Category Archives: Miscellany

Posts on various subjects not related to our three primary topics.

A Prayer For Today

I have been working my way through, “Stand Out: The Outstanding Person and Prophecies of Daniel,” by Dr. David Stroder in my “spare” time. I do more writing than reading, so it takes a pretty special book to capture my attention (and time).

When I got to Page 103 a couple days ago, the prayer at the end of Chapter 4 [The Rise and Fall of Pride – Daniel 4] really struck me as relevant to what the world is going through today. It’s an “everything is turned upside down, what now?” prayer. So, I asked Dr. Stroder if I could share this prayer with my readers.

In the preface to the prayer, Dr. Stroder writes, “Is there an issue of pride in your heart? Are you self-focused, self-important and self-reliant? Are you at the center of your life? Regain your sanity and proclaim – Heaven rules! Get off the throne of your life and surrender it to the only One worthy of being called King of kings.”

Stand Out - David Stroder

If you are interested in purchasing “Stand Out,” send me a message with your email contact information and I will pass it along to Dr. Stroder.

Spring Flows

As we worked to manage the springs literally flowing straight out of the ground the first Spring season we spent in our new home (Spring 11 approaching now), I decided to pound a small section of leftover PVC pipe into the bank above one of the seeps to see if I could get it to flow out the pipe. It did, and still does – every Spring – for several months, usually.

God provides many “signs” of Spring approaching. One of ours here on Mt. Snowberry is flowing water, straight out of the ground, in a dozen or so areas of our 38-acre mountainside property, even up toward the top of what you can see in the picture below. Our property ends where the sky meets the land.

You can see why we don’t “farm” our acreage!

There are spots during the Spring, where you will be walking along and step right into a water flow coming out of the grassy slope.

We have come to the conclusion, over the years, that this mountain is just one big crumbling rock with varying amounts of dirt on it. The mossy greens that grow around the springs are a unique and welcome pop of color as we transition from white snow to gray death to Spring.

Water lovers
Fertilizer in the making.

Spring seems to be early this year; although it is supposed to snow in a couple of days. The tender young grasses are beginning to poke through in this favorite deer trail that goes right over a rotting log left over from the wildfire that took most of the timber from our side of the mountain more than 50 years ago.

Water flows, in this endless cycle that God created; nourishing, enriching, carving, sustaining life – and soothing, as I sat and listened to the sound of the water arriving on the rocks below the pipe. Thanking Him today for His generous provision!

Coming Soon – Original Photoart Calendars

Next weekend, we will post a new page and link to the calendars we will be offering annually. Our first 2018 calendar offering is Selkirk Mountain Inspiration 2018, a compilation of 12 selected devotional photos from the three books. The second will be all flowers. As we move through the next several years, there will be calendars exclusive to animals, mountain/forest scenery, birds, butterflies, sunrises and sunsets.

Selkirk Devotional Calendar
2018 Selkirk Mountain Inspiration Calendar

We look forward to the task of going through thousands of photos we have taken over the last 10 years and selecting the best ones to share with the world.

Christian Votes Matter

As the primary election dust settles and candidates move on toward the general election in November, we at Christian Mountain Living would like to remind you that the votes of Christians truly matter.

Even at the local level – and maybe especially at the local level – it is critical to know who is running for office and what they stand for. City councils, county commissioners, school boards, mayors have the capability to change towns for the positive – or the negative – for decades.

Although we do not live in the city limits and cannot vote for her, our family is supporting local mayoral candidate, Dorothy Knauss – the current mayor – for re-election. Dorothy is a mature Christian woman with a wealth of knowledge in municipal government, finance and city management and a heart to make our little town the best possible for the people who live in the area now – and for those who will come in the future. Her record of successes in 20+ years of serving her community in various capacities stands for itself.

We are pleased to be able to assist with Dorothy’s website, and support her in every way possible.


