Friday, September 17, 2010

Blessed in Libby

We were in Libby Montana last week for the Nordic Fest Show and it was a great weekend. After we set up our booth, we went out to our Amish friends for dinner. Roy makes the best hickory rockers that you can find. I was able to visit his shop to see how they are made with a labor of love.

On Friday a couple from Creston, British Columbia stopped by and before they left we had some new friends up north. They are great Christians praying for revival in their area. We look forward to seeing them again.

Later a white haired gentleman, named Richard Lang, came to the booth raised his hands and said God would bless our work and make it successful. He also had a prophesy for me that was the same as Pastor Tracey Armstrong prophesied to me two weeks earlier. That got my attention! Richard also had one for Ardella. Over the next three days we visited with Richard and were very encouraged by his words. Ardella is working with a prayer team to transform Sandpoint for Christ and Richard is for Libby. We have common ground across state lines and in British Columbia. The Lord is working!

We stayed at our friends, Trent and Peggy who have a beautiful home on the Kootenai River. One morning as we enjoyed a cup of coffee, a bald eagle flew up and perched in a tree on a small island. A person could spend all day on their deck and enjoy the river and beautiful scenery.

We said our goodbyes to everyone Sunday afternoon and headed home feeling very blessed. Richard was right; we had the best show in the four years at Libby as we had very little to load in the van. Selling the carvings was nice but the new friends we have made the weekend priceless.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Remove the Training Wheels

Our granddaughter, Hannah, recently announced that the bicycle we had for her when she stays here was too small. Grandma and Aunt Connie found one at a yard sale and Lizzie claimed it so Hannah gladly took the pink bike that Lizzie had been riding. Hannah’s old bike had training wheels and the one Lizzie had been riding didn’t so this presented a challenge to the little girl.

As the family gathered here on Sunday, the girls wanted to ride their bikes. Uncle Thane went out with them and it wasn’t long before Hannah burst into the house with a proud smile that she could ride without training wheels. Everyone ran out to watch Hannah ride with confidence. She has discovered a whole new freedom in her life.

Christians are often reluctant to get rid of our training wheels. Jesus tells us to raise up disciples, pray for the sick, and help those in need. Just going to church twice a month isn’t enough. Jesus wants us twenty four seven and that is a challenge to most people. It is easy to hide behind the pastor and let him help us along.

God expects us to use the gifts He gave us to serve Him. So if you are still peddling around with training wheels, it is time to remove them and find the freedom in Christ that will propel you to new levels.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


The seasons are changing and I am anticipating spending time in the woods pursuing elk and deer with my bow. I am looking forward to the quiet time among the trees as I listen for the grunt and bugles of bull elk. My practice groups at thirty yards are good and now I need to fill my pack with only those items needed to be in the woods after dark and pack out an elk. Extra flashlights, game bags, sharp skinning knives, water, and some food will fill my pack. A big can of bear repellent is necessary since I don’t carry a hand gun as there are grizzlies around. It is always important to carry everything I need to spend a night alone in the woods.

I like the bow season and being alone in the woods as it provides me time to talk to

God and listen to what He wants to tell me. We need to slow life down and listen for his voice; Jesus did and it worked for him. Have you ever noticed that God sent men into the wilderness to teach them? I feel God calling me to use the wilderness to teach men his principles and truths. There is a lodge just west of Sandpoint in a forest setting that God keeps in my mind for his work. I need to get off my procrastinating and develop a plan to teach men in the wild. So this bow season, God will be revealing to me just how that should look.

We all need to take some quiet time and listen to what God wants each one of us to do to serve Him

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Forty Five Years

Ardella and I celebrated forty five years of marriage yesterday. It doesn’t seem that we have been married that long. Marriage is about teamwork and some give and take. I have learned a few things like not suggesting a shortcut when we are hunting in the mountains. I also learned a number of years ago to not buy your wife a chainsaw for an anniversary present. I was redeemed when I took her to Alaska for our thirtieth anniversary.

So by now you are probably wondering what we did on our special day. We went up to the woods and I pulled out logs with my tractor for firewood. That’s romantic isn’t it! The evening before, we went out to our favorite restaurant. We came home after wood getting and cleaned up and went to dinner at our friends Ken and Dee. Today we had dinner at Connie and Thane with the rest of the family and then everyone watched Thane drive a race car at the track in Post Falls.

I’m fortunate that Ardella likes the outdoors as much as I do. It helps to marry someone with similar interests. See, I’m smarter then you thought.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

When Tragedy Strikes

Tuesday morning I turned on Fox news and saw that a plane had crashed north of Dillingham, Alaska. That is where I flew out of during the five years I was a hunting guide so my anxiety level shot up and I knew I wouldn’t be okay until more information came forth. I know the pilot and his wife from one of the flying services and the outfitter that I worked for is still operating both fishing and hunting camps in the Wood River Park. While I was there I got to know other outfitters and guides so the news really hit home. I said a prayer for the people as they indicated there might be survivors. About two hours later I found out the type of the plane and thought it probably didn’t belong to anyone I knew. That didn’t end the twisted feeling in my stomach because someone was out there in the wilds in need of help.

Alaska’s weather is very unforgiving and can change in minutes. I found out that it isn’t the brown bear that is the most dangerous thing in Alaska, it is the weather. I have seen storms rip tents to shreds, pick up a boat with a motor and toss it one hundred feet. Alaskan storms can last for days and stop everything from moving. An Alaskan storm can definitely improve one’s prayer life. The storms were often devastating on some men’s morale but I looked at them as an adventure and realized the power God can unleash in nature.

It is hard for us to understand why tragedy happens. It helps me to go back to the Garden with Adam and Eve when the serpent entered the picture. Until that time everything was at peace and God walked the earth and sought a close relationship with them. Sin caused separation and chaos. Jesus Christ came to bridge that separation between us and God but we are never fully immune from tragedy. We are required to walk by faith no matter what happens.

