I am now back from my three week vacation. Cheryl and I went out to Boise, Idaho, to spend some time with my mother. On a normal trip to Boise, we would go straight west through Fargo, Bismarck, Dickenson, ND, Miles City, Billings, and Bozeman, MT, then drop down to West Yellowstone, Idaho City, Pocatello, and on to Boise, ID. This time we took a different route going out by dropping down to Highway 12 and travelling through northern South Dakota cities of Aberdeen, Gettysburg, Faith, down to Spearfish and on to Gillette, WY, where we spent the night. From there it was south to Casper, further south to Rawlins, and then west to Ogden, UT, where we spent the second night. On the third day we travelled northwest through the spring lush deserts of Utah and Idaho to get to Meridian, ID, where Mom lives.
The return trip was once again not the most direct route. The first day of travel took us almost straight north through the mountains, valleys, and high plains of Idaho into Montana through Missoula and past Flathead Lake (the largest in Montana?) to Kalispell where we spent the night at a refurbished 100 year old Grand Hotel. The second day took us on the south side of Glacier National Park which we chose not to go through due to time considerations and across the northern plains of Montana to Williston, ND, where we spent the night in a new hotel. That was quite the change from the previous night. The final day took us through Minot, Jamestown, and Fargo where we had dinner with out son, Zach, and on to home.
Here is a link for the entire journey: Google Maps.
One of the more interesting side trips was when I took my daughters, Megan and Jenn, and granddaughter, Leighana, to Silver City, ID. 40 years ago, Dad, Mom, my sister, and I drove to Silver City to check it out. I wanted my children to experience that trip. From Mom’s home it is 63 miles but it takes 2 hours to drive. The last 20 miles is narrow, bumpy, curvy, on a ledge at times, switchback at times, mountain dirt road frequented by 4-wheelers and dirt bikes. The town is not a ghost town but it almost is. There is only one full time resident in town and the other residents are there only for the late spring through early fall tourist season. I must also report that nothing much changed in 40 years.
Here is a link for that trip: Google Maps. If you zoom in on the route and maybe switch to “Earth” view, you will get an idea of what that trip was like. Also, zoom in on Silver City in the Earth view to see the houses, stores, and church. Here is a link to the town’s website: Silver City, Idaho
Any way, it is good to be back and I am finished with my travelogue for today. On to the main purpose of this email: our scripture readings for the week ahead.
2 Samuel 5:1-5, 9-10 – King Saul and his son Jonathan are dead and now Israel needs a king. The elders of the tribes come to David and beg him to be their king and he assents. Remember, Samuel anointed David King in 1 Samuel 16. Also note that David was anointed King of Judah, on of the tribes, in 2 Samuel 2. Also it should be noted that David had to kill or have killed several powerful men who were loyal to Saul. Being a king is nasty business. The skipped verses are about David and his troops capturing Jerusalem and making it their capitol.
Psalm 48 – This is a psalm that praises the city of Zion, which is another name for Jerusalem. It is also called “the City of David”.
OR Ezekiel 2:1-5 – God sends the prophet Ezekiel to the rebellious people of Judah.
Psalm 123 – A short psalm asking God for mercy from the scorn of other peoples.
2 Corinthians 12: 2-10 – Paul, in defending himself against charges that he is not the real apostle that he claims to be, speaks about the “thorn in his side” that he has to put up with. He also speaks about a vision he had of the “third heaven”. He doesn’t want to boast of these things but in light of the accusations he must. He also realizes that every time he thinks he is strong, he is made low. It is only in his weakness is he made strong by God.
Mark 6:1-13 – Jesus has been working out of the lake city of Capernaum. In the first part of our reading he returns home to Nazareth. when he teaches in the synagogue on Saturday, the people of the town are aghast. “Who is this guy? Where did he learn to preach and teach?”. They were scandalized (took offense) by him and Jesus could do no work of power except for healing some sick people. After that and realizing that he could not get to every town and village, Jesus sent his disciples out in pairs to preach the good news.
Have a great Fourth of July weekend and stay safe when dealing with fireworks. That way I will see you in church on Sunday and not in the hospital on Monday.
Peace in Christ,
Pastor Gary Taylor