The Land Of The Free, Because Of The Brave

John 15:13

“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”

Because of those who serve(d), I get to write this blog. Because of those who serve(d), we are free. Because of those who serve(d), I can lay my head down at night and know the wolf is not at Americas door. For some, the memories that come on Memorial Day are not happy, and I am sorry for your loss. But if you are an American, you should be grateful for those freedoms that were earned at a hard price. Maybe they should be called harddoms instead of freedoms.

God Bless the American Soldier.

 

Merry Christmas!

Luke 2:1-20

“In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was -governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.”

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Wishing you a joyous and blessed Christmas season from Walking With The Son!

Make The Most Of The Day

Romans 14:5

“One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.”

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Matt and I hadn’t been out since our hike to Table Mountain in the spring, and while we were long overdue for adventure, we were short on time to get away. Fortunately for both of us we live just 30 minutes (19 minutes according to the GPS, yeah right) from the New Jersey Pine Barrens.and the 1.1 million acre Pinelands National Reserve. I’ll apologize here and now because I really didn’t take any pictures this trip, except for the few I’ll post in this story. I just wanted to walk and not really think about anything extra, but now that I put word to page I realize that the simple beauty of this area deserves better.

We checked into the office at the historic village of Batsto and picked up our permit for Mullica River campsite #8, and by 2:30 or so we were walking. The first part of the hike passes through historic Batsto village, with it’s mansion, iron works, and mills, and you get a peek at what life was like in the 1700’s and 1800’s. After passing beautiful Batsto Lake you finally get to the Mullica River Trail. It’s just a short 4 mile walk to the campsite, with the trail alternating between walking on sugar sand roads and brief forays into the forest on a trail covered in a  bed of pine needles.

About 1 1/2 miles in we came to Cornwall Bridge and had to figure out which way the trail goes; there is a detour because one of the bridges near Batsto is out. It didn’t take too much thought, as we realized we needed to stay on the same side of the river to get to camp. Still, I can see where someone could get turned around and would be surprised to find themselves back at Batsto!

For those of you who have never hiked in sugar sand, the roads in the pine barrens alternate between packed sand and loose sand like walking on the beach. Loose sand is a bit more difficult to make time on with a pack, but fortunately it is only a small part of this hike. The sections that actually turn to trail are some of the nicest to hike on, and I wish an effort was made to place more of the trail off the roads.

One big plus on this trail is the last mile to camp is designated a wilderness area, and no motor vehicles are allowed. The Mullica River campsite is designated primitive travel only, so the only access is by foot or canoe. As we neared the camp, Matt and I started to get views of the Mullica River, it’s waters stained by the tannin from the pines that line it’s banks. After just 1 1/2 hours and 4 short miles we reached camp.

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Me, dressed in cuben fiber

There were a number of other people at camp, including a LARGE number of boy scouts, but since were at the far end of the campsite it was still pretty peaceful. It would be dark soon, so we set about slinging our hammocks, and as darkness started to settle in Matt and I ate dinner. After eating, we took a stroll through the area to see the scope of the site. There a couple of privies, and a hand pump that doles out some of the best water, despite the tannin stained river just a few feet away. One of the reasons the Pinelands have been protected is because they help recharge the 17 trillion gallon Kirkwood – Cohansey aquifer, containing some of the purest water in the United States.

There were a large number of boy scouts,hooting and hollering and doing what boys in the woods do, and while it’s nice to see young men getting out and experiencing the joys of camping, we quickly retired to our fortress of solitude. Matt had carried in a couple of knock off fireplace logs since we knew the wood in the area would pretty much be picked over, and didn’t want to carry them out. Unfortunately, they didn’t want to burn. Ugh. What they did do was billow some obnoxious burning chemical smoke, and when, and only when we found enough sticks to get a small fire going could we actually get them to burn.