It is important that we pray for people that experience a loss of someone and ask that they will seek comfort from God. My prayers go out to the families in that plane crash and may they find the peace that only comes from God.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Random Thoughts

I haven’t written for a while as life has been extremely full. For those of you wondering how our horse Spud is doing, I’m happy to say he is walking much better. Spud is still on a diet to lose about one hundred pounds. He is on a high vitamin and mineral supplement that seems to be helping his hooves.

I have been busy carving birds and trout for the art show at our city beach today and tomorrow. Over one hundred vendors will be there and usually a large crowd shows up and our weather is forecast to be great. We no longer have a website, instead Ardella created a blog site which we can have for free and she can change easy. The new site is

Ardella is on her way to Iowa with our daughter Connie to visit relatives. They are already missing the mountains.

Yesterday I turned sixty five and thought back to simpler times. I remember when:

Gasoline cost twenty nine cents a gallon. A handshake was a good as a written contract. All stores were closed on Sunday. When I looked under the hood of my car I knew what everything was. Our country honored God. Prayer was allowed in schools. Fountain sodas at the corner drug store were five cents. Doctors made house calls. A milkman delivered milk to the door.

We need to pray for our neighbors, town, country and people in this world that don’t know Jesus. These are dangerous times but we can have faith that God is in control. The Apostle Paul always had complete confidence in God even in the darkest prison. Paul could see the victory no matter what happened to him. We need to ask God for the same confidence in our lives. Have a great week in Jesus Christ.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Testing Our Faith

This has been one of those weeks that seemed to be a month long. As I wrote a while back, our horse Spud has been battling founder or sometimes called laminitis for quite some time. He has slowly been getting more lame. Dr. Bob came out and took x-rays and called that they didn’t look good and Spud might have to be put down. This has been a week of tears and restless nights thinking how much the little horse has captured our hearts in a year. Bob recommended that we call Jim Walker, a farrier, and have him look at Spud.

We were torn between losing Spud and being greedy keeping him alive but in extreme pain. Jim showed up this afternoon and said he could trim Spud’s hooves to shift the weight and make him walk better. So I held onto Spud as Jim worked on the hooves. Spud was very good and soon started nibbling on my belt loops and anything else he could find. As soon as Jim finished, I let Spud go and he reached over and gave Jim a kiss. Spud is walking much better and is on a strict diet to lose one hundred pounds fast. This will take stress off his hooves. I hope he likes the diet as much as he enjoyed the trimming.

Was I stressed this week? OH YA! I felt deep down that the condition with Spud was really an attack from Satan since he knew this was a way to shake my world. I had a few talks with God, especially this morning as I worked on a landscape project in town. I desperately wanted to turn the whole night mare over to God but found it hard to completely let go of it. I know God cares about everything in our lives even Spud. I also know that my God is all powerful. Peter said the devil goes around like a roaring lion devouring everything in his path. As Christians, we have the blood of Jesus to protect us from the lion as He defeated the devil on the cross. “The battle is mine” says the Lord.

God also sent two wonderful people in our lives. Our friends, Ken and Dee came over at noon to be here when Jim arrived. Their concern and feelings were a blessing. I can never thank them enough for what they did. They even brought a get well card from their mule, Blanch for Spud. What about those friends

Saturday, July 17, 2010

A Day at Moose Lake

My son-in-law, Vance and I went to Moose Lake which sets near the Montana border above Clark Fork, Idaho. Vance rode his horse Amos while I elected to walk in with Sadie as we both could use the exercise. Archery season is about six weeks away and I need to get my climbing legs in shape. The trail to Moose Lake is a gradual two mile uphill climb through spruce timber. Sadie and I took off while Vance saddled Amos and we had the trail all to ourselves. The dark spruce trees stood like stately spires pointing toward Heaven while numerous wildflowers bloomed on the forest floor. There was bright yellow arnica along the path’s edge and beautiful white plumes of bear grass flowers that are so delicate and sweet smelling. Moose tracks were prevalent on the trail but fortunately we didn’t encounter any of the huge animals. I wondered how many tourists meet these sometimes short tempered creatures and have to abandon the trail.

Sadie and I arrived at the lake and I took in the beautiful scenery of crystal clear waters with trout rising to catch insects and rugged forested ridges surrounding this magnificent creation. A cow elk was feeding in an open area above a rock slide and I watched her for about a half hour before she turned and went into the brush. The cow probably had a calf hid there from predators. Sadie soon was wading in the lake and wanted me to throw a stick for her to retrieve. It has been a while since Sadie had gone swimming so she enjoyed the water.

Shortly after Vance and Amos arrived so did some families. Everyone enjoyed the spectacular scenery. Vance caught several trout but released all of them so someone else could catch them another day. On our way down we met two families headed in with fishing poles and told them the trout were biting.

I thank God for the wonderful creation he made in North Idaho with so many majestic places reflecting his glory. It got me wondering how many people visit Moose Lake but don’t see the majesty of God’s creation. He made these wonderful areas just for us. I’m afraid too many people worship the creation instead of the Creator. On the way down the trail I stopped to closely examine how intricate God made the bear grass flower which is really a cluster of hundreds of small white flowers that form a beautiful white plume. Then I thought how wonderful He made each one of us.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Trusting In Dad

We went camping last weekend at Jolene and Vance’s remote property to escape the noise and crowds of Sandpoint. It was a little chilly and some rain but we enjoyed the granddaughters and some great dutch oven cooking. I cut two loads of firewood and also cut down two dead trees for carving.

