Fear Not: God’s Words For Troubled Times

Matthew 28: 5-6

 “Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.

 He is not here: for he is risen

The phrase fear not, or be not afraid is mentioned in the bible over 100 times, When the women went to the tomb after the Passover to anoint Jesus’ body they found an empty grave. Mary was especially troubled, and the angel told her,” Fear Not”. This is not a suggestion, but a command. Our risen Savior proved once and for all that He is in control when He claimed victory from the grave. This should serve as a reminder even in these trying times that ” neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Fear not, it is Resurrection Day,and we fight FROM victory, not for victory,for He is risen!

Ancient Paths

 Jeremiah 6:16

“Thus says the Lord:

“Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for  the ancient paths,

where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.”

Well it’s been a while,but I believe we are ready to start anew. But to start anew, especially in these times, requires me to go back. I’ve missed telling you about some of my (our) amblings, so as I compile stories from hikes past, I am sharing a couple of hiking videos that predate Walking With The Son, at a time in my history known as Hike4Christ. Enjoy!

The Promised King

Luke 2:11-14

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”


It’s all a matter of perspective, this life we live. The glass is half empty, the glass is half full. I always liked to live in the idea that the glass is completely full – half air, half water. Lately, due to circumstances mostly under my control, I’ve been a half empty kind of guy. Lost opportunities, squandered years, the enemy (within) has attacked unrelentingly. This morning, on this Christmas Day, I spent some time pondering life, and why it didn’t feel like Christmas to me. I realized that as with life, I’ve lost focus on what is truly important.

Christmas is a celebration of the birth of the coming King. I’ve been so looking for the (second) coming King that I lost hold of celebrating He that has given us promise. The first coming is what should give us the happiness to await the second. The trials of this life are nothing compared to what God has promised us through the birth of Jesus. Thank you Lord for your promises.

Merry Christmas All!

Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Psalm 107:4-6

They wandered lost in the wilderness, alone and out of the way; they found no city to dwell in.

Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them.

Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses.

The straight path

Well, it’s been a while, but I’m still here. I wish I could say my path has been straight, and that my soul hasn’t fainted, but that would be a lie. Crushed, like myrrh, but without the sweet fragrance would be closer to right. I have wandered, but I am not lost. I know where my salvation lies; on a blood stained cross on Calvary’s hill. Daily I pray that my Father will guide me and once again make my path straight, and I know he will. For the time being “uneasy lies the head that wears the crown”, and this too shall pass.

God is good.

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.”

Image result for jesus christmas

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.”


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.


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.



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,


Pulling Up A Seat At (The) Table

Psalm 78:19

“Can God spread a table in the wilderness?”



Full moon over the WWTS camp on Table Mt., Catskills (Image courtesy of Matt Bealor)

Psalm 78 is in the middle of a narrative of God’s goodness vs. man’s wickedness, so yes, it is a little out of context. Matt and I were fighting a different battle; God’s goodness in providing us a Table in the wilderness (Table Mt. in the Catskills that is) vs our sort of being in shape and climbing a mountain in the winter (well, last day of winter/first day of spring).

This trip started out as a trip to the Old Loggers Path in Pennsylvania that eventually morphed into “Hey, let’s go to the Catskills instead”. I took out the maps and poured over the possibilities, and every time I was drawn back to the area around Slide Mountain. The decision was made to hike to Table Mountain from the Slide Mountain trailhead, a hike of about 5.8 miles each way. After a 4 hour drive we pulled into the trailhead parking lot only to discovery just how popular Slide was as a day hiking destination – not a space remained. What’s a road weary hiker to do? I tried to make a spot work, but when you drive a F250 extended cab behometh there’s no squeezing into anything. Instead we decided to go to the trail head in Denning since it’s in the middle of nowhere and would shorten our hike to about 3.6 miles. Turns out this was a good choice.


As the pavement turned into a winding gravel road I thought, “There’s no way anyone is out here”. I underestimated how popular this area is. There were plenty of spaces in the lot, but there had to be at least a dozen cars there. We only saw about 4 other groups on the trail all day, so I have to assume this is another semi popular access route to Slide Mountain.

It felt good to saddle up, and the trail starts out as a pleasant walk on an old woods road. My guess is this was an old carriage road from way back, and the first 1.2 miles to the Table-Peekamoose Moutain Trail is nice, easy walking.