We watched in total dismay as the media put out information purporting that the supposedly conservative presidential candidate nicknamed “The Donald” won with the help of a huge following of “evangelicals” in South Carolina. Being an “evangelical” Christian myself, this just does not gel in my brain. My lack of understanding of how this could happen prompted me to do a little written report on what living and serving as an “evangelical Christian” means to me – and to the majority of the evangelical Christians with whom I am personally acquainted. To establish our parameters, it is necessary to first define “born again” and “evangelical.”

To be a “born again Christian,” one must acknowledge that he or she is sinful, ask Jesus for forgiveness, accept Christ as Savior, and turn away from a life of sin to a new life as a follower of Christ. Born-again Christians cannot keep silent about their faith because they cannot imagine quietly letting their friends, neighbors, co-workers and relatives spend eternity separated from God.

The term evangelical, can be described as follows: Reaching out to our community and world with the “Evangel”—the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God! This is the mission of the evangelical church where my family worships and serves Christ.

The evangelical Christian’s purposes in life – Spread the Gospel; Stand on the Gospel: 2 Timothy 4 and 5 – I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

Although my article includes Trump’s name in the title, my comments are inclusive of any and all candidates at every level of public office that Americans will be considering in 2016. Is this the mission or purpose of the presidential candidate you are backing?

Philippians 4:8 NASB

The evangelical Christian is called to think and live in a particular way. This is not the picture that comes to mind when I see and hear The Donald behind a microphone. Philippians 4:8 – Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

The Donald was asked about his favorite Bible verse and his response was that it was a personal matter. For an evangelical Christian, it is a given that we be ready to tell anyone at any time what our favorite Bible verse is. We are delighted when someone asks! I have several, and am always quick to share them. 1 Peter 3:15 – but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence …

The evangelical Christian is called to speak and act in a specific way – Colossians 3:7-9 – and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them. But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices … Anger, wrath, abusive speech? Does the face of any particular candidate – or candidates – come to mind when you read this passage?

What the evangelical should not do: Galatians 5:19-21 – … the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Strife, outbursts of anger, factions, dissensions – do any of these sound familiar from recent days?

What the evangelical should do: Galatians 5:22-24 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Someone declared that The Donald had lots of “fruit” – that he had created many jobs. That’s not the fruit evangelicals are talking about. Being a prominent employer of minimum wage workers in America doesn’t qualify as fruit for me … When you think kindness, gentleness, and self-control does any candidate’s picture pop into your mind? Can a tough, strong leader be kind and gentle when appropriate? The answer is yes.

I don’t know about South Carolinian evangelicals, but the majority of the evangelicals with whom I am acquainted do not approve of gambling. The Donald has built his “empire” around gambling, which is a form of idolatry. One has only to do a minimal search to find that the statistics are heartbreaking in terms of lives ruined, marriages ruined, families split, lives, homes and businesses forfeited/sacrificed. The compilation of media headlines at this link paints a horrific picture that gets swept under the rug in the name of profit – . Casino Watch has a comprehensive website dedicated solely to presenting factual information about the side of gambling nobody wants to talk about – the side that damages communities and sucks up social services dollars. This is The Donald’s life work and he has seemingly used every means at his disposal to make it his living.

The evangelical Christian has a specific “job.” Matthew 28:18-20 – And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Is your candidate “observing all that I commanded you?”

Evangelical Christians are called to put God as Lord of every aspect of their lives. Luke 10:26-28 –And He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?” And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” And He said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.” Is your candidate wholeheartedly and completely loving the Lord and his – or her – neighbor?

The growing number of TV evangelists and prominent faces endorsing The Donald is troubling to me. Am I missing something here? I don’t think so. The evangelical voices that matter to me are not endorsing Trump – and never will.

The desire of 21st Century American citizens to steer away from career politicians and the D.C. political machine is 100% justifiable. The whole system is broken, and it is not designed to change. It is time for America to elect only 100% honorable, of good repute people to office. Evangelical Christians have the ability to be the largest voting block in the country. How about we start really serving and honoring Christ, rather than just checking a box on a polling survey!

