Last night at 2:00 am I said, let’s quit and go back to camp, I just fell asleep while fishing. It is now 9:00 am and I am ready to go back to the river! Wow, I slept good last night! Life is good! The fish are in, the fellowship with other guys is fantastic, the food is wonderful, my bed is very comfortable, I was so tired but now I am anxious to get back at it, and Jesus is coming soon, probably right when this fishing trip is over. In a few minutes we are going to process our fish, we clean the fillets, vacuum pack them, and put them in the freezer. Those sockeye salmon fillets are so pretty!
Normally in my life I operate by routine and schedules, and it is usually pretty tight as I try to make good use of every minute of the day. Up here in Alaska at fish camp I have no routine or schedule, everything changes every day depending on the fish, they control my life!
Last night we started fishing at 10:00 pm with the intention to stay until 7:00 am, but there wasn’t a lot of fish in the river so we came back and went to bed at 2:00 am.
I wouldn’t like living my life doing whatever, whenever, but for a couple of weeks it is refreshing. I have 73 goals, a dozen commitments, every minute of the day is in my scheduler which I check about every 30 minutes, routine, schedules, goals, and commitments are how I operate normally, but a break from the “normal routines” occasionally keeps my purpose in life strong and focused.
When it is time to get on the airplane and fly home I will be ready to get back to the routine, but now I am enjoying total randomness.
I like building boats. Up here in Alaska, where we fish, we fish from the bank, and we do pretty good, but there are lots of people fishing in Alaska. So, I am building a fiberglass drift boat that we can leave up here to use each year. Drifting down the Kenai we will be away from the crowds and have access to fishing spots that don’t get fished much.
Yesterday I went to the local lumber yard to buy a few things for the boat, and I discovered that they have a hard time finding enough people to work here, so they settle for people that they usually wouldn’t hire. I had an encounter with a young guy who was very nice, but obviously knew nothing about building or anything related. But it was a very funny experience that I actually enjoyed.
I asked the young man behind the counter if I could get three Kiln Dried 2 x4’s ten feet long. He said, “what is that?” I said, “2 x 4?” He said, “no, kiln dried.” “I said, “the board is dried, like your cloths being dried in a dryer, the opposite of ‘green.’” He said, “green? All of our boards are light brown, not green.”
I asked if they had a “random orbital” sander. He said, “what is that?” I said, “It has a round pad that goes round and round.” He said, “I don’t know, ” so I said, “I will just go look at your tools and see if I can find one, thank you.”
I asked, “do you have small plastic towels?” He said, “what is that?” I said, “do you cook?” He said, “Yes, I love to cook, and my girlfriend thinks I am a good cook, ” I said, “so, you know what a spatula is?” “Sure.” “OK, I want something that looks like that but has a straight short handle.” He took me right to them.
I could tell by his responses to me and his body language that he was used to getting yelled at by customers, which was easy to understand why at this point in my shopping experience in this store. So, I thought, this could be incredibly frustrating or it could be an enjoyable experience because of the uniqueness of it, I think I will choose to enjoy it, and be nice to this young guy, and maybe when the next guy who asks for kiln-dried, he will know what he is talking about.
First-day fishing went fair. Three of us fished from 10:00 pm until midnight and caught five fish, still pretty slow, but lots of fun. I am going to build a 16-foot fiberglass drift boat in the next couple of days and fish at night. Having a boat will add a lot to our fishing experience.
I am doing good reading my Bible, praying, memorizing, but I think I am in trouble with Patty. I got busy fishing and forgot to call or text. I will do better.
It is 4:55 am in the Portland Airport and I just finished a McDonald’s breakfast with hot coffee. It was one of those breakfasts in a biscuit deals. Patty drove me up this morning and I am waiting to board my plane to Kenai, Alaska to fish for salmon. The best thing about the breakfast is that I get to take my mask off to eat. Needless to say, I am dragging this fine breakfast out until time to get on the plane at 6:00 am. I got three pancakes with the egg Mcmuffin but I am not eating pancakes on my diet so they make a great excuse for me to sit here for two hours with no mask on. People are coming and going and not paying much attention to me anyway. I do see a couple of other people sitting at tables not too far from mine whom I suspect are doing the same thing as I am.
