I am fishing for sockeye salmon, called Reds, in Soldotna, Alaska, on the Kenai River the next 10 days. I have come every July for the last 18 years, and had a wonderful time catching lots of salmon. It began with an invitation from my good friend Jay Goold who used to live in Jefferson and was a key part of Jefferson Baptist Church, until because of a job promotion he moved to Anchorage. I came with another friend from the church on that first trip who bought my airline ticket, and we caught a ton of fish, and had an absolute amazing time, if you like to fish and catch fish! Several years ago, Tim Groome, another good friend, got so addicted to the fishing here that he bought some property with a small house, remodeled it and added some bunk cabins and now has a fishing lodge of sorts that I get to come to each year with about a dozen great friends. As I think about it as I am fishing away on the Kenai river catching salmon in an incredible beautiful invironment, I think, “how did this happen”? Most people would just call it a serious of coincidences that brought this about. But I believe God is the director of my life, and He causes things to happen. My experience this week is what most would call a blessing because it is fun and enjoyable. But what about the hard things like a financial crisis or a good friend dying. Well the Bible would label those as blessings as well because God is still the director in my life and “He causes all things to work together for good”. Good is not just what is pleasant and fun, but also trials and hard things because if I cooperate with them they produce rapid growth in my character to become like Christ in character. So I need to tell God Thank you for one as well as the other.