All Scripture references are from the NASB translation

Finishing the Angel Message

Each year, during the Christmas season, I am reminded that several Christmas hymns and many Christmas cards fail to finish the Scripture passage that, summarized and condensed, begins “Peace on Earth, good will toward men … ”

It may seem insignificant to some, but I have grown more and more convicted to call Christians to finish the passage, because it IS significant. The angels did not sing/say, “Peace on Earth, good will toward men,” as though they were referring to all people. Luke 2:14 says, “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.” (NASB)  “… with whom He is pleased,” is a serious qualifying phrase. On any given day, God is clearly not pleased with every citizen of Earth, even among those calling themselves Christians.

The significance of this passage should call us to seek to be men, women and children with whom He is pleased. This is accomplished through study of His word (so we know what pleases Him); through consistent practice of his laws (He handed them down so we would understand what pleases Him – and what does not); and through the sharing of His gospel – the very gospel (good news) that the angels were heralding – to those who have not yet heard, so they can also seek to please Him.

As you journey through the coming year, let your “resolution” be to realize the significance of the angels’ qualifier, and to seriously seek to be a child of His with whom He can be pleased from day to day. There is no peace to be had by any other means. God, through the angels near Bethlehem, did not promise that there would be peace among all men on Earth – now, or ever. He did convey there and then that those with whom He is pleased could expect to experience peace.

Years ago, I wrote the little poem below. It seemed appropriate to include with this post – my “qualifier” for the day.


When He studies the things that I do and say,
Will God wear a smile at the end of the day?

Will each word my mouth speaks make Him happy?
Will the actions I take make Him pleased?
Will He whisper, “Well done, my faithful child,”
Through the day as He watches me?

As He makes His review of my actions and words,
Will a smile light the face of my loving Lord?
Or will He sigh and shake His head
As the things I do break His heart instead?

Before you speak and before you act
As you journey through each day,
Ask yourself if your Heavenly Father approves
Honor Him as He leads the way!

Farewell to Our “Friend” Spike

Our home-place fared remarkably well in the recent severe windstorm that wreaked havoc on our region. The following day, we did discover that we had suffered an irreplaceable casualty, though – “the spike tree.”

A fixture on the bench above our home, the spike tree has been the stalwart symbol of bygone years on the timbered hillside above our house and yard the eight years since we cleared a spot and set a foundation.

The Spike Tree
The Spike Tree

Likely a remnant of the wildfire that went over our side of the mountain in the 1960s, what may have been a Western Larch (no way to tell for sure, really) was a daily perch for a host of birds – ranging from Mountain Bluebirds to Northern Flickers to Red Tail Hawks to Bald Eagles.

As I searched for photos to document our personal history with the spike tree, I found several. None of them, however, were the ones including eagles. Maybe I will run across those eventually and will add one to this post.

Hang Glider circling above the spike
Hang Glider circling above the spike

One of our most memorable photo sessions with the spike tree included a man on a hang glider. A trio of hawks was interacting with the glider, and we attempted to catch the encounter in a photo. Unfortunately, trying to “chase” three moving hawks and a circling hang glider in a single still photo with the camera we had at the time proved to be impossible.

SpikeSunRegardless of the season, the spike tree was ornamental in its own unique way. Just a little crooked, it stood out among the trees on the bench because it was the only dead tree in the grouping. Two lightning strikes have changed that in the past year – there are now four dead pine trees in the bench group. Perhaps there will be a successor to the spike tree at some point in the future. Yes, it’s clichѐ, but “time will tell.”

As curious as we were, it was two days before the weather was suitable for us to hike up to see how the snag had come down and where it came to rest. We were pleased to see that it simply lay down on the bank above it – in a similar fashion to other rotting relics in the vicinity.

Resting comfortably
Resting comfortably

As we arrived at the site, it was obvious the trunk had twisted as it came down – what was no doubt the North side (all the moss) is now facing East. We never realized how mossy it was – we never viewed it from that side.

In my mind, I supposed that the break would have been in the middle, where it had been obviously compromised over the years. Although the top broke when it came in contact with a native bush on the bank, the trunk is virtually intact.

