Archive for the ‘Alaska 2019’ Category

Kristalized Kenai

“He sends his word out over the earth, his command runs swiftly.  Thus he gives snow like wool, scatters hoarfrost like ashes, sends crystals of ice like crumbs of bread — who can withstand such cold? Then he sends his word out and melts them; he makes the winds blow, and the water flows” (Psalm 147:15-18).

It is strange to be in Cooper Landing in winter and seeing everything as a frozen white wonderland. Where’s Elsa? From the Kenai Lake to the river to the roads we drive all the time to the campground, I have to stop, pull off my gloves and with sub-freezing temps take pictures of the crisp wintery scenes all around me. Not only are trees and bushes and roads white-washed, wisps of chiffon clouds float below the mountain peaks while steam rises above the Kenai because the air is colder than the year-round 40 degree temperature of the river. Seasonal folks left long ago and apart from small winter jobs, the few locals left come to the post office and eat ice cream at Wildman’s. Some actually put on waders and continue to fish!

As cliche as it is, a picture is worth 1000 words. Try to feel the chill in the air, the waxing and waning of the daylight hours and the peacefulness of this hamlet on the Kenai Peninsula. I thank God every moment of every day to have the blessing of this experience.

Cooper Landing and the Princess

Kenai Lake and River

Bean Creek Road

What is a Ptarmigan?

Our Suite Home

Winterized Campground

©2019 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. 

Land of No Midnight Sun

Cooper Creek Campground Winterized

We’re back in Alaska! Yes, we are. And no, we did not drive our trailer, we flew on Alaska Airlines from Las Vegas to Anchorage on Thanksgiving Day.

Goodbye to the Crusader

Taking the Crusader to Storage until Trade-in Day

Oh, the woes of owning a Forest River Crusader. Though they did the best they could to make all of the structural issues right last April, they failed yet again because their standards are just ‘okay.’ As a floor plan, the Crusader was perfect for our lifestyle and we are going to miss what has become ‘home.’ Unfortunately, the quality of the frame was just not up to par for our nomad lifestyle. So, yes, we are buying a new trailer. It is on order and will be ready for pick up early in February when we return to Las Vegas.

It is a 2020 Grand Design Solitude and will include some upgrades that we are excited to have: built-in solar so we don’t have to haul our own, a back-up camera so my husband doesn’t need me any more (his words not mine), and a small toy-hauler type drawer in the rear for our bikes and maybe even a kayak. The living area will be bigger and we will have a residential-sized refrigerator, but inside storage cabinets will disappear and we wonder where everything we use will go. We’re just happy at the moment that our Crusader is in storage and we are in the land of the midnight sun even though the sun really isn’t seen very much.

A Different Thanksgiving

We left Vegas in the wee hours of Thanksgiving morning and said ‘goodbye’ to our son. Though the airport was rather empty, going through security was rough. First, we somehow lost our TSApre√. I believe it was because quite a few years ago, I became a ‘prototype’ and as long as we flew several times a year, we continued to have it. We had forgotten how much we HATE going through security! Second, my son got us there with no real time to spare. As we entered the line and put our stuff in the bins (I had not taken off my shoes or coat in years), something held up the line and the conveyor belt stopped. I do not go through the scanners. I never have and as long as I have a choice, I will not. It’s the principle. As people began lining up due to the stuck conveyor belt, they started pushing people through the metal detector. I thought ‘yay’ I won’t have to opt out this time. WRONG. They stopped at me. I opted out. And, as always, they take their good ol’ time to get to me. I knew the clock was ticking and our plane was boarding.

Eventually a very nice woman began my pat down. She also told me that my backpack had been chosen to be inspected. Can this process get any longer? While I’m putting on my shoes, my husband, feeling the pressure of the ticking clock, decides to go through the scanner. Because he had put the little papers from our checked baggage in his pocket, he was pulled out to be patted down. Apparently these high-tech scanners can’t differentiate between paper and metal?

I pass the personal inspection, but the woman finds my iPad in my back pack. My bad, I took out my computer, but forgot the iPad. The whole thing has to be sent back through the conveyor belt. I hear over the intercom that it’s last call for boarding our plane to Seattle.

My husband is fuming at the TSA official who is taking his good ol’ time too. Eventually my husband’s second inspection is done and he goes to grab his belongings from the bins. There is only ONE shoe in his bin; the other had disappeared!

