Of all the activities that I do, I think fishing for salmon in Alaska is my all-time favorite. I think that this is my 23rd year in a row of going up to Alaska for at least a week to fish. My first trip was when my good friend, Jay Goold moved from Jefferson to Anchorage, Alaska and invited me up to fish with him. We had an amazing time and fished in about eight different rivers and places including the Kenai river, I have been back every year since, though every year is different. I am leaving Monday morning at 3:00 am for this year’s trip, and expect it to be the best ever.
I am 73 years old, pastored Jefferson Baptist Church for 46 years, been married for 53 years, along with Patty, raised eight amazing kids, and in the process have had lots of adventures, trials, challenges, and disappointments, just like everyone does. On the journey I have never gotten down, depressed, or unmotivated for long periods of time, though in the early days of Pastoring Mondays were often bummer days. I have gotten depressed, discouraged, weary, and have often lost my dreams, but never for very long before I was back running the race of life with passion and fire.
There are several reasons why I have consistently lived life with joy and energy. The first is my relationship with the Lord. I spend time with Him every day reading His Word and talking, unloading, and receiving strength from Him through my time with Him in prayer. The second is my relationship with Patty for 53 years. She is amazing in her intuitive ability to keep me focused and enthused about life and it’s challenges. The third is fishing. It sounds a bit strange, and it is hard to explain how renewing fishing is for me. Other activities in my life are also refreshing and re-energizing, such as bicycling, working on old cars, and building things, but no other activity lifts me like fishing does.
So, I am off on an awesome fishing trip on Monday. I will write my blogs about my adventures and put in pictures of the fish I catch.
The first of August I will start preaching on Sunday’s at our first daughter church in Albany, Agape Family Fellowship for awhile, I will be preaching at our Wednesday night service at JBC, I will be getting ready to teach six different Leadership classes each week, and doing a number of other ministry activities. I will also be slipping in a fishing trip regularly as well.