I didn’t go to bed last night because I was afraid I would sleep through the alarm that was set for 2:00 am, so I sat up and read and prayed and watched YouTube video’s of fishing in Alaska. Patty went to bed at 8:00 pm and is back home in bed right now. I have a window seat so I plan on leaning up against the wall of the plane when I get on, and sleeping all the way to Anchorage. I need to be rested up and ready to fish when I get there.
I wrote out a personal commitment just for this trip, it goes like this, “It will be very easy to excuse not reading my Bible, not praying, and not memorizing Scripture, because I don’t get to do this but once a year, and a few misses won’t matter that much. But they will matter, for all eternity. So, no matter how tired I am, no matter how good the fishing is, I will spend time with You Lord, substantial time, every day.”
Cancel culture or call-out culture is a modern form of ostracism in which someone is thrust out of social or professional circles – whether it be online, on social media, or in person. Those subject to this ostracism are said to have been “cancelled”.
I am amazed at how much “Cancel Culture” has become part of the church in this last year. It really isn’t new, but it wasn’t quite so “formal” as it is now. In the “old days” we simply ignored someone we were angry at, didn’t like, or were trying to punish because they did something we disagreed with.
In the Bible there are some key relational commands given to us.
John 13:34-35 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
1 Peter 2:17 Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God,
Matthew 6:14-15 For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.
2 Timothy 2:24-25 The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth,
Romans 15:7 Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God.
Ephesians 4:31-32 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
During this last year there have been the mask wearers and the non-mask wearers, the stay at home isolators and the gatherers, the government obeyers and the government disobeyers, and now there is the vaxers and the non-vaxers.
Having an opinion on any of those is normal and acceptable, but if you “cancel” someone of a different view, it seems that the world’s methods have now replaced God’s in your life despite how strongly you may feel about your position.
Someone accused me of being a bad testimony to unbelievers by our church continuing to meet during the lockdown. I talked to a lot of unbelievers during the lockdown, and the one’s they viewed as having a bad testimony were the ones who treated them like dirt because they disagreed with them.
I talked to a pastor friend, and he said, “I thought a lot of people in our church were my good friends, but I found out that I was their good friend as long as I agreed with them, it didn’t take long for our close friendship of year’s to end when I didn’t wear a mask.”
Someone said to me, “because you don’t wear a mask people will die.” My response was, “maybe, I am not as convinced of that being true as you are, but this is true; I will honor you, forgive you, accept you, and talk nice to you despite the way you are treating me for disagreeing with you.”
I don’t know how other people’s minds work, I only know my own. My mind dreams a lot. I imagine all day long about something in the future that I am looking forward to. I visualize the event the way I am hoping it will happen, over and over again, each time with more detail and more adventure. Once I get into it, I imagine in full, vivid color, and I hear the sounds that go with the event as well.
I am going to Alaska fishing on Sunday, and I have been catching Sockeye salmon all day long for several weeks in my mind. The cool thing about my imagination is that every cast is perfect, the fish fighting sequences are better than the best fishing shows, and the size of the fish is amazing.
Because I have been to Alaska a lot over the years my imagination is building on actual experiences which makes my dreams seem much more credible, and gets me ten times more excited. If you have talked to me lately I apologize for what I am sure came across as distracted and uninterested in whatever you were talking about.
Mixed in with the various events coming up in the next six months, my mind probably spends more time on heaven now than any other event. As I get older with more aches and pains and the world becoming more frustrating, I think a lot about heaven in great detail.
In thinking about it I become more and more excited about going there so my impending death seems like a step into wonderland with no fear or apprehension attached to it at all. I think of people who have been so fearful of getting COVID and dying, and I wonder about their faith.
I read the Bible a lot and I memorize Bible verses for about 40 minutes a day. I am sure that the volume of the Word of God that has saturated my mind is a major reason why my anticipation of heaven is so strong and so real, and my fear of death is virtually nonexistent.
It is a great way to live life, especially amid the present craziness of the world.
