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Archive for August, 2014

I have too much to work on in my own life, that I don’t have time to be worrying about someone else when it comes to the matter of criticism.

Pastor Bill

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Never forget that non-verbal language is every bit as powerful as spoken words. Your attitude is always plain for all to see. Don’t forget that.

Pastor Bill

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It is often out of the chaos, hard times and turmoil of life that we ultimately see God work in our lives. We may not see how He could ever do that at the time—but He does!

Pastor Bill

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ON THE TRAIL

Ah, yes! This was absolutely grand! The warm sun shining through the tall trees, the thick, soft carpet of pine needles beneath us, and the relaxing murmur of the stream as the water tumbled and flowed around and over the rocks. Even though it was only midmorning, the combination of these elements soon began to make us feel drowsy as we lay against our heavy packs. A person would not find it too difficult to take a morning “snooze,” in a setting like this! The chatter of a squirrel, the cry of a blue jay as he darted through the trees and the occasional whisper of a soft breeze making the leaves on the small trees along the creek rustle, all added to the pleasant setting we were enjoying.

Suddenly, we noticed the sound of a small airplane which seemed to be traveling in our direction. The noise of its engine got louder, and moments later we glimpsed it through the trees as it raced by overhead, traveling from north to south and much closer to the treetops than one might expect. We could not help but wonder what the reason would be for anyone flying that low, down in this canyon surrounded by all these mountains. But, our interest in this interruption to our tranquil setting disappeared along with the decreasing volume of the airplane’s engine.

Moments later, though, we began to hear the sound of the plane again. It seemed to be returning over the same path it had followed minutes earlier, but traveling north this time. My partner and I looked questioningly at each other as we caught a brief glimpse of the shiny, aluminum airplane as it flashed past overhead a second time. “What is that guy doing?” we wondered aloud. You would certainly not consider this to be a route for recreational flying—at least not at the altitude this pilot was traveling!

Well, the distraction had been enough that the drowsiness we had been feeling was gone. It was time to see if we could find our way out of these mountains we had been having such an “enjoyable” time in over these past twenty-four hours or so. We stood and stretched our tired muscles and hoisted our packs to our backs once again.

The trail we had found was not heavily travelled by any means, but it was a trail. Old “blaze” marks on some of the trees, cut into the bark with an axe, and rotting logs along the trail, cut with a saw many years ago, testified to man having been in this particular place at one time. As we began walking north, the trail remaining adjacent to the creek, we noted that the only tracks in any of the soft, damp spots along the trail were those of deer or elk, or smaller wild animals. No human footprints were visible.

It soon became apparent that this was a little-used trail for several other reasons. In some areas the brush overhung the trail so heavily we were forced to bend low with our heads down, hold our hands over our faces to protect them, and literally force our way through the mass of thick branches. Still, it did not rival the brush we had found ourselves in the previous night, far up on the side of the mountain which now was above us. We could handle this! We also became painfully aware of the numerous fallen trees lying across the trail. Some of them were so large it was difficult, especially with our heavy packs, to climb over. This trail had not been cleaned out in a very long time!

Suddenly, we heard the now-familiar sound of that airplane engine again. And sure enough, it was coming our way. But, there was a major difference this time. As we listened to the increasing sound as the plane drew closer, we heard the revolutions of the engine suddenly increase sharply for a split second. In rapid succession it happened a second time, and then a third as the pilot was apparently opening the throttle quickly, three times in a row. By now we had stopped walking and were looking at each other as we listened. We caught a brief glimpse of the plane through the tree limbs as it flashed overhead and, moments before the sound of the plane was out of our hearing, we heard the engine throttled up again—three times in quick succession.

What in the world was that pilot doing? Was he having engine trouble? If so, he should be headed away from the mountains, not towards them!

We continued walking along the trail only to be stopped several minutes later by the return of the airplane, following the same pattern of flying as it had before with the pilot opening and closing the throttle rapidly several times. We began to discuss what the pilot was doing, and why he might be doing it. It seemed obvious that the manner in which he was operating the aircraft was not by accident. Then my partner raised the same question that had been going through my mind. “I wonder if someone is lost and they are out looking for them?” he asked.

I replied that I had begun to wonder that very same thing. Someone must be lost. That pilot was surely not out on a joy ride this morning, flying the way he was. Well, we would keep our eyes open, and listen. If someone were lost in this area maybe we would stumble onto them! We could help them out . . . . .

Life is certainly interesting! How many of us, if we were to take the time to look back over the years, would be able to remember the times when we felt like we were “on the trail.” We believed we were on the trail God wanted us to be on, but it seemed awfully “brushy” on occasion and there were “fallen trees,” in our path much more frequently than we would have liked! And some of those trees were large ones which were extremely difficult to get beyond.

In Psalm 16:11, we are reminded that God has “made known to me the path of life.” The Psalmist does not say that this path will be one on which the believer will never face what might appear to be occasional barriers, or “fallen trees,” seeming to block the way. But, he did go on to add, “You will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand!”

Pause a moment, if you will, and consider the meaning of this promise God has given us. He is so very good to us!

Prayer: Father, thank you for providing directions for me throughout life. Thank you for the reality that you fill me with joy, and your presence. Yes, thank you, Lord. In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.

Pastor Bill

 

 

Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.™  Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

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Always work to insure that your home is a place of peace, rest and refuge. It will pay big dividends down the road!

Pastor Bill

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At some point near the middle of last week I realized there were no posts appearing on The Shelter Tree. I typically put those together on the weekend. But last weekend was interrupted when, on Saturday night, a family of five who are friends of mine were involved in a serious car accident in Eastern Washington. Sunday morning the father, still a young man in his 40’s, passed away.

The hours and days that followed his death were filled with activity and preparations for a memorial service that was held a week later, on Saturday. It was attended by more than 700 people. That is an indication of the influence this godly young man had on friends, coworkers and acquaintances. In any case, I simply did not have the time to devote to The Shelter Tree last week. My apologies to all of you who follow this post.

Good people pass away;the godly often die before their time. (Isaiah 57:1a, New Living Translation)

 

Pastor Bill

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If we choose to deviate from the instructions we have in God’s Word, we set ourselves up for destruction.

Pastor Bill

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