I decided to run to the gate and tell them he would be on his way. Of course, it’s the last one on the concourse and I get there with no time left. I explain the lost shoe and they said they would wait 5 minutes. My husband finds his shoe only to be told his backpack and shoes had to go back through the conveyor belt. What is it with being a US citizen and being treated like some sort of criminal? How many terrorists have they actually caught doing all this nonsense? How many illegals come by the borders every stinkin’ day?

With one minute left before closing the doors to the plane, my husband is running down the concourse out of breath to the gate. I can’t even remember if he was wearing his shoes! We hustle down the gateway, enter the plane, find a place to hoist our carry-ons in the overhead, sit in our seats, buckle our seatbelts and the plane backs out. Breathing heavily, we’re heading toward Seattle with an empty seat between us. Thank God for small blessings.

We arrive in Seattle and that airport is nuts. And, I hate that airport. I just absolutely hate its chaos. We grab a bite to eat while waiting for our plane to board for our flight to Anchorage. This plane is full and again, we are last to board because we couldn’t hear the intercom with 10 planes boarding from the same gate area and probably 500 people! We sit down and again, the plane begins to back out from the gate. Oh my gosh, this was the most hectic experience flying I have ever had.

In the third seat was a very nice gentleman who we find out knows our son-in-law in Cooper Landing. He also knows the man from whom he is buying the fly-fishing company. He was also on the Cabela’s photo op fishing trip 5 years ago and wondered if my husband had any photos! Alaskans know that Alaska is a large state, but a small town.

We arrived in Anchorage on Thanksgiving Day about 1 p.m. We decided to take our time getting our luggage. We left the plane last. We bought some coffee and just wandered down the empty walkway as few places were open. By the time we arrived at the luggage area, ours were the only bags going round and round. We called the valet service where our daughter left her car and loaded our six bags on a cart which took another 15 minutes to locate. Six bags. Yes. One for nothing but winter outerwear: down coats, ski pants, winter boots, rubber boots, hats, scarves, gloves. One for clothing and one for everything else solid, liquid and gas! When we finally got on the shuttle to the car, we were the only people in the entire airport.

As always the drive down the Seward Highway along the Turnagain Arm is windy; however we were also receiving warnings of rain, rocks that had fallen on the road, and slush on the mountain passes. Yep. Pretty much that describes the conditions. Still the two-hour trek to Cooper Landing was quick, easy and passing familiar sights felt like going home, but home was never in winter. We greeted our daughter and son-in-law in their cozy log home and spent the end of Thanksgiving with them and our not-so-little grandson.

Can Thanksgiving dessert be any better?

Frontier Circle

View of Kenai River and Mount Cecil

Our ‘home’ for the next two months is at Kahtnu Lodging. In summer the suite is rented out nightly. We received an amazing deal and couldn’t resist the proximity to our daughter’s house. It has two bedrooms (and a futon couch) with a small furnished kitchen, dining table and huge beautifully designed bathroom. French doors lead outside to a small porch. As we sit on a hill, we can look down on the Kenai River and up to Mount Cecil.

Our ‘landlord’ is Lorraine Temple. She raises huskies and trains sled dogs for glacier touring and the Iditerod. In the winter, she travels to the Lower 48 to teach about her dogs and sleds. Anyone in Colorado want her to give a talk at a school? Let me know. At one time she had 80 huskies, but now only has three older, sweet dogs named Buddy, Willow and Cabo who greet us every time we get out of the car or stand at our door in the morning and cry to come in. They are not allowed. The first morning when Lorraine and Mike left for a short time, they stood at the door to the upstairs (where Lorraine and Mike live) and howled. It sounded so … Alaskan!

The once-Nebraskan Suburban

My daughter lives less than ¾ of a mile from our little abode so I can walk to her house whenever I want or need to. We do have a vehicle … our old Suburban that we sold to my son-in-law for transporting his company’s fishing clients. It is strange driving it around again, but it is good to have a familiar vehicle especially when driving in ice and snow.

Alyeska Resort Ski Runs

My husband has become an official ski bum this winter and will be working at Alyeska Ski Resort as a ski instructor. He’s a beginner instructor, but will be teaching children nonetheless. He spent the first few days here getting all new equipment for this new venture – something he set out to do 40 years ago in Breckenridge, Colorado. He’s also excited to be able to ski whenever he wants even though Girdwood is an hour and a half away.

My ‘day’ job for two months

Apart from being my daughter’s help when our second grandchild arrives sometime mid-December, I will be taking over her little job of cleaning the Cooper Landing Post Office. She ‘trained’ me once and I know for a fact that I won’t be cleaning as fast as she does because I can’t move that fast any more. I also hope I remember to accomplish all that I need to accomplish and then some.

