Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Sights

Alaska has to have some of the most beautiful vistas of any state. I sheepishly admit that I don't always pay attention to God's gorgeous scenery, but there's something different about Alaska's landscapes. They jump out and grab you. They demand attention. I have several pics of the great Alaskan outdoors, but they don't do justice to its grandeur. So, I'm just going to post a few, especially for Shanna. Enjoy!

Mt. McKinley, by far, was my favorite spot. It's imposing presence can't be missed on a clear day and is just awe-inspiring. This was the 7th time for Liberty to be in Alaska, but this was the first time Royce had been able to see McKinley. It was worth the wait, I'm sure. We spent over an hour taking pictures and just taking it all in.

Speaking of an imposing presence...

Royce and I attempt to show the viewing public how large McKinley is. Our conservative estimate is at about 5'8".

I had never seen a glacier before, so I was blown away by this immense ice object. Very cool! I try to keep my cool in these types of situations and so am very hesitant to look like anything but an absolute moron when being photographed. What facial expression are you supposed to use while posing in front of a glacier, anyway?

Royce forgot his camera, so he took some really clear cellphone pics. Those .75 megapixel cameras are just amazing.

We were fortunate enough to catch a large bull moose frolicking in the great Alaskan outdoors. That was an incredible sight! Wow!

We were also fortunate enough to catch a Southern Gospel pianist frolicking in the great outdoors. Not quite as impressive as the moose, I can assure you. Very disturbing.


Royce delicately dances around an aggressive crab. I had heard of the crabwalk but had never personally witnessed it. It was quite impressive.

God's frozen chosen

As I have mentioned in a previous post Royce reeled in a 47 lb. king salmon on our first Saturday in Alaska. We spent the next 8 days hauling around frozen salmon steaks. Royce was pretty excited as you will note from this picture while the rest of us were, well, not so excited.

Fishing the Kenai

You asked for pictures, you got 'em:

Royce puts on his salmon face as he prepares to fish

Dan grins close to one of the many rainbow trout he reeled in

Doran was the only one to catch the monster trout. Doran is pretty sure that he snagged Arthur, the Kenai River trout whose size has reached mythical proportions. By the way, he's sitting here in the sound booth at church (we're at VBS; no sarcastic comments, please) making sure that I'm quoting him correctly.

Royce doesn't worry about using bait on his hook. He figures if he flails his line around enough he'll be able to snag one in the eye. His method worked. (Please refrain from calling PETA).

Royce holds up his one-eyed beaut. Now, we were just doing catch and release fishing. It's illegal to keep them in the area we were fishing. So, there's a half-blind trout flopping around the Kenai these days. Incidentally, you will notice that I am the only one who isn't pictured with a fish. During the first hour of fishing I caught 5 fish, 3 tiny, 1 small, 1 medium. I should have got my pic taken with the mid-sized trout, but I was feeling pretty cocky and made the comment that I was going to wait until I caught Arthur. I caught exactly 3 more fish the rest of the day, all of them miniscule at best.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Alaska: Chapter 2

There is something to be said for the isolated beauty of the Alaskan landscape, but nothing beats the sight of my beautiful house. We pulled in mid-afternoon on Monday after an exhausting day of flying. We left Anchorage at 2:00 AM Monday and had a five and a half hour layover in Seattle. Yes, you can sleep on concrete. I didn't pull in the serious Zs that I do at home, but I still caught some shuteye. Needless to say I have done little but exist the last couple of days.

We had a superb trip. Alaska is by far the most beautiful state that I have visited. The gorgeous scenes that we witnessed traveling across the state can't be explained; just experienced. Awesome! I caught a glimpse of why God said, "It is good". Let me explain that I love the Midwest. You know, growing up in Indiana and living in Ohio, I have a warm spot in my heart for the country of my roots. But I'm convinced that God just passed his hand over the Midwest, taking the extra stuff to form Alaska. It's absolutely beautiful! I highly recommend touring AK.

We headed up to the northern part of the state on Tuesday, singing in Glenallen. While we were there, we met a great guy who has already become part of the Liberty family. Park made sure that we enjoyed our time up north. Wednesday morning, Royce and Dan hit a trail, or I should say created a trail, borrowing Park's Yamaha Rhino. Park had told us the night before that the Alaskan pipeline was just a mile or so from his house, so Dan thought he knew where he was going. They crashed through the underbrush, scaring off any grizzlies in the area (which is important since 9 people have died in recent months as a result of bear mauling) on their way to the pipeline. After some time of wandering around they finally discovered what they were looking for. As they were riding along the pipeline, a federal helicoptor came out of nowhere and dove toward the guys. Apparently, you have to have a pass to legally get in this particular area. Park had the pass, but obviously Royce and Dan didn't have it. The chopper hovered overhead scoping out this terrorist threat. His mind was set at ease as Royce leaned out and began taking pictures of the aircraft. He took off, probably thinking to himself, "Stupid tourists."