When we came home Sunday evening the neighborhood was erupting with the bang of firecrackers from all directions. Our horse, Spud, was very terrified and was actually shaking and breathing hard. I went out to calm him but that didn’t help much. I finally haltered him and lead Spud into our art studio. It has eight inch thick walls and so the bangs and booms couldn’t penetrate the walls. Spud willingly followed me through the door. He looked the place over and quickly decided everything was good. The studio has not been open to the public lately as I am storing various driftwood bases to use on fish and cardboard shipping boxes. The floor is made from two inch planks so Spud’s hooves clopped at every move. I sat down on the wood step going into the shop and Spud put his head down by me and wanted petted. We stayed in the studio until nearly midnight and as a steady rain came down I lead Spud back out to his pen and gave him some hay. All was good again in Spud’s life. Spud put his trust in Dad.

This got me thinking about what we do when life hands us some bangs and booms. Some people will just hunker down and tough the situation out. Going it alone is not a good way to get through a crisis. A better way is to turn the problem over to God since he knew you were going to have it anyway. Let Him take control and you follow along. David knew the importance of God’s protection when he wrote the twenty third Psalm. If you are having a problem in your life right now, read the passage and turn to God in prayer for peace.

Remember God is a relationship not a religion

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Price of Freedom

Our founding fathers paid a horrible price for the freedoms we enjoy today. Many of them lost their homes and wealth; some lost their families yet they knew the price of freedom always comes with a sacrifice. The men and women of our armed forces fight daily with their lives so we can be free. Many of the freedoms written in our Constitution are under attack by our elected officials as they deem them obsolete. Our country is in peril of loosing personal freedom by the big carrots the government dangles in front of us in the name of progress. The men that founded this nation would be horrified at the assault on the Constitution. Now, as never before, is time to pray for our country, government officials, and our military.

In the fourth chapter of Luke, Jesus proclaims freedoms for us. He refers to us as the poor, prisoners, blind, and oppressed. Our only true freedom comes from Christ because of his sacrifice on the cross. We are all captive of something, yet we can lay them at the feet of Jesus and he will set us free. This is the unending love and grace that God has for each person. Today can be your freedom day if you choose. No matter what is holding you captive, Jesus can release it now.

Jesus didn’t die just because he was a good guy; Jesus is the Good Shepherd that sacrificed his life so you can have a personal relationship with him. He is waiting to break your chains of bondage and set you free through the power of the Holy Spirit. No other religion can do that. Christ can because he lives!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Oh Deer

We are used to having deer in the yard during the winter but usually this time of year we only see them in our neighbor’s field occasionally. The other evening, Ardella looked out the window and there was a doe munching her way around the garden. Our garden has been fighting to stay alive with all the rain we have had and it is finally looking like there is hope of a future harvest. I walked out to scare the doe off and went through the gate and finally got about six feet away asking her to please leave the cabbage alone. Instead of running away, the doe stretched out her neck toward me and walked closer. I guess she thought I wasn’t a threat so the doe proceeded over to the dwarf apple tree and plucked off some newly formed apples. I chased her from the apple tree so she pranced through the corn and stopped to eat some pears. Finally she jumped over the fence and joined the llamas.

Today the doe was out in the back of our property munching away and we suspect there is a fawn hidden somewhere in the tall grass and brush. Spud has been kept out of the grass areas so the doe figured this would be a safe place for her fawn. We like the idea of having a fawn in the backyard but don’t appreciate the doe eating off the garden. I took a blanket Sadie has laid on and hung it in the middle of the garden. So far it seems to be discouraging the doe from munching the vegetables.

We thank God for all the wildlife there is in north Idaho. Many people move here and can’t understand why a deer, moose, or bear visits their yard. What they don’t realize is that these animals have used the area for hundreds of years and we are the newcomers. Patience and understanding of their needs is important. Our friends left their garage door open and a bear helped itself to the garbage. Bears will never turn down a free meal so a little precaution of putting food items away is important.

Ardella and I appreciate all the varieties of birds and ducks that use our property this time of year. The baby robins at the front door are now flying around searching for worms, the catbirds sneak about in the flowering quince, and mamma mallard still brings her four young ones everyday to the pond to eat. So we will put up with the doe and hope to see the fawn soon.

Go out and enjoy God’s wonderful creation and thank him for the birds and wildlife that we can enjoy.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Prophesy or Political Correctness

Events in the Middle East and Israel have been in the news lately with most of it being against God’s nation. Israel lives surrounded by hostile nations that would like to wipe it off the map. Even our country has distanced itself from Israel to appease the Muslim nations. Yesterday, while reading the Jerusalem Post, I read an interesting article about a mainline denomination in the U.S. that is meeting in July and one of the items on their agenda will be the condemning of Israel. They state that the whole unrest in the Mideast is due to Israel and that the Jews should go back to Europe where they came from. I guess they never read the Old Testament where it clearly says God gave the Jews that land when God directed Joshua to invade and take the land He had promised Moses. Joshua is also mentioned in the report as being the original trouble maker.

Is it any wonder our nation is in deep trouble since it is more concerned with political correctness than God’s plan for mankind? The Bible tells many times in the Old and New Testament that Israel is God’s chosen people and He will annihilate any nation that rises up against it.

Jeremiah 7:12 states that God wrote his name in the earth at Shiloh; you can go to Google Earth and see the actual place where God wrote his name in the land. Of course it is written in Hebrew so you may not recognize his name. Now if God signed his name in the land for Joshua it just might mean God intends to keep it for his people.

I would rather rely on the prophecies of the Bible than the political correctness of man. Because of Christ’s death and resurrection we can inherit the same promises God gave Israel. We can have the confidence through Jesus that we are on the winning side.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Have You Ever

Watched the sun slowly rise on a beautiful morning? Then you witnessed God’s renewal for your life.

Seen a spectacular double rainbow? Then you have seen God’s promises written in the sky.

Marveled at a hummingbird in flight? Then you know how wonderful you are made.

Watched a mother hold her newborn close to her body? Then you know how much God loves you.

Heard children’s laughter fill a room? Then you have seen the smile of God.

Walked in a forest full of giant stately trees? Then you understand the majesty of God.

