Week 6: Exodus 1-14 Moses & The Exodus

Exodus means the way out. In Genesis, God calls the patriarchs as individuals; in Exodus, He calls a people to Himself.

His call is threefold: “Let My people go”

  • “that they may serve Me,”
  • “that they may hold a feast unto Me,” and
  • “that they may do sacrifice.”

He is still seeking those who will

  • serve Him,
  • fellowship with Him and
  • worship Him.

To see a one-page overview of the whole book of Exodus as well as a write up about the first 14 chapters of the book, click on the picture below:

God parting the Red Sea before the Hebrew children start to escape over to the other side.

God parting the Red Sea before the Hebrew children start to escape over to the other side.

Week 5: Genesis 37-50 Joseph

According to BibleGateway.com, Jeremiah 29:11 is the most searched verse in the Bible. But as for me, there is just something about a verse found in this week’s readings that goes so much deeper and pierces the heart to the core. Genesis 50:20! We shall discover that rascals beget rascals…and yet even still…God works in us all!

Just click on the picture below to see a wee 3-page synopsis of this week’s readings about Joseph, which bring us to the close of the first book of the Bible!

The favored son of Rebekah grows up to show favoritism to one of his own boys...and even in that...God orchestrated it for the good of the family and Egypt.

The favored son of Rebekah grows up to show favoritism to one of his own boys…and even in that…God orchestrated it for the good of the family and Egypt.

Week 4: Genesis 23-36 Isaac and Jacob

This week we will read about a bunch of conniving and deceiving choices. If you read of all of Genesis straight through you kind of get a picture that all the bad characteristics are genetic…handed down from parents to children 😦

But amazingly, we also get to discover the joy of serving a God who can turn our poor choices into something rich. He has the power to redeem even our most selfish acts into something helpful. Each day as you read, see if you can see yourself in any of the stories!

Just click on the picture below to get to the 2-page pdf file that moves God’s Story forward from Isaac to Jacob’s family as found in Genesis 23-36…

God demonstrating His patience and care for Jacob

God demonstrating His patience and care for Jacob

 

Week 3: The Book of Job

Job appears nearly half way through the Bible as it is ordered in our books. But chronologically it seems to have occurred during what is called the Patriarchal age (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob).

Some of the reason it is thought to be during this time span is because Job’s life appears to have been after the flood (mentioned in 22:15-17) and before Moses or the nation of Israel was formed. His life span is 140+ years and the financial bottom line is expressed in livestock rather than gold and silver, in keeping with the Patriarchal era.

So this week we will cover the book of Job…42 chapters in 7…definitely condensed!

Click on the picture below to get to the 2-page handout!

Job with his friends trying to make sense of it all

Job with his friends trying to make sense of it all

 

Week 2: Genesis 12-22 Father Abraham

In Week 2’s passages we learn a lot about Father Abraham and how things seemed to work during the Patriarchal era. While you read each passage, it may prove helpful to ask the Lord to show you a bit of Himself as well as a bit of your ownself.

Just click on the picture below to get to the 3-page pdf file that shows Abraham’s travels and a little synopsis of Genesis 12-22…

The stars as seen in Big Bend...so Abram was promised that his descendants would outnumber even the stars seen here!

The stars as seen in Big Bend…so Abram was promised that his descendants would outnumber even the stars seen here!

 

Week 1: Genesis 1-11

01 Introduction & Week 1 Genesis 1-11

By reading one chapter a day for the next 350 days, an overview of God’s Story as contained in the Bible can be read.

Attached below is a 10-page pdf file containing

  • an introduction to the whole reading program,
  • a bird’s eye view of the Bible,
  • all 350 portions to be read this year,
  • week one’s passages, and
  • an overview of this week’s readings.
Introduction to 2016 Reading Plan (about 1 chapter a day)

Introduction to 2016 Reading Plan (about 1 chapter a day)

“From the redwood forest, to the gulf stream waters…”

After leaving Samantha and John’s place in Oroville, I had such noble ideas of ascending Lassen Volcano (the largest plug dome volcano in the world) exactly 100 years to the day after its last eruption.

deb lassen sign

Entering into Lassen Volcanic National Park exactly 100 years to the day of the last eruption that occurred here!