We then headed down to Talkeetna where we enjoyed a good time with the pastor of the AoG church. Thursday morning, we woke up to our first clear, sunny morning of the trip. We were able to see Mt. McKinley clear as could be. It was jaw-dropping awesome. We spent quite a bit of time on the deck of a lodge in Talkeetna taking pictures and enjoying the view. I have some great footage that will never make it to a Liberty video, but is quite entertaining, nevertheless.

Thursday night we were with some of my great friends in North Pole, AK. I spent my first trip to Alaska in North Pole at the Missionary Chapel. Pastor Duane and Gwen Newton were phenomenal hosts. In fact, they had just moved into their new house that same day and still let us spend the night. I saw so many of my friends from the GBS days. Scott and Kristina Clemens were up there (he had just finished speaking at a youth camp) along with their two cute boys. I hadn't seen Scott and Kristina since my days at Immanuel in KY. They moved to Indiana about a month after we moved to Idaho. It was also good to see Sonya (many of you will remember her from her work in the Revivalist office), Jodie Newton (one of the greatest girls in the world), Heidi, Thad, Jonathan Miller (shouts out to Maloyed in MI), the Betters, the Mitchells (including future GBS student Sheronna), and so many others that I had met previously. Jodie has bought a huge house and has opened up a daycare and is doing an incredible job. I was impressed! After our concert we headed over to Gary Mitchell's house (Gary is Royce's cousin, as well as a fellow GBS alum) for a barbeque. His grilled salmon is the best I've ever tasted. OK, moment of truth, I had never tasted grilled salmon before, but I loved it. That cajun mix was delicious. A good time was had by all.

Friday night we sang in Fairbanks at an outdoor concert sponsored by the First Assembly of God church. Those people were incredible! They treated us like royalty. Whoever made the marshmallow covered brownies needs to be awarded.

Saturday night's concert was at Church of the Wildwood, near Anchorage. The youth pastor and I got into some great discussions about music groups from the 80s and 90s. Ask Doran about his input.

We spent all day Sunday at Anchorage Baptist Temple. I've been to a lot of churches with Liberty, but this has to be one of my favorites. We had some wonderful times of worship and preaching/teaching. If there is anyway that you can download or buy any of Pastor Prevo's messages, do it ( His Sunday School class might be the best session I've ever been a part of. God has gifted Dr. Prevo with the ability to clearly and concisely teach the Bible. We are rarely able to hear messages while we are on the road, so it was nice to be a part of the service. We sang for their television program which is seen all over the state. I tried to keep one eye on the screen so I didn't do something stupid in front of a million people. It didn't work. I have the uncanny gift of making gaffes in front of the camera. It's scary, actually.

Sunday night was a full concert at ABT. We thoroughly enjoyed our time there. By the way, for those who say that bus ministry doesn't work anymore, they need to check out what ABT is doing. They literally crisscross the city with scores of buses, reaching out to their community. They are making a huge impact on their city.

Overall, it was a great week! I'm tired, but it was worth it. At least 20 people gave their lives to Christ during the trip. Man, that's incredible! It's cool to be used by God.

I really do have a bunch of pics to upload, but I'm tired. I'll post them tomorrow. Good night.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Stay tuned...

Alaska Trip, Chapter 2 will be released tomorrow, with pictures. We just kicked off the first night of our church's first VBS. Lori has helped coordinate (and is still coordinating) many of the details. My esteemed sister-in-law, Charlotte Frederick, is the special speaker. The first night was awesome! We had no idea how many kids to plan on, so Lori estimated 60 at the most. We ran out of nametags and fireman hats during the registration. We ended up with 79 on the first night, totally blowing away my faithless prediction of 30 or so!

The theme is "Jesus to the Rescue" and features a special presentation each evening from emergency response units in our community. Tonight's presentation was made by Life Flight out of Boise. They flew in a helicoptor and landed in our church's back yard. The kids were impressed, to say the least. I'll have some pics uploaded later.

Crabb Family Calling It Quits

An interesting day for Crabb Family fans. I have copied a post by Chuck Peters ( from a SG fan website:

CRABB FAMILY.. ONE MORE YEAR. August 1.. 2007 will mark the end of The Crabb Family.. as the group we know today. The official anouncement was made Tuesday (08/01) in Hendersonville, Tn. Press information released shortly after the announcement says each member will keep with tradition and continue to pursue their separate ministries once their tour has been completed. The siblings feel it is time to move to a new season and are anticipating what God has in store for all of their ministries. The Crabb Family will set out on a tour immediately to thank their fans for their unwavering support.The CF representative adds: "Everyone is being asked to respect the decision of the Crabb Family and keep each of them in your prayers.

Ironically, this announcement comes after several of the concerts on their "Blur the Lines" tour was cancelled.

The Crabb Family have been awesome, no doubt about it! They are one of the few groups that make it in my "buy every CD they produce" category.