Sat down under a canopy of trees and watched water endlessly tumble down a rocky stream? Then you realize how eternal God is.

Been on a mountain top and felt the wind blow without ceasing? Then you understand the power of the Holy Spirit.

Watched an approaching storm with fierce lightning, loud booms of thunder, and dark clouds driven by unseen wild winds? Then you have witnessed God’s awesome power.

Gazed at the cruel rough hewn cross and fallen on your knees to ask forgiveness knowing Jesus died just for you? Then you felt the Father hug you.

Have you ever told God you love Him? He’s waiting to hear from you.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Spud's Recovery

Our Norwegian Fjord horse, Spud, came down with founder from grass about a month ago. It is a very painful condition in the lower legs that can be fatal for horses. Dr. Bob says he has had several cases this spring. So Spud was put on a strict diet and I am still giving him an oral medication daily which he hates. He is not happy that the llamas get all the green grass they want and he is eating hay. Spud was my best buddy before he got sick but now he isn’t so sure. I finally got a kiss on the cheek yesterday but Spud is still afraid that I will poke something down him.

It is good to see him nearly recovered and begging at the gate for food. Our granddaughters and Spud have a special relationship and he is always glad to see them. Hopefully they will be able to ride Spud soon. We thank God the little horse is getting better.

Our relationship with God can be similar to Spud’s sickness. People often fall down in life, thinking everything is always going to go great and then the train wreck happens. Many of us don’t seek God until the pain hits and is unbearable. We usually don’t like the medicine either. We can’t change our life until we change ourselves with God’s help.

Jesus walked the shores of Galilee and healed many people of various diseases. This made Him very popular but most people missed the point. Jesus wants to heal us completely from our heart. Yes, he will heal our diseases, but Jesus wants to do much more in our lives. He wants an everyday relationship not just when we get into trouble. That relationship will transform your life beyond anything you could ever imagine.

Jesus is a relationship not a religion because he lives and wants the Spirit to live in us. There are many religions out there and their gods are all DEAD. Which would you rather have? A dead god that is still in the grave or a risen savoir that died for your sins. A lifeless idol or a Lord that cares and loves you and wants you to spend eternity with Him.

You can change your life today by inviting the Lord of the universe into your heart. He is waiting and will heal you from the inside out. You will never be the same again! Invite Jesus in today and start really living.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Overcoming Obstacles

Tomorrow I will be preaching at the Cocolalla Cowboy Church about Slaying Our Giants. We will examine 1 Samuel 17 about David and Goliath, Philippians 4:6, Ephesians 6:10-18, Matthew 16: 17-19, and Psalm 121. These passages all point to the truth that God will help us defeat Satan by the power of the Holy Spirit. Like David, we just need to acknowledge the power of God and that He will take charge when everything seems impossible. Most of us want to hold onto the problem instead of letting God handle it. David focused on the power of God not how big Goliath was. Saul’s army thought Goliath was too big to kill but David knew he was too big to miss.

We have the power to overcome anything with God’s help. It might be a bad relationship, losing a job, sickness and disease. It requires us turning the matter over to God and acknowledging he has a plan for us. The answer may be immediate or can take a while. We live by God’s time not ours.

Our daughter Jolene was born legally blind but grew up a normal kid knowing she had some visual limitations. Due to advanced technology she has been able to gain improved vision yet still doesn’t see like most of us do. I’ve never heard Jolene complain about her vision. This spring Jolene undertook a huge obstacle when she decided to take up hunting. She practiced many hours shooting targets with a .22 rifle then advanced to a 30-06. Ardella, Vance and I have walked Jolene up and down mountains looking for a nice bear. Last night Vance and Jolene sat up by a rock outcropping and waited all evening for a bear to appear. About the last half hour of daylight a good sized bear appeared on the hillside over two hundred yards away. Jolene had practiced out to one hundred yards so this bear was way beyond any shot she had attempted. Jolene took her time and got the bear with one shot. She overcame all obstacles of her vision and became a hunter.

What giants do you have in your life to slay? God is ready to take charge like he did for David.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

All God's Creatures

Our small piece of property has been blessed with an abundance of birds this spring. We have a large population of robins and some babies are already full grown. Last week a mother robin worked furiously for two days constructing a nest on a beam above our front door. I marveled how intricate she wove the nest and now mom is setting diligently on her eggs.

The pond has been a busy place with about ten wood ducks and that many mallards visiting to eat cracked corn. This morning there was a mallard hen with her new babies who were busy chasing bugs. I could spend hours watching the ducks in the pond. Our dog Sadie doesn’t think it is fair that she can’t go swimming.

We are starting to see baby squirrels venture forth and explore their new kingdom. Many of the squirrels have little fear of us and I could probably hand feed them if I took some time to try it. But I believe I’ll let them be so they don’t get too trusting of people.

While the llamas are enjoying fresh grass, Spud our horse is confined to a small pen while he recovers from foundering. He has been sick for two weeks but is slowly improving. Dr. Bob says he may need x-rays and special shoes put on his hooves. Wow, I can only imagine that bill!

Everyone needs to get outside this time of year and see God’s creation bring forth new life. I’m always amazed how everything fits into his grand puzzle. To think this complex wildlife came about by accident defies common sense. Just observe a hummingbird and how it can hover, fly up or down, and forward and backwards with ease. Get yourself outside to a park or woods and sit down and let God’s creatures entertain you. It’s free.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Hour of Prayer

Nearly 800 people gathered in downtown Sandpoint, Idaho today for an hour to pray to God . The Cowboy Church provided a half hour of great music prior to the event which was enjoyed under sunny skies. God turned off the rain for the first time in days to bless this gathering. Even though a federal judge says the National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional, our county commissioners spoke briefly about the importance of God in government. The sheriff sang the national anthem and several law enforcement officers attended ceremonies. Pamela Fay Houston sang If My People and one pastor asked us to kneel for prayer. People later broke into groups to pray for specific areas of our community. I joined the military circle and listened to retired Sgt. Major Art Larson inform us on the number of people that we have defending us around the world. Art lead us in a prayer of protection for our troops and their families. I’m proud to be a friend of this great American.