Kenai Lake from Bean Creek Road

According to Lorraine, we have become official Cooper Landiers! And, you know that’s true when you’re in Anchorage shopping at the grocery store and meet someone you know from Cooper Landing.

The Days are Short

The sun rose this morning, December 2, about 9:40 a.m. and set about 3.56 p.m. though there is light earlier than 9:40 a.m. and later than 3:56 p.m. Today, however, it snowed about 4-6 inches and there was minimal light. There are only 20 days until the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, when winter actually begins. After the solstice, the time between sunrise and sunset lengthens while before, each day becomes shorter. The first few days we were here, it was light outside in the morning through the afternoon. Yes, I am taking lots of Vitamin D and trying to be outside as much as possible. It’s a good thing that I love winter and snow because in the winter Alaska is quintessential winter.

My hope is still to see the Aurora Borealis. With all the darkness, there needs to be one clear night when those northern lights fill the sky. When it’s clear, however, the temperatures drop. It has been hovering between 25 and 35 the past few days, but tomorrow brings clear skies, sunshine and 7 degrees. Apart from the length of days, it still reminds me of Colorado – without the snow melt after every storm.

The snow by the road, on the trees and blanketing the mountain sides makes everything seem brighter or lighter. Today we left Cooper Landing in a snowstorm to shop two hours north in Anchorage. Around the Turnagain Arm, there was low fog and not much sight distance. It reminded me a little of the smoke this past summer though it was possible to breathe.

Seward Highway Anchorage 9:00 a.m.

What is the Turnagain Arm? The Turnagain Arm is the ocean where rivers coming from the mountains drain. According to wikipedia, Turnagain Arm is a waterway into the northwestern part of the Gulf of Alaska. It is one of two narrow branches at the north end of Cook Inlet, the other being Knik Arm. Turnagain is subject to climate extremes and large tide ranges. It received its name from Captain Cook who kept trying to take his ship into the Arm only to continue to get stuck and having to ‘turn around’ repeatedly.

The large tide ranges include the Bore Tide which is a rush of seawater that returns to a shallow and narrowing inlet from a broad bay. A bore tides happens after extreme minus low tides created by the full or new moon.  There are unique individuals who dress in cold water gear and wait for the bore tide to ‘ride the wave.’

There are also Beluga whales in the Turnagain Arm. Last fall we saw quite a few breaking in the waves. Apparently, they stay in the Arm area all winter so we will keep our eyes open for them whenever we head north to Girdwood or Anchorage.

Anchorage is like a real city as is Soldotna and Seward which are both one hour south of Cooper Landing. We’re just stuck in the middle with a small grocery store that charges $6.00 for a package of Oreos and $3.50 for a gallon of drinking water. They also don’t allow charges of less than $10. There’s also Wildman’s that has just about everything from ice cream to showers to a liquor store. Their prices are more reasonable, but it was time to stock up with essentials for two months.

We did other errands in Anchorage including a doctor’s visit where my grandson listens to his sibling’s heartbeat. When asked what the baby says, he responds, “Wha wha wha wha wha.” Anyone who has ever heard a baby’s heartbeat on a doppler knows that’s what babies say in their mommy’s womb.

It is different here in the winter, but it’s a good different. There are fewer tourists and only about 200 locals who remain for the winter. The traffic is non-existent and it’s so quiet it’s possible to hear the snowflakes gently falling and collecting on the ground making this land without a midnight sun fluffy white.

Kenai River from our summer ‘home’

Well, with the bluer skies today and the inches of powdery snow, I’m off to use my daughter’s snow machine. Never did that before so, here goes ….

©2019 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.

Encountering the Ark

“For the Son of Man’s coming will be just as it was in the days of Noach” (Matthew 24:37).

Ken Ham and ‘Answers in Genesis’ made a significant impact on my children’s Biblical world view when we heard him teach in Denver, Colorado. They never forgot his “billions of dead things buried in rock layers laid down by water’ to support a worldwide flood. When friends suggested we visit the life-sized Ark he had built, we couldn’t miss the opportunity as we drove through Kentucky.

“First, understand this: during the Last Days, scoffers will come, following their own desires and asking, “Where is this promised ‘coming’ of his? For our fathers have died, and everything goes on just as it has since the beginning of creation” (2 Peter 3:3-4).