But come to find out, that was not going to happen without a winter parka, snow shoes and a pick ax! The southern most active volcano in the Cascade Range twas covered in snow and fog!

bigblue and lassen peak

Lassen Peak covered in snow, cold temperatures and fog. BigBlue and I just looked on from afar!

However, the surrounding area was fascinating with its boiling mud pots, sulfurous fumaroles, and churning hot springs.

steaming pots

The boiling mudpots and steaming fumaroles definitely had an odor to it than only an egg could appreciate! It was still incredibly cool to see!

Lassan is one of the few areas in the world where all four types of volcano can be found (plug dome, shield, cinder cone, and strato).

Lassen national park overlook

The overlooks from the various points along the 30-mile highway 89 are spectacular!

And though the peak was covered with snow, the meadows afforded beautiful scenery, hikes and picnic areas.

snow covered lassen meadows

Lassen National Park provides diverse ecosystems and weather 6000-10500 feet above sea level! Even though the meadow was covered in snow, it was picnic perfect weather!

Admittedly, a braver soul would have traversed the elements to reach Lassen’s peak, but I have in mind to do some of the more difficult hikes with a buddy in the future (Sam or Brenda, get your boots ready!).

boots in snow

Standing on the snow at the base of Lassen Volcano (8500 ft). Need a hiking buddy for the ascent…get your boots ready!

Next on tap was the Redwood National and State Parks. But I just had to stop in Redding, CA to see the nation’s largest sundial over the Sacramento River!

sundial redding california

Here I am on the south side of the nation’s largest sundial which is a bridge spanning the Sacramento River in Redding, CA. It made me very thankful for my watch!

One day, I will have to a nation-wide trip to compare all the cities’ river walks…this one was pretty good!

sacramento river

Looking westward from the sundial bridge in Redding towards the Sacramento River and Shasta mountains. Beautiful balance of natural and urban!

One more stop, before hitting the coastal portion of the Redwood Park was putting my feet in the sapphire blue waters of Whiskeytown-Shasta National Recreation Area.

whiskeytown nra

The waters of Whiskeytown-Shasta National Recreation Area are nearly as sapphire-blue as Crater Lake…but not quite! It is a jewel of water surrounded by towering mountain peaks!

And, I found the way they do the dam for the fishes’ sake quite interesting, so I just have to post a info-sign here!

whiskeytown lake sign

These buoys are not to keep boaters away from swimmers, but to keep water away from water–warm water from cold water that is. The buoys are attached to a rubber curtain that drops 100 feet below teh water surface. A smaller curtain anchored at the upper end of the lake forces the cold incoming water toward the lake bottom. Working together, they trap the lake’s sun-warmed surface water, preventing it from mixing with the deeper, cold water. The cold water flows below this curtain as it exits, bound fro the Sacramento River. Why all the fuss? To save Chinock salmon spawning grounds in the Sacramento River. Chinock eggs and gry require temperatures below 50 degrees to survive. The cool water discharged from Whiskeytown Lake makes the difference, by a matter of degrees

Then after a few hours of meandering through various forests via the Trinity Scenic Byway I arrived at a part of the Redwood Park that isn’t often associated with it just in time to set up camp. This collection of redwood parks not only has forests, river ways, and prairies, but also a rugged pacific coastline.

trinity forest

Shasta-Trinity Forest covering the distance between Redding and the Redwood coastline…there were many little towns nestled in the valleys of which I thought “Oh, I could so live here!!”

bigblue on north california coast

BigBlue taking in the beautiful scenery of the north California coastline along the Redwood National Park. The coast is still rugged, even though there aren’t the bluffs and cliffs of Big Sur area.

The next morning was Memorial Day and not a soul was to be found on the fog-laden coastline.

redwood beach

Fog drenched beach early Memorial Day. Not a car or person could be seen in any direction…perfect solitude!

Just as the English have their poppies, on this memorial day silky beach pea and an orchid-like pink flower (that I cannot find the name of on google) peppered the north coastline of California in the sea mist.

wildflowers on redwood coastline

Wildflower feast for the eyes! I still have to find out what the pink ones are…they have an orchid-ish like tongue but googling “flowers on redwood coastline” hasn’t secured me any answers yet! Beautiful scenery none-the-less, especially on Memorial Day!

