Alaska – Land of Adventure

March 6, 2021 by  
Filed under Humor, Stories

By Judy Davis –

The sun was rising over the mountains when our airplane descended into the remote wilds of Alaska. The splendid, snowcapped mountain peaks with the rushing rivers were an awesome sight. I gazed in awe at the stunning contrast of the snowcapped mountains against the blueness of the Gulf of Alaska.

It was at that moment I remembered the Scripture: “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good… Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array” (Genesis 1:31, 2:1).

After unpacking and settling in our motel, we met many wonderful people. They told us about all the different places to visit. We had a wonderful opportunity to see much of the native culture.

We drove over to an amusement park. Our children were delighted riding all the rides and seeing the thrilling shows. Watching the native Eskimos weave their braided rugs and make colorful beads added to the adventure.

We visited North Pole, Alaska. The house Santa lived in had silver and gold tinsel, huge red and green bows and a sidewalk covered in snow. It was a cold and windy day and as we started walking up to the front door I slipped and fell on the sidewalk. My wig blew off! When my husband leaned down and asked, “Are you OK?” I hollered, “Yes, run get my wig before it blows away!”

Moose and caribou scraping snow aside to find bits of scraps was a sight to see. Huge bears with their cubs walking beside the road made taking photos fun. Camping at Mount McKinley National Park in a tent was an added treat especially with signs on trees stating: “This is Grizzly Country. This is their home. You are a visitor.”

The beautiful northern lights (aurora borealis), all different colors splashed across the heavens. Visiting Alaska was an adventure. A trip we enjoyed immensely and will remember forever.

The long days of summer were exciting in Alaska. The longest day was June 22 and the sun came up and stayed all day and night. On the shortest day December 22, the sun rose and set almost at the same time.

The remoteness of Alaska appeal to many seeking a slower, simpler life. As we packed to leave to return to our home, I we knew we had been on a journey many would love to see. We have traveled to numerous states, but Alaska was one of the most magnificent places God created.

Advice to My Graduate

March 3, 2021 by  
Filed under Humor, Stories

By Janet Morris Grimes –

To My Daughter:

As a high-school graduate, I realize you are past these teachable moments, but I wanted to cram in one last life lesson to summarize everything I had hoped to teach you. Consider this the Cliffs Notes Version. Read and repeat as needed.

1. Don’t pick up hitchhikers. Nor should you become one.
2. Starting a new project is much harder than finishing.
3. The guys you think are cute now will be bald within ten years. And most 80-year-olds look the same. Dig deeper.
4. Don’t be jealous of the people who get the most attention. In your twenties, this is called being high-maintenance.
5. Pay attention to your car. If you don’t, you will learn this lesson on the side of a road. Refer to #1.
6. The happiest people on earth are those who do the most for others. Be one of them.
7. Money can’t buy happiness, but it is a blessing in the right hands. I suspect that God is always watching to see who can handle it.
8. God can’t bless a bitter heart. Your job is to keep yours from becoming one. He will do the rest.
9. The people who play it safe never score a home run.
10. Never be your own worst enemy.
11. Allow God to direct your steps with the little things so that you will recognize His voice when it gets to the big ones.
12. Never believe what you see on the news each night. Or on reality television. The truth has usually been edited out completely.
13. A phone call would be appreciated on the day you realize that I knew what I was talking about.
14. God has a plan for your life. And so does Satan. Enough said.
15. Life is a marathon. Keep running in the right direction, even on days you want to give up. There are no shortcuts. The winners are the finishers.
16. Surround yourself with people who help you feel closer to God.
17. Peace is most needed in the midst of chaos, not when things are going well. Hold on to the things that matter.
18. Write out your dreams. Give them permission to come true. They are there for a reason.
19. Find a way to get paid for what you love to do. That is the difference between a job and a career.
20. It is impossible to worship and worry at the same time. So worship. As much as possible.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9 NIV).

