Life Verse:

"...I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly." -- JESUS in John 10:10

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Looking Up to the Hills... (Psalms 121)

5 The Lord is your keeper; The Lord is your shade at your right hand. 6 The sun shall not strike you by day, Nor the moon by night. 7 The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. 8 The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in From this time forth, and even forevermore.
Psalms 121:5-8 (NKJV)

GOD, did this for us yesterday!  The driving in Birmingham was unbelievably tense and difficult.  The National Weather Service missed the forecast by about 100 miles.  Snow and ice began building up quickly on all streets (major routes and secondary roads) and I-65 became a parking lot and bumper car ride.

Thankfully we made it to the Vestavia Hills exit without damage.  GOD again provided for us in the form of a room at the Days Inn.  (There were at least 75 people still waiting in line for a room after I got ours.)

Captain D's was still open as well as a gas station next door.  We had a warm, fish dinner for supper and plenty of snacks to get us through tomorrow.

Thank  YOU, LORD, for YOUR great care!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Verse of the Day

8 Let all the earth fear the Lord; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. 9 For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast. 10 The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect. 11 The counsel of the Lord stands forever, The plans of His heart to all generations. 12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, The people He has chosen as His own inheritance.
Psalms 33:8-12 (NKJV)

Saturday, January 18, 2014

I will lift up my eyes to the hills-- Chimney Rock & Kowliga Bay Loop - Sat., 1/18/2014

Hike:  Chimney Rock, Kowliga Bay Loop, Cherokee Ridge North Loop - Sat., 1/18/2014, 10:00-12:30CST
Distance: 5 miles  Rating: 4.5/5
Difficulty: Easy
Conditions: Bright blue, clear sky. Beautiful day. Wind light to moderate. Cold to cool (30s headed to upper 40s). Trails mostly dry.  Lots of hardwood leaves in some spots required careful stepping.
Observed many passerines including at least 2 bluebirds!  Sparrows, titmouse, and cardinals were also busy about the forest floor and canopy.  Their choruses were most welcome.  No deer or squirrels seen on this outing.

Lake Martin was mostly calm and bright blue.  The deep fingers of sloughs had a polished OD Green color.  As normal for this time of year, the lake level was quite low, exposing wonderful rock and boulder formations.

One of my favorite Psalms came to mind as I hiked these "alpine" trails...

I will lift up my eyes to the hills-- From whence comes my help? 2 My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. 3 He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. 4 Behold, He who keeps Israel Shall neither slumber nor sleep. 5 The Lord is your keeper; The Lord is your shade at your right hand. 6 The sun shall not strike you by day, Nor the moon by night. 7 The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. 8 The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in From this time forth, and even forevermore. Psalms 121:1-8 (NKJV)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Duck & Cover

Interesting piece from WND... What worked in the 50s can still work today!...

Americans warned of imminent, deadly meteor strikes

Famous strategy recommended to survive

by Bob Unruh 

With NASA reporting a "potentially hazardous" asteroid nearly half-a-mile wide possibly heading toward earth, and some upstate New Yorkers claiming they experienced a loud boom and a bright light in the sky last night caused by a meteor, a doctors' organization is offering some timely advice:

Just as when the American populace first prepared for the possibility of a nuclear blast, a person's best option for surviving a meteor strike is the same "duck and cover" created during the 1940s and '50s when nuclear weaponry was still in its infancy.

The warning comes from Physicians for Civil Defense, which issued a statement recently during a meeting of the Emergency Management Agency of Utah.

"All Americans, starting with first responders and emergency managers, need to know this basic life-saving principle: 'Drop and cover if you see a sudden very bright light,'" said the statement from the organization's spokeswoman, Jane Orient, M.D.

"Such a light will be followed by a deadly shock wave within seconds. Those who drop and cover will probably survive. Those who do not are likely to be killed or suffer severe injury."

The organization's goal is to save lives of first responders in the event of disasters, "especially terrorist attacks using dirty bombs or nuclear weapons."

