Beach walks make great opportunity to count blessings

Posted: Friday, July 18, 2003

The fishing frenzy is upon us! Boats are moving in all directions on the roads and on the river. The red salmon run is excellent, so there are fish to catch or dip, fillet, wrap and freeze.

Motor homes are pouring in daily and businesses are thriving. Kids are home from college. Relatives appear from Outside. Soccer and baseball schedules are in full swing. Daylight is ubiquitous and the weather has been almost unbelievable.

Do you feel like summer is winning? Do you have the "Alaskan Summer Look?" You know the worn, dazed look and the bleary, bloodshot eyes from trying to go to work and find time for all of the above.

Are you hanging on until the fall season forces us back to sanity? Summertime in Alaska is a wonderful experience, but there is so much to do and so little time to do it!

Recently my wife and I took time out for a walk on the beach. It was a great opportunity to get alone, relax and enjoy the beauty and blessings all around us.

We stopped to sit on a rock and watch otters, gulls and eagles. We took pleasure in the music of the surf as it gently receded. The smell of the sea was refreshing, and we enjoyed watching the fleet of fishing boats return. We are truly blessed to live in such an awesome place.

It occurred to me that just taking the time to reflect upon all of these blessings is a blessing in itself.

Stopping to evaluate all of the good things we have been given is a worthwhile exercise. It helps use remember that these are, in fact, gifts. We are told in scripture that, "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights." James 1:17.

When was the last time you paused to thank him for the gifts he has so generously provided? In verse 18 we are told about the greatest gift. It says, "He chose to give us new birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of all he created."

His creation is certainly a gift to us, but the gift of new birth far surpasses anything else we can experience. It literally means we can exchange our doubts, confusion and uncertainty for a life of forgiveness and trust, based upon a new relationship with our Creator.

But for a gift to be effective, it has to be accepted. When we turn to Christ, asking him to be our Savior, he willingly grants us this marvelous gift. (See John 3:16 and Romans 10:9,10 for details.)

The availability of this gift is not based upon our feelings, but upon his word of truth. Have you accepted this awesome gift?

Why not take a short time out from your busy summer and evaluate your relationship to your Creator?

Thank him for the privileges and blessings he has bestowed and ask him for the best gift of all, a new and personal relationship with the one who is the source of all good gifts.

Phil Reemtsma is pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, 208 Lawton Drive in Kenai. Calvary Baptist Church can be found on the Web at

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