Newsletter September 2008
Several times last week, Marveen and I took her great uncle,
Bill, and his son out fishing for silvers on the Kenai River.
Despite the river being chocked full of humpies, we managed to
get them into some excellent silver fishing and they left happy
and with a cooler full of fish. At 93, Bill still has a love for
the Lord and for fishing. There were a few times when the fishing
was a bit slow and Bill indicated that at his age, he’d
like to move to a more productive spot since life is a bit short.
Hearing Bill laugh like a kid was priceless when his son, Jeff,
hooked a big king salmon that we chased down and managed to unhook
Anyway, on one of our days on the river when we were fishing
just upstream from Eagle Rock, I noticed that the tops of the
cottonwoods were getting quite a bit of wind while down at river
level, it was calm and pleasant. When the topic of moving down
river to fish came up I shared what I had learned over the years
that when the tops of those trees have the leaves peeled back
from the wind, just around the bend at the fishing spot affectionately
called “The Chicago Hole,” the wind would be howling.
Sure enough, when we rounded the bend at Eagle Rock at full throttle,
it was like hitting a wall of wind. We slowed down to cruising
speed and bounced through it until we got further downstream where
we were protected from the wind by some high bluffs and where
we incidentally caught a bunch of fat and feisty silvers.
This week, with Marveen now in Colorado helping her mom and with
Bill and Jeff back in Colorado sharing fishing stories and fish
with their families and friends, I have had a few minutes to sit
and watch what is going on in the world. Though I don’t
stay awake long in front of the TV, I did manage to try to watch
the late news that came on around midnight after the Olympic coverage
was finished. What struck me was that the high winds are not just
down along the river but they are also blowing at gale force on
TV. I had to laugh as the news would air about three minutes of
news stories interrupted with three minutes or so of political
ads which are giving us lots of negatives about the opposing candidates
or issues followed immediately with the opposite side giving their
side of things. While it is one of the wonders of democracy that
we have freedom of speech and freedom to publicly endorse or criticize
others, it sure can be confusing sometimes. To vote an intelligent
ballot takes considerable time, effort and discernment these days.
Later this week, I received an email from someone with news that
a highly publicized Christian movement in the south had suddenly
shut down amidst some very sad and controversial circumstances.
Even in the church world, the winds are blowing and swirling around
as critics criticize and defenders defend. The bottom line is
that these winds of controversy can be damaging and disorienting
to young or immature believers who are not firmly grounded in
the Word of God. If there was ever a time when we need to be planted
in the Word for daily wisdom and encouragement, it is now. I am
reminded of the story in Matthew 7:24-29 where Jesus concludes
the Sermon On the Mount by saying that the person who both HEARS
and ACTS ON His teaching will be able to stand firm when the high
winds and rain buffet them. Having our anchor lines firmly planted
in the Word of God and obedience to it, are critical if we are
to stand and not be casualties in these tumultuous days.
Then yesterday, on my way into the post office I noticed a vehicle
sitting there occupied by one of our faithful members. I tapped
the hood to get her attention to say hello and then on my way
out she opened her door to talk a minute. I was blessed to notice
that sitting on her lap was her open and well-worn Bible that
she had been reading while her husband was inside. Taking those
spare moments to read and meditate on the Word of God will likely
stand her in good stead no matter how hard the winds blow.
God Bless You.