Members note that "in today's unprepared America, the only feasible plan that could save millions of lives on very short notice is the Nuclear War Survival Skills plan, using simple, government-developed and tested technology."

Those three-plan components include "Drop and Cover," "Shelter in Place," and "Radiologic Monitoring."

Visit the Homefront department in WND's Superstore, for items like fire-starters, emergency food supplies, a Lifestraw for water purification, disaster preparedness kits, even Faraday kits to protect electronics from the powerful impulse that accompanies some explosions.

The first features the 1951 video on how to drop and cover, protecting one's head, neck and face, from the impact of an energy blast from a bomb, or a meteor strike.

Featured is a question-and-answer session between Orient and civil defense expert Steve Jones, who said, "Like everyone else, I was taught to ridicule 'duck and cover.'"

But, he said, "If you examine the blast area of a nuclear device, there is a zone half a mile wide or a mile wide, depending on the size of the blast, where anyone standing would be killed, but persons who were lying down were almost guaranteed to live. Since lying down makes a difference between living and dying or receiving a serious injury, it is a very powerful lifesaving maneuver. It takes eight times the force to move a person if he is lying down rather than standing up. Of course the military taught this for years in combat situations. World War II vets came back and if they heard an explosion or saw a flash they hit the dirt. They were embarrassed because they would be walking down a city street and suddenly hit the ground."

On the issue of sheltering in place, the doctors' organization lists priorities: Food and water "IMMEDIATELY!"

The guide, specifically addressing the possibility of a bomb, also speaks of the material needed to protect from radiation.

The radiological monitoring step also is addressed for a bomb, and explains how to build more secure locations and monitor radiation that does invade.

On the issue of a meteor strike, Orient's statement noted that, "During the 2013 Chelyabinsk meteor explosion, a fourth-grade teacher in Chelyabinsk, Yulia Karbysheva, saved 44 children from potentially life-threatening window glass cuts by ordering them to hide under their desks when she saw the flash.

"Ms. Karbysheva, who remained standing, was seriously lacerated when the explosion's blast wave arrived and windows shattered. A tendon in her arm was severed, but not one of her students suffered a cut."

"Large meteor strikes are sufficiently probable that both the U.S. and Russia are working on ways to divert them. In 1908 a meteor strike flattened 800 square miles of Siberian forest," Orient said.

And stay calm, the doctors say.

"Mass bombing of London by Hitler in World War II created a panic that did more damage than the bombs in the early days," the site explains. "Once the public got used to the bombings the panic ended along with damage caused by it. Likewise the scientists that brought in the nuclear age understood that panic caused by a nuclear bomb would do more damage than the bomb itself."

While there was no reported damage, there was a bright flash that illuminated the skies over Providence, R.I., on Sunday evening.

The local ABC affiliate reported, "A mysterious light flashed through the sky Sunday night, maybe you saw it? Reports of a green and white, sparking light came pouring in across New England, but what exactly was that bright flash?

"Wrigley Bynum said his friends called him crazy, 'I had people telling me, oh, you're nuts!' He wasn't sure what he saw from his Charlestown deck flying through the sky. He goes on, 'I thought maybe it was an aircraft, a shooting star at first, it didn't burn out at first like a shooting star, so then thought maybe it was a plane or something going down but it didn't have flames just a long tail.'"

In that incident, Michael Umbricht of the Ladd Observatory at Brown University explained it was a lone meteor, the type called a fireball because of its brilliance, that came into the atmosphere.

Orient told WND that the message is critical, whether an explosion comes from a bomb, a meteor's shock wave, even an earthquake.

"We're very interested in saving lives," she said. "Nobody knows [this information]." It's been forgotten and the civil defense experts have retired, or died.

"This [defensive maneuver] could save the most number of lives. … If you see a flash there are just seconds."

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"...I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." -- JESUS, John 10:10b NKJV


Saturday, January 11, 2014

Hike and a Fire Challenge!