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Perserverance pays off, and our meager fire lasted long enough to allow thoughts of sleep to overtake us. Once in the rack, I had one of the best nights sleep I’ve had in quite a while.In fact, I didn’t get up once until morning. Once the sun starts to hit my tarp I can’t really sleep anymore, so I got up and took a walk.The scouts were up and about,which was a good thing since the water pump made a terrible squeeking sound as I filled my water bottles. Back at camp, Matt was still out, so I went about eating breakfast and packing up. Finally, I walked up the hill to Matt’s site, only to discover he had been awake for a while, but didn’t want to disturb me! We sat and talked about nothing in particular as Matt ate breakfast, and even now I marvel at how talking about nothing among friends can be so relaxing.

By the time Matt packed up we were strolling out of camp at a leisurely 10 am. The walk out flew,with more conversation about nothing, mixed with matters that maybe were about something, but all in all who could recall? Before we knew it Batsto village emerged from it’s hiding spot in the forest, and we were done.

Who knew 21 hours in the forest could be so revitalizing? We made a vow to do more trips like this when life tries to keep us bogged down. We might not always be able to get out for days on end, but when it’s hectic, I’ll find a way to take a DIAD (done in a day) trip!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Psalm 107:8-9

Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.”

I apologize for the slow year of blogging here at WWTS, but I can assure you we have much to give thanks for! Thank you to all who have visited and journeyed along with me on these pages. I hope to get back to  a more consistent rhythm of posting going forward, as I do have plenty to say, lol.

God Bless each and everyone of you, and may God fill you with more than just a good meal, but with a filling of a heart of gladness, and heaping helping of the Holy Spirit.

Grace and Peace,

George

He Is Risen

Mark 16:9-11

“9 Now when he rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons.10 She went and told those who had been with him, as they mourned and wept. 11 But when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they would not believe it.”

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This is the single most important day in Christianity – Resurrection Day. Without the birth of Christ there would be no hope, without the death of Christ there would be no life, and without the resurrection of Christ there would be no reason to believe.

Good Friday is good only because Christ bore our sins on the cross and gave His life for us. But without Resurrection Day it couldn’t be true. If Jesus just died on the cross the story would be just that – a story. It’s His resurrection from death that shows us that Jesus is who He says He is, and that He sits in heaven as our intercessor, our kinsman redeemer. We have been bought at a mighty price. A ransom so high,that if we come to Him and ask forgiveness, he sees our sin no more. Psalm 103:12 says, ” as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.”.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” -John 3:16. Jesus died so you can live, if only you believe. It cost Jesus everything so that it would cost you nothing.

Happy Resurrection Day!

Whoo buddy!

Proverbs 16:3

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
and he will establish your plans.”

Just wanted to share a video that Shug did featuring one of our Loco Libre Gear quilts while on a hike in Finland, Minnesota

For God So Loved….

Good Good Father by Chris Tomlin

“Oh, it’s love so undeniable
I, I can hardly speak
Peace so unexplainable
I, I can hardly think”

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Here we are, another Christmas upon us. And once again, as many christians do, I reflect on “the reason for the season”. This year I guess I dug a little deeper than other years past, and what I was confronted with was a simple truth. Yes, Jesus was born the Saviour King, because as Romans 3:23-24 says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus”. So Jesus was sent to be a redeeming sacrifice, but why would a just and righteous God care to be bothered with all my nonsense? LOVE! John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” Furthermore, John 3:17 says, For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”. We are redeemed because we are LOVED! This is not a new truth to me, but rather one that I had to be reminded of amid the hustle and bustle. I pray that you too know how much God loves you. 

As you fight the mall traffic and the short tempers and anger that the commercialized christmas season lays upon those around you, remember, it’s not just Christmas, but the day Love was born!

God Bless You All and a very Merry Christmas from Walking With The Son!

For your viewing pleasure here is my favorite Christmas song this season:

 

 

It is Well

It Is Well With My Soul – Horatio Spafford

“When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.”