This Just Makes Good Scents

February 28, 2021 by  
Filed under Humor, Stories

By Rhonda Rhea –

My favorite places to write are coffee shops. There’s something about the aroma of so many good coffees that seems to cause more of my neurons to start firing. Somebody should make a scratch-n-sniff version I can take home. But since I haven’t found one, when there’s a deadline looming, I head to my fave café spot until I’m finished. I think I almost won the employee of the month award there once.

Last time I walked into “my” café just for a fun lunch, I took a long sniff and said, “Mmm, smells like a book deadline in here.” Another writer friend fired right back, “Hmm, smells like procrastination to me.” Potato/Po-tah-to.

They do have a great potato/po-tah-to soup on the lunch menu at my coffee café. It’s not often I have any left over, but I did a few months ago. I packaged it up to take home and got it as far as my car, but then I forgot it. My son borrowed my car for a week or so and the soup ended up shoved way under the seat in the back.

By the time I got back in my car, it made my eyes water. It didn’t help that on top of the potato soup stench, Daniel had left several socks in a kind of compost pile. The whole car smelled like the monkey cages at the zoo. This was scratching and sniffing of a whole different order. Some smells are hard to ignore. Even with the windows down. Even with the windows down for several weeks in a row. It’s clear that sometimes a to-go order loses something in translation. Or in transportation.

In Hebrews 11, the “Hall of Faith,” we read that God gave Abraham a to-go order of a different kind. What did Abraham do? He took off! Nevermind the where. He packed up his faith and hit the road. “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going,” (Hebrews 11:8). What a great example of faith and obedience—going!

We’ve been given a to-go order too. In John 20:21, the resurrected Jesus said to His followers, “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And He made no bones about it in Matthew 28:19-20. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” His “therefore go” is our charge. What a privilege to be sent on such a thrilling mission by the Savior Himself.

As we go, we’re His billboards. And we’re spreading the sweet perfume of Christ at the same time. This is so much better than anything scratch-n-sniff. “But thanks be to God, who always puts us on display in Christ and through us spreads the aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place,” (2 Corinthians 2:14, HCSB). The aroma of Christ! Others are influenced—changed, even, by Christ—when we wear His perfume. We’re sent. And we’re His scent.

It’s a glorious aroma. No matter how long you drive it around in your car.

First Humiliation

February 24, 2021 by  
Filed under Humor, Stories

By Stephanie Prichard –

My first incident of total humiliation happened when I was age eight. My older brother hadn’t descended into the pit of adolescence yet, so we were friends. He not only acknowledged me as his sister, but he looked out for me. The window of our camaraderie occurred in the two-year time frame of the early fifties when our family lived in Japan.

Dad was stationed at the army base in Yokohama, where we lived on post. Our favorite play spot was a giant hill not far from our backyard. A pleasant walk through a lightly wooded area added to the fun of getting to “Little Mount Fuji,” as we fondly called our hill.

After an afternoon of playing there, my brother and I headed home for dinner. I trudged behind him through the woods, leaving him to guide our footsteps while I let my mind wander. We had explored the woods many times and discovered several small huts inhabited by Japanese families. I wondered if their children spied on our house like we did on theirs.

As we got closer to home, we heard our mother call us. My brother took off at a run, and I picked up my pace to keep up with him. Without so much as a hey-watch-out-sis, he swerved suddenly to the left. Did I say he looked out for me? Not this time.

There was a reason for his zigzag, and I didn’t zig in time. I plunged straight into a four-foot-deep honey-bucket well. A tidal wave of fermented urine and feces splashed high over my head and plopped (notice I didn’t say rained) straight down on top of me.

The shock of my fall ratcheted up as the stench engulfed me. Weeks—months—years of fomenting organisms had churned the waste products of our Japanese neighbors into a powerful, homegrown fertilizer for their gardens, and I was standing up to my armpits in it.