I’m most proud of my wife Ardella who planned and arraigned this hour for the community to show unity to God. She has worked hard for months planning every detail and it came off flawlessly. Ardella has the ability to work across church borders and bring Christians together. I thank her for patience and loving people.

Everyday should be in prayer to God who wants a personal relationship with us. Our country is in deep trouble of losing its Christian foundation. Christians need to speak up and start by bringing God back into our lives. Pray for our Government, Military, Media, Business, Education, Church, and Family.

What is Ardella going to concentrate on now? Probably the granddaughters and bear hunting. Have a blessed week!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Map of Life

There is a new book out written by David Murrow called The Map which is the greatest and simplest discipling tool for men ever written. You can order the book at . The book uses a map to show men the way of all great men. I encourage all guys to order this book, read it, and then discuss the contents with a group of men.

Most men don’t have any map to guide them and they often get lost on the mountain of life. The book uses the Gospel of Matthew and it will make reading this ancient writing come alive. I will never read Matthew again and not see the map for me.

I’m so excited about this book that I have already written out a teaching guide for it. Now if I can sweet talk my wife to put it in power point, I will be ready to reveal this hidden map to men so they can be the man God intended them to be. If I promise to take her bear hunting she will do anything for me.

Between reading this book and going to Iron Sharpens Irons on Saturday I will be one pumped up guy by Sunday.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Prayer For Times Like These

A federal judge recently ruled the National Day of Prayer unconstitutional. It doesn’t matter to me what a judge rules because my God is greater than all the judges in this country. If I want to pray in public I will even if it means going to jail. This nation is sliding into the abyss at the hands of fools.

In 2 Chronicles Jehoshaphat appointed judges for the country and told them this warning, “Consider carefully what you do, because you are not judging for man but for the Lord, who is with you whenever you give a verdict. Now let the fear of the Lord be upon you. Judge carefully, for with the Lord our God there is no injustice, or partiality, or bribery.” Our judges today would be wise to read and remember this warning.

May 6 is National Day of Prayer and Christians will gather in towns across this nation to pray for our government, the military, media, business, education, church, and family. In Sandpoint we will gather at a small park in the heart of downtown. We expect a record number of people to turn out. I’m looking forward to see what God will do, because the first year a man just walking by stopped to ask what was going on and ended up accepting Jesus as his savoir. Last year as Pamela Fay Houston was singing If My People, God sent two eagles flying over at tree top level doing aerial acrobats. Our God is an awesome God!

Franklin Graham was scheduled to speak at the Pentagon on May 6 but was told that because he said something after the 9-11 attacks about Muslims he isn’t welcome. Franklin, you are welcome in Sandpoint, Idaho to pray anytime. We just attended a service Wednesday evening where several people were healed. God hears our prayers.

Don’t let a judge discourage you from praying in public. Pray for the judge to recognize the Providence of God rules above all powers and people.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Working The Soil

As Ardella and I were working in the garden last Friday, I remembered that last year the snow was just leaving. Ardella repaired the garden fence to prevent Spud from getting in to feast on veggies and I carried manure with my tractor and spread it. Then I tilled it under using the tractor tiller and the garden looked ready to plant. We did put in some carrots, spinach, lettuce, beets, and potatoes but it is too early for many plants as it can frost until late May.

It is always nice to get out and work in the soil. Last year a virus hit most of the tomatoes and peppers but the corn, cabbage and other vegetables did great. We are hoping the virus ran its course and will not come back. Only time will tell. At the present time Ardella has tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and squash coming up in the house. We will keep these under lights until they are put in the garden.

Our lives are similar to a garden. If we don’t let God work in our lives, not much fruit is produced. We too can let the virus of sin destroy us and only our Savoir Jesus Christ can cleanse us. The Holy Spirit will fertilize and water us so we are useful Christians. At times we need a little pruning.

We have times of growth when we get into the Word especially when it is shared with other people. Prayer is necessary to communicate and hear from the Father. When we surround ourselves with prayer warriors, our growth can be huge. The Holy Spirit stirring in us will produce a bountiful crop for God. Get ready to be pruned, fertilized, and watered so you can grow for the Kingdom.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Get Out of the Boat

Jesus called Peter out of the boat three times in the Bible. The first was when he called Peter to follow him. Jesus asked Peter to use his boat so he could teach the people by being just off shore. After Jesus was done he told Peter to drop his nets which Peter did even though they had fished all night and came up empty. When Peter followed Jesus command the nets came up full. At this, Peter declared “Go away from me for I am a sinful man.” Jesus told Peter from now on he would catch men.

The second time was when the Disciples put out to meet Jesus on the other side of the Sea of Galilee. Jesus came walking on the water to them and Peter jumped out and started to walk toward Jesus. He was doing well at first then fear set in and Jesus had to rescue Peter.

The third time was after the resurrection when Peter and the disciples had been fishing all night without catching any fish. Jesus told them to put the nets down and when they came up full Peter remembered three years earlier and knew it was Jesus. This time Peter jumped into the water and swam to shore to meet his Savoir.

We often are content to go through life staying in the boat. That is where life is secure and safe. Too many Christians are satisfied with staying in the comfort of the pews for their Christian walk. They never get to experience a dynamic life changing relationship with God. When we let God lead, our lives are transformed into productive Christians. Yes we have to jump out and get our feet wet. We may even slip on the rocks but at least we are moving forward.

Did you notice that Jesus blessed Peter each time he jumped out. Don’t you think he will bless you when you get out of your comfort zone? The past three years God has called me where I didn’t intend to go and each time I have been blessed. If we keep our eyes on Him and let God lead we will walk on water.

