Schools are closed in the Anchorage area due to high winds and water on icy roads. In the recent years, it seems that February will bring deep-freezes and melting chinooks before spring finally makes its welcomed return.
The last time this weather came I decided to go to the post office. I was just about back home when I lost all traction going up a bit of a hill. I began sliding back down the hill (backwards), the tire hit the ditch then whipped the car around and slammed-stuck me into the chinook softened snow. I don't think I want to do that again ---so I am going to leave the mail sitting in the warm, dry post office box today.
Marie and Karla have returned from making tracks up and down the East Coast. It's always so nice to see your kids again after they have been gone for a while, isn't it? Especially when they get home safely!
Karla had left all her babies with her husband in Washington State then traveled with Marie to Maryland, Virginia, North and South Carolina. Karla's oldest is five and her youngest is ten months, so that was a big accomplishment for both Dad, Mom and especially "Grammy" in Washington!
Lately our kids have been playing games here occasionally on Sunday nights. Yesterday we tried to watch the Superbowl. I don't know much about the game but since there is such a to-do about it each year I try to watch and try to learn about it. (I forget all that I have learned by the time the next Superbowl comes around.) I was hoping that the Sea Hawks would win because my daughter Karla was hoping they would!
Making tracks online, I ran into several blogs and online websites where I read negative comments about "Jesus Freaks" or people that "push their beliefs off on other cultures" and by doing that have wreaked their way of life forever.
I, an Alutiiq, am thankful for those wonderful people that knew Jesus Christ and the difference His death and resurrection meant for one like me and my ancestors. I am thankful that they left their homes to come to Alaska to share their faith with my early relatives. This saved me from a multitude of grief!
When Marie returned from the East Coast she brought a book that she knew I would add to my collection of Alaskan and Native story books and history. I read with fascination this fact coming out of the Tsimshian tribe:
"Slavery occured among some Northwest Coast tribes, such as the Haida, Tlingit, and Nootka. Slaves are usually prisoners from enemy tribes or their descendants. The lives of these slaves were not much different from those of their owners, but during potlatches an opulent chief might show his contempt for the wealth and property by casually slayiing one of his slaves with a special club called "slave-killer."" American Indian Trickster Tales, Richard Erdoes and Alphonso Ortiz
So many, many thanks to the Missionaries that brought a life of freedom in Christ. I, for one vote, would not want to continue in a lifestyle where my dear children may have been violently stolen from me! Taken to spend the rest of their lives in a strange land with the possible future of being clubbed to death! Taken to never return home again! People who think my ancestors lived a tranquil life and were all love and dandelion butter'd noses don't really know what they are talking about.
I realize that there are things of every culture that is good, but fear? Fear was a major part of the past of many tribes and peoples, not only for the Alutiiq or Alaskan peoples. Fear from other tribes and fear from the dark spirt-world too!
Dad told me this about when he was young: they would hurry home in the evenings because as soon as it got dark they would hear the "whispers" all around the outside of the village. That was not good! Jesus Christ's victory over evil has banished those fears from the lives of our people who have accepted His truth.
Another story Dad told was about Father Herman, a Russian Orthodox monk, when he first came to the villages on Kodiak Island. As he would walk past some of the people they would begin to scream out when his shadow fell across them. The dark spirits that held our people in fear, they were the ones that were screaming. The Alutiiq people were made free from evils power over their lives.
I come from the Alutiiq people. I am one that loves Jesus Christ. I guess I am an Alutiiq Jesus Freak! That's okay with me. I want to be like Apostle Paul and be considered to be a fool for Christ. Only the enemies of Christ call Christ's followers fools. He will be forever banished someday, so don't follow him. He is losing. Why would we want to be on the losing side?
I want continue to follow in the tracks that Jesus Christ left because He conquered the evil that kept and still tries to keep us full of fear, hate and anger. I am thankful for the tracks that were left behind that went to my ancestors and other tribes. They brought freedom from being held in fear! I want to walk in them. Just like others I fall out of the tracks occasionally, but He forgives and helps us to get back on track!
We need to continue to struggle in this way. Christ's tracks lead to life eternal!
"We are fools for Christ's sake"I Corinthians 4:10