Reading some of the reviews on The Ark Encounter before we went was discouraging. Atheists mocked the whole project inside and out while one young Millennial writer from Christianity Today thought the whole thing obsessive and expensive even though the funds for the project were all raised privately. There was a Washington Post article mocking the Ark because rain eroded the roadway and had to be reinforced. There was another article about taxes and how Answers in Genesis had figured out a way not to pay property taxes that support local schools. I wanted to laugh if it wasn’t so sad. Public schools don’t teach anything about Creation nor do they want to and, if I were Ken Ham, I wouldn’t want to support those institutions through taxes either. They want the money, but not the worldview.

“And he did not spare the ancient world; on the contrary, he preserved Noach, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, and brought the Flood upon a world of ungodly people” (2 Peter 2:5).

With all of the negative comments, I wasn’t sure what I would ‘encounter’ when I actually experienced the Ark, but I know that Yeshua said the world would be like ‘the days of Noach’ before he returned. Those days were full of scoffers; those who reject even the idea of God.

The original Ark was not built to be evangelistic even though that is how the The Ark Encounter creator’s view it. The original Ark was built to protect eight faithful people from the judgment of God against wickedness and violence on the earth. Even in the short movie entitled “An Interview with Noah” shown on the Lower Deck, Noah states that if someone came knocking on the door because they believed, he would let them in. In reality, no one did. That wasn’t God’s plan for the Ark. Strangely enough, my Bible reading for the day included the following showing that it was Yeshua who explained the message of the flood and God’s patience.

“For the Messiah himself died for sins, once and for all, a righteous person on behalf of unrighteous people, so that he might bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh but brought to life by the Spirit;  and in this form he went and made a proclamation to the imprisoned spirits, to those who were disobedient long ago, in the days of Noach, when God waited patiently during the building of the ark, in which a few people — to be specific, eight — were delivered by means of water” (1 Peter 3:18-20).

We arrived as the visitor center opened at 9 a.m. and watched a 25-minute video on the making of the Ark – from purchasing the land, to hiring all of the people God called to design, build, and detail the Ark to the ribbon cutting ceremony. Ken Ham was asked if the Ark was everything he imagined it to be. He answered, “No, it was more than he could have ever imagined.” Yes, I’m sure it is. It is more than anyone could imagine!

The Ark

From the huge auditorium, we began our journey toward the Ark which took up nearly the whole horizon before us. Elephants and giraffes made from bushy trees seemed to be trudging toward the ramp up to the huge door near the bow. This Ark is made to be life-size according to the directions given to Noach in cubits. They used the royal cubit length of 20.4 inches, making their cubit a little less than the longer 21.6 inches. With this measurement this Ark is 510 feet long, 85 feet wide, and 51 feet tall.

Listening to God

We entered the Ark from below deck as it is built on a foundation rather than sitting on the ground waiting for another worldwide flood. We walked up the first ramp to the Lower Deck and entered a side door to the sounds of thunder and rain. Animal cages made from bamboo and outfitted with food and water receptacles greeted us. The sounds of the animals eating, moving around in their cages and even going to the bathroom came through the cage doors. (No real animals in these cages – just the sound ambiance of them.)

Bamboo Animal Cages with Smart Feeders

When we turned the corner, we watched Noach and his family praying for God’s protection while lightning flashed in the background behind him. We were blessed that he was praying in Hebrew; however, we are pretty sure he didn’t have an altar with fire in the Ark. We were also blessed at one point in the film, when they proclaimed in detail the Hebrew names of the Creator from El Elyon, El Shaddai and Adonai to Ehyeh, the I Am.

Noach’s Prayer for Protection

We continued to walk around the first deck to the Bow. Bags and bags of grain for food and large clay jars probably holding water and small jars for oil lined the side of the Ark. In the middle of the Ark were small cages for moths and other slimy things that some of the animals would eat. It was overwhelming to consider all of the necessities for living in a boat with so many different kinds of animals for over a year.

We wandered along the numerous bamboo cages looking at the pre-flood creatures. Many of the animals that were on the Ark do not exist in the forms we see today. They were designed by engineers who used 3D printers to re-create the animal bodies and skeletons while painters and fur people made each animal look realistic.

Not every species of animal was taken on the Ark, only kinds of animals: Stalhleckeriid Kind, Canids (the dog kind), Hyena Kind, Felids (the cat kind), Alligator Kind, the Cattle Kind, Pongids (the great ape kind), the Giraffe Kind, the Horse Kind, the Hippopotamus Kind and so on until there were about 1,398 KINDS on the Ark. Within each kind were 10s, 50s and 100s giving them at most 7,000 land animals and birds.

