Tag Archives: Christian living

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.

Save that Salmon

Salmon is good for you, most nutritionists will agree. We only buy U.S. wild harvested salmon for our family; you should research and make your choices based on the information available.

Because we’re on a budget, as most of you probably are, we try to catch Alaska wild-caught salmon on sale at the local chain grocery store and buy it in bulk. Having lived in Alaska for many years, we’re pretty good at vacuum sealing packages of salmon for freezing.

Perfectly cooking salmon involves having pieces of a similar size and shape packaged together, which typically leaves some thin ends and trimmings. I package those together and label them “Salmon Scraps” to be used for a salmon “salad” or dip like we did this week.

You can cook these scraps in a variety of ways, but I typically toss them into a little coconut oil in a small cast iron skillet and stir them until they are done, but not overdone. This can even be done a day or two before you intend to serve it, because it will be a cold preparation.

Although I vary my recipe from time to time, I typically break up the cooked, cooled salmon in a bowl and add finely diced onion and celery, along with whatever spices we feel like at the time.  Sometimes we make it with homemade mayonnaise, and sometimes we take the easy route and use ranch or bleu cheese dressing. Most of the time, we use some kind of spicy seasoning and lemon pepper. Thyme, basil or dill can be substituted successfully.

In the case of our last “batch,” we ate it for lunch with toasted thinly-sliced bread and homemade cream cheese several days ago. There was a small bowl left, which I saved and today added a finely chopped hard-boiled egg and fresh-picked jalapeno pepper to make it stretch for the two of us for a light lunch. We served it with crackers, avocado slices and sliced fresh orange.

Who would have thought that the “ugly” scraps of the salmon filets would provide so much delicious nutrition? Stewardship of God’s provision includes using every bit of food that we can to fuel our bodies for His service – and to waste as little as possible by planning ahead.

Our Friend Harry© – Habakkuk 3:6

Selkirk Mountain Inspiration 2 – Week Thirteen

Selkirk Mountain Inspiration 2 Week 13

When or how this chunk of ancient rock from far above our house arrived at its current location by our lower road, we do not know. But we can clearly see its original location and are thankful that it did not travel all the way to the highway. As “he” tumbled down the mountain, the rock we call the “hairy rock,” picked up some fertile soil on which grows “hair” during the rainy Spring and early Summer.

Living on the side of a mountain, we have to daily trust that the Lord will guard and protect us – from fast-flowing water during rainstorms, from wildfire, and from tumbling, crumbling rocks. It is far easier to trust Him when you stay close to Him at all times. Make certain you keep your heart and mind close to God, all day every day. Be confident that you can trust Him with every area of your life on this crumbling planet called Earth!

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All the earth is groaning, crying for that day of sweet release … James M. Kirk

God’s Paintbrush© – Isaiah 51:6a

Week 2_12

Selkirk Mountain Inspiration 2 – Week Twelve

Does this photograph look more like an oil painting than a photo to you? It truly does to me. On rare occasions, the image the camera captures has qualities that suggest it cannot possibly be real. This is one of those photos. It just came out looking like an oil painting, likely from the lighting conditions at the time. 

There is nothing “man-made” to compare with what God has created for us to enjoy during our short time here on Earth. We can “manufacture” and “create” and “make” many things, but we cannot produce anything this beautiful on our own. Only God can create such glorious scenes for us to view and appreciate! Thank Him today for creating our world and for creating us with the ability to see and enjoy it – “oil paintings” and all.

sighs are lost in songs of praise … F. G. Burroughs

Spring Snow© – Psalm 84:3a

Selkirk Mountain Inspiration 2 week 11Selkirk Mountain Inspiration 2 – Week Eleven

As surely as we begin to think that Spring might finally be “just around the corner,” we get a surprise snow storm to demonstrate that what we think is of no consequence. The weather will be what it will be!

The birds come early some years, and we feel sorry for them; but God promises that they will be fed. How often do we run ahead of God and attempt to either second-guess Him or leave Him out of our decisions altogether – because we “think we know” what is best for us? God is available 24/7 to keep us from falling victim to “surprises” in our lives. All we have to do is listen for His voice and trust Him completely to feed us each day, both physically and spiritually, no matter the season!

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Jesus has said, I’ll never forsake thee … Rev. H. J. Zelley

Moon Art© – Psalm 72:7

Selkirk Mountain Inspiration 2 – Week Nine

Selkirk Mountain Inspiration 2
Selkirk Mountain Inspiration 2 – Week 9

This fascinating photo my husband took on a warm Summer night reminds me of a scene from a Tim Burton movie. It looks more like a crayon drawing than a digital photograph. You might wonder at my choice to include it in this book; but peculiar as it is, I am genuinely drawn to it. I try to not “argue with God’s leading” as I make my choices for these devotional pages.

“… ‘til the moon is no more.” What a concept. Do you suppose, in the eternity to come, that there will be no moon? If Christ will be the light in that fair land, perhaps there will be no need of a moon. We will not know for sure until we get there! I hope that you are looking forward to Heaven as much as I am. We love our lives here on Planet Earth, but it is comforting to know for sure that this is not all there is! Join me this week in serving Christ as we wait for that day.

Selkirk Mountain Inspiration 2

There’s a song within my heart night and day … Mrs. Minnie A. Steele

EVANGELICALS AND THE DONALD

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 – http://casinowatch.org/suicides/suicides.html . 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

Sky Riders© – Psalm 108:2

Selkirk Mountain Inspiration 2 Week 8
Selkirk Mountain Inspiration 2 – Week 8

Selkirk Mountain Inspiration 2 – Week Eight

Throughout any given year, we have literally hundreds of airplane vapor trails, or “contrails,” splitting the sky above our home. As many as there are, they do not often form a cross, and even less often have a sunbeam that forms yet another crossed line in the image that appears. This one just seemed to be particularly “artistic” to me.

The reality of this picture is that two of the lines that appear in the sky physically exist and one of them is a “sunbeam” that has no physical properties at all. It appears almost as genuine as the other two, however. We must be careful to guard against being drawn away by those things in our lives that are not “the real thing.” There is no substitute for the truth, and it is our responsibility, as believers, to be so immersed in God’s Word that we cannot mistake a lie for the truth. When you are challenged this week, seek the truth.

Let your heart new courage borrow, for His promises are true … James V. Reid

Week 2_8 Clip

Etchings

If we’ve lived very long, we’ve gone through trials of one sort or another in our lives. They may involve personal relationships, the loss of a loved one, financial setbacks, or a myriad of other events or occurrences.

It was during one of those difficult periods in my life that the poem, Etchings, went from thoughts to paper. Please note that God brought me through that trial, as He always does!

Etchings - excerpt from Song of the Heart
Etchings – excerpt from Song of the Heart

Behind Bars© – Matthew 25:35b-36

Selkirk Mountain Inspiration 2 – Week Six

Week 2_6

Icicles this size only form once in awhile. We generally do not let them “grow” so long. When the pastel “baby blanket” sunrise reflected in each one of them on this Winter morning, I was very grateful that neither we nor the wind had knocked them down! The frigid “bars on the jail cell” became something truly beautiful and inspiring.

We all build for ourselves prisons of one sort or another, even if we have never been anywhere near a “jail.” We unintentionally limit God’s work in our lives, and we lock ourselves up in our own little worlds and leave Him out of them more often than we should. Have you allowed one or more “prisons” to be created in your life? Take steps today to unlock all of your potential for service to Him and to be all that He would desire for you to be.

…tempted and tried, I need a great Savior … Rev. Elisha A. Hoffman

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