Category Archives: Travel & Spiritual Growth

Serving In the Storm

(From my journal) July 31, 2018      FSM-DFW-BIL-Zortman Montana    Up early with Beth who takes me to the airport at 0600L.

We both feel it’s right for me to go but are hesitant to separate with so much swirling about us?

Cabin framing started yesterday (amid showers — signs of Father’s blessing) We found a house in Springdale EB loves and I am content and comfortable with. Our Adelaide oasis has shown 8 times today, after only three days on multi-list. With a quick call to USAA we were pre-approved for a VA loan. Kim is helping sell our Fort Smith home. Barbie is helping us buy one in Fayetteville / Springdale. All this coming about in the last three weeks!

I’m going today to Zortman, MT and an Indian reservation where Justin died about one year ago on mission — for six days of spiritual focus, prayer, asking and listening, and service to the people there — some who know the King, and most who do not. Lord show us Your grace and favor. Amen. A prayer.

I just read on my flight out, from front to cover, “God Came Near” on my iPad and received much, much, much peace, faith, grace, and confirmation from it that “all is well.” Ps 23, Isa 30:15, Zech 4:6 TYL! Amen.

I texted EB to read it within the next 24 hours — starting with chapter 10, “Selling the Farm.” There are many, many similarities! And many, many marks of the Lord’s leading and favor!! :):) TYL! for leading me to write it and then read it — perhaps “For such a time as this.”

I’m going to Montana also, and primarily, to honor Justin and pray for what was important to him. And to thank God for the privilege of having such a friend. 🙂 Amen.

Arriving in Billings Intl Airport, I realize I haven’t even asked some praying people I know to cover our time and efforts with prayer — something I’ve leaned by experience is critical. I do so with texts, emails, and phone calls; then have a salad lunch, pick up a rental car and start the three hour drive north to the reservation.

I cross the Missouri River, and drive a little distance past the quirky, beautiful little town of of Zortman to Beaver Creek Camp on the Belknap reservation. I have dinner, meet Rick & James from TN, also Michelle, Bruce’s daughter. And several other interesting folks, Philip from Lavaca, his wife and daughter, and Carol, with here friend Stephanie from TN. I walk up the beautiful valley past the camp, enjoying the pristine weather, and pray. The main part of our Arkansas  group is scheduled to arrive about 10 pm tonight.

Thank you Lord, for a good, good day of remembering Your faithfulness. And for allowing — leading me on this adventure! 🙂

Those new friends I met a bit ago from TN & GA, who are returning home in the morning, were so pumped up about the Milk River Pow Wow they had just experienced! They say Rocky Boy is much (4x) bigger. They also said it was so rough a few years ago that Bruce wouldn’t go, nor take anyone. Then two years ago two ladies from the mission were invited by the chief — Bruce said they could go under his protection — and since then Bruce has started going back there…

Sounds like adventure to me! ?:)

These folks in the camp tonight are from all over — and some have been coming since 2002 — 13 or 14 years — some stay for weeks, and some all summer. They have a calling and have developed a heart for the Native Americans here. TYL! for caring and for pouring out Your heart to and in these people. Amen.

Click here for photos of the week and adventure.

Click here for a video of the week.

 

 

 

 

 

A Tent and An Altar

I’ve not really blogged about this nor told all that many people, but we are considering moving to another city an hour to the north, and into a new chapter of being, with God.

It’s a decision I don’t take lightly at all. We’ve lived in this area since the 1980s, a period now spanning most of our lives, some thirty-seven years. We’ve worked here, raised our children here, been a part of the same church family here for thirty-five years. Most of our close friends are here. We love our home. We love our neighborhood and neighbors. I’ve been a part of three men’s groups here for the past four or five years, and have made some deep spiritual friends. Life is pretty simple and comfortable here. Why would we leave?

About a year ago, I started feeling God was leading us into a new chapter of life and adventure with Him, especially spiritual adventure. I’ve been hearing and sensing His leading and promptings ever since then, and journaling about them, after times of reading His Word, sharing faith with others, and of meditation. Those promptings have intensified in frequency and intensity in the last six months. But there has been one serious sticking point — my wife. She hasn’t been hearing what I have been hearing or sensing the same thing.

And I couldn’t see dragging her away from her friends, and the life we have built here, unless I heard so strongly this is the will of the Lord and the right timing that I just did it. I have confidence she might come screaming and kicking, but that she would come in that case. Yet I’ve been praying as I walked, “God if this is You, please change her heart in this matter.”

About four weeks ago, after a sleepless night of “wrestling with the Lord,” to quote her, she said to me, “I think the Lord is telling us to move to Northwest Arkansas.”

And so it is… with somewhat heavy hearts, and somewhat excited hearts, we’ve moved out in faith (faith involves risk) and put our home on the market, looked around in NWA and made an offer on a home there. I would also mention we are building a cabin during this period. Are you kidding me?! All this upheaval at the same time? After we’ve fought for the peace and simplicity we have here?

Well, we who desire to follow Jesus as Lord, and count His Presence the most important thing in our lives, know that “when the cloud by day or fire by night” moves, we must move with it and Him. Maybe that peace and simplicity has allowed us to hear His gentle voice? And that same peace and simplicity can also translate to “comfort” or “being too comfortable?” which can be an enemy of our spiritual lives. I’m thinking of a quote from a recent blog: “If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine, it is lethal” Paulo Coelho

At any rate, during this time of amazing activity, it’s been relatively peaceful spiritually, feeling His nearness. I went on a long-scheduled mission trip to an Indian reservation in Montana, and Elizabeth went on a trip to NYC with a friend to visit our son, while we trusted the Lord to work out the details as He wished. Proverbs 3:5-6, my life verse, continues to be applicable to my life and guidance. As does the main Scriptures journaled in the past chapter of my life: Isa 30:15, Ps 23, and Zech 4:6.