Juvenile KInd of ‘saurus’

The second deck contained exhibits that answer many questions about the the Ark. For example, where did fresh water come from to drink, bathe and wash clothes and dishes? How long did it take to feed and water all the animals? What was done with the tons of animal waste? What kinds of lighting was in the Ark? Various ingenious examples of mechanical and technical designs showed the intelligence of Noach and his family who were called to build this huge boat for their protection and provision.

One inch of rain water per week from the roof of the Ark funneled into large cisterns would have kept Noach’s family supplied with fresh water. Once the rain stopped, evaporation of the flood waters would have also caused rain to fall to keep the cisterns full. Gutters and piping from the cisterns transported water to each of the animals cages.

With regard to waste, I noticed that some of the cages had trays or small wagons underneath the slats that could be removed. Smaller animal cages had gutters where waste would flush out. The waste could easily be removed and then it could be taken to what is called a ‘moon pool’ and removed from the Ark.

Near Bow of the Ark, there were ‘moon pools.’ These were large tubes that were open from the top of the Ark through the bottom. As the Ark rocked on the waves water would push up into these pools circulating fresh air. One pool was used for waste and as the Ark rose and the water rushed out, the waste went with it.

There was a lot of artistic license taken when designing this Ark, Some of it, however, was taken from other sources like the Book of Jubilees as well as the creativity of the designers. Each part of the system of feeding, water and waste removal seemed very plausible because each system also helped to manage the enormous work load put on eight people.

Also on the second deck was a small petting zoo. I believe I saw porcupines and I hope no one would pet them. I did have the opportunity to feed an alpaca and receive a kiss.

The Alpaca Kiss

The third deck contained exhibits of life for Noah and his family on the Ark. Each life-size diorama depicted a different scene of Noah, Shem, Ham, Japeth and their wives. I’m not sure with so many animals to feed and take care of that the depiction of Japeth playing the flute is realistic, but I hope they did have time for each other and some relaxing moments.

The structure of the Ark is quite overwhelming. It is made completely of wood with huge tree trunks as center standing beams. Looking up there were skylights to allow some light inside. Looking down there were holds for more food and supplies. As we were reminded in the first film, this Ark is not really a boat, but made to look like the boat. It is made for people to come inside and see an idea of how the Ark may have looked. All of the empty space for visitors and exhibits would have been filled with more food, cages, feeding troughs and excrement tubes for animals.

We had a nice little buffet lunch at Emzara’s Kitchen. Emzara is the name of Noah’s wife from the Book of Jubilees. Apparently, the little stories they gave about each of Noach’s sons’ wives came from other sources as well because some of the I actually recognized from books I have read.

We took a stroll around the Ararat Zoo near Emzara’s and watched kangaroos boingy boingy, an ostrich stretch its head, some pigs trying to get out of their pen, horses and a zebra just chilling, and camels saddled up for rides. Many of the animals, especially the birds, are gone for the season. It would be a much better zoo in the summer!

One of my pet peeves when teaching children Biblical accounts is Veggie Tales. Suffice it to say that I do not believe that anyone should take courageous and strong men and women of faith and give them cartoon caracatures or make them into vegetables. It diminishes the value of their testimony of God and allows for the Bible to become ‘just another storybook.’

Beware of ‘The Lie”

The same is true about Noah’s Ark and making it look like a fairy tale. The ‘days of Noah’ were not fairy tale days and the Ark was not a bewitched pumpkin transformed into a floating vessel by some magic spell. The animals weren’t squished on the Ark and they weren’t hanging out on some exterior deck. It is these types of deceptions that take hold in the hearts of children and turn them away from trusting in the Creator of the Universe for life and hope. It was interesting to see that one exhibit dealt with this ‘lie’ and actually had nearly every children’s book ever written that propelled the deception.

The Lie of the Serpent

“So long as the earth exists, sowing time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night will not cease” (Genesis 8:22).

After our Ark Encounter and a bag of books and souvenirs, we went back to the auditorium for a lecture on Global Warming by Dr. Alan White. He holds a PhD in organic chemistry from Harvard University. He has been granted 41 US patents and is an author on 18 scientific publications. He is retired from Eastman Chemical Company and spends time speaking on creation science especially in the area of climate change. From all of his graphs and diagrams, it seems there is no real evidence for such an event as global warming because records have only been kept for 150 years. Even for those who believe in ‘billions’ of years and evolution, that’s not much time to gather the evidence needed to prove our earth is dangerously warming. Instead, there is much evidence for changes in climate – some temperatures going up and some going down. Whether or not one believes in destructive global warming really is dependent upon their world view: faith in God or faith in mankind. I choose God and the Truth of the Word:

“God added, “Here is the sign of the covenant I am making between myself and you and every living creature with you, for all generations to come:  I am putting my rainbow in the cloud — it will be there as a sign of the covenant between myself and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth, and the rainbow is seen in the cloud;  I will remember my covenant which is between myself and you and every living creature of any kind; and the water will never again become a flood to destroy all living beings. The rainbow will be in the cloud; so that when I look at it, I will remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of any kind on the earth” (Genesis 9:12-16).

