I am exceedingly happy to report that Dave's side lump has completely disappeared as of this week. Honestly, I am so surprised by it's disappearance, and I know God must have done it. That's the way our God works... sometimes a large obstacle seems to consume your life one moment. Then as you surrender to the Lord, it slowly fades until one day you realize it is completely gone. You're not sure exactly how it left, when it left, or even where it went, but at the same time, you don't really care. It's enough to simply rest in the relief that the problem is gone. Praying today that you are able to experience divine relief from a disheartening situation too.
I wrote about the events that happened Dave originally on September 17th. Today I wanted to give you an update. It's been a little more than a week now. I can say that just by acknowledging my struggle aloud, I felt a release in my heart. Then as I meditated and prayed about the situation, asking God to continue to heal my mistrust or lack of acceptance to His plans, I felt a peace grow inside my heart. It took less than a day.
Then, on the next day, my husband said, "Wow, Dave's lump has really gone down." I'd shaved the area before trying to drain it the week before, so the lump had been extremely obvious against his bare skin. Skeptical, I looked at Dave and sure enough, the lump had decreased in size by half overnight. Dave's lump had been visible about four days before I tried to drain it initially, believing it was a growing abscess. Many may not know, but for several years I was a veterinary technician at several clinics and studied as an undergrad preparing to attend Vet School. Fixing minor issues like the draining or cleaning of wounds was nothing new to me. My experience in this field is why I chose to try to initially drain the wound.
As I examined Dave, I wondered how much his current situation was created to make me aware of my internal faith issue that God wanted to deal with for my healing. Over the next couple of days, the lump has continued to decrease in size. It is currently the size of a shooter marble. I continue to pray for Dave's complete healing from this issue, whatever it may be. And now I also have a peace that regardless of whatever comes in the future, that God has a good plan for me and Dave. I am honestly a little surprised to feel this constant assurance where once my broken heart had only skepticism. I know this is the power of the Living God working within me. And I know, given the chance, He will do the same for you!
With the treasure hunt to rediscover what Tiny's friend found years ago, I've been roaming all over the mountains, taking samples with the GPS. It's a hard job because unlike using a gold pan, which is made of plastic and very light, I have to climb with a sledge hammer and a variety of chisels. My hand sledge is an 8 pound hammer and the chisels are cold chisels, very thick and somewhat heavy too. Combining my food, water, rain gear, gun, and other necessary items, my beginning pack is at least 20 pounds. When I add rock samples coming down the mountain, my pack can easily weigh 40 to 50 pounds. It makes for a good leg work out, but can be hard on the back and shoulders at times.
When I sample and label everything, I have to note the difference between rocks that are float from load. Basically, the difference is a float rock is sitting on the top of the surface. Float rocks could have traveled from anywhere above or around the general area, traveling on a rock slide, snow slide, or even in a heavy rain storm. Load samples are taken from the mountain with a hammer and chisel, so I know EXACTLY where the source is located.
The above video is of a load sample my husband and I retrieved from the side of the mountain over 4,000 feet high. It's a beautiful example of gold, pyrite, and copper in a white quartz base. I found this exactly location by praying to God and following the leading of the Holy Spirit as my son and I tracked another green rock I found on the riverbed. The rock in the video is part of a vein that extends approximately 1 mile on our claim to where the peacock ore is located.
This claim as Tiny's mining friend from the 1940's believed has high copper deposits on the surface, showing about 8 ounces per ton. Additionally, which he probably never knew, the fire assays are showing the vein we located is a high-grade gold ore. Yet, as my husband always says, it takes years to get rich overnight. Prospecting is just one small part of the entire process from rock to money in your pocket. Granted, it is probably the hardest part of the process. Now, we have to partner with other people to obtain the right equipment and support necessary to harvest the minerals without destroying or harming the environment. Nothing is every easy... but to those willing to seek, you will eventually find.
I plan to turn the experiences I've learned in the mountains into an Alaskan devotional series in the future. I think it will give practical advice and insight not only to understanding traveling in the mountains but to applying scriptural principles to all aspects of our lives.
After finding the peacock ore, which I described in part 1, I knew the copper staining rock had not been on the creek bed long. There wasn't enough of the rock showing for that zone to have been exposed long. I asked Stella about the general area, since she'd grown up in there. She informed me much of the area used to be under small glaciers or snow year round, but over the past 40 years the higher altitudes had been clear of snow all summer long. Now it made more sense to me. The primary reason no one had thought to claim there area is few people would have seen the copper staining on the rocks below and understood enough to climb up and search for what it meant. Also, not many people in general hike in that area, and those that go up this valley are usually higher on the green slopes hunting for sheep not rocks.
As we were talking, Stella remembered an old story Uncle Tiny had told her about in the 1960's, which she had forgotten until that moment. Memories are funny that way sometimes. They can't be triggered until the right word or event brings them back. Stella wondered if perhaps the claim we found and were now on was related to the story. She said, Uncle Tiny who was born and raised in Alaska had a friend in the 1940s who had staked a very large claim. His friend believed he'd found the largest copper mine since Kennecott Mine. Of course, the miner hoped to find gold too, but then World War II broke out. The miner, like so many other men, were drafted and sent off to war. Most of the mines in Alaska closed during the war and never reopened. Around that time, the Glenn Highway was put in to facilitate military transportation. Sadly, the miner who went off to war, died there. His claim was never reestablished. Most people believe nothing can be found so close the the highway system that has not previously been discovered and mined. Ironically, this man's claim had been known, then it became essentially lost.
