Tag Archives: Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex

An Overlooked Big, Fat Ripe Berry

We’re Back!

The brief hiatus is over…our backpacking trip into the wilderness was blessed in many many ways.  Now we are back to computers and the ‘real’ world.  The stories continue! Enjoy!

Story of the Day for Wednesday August 17, 2011

An Overlooked Big, Fat Ripe Berry


                               The stream of God is filled with water. 

                                                                  Psalm 65:9

 My wife and I picked raspberries yesterday, and were joined by our son-in-law, Jeremy, and daughter, Nikki. The bushes were loaded with berries, but soon I noticed I could return to the area I had just picked and find still more berries I missed.

When I commented on this, Jeremy made the interesting comparison of berry-picking and reading the Bible.

Have you ever done this? You reread a part of the Bible you’ve read before, and all of a sudden you discover something you never noticed before?

It’s not that God’s truth is in constant flux – with the Lord frantically readjusting his opinions to match those of contemporary culture. Instead, God has more truth to show us than we can discover on our first picking.


This last week, five of us disappeared into the Bob Marshall Wilderness for a week. On the last day of hiking, I set out early to reach the van and drive it a few miles closer to the trailhead.

As I hiked along the trail I noticed footprints. Another hiker we met had hiked out the day before, so the fresh prints were made after that. Deer tend to move at night or early dawn, and there were mule deer tracks on top of the footprints, so the hiker probably came through late yesterday.

The foot tracks on the trail were slightly bigger than my own, so I concluded it was a male. He wasn’t camping, however, because the tracks came in and retraced their steps.

The more I focused on the tracks, the more I saw. The tracks were not the deep tread of hiking boots, but came from a running shoe. I’m fairly tall and have a long stride length, but his were considerably longer. He had to be jogging. From the point he turned around to the trailhead was four miles, so he was on an eight mile run. He must be in decent shape.

You could see where he stood still once. He didn’t stop to rest or he would have shuffled his feet.  He probably stopped to get a quick drink – which meant he was carrying his own water – but wasn’t using a camelback.

The longer I hiked, the more I saw.


Some people think of God’s Word as being like a cookie. Once you gobble it down, there’s nothing more to be enjoyed. When I was in college, I worked as a janitor with a delightful, older man. He whistled cheerfully, he whistled constantly, he whistled well. But he only knew one tune.

The more we ponder God’s Word, the more we will hear the many themes and harmonies.

It’s exciting when  you find a big, fat, ripe berry you had previously overlooked.

                                    (copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)

Dead Things Don’t Grow

Story of the Day for Monday June 12, 2011

Dead Things Don’t Grow


                                           . . . Just as you learned from us how to live in a manner pleasing to God, in the same way you are living, do so more and more. 

                                                                                          1 Thessalonians 4:1


My daughter, Erika, used to walk to work.  She had no choice.  Her summer job was at Schaeffer Meadows, a remote ranger station near Glacier National Park in Montana.  The closest road to the ranger station, at Morrison Creek, was 14 miles, but her usual route from Spotted Bear headquarters wound18 miles over a mountain pass.

Having completed a semester at NOLS, the National Outdoor Leadership School, hiking 18 miles to work was no big deal.


Our family thought we’d just drop in for a visit one summer, so we hoisted our backpacks, hit the trail, and managed 300 yards before we stopped, exhausted, and had second thoughts about whether we were capable of completing an 18 mile hike.

The first day, we managed to trudge up to a high mountain lake near Whitcomb Peak. And the second day we straggled into the ranger station.

When we hiked out, we followed Morrison Creek and completed the 14 miles in one day.


My son, Randy, joined the Marines a couple months later. Basic training was no picnic. After their first ten mile hike, the exhausted recruits complained at how strenuous the hike had been.

Randy just smiled and said he had been hiking further than this in Montana.  At far higher elevation.  With a sixty pound pack.  And then the clincher . . .and accompanied by his five year old sister.


Faith is like that.  When we do more than we ever thought we could have done, we find there is still more that we can do that we never thought we could have done.

Paul is commending the congregation at the Greek town of Thesslonica.  They have been learning to apply their faith in Jesus and live in a way that pleases God.

And what does Paul say? “Good going, you guys!  Now, keep growing more and more.”


The life which Jesus calls us to is not static. We grow.  Look at how the Bible describes the church: we’re always growing.  Moving.  Building.

Growing doesn’t earn us eternal life.  It’s the other way around: you have to first be alive. Dead things don’t grow.

                                                            (copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)