What have you been putting off in ministry?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Empty Tomb

Caiaphas, the high priest watched the sun rise in the east on this peaceful Sunday morning, glad calm had come to the city. He was about to go to the temple to get a work crew to repair the earthquake damage when the soldiers guarding the tomb of Jesus came running to say another earthquake struck the tomb and the sealed rock rolled away. Besides that. an angel appeared and drove them off. How could this be happening? He told the soldiers to get back to the tomb but they refused even though they could be killed for abandoning their guard. Caiaphas instructed the soldiers to keep still about this and paid them to say the disciples stole the body. After three days in a tomb they wouldn’t carry it too far. After all, it wasn’t like Jesus came back to life and was walking around town.

Mary Magdalene and a group of women went to the tomb early in the morning and found the stone rolled away and the tomb empty. Two angels appeared to them and announced that Jesus had risen to fulfill the scriptures just like he had told them. The women quickly ran back to tell the disciples but they didn’t believe what they had heard. Peter took off running and was the first one to the tomb, only to find it empty with the burial cloth folded up neatly. Peter went back into the city but couldn’t quite figure out where Jesus could be. Could He really be alive? So many crazy things had happened the last three days that Peter wasn’t sure what to believe. He was afraid the authorities would put the blame on the disciples and arrest everyone. They decided to lock themselves in the room and not answer the door for anyone.

Later that day two of the disciples pounded on the door asking to be let in as they had seen Jesus. Peter and the others were trying to figure this out when Jesus appeared to them. They didn’t know whether to run out of the room or faint. Jesus calmed them down and they finally understood what he had taught them. Wow! He lives!

Even today, many of us have a hard time believing Jesus really lives. He told them the Holy Spirit would come and transform their lives and that same Spirit can change us too if we let Him. Is something missing in your life? Are you like the disciples still hiding in your room? It is time to get out and proclaim the good news. Jesus lives and wants a relationship with you!

Friday, April 2, 2010

It's Friday But Sunday's Coming

The streets of Jerusalem went from wild angry crowds to nearly deserted by evening. The Jewish leaders and the Romans crucified Jesus of Nazareth today after flogging him beyond recognition. He was forced to carry his cross along with two thieves but couldn’t do it, so they grabbed a guy from the crowd to drag it to the hill. Once there huge rusty spikes were driven through his hands and feet and then Jesus was hoisted up for all to see. The pain was unbearable for him yet he asked that they be forgiven. Can you believe that? Only one of his disciples watched; it is rumored the others are hiding in the city. Jesus’ mother had to endure the horrible scene as soldiers and some of the Jewish authorities mocked him.

The mockers grew slowly silent as the sky turned dark and lightning flashed viciously close to everyone. The earth shook as if it would swallow the whole city. A Roman officer fell to his knees and declared that Jesus must have been the Son of God as he had proclaimed. The Chief Priests backed off the hill and watched from a distance as a man named Joseph and Nicodemus from the ruling council; took down the body and buried it in Joseph’s tomb before sundown.

Just when everyone thought it was over, a courier came running from the temple to say the earthquake had damaged the building and somehow the heavy curtain guarding the Holy of Holies had been torn from top to bottom. Fear overtook some of the Chief Priests when they were told some graves had been thrown open and the people came to life and were walking around the city. How were they going to explain these things? A thick dust hung over the city from the earthquake and most people went indoors to ponder the day’s events. Pilate put his troops on alert just in case someone tried to cause trouble. Pilate looked out from his balcony wondering why he had to deal with these rebellious Jews. Oh, to be in Rome again.

Both Pilate and the Chief Priests were looking forward to Sunday when many people would be leaving Jerusalem to journey back home. Jesus’ tomb was being guarded by soldiers and his disciples hiding in fear for their lives. Things would be back to normal by Sunday. After all, what could go wrong?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Worm Catching

Last year at this time we still had two feet of snow covering the ground but this March our grass is turning green and trees are budding out. We plan on going fishing with our friends Ken and Dee after church on Sunday so I thought some night crawlers would be nice to take as bait. The granddaughters stayed Friday night and they wanted to help me.
We went out with flashlights and a bucket and soon found worms everywhere. This was the first time the girls had tried to catch night crawlers and they found out the worms can be quick to slide back under the ground. After a few attempts they soon were pouncing on the worms and screaming with excitement. The neighbors probably wondered what was going on in our back yard.

Grandpa is just a little proud that I was on their first worm hunt. We did let their father participate. He carried the bucket. We invited their mother and grandma but for some reason they declined. It is hard to understand that they didn’t share in our excitement. My proverb for this week is “Teach a kid to catch worms and they will want to go fishing.” It might sound simple but it sure can help a youngster stay out of trouble. That philosophy could probably keep a lot of kids off drugs.

This is a great time of year to get kids away from television, computers, and electronic games and introduce them to God’s great outdoors. Take them fishing, hiking, or just go to a lake and skip rocks. Always point out that God made this beauty for them. You will enjoy the time as much as the kids do. Kids need to see a simple side of life.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Gathering Up Treasures

A few days ago I went treasure hunting at the driftwood yard on the east end of Lake Pend Orielle. Now the treasures weren’t gold or silver, they were driftwood pieces that I can use in my carving. You know the saying that one man’s junk is another’s treasure. I had a man stop me one day a few years ago and wonder what I was going to do with the pick up load of old wood. I look for unique pieces that will be used to put trout on and sometimes root wads that I can turn into tables. Many other people also comb this area every fall when the lake is drawn down so I often end up scouring the most remote areas. I also look for juniper to carve beautiful red trout but never find too many pieces.

The time goes by too fast when I’m there. This time of year the area is filled with migrating waterfowl so swans and geese are calling the whole time I’m looking for wood. Sometimes eagles fly over stirring up hundred of ducks and great blue herons perch on old pilings soaking up the sun’s warmth. It is a peaceful setting that draws me back every year.