Dividing the Word of Truth

“Do all you can to present yourself to God as someone worthy of his approval, as a worker with no need to be ashamed, because he deals straightforwardly with the Word of the Truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).

I know those who created the Ark Encounter studied extensively the  how and why everything from animals to food to people fit together,  however, there were a few issues that when I ‘divide the Word of Truth,’ I found lacking.

“… keep my shabbats holy; and they will be a sign between me and you, so that you will know that I am Adonai your God” (Ezekiel 20:20).

As much as I appreciate Ken Ham and his vision as a Creationist in this secular world of scoffers, his days of creation fall short of the entire week.  only saw one sign, and that in the main building, that even mentioned the seventh day with  ‘on the seventh day, God rested.’  Apart from that there was nothing regarding God sanctifying the seventh day, setting it apart from the rest of the days of creation.  Sanctification of the seventh day or Sabbath, as this day was also given a name, is just as important as knowing on which days God created sun, moon and stars or sea creatures. I have read many of his books over the years and he never addresses the seventh day as a created day.  In fact, many years ago I wrote to him on this issue. From his response I know Mr. Ham avoids the Sabbath because he wants to avoid controversy and he’s more interested in promoting creation over evolution, but the Sabbath is the ‘sign’ that we grasp Creation in its entirety.  This is what has been lost in the ‘changing’ of the Sabbath to Sunday and has allowed for more Christians to believe in evolution and deny the literal seven days of creation.

“I am the gate [door]; if someone enters through me, he will be safe and will go in and out and find pasture” (John 10:9).

Much of the Ark Encounter focuses on the message of salvation and uses ‘the door’ to emphasize this message.  Yeshua (Jesus) is the ‘door’ no less than ‘the door’ to the Ark was the entrance to salvation from the flood for Noah’s family.  It was cool how they had a photo op place set up to take pictures of individuals standing at ‘the door.’  My only concern is ‘the cross’ that was projected on it.  One of the commands for believers of the nations is to make the Jew envious for their own Messiah and salvation.  It always grieves me when Christians push ‘the cross’ when it is really offensive to Yeshua’s brothers and sisters.   After all, millions of Jews over the past 2000 years were murdered by those who donned the cross.  Though I understand the concept of the idea, perhaps another depiction could have been projected or nothing at all.  Allow the allusion to stand for itself.  

“Then I saw standing there with the throne and the four living beings, in the circle of the elders, a Lamb that appeared to have been slaughtered” (Revelation 5:6).

Within the exhibit “Museum of the Bible,’ another key comparison was depicted.  Just as Yeshua is ‘the door,’ he is also ‘the lamb who takes away the sin of the world’ (John 1:29).  This is represented by the ‘ram’ that Abraham found in the thicket, ’the blood of the lamb’ put on the Hebrews’ doorposts and lintel at the Passover, and all of the sacrificial lambs within the Temple services.  Yeshua is referred to as a ‘lamb led to the slaughter but didn’t open his mouth’ (Jeremiah 11:19, Isaiah 53:7).  Yet, in the exhibit of Adam and Eve sinning, some archaic dinosaur or amphibian was used as the sacrifice for their sin.  They wore furry clothes (not explicit in Scripture) which would not have come from the skin of a hairless creature.  I’m not sure why a ‘lamb’ wasn’t used to tie the sacrificial account from the Garden to the ram and the blood, but it seemed very silly.  

There were wonderful explanations about the number of ‘unclean’ animals vs. ‘clean’ animals that entered the Ark.  The explanations included the question of whether or not Noah understood the difference, but most likely learned from the differing numbers God brought to him. 

“Of every clean animal you are to take seven couples, and of the animals that are not clean, one couple; also of the birds in the air take seven couples — in order to preserve their species throughout the earth” (Genesis 7:2-3).

Correctly, Noah sacrificed ‘clean’ animals after the flood as worship of Elohim.  This had to be the case or the ‘unclean’ would never have been able to reproduce.  At this time, Noah is told that he may eat the flesh of animals like he ate plants.  Again, this is correct though it’s probable that not all green plants were edible: poison ivy or the leaves of rhubarb were not edible.   The explanation went on to say that the idea of not eating ‘unclean’ animals was for a certain time in a certain culture.  This belief system is unfortunate for several reasons.  First, each of the covenants built on each other.  Noach was given meat to eat while the Israelites were given more specifics of those meats in the Torah.  No one was to eat blood! Each covenant is based on faith – taking God as His word.