About a year ago there was a State mandate that we couldn’t gather together, not even family. When the Church first started Peter was commanded by the authorities to not teach or speak about Jesus, and his response in Acts 5:29 was “But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.” In Hebrews 10:25 it commands us to “not forsake our own assembling together, as is the habit of some.” Christians all over the world gather together secretly with the threat of losing their jobs, being sent to prison, and even being killed, but they meet anyway. I once attended and preached in a service in a country where gathering as Christians was strictly forbidden. There was about 100 people squeezed together, sitting on the floor, in a room the size of our living room and they insisted that I preach for three hours. In talking to them I learned that almost all of them had been persecuted in some way in the last several years for their illegal gatherings. Some were beaten, others had their crops destroyed, many had family members in jail, and a number had family members who had been killed. For me, it was a no brainer that we would gather together in person, worship, fellowship, and hear the Word taught, it is commanded by God and we don’t grow without it. During this last year our church has had it’s greatest growth in the 40 year history of our church. Many who came were from churches that weren’t meeting, but now that churches are opening back up many of those people are returning to their home churches. But many who started coming were looking for answers during these turbulent times, looking for peace, and looking for the security that they would spend eternity in heaven if they did get COVID and die.
A sad thing for me is that many are now very haphazard and irregular in their gathering together because they are camping, fishing, traveling, going to the coast, and on the list goes. I am headed for Alaska in a couple of days but I will be attending a church in Soldotna. The reason I will is because God says “don’t forsake gathering together, as is the habit of some,” I either believe the Bible is the Word of God and follow it or I don’t. Jesus is either Lord of my life or He isn’t , depending on if I obey Him. Many tend to pick and choose what is convenient. Being faithful to our church is not an issue of being saved and going to heaven, because heaven is free, a gift received by faith, but it is an issue of growing, of commitment, and Loving the Lord. It doesn’t mean that we never miss, but it does mean that it is not done lightly.,
What does it mean to be motivated? For me, it means that I get out of my recliner and do something. “Self-motivated” is a term that is applied to successful people. The way I motivate myself is to think, ponder, meditate on my goals. My goals are what I want, the stronger my want the more motivated I will be.
What do you want?” That question was asked of me by a waitress that was obviously having a bad day, judging by the manner in which she asked me the question. She continued her rude manner of talking to us as she took our orders and brought the food, but in spite of her gruff personality the service was good, and the food was excellent so I gave her a nice tip. Later as I thought about the encounter, I sort of zeroed in on the question for some reason, “what do you want?” Jesus often asked people that question before He healed them, and God asked Solomon that question, and he answered “wisdom”, and God gave it to him.
What do I want? I would like it to be sunny tomorrow, I would like to go fishing, I would like to catch fish when I do. How many “wants” do I actually have? If I identified every single want that is in me, and I ranked them from the strongest, most passionate want down to the ho-hum casual desire, I would discover what motivates me. A second question would be, “what are you willing to do to bring the number one want into reality?” The stronger the want the more I would be willing to do.
The stronger my want the more I will do, the harder I will work, the more I will sacrifice, the longer I will pray, the more money I will give, the harder I will fight, and the more successful I will be.
Very few things motivate a person as much as writing goals and reading them several times each week. It is a simple discipline that very few do, but those who do are motivated.
I am headed up to Alaska on Saturday to go salmon fishing, and I am really excited about it, and looking forward to it very much. Some people say I am addicted to fishing. I am not sure exactly what that means so I googled it. According to one site there are obvious signs that fishing has moved beyond a hobby to an addiction, here are a few;
-you have more pictures of fish then grandkids.
I counted, it is a tie.
– the amount of money you spend on fishing equipment, fishing trips, and guide fees is greater than a car payment each month.
I don’t have a car payment and what I spend on fishing isn’t quite as much as my house payment, so I think I am fine.
– You remember the date of upcoming fishing trips more successfully than your wife’s birthday or your wedding anniversary.
That one isn’t fair!
-You get up in the middle of the night and watch YouTube video’s of fishing shows.
Only when I can’t sleep.
I read where they use fishing as a remedy to help people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol, it is called “replacement treatment.” Addiction to fishing is so much stronger than addiction to drugs or alcohol that it replaces it.