And though the day started out foggy, while walking in the woods, the sun began to make an appearance! And what a glorious appearance it was!

rays through the redwoods

The sun breaking through the clouds and the redwood trees! The rays were nearly tangible!

This was a great park both for beauty and for just the right amount of solitude. Being surrounded by some of the tallest and most massive tree species on earth has a way of reminding me that it is not all about me…and that’s not a bad thing!

deb by redwood tree

Here I stand, camouflaged, as a knot of the redwood tree. The trees were massive…and it all started from a pine cone that fits in the palm of your hand!

I finally had to bid farewell to the beautiful state of California as I headed into the great adventures that Oregon had for me! And, DV, that will be the content of my next blog entry!

yellow lady bug

A 12-dotted yellow ladybug enjoying herself on the flowers found at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area. (I think it is really called a spotted cucumber beetle though!)

Just as a personal note…it was also on Memorial day that I woke up to excruciating pain in my funny bone and my the top joints of my right pointer and thumb unable to bend. It seems it is nerve related and that driving 15,000 miles with your elbow planted on an armrest can impinge one’s nerve. Thankfully, the pain has disappeared! But no more armrests for me!

redwood sunrays

The Redwoods is in my top 5 parks so far! The variety and views are simply breathtaking!

An Interruption to the Travel Blog…God’s Story

For those who have been reading my blog for the travel tales (and are still waiting for me to get out of California on it), I am interrupting my story for what I’ve titled “God’s Story!” I have a few friends who have wanted access to the whole of it and this seems as good a place as any to post it.

In 2014 I compiled and created a 350 day reading plan that consists of only, on average, one chapter a day. The chapters were selected based on continuing the storyline of the Bible. This means that a lot of commentary and analysis (wisdom and prophetic writings) of the events are left unread.

Each of the 50 weeks focuses on a category of the story. And for each of these 50 weeks a very brief overview is provided along with the readings for that week. I know there are probably favorite chapters that I’ve neglected and that there are more important points I should have emphasized. But this is the end fruit of the labor invested in 2014! May the Lord make it sweet.

All 50 weeks of God’s Story Bible Reading Plan (23M pdf file)

Chronological Bible Reading program logo

Beautiful San Fran Fam!

After Casa de Everything, I headed across the Golden Gate Bridge to get to gorgeous wooded Marin County to see my cousin whom I haven’t seen in over 30 years! Somewhere along the crowded 19th street south of the bridge I picked up a bolt that went straight into my left front tire.

bigblue-golden-gate

BigBlue at the Golden Gate Bridge on a foggy day! This is from down below by Fort Point National Historic Site.

How do I know I ran over a bolt, you ask? Well, because from that moment on, I sounded like Sammy Davis Jr tap dancing everywhere I went! The traffic was so thick I couldn’t even pull over until I was north of the bridge and off the highway. And there it was…a washer-headed bolt plastered perfectly straight into the tire. I hated to take it out for it seemed a perfect plug all by itself! But when I went through neighborhood streets, every head turned in my direction to see a performance by Mr Show Business himself! I was able to take it in after hooking up with cousin and get it plugged successfully. Still riding on it, all the way here in the middle of Colorado via Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and Utah!

tire plug

Getting a bona fide plug put it instead of the tap-dancing-bolt!

Once in Fairfax, I had a fantastically wonderful time with my cousin and her family. Especially her daughter who guided me through the castles and fortresses of the Marin resovoirs with her Secret Agent Dog, and just taught me several lessons about life in general, as only a child can do!

deb-and-zoe

My sweet second cousin! I loved getting to meet her and play with her! Such a delight!

At the tail end of our adventure we came upon some wild turkeys…with a blue gobbler! Of course I had to get out and ask for a portrait!

turkey-gobbler

Beautiful patriotic gobbler of a turkey seen in Marin County with my cousins! (I don’t know if it is called a snood, a wattle, a caruncle!)

