Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Snow Blanket

Twas a couple of days after Christmas and all around the camp was a beautiful blanket of snow that lit up the place like a lamp.     Well..... I had to make it rhyme.  :)

Snow was slow in coming this year, but now we have about a foot of glistening snow and plenty for dog sledding, skiing or having a snowball fight.  It sure does brighten everything up with the pine trees heavily laden with white puffs of snow and makes it feel more like Christmas time. 

I realize some of our Wisconsin guests, or maybe most of them probably did not have a white Christmas due to the unseasonably warm weather, so I thought I would send along some pictures from Canada for you to remember what it is like and enjoy it with us.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!!

We want to wish all our guests a Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year.  May it be a year filled with exciting adventure, wonderful surprises, and an experiential knowledge of the unconditional, unsurpassing, matchless, abounding love of Jesus Christ our Lord. 

John and Joanna have been busy training the sled dogs, first with fourwheelers and now that we have some snow, with sleds.  Her first race is coming up the middle of January in Northhome, MN.  The last time she raced it in 2014, she won it.  She's hoping to come out on top again this year.  But every year the dogs in the team changes a bit, so one never knows WHAT will happen.  That's what makes it so interesting.

We got about eight inches of snow a month ago, got warm weather and it all melted.  Now we have about 8 inches again and hoping for more.  Some of you probably don't have any snow with the warm weather so far this winter.  It really makes for a beautiful Christmas to have the heavily snow laden trees and the pure white blanket of snow on the ground.  But, whether you have snow or not, we pray you have God's peace in your hearts as you begin 2016.   

Sunday, November 22, 2015

A Tribute To Sabre

 On August 15th, we said goodbye to our faithful, handsome Beauceron, Sabre.  He was almost 13 years old and had a very good life here at camp.  Most every day he took walks with Joanna down our quiet gravel roads, played lots of frisbee in the yard, could run down to the lake for a drink or to cool off and pretty much had the run of the place. 

He would be your friend if you threw a stick or the ball for him since he was forever a play boy.  Even as old as he was, if I took a frisbee outside to throw for him, his teeth would chatter with excitement in anticipation of catching it midair and bringing it back.  He would often lay down on his back on the grass, holding the frisbee in his paws and alternately chew on it and toss it up in the air and catch it again.

Joanna especially liked his intimidating size and serious presence when she would take long walks as there are wolves and other wild animals in the area and she always felt safer with Sabre by her side. On one occasion when a bear came into camp, Sabre ran him up a tree and let that black brute know that he wasn't going to tolerate any mischievousness here.   He was a great guardian and protector, always watchful and vigilant over his family.

I still laugh when I remember how Sabre used to sit in the passenger side of John's old pickup truck when taking the garbage and fish remains to the dump.  He was John's companion wherever he went and whatever he did.  Before we purchased the riding lawn mower, John mowed the entire lawn with a push mower.  A lot of the time, Saber would walk ahead of him dropping a tennis ball for John to throw for him.  If John didn't stop mowing and throw it, he would have run over it with the mower.  Sabre knew how to force him to play with him.

I would say he was in pretty good health right up to the end.  On the day we had to put him down, he was having continuous dizzy spells that made him sick and throwing up.  The vet said this was a condition that only happened with old dogs and a sign that his system was shutting down.  There was no cure for it and he would become very dehydrated.  So we had no other choice. 

We miss our sweet boy, who was a faithful, loyal obedient companion.  He was our camp mascot and he left an empty place here and in our hearts.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Winter Has Spoken

We Welome You to our Winter Wonderland here at Agimac River Outfitter with 8 inches of fresh snow on the ground. I think it's beautiful to see the snow next to open water. Of course our dogs were having great fun running around in it too. We are taking care of Amarah who belongs to our son Jonathan and his family. Jonathan has been recently deployed with the Air Force and his family will be joining him for a few weeks, so we said we would take Amarah for awhile till he is done with his deployment. Amarah loves it up here walking in the woods everyday and playing with Joanna's Iris Setter, Scarlet. It is nice to have a Beauceron around again since our Beauceron, Sabre died this summer. Amarah is actually Sabre's daughter. 

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Trip To Omaha

Cherish and I had a wonderful trip down to Omaha, NE to visit with Jonathan, Reseth and our two very adorable grandchildren, Aaron and Titus. Jonathan took a three day leave so that he could be with us too. We had such fun hiking in the wooded hills in Bellevue and experiencing the unique activities at an outdoor entertainment facility that is only open in the fall. I believe it was called Vala's Pumpkin Patch. It was like a mini Disneyworld, featuring live animals for children to pet and feed, a dog obedience show with border collies, bikes and trikes for children and adults alike, pony rides, cannons shooting pumpkins, multiple challenges of every kind and a large corn field with paths in which to run around.
We haven't had as much opportunity to be with Titus, so it was very satisfying to spend time getting to know him and for him to know us. Even to watch Aaron and Titus interact with each other was precious. They have their rough and tumble times, but also are very affectionate with each other. Jonathan and Reseth have done a tremendous parenting job, finding unique ways to engage their sons in communication and learning experiences. They are a family that loves adventure and a great time was had by all.
I also appreciated spending time with Cherish and her new husband Patrick in Ely for a few days. It fills my heart with joy to see how they love and honor each other. Patrick is an amazing young man and we love having him in our family.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Autumn is a Beautiful Time of Year

 Coming back from Israel where all the buildings are white stone and the nearby desert is white, the rocks are close to a white color and there aren't a whole lot of trees or water, it brought pleasure to my eyes to be greeted with a feast of colorful deciduous trees alongside the deep green evergreens in our neck of the woods.  Add to that the placid waters of lakes and streams and you have the makings of a soul burst.  Autumn does that to me... stirs something deep in my soul, thanking the Creator for the beauty He gave us to enjoy. 

Fall is also a busy time around camp when all the cabins are empty and we hurry to accomplish renovation projects and other outdoor projects like repairing heavy equipment and vehicles.  John is quite a jack-of-all-trades.  It amazes me all he knows how to do.  Though he doesn't especially like to repair equipment or vehicles, it saves a lot of money, so he dives in to see what he can do.

Joanna and John are also busy training the sled dogs using our two four wheelers.  It's quite a sight to see a string of 18 dogs pulling Joanna on the fourwheeler.   She says they are doing great and love to be out running again.

I always wish autumn could last a bit longer, both to enjoy the beauty and accomplish more projects around camp, but I guess we'd burn ourselves out eventually.  We need winter to come along so we can take a LONG nap.  :)

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Steps Are Done

For all of our guests who have stayed in cabin 8 on the waterfront and been waiting for these steps to be completed, you can now celebrate.

For years John has been planning to make some stairs from cabin 8 directly down the bank to cabin 8 dock for the ease of our guests so they wouldn't have to walk all the way around via cabin 9 and then over to their dock.  It was on the list, but kept getting preempted by other more pressing tasks at hand. 

A few weeks ago the steps became a reality as John purposefully worked for three or four days laying them out and building them.  It's even a nice place now to sit and look out at the lake.  These steps will also be a big help to those who are elderly or have difficulty walking.  And John was happy to be able to cross this job off his to do list.  Now on to the next project!!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Trip to Israel

                                          Street in Old City of Jerusalem
                                         Church in Old City of Jerusalem

                                         Singing at Jaffa Gate with other folks from convocation

                                          Outer wall of Old City of Jerusalem last built by the
                                         Ottomans in the 1500's.  This wall was built and torn
                                         down twenty times in history by different people groups.

                                         My friend Colleen from Ignace who went with me to
                                          the prayer convocation.  We are at the conference
                                         place which is a Kibbutz with a large hotel and meeting
                                         center.  It overlooks Jerusalem.

                                          On way to Old City

                                             I.D.F.  Israeli Defense Force man in Old City

                                          Dome of the Rock- Holy site for Muslims. (Gold
                                           dome).  The only remains of the Jewish temple,
                                          the outer western wall, known as the Wailing Wall.

                                         Western Wall.  Jews come here to pray.  

                                          Desert just outside the Jerusalem city limits.  Bedouins
                                          live here and raise sheep or goats.

                                          Date palm trees near Dead Sea

                                          Dead Sea-454 meters below sea level.  Jordan is
                                         across the sea on other side.

                                            Sunset in Nazareth

                                          View from my hotel window in Jerusalem on Yom
                                         Kippur, the Jews most holy day of national repentance.
                                         They do not allow any driving on the highways.  Amazing
                                        the way they honor God.

                                         Sea of Galilee

                                          Colleen and I shared a meal of St. Peter's fish at
                                          the Sea of Galilee.  Pretty bony and not very tasty
                                          compared to Walleye.  Guess I'm spoiled.

                                            Beautiful bougainvillea near Sea of Galilee 

                                         View toward Sea of Galilee from Mount of Beautitudes
                                        where Jesus gave his Sermon on the Mount.

                                         Structure built at Mount of Beautitudes

                                           We went out on a boat on the Sea of Galilee

                                           Boats at Sea of Galilee

                                         View from Mount Carmel where Elijah proved 

                                          Last meeting together in an open air arena on the south
                                         end of the Sea of Galilee.  All the nations are holding torches
                                        signifying the carrying of God's light and salvation to their nation

What an amazing trip I had to Israel!!  I went with my friend Colleen from Ignace for two weeks in September.  The organization we went to be with is called Jerusalem House of Prayer for All Nations.  They have maintained praise, worship and prayer for Israel and all the nations for twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, from their ministry headquarters on the Mount of Olives for at least 27 years.   Every year during the high holy days of celebration for the Jewish New Year, they host a convocation inviting believers in Christ to come as prayer delegates from all the nations of the world, convening in Jerusalem, the City of the Great King.   I'm still processing in my mind and heart all the challenging messages,  divine connections and encounters, new friendships with people from 150 nations, and the touring to the Holy Sites.

 Hearing what God is doing in each of these nations, the persecution taking place, the returning of Jews from all the nations back to their homeland,  all gives a person such an expanded perspective of history past, present and future.  God is faithfully fulfilling His word.  It doesn't matter what nations and rulers and authorities say they are going to do, God is sovereign and He will have His way.  And it all centers around Israel, the epicenter of the world.  The Bible says in Genesis 12:3  that God will bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse Israel.  It is so important that our nation supports Israel, so that our nation will also be blessed.  How we must pray for our governmental leaders, that they will honor God, seek His wisdom, and bless His people.  It's the only way our nation will be able to be great again.

We are seeing that everything that can be shaken will be shaken.  There is chaos everywhere you look in the world.  Hopefully, it will cause folks to become broken and humble and seek the one true God, Jesus Christ the Messiah, Savior of the world.  He alone can take what's broken and make it something beautiful.  He loves us like no one else ever could, fulfilling our deepest needs.   May He fill our land with His glory.