“And there is one Lord, one trust, one immersion, and one God, the Father of all, who rules over all, works through all and is in all” (Ephesians 4:5-6).

Second, rather than challenging all of the people walking through the Ark to consider that Yeshua didn’t die on the cross to save them from God’s teachings and instructions, such theology allows the faulty interpretations from Acts 10, 11 and Romans 14 to continue. Third, once again this theology divides the Bible into sections – one section for one group of people (Christians) and another for another group (Jews).  This is heresy when the Bible is one book written for all men for all time – also explained in one of the exhibits.  Yeshua himself stated in Matthew 5 that the Torah would not disappear until there’s a new heaven and new earth.  Perhaps what Noah was given in his new heaven and new earth was for THIS heaven and THIS earth until the restoration of all things!

“Yes indeed! I tell you that until heaven and earth pass away, not so much as a yud or a stroke will pass from the Torah — not until everything that must happen has happened” (Matthew 5:18).

Our day ended with a sunset over the distant Ark, not a rainbow of a covenant promise. Still, my Ark Encounter, even with my concerns, was one to remember – something everyone should do at least once ‘in these days of Noach.’ It brings with it a perspective of God and His Word in Biblical proportions.

“By trusting, Noach, after receiving divine warning about things as yet unseen, was filled with holy fear and built an ark to save his household. Through this trusting, he put the world under condemnation and received the righteousness that comes from trusting” (Hebrews 11:7).

©2019 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. For a hard copy of this article,  please purchase Journey with Jeremiah: Nourishment for the Wild Olive.  

Penn’s Woods

Pennsylvania comes from “Penn’s Woods” and is named after William Penn who was given a tract of land on the eastern coast of the colonies that is now known as The Keystone State. In these ‘woods’, I grew up and most of my family still live here. Every now and again, I head to the east coast to see everyone and get reacquainted with the area as each time the growth and roads change so drastically that I generally never know where I am.

Most of the week we stayed in Pennsylvania, family and friends visited us at Shady Oaks Campground in Newmanstown. We had no idea what this campground would be like, but it was one of the few that remains open all year long so most of the campers are full-time year rounders. In all honesty, it had the best internet we have ever had in a campground. We arrived the night of the tornados and spent some of the evening with my brother in his brick and mortar home. Otherwise, our time there was quite peaceful and very memorable.

I knew I was ‘home’ from the moment we saw the cooling towers of Three Mile Island – yes I lived there when that event happened. As we passed through Harrisburg I remembered how I protested nuclear power in 1980. Strange how TMI is now closed and I truly believe nuclear power is the cleanest power on the planet. Accidents can be devastating like Chernobyl and Fukishima, but it’s still the best producing power. When I traveled to Collegeville for a Millersville University reunion, I passed the Limerick cooling towers which still power major cities like New York.

We went to the Green Dragon Farmer’s Market to see my sister who works for Renegade Winery doing shows at farmer’s markets everywhere. We had funnel cakes for lunch – yum. The last time I had authentic funnel cakes was in … Alaska at the state fair. Yep, a woman from Lancaster County had a food truck and though they were delicious, the ambiance of eating a funnel cake IN Lancaster County is better!

I had a family gathering to watch the Denver Broncos – never expecting them to win. My sister was in a great mood since her Atlanta Falcons had a BYE week and couldn’t lose. Yesterday, they surprised the Saints!

Sibs: Falcons and Broncos!

I visited with my dad and stepmom. We took them shopping at a small Mennonite grocery to buy fresh cheese. I found some pretzels, too! We invited them to our trailer for a fresh Alaskan salmon dinner. Thank you Denny Wood for the fish. It traveled all the way to PA. Whenever my dad navigates, there is no direct route anywhere (I’m learning my cousin is the same way). So on our quick trip to the cheese store, we took side roads to see the Cornwall Furnace.

Me and Dad

Cornwall Furnace is one of the remaining furnaces of the early American iron industry. Originally built by Peter Grubb in 1742, the furnace underwent extensive renovations in 1856-57 and closed in 1883. At Cornwall furnace, blast equipment, and related Gothic-style buildings still stand as they did 100 years ago. At this iron furnace, cannons, stoves, and pig iron were cast. My next visit to this area will include more of a tour of this historic and fascinating place.