Turn off to Table Mt.

Turn off to Table Mt.

Interesting thing to me is that the junction of the Peekamoose Mt – Table Trail and the Curtis – Ormsby Trail is the terminus of the Finger Lakes Trail (or one of the spurs). I don’t understand why they just didn’t end either at the Denning Trailhead,or after crossing Table and Peekamoose, instead of here in the woods. How many licks to the center of a tootsie pop? The world may never know.


After turning onto the TPT (Table – Peekamoose Mt Trail) we started downhill on a moderate grade until we came to the two crossing of the East Branch of the Neversink River. The bridges that cross the Neversink are very well made, and you can tell that there are certain times of year (spring melt comes to mind) that you are not hiking here.



By the way, that rope on the second bridge is totally worthless.If you lose your balance your taking a fall.

Around this time we stopped to talk with a man and his son and we asked them if they were coming back from Table. His reply was, “No, we only made it partway up the steep section before turning back.” He told us he got his butt kicked by the mountain.

Upward and onward the trail started to climb, and shortly we realized we were on the section the guy was telling us about. He gave up too easy, as I think this was the toughest part of the whole hike.


I thought we were climbing Table, but it soon became apparent we were just crossing a shoulder, and once over the top we met a group who confirmed my suspicion. They gave us some good info and encouragement,and once again off we went. We came to a viewpoint over Table and Peekamoose that allowed me to get my bearings, and we realized we were almost there.

Table Mt (left) and Peekamoose (right)

Table Mt (left) and Peekamoose (right)

Soon enough we passed the spring and came to the Table Mt lean to,which sits about 7/10 of a mile and about 500 (?) feet below the summit of Table Mt.

Table Mt Lean to

Table Mt Lean to

If you’re a hanger the trees are slim pickings, and Matt and I spent probably at least a 1/2 hour trying to find a halfway decent set of trees to hang on.


My rig


Matt’s setup

After getting set up Matt decided to hike to Table’s summit, while I took a nap. I was using a 20 degree 950 fill power goose down bag I had thrown together for this trip, and even though it was about 30° I was not as warm as I would have liked. After a bit of tossing and turning I decided to get up and look at my underquilt. As I turned to swing out of my hammock my butt bumped something underneath – the ground! I had hung my pack and trail runners from my webbing and it allowed enough slack for my suspension to slide down the tree! The hammock had sagged down, creating air gaps underneath,and no amount of top insulation was going to fix that.

That's a no no

That’s a no no

After resetting everything and climbing back aboard, aaaaah, instant heat!  Now that I was sure of a good nights sleep, dinner was the plan. I walked down to the lean-to so I would have a flat platform to cook on, and was met by three fellows from Jersey that were spending the night. The one fellow, Dan, was in the market for a hammock and quilts, and had a ton of questions. It was fun to answer their questions while I was cooking (Packit Gourmet Texas State Fair Chili, one of my favorites), and after we were done I plodded back to camp to see how Matt was making out. He had returned and offered that there was a limited view, and some snow on the summit of Table.


Summit of Table Mt


Sunset from Table Mt

In addition to the forest of rotten trees where we camped, all of the down wood was wet and rotted as well. That’s no issue for Matt, as he seems to be able to set water on fire. His trail name should be the Torch, because you will always have a campfire, no matter the conditions,when Matt is around.


The breeze seemed to keep the heat from escaping the fire ring, and we both decided to call it a night. I have to say, I slept fitfully, and got up at least three times during the night. At one point it sounded like it had started raining,and while I normally like sleeping in the rain, I jumped up in a panic. Neither of us had thought to bring microspikes, and if it was raining it would freeze and turn the trails to a sheet of ice! As I climbed out of my warm bed I realized it wasn’t raining, although I couldn’t tell you what the sound was I heard on my tarp. Back to bed, heart pounding, waiting for the morning.

Morning finally broke, and we were a pretty efficient affair, eating breakfast and breaking down in record time. The hike out was actually over rather quickly, as it was downhill most of the way. We stopped to snack at the Neversink, and then we were done! Not even a picture to be had on the way out.

All in all,I think we made a good call heading to the Catskills. Our trip over the Burroughs Range last year didn’t leave us warm and fuzzy on the Catskills, but Table Mountain renewed our desire to explore more of the area. I’m sure we’ll be back.



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.”


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!