Monday, December 29, 2008

If Jesus were born today

Grace and greetings.

This is a picture of inside our santuary, looking back from the front of the church. In the back is a mural painted by one of the "greats" of this congregation and of the North Slope, the Rev. Samuel Simmonds. The hopspital in Barrow is named after him.

But that is not what I wanted to write about today. One of the online organizations I belong to is Ecunet, a gathering of church people around the globe. The following is one of the comments I read this afternoon that I wanted to share. I am not sure if the person who posted the story is the author, but here is the story that I titled "If Jesus were born today", since there was not real title attached to the story. Enjoy...
If Jesus Had Been Born Today

Message #10332 Subject: [NO SUBJECT] To: ECULAUGH
From: RAY KERLEY Date: 12/27/2008 02:05 EST
Child Protective Services Launch Probe

Nazareth Carpenter Being Held On Charges Involving Underage Mother

Authorities were today alerted by a concerned citizen who noticed a family living in a barn.

Upon arrival, Family Protective Service personnel, accompanied by police, took into protective care an infant child named Jesus, who had been wrapped in strips of cloth and placed in a feeding trough by his 14-year old mother, Mary of Nazareth.

During the confrontation, a man identified as Joseph, also of Nazareth, attempted to stop the social workers. Joseph, aided by several local shepherds and some unidentified foreigners, tried to forestall efforts to take the child, but was restrained by the police. Also being held for questioning are three foreigners who allege to be wise men from an eastern country.

The INS and Homeland Security officials are seeking information about these who may be in the country illegally. A source with the INS states that they had no passports, but were in possession of gold and other possibly illegal substances.

They resisted arrest saying that they had been warned by God to avoid officials in Jerusalem and to return quickly to their own country. The chemical substances in their possession will be tested. The owner of the barn is also being held for questioning.

The manager of the Bethlehem Inn faces possible revocation of his license for violating health and safety regulations by allowing people to stay in the stable. Civil authorities are also investigating the zoning violations involved in maintaining livestock in a commercially-zoned district. The location of the minor child will not be released, and the prospect for a quick resolution to this case is doubtful.

Asked about when Jesus would be returned to his mother, a Child Protective Service spokesperson said, "The father is middle-aged and the mother definitely underage. We are checking with officials in Nazareth to determine what their legal relationship is. Joseph has admitted taking Mary from her home in Nazareth because of a census requirement. However, because she was obviously pregnant when they left, investigators are looking into other reasons for their departure.

Joseph is being held without bond on charges of molestation, kidnapping, child endangerment, and statutory rape. Mary was taken to the Bethlehem General Hospital where she is being examined by doctors. Charges may also be filed against her for endangerment. She will also undergo psychiatric evaluation because of her claim that she is a virgin and that the child is from God.

The director of the psychiatric wing said, "I don't profess to have the right to tell people what to believe, but when their beliefs adversely affect the safety and well-being of others -- in this case her child -- we must consider her a danger to others.

"The unidentified drugs at the scene didn't help her case, but I'm confidant that with the proper therapy regimen we can get her back on her feet."

A spokesperson for the governor's office said, "Who knows what was going through their heads? But regardless, their treatment of the child was inexcusable, and the involvement of these others frightening.

"There is much we don't know about this case, but for the sake of the child and the public, you can be assured that we will pursue this matter to the end."

Ray Kerley
Murray, Utah 84123
(Written on 12/27/08 at 4:07 am MST)
This email is printed on 100% Recycled Electrons.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Adoption of the Spirit

Grace and greetings.

This evening's service was about our adoption into God's gracious gift of life. Here are some of my thoughts and comments.

Galatians 4.4-7

The Sunday after Christmas is always the lowest in church attendance, in any church throughout the “Western Church”. With the four weeks of Advent, expectations are set high for Christmas morning, both in the church and at home. Many times, if not all times, the expectations are ever met. We go through the waiting of the Christ child to be born, and then we can go back to our regular lives. We hope that Christmas will turn our lives around, fulfill hopes and dreams of a better life, better situations, for our families and ourselves. We pray for World peace to break out upon God’s Creation; we pray that all those who are sick will be healed, and all the wrongs will be made right. But the question we need to ask ourselves, during all this time of preparation, did we give birth to the Christ child in our own lives?