On my way to Montana, I reread my recent book, beginning with chapter 10, “Selling the Farm.” It seemed to be amazingly apropos to this chapter of our lives, as did the entire book. 🙂 Seems like the Spirit may have had me write it so I could read it and have my faith renewed, reflecting on His past faithfulness in our lives “for such a time as this.” 🙂

Yesterday I was with a new friend Jeff on top of a mountain standing by our cabin under construction. He said, “The Bible tells us two amazing things about “faith.” [1] It pleases God, and [2] it can move mountains.” May it be so!!

I told a new friend Joe at our early morning men’s meeting today, who had just prayed for us and expressed his excitement about the new chapter God was providing for us, “Derek Prince once said when teaching about the life of Abraham, “‘From the time Abraham started following God, he knew only a tent and an altar.’” Amen. He also came to know God better than thousands, and seemingly experienced God’s nearness and covenant love at every bend of his journey. Isn’t that what we all seek?

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For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”” (Romans 4:3)

And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want...He leads me ...” (Psalm 23)

 

Travel & Spiritual Growth

Travel is a part of my life, especially since being led to a career as an airline pilot. I’ve thought from time to time about sharing some of those travel experiences on this blog, but decided against it until now concerned it might distract from the main message. And it might appear I’m bragging?

I’ve no more concern about that! It’s a hobby I enjoy because it refocuses me on life and living in the present. One can also learn a lot about people, cultures, history, themselves, and God through travel. It seems to enlarge our spirits and inspire our souls with mystery, beauty, wonder, and adventure. These are some of the things it does for me, and I hope for some of you too.

Last year was a banner travel year for me as I visited Alaska, Montana, Korea, Africa, Honduras, Greenland, and Iceland. Most of the photo work is done and accessible on the web, so I decided to launch out and share some of these travels with you in hopes it will inspire and motivate you to enjoy your life and consider it an adventure with the Lord. Maybe it will refresh your spirit with images of beauty and thoughts of mystery? Reignite your passion for exploring and living? If it does any of that, I will feel good about sharing!

What pushed me over the edge this week was a quote I discovered by St. Augustine, the most influential theologian in the first one thousand years of church history.

“The world is a book and those who do not travel only read one page.” Augustine of Hippo

Shortly thereafter I discovered this quote, which is a mantra for me in this chapter of my life, “live life in the present.” There are really only two important days for each of us, [1] today, and [2] that day. Said another way, don’t let undue concern about the past, or the future, rob you of your life today. Or as someone exclaimed, “Put your phone down, and be present to the circumstances and people around you!” 🙂 Ouch!

“Travel at it’s best reminds us to be present where we are.” Waylon Lewis

Travel As An Idol

I’m aware any gift from God can be turned into an idol if your affection for it displaces or becomes more important to you than the Giver. I’m pretty sure travel is not an idol for me. I’m very thankful for the gift and every opportunity. Yet I’m content to never travel again. But if you sense it might be an idol, speak up! I would need to pray about that and consider your insight.

Is Travel Necessary

I don’t consider travel as necessary to life and happiness. Our family is divided on travel. My wife and son really don’t enjoy it unless they are traveling with someone they like, or going to visit family or friends. My daughter and I like travel for travel’s sake — exploring, adventure, beauty, and when with loved ones, all the more! 🙂

I’m even aware there is a dissenting opinion among spiritual giants and church fathers about travel. I already told you what Augustine thought. Thomas ˋa Kempis (1380-1471) one of my favorite authors and Christian mystics who wrote the most published book in the world after the Bible, The Imitation of Christ, said that travel wasn’t desirable nor that beneficial, and I’m still looking hard to find his quote. Until I do, just know there are highly respected people who hold that position. The following will give you insight into his philosophy and his life grounded as it was in Truth and in Christ.

“The more you are at harmony within yourself and become inwardly simple, the more you will understand higher things without effort, for you will receive intellectual light from above.” Thomas á Kempis

With Friends in Greenland

“However, because many endeavor to get knowledge rather than live well, they are often deceived and get no or very little benefits.” Thomas á Kempis

“Purity and simplicity are the two wings with which man soars above the earth and all temporary nature.” Thomas á Kempis

“Everywhere I have sought peace and not found it, except in a corner with a book.”
Thomas á Kempis

With a Friend in Iceland sporting our Greenland Caps

“Wherever you go, there you are.”  Thomas á Kempis

So we see travel has two sides, like a coin, or a sword! And how you are led or decide with your free will will determine what path is best for you. Godspeed on your journey.

Whether you travel or not, I hope the commentary and photographs on these travel blogs will bring you joy and stimulate your spirit to adventure in Christ. (Psalm 23/Col 1:27)

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“Bizarre travel plans are dancing lessons from God.” Kurt Vonnegut

“There are no foreign lands. It is the traveller only who is foreign.” Robert Louis Stevenson

“A good traveller has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.” Lao Tzu

“Travel and change of place impart new vigour to the mind.” Seneca

“If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine, it is lethal” Paulo Coelho

Inside Images Simple and Powerful

Hallgrímskirkja church- Reykjavík – from top view to SE

“Paul and his friends went through Phrygia and Galatia, but the Holy Spirit would not let them preach in Asia.  After they arrived in Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not let them.  So they went on through Mysia until they came to Troas.” Acts 16

[This wildly popular song “Oceans” by Hillsong United describes what travel is to me at the moment; not just exploring my city, state, or planet — but adventuring in the spirit, in relationships, and in life with the Father, Son, and Spirit of Life.]