Wednesday, December 31, 2008

In the Bucket

Check out the temps we are getting this week up here in Alaska...yesterday was -2 as a HIGH. What they say is that you have to get out in it. So, that's is what we have been doing. Lindsay and I both went shoeshoeing this week with good friends in the negative temps.

"Don't change your plans, change your clothes." That's what my friend Chris says. The issue with us was different, we had to buy the clothes to stay warm up here.

Today's adventure is riding on a snowmachine with Jacson and Ellie.

Enjoy the pics...
On Top of Peak 2 in the Chugach Range

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I'm NOT Dreaming of a White Christmas

This is our first Alaskan Christmas. And unlike the previous 34 Christmases for me, I don’t have to sing “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” this year. It's been guaranteed since October up here

Lindsay and I feel quite accomplished now that we made it to Solstice (Dec 21). From here on out, the days get lighter. We'll be back to 12 hours of daylight by February. For all of you who believe we get no daylight at all...that's not the case in Anchorage. It's getting light around 9:30 am right now and getting dark around 4:30 PM.

But I gotta say: this darkness is tough! We have been told the Jan. is the tough one. If that’s the case, then January sounds a lot like life…tough. It’s a hard road…it’s broken…and sometimes, it has gotten quite dark.

The truth for me is that I need the help of Jesus and others…I need the hope of the Gospel to Traverse it.

The “Tidings of Comfort and Joy” are not just for the Christmas Season.
I need tidings of comfort and joy everyday.
All of us do as we experience life on this side of Heaven.

The hope of Jesus’ coming to us brings comfort in all seasons and carries us through all circumstances. No matter what our story is…no matter what our life circumstance.
God IS with us. Immanuel to the rescue!

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
(Is 41:10)

Merry Christmas to all you down the "Lower 48."

Friday, December 12, 2008

Just a Quick Update

I hope all is well wherever you are reading this. We are doing well here in Alaska. I just wanted to update everyone on a few things regarding life with the Swain' no particular order.

  • We were able to make a trip back to Tennessee for Thanksgiving. The plan was to be here in Alaska for a year and finally get back to Southern soil in June 09. But, my Papa Swain got sick and we headed home to be with the family. Papa passed a way on Nov 24...he was 92. I grew up with Papa and Granny...they lived only one mile down the road on "Swain Lane." I had the honor to speaking at his memorial service and found God's power and strength fall on me. Hope is an amazing thing. Papa used to say to me when he left our hourse...."come on down to our house...I'll show you how poor folks live." The Lord gave me this for my message: "There will come a day when I see Papa again. He will say to me: Welcome Home son. I'll show you how rich folks live."
  • Lindsay was able to linger for another week and half in Tennessee and just got home on Wednesday night. Jacson and I had to get back for school and ministry responsibilities here at ChangePoint. We missed our girls immensely, but found the time significant for male bonding...finding time for a movie, putt-putt, and an indoor waterpark called "H2Oasis."
  • Lindsay had an ultrasound while she was back in TN. We are having....another girl. That makes 4 in a row. Jacson was quite upset but is coming around to his "high calling from God to be a big brother to little sisters." We are excited and looking forward to meeting our newest little Swain in May. Name is tbd.
  • It's cold and dark here. Tonight, the temps will fall "below the bucket" for the first time. Daylight comes about 9:30 right now and it gets dark at 4:30. After Dec 21, the days get longer mid-Feb we are back to 12 hours of daylight.
  • We have had a lot of snow already. I'm finding myself making up new words to the song "I'm dreaming of a White Christmas." No need to dream of that here.
  • Jacson finishes up school next week and is looking forward to 2 weeks off. I'm off most of the holiday as well...we are looking forward to going snowboarding together. He just finished up basketball season. My friend and co-laborer here at ChangePoint, Jeff Schulte, and I coached the team together.
  • Ellie is involved with AWANA and is really enjoying that. She will be taking a dance class with Savannah starting in January.
Bless you and your family this Christmas season!
For the family,

*getting up tomorrow. driving 10 minutes. hiking to a mountain peak. snowboarding down. home by 11 AM. SWEET!