Hike: Swayback Bridge Trails, Saturday, 1/11/2014, 11:00-14:00CST
Distance: 7 miles  Rating: 4.5/5
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate (due to distance and trail conditions)
Conditions: Soggy!  Lots of standing and RUNNING water due to recent Thunderstorms.  Trails slick and underwater in spots.  Temps low to upper 60s!!! (Yay!)  Wind: light to moderate.  Cloudy to sunny.

Hard to believe that just a couple  of days ago it was 13 degF!  Now it's closer to 70.  Hiking felt good today.  Had to come out of long sleeve Henley due to temps.  This is winter in Dixie -- I love it.

There were trillions (probably not quite that many) of frogs around the swampy areas and believe me they were singing.  The only time they stopped was to hop in the water if I approached.  Passerines were busy throughout the forest floor and canopy.  Did not see any squirrels or whitetail on this trip.

My brother challenged me to start a fire in the soaked conditions today... I couldn't let the challenge go unanswered... so here's the proof Bro:

Get out and enjoy GOD's Creation.  Spend some quality time communing with your CREATOR.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Quote of the Day

"The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes.... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man."
- Thomas Jefferson (quoting 18th century criminologist Cesare Beccaria)

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Swayback Bridge Trail of Legends - Sat., 1/4/2014

Hike: Portions of Red & Black Trails (in reverse), Swayback Bridge Trail of Legends, Wetumpka, AL, Saturday, 1/4/2014, 10:15-12:15CST
Distance: 5.0 miles  Rating: 4.5/5
Difficulty: Easy
Conditions: Mostly sunny. Warming up rapidly from low 20s to upper 40s this morning. Wind calm.  Trails still wet/muddy from recent rains.  Busted up in a spot or two with ice.  Five mountain bikers on the trail today.  Surprised by the greater than normal number of hikers -- a couple of family groups were out enjoying the trails!


Many passerines flitting through the low forest canopy this morning.  A few were singing but I could not tell which ones.  Heron and ducks were present as usual.  Spooked one whitetail doe about 3/4 of the way into the hike.

Absolutely gorgeous day to be out enjoying GOD's great creation!

24 Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart, All you who hope in the Lord.
Psalms 31:24 (NKJV)

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Happy New Year 2014 -- Hiking Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail

Hike: Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail (N & S Loops), Kowliga, AL, 1/1/2014, 09:15-11:30 CST
Distance:  4.5 miles  Rating: 5/5
Difficulty: Moderate due to amount of uphill and rocky portions
Conditions: Cloudy.  Light drizzle last half-hour.  Low to mid 40s.  Wind calm.  Trails wet but not muddy.  A few slippery spots.  As normal for this time of year, Lake Martin was several feet below full pool.


This hike was a fantastic way to start off the new year.  All the elements of a great hike were present: solitude, peace, worship-time, beautiful scenery, wildlife, a placid lake, and rain!  (Yes, I know I am a little strange, but I enjoy hiking in the rain.)

Observed gray squirrel, ducks, and heron.  Some small kinglets escorted me through the lake-side portion of my hike.  They just "flitted" from tree to tree all around me.  The hardwood leaves cushioned my foot-fall making for a mostly silent hike.  I am a little surprised I did not spook some white-tail deer.

The barrenness of the tree cover made the rock formations appear like fortresses along the hillside.  A small "wet season" waterfall graced the huge rock on the South Loop trail with a nice staccato tune.  The rock cathedral is still my favorite place though the pine trees are beginning to get tall enough to block out portions of the lake.

Thought about my hiking buddies from Crestview Outdoor Ministry Expeditions today!  Wish you guys could have been with me.

Excerpt from "With Every Act of Love" by Jason Gray on mind throughout my hike:

God put a million, million doors in the world
For His love to walk through
One of those doors is you
I said, God put a million, million doors in the world
For His love to walk through
One of those doors is you

Oh, we bring the kingdom come
Oh, with every act of love
Jesus, help us carry You
Alive in us, Your light shines through
With every act of love
We bring the kingdom

Happy New Year!