Friday, June 30, 2017

It all begins with food!😉

Alaskan halibut, stir fried pea pods, and Washinton strawberry shortcake. Can life get any better?Ha! (Hunter would prefer an Iowa steak.) This trip to Alaska will be all about fresh fish, whether we "view it through the binoculars", he catches it on his fly rod or I eat it. All's good!

Thank-you, God, for creating fish and the enjoyment of eating some it it!






Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Packing for Alaska

In two days Hunter and I willl join my sister and her husband in boarding planes for a much anticipated adventure to Alaska! We have read all the books, including James Michener's Alaska, made a multitude of reservations, followed some of the suggestions of "Lonely Planet", and listened to many stories from the exploits of various friends in the state's wilderness. It is now our turn and we are busy packing. I generally overpack when we travel and this time will probably be no different. I am always concerned about having the "right" clothes for the "right" event, in this case having enough layers for the cold of the glaciers, protection from the rain on and off the boats, the shoes for the hiking trails, the hat for the sun, if it ever peeks out of the clouds, and the insect repellent and sunscreen for the long evenings of sunlight. It seems like so much "stuff" as I pile it on my bed. Oh and I can't forget the backpack with a folder of reservation confirmations, books, snacks, binoculars, camera, identification and Dramamine! Like Hunter says, "They do have stores in Alaska!" Yes, yes, I know but feeling prepared gives me a sense of peace.
In finishing the evening with some scripture I was reminded of the spiritual adventure we are on once we commit our lives to Christ, anticipating heaven as our final destination. Like my trip to Alaska it is exciting and although we prepare for each day by reading scripture and taking time with our Lord, unlike our trip to Alaska, there is NO packing necessary. Filling a "suitcase" with good deeds, church attendance, feeding the poor, teaching Sunday School  doesn't provide what you need to reach your goal-heaven. All the packing, the work, the effort has already been accomplished by Jesus on the cross. He gives you a free ticket and THAT  is where real peace can be found!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Perseverance

Burned pizza crust again! "Let's just give up on grilling the "perfect" pizza and order in", I vehemently voiced as invited guests walked towards the front door! Not MY husband! When he determines to do something he possesses a level of tenacious persistence that rivals Benjamin Franklin himself! If you know anything about Ben Franklin you remember the invention of the lightbulb took more than a "few" tries, in fact, over 3,000 to be exact! Samuel Johnson once said,"Great works are not performed by strength but by perseverance." Benjamin Frankliin proved that to be true!
Back to our pizza. We continue to experiment on friends with the many facets of creating the ultimate chewy, crisp pizza crust that makes one's mouth water as it is pulled from the hot oven. My attitude here is just one example of where I fall short of the definition of being persistent. "The definition of perseverance means that they have a determined continuation in something with a steady and continued action of belief that occurs over a long period of time amongst and despite especially difficult circumstances."
That is not me but I wish it was and I am trying to be more attuned to that character trait as I age. 
In reflecting on earlier years I remember throwing away failed sewing projects instead of persevering through removing seams and learning from my mistakes. I remember dumping disaster desserts as well as their recipes in the garbage instead of reevaluating the "wrong turns" and trying again. Unfortunately I see this played out more and more in young people's lives today. What happened to the era of Ben Franklin where you were expected to just keep trying-hang in there? Giving up has become the norm rather than the exception! The Bible speaks about this trait in James 1:2-3
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance, Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." In investigating the background of James you learn that James was writing to Christians who were being put death for their faith! This was a call to the ultimate in perseverance, a far cry from spoiled food. James was pleading with them to persevere in their faith of the Lord Jesus. In fact later in the same chapter, verse 12, he says,
"Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him." 
I know I must persevere in areas of my physical life but what about my spiritual walk with the Lord? Am I standing strong in my faith, boldly proclaiming it no matter the reactions? I don't have to face death as the early Christians did, thankfully. But I want to be true to what I believe in my heart and daily share it with others. So I will persevere and I challenge you to do the same, no matter the obstacles!