The Cornwall Furnace
Paymaster’s Building

I saw my uncle from near Boston who I hadn’t seen in 40 years. I also reacquainted myself with my cousin who I had to remind that New England fans weren’t welcome anywhere near our trailer. Yeah, she wore that sweatshirt JUST FOR ME!

One of the highlights of the week was taking my husband to a Wilson High School football game – Friday Night Lights! After dressing in the warmest clothes we have along with hand and foot warmers, we made a quick stop at my brothers where he gave me his letter jacket from 1980 to wear. Then, we headed to the John Gurski Stadium. When I was in high school, he was the football coach and changed the whole scene of the program to become the high school powerhouse that it is now. The high school recruits players and their plays resemble college plays as they are being prepared for college ball. They are a 6A team and were seeded #1 in their league playing Harrisburg who was seeded #4. It was a great game though Wilson’s defense had a difficult time against Harrisburg’s ‘Tom Brady’ and one wide receiver. Wilson played a better complete football game, but ended up losing on a pass interference call – a pass that would have been caught and given them the win. Instead, they had one play after the clock ended and didn’t get the pass. Heartbreaker, but stomping our feet for the defense kept us really warm!

Heartbreaker!

I also visited with my mother’s sister who is now 91. She is a very special aunt and reminds me a lot of my mom. We had a nice lunch with some other family and then came back to the trailer for dessert – fresh pumpkin roll. And, no trip to York is complete for me unless I visit my mom’s grave. This time, rather than leaving flowers that die, I placed a small pile of rocks from Seldovia, Alaska on her grave.

My cousin took us to Gettysburg, the long way around, to stretch our legs on Cemetery Ridge after eating too many whoopie pies, pumpkin rolls, and Tastycakes. It was a beautiful sunny day, and since it was Veteran’s Day, there were a lot of veteran’s visiting the area. I had the privilege of sitting with ole Abe Lincoln to discuss how the country he brought out of civil war is struggling once again.

Pickett’s Charge was the culmination of the Battle of Gettysburg on July 3, 1863, the third and last day of battle. It involved an infantry assault of approximately 15,000 Confederate soldiers against Union Major General George Meade’s troops’ position along Cemetery Ridge, manned by some 6,500 Federals.

In our down moments during the week, we were faced once again with trailer issues and making serious decisions. We began to see cracks on our way from Colorado to Pennsylvania. When my brother noticed a new crack, we decided to bite the bullet, face the facts, and focus on purchasing another trailer. It is time to trade this one in for a better built home.

I realize that everyone has issues with their trailers, but Forest River, though they tried to be good and help us last year, never really dealt with the issue of a possibly bent frame. They told us the camber was in spec range which is saying ‘it is bent, but it’s okay bent that much.’ Unfortunately, with the type of travel we do, an ‘okay bent’ isn’t good as we learned with the leaf springs. As much as we have loved this trailer and made it home, we cannot continue to travel as we do with the possibility of it falling apart on the road – something we hope doesn’t happen until we get our new one.

The new one is a Grand Design Solitude. It has a lot of newer features that make the change a very positive upgrade for us and our living experience. This one will have a small toy-hauler-like pullout storage area under the living area in the back. It will allow us to put our bikes inside rather than outside or on top of our truck. It will also have a place for a kayak! There is so much storage underneath the whole trailer that we will not even be able to fill it up – keeping us within the weight limit. The controls for the water and sewer are not underneath the trailer, but on the side making them more accessible. We will have solar panels rather than having to haul our own solar generator. We will even have back-up cameras! (My husband said he will no longer need me!)

The inside will be very different because it has less storage space though it has greater living space. I have been talking to people who own the model we are buying to ask where they put simple things like a broom or hang their coats (we will lose a bunk room and coat closet). One kind couple actually took measurements of cabinets so I can know what will or will not fit. Why is this important?

First, we have storage in Colorado. Second, we are picking the trailer up in February in Las Vegas. When we return to Colorado this week, we need to remove everything that won’t fit or won’t work in the new one and put it into storage so we don’t have return to Colorado from Vegas to rid ourselves of stuff. This is something we won’t be able to do until February since we will be flying to Alaska for the winter – another adventure in the making. Our life is very convoluted at times, but we firmly believe that God is in control and well, perhaps we didn’t listen well enough last year when numerous people told us to trade in our trailer the moment we got it back. Now, we’re listening.

From Penn’s Woods, we leave York County tomorrow for Kentucky to visit The Ark Encounter – a full size Noah’s Ark with all the trimmings.

©2019 Tentstake Ministries Publishing

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