Paul is calling the church to understand the gift that God gave the world that first Christmas, that day “when the fullness of time had come.” We know the story, that Mary and Joseph came to Bethlehem, and Jesus was born. We know that he grew up, lived, taught, loved, ached, and died in our flesh, as a human being. Yet this same Jesus calls us, and continues to call us to be in a relationship with God. Not just a relationship where we are strangers passing on the street; or as best friends who send each other a Christmas card each year; but in a relationship with God that fulfills the promise that we are God’s Children. We too are the heirs of what God has promised to all, throughout the generations of prophets, writings and teachings. We have been adopted into God. We are the daughters and sons of the Living God, the God of All Creation.

Does a child know when she is born? Does an infant know he is being adopted? We learn as we grow up who we are, and more importantly, whose we are. We learn that as we grow in the spirit of God, we learn that God is our Parent, one that Jesus called Abba, one that we too can call Father, Creator of All. It is out of the womb of God creation came about. It is through the womb of God, by water and spirit that we are reborn into the Spirit of God. But again, I will ask the question of the day; did we give birth to the Christ child into our own lives?

We have been through all the pageants, plays, music and wonderment of the season. Now we move into the New Year, preparing for the New Hope that God gives us, but do we really take on the complete understanding that we are God’s Children. We are adopted into God. We are no longer strangers, we are no longer slaves but we are the Children of God. We are the sisters and brothers of the Christ who has redeemed and adopted us so we might enjoy the same rights and privileges and obligations of being in God’s family.

Only you can answer the question, only you are able to live out the answer, one way or another; Is Christ born again in you?
Peace and blessings.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Overcast in Barrow

Grace and Greetings.

The last few days have been very similar to this picture taken while we were in Denali Park earlier this summer, overcast inside a fantastic view.

While trying to keep things going, through four funerals, a wedding, four services as well as Christmas season, all I tend to see right now is the overcast, grey weary day. In the midst of the chaos in my life right now, I do not see the wonder of this time of year.

We, my wife and I, agreed to head up the "Christmas Eve Pageant." The requirements told to me was that they did not want a lot of dialogue to memorize, and try to keep things simple. So I did just that with a "Readers Theater" type of play, with characters in and out of time and space. Basically people from different time in history coming to tell of "their story", and then tie each story that would be read "in character" to a Christmas Carol. No memorization, simple to stage, no problem. I guess I did not receive the memo that the "Christmas Pageant" was first and foremost a presentation of the "youth" of the church playing Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus, just as they have done for the last twenty-five years. One would have thought I was telling all the little children that there was no Santa Claus as reported in "The Night Before Christmas." Well, now that we only have three days left, either the people will come screaming, or they will not come on Christmas Eve...

I know, I am probably making a mountain out of a hill, and there are only a few that are giving me the dirty looks and demanding that we put more of the "pageant" back in. So we will see. I think if the people give it a chance, it will work out well. Maybe I am just another white man in a native world too.

The weather had jumped 40 degrees this week, going from 20 below to 20 above, and even Thursday and Friday up to 28 degrees. Today, the cold wind is back, and the air tempature is starting to drop again, currently it is 10 above, with the wind chill at minus 2.

Well, it is time to try and rest tonight so that I can be ready for tomorrow's services and play practice.

Peace and blessings.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Grace and greetings.

Two things, I am become more frustrated with my inability to regulate the look of the blog. I am not able to distinguish paragraphs like I would like, very frustrating. I just put seven returns between this paragraph and the next, yet when it is previewed or published, it will not show any lines between the two.
The second is a warning. While I was typing the previous blog, I received a telephone call, it sounded legit. They claimed to be from Card Services, stating that I am being offered a reduction in interest for any Visa or Master Card I had. As I started to ask for more information, basically I asked if they already had the names of my cards to confirm that they were with the card company, they hung up.
Just like the picture of the bear, he looks innocent at the moment, (because it turned out that he had already been shot), but polar bears are not known for their kindness once they get a scent. Be wary of the telephone calls, be sure you know with whom you are talking and they already have the appropriate information before giving any of your own information out. A legitimate call will already have your information in front of them.
Peace and blessings.