Because this was a summer ago, Zoe had school to attend. That left brenda and I to venture through the gorgeous majestic woods on the way to Point Reyes. It was soooo nice to be the passenger! I could gawk at everything, without fear of distraction or getting a ticket for being distracted! Definitely spoiled! The weather was refreshing and once we descended the 310 steps to the lighthouse, we were able to catch a view of a mamma whale and her calf! Not the kind of view you get from a whale watching boat where they breach the water and what not, but still a view of a pair on their way to Alaska!

deb-trail-to-point-reyes

Overlooking the Pacific Ocean from the trail down to Point Reyes Lighthouse…2 whales made an appearance along the coast too!

It was such a delight to visit with Brenda and get reacquainted in much more meaningful fashion than ever before…I suspect I will be knocking on her door more often in the future!

deb among the cedars

Walking among the wind-shapened cedars along the upper coastline of the Pacific Ocean!

I then headed southward towards another cousin’s house in Pacifica via the Golden Gate Bridge (I wasn’t aware of this, but apparently it is tolled! My brother told me after he received a bill for me in the mail back in Houston…yet again he has saved my hide!). His wife was finishing up her MA in library science so I did the north visit first until she finished cramming!

deb and ronan

Look at this handsome fellow! He can make anyone smile just with one of those sweet grins of his!

But come to find out I didn’t need her company after all, because Ronan was all the entertainment I needed! What a handsome mild-mannered fellow! I think he is my second cousin…ie, my cousin’s son. (cousin relations always gets me confused!) I had a very rested two nights with them and even got some work done in the day while they all went to work. All in all, San Fran may become my new destination vacation spot with two wonderful second cousins to visit! (btw: Stacey finished cramming and can now be officially called “master!”)

jason lein

Jason, Stacy, and Ronan showing off their cuteness!

I then headed through Napa Valley (for what good is Napa to a tea-totaler!) to get to the southern end of the Cascade Mountain Range, so I could stop by Lassen Volcano ntl Park. But really the highlight of the valley and the southern cascades was getting to hook up with my old high school friend Sam and her husband John! Getting to hear their stories and how the Lord has led them makes me want to get to reacquainted with all my high school buds, one on one!

deb and sam

30+ reunion with Samantha in Oroville, CA! Twas a treat to get to meet her husband and hear all that they have gone through the last 3 decades!

Funny/strange incident happened before I hooked up with Samatha in Oroville. I was in Walmart parking lot plotting out my travels as I usually do, when this gal came up to my van and asked for a ride just a couple miles down the street and she would give me $10. I was a bit leery as she seemed rather agitated, but I agreed and told her to keep the cash, it was on the Lord.

oroville california

Oroville California at the southern end of the Southern Cascades

Well, it turns out she is from Oroville and she had me going all over town looking for her boyfriend who she was very very angry at…and he must have known it because he wasn’t anywhere to be found. So she started calling on the phone. But he wouldn’t pick up from her. So she asked if she could borrow mine. Gulp…I pay per minute of usage, so I don’t even talk on my phone (except to AAA towing service!). But I handed it to her…my phone didn’t know what hit it! When Brian (her boyfriend) picked up, she laid into him something fierce.

oroville lake

Oroville Lake. there are falls that need to be hiked to…that will be on my next trip to visit Samantha!

I tried to see if there was something that she could do that would be healthier for herself. But she was seeing red and unable to engage coherently really. But she did thank me for the rides, paid me the ten, and got out at the last place we sojourned to. Now the reason this is strange is because I ended up dropping her off just a block away from where my friend Sam lives! What a crazy introduction to Oroville, California!

seagull at san fran

Can you tell what city I ran into this seagull at? Truthfully, I counted to three, and then his face lit up with that smile of his!

Well, that is all for now! Hopefully next week I will finally get this blog out of California and up to northern Oregon!

