Beginning and Endings


Each fall I’ve been privileged to witness one of nature’s incredible wonders . . . anadromous sockeye salmon (reds) returning to relinquish their own life to create new life.

After spending 1-2 years in their freshwater birthplace, they journey to the frigid waters of the Bering Sea. It’s believed they navigate by magnetic cues, position of the sun, and day length at while at sea, before returning 2-3 years later to their exact birthplace by imprinting on the unique chemical signatures of the waters . . . creation’s original GPS!

Dodging sea lions, seals, sharks, lampreys at sea, they must contend with bears, eagles and man upon their return. It’s estimated that of the 2,000 to 5,000  each female sockeye lays, only 1 in a thousand survive . .  a statistic I briefly ponder each time I catch one . . . but it quickly passes . . . they taste so good! 😊

Sockeye’s prized, savory red fillets are attributable to the high cartenoid pigment of their rich marine diet. By the time they spawn their flesh has turned a tasteless white as the cartenoids are transferred to their skin and eggs upon reaching their spawning grounds.

Watching sockeye salmon complete their aquatic life cycle allegorically always reminds of my own terrestrial life journey . . . each a beginning-to-end journey of survival wrought with trials and transitions.

Like the sockeye my skin has often turned red in embarrassment, and has lost its once youthful glow. Unlike the sockeye, many of my trials have often been self-imposed.

Standing stream-side I’m forever grateful knowing I’m still ’swimming’. Somehow, having navigated through my own and sin’s ‘predators’ for 8 decades . . . I’m 1 in a 1,000 . . . but not by my own making. It’s by God’s unfathomably amazing love, mercy and grace alone that I’m still headed ‘upstream.’

Like the sockeye, my life’s journey will someday end . . . but not in a stream-bed. My end will be the beginning of an eternity above with the One whose sacrificial death defeated mine, and all who have accepted Him as Savior . . . hope we share it together.

Keep Looking Up . . . His Best is Yet to Come!

Returning Home

Creating New Life
Journey’s End

Laughter is the Best Medicine


Laughter is free, non-prescription, effective medicine. Studies show laughter:

1. Lowers stress levels

2. Boosts the immune system

3. Promotes a positive outlook

4. Improves heart health

5. Stimulates your organs

6. Is an easy, fun workout

7.Burns calories

8. Boosts your mood

Twenty-six rainy days last month, and another one to begin September . . . tends to dampen spirits a tad. I think it got to my son. Out on the lake the other day he implied I didn’t seem to have it all together . . . appeared somewhat ‘dis-jointed’ . . . and take some really weird photos. Don’t understand that kid. I’ll blame it on genetics, and pray it skips a generation 😊

Weird!
Weirder!!!

LAUGH!!

Keep Looking Up . . . His Best is Yet to Come!

How Great Thou Art


Sunshine, storm and nature joined forces this afternoon to transmute the lyrics of a favorite hymn into a stunning Alaskan visual concert beyond words. I am richly blessed . . . may you be as well.

How Great Thou Art

O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,

Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made.

I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,

Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,

And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.

When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur

And see the brook and feel the gentle breeze.

Then sings my soul, My Savior God, to Thee,

How great Thou art, How great Thou art.

Bill Gaither

Matanuska River Valley Mists
Matanuska Glacier

Keep Looking Up . . . His Best is Yet to Come!

Peace on the Edge


The sign belies the peaceful stability of silent solitude that was mine watching eagles soar high above the Matanuska River Valley . . . a treasured “Be still and know I am God” moment.

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

Isaiah 40:31

I M Blessed… May U B 2

Keep Looking Up . . . His Best is Yet to Come!

Termination Dust and Eagles


Termination Dust #1

A friend in the Lower 48 brought a smile to my face when they asked, “What is determination dust?”

It’s called termination dust, and refers to the first snow that appears on Alaskan mountaintops signaling the end of summer. Actually, termination dust is an oxymoronic term . . . many Last Frontier mountains are covered with snow year round.

