Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Update on Sunday School for April 29, 2012


Bible Story

Ruth 1 – 4

The story of Ruth begins with Elimelech and Naomi, and their two sons, who moved to Moab because of famine in the land of Israel. Moab was a close neighbor to Judah, where the city of Bethlehem was located. The two sons married Moabite women. Unfortunately, Elimelech and both of his sons died. This left Naomi and her two Moabite daughters-in-law without anyone to care for them.

Women in the society of Bible times who did not have husbands, fathers or sons to care for them were destitute. They had little opportunity to earn a living and care for themselves. Naomi heard that the famine of Israel was over and so she decided to return home, perhaps in the hope that a relative would care for her. Both of Naomi’s daughters-in-law decided to go with her in the beginning, although there was no special custom or requirement for them to do so. Orpah and Ruth had the choice of returning to the protection and care of their families—a much easier choice.

Naomi told them they need not come with her since she had nothing to offer them. Naomi finally convinced Orpah to return to her own family, but Ruth refused to leave Naomi because of her love for the older women. Ruth chose to live with Naomi in one of the most famous speeches of the Bible. But in an unusual twist, she also chose to never leave Naomi, and even to make Naomi’s God her God. For Ruth to give up her homeland and all her customs to live an uncertain life in a strange land demonstrated Ruth’s great love for her mother-in-law.

Together Naomi and Ruth traveled to Israel. Ruth did the gleaning from the fields to support Naomi and herself. Ruth remained faithful in her love for Naomi.

Ruth went beyond obligation when she chose to go with Naomi. As Christians, we are often asked to “go the second mile” and to show love beyond that which others show. After all that is what separates Christians from other persons. Children are naturally very loving and giving. They are often willing to do anything that will make the other person happy. Encourage their loving and giving natures.

So, if a person truly follows the example that Jesus set for us to follow, there are certain traits that will be obvious: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. In today’s lesson the children will talk about love.

The story will be Let me Go with You, and some of the activities will be, Stuck Like Glue, May I Go With You and we will be making Love Shakers. We will also be making Love Lights

Bible Verse

If you have love for one another, then everyone will know that you are my disciples

John 13:35, Good News Bible

Monday, April 16, 2012

Dinosaurs in the Bible -April 22, 2012

1. Are dinosaurs mentioned in the Bible?

Dinosaur-like creatures are mentioned in the Bible. The Bible uses ancient names like “behemoth” and “tannin.” Behemoth means kingly, gigantic beasts. Tannin is a term which includes dragon-like animals and the great sea creatures such as whales, giant squids, and marine reptiles like the plesiosaurs that may have become extinct.

The Bible's best description of a dinosaur-like animal is in Job chapter 40.

“Look at the behemoth, which I made along with you and which feeds on grass like an ox. What strength he has in his loins, what power in the muscles of his belly! His tail sways like a cedar; the sinews of his thighs are close-knit. His bones are tubes of bronze, his limbs like rods of iron. He ranks first among the works of God…” (Job 40:15-19).

The book of Job is very old, probably written around 2,000 years before Jesus was born. Here God describes a great king of the land animals like some of the biggest dinosaurs, the Diplodocus and Apatosaurus. It was a gigantic plant-eater with great muscles and very strong bones. The long Diplodocus had leg bones so strong that he could have held three others on his back.

The behemoth were not afraid. They did not need to be; they were huge. Their tails were so long and strong that God compared them to cedars—one of the largest and most spectacular trees of the ancient world.

After all the behemoth had died out, many people forgot them. Dinosaurs were extinct and the fossil skeletons that are in museums today did not begin to be put together until about 150 years ago. Today, some people have mistakenly guessed that the behemoth mentioned in the Bible might be an elephant or a hippopotamus. But those animals certainly do not have tails like the thick, tall trunks of cedar trees!

Although it cannot be stated with certainty, it appears that dinosaurