin the bear, and pack it back down to the cabin before dark. Matt, Marlene, and Shane would clean up their campsite and begin their journey back to the boat and wait for us there.

I am known for being too optimistic with how much time something will take and this evening was no exception. We finished skinning the bear by 8:00 pm and promptly began our descent hoping that daylight would linger until we got off the mountain. It didn’t.

We were still a good ways from Emma Lake when it became evident that we were in for a long difficult haul if we were going to get back to the boat that night. We decided to push on. The trail around Emma Lake was very treacherous in the dark. We had a difficult time just keeping on the trail but even when we were on the trail we were stumbling over slippery roots and splashing through mud holes. By the time we crossed the beaver dam at Emma Lake we were both very exhausted and our packs had seemingly doubled their weight. We filtered more water from the lake and verified that Matt’s had not decided to stay in the cabin. The cold water and another granola bar boosted my energy enough to start the last 3.5 miles back to the boat. I questioned our sanity often.

It took us until 1:00 am to reach the boat. During the last couple of miles our steps were faltering and several times we laid flat out on the trail and power napped for a few minutes. I was so tired that any thought of bears barely registered with my foggy brain. We didn’t meet any bears of which I was aware. We did try to keep talking to each other, yelling at ourselves or our legs, and at times singing. One song I remember bellowing was “Each Step I Take”…Each step I take just leads me closer home…

We found Matt, Marlene, and Shane sleeping in a tent by the boat and promptly woke them up, put out their outrageously huge fire, and loaded the boat for the return trip to the van. The trip across Tustumena fortunately was uneventful and within in an hour we were driving the van back to Matt’s place. Finally, after driving the 50 minutes back to my home I was able to drop into bed a little after 4:00 am. We made it. It took several days until my knees felt well again but I am now looking forward to the next hike.

Since the hike I have thought of how it was a great example of my life. Sometimes the way is beautiful with sunshine and warmth but other times the way is darkened and difficult to navigate. When the way is wide open before me, fear is diminished; uncertainty and doubt are gone and I feel like singing joyous songs. But other times the way is hard to find and I may lose it altogether. At those times energy and time are lost because I have to backtrack and find the right way again. It is an important point – I need to backtrack – I do not keep pushing ahead through the vast unknown hoping to find the way again. Sometimes on the way I feel strong and robust – ready for the challenge – other times I just feel like dropping to the ground and not continuing. Along the way are many obstacles – during our hike up the trail we barely noticed them but on our way down the fallen trees and such were difficult and discouraging. Such it is with the Christian walk – sometimes we are walking with such energy, zeal, and purpose that we barely notice the obstacles; but during times of weariness and pain; the obstacles seem overwhelming.

Through all of these varying conditions as long as I am in THE WAY – “Each step just leads me closer home.” Hang in there Christian!

Job 23:10-12 NASB

But He knows the way I take; When He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold. 

“My foot has held fast to His path; I have kept His way and not turned aside

“I have not departed from the command of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.