Monday, October 12, 2009

Good Morning—Welcome to -1°F

It was -1°F when I stepped outside my cabin door at 7:30 am. Kind of took my breath away! I know I should be experienced in this type of cold after living in Canada but Texas has a way of making one "soft" in the area of cold weather.
I taught from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm with 53 students in class. They seem like a great bunch of young people, eager to learn. After lunch I took a 50 minute walk down the plowed road leading up into the school/camp area. I usually walk up in the mountains but the trails are a little too deep for me this year. As I walked along the road I saw the tracks of numerous animals (esp. deer) all over the snow-covered meadows and forest trails. Last year two mountain lions were shot on the school property (one is hung now in the dining room!) and a third close by. One of the mountain lions had killed one of the dogs living on the property so they felt they had to get rid of them. Just yesterday a staff member saw another set of tracks so I'll probably stick to walking on the road these days. In Dallas all I would have to be afraid of is a drive-by shooting or something similar.
The students are learning how to share their faith in a class tonight and soon I'll meet them down at the Hob Nob (coffee shop with a wood burning stove in the new gym building). Pray for our time together.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Week in Montana

Each October I make my annual pilgrimage up to Montana for a week. I spend this week teaching approximately 60 young people who are attending Montana Wilderness School of the Bible ( My goal is to "cover" the Pentateuch over the next five morning with these young people who are investing a year of their life (mostly right out of high school) to learn the Bible and how to live Christianly in this world. I've been coming here since 2004 and it has become for me not only an opportunity to reconnect and teach young people but also a spiritual retreat in a wonderful part of God's creation.
I arrived here around 4 pm today (after a flight from Dallas to Minn/St.Paul, another flight to Great Falls, MT, and then an hour and a half drive west to the edge of the Rocky Mountains. We drove to the end of the road, right where the Lewis and Clark National Forest begins, and right where the school/camp is located.
There is about a foot of snow on the ground (see picture on the left taken outside the door of my cabin), the clouds are hanging over the peaks of the mountains, the smell of a wood fire is in the air, everything is silent, and the presence of our Glorious God is everywhere if you chose to recognize it.
Dinner will be in the dining hall (see the picture above right) in an hour. The students are returning this evening from a long weekend and I am looking forward to meeting them all for the first time.
I am enjoying the warm weather in Texas but a long icicle hanging from the roof of the cabin is still a thing of beauty. I'll probably break one off to eat it tonight (I'm on weight watchers and whenever I find something I can eat that is 0 points, I'm trying it!).
Pray for my ministry here to these young people.