Flying in and out of Barrow

Grace and greetings.
At left is a picture of the Alaska Airlines building. If you are coming to Barrow from anywhere other than one of the villages in the North Slope, you will come through this building. The building itself is not that large, the waiting room sits maybe 35 people comfortably, more with standing room. I do not know why the spots on the picture, for it was not snowing and it came out with both pictures I took, and the lens was clean. Oh well.
Kim is flying home tonight from Anchorage after meeting with the doctors there. They have decided to hold off on the surgery, until the lungs become more affected. The doctors said they could do a proactive surgery, but in the long run doing more damage to the lung than necessary. So we will wait, and the doctors will keep there eye on Kim, having her check in every so often, or when ever we are in Anchorage.
Peace and blessings.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Monday night white out

Grace and greetings.

Here it is Monday night, a night where things do not look like the picture. Though this is a picture of our "satellite city", where all the satellite dishes are outside of town. As you might notice, they are all pointed to the horizon, and not the sky. One of the reasons is that most of the satellites in space, all orbit below the Arctic Circle, so all of our dishes are pointing down rather than up.

The last two days have been very warm, up 40 degrees from the 20 below of the last several weeks. But today, it has been the 30 mile an hour winds that have caused the problems of the day, white outs everywhere, all day long. White outs are where the snow is so thick, either falling or being blown around, that you can not see through it. It makes driving real fun....NOT.

The picture to the right, is the road from the satellite city back into Barrow, coming up onto the airport, on the far right if the picture were to go out that far.

Anyway, I wanted to try and post a picture as often as I can. Though these pictures were taken last month, it still shows some of the landscape of the Barrow area.

Peace and blessings.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Grace and greetings.
To the right here is a picture of the Arctic Ocean, made up of several seas, in this case, the Chukchi Sea. As we look out our windows from the house, it is the Chukchi Sea that we see. When I drive to the "end of the road" as I mention in other blogs, then I end up between the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. This picture was taken the same day as the family pictures were taken, Halloween day, October 31, 2008.
You can notice the sun setting here about 3:30 PM. The sun has now set for the winter, though from about 11:30 AM to about 1:30 PM we still have twilight to see with, so it is not completely dark the whole time.
Peace and blessings.

Friday, December 12, 2008


Here is the picture I tried to publish originally...I am not going to put anything to chance....
Peace and blessings.


It is very frustrating when the computer or software do not respond as they were programed to respond. In my previous blog, I lost a picture of Kim and Sam, now the software will not respond when I try to upload the picture. Then the spacing was all off, not as it was written, and when I tried to "fix" it, the software lost items and whole paragraphs. VERY FRUSTRATING!!!

I will try publishing the picture again later.

Our Christmas Card picture

Grace and greetings.

It has been a couple of weeks since I wrote. I started to write last week, but after I was almost done, the entire blog disappeared into cyberspace, so I took the hint and turned off the computer. Tonight I am going to try again.

At left is a picture of Sam and Kim taken Halloween afternoon out by the Arctic Ocean at the edge of town. Below right, is a picture of Sam and I taken a few minutes later.

Kim wanted to send pictures out to friends and family, so here you are, we do exist. These were going to be our Christmas card pictures, but this is as far as they are going to get, at the moment.

I am hoping to go back to my original idea of a picture a day, are at least several a week now that I have downloaded the pictures into the computer and labeled them. I will be posting pictures from this past summer along with other pictures more recently taken.

For those who are still praying for Kim, she returns to Anchorage this coming Monday to meet with the surgeon and other doctors. We hope that a surgery date will be set while she is in Anchorage. Right now, everything is more or less on hold until we know more about the surgery date. Depending on what the surgeons find once they are inside of Kim's lungs, will determine how much of her lung they will remove, right now the possibility is up to half of her right lung. Then following the surgery will require about a week in the hospital to recuperate, longer depending on how things work out. Thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers.

Peace and blessings.