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“Been a little quiet over that WWTS these days George.” You betcha! Haven’t been on a hike since December 2014, and the prospects of one before September of this year are glum, as evidenced by the above photo. It’s been a rough 2015 so far, but oh boo hoo. These things have been a blessing of sorts. This is the first time in my life I’ve been able to slow down, and I can truly say it is well with my soul. I have a few new things that are now coming to the forefront, and  I believe everything that has happened is a part of God’s greater plan. Maybe I could live vicariously through one of you. Tell me about how you’ve been walking with the Son!

Staff Sergeant Thomas William Logan Sr.

American Soldier by Toby Keith

“I’m an American soldier, an American
Beside my brothers and my sisters I will proudly take a stand
When Liberty’s in jeopardy, I will always do what’s right
I’m out here on the front line
Sleep in peace tonight
American soldier, I’m an American soldier”

 

 

Uncle Tom

Staff Sergeant Thomas William Logan Sr.    December 8, 1942 – March 27, 2009

A few days ago I decided I didn’t want to do the same old Memorial Day post. I wanted to memorialize an individual who represents the heart of Memorial Day. I see posts that say “Happy Memorial Day”, but the reality for anyone who has or had a loved one who served, it can be a very somber day.

I decided to write about Staff Sergeant Thomas William Logan Sr, or Uncle Tom as I knew him. My first recollection of Uncle Tom was when I was very young – maybe 5 years old. You see I was born in 1964, and my Uncle Tom did 3 tours in Vietnam, so when this soldier showed up at the house and was hugging my mom I was wondering who this guy was. Tommy, as my mom called him, was her twin, and he was on leave, and had to shovel through 18 inches of snow to visit.

Uncle Tom earned two purple hearts in Vietnam. On one occasion he was riding in the back of a duece and a half (2 1/2 ton truck) with another soldier who was on his way home. The truck ran over a landmine and both men were throw into a rice patty. My uncle had a shoulder wound, but “commandeered” a motorcycle from a local to ride and get help. Sadly, that soldier never went home. Uncle Tom signed up for another tour in Vietnam after that, and completed 3 tours.

Sadly, my next memories of Uncle Tom were running into him when I was about 30 years old. He sometimes worked with my Uncle Jack, and I saw him on a job site. I would see him on a rare occasion, and he always would laugh and joke with me. I regret not getting to know him better.

In the above picture Uncle Tom was 66 years old. Even as the war and it’s memories followed him through life and eventually caught him, he was still proud to be an american soldier. Rest in peace Uncle Tom. God Bless the American Soldier!

Why Happy Resurrection Day?

 

The Revelation Song – Kari Jobe

“Worthy is the Lamb Who was slain,
Holy, holy is He”

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Easter/Resurrection Day is the most important day of the year. Yes, even more important than Christmas, the day we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. You see, Christ’s birth would have no meaning if it were not for His atoning death on the cross. Jesus did not come to live here on this earth, but rather to be a sacrifice for our sins and die on a cross. Why? Through the cross we all have the opportunity of eternal life in heaven, because by dying on a cross Jesus paid the price for all of our sins, past, present, and future.

Hebrews 52:13-53:12

13 Behold, my servant shall act wisely;
    he shall be high and lifted up,
    and shall be exalted.
14 As many were astonished at you—
    his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance,
    and his form beyond that of the children of mankind—
15 so shall he sprinkle many nations;
    kings shall shut their mouths because of him;
for that which has not been told them they see,
    and that which they have not heard they understand.
53 Who has believed what he has heard from us?
    And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For he grew up before him like a young plant,
    and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
    and no beauty that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men;
    a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
    he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he has borne our griefs
    and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
    smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
    and with his wounds we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
    we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
    yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
    and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
    so he opened not his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
    and as for his generation,who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
    stricken for the transgression of my people?
And they made his grave with the wicked
    and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
    and there was no deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
    he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
    he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
    make many to be accounted righteous,
    and he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
    and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he poured out his soul to death
    and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
    and makes intercession for the transgressors.

If you know Christ, then you already celebrate with me today. If you don’t, please don’t let this day go by without praying to God to become real in your life!