Sunday, October 30, 2022

Who is Faithful?

Sermon for Reformation Sunday -- Oct 30, 2022 -- Romans 3:19-28

Brothers and sisters in Christ, grace and peace to you, Amen.

Do you remember Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego?  They are well known for what happened to them during the time of Israel’s exile in Babylon.  They squared off with King Nebuchadnezzar in an unforgettable event.  These three men, faithful to God, had risen in the ranks of the wise leaders of the king of Babylon.  Things were going well for them until this one day.  King Nebuchadnezzar had constructed a 90-foot golden image on the plains of Babylon.  This golden image was to be worshipped by everyone.  When the special instruments would play, all were to bow down to it.  And pretty much all did, that is, except for Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.  The three refused.  The king was furious.  He gives them an ultimatum.  When you hear the special music, bow down, or else you will be thrown into the fiery furnace.  The king boldly asks them “who is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?”

Friday, October 28, 2022


[Originally published in the Monroe News on October 28, 2022]

My life continues to enter new and fascinating stages of parenting.  Though they feel unique to me I’m sure others out there have found themselves in similar positions.  My wife and I have our 3 older boys all in high school now.  On the plus side it is handy all having them in the same school again.  On the down side, the tuition bill is really a kick in the pants.  Our oldest is a senior and so that brings all sorts of extra emotional experiences like watching them go through senior nights, witnessing them playing their last soccer game of the season and a last cross-country meet.  There’s also the senior pictures and all the other fun of getting ready for graduation.  Maybe the biggest task of them all is the college hunt.  It was quite overwhelming back in April when we began to make some college visits.  I’m not sure what was more daunting, picturing our oldest getting ready to go off to school, or looking at what a year of school was going to cost.

On the flip side of all the high school parenting we are doing, my wife and I also have a 3-year old and a 9-month old. After years of being out of diapers and bottles here we are, having started all over again.  We’re learning quickly how parenting, especially with babies and toddlers, is a young person’s game.  Getting up with kids in the middle of the night is one thing in your 20s when you’re used to staying up late; but it is another thing entirely in your 40s when a 10pm bedtime is your friend.  One of the things we do enjoy about having both older and younger kids is the interaction between the two age groups.  The younger ones of course just adore the older ones and watch everything they do.  The older ones have been pretty caring and helpful in loving their little siblings.  The funniest part of it all, and we’ve heard this happens in other families, is when our oldest is handling the baby and strangers ask him if it is his own child.  He handles it with a blush.

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Jordan Valley Pathway Loop

Full loop of the Jordan Valley Pathway including a portion of the North Country Trail
Trailhead Elevation: 1,286 ft.
High Elevation: 1,318 ft.
Low Elevation: 721 ft.
Distance: 18.81 mi. 
Elevation Gain: 2228 ft.
Start Time: 8:12am
End Time: 12:05pm

Trip Report:
I finally made the big loop at Jordan Valley. I first discovered this loop in 2016 and that year I did an out and back of 12 miles on the NCT portion of the trail. I was somewhat time limited and I didn't make it all the way to Pinney Bridge as hoped. In the years since I've explored short sections venturing out from Deadman's Hill but never did things work out to go for the whole loop.

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