Jesus taught in Matthew 6:19 that we should not store up treasures on earth because they are only temporary. He said store up treasures in Heaven that are eternal. Then Jesus cut to the quick and said our treasures will reveal where our heart is. This is a good place for us to take an inventory of our personal and spiritual life.

Jesus went on to say we can not serve two masters. Too many people, including Christians try to serve both. Just look what a mess our country is in. Jesus went on to finish this lesson by stating we can not serve both God and Money. The reason Matthew capitalized money was because Jesus was using it in the same way he addressed Satan. Money by itself is neutral but we elevate it above God. People in our nation found out in the last two years that money is easy to lose; it provides a false security. The only security we have is in God’s promises.

We need to humble ourselves before God and get down on our knees and pray. He promises to bless any people that do this. Again I stress that God has always wanted a relationship with his people. At first it was the Jews but because of Jesus victory over the grave God wants a relationship with all people. It is a free gift that is priceless, an eternal treasure.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sunday Stroll

Even though our winter in north Idaho has been exceptionally mild, cabin fever still creeps in about this time of year. Sunday afternoon was nice so we decided to see if we could get to Jolene and Vance’s remote cabin area. Snow was not a hindrance but there was ice on the road was so we put on tire chains and drove there easily. We have never been there this early.

We parked at the edge of a clear cut and walked around on bare ground. Lizzie and I found a small deer antler that had been dropped so we were encouraged to look for more. Lizzie and Hannah are getting good identifying animal tracks and they were quick to point them out. Even though we couldn’t find anymore antlers it was fun to walk around and explore. The afternoon ended too soon and we had to head back home. It was good to see the deer, elk, and moose are wintering well this year after two years of deep snow.

The opportunity to get the granddaughters outside was the highlight of the day. Anytime you can get a child outside is good. Too many children do not get this opportunity. If you have a chance, go show a child the amazing world God created. You will both learn something about this wild creation.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Sport Show 2010

The Sport Expo is over and it was a huge success thanks to the many volunteers that devoted their time over the weekend. It is proof that people from six churches can work together. Now if we can only convince some more pastors in the community that God really does exist outside the church walls.

It was great to see children catching trout with a big smile on their faces but I think the volunteers at the fish pond had as much fun as the kids did. Home Depot also provided a hands on work shop for kids to build things. We had Fjord horses giving wagon rides which were quite popular. People were able to browse through booths containing a wide variety of outdoor related sports. There was hunting, fishing, ATV, snowmobile, antique firearms, knives, taxidermy, rafting, boats, hickory rockers, stained glass, archery, float planes, and great food available. We also had booths for National Day of Prayer, The Luke Commission, and Love Inc.

The Sunday morning service was well attended even though it was at 8 a.m. I gave a message titled Unprepared, which was about a caribou hunt that went bad. We thank God for everyone that attended over the weekend. Now we will put our heads together to see how to improve it for next year.

God calls us to get out of the church into the community to transform lives. A sport show is just one way. We need to be aware that many people in our community are going through bad times and pray for them. People don’t care how much you know; they want to know how much you care.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Breaking Tradition

Traditional Christianity seems to go something like this; go to church once a week, raise a family, work hard, and try to be generally good. The only difference from non Christians is going to church once a week or less. The national rate is something like two and a half times per month. No wonder we aren’t transforming America. Jesus commanded us to go out and make disciples which we think only means mission work to other countries. I believe Jesus was really saying, “Start right where you are.”

Since most church growth in this country is lateral, meaning people leaving churches and going to another, we aren’t growing much. I’m going into hostile territory, but most people and churches hinder the Holy Spirit by being afraid to break from tradition. When you read the Book of Acts you see the Holy Spirit very much alive in the early Christians and their churches. That is why Christianity spread like wildfire even against extreme oppression. We have grown afraid to challenge tradition and think outside the box.

A group of men in the Sandpoint area formed over a year ago to launch a ministry to reach the non churched people. We held an outdoor expo that targeted many outdoor sport venues. Results the first year exceeded our expectations because we let God take over. We were able to connect with the community in a way never tried in Sandpoint. Over sixty retail vendors signed up, many of those were not Christian. Several vendors stated after the show that this was the best show they had ever participated in. We don’t take credit for that, it belongs to God. The second annual sports expo will be held this year at the Bonner County Fairgrounds from February 12 through the 14th. We look forward to impact people’s lives with the realness of Jesus.

The lack of local churches to catch this ministry vision is disappointing. The men come from five churches but Sandpoint has over twenty. Many pastors will not bring it up to their men. We have tried approaching them through a variety of ways but tradition seems to block our efforts. Our prayer is for these pastors to catch the vision of transforming Sandpoint for Christ. You do that by building relationships with the community not by religion.

Friday, January 29, 2010

It's All About Time

Tick Tock, Tick Tock, Tick Tock. Remember those old metal wind up alarm clocks that were so noisy? If the ticking didn’t keep you awake all night, the loud alarm would send you clearing the bed when it went off. I had a great dislike for the time piece and wanted to put it out of existence with a hammer. The new silent digital clocks are much better but I still don’t like being awakened by any alarm. Why couldn’t someone invent one with the sound of a bull elk bugling or the call of Canada geese?

I occasionally set an alarm but always wake up before it goes off. The old farm rooster was an alarm at first light when I was a kid. Every rooster wants to crow a few times before the sun comes up. That was how God probably intended for us to wake up. Remember, Peter heard one three times while it was still dark as Jesus was being accused of false crimes.

We seem obsessed with time. When I guided in Alaska we told clients to forget their watch because we had two times; daylight and dark. Many of those men’s life revolved around time and it would take them a few days to adjust to a slower pace. The only one that didn’t was a dairy farmer from Wisconsin.