As I started traversing the section lines to place our claim markers, I began finding old 4x4 wooden posts. These posts were not dimensional lumber. They had to have been made off an old sawmill. There were occasionally rusty square nails found within the posts, not today's galvanized nails. Michael, a carpenter by trade, explained these types of nails hadn't been made since the 1950's. The posts were also exactly where they should have been for an old claim to be staked. Then we started finding more pieces of old wood ranging from 3x4 posts, to slat material, to thin old crate material or box tops. We've also found pieces from two different tobacco tins, proving we stumbled across Uncle Tiny's friend's old copper claim.
As you notice from my titles listed on the right hand side of the page, I'm an Alaskan prospector. It's a hobby I've been doing ever since I met my husband, Michael, in 1996. Together with our partners, one of which is my best friend, Stella, we have spent over 22 years in the Talkeetna Mountains exploring. Michael, Warren, and Stella had spent another 10 years or so involved in this hobby before I joined them. While we often use a gold pan in our prospecting adventures, the gold pan is not our primary tool. We are hard rock prospectors, not prospectors looking for placer gold in a creek. If gold were easily found in a creek, it's usually already claimed. Therefore, our treasure hunt takes us higher.
We usually have to start looking about the 4,000 foot level to find anything of value. Those who have been to Independence Mine Historical park, are probably aware that all the gold mines in Hatcher's Pass are located high in the mountains, way above treeline. Over the years, we have searched many miles looking for the right signs in the rocks. Then about 5 years ago, something changed... or should I say, we changed. On an unction and after much prayer, we decided to give up our knowledge and plans and simply start asking God where to look. Our current mining claim, the one I'm sitting on in the above video is a result of listening to the Holy Spirit.
The story starts when Stella asked me to go on a hike to find more malachite for her jewelry intentions. She'd located a small pocket in a particular spot, but it was difficult for her now to get up that high. She's almost 70, so I decided to go along to be the pack mule just in case we found more than she could carry. That day as we hiked, she pointed to where we needed to go, but I felt the Holy Spirit pulling me further up stream. I said to her, "Stella, I know you want to go over there, but I really feel the Holy Spirit saying keep going here." Stella, a true believer in Jesus, replied, "then on we go." We walked about another 500 feet when I spotted some blue and green rock on the ground. Not malachite but definitely of the copper crystal base. So, we tracked it upstream for about another 300-400 feet then the stone abruptly stopped. After searching both sides of the creek, one obvious conclusion remained. The rock had fallen from up above. I did the craziest and most logical thing, I climbed up the side of the rock face. It was steep, incredibly steep, and I probably wouldn't do it again, but it was worth it. At the top of the cliff were 4 outcroppings that were covered with copper staining from the backside. You couldn't see any of this from the creek floor or valley below. Only at the right angle could you view this incredible find. I traveled along the slide upstream, looking for a different route down the mountain, a safer route. Then I saw it. Not only did I see the safe route down, but I saw the last outcropping had a vein of pyrite showing.
That vein of pyrite was mixed peacock ore, also known as bornite. It was beautiful, with all the colors of a rainbow! Most importantly, it's a great copper ore. After taking samples and hauling them down the mountain, we returned home with joy to show our partners. Next, we legally staked our claim.
I'd like to see a bible where the words that God speaks are all in RED. We have a similar concept for putting the words of Jesus in red in the New Testament, but too often are the spoken words by God in the Old Testament neglected. While every word, be it black or red, was inspired to be written down by the Holy Spirit, seeing how much God spoke in the Old Testament to believers would be a valuable insight. Probably, it would be just as important to believers today as the first coloring of red words were for Jesus' speaking in the New Testament.
Psalm 91 is perhaps my favorite psalm, particularly because of its personal miracle displayed in my life when leaning upon these words. With the thought of Yahweh speaking in red, I've taken Psalm 91 and revised it. What do you think?
He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flies by day; Nor for the pestilence that walks in darkness; nor for the destruction that wastes at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet. Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him:
I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
He shall call upon me, and I will answer him:
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him, and honor him.
With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.
This Sunday I had the pleasure of worshiping together with my friend, Scott. Scott was saved by the Lord a few years ago in a miraculous way. He literally met Jesus after dying on the side of the road in Alaska and was brought back to life by Him. As a result, Scott is so full of the joy of the Lord that he is contagious! You can't help but smile and feel the genuine love of God in Scott's presence. He radiates it.
While at church, we experienced a technical difficulty when the speaker system fell over and became unplugged in the middle of worship. The song, "Ever Be" by Aaron Shust, was playing when the speaker disconnected. Scott caught up in worship never noticed at first and continued to sing. When he did notice the music had stopped, he continued to encourage the congregation to keep praising Jesus. It was an interesting experience to witness. Most of the congregation remained silent, unsure what to do next without the official music playing. Many seemed reserved or perhaps even embarrassed by Scott's continual praise. Me? I was completely jealous. I envied the way Scott was totally unashamed of Jesus, and his joy of the Lord spilled over in uninhibited praise. I asked the Lord right then and there to give me such a love and passion for Him. I want to praise Jesus uninhibited in the middle of a silent congregation. I want to praise Jesus without fear or reservation at any and all times.
This past Sunday was a great lesson for my soul. I finally understand the deeper meaning of Romans 11:11. When God said salvation came to the gentiles to make Israel jealous, I believe Scott's exuberant worship of Yahweh was exactly what Paul had in mind. Let us all live and worship Jesus in such a manner that we make others jealous of our love for God and His love for us.
"...salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke Israel to jealousy."
An Alaskan Author, Prospector, Homeschool Teacher, Ordained Minister,
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