Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Impressions While Driving to Talkeetna

May 9 in Alaska Molly Noted
Bent birch trees
Uprooted trees
Snow damaged roofs - some buildings totally caved in!
Mountain views
Sprinkles of rain. But no rainbow yet
Many lakes large and small
Swampy, marsh areas - we had no idea
Spanish moss in trees!!!
Bob noted in his journal:
Cincinnati has a latitude and longitude of 39.16 North and 84.45 West. 
Healy, Alaska, our farthest destination north is 63.97 North. 
Grapes here were $8.49 a pound!
Talkeetna was 150.10 West. These were the farthest north or west I have ever been.
Sunrise in Cantwell was at 4:58 and sunset at 10:46. 
That is a long day that presents its own issues.
Day four another long day of driving.  A quarter moon sat in the deep blue sky above snowy mountains with encroaching pines. 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Signs of Alaska

We saw unusual signs everywhere. I do not think we got a shot of an avalanche danger sign. By the time we saw that we were getting tired of traveling.

Everyone outside the city lives on a dirt or gravel road.
Another local coffee sign. We seem to be collecting these!
Several friends told us before we left to be careful. They had watched tv shows about Alaska and assured us that everyone 'would be packin'!"
There were few outdoor signs without gun shots in them. The wild west lives on!


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Alaska Wildlife #2

Saturday, May 12 was a lousy day for a cruise and so much ice in the bays we were not able to draw near to many glaciers. The black spots on the ice and in the water are otters!
So, is this the dumbest Moose in Alaska or the Boldest? 
 This moose was walking around as the men and women fired live rounds. The shotguns were so loud it hurt my ears! The men turned to watch it. The women kept shooting!
 Finally, she wandered over to an area with targets, but no guns. I sent friends who like to shoot an email asking "Do you think you can hit this?"

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Alaska Wildlife

We were days at first without seeing a moose. We saw one dead one in a ditch, but it did not count.

Then we saw an eagle, a ground squirrel, caribou, willow ptarmigan (State bird) porcupine, sled dogs, FINALLY MOOSE, more eagles, otters as black spots on ice. We never did spot a beluga whale or other large ocean beings.


Sled dogs of Denali


Rock Ptarmigan - thse birds have feathers on legsand feet to help them survive the winter!
I'll post the otters tomorrow as the site does not want to cooperate. I'll also show you a moose that must be the dumbest or boldest one in Alaska!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Alaska 2 - More photos

Our first full day was an adventure of seeing mountains and clouds and the glory of God's creation in a land of lots more snow than we ever get in Ohio.  The record seasonal total for Anchorage was 132.6 inches, set in 1954-1955.  Last winter a new record of 133.6 inches was set in April, and there was still snow in the outlying areas while we were there in May! It was strange to see piles of melting snow in May out our hotel window. We passed a huge area where snow had been removed from the city and dumped in another area.
So using the guidebook Dan Cook told us about that details every milepost on every road in Alaska we knew there was an overlook coming up. Here is Bob photographing his long awaited mountain range. One of the locals who was on her way to work at Denali National Park told us that only 30% of the tourists get to see the top of Denali (Mt. McKinley). We were part of the fortunate percentage! The lower mountains look like foothills, but they are actually from 5160' to 13,100'!

I called these "Zebra Mountains."

 The light changed so dramatically we were in awe as the day went along. This was after supper in the Cantwell area where we stayed at a bed and breakfast for two nights.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Home From Alaska - First 4 photos

Well, we have been home from Alaska 7 days and I am just starting to think I might get caught up again..then again, maybe not. I did not blog or write on facebook while we are gone because they say we should not let the whole world know when we are away!
I did not write any blogs to be posted later because I always forget just how tired I get while traveling. We did however keep the cameras rolling! Bob took more photos than I did. Sometimes when I get too tired I just let him do it all. I will tell you when a photo is his, not mine.
There are streaks of light because this was taken out the airport window after we landed.
We knew right away these were mountains like we had never seen before! It was after midnight Ohio time by the time we found our rental car and motel. Our first night in Anchorage we fell into bed, even though the sun was still bright in the sky.

Next morning we went to the store in our rental car, got a styrofoam cooler and some vittles and took off down the road. All the time we were scouting for moose, yet never saw a single one. Everyone told us how they walk the streets of Anchorage.

Bob had been saying for several months that all he wanted to do was take a long drive. And boy, did we drive! Alaska is huge! These are birch trees just beginning to leaf out. When you drive by them they create black and white dashes in your field of vision. Rather glamorous!
 For miles and miles we saw few cars. Each curve in the road brought us more oohs and aahs of gorgeous scenery. We spotted one dead moose in a ditch.
 Bob started wondering where Mt. McKinley was and would we know it if we saw it. I said I thought we would not be able to miss it!
Read along tomorrow to find out how that was resolved :-)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

LET Devotional #9

MT 19: 13-14 "Then little children were brought to Jesus for Him to place His hands on them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them. Jesus said, "LET the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

Are we willing to let ourselves drop our masks and regain our childlike innocence? Without questioning, judging, weighing all the facts, can we just come to Jesus with trust and faith in His goodness, like a child with a trusted parent? Have we practiced our sophistication and polished our social exterior so long that we cannot begin to stand in honest trust and without pretense before our heavenly Father? No, we are not to become childlike in all our ways, but like a child. What do you know of children? How do you perceive their whimsical and simple ways? Are you like that in your most important relationship of all, the on with eternal ramifications? Are you willing to be made childlike if you haven't been that way in the recent past?

