Vessel Ministries Eblast Sept. 2010
Higher Ground
Tribute to Jackson Thomas
2010 Alaska Wildlife Sightings
Vessel Ministries
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Kathy Slamp at College Fjord - 2010
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Higher Ground!!

Greetings from Kathy Slamp at Juneau, AK!
This week completes 15 weeks in
Reaching the TOP!
Alaska on the cruise ships; I have two remaining. It has been a summer excitement, constant flux, new friends, as well as personal loss and reflection. A few weeks ago David was with me for a weeks. On a gorgeous day in Skagway, he and I took a SERIOUS hike. We hiked 8 miles up a mountain behind the ship to get to the TOP of Reid Falls--a place where we had been at the bottom often. Getting to the top was a lot more difficult and challenging than strolling to the bottom of the falls! We virtually went straight up the mountain on a rocky trail and then followed the creek through thorny underbrush, criss-crossing the creek several times. At one point, we actually lost sight of the trail, and a few other hikers just turned around. We pressed on by hugging a rock wall. At last we were rewarded when we reached the top. There the air was fresh, the vista was breathtaking, and the spray of the falls seemed to wash away the dust and sweat of the trail itself. Even though the climb was a bit difficult (for us at least), it was worth it all. Such is our Christian walk. It's easy to stroll along, but if we want to ascend to new heights, we must expend energy and take risks. But those risks are worth it! I was reminded that fine day of an old hymn:

I'm pressing on the upward way; new heights I'm gaining everyday. Still pressing as I'm homeward bound; my prayer my aim is higher ground. Lord lift me up and let me stand, by faith on heaven's table land.
A Tribute to my brother, Jackson Thomas!
Jackson Thomas - 2008
On Aug. 17, my older brother, Jackson, lost his two year battle with leukemia. From the very beginning, he had a positive, yet pragmatic attitude about his illness. Although most of my friends never new Jack, he has been "with me" since the day I was born. There has absolutely never been anyone like Jackson:
He was born in Texas and fom birth, he was unique and "different." Early on it was "suspected" that Jack was a genius and later that was confirmed. He was brilliant! With that genius came demons. He questioned everything, and that didn't bode well in the 50s and early 60s; consequently, Jack was a FOR REAL hippie and 60s revolution drop out. Not a knock off! He was in San Francisco during the "summer of love" in the middle of  it all, and often mentioned that he could be seen in the documentaries. Later on, Jack returned to college, earned two masters degrees, met a beautiful life-partner, and together they raised three children. He even pastored a couple churches along the way.
Jack & Me - Alaska, 1950
His journey was a rocky one, but in the last 20 years, I truly believe that Jack came to terms with himself and died a fulfilled and happy man. There is no one word to describe him: He was eccentric, LOUD, a voracious reader, opinionated (and usually right), funny, kind and thoughtful to those he loved, but intolerant of petty issues and petty people. He lived an humble life, unnoticed by many, but never by those he came in contact with. His prized earthly possession was a 5,000 volume library. He had the best of every single discipline from children's literature to philosophy. Quite impressive.
The world has lost a great mind; our family has lost a dear loved one, and I believe heaven is richer. I'll miss our bi-weekly (or so) phone conversations and our occasional personal visits. I loved him from Day One and always will. He will be missed by ME!
2010 Alaska Wildlife Sightings:
Same bear!
Black bear in brush
Black bear - Haines, AK.
2010 continues to be a year of amazing wildlife sightings. I STILL don't have the video clip of the breaching whale, but eventually, I'll get it. Last week my friend Marilyn and I saw this large black bear at the same place that my friend Lynn and I saw the large brownie earlier in the summer. I LOVE ALASKA!