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

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!

Beauty and the Beast


The wonders of Creation never cease to amaze and fascinate me. This morning Mother Nature revealed a Beauty and the Beast display outside our Great Smoky Mountains abode here down in the ‘holler’ by the ‘crick’.

Rhododendron blooms’ perfumed beauty are definitely more appealing than frightening, ugly dobsonflies, but each has their place and purpose in Mother Nature’s journal where all are beautiful.

You are the God of great wonders! – Psalm 77:14

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

Rhododendron

Dobsonfly
Home in the ‘Holler’

Contemplating Life


This Great Smoky Mountains ephemeral, after-the-storm panorama marked the close of another day. The scene evoked a juxtaposed, sobering/joyful contemplation of life’s unknown brevity, and breathtaking beauty. As dusk fell, the confident wisdom of a beloved preacher comforted my thoughts:

What is your life? You are but a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”

James 4:14

This is the day the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”

Psalm 118:24

I’ve read the last chapter of Revelation, and we win .”

Billy Graham

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

“The Manuscripts of God”


A ½” of virgin, unmarked snow . . . a cool, gentle breeze . . . a pinking hour sunset brushed across distant snowcaps  – the wilderness wonder postcard God created for me to glide through before hanging up my skis and heading off to rejoin my life partner in the Great Smoky Mountains tomorrow.

I’ve missed her, and Lord willing, come Spring we’ll return together to the solitude of this awesome corner of creation with its vast wilderness reaches, rugged magnificence, and primal beauty John Muir once called  “The Manuscripts of God”.

My Front Yard – Chickaloon, Alaska

I M Blessed . . . May U B 2

Keep Looking Up . . . His Best Is Yet To Come!

Sunrise Splendor


My soul was awed at sunrise . . . a glimpse of God’s majesty . . . proof that He exists

How great are your works Lord” -Psalm 92:5

Matanuska Valley Palmer, Alaska

Keep Looking Up . . . His best is yet to come!

Sub-zero Wonder


I attended church twice today. Following this morning’s indoor service, I attended an outdoor service alone, embraced by Nature’s unspeakable, pristine, sub-zero splendor . . . sensing my infinitesimal smallness   . . . silently worshiping my omnipotent Creator and keeper of my soul.

How great Thou art!

I would like to have seen the whole world with eyes incapable of anything but wonder, and with a tongue fluent only in praise.” – Pat Conroy

I M Blessed . . . May U B 2
                              
Keep Looking Up . . . His best is yet to come!

Chugach Range Panorama
Matanuska River Valley Palmer-Butte, Alaska
Brrrrrr!
Matanuska River Chickaloon, Alaska
Subzero Solitude

Breathless Wonder


Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but  the moments that take our breath away.” . . . and not because it’s 9 degrees 😊

From river valley to mountain top, today was a totally breathless day immersed in the wonders of creation, wrapped in my Creator’s the omnipotent arms.

Be still and know that I am God … I will be exalted in the earth.”

Psalm 46:10

I M Blessed . . . May U B 2

Frigid Flow
Silent Sentinels
Stilled Rapids
Frosted Flow
Ice Fog
Frozen Fun
Adrenaline!

Dawn’s Splendor


Creation’s awakening at dawn spurs a grateful rebirth of joy in my soul. Here’s a few glimpses of dawn’s wonder that was mine to behold this morning.

The whole earth is filled with the awe of your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy.

Psalm 65:8

I M Blessed . . . May U B 2

Chugach Range Dawn
Dawn Angel
Dawn Cathedrals
Dawn Greeters
Dawn Spawners

Small Wonders


Creation treated me to two small wonders on today’s woods wander.

One, a ‘tree’ delicately inscribed on a fallen leaf. 

The other, lighter than cotton; weigh for weight 5 times stronger than steel; 1,000 times thinner than a human hair; capable of stretching 4 times its length; consisting of 100% sticky protein, it’s manufactured by one of creation’s smallest creatures into intricate designs to capture food . . . spider silk. 

With no blueprint to follow, I watched fascinated as the tiny spider arduously spun its exquisite, geometric web . . . a web of beauty to me . . . a web of death to an unsuspecting insect.


Two small wonders . . . both testifying to an Omnipotent Creator . . . or random evolution? I grieve if you choose the latter.                                +  
                             ^                
Keep Looking Up . . . His best is yet to come!