I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me. PS 131:2
I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.  MK 10:15
Like newborn babes crave the pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation 1 PET 2:2

Lord, I am a child inside. Help me to approach You as the child that I am. I put down all my masks and come to You for love and power to live life joyfully. Amen.

Monday, May 14, 2012

LET Devotional #8

The RSV of Revelation 3:22 reads "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the the churches." Wouldn't it be awesome if all those one earth who can hear God speak would take the time to listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches and share it?

I think the season of Lent (40 days before Easter) might be one of the only times that most Christians draw close to God with the intent of listening to Him and hearing what He has to say to them. The scriptures instruct that we are to love the Lord with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. I think we also need to love Him with our ears! Let us listen to the loving voice of our heavenly Father. With Jesus let us have spiritual food and drink that the world does not know anything about (John 4:31-31). He will nurture, train, and condition us for our part in the Kingdom as we yield our time to listen and our ears to hear Him. He will sustain us and equip us with hands to go forth into the world to perform His will.

God is able to "send us into the world in peace, and grant us strength and courage to love and serve Him with gladness and singleness of heart." Book of Common Prayer

Please speak, Lord, your servants are listening. Train us to hear correctly through the power of Your Holy Spirit. Amen.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

LET Devotional #7

I am to be a co-laborer, co-worker, yoked to Jesus for cooperation in Kingdom building. Have you seen a nursery school class on an outing? Little tiny kids holding hands to make a chain, each one paired to his/her 'buddy'? That is as close as most of us will get to the idea of being yoked to Jesus. Linked with Him for cooperation in Kingdom building.

How does this start after I decide to make Him my Lord and King? The building begins with the sanctuary of my heart, sanctified, set apart for His use, a dwelling place for God. I clear a place in my life and heart and soul for God to build His kingdom. He begins on the throne of my heart.Ephesians 2:8-10 reads:
" For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."
As the Lord sits on the throne of my heart, I am to take charge of how my mind and heart are occupied. I become God's workmanship, His project, where He displays His craft and skill. Not by my performance and efforts, but as He rules and directs and reigns in me, His glory shows forth. I have a responsibility to let Him have His own way within me.

 God, I want to cooperate with You. I want to be Your co-laborer, co-worker.  Yoke me to Jesus and do Your work within me. Show me what You have prepared in advance for me to do. Give me the courage and faith to do your will. Amen.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

LET Devotional #6 Bread of Life

As we seek the Lord of Life we can find ourselves easily drawn into looking at other people and listening to how they conduct their spirituality. Too often, we begin to compare ourselves to them and try to follow their words in place of listening for our own instructions from God. In the sixth chapter of John's gospel Jesus puts forth the teaching that He is the bread of life and He says, "It is Spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words I have spoken to you are Spirit and life. " John 6:63

The discussion with the Jews proceeded and many of His disciples "draw back and no longer went about with Him." Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also wish to go away?" Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; and we have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God." John 6:67-69

In Paul's letter to the Colossians he instructs them to "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly" COL 3:16a. Part of our discipline must also involve allowing time to read the Word of God as we have it recorded in Scripture and listening for His personal words to us. His Words to us are Spirit and Life. What more could we want?

Lord Jesus, Bread of Life, open my ears to hear Your word of life for me today. Feed my hungry soul. I quiet my soul and spirit to listen to Your voice during every hour of this day, whatever activities it brings., Speak to me that I may know You as the Holy One of God. Amen.

Friday, May 11, 2012

LET Devotional #5

New American Standard 1 COR 3:6-11 reads:
I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. 7 So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth. 8 Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. 9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.
 10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. 11 For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
We are God's fellow workers! What a refreshing idea! I labor, I work WITH God. That means, as He is a being superior to me in all ways, I can look to Him for a plan and instruction. I don't have to exert myself trying to make a design, I just need to work with Him.  Cooperation with God is paramount! I am to be careful how I build upon His foundation.

We all have patterns in our behavior. It is important to reflect upon your own patterns and be certain they are in keeping with God's plan for you and His foundation. He has created a foundation of truth, the groundwork for a heaven-like mansion.

Are you building a shanty or a lean-to upon it? Let each man and woman be careful how he/she builds upon the foundation which is Jesus Christ.

Father, show me what it means to co-labor with You. I want to be Your field and Your building. According to the grace You have given me, help me to be a wise builder. I will, with Your help. Amen.