Adding insult to injury was my brother, bent double with laughter at the sight of his poor, little sister drenched in you-know-what. My scream out-powered his mirth, and he hastened to pull me out and lead me—at a safe distance—home. “Whew, you stink!” he said over and over. As I entered our neighborhood, men, women and children backed away, hands over their mouths and noses. Like Pepe Le Pu, a distinct aura trailed me down the street.

At home, the humiliation continued. No sympathetic hug from my mother, no. Instead she made me strip naked outside, at the back of our house, and hosed—yes, hosed!—me off. I was sure all the little Japanese neighbor boys were hiding at the edge of the woods, watching and giggling. Finally I was whisked into the house and submerged in soap and shampoo in a long, hot shower. I didn’t stop crying until I fell exhausted into bed.

As Christians, we carry an aroma too. Second Corinthians 2:15-16 says, “For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life.” When the world rejects you for being a Christian, it’s not because you are Pepe Le Pu. It’s because they smell their own death. They smell the “fragrance of Christ”—His amazing humiliation in becoming human and dying for our sins that we might have “life leading to life.” That’s my prayer for my loved ones—life—because it’s no stinking good any other way.

The Keys to my Heart

February 21, 2021 by  
Filed under Humor, Stories

By Connie Cavanaugh –

Four drivers, two keys, one car – no matter how you add it up, it equals frustration. No one has the time to get more keys cut because we’re too busy hunting for the two keys we allegedly have.

I was working at my desk when my iPhone™ alerted me to a haircut appointment in fifteen minutes. Grabbing my purse, I lunged for the key rack. No key. Where was the one all by itself on a Free Willy key chain that I shared with our two driving daughters?

I ran to my youngest daughter’s bedroom and barged in. She was working a string of night shifts as her summer job and had to sleep during the day. Our encounter was not something I’d recommend in Good Parenting magazine.

“Where is the key to the Volkswagen?” I demanded.

“Mrrphh kublah, zzzz.”

I waded into a room that looked like it had been recently vandalized and began flinging clothes aside in an effort to find the floor and perhaps, the vagrant key.

Peeking out from under her pillow she moaned and mumbled, “I never drove the Volkswagen last, mom, you did! Please let me sleep!”

“If I drove the car last, the keys would be on the key rack!” I huffed, all righteous indignation.

Sitting up in bed with tears beginning to spill over, she reminded me she hadn’t slept properly for a week and now she probably wouldn’t be able to fall sleep again. She assured me she had nothing to do with the lost key.

By now, I was hopelessly late, frustrated and not totally convinced Willy wasn’t somewhere under the one of the piles surrounding me. I called my husband at his nearby office and he came to my rescue. He rushed into the foyer where I waited, ready to hand over his Volkswagen key when something caught his eye and stopped him cold.

“What’s this?” he asked. He stepped over to the key rack, bent down and picked up Free Willy from the floor directly below. “It looks like Willy made a break for it….”

“I am the world’s worst mother!” I wailed, tears bursting forth. Gerry was a bit dazed by my emotional reaction but he gallantly assured me that it wasn’t so. I managed to get a grip on my emotions long enough to endure the haircut while seated in front of an acre of mirrors that reflected the person I most despised at the moment – The World’s Worst Mother. Every barren woman I had ever known, biblically and literally, came to mind as I wondered why I was chosen to procreate and not them. I questioned God’s wisdom.

On the way home I stocked up on some provisions. Tiptoeing around so as not to reawaken my exhausted daughter, I set up a shrine outside her bedroom door with two 12-packs of cola and several gift certificates for free pizza. Atop this was a lengthy note confessing my grievous sin and begging forgiveness for blaming her for my own misplacement of the key. I left again to run more errands.

By the time I returned home hours later, ready to grovel, my daughter was already up and gone. She had obviously read my note, removed a can of cola and taken the pizza certificates. Ripping off a corner from the note I had written, she penned a response I’ll never forget: All is forgiven. Hey mom, you can yell at me again tomorrow. This could be a lucrative enterprise!!! xoxoxo.

I no longer questioned God’s wisdom. Thank God for children. They teach us grace.

« Previous PageNext Page »