Anyhoo . . . I stepped out on the deck this morning to snap a couple pics of this ‘dust’ you can ski on for those of you who may not have experienced it. As I did so, an eagle was soaring above the mountains about a mile away . . . far beyond the range my basic $300 35mm camera’s capabilities of capturing with any clarity. But  . . . for youse guys blessed with ‘eagle eye’ vision . . . see if you can spot our national symbol in the Termination Dust #1 pic before viewing the Termination Dust and Eagle pic. If you’re still having difficulty seeing ‘ole’ Baldy, I hear Wal *Mart  is offering a special on glasses with a free vision exam

Each time I see an eagle, His assurance in Isaiah 40:31 comes to mind:

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagle; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

After nearly 80 years on the planet, walking has become a tad easier than running, but waiting is still not my forte

Keep Looking Up . . . His Best is Yet to Come!

Termination Dust and Eagle
Termination Dust #2
Distant Eagle

Glorious!


The rains have ended.  From the deck I stood in silent wonder as my Abba tucked in another day brushing this awe-inspiring masterpiece across the heavens. I M Blessed . . . May U B 2

The heavens declare His righteousness, and all the people see His glory.” – Psalm 97:6

Keep Looking Up . . . His Best is Yet to Come!

Glorious!

Sunset Spruce

Rainy Day Reflections


August ‘Termination Dust’ – Chickaloon, Alaska

For the past three days the sun has taken a hiatus from the Last Frontier. Continual, confining drizzles have taken up residence, raising creeks and dampening spirits. As an ole retired dude, I’ve a favorite dampening antidote . . . curling up with a book until the sun returns from vacation. Turning pages by the fire . . . it’s 49 degrees here, with fresh ‘termination dust’ on the mountain summits . . . this sobering quote by an unknown author rose from the page:

We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life.

We’ve added years to our lives, but not life to our years.

We’ve cleaned up the air but polluted our soul.

We’ve split the atom, but not our prejudice.

We plan more but accomplish less.

We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait.

These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throw-away morality, one-night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill.

It’s a time when there’s much in the show window and nothing in the stockroom.

Penned nearly two decades ago, these words poignantly describe today’s hectic, chaotic, divided world. Regretfully, we’ve come a long way the wrong way.

Whoa Freddy !!! . . . time to get out of the drizzle and ponder more positive musings.

Of all the countless blessings living in the Greatland offers, two of my favorites are the Solitude and Silence this rugged, vast stretch of wilderness provides. ‘S’ & ‘S’ aren’t luxuries, they’re mental health essentials!

Often, when wandering through His mountain cathedrals, an old hymn written in 1889 drifts into my thoughts:

This is my Father’s world,
And to my listening ears
All nature sings and round me rings
The music of the spheres.
This is my Father’s world:
I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas–
His hand the wonders wrought.

This is my Father’s world:
The birds their carols raise,
The morning light, the lily white,
Declare their Maker’s praise.
This is my Father’s world:
He shines in all that’s fair;
In the rustling grass I hear Him pass,
He speaks to me everywhere.

This is my Father’s world:
O let me ne’er forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the Ruler yet.

This is my Father’s world:
Why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is King: let the heavens ring!
God reigns; let earth be glad!

Hey . . . guess what? . . . he rain is still coming down outside, but the sun has come back out inside😊. The dampening antidote of curling up with a book works!  Time to get up outta’ the Lazy Boy and put another log on the fire.

Keep Looking Up . . . His Best is Yet to Come!

Feathered Friends


A pair of trumpeter swans, a grebe, and a loon were my drizzling mist companions on a tranquil canoe paddle on the lake this afternoon . . . a relaxing backyard trek well worth to getting wet for 😊

The boundary lines for me have fallen in favorable places” -Psalm 16:16

Keep Looking Up . . . His Best is Yet to Come!

Trumpeter Swans
Grebe
Loon

Castle Mountain Mists – Chickaloon, Alaska

‘Looney’ Tunes


Canoeing in a light drizzle across the lake yesterday, a pair of Gavia immer serenaded me. The melancholic warbling call of the common loon is the call of the wilderness.   . . . a tranquil respite that was mine to embrace in troubled world.  I M Blessed . . . May U B 2

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

John 14:27

Keep Looking Up . . . His Best is Yet to Come!

Gavia immer
Loon Pair
Loon Stretch