California Coast

With the Sierra Nevadas and the Golden hills of California in my rear view mirror I started the breath-taking drive through the windy (both WINE-DEE and WIN-DEE) coastal area of California via hwy 1 starting at San Simon where the William Hearst Castle is located.

golden hills of california

Beautiful central valley of California covered with golden hills…now I can see why they are called the “Golden State!” This is near Paso Robles

There is much reason this road is famous…cause everything that is said about it is true…it is stunning to see the sun glisten off the Pacific ocean, to watch seals sleep, play and swim together in community, to listen to the crashing waves against the high rocky bluffs, to wind one’s way through the thick and luscious tall trees of the road, and have stellar jays, chipmunks and mule deer make an appearance periodically seemingly just to bless me with their presence!

seals-communal-sleeping

I was hard pressed to find a seal that was by itself…every one of them was touching at least another one while sleeping! They were a delight to watch, even when they went to sleep!

seagull-post-ocean

I know, I know! Seagulls are a dime a dozen and can be rather annoying…but they do have some fascinating features! Like this great black-backed gull’s little red dot near the tip of their beak at the bottom (presuming its not lipstick), their beautiful eyes, and that slit at the side of their beak (as it turns out, seagulls can drink both fresh and salt water. Most animals are unable to do this, but seagulls have a special pair of glands right above their eyes which is specifically designed to flush the salt from their systems through that opening in their bill!). Amazing!

2-squirrelsa

Two well-fed squirrels romping around the California coast together through the feet of those eating lunch! These little fellows, and chipmunks, should be the mascot for all the parks…for they seem to be in every single one of them!

The 93 miles between San Simon and Monterrey through Big Sur is breathtaking. Thankfully there is plenty of free dispersed camping in the Los Padres National Forest (well, all national forests really, but that is the forest along the scenic route!)

deb-at-big-sur-ocean

I implored a German couple to snap a photo of me here overlooking the Pacific Coast. It was difficult to do, since the only thing I know in German (besides Gesundheit!) is “It’s my birthday!” But pantomiming did just fine!

bigblue-ocean

BigBlue certainly has made the rounds, having started at the Atlantic Ocean in October and having made her way to the Pacific by May! Los Padres Forest has GREAT dispersed camping with incredible views…tempted to live there…but can only stay 14 days at each spot!

I try not to drive at night so while the sun was heading into the ocean, I turned into the forest to find a spot for the night. There was a fantastic overview but  there was already an rv parked there. Usually if a spot is occupied, I go on to another, but this time I felt compelled to stop…and I’m so glad I did! There was Chip Cunningham from the Washington area sitting in his lawn chair reading 2 Samuel! He has felt called to minister along this 93 mile stretch and start a FourSquare church in the area.

chip-guitar-ocean

I met a blessed Christian musician and pastor while in Los Padres–Chip Cunningham from the FourSquare Church in Washington state. It was a lovely time to hear of his journeys and encounters along highway 1 and in Los Angeles.

bigblue-sunset-ocean

BigBlue and I watching the Pacific Ocean swallow the sun…leaving incredible colors behind. Twas a marvelous way to end each day!

It was a blessed evening of communion and fellowship. He sang some worship songs he had written. He made dinner! And he shared with me his testimony from the past and his dreams and hopes for the future. Then we concluded the evening with prayer. An other-worldly blessed-time!

california coast

The Pacific Ocean joining the California coast along highway 1 near Big Sur and Los Padres National Forest. Glorious scenery to go to sleep to and to wake up with!

bee-yellow-flowers-ocean

A little “Deborah” (bee) collecting pollen from the bright yellow flowers (and there were some orange ones as well) along the ocean’s edge. Not a bad work environment!

Next on tap was one of the newest National Parks, Pinnacles found in the Salinas Valley in Central California. It used to be a National Monument but has been “upgraded” recently by the President. It too, like Joshua tree, has spectacular rock formations/pinnacles that makes a great place for rock climbing. I must confess, in all of my adventuresome spirit, there is nothing in me that wants to rock climb!
bigblue-at-pinnacles-sign

But it also contains about 30 miles of good hiking trails and a few caves. Thankfully I was able to hike into Bear Gulch caves (they are closed presently now though due to Townsend big-eared bat roosting). And then meander up to Bear Gulch Reservoir and hike a bit along the High Peaks Trail. Though the park is known for having California Condors, they apparently had other things to do than to make a special appearance for me! But some red-headed woodpeckers and blue birds kept me good company instead!

deb-at-pinnacles2 bluebird woodpeckers

I then camped one night at the Casa de Fruta (with many other casas to boot) in Santa Clara County California just south of San Fran where I splurged with a pot roast dinner!

purple-flowers-casadefruta

Next blog entry will cover my time in San Fran and Sacramento area getting reacquainted with family and friends, DV!