When it comes to eternal decisions, many people put it off like they have forever. They don’t. Why is it so hard to accept Jesus as our personal savior? That is the only decision we need to make before time runs out. Too many people think they have to get religion; but they only need to make Jesus their savior by inviting Him into their lives. It doesn’t have anything to do with religion. Jesus is about having a heart change.

All you have to do is ask for forgiveness and invite Him into your heart. Ask Him for strength to change, wisdom to grow, and the ability to persevere. He won’t let you down. Don’t put it off; it’s all about time.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Remnants And Quilts

Ardella has the gift of making beautiful quilts and has created several over the years. Most of the time she designs her own pattern which sometimes changes as the quilt is made. She has made some for fund raisers and I bought the first one she designed and donated to the Rocky Mountain Foundation. Last fall Ardella designed four quilts for our two daughters and granddaughters which are beautiful works of art.

Our basement holds vast pieces and remnants of material that look like they have no purpose until Ardella lays them together with other fabric. They suddenly come together to form a beautiful covering for beds. This got me thinking how we are lone remnants in this world until we come together with other Christians to form something beautiful. We are supposed to reflect Jesus to the world but often don’t. God calls His remnants to work for His glory and change lives of people.

Paul writes in Romans that we are a remnant saved by grace. We can’t save ourselves by works; it required a savoir. In Zechariah God promises an inheritance to the remnant of his people. He provided a way out for us in this huge sea of humanity, lost in its pride and sin.

Remnants don’t look too good until they are pieced together with other remnants. They look pretty bland and useless. When they are sewed together to form a quilt something beautiful is created. Christians by themselves aren’t very effective for God but when we come together in spirit we are unstoppable. Satan loves to separate us with all kinds of divisions.

While most of the world thinks they don’t need Jesus as savior, we do and can make a difference in lives of people we know by sharing the love of Christ with them. This world needs quilts so if you are a Christian going it alone; find other Christians and create something wonderful for God.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Misery Loves Company

Yesterday I went ice fishing with my friend Ken and son-in-law Vance. It was the worst day I have ever spent on the ice in my fifty years of pursuing this unique sport. Maybe I should have known when Ken came to pick us up and told us that nothing had gone right for him all day, but we had dreams of buckets of perch. What could go wrong?

Our temperatures have been hovering near forty degrees in the day so that makes for some water on the ice but the frozen layer is abut twelve inches thick. We selected a frozen bay that requires access across private property so not too many fishermen are allowed to use it. As we started out on the ice, puddles of water dotted about half the surface. We walked using ice grips on our boots to prevent falling and covered about three hundred yards before we drilled the holes. My auger blades had suddenly lost their cutting ability so I borrowed Vance’s to finish the holes. Ken did the same.

As we settled into fishing a slight wind blew from the west and a light rain came down. We weren’t going to let a little rain prevent us from catching perch. Time went by without a single bite and the wind and rain increased. The wind started gusting and we could see waves pounding against the outer edge of the ice about three hundred yards away. Soon the water depth on the ice started rising and so did the wind. I stood up from the five gallon bucket to stretch and the bucket took off sailing away. After a brief chase which included falling flat on my back, I had the bucket and set down again to jig for perch. The wind and rain intensified and Ken said he was freezing; of course I was optimistic the fish would start biting any minute. Why quit now?

For some reason my memory of the bucket briefly failed and I stood up again. This time the bucket took off racing across the ice and Vance’s fishing gear box decided to follow in pursuit. The race was on with Vance and I trying to run across what now was ice covered by deepening water and little icebergs chasing along. The chunks of ice were being driven by the gale force winds as the outer shelf of ice was being chewed up by big waves. Vance’s fishing box suddenly stopped but the bucket continued another thirty feet and hit a pocket of open water caused by a spring. We watched the bucket make a slow retreat to the bottom of the lake. When I turned to go back towards Ken the wind hit me and I could feel it trying to push me toward the open water so I leaned into it and dug in with the ice grips. Cold rain pelted us as we gathered up our equipment and made the long walk off the ice. Another fine day off fishing came to an end.

The fierce conditions we endured on the ice reminded me how wild our God is. He flung the stars and planets into their positions, all creation follows his order. I have been blessed to experience His wildness many times in the outdoors and I thank Him for it. I am humbled by His great powers. I am sure that in a few days we will try ice fishing again, after all what could go wrong.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

All About Trust

Last summer our granddaughters talked us into taking Spud, a ten year old Fjord horse that they had picked up from a man in the spring. Spud is a small horse but doesn’t know that and wanted to challenge their big Fjord Amos. Fearing one of them would be injured; Vance said Spud had to find a new home so the granddaughters quickly figured that we should have him.

We brought Spud home without knowing much about his past but found out he liked to bite. I suspected that bad habit came from abuse he had received from his first owner. The guy said Spud was hard to catch without a grain bucket. Funny thing, I have never had any problem catching the horse. When Spud sees me with his halter, he comes right up and stands still while I slip it over his head. I have spent many hours with Spud grooming him and leading him around. Over the past few months, Spud has slowly quit trying to bite. He now wants to give me kisses on my cheek. The little horse has come to trust me completely.

God wants us to put our trust in Him. The word trust is used many times in the Bible. Proverbs says a lot about trust. Chapter 3 verse 5 says, “Trust in the Lord always.” Chapter 16 verse 20 states, “Blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.” Chapter 28 speaks of trust twice. “He who trusts in the Lord will prosper” and “he who trusts in himself is a fool.”

We often are so busy trying to manage our life that we don’t ever think about letting God in to help. Satan likes to fill our heads with thoughts of doubt about God. God wouldn’t want anything to do with us; we aren’t worthy. Do you know how much better our world would be if all men trusted completely in God? We are fools when we trust in ourselves or the words of other fools.

Our pride often gets in the way of relying on God to guide us. Guess who dishes out the pride to us? Replacing pride with humbleness will have us on the road to a relationship with the Father. Trust and relationship go hand in hand. Trust God; He is waiting for you to kiss Him on the cheek.