A weekend for God

Saturday was summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. That may not be much of a big deal in other parts of the country, but here in Fairbanks, Alaska it is reason to celebrate. Sunrise 2:58 AM, sunset 48 minutes past midnight, sunshine total 21 hours 50 minutes which means a full 24 hours of daylight! Winter Solstice on December 21 sunrise will be 1059 AM and sunset will be 2:20 PM for possible sunlight of just 3 hours 41 minutes. Even less if it is snowing or cloudy, which it often is. Saturday’s high was 78. The average high for December 21 is 2 with a low of -16. The record low for that day is -49 in 1961.

To many that means a weekend of concerts, parties, drinking alcohol, and some mild forms of sun worship. For sports fans, the Yukon 800 riverboat race started Saturday morning. The Midnight Sun baseball game in Fairbanks is the only game that starts at 1030 PM and is played entirely without any artificial lights, usually getting finished around midnight. There is also a 10K fun run around town. For my family though, it was a weekend for God.

Last week was VBS at our church. 12 kids came forward for the Lord! Friday was the final day barbecue. That was a lot of fun. The camp was a science theme this year, Power Lab: Discovering Jesus’ Miraculous Power. There was a tub with a mixture of corn starch, water and food coloring. The kids used it for walking on water. If you walk fast and don’t hesitate you won’t sink, but if you hesitate or go slow you will sink in the ooze. The kids had me take off my shoes and walk through it. Weirdest thing I ever stepped on/in. I guess it takes a lot of cornstarch though.

Saturday was the Midnight Sun Festival downtown. There was also Dragonfly Day at Creamer’s Field. My friend Sarah and her kids took us to the Dragonfly Day guided walk. They had nets to borrow for catching damsel flies and dragonflies at a seasonal pond. We caught a newly hatched dragonfly. It was shinny yellow. Richard caught some damsel flies. I got caught in suck mud (quicksand) up to my knee and had to have help extracting my shoe while I balanced on one foot. Still it was great being outside and learning about God’s creatures. Then later in the afternoon we went downtown to hand out gospel tracts. Richard did better than anyone. He’s too cute to say no to 😆

Today we planned to go to the 9am service but I slept in so we went to the 11am service. It was an unusual service. They had a slide show of the VBS and the kids did the worship singing from songs they learned. We had a farewell send off for a family who are moving to Wyoming. Our new pastor Bill and his wife Cindy were there and together gave a talk about families. They ended singing “The Family of God”.

After church we drove out to Chena Lakes for the annual baptisimal picnic. The kids played in the shallows before lunch. It was roast pig and pot luck. Karen got to see the pig whole on the big grill before they carved it. She thought that was neat and went around telling people we were “eating a dead pig”. After lunch several young people and a few adults were baptized then everyone sang “The Family of God” as they walked up from the lake. A storm was coming up with wind, lightning and thunder so we had to keep all of the kids out of the water after that. Richard got cold so I got out a dry long sleeved shirt for him to put on (reluctantly). It didn’t look like the storm was going to pass us by so we left soon after since we parked a ways away from the picnic shelter and I didn’t want to be caught out in the rain. I drove out to the dam and we took a nice walk and learned a bit about the 1972 and 1992 floods before driving home.

It never did really rain hard where we were. We got sprinkled on as we drove home and the roads were wet where storms had already passed. I weeded the garden while the kids had dinner. The carrots and lettuce are starting to come up but were getting badly shaded by grass and choked with other weeds. I also need to plant the radishes this week. Its been real warm (upper 70’s to low 80’s) the last couple of days. If we get rain tonight, the plants will be doing great, otherwise things are going to start drying up. There’s only so much a watering can will do.

So now that a wonderful, mostly sunny solstice weekend is over and the garden is weeded, I’m praying for a nice, gentle, soaking rain tonight and tomorrow.


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