The 11pm phone caller was from our church and told me the firefighters were putting out a fire in their garage. The family was visiting her husband's parents who live across the field from their house. While walking back to their home, her husband noticed smoke and then flames from their garage.
The temperature got into the low 70's and my mother-in-law wanted to go to a beach for a swim. She loves swimming and brought her suit even though we told her it is too cold to swim in Minnesota and that the water is colder in Alaska. Goose Lake is in near the university district of Anchorage. It was the happening place today with lots of people at the beach.
Today, the sun rose at 4:33am and will set tonight at 11:33pm, in Anchorage, Alaska. My wife, mother-in-law and I are visiting our daughter and husband in Anchorage. We are going to bed later than when we are home. Yesterday, at my mother-in-law's suggestion, we went for a walk at 10:35pm. Because it was July 4th, there were occasional fireworks going off. They were not very visible because it was still broad daylight.
The following is written by Steve Fredlund, who has been to Rwanda and leads Our Response, a partnership with World Vision bringing transformation to Kivaruga, Rwanda, by united East Central Minnesota to respond to global poverty, disease and suffering:
This morning, I took my daughter's bike and rode to the Campbell Creek Trail. It is a scenic trail that winds along a gurgling creek. I was a little concerned about remembering how to get back without getting lost and turned around after a few miles.
This is the range of mountains I see from my daughter's home in Anchorage, Alaska. My wife, mother-in-law and I are here to visit our daughter and son-in-law for a week. Allison married Philip over a year ago and moved over two thousand miles to begin a new adventure.
Today, the final day of this year, is the day to set spiritual goals for 2017.
The real goal is to grow more in love with Jesus throughout the year.
Finish 2016 strong with a desire to grow more in love with Jesus throughout 2017!
Two weeks after Thanksgiving, I noticed an ornament on one of our pine trees a few hundred yards down the driveway. It was a single, red ornament higher than a tall person could place it on a branch. I thought our daughter had put it there while standing on the running boards of her car. It was not her, but she had noticed it also and was curious who put it there.
My daughter’s friend was grilled at church. I was certain it was her. She has denied it, but finds it funny I have charged her with this action as though a crime. I asked our other children and their spouses. Not them.
Our next door neighbor was the next suspect. He takes his horse for a ride down our driveway. The height of the ornament would be that of a person atop a horse. Not our neighbor either. Every time I leave and every trip home, I intentionally look at the ornament. Even the windiest days did not blow it off the tree. It is about four inches in diameter and larger than any of the tree ornaments we own. For now, I am filled with a joy over this simple, mysterious gift given.
I am reminded of the simple birth of Jesus Christ. God sent His one and only son, Jesus into our world. You may have questions how God put Jesus here. A virgin Mary, a stable, a manger, angels, shepherds and a world that is not deserving.
Be filled with joy over the simple gift of Jesus given that whoever believes in Him will never perish, but have eternal life. A profound mystery.
Today seems like a Monday, because yesterday was a day off of work, but felt like a Saturday and Sunday was Christmas Day. Many people are asking themselves and others, “What day is it today?” Next week will not be any better because New Year’s Eve is Saturday, which means New Year’s Day is Sunday. Most people will have Monday, January 2 as their holiday and will once again be wondering what day it is during most of next week. Not until we reach the second Monday of the month will we get back to a regular rhythm!
The writer of Psalms 90 tells us to number our days; not to keep track of the day of the week. You are to commit your day to the Lord. Jesus has purpose and destiny in your day that could be lost if you are n ot looking for it.
Teach us to number our days,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
Husband of one, father of five, pastor and friend of many.