Greetings from Skagway, Alaska. I’m sitting outside on the balcony of our fifth floor Veranda room. In the near distance are 10,000 foot mountains and later when we explore the city it will be a comfortable 65° in southern Alaska. We just finished having breakfast with Janet, our youngest son Tim, and Janet’s parents. We arrived Thursday morning at approximately 7 AM and have the day to make memories. We will depart the ship shortly and enjoy the sights and sounds before the ship sails tonight for the next venture which will be touring a couple glaciers in Alaska. I am very thankful for the opportunity to experience Alaska in my lifetime. My bucket list would not have included this as a choice, yet I’m very thankful for this opportunity, very blessed and would recommend others to consider a trip to the 49th state. A small strip of the Pacific Ocean, a tiny inner passageway, has us located near another cruise ship with a familiar emblem. Three circles and two of the circles look like some kind of animal’s ears.
As a young boy a “Life Moment” happened to me when our parents took us three boys to Disneyland – long before Disney World even existed. The weekend was filled with great memories and the best memory was seeing the animated birds in the Tiki room. Hopefully my memory serves me well and it was the Tiki room. For those of you have been to Disneyland you can either confirm or let me know what it was, which created such fond memories. “Life Moments” are those moments in our journey here on earth where something profound takes place and we never forget it. Some of the peripherals of that moment might fade or accidentally be embellished yet we clearly remember the central theme and impact it made. A great “life moment” for me took place on May 14th, 1988 at Penrose Community Hospital in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Janet was having delivery complications because the cord was wrapped around Aaron’s neck 2 1/2 times. Our 78 year old doctor told us his heart was being stressed and they needed to use a surgical device called forceps to help deliver our first baby. His first APGAR score was very poor and a few minutes later they took a second APGAR which greatly improved. Aaron’s color was slate blue when he was delivered and it was a tense moment for a young couple having their first child. Often we call him our miracle baby. Shortly after Janet was able to hold him the nurse was whisking him off to ICU, where he would stay for the next four days. A “Life Moment” happened right then on the phone while calling my parents. I quickly gave the news of his birth, and in the next breath asking for forgiveness for my poor attitude as a young teenager. I would hear them say “you don’t know how much we love you” and I would think stop saying that! In that brief moment when I had no control over Aaron’s well-being and for the few seconds his life hung in the balance the awareness of the responsibility for us as a young couple became very real. The 18 plus years of loving care my parents provided to safely nurture me into a young adult finally made sense. A life moment I’ll never forget. Another life moment happened recently when one of our children came to us wanting to apologize for their poor attitude because they resented how our ministry limited their experiences as compared to their friends. The majority of their friends had unlimited resources and part of our child’s life experience was living in a home where sacrifices had to be made. It was a very special life moment as our adult child said to us they now understand how important it is to fulfill your calling. From thousands of miles away be encouraged, a “life moment” will happen, just trust God as you live out your calling in 2019.