SpikeTopWe will miss the spike tree. Scarcely a day went by that we did not look up the mountain for deer or elk – or eagles or hawks – or at clouds or jet streams or the moon – and catch a glimpse of that slim silhouette.

Farewell, Spike – I have to say, I always liked you best in the snow:

Spike Tree in Snow
Spike Tree in Snow

Intolerant Intolerance

Those who know me well know that I rarely lose my temper. My demeanor is virtually always calm and understanding. My voice is typically the voice of reason.

And then came today, when I heard that GoFundMe shut down the account collecting funds to help pay the fines that will be assessed on the Kleins in Oregon for following their personal beliefs.

Are you kidding me?!? This is the epitome of hypocrisy, the ultimate two-faced double standard. GoFundMe should be forced to re-activate this fund-raising account or be fined $135,000! They have apparently re-written the definition of intolerance. How has it come about that the rest of us are supposed to be “tolerant” of the views of a few, but the other side abjectly refuses to show any tolerance toward our views? None. At all. Well, the marketplace typically speaks for the majority in cases like these, so I hope GoFundMe is prepared. They might need a GoFundMe account to save their own business.

I have been personally acquainted with more than just a few folks who participate in same-sex relationships. They understand that I strongly disagree with their views, but I have never disrespected them as persons or attempted to force my views on them. I expect the same in return; and have never had a homosexual individual in my circle of family and acquaintances lambaste me for my views. They understand that we do not all hold the same views and probably never will.

If the moral compass our society has used for thousands of years did not come from God, Himself, that implies that all “laws and rules” we have today are a product of man’s imagination and are subject to man simply saying, “This law does not apply to me,” or, “I don’t like this law, so I will change it.” Therefore, the animalistic thugs currently destroying Baltimore can believe that the truth is, “I can do what I want. Laws are made to be broken – or changed at the whim of those who prefer not to obey them.” The transsexual grown man who wants to use the same restroom (or swimming pool locker room, or gym shower, or clothing store changing room) as our four-year old granddaughter believes it is his “right” to do so. I respectfully disagree.

Either God is the author of morality, or He is not. There is no in-between. Those whose aim is to tear down our country will continue to push the agenda that every individual can decide what is right and wrong for him or her – whether it harms someone else or not – and; in the end, God will repay. “Every knee shall bow …” does not mean some – or most – or a few. Some will be unpleasantly surprised – and will not be gay (i.e. happily excited; merry;  keenly alive and exuberant – Webster’s Dictionary) when God has had enough of our society’s willful disobedience and disrespect.

Praising Him that I will be bowing reverently as I hear Him say, “Well done,” when that time comes – keenly alive and exuberant – and praying for the voice of reason to prevail in our neighborhoods and in our world until that day.

Going Home – When He Takes Me By the Hand

O, That Will Be Glory! 

Before I ever arrived in my current home town, God had set up a meeting with an individual who would make a profound difference in my life over the next 17 years. Via a request to the local internet service provider in what was to be our new community, my sons were “introduced” online to some kids their age; and I became acquainted with one of the mothers over the next several months.

 Settling in to our new home, the mom I had “met” online invited me to a coffee gathering at the home of one of her friends. She believed it would be a good way for me to quickly get acquainted with a number of local women – and it was! In just a few weeks of Tuesday morning coffee sessions at Delma’s house, I had a solid group of new friends to make my transition to a new state and community smooth and pleasant.

 In her early 70s and bound to a wheelchair, Delma was the least handicapped individual I have ever met. She provided in-home care for bed patients – a private nursing home – with the assistance of one or more friends, and had been doing so for many years. Because she could not get into everyone’s homes, this core group of friends all had our gatherings at Delma’s house, including parties for Tupperware, Pampered Chef, and etc. She also hosted the monthly prayer and planning meeting for the local Christian women’s club.

 Over time, I learned much of Delma’s history. She had married in her mid 20s, but her husband was killed in a tragic car accident only three months into the honeymoon. She did not know it at the time, but she was pregnant. No one knows for sure whether the grieving had anything to do with it, but Delma gave birth, on what would have been her first wedding anniversary, to a son with Cerebral Palsy. John Hugh never walked or “talked,” although he had his own special way of communicating with his mother and immediate family members. Delma cared tirelessly for John Hugh, and he lived to be 18 years old – much beyond the medical community’s expectations.

 The ultimate southern hostess, caregiving was always a part of Delma’s life. Her grandmother and mother were both quite frail in their later years, and she spent many years caring for them. She took in patients, especially when she could not go out and work at a regular job while she was caring for John Hugh and other relatives at home. In her later years, she also cared for her brother, who went Home to be with Jesus in the early 90s. At that time, her brother’s son invited her to move out West – and we are so glad she said “yes!” Having spent her whole life in the Southern U.S., moving to a ski resort town less than an hour from the Canadian border was quite the life change! Referring to herself as a “polar bear,” she loved snow and was well known for her prayers for more of it throughout each winter. Family and friends celebrated her 90th birthday with her last September – at her house, of course!

 From her wheel chair, Delma cooked soups and baked casseroles and bread for friends and neighbors who had little time for cooking in their busy schedules; she always made a zucchini/cheese casserole for us on Wednesdays so I would have less cooking to do on Bible study night. When the city guys plowed her driveway, they got a loaf of bread; same with the staff in the doctor’s office and the vet clinic. Her “company brownies” are famous city-wide! We will take a plate of them to Bible study tonight to commemorate her “homegoing.”

 Delma was many things, including an artist specializing in miniature paintings. We have several of her works, and will always treasure them. And I will never forget her plaster of paris 3D version of Mt. Rushmore! Painting under the name Ann Comer, she had a gift for miniaturizing scenes and characters. I think her smallest painting was only about an inch wide.

Ann Comer - Pacific Coast (First View From Car) 1996
Ann Comer – Pacific Coast (First View From Car) 1996

Delma was a faithful prayer warrior; and even when she could no longer get into a vehicle to come to church, she was at the head of the prayer chain and did calling for special events and gatherings.

When I received the call late last night that Delma’s brief stay in the nursing home was over – she is reunited with her husband and son and mother and grandmother – my mind roamed through 17 years of memories: loading her and her wheel chair up in our friend Judy’s minivan for marathon yard sale adventures, driving her to Christian women’s club luncheons and to church on Sunday, Chataqua parades and her booth in the park, a six-month “camping” spot in her front yard when we had sold our home and the new one was not in place yet, watching Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy, yard sales in Delma’s yard where we all got together and spent whole weekends visiting and passing our “good stuff” on to someone else to enjoy, with a pot of “everything but” soup on the stove (everything but the kitchen sink).

 Last winter, I slipped in to Delma’s every Tuesday and Friday to change from my snowboarding clothes and have a quick bite of lunch before I went to work at 12:30. This winter, I still stopped by Delma’s to change, but there was no welcoming or lunch – Delma was in the long-term care unit – and it was SO different to be in her home without her there. The snow left early this winter, but Delma left in God’s perfect time. We look forward to the day when we will see her again!

 We have no doubt that the first words she heard were, “Welcome home, thou good and faithful servant.”

Ann Comer - Water - 1996
Ann Comer – Water – 1996


Résumé Writing for Christian Workers

Because the résumés of Christian workers (pastors, music ministers, youth pastors, missionaries, etc.) are so much different than the résumés of secular workers, there was a need for a “speciality” instructional résumé writing book to address this topic.

Your Resume: A Crash Course II, currently on sale at Amazon for $14.35 (at the time of this writing), offers insight into what makes a Christian worker’s resume different and takes you through an actual instructional course to teach you how to create the best possible résumé to use in your current ministry call.

Click here to “look inside” before you make a decision to purchase this valuable resource –

There was a time when Christian workers had little need for a résumé, but that day is past, for the most part. Answering God’s call on your life has many challenges. This book is one of the tools you can use to help make it more of a blessing than a challenge!

Your Résumé: A Crash Course II is also available on our website. Just click on the resume crash course series tab in the pulldown menu for the CML Bookstore.

Your Resume: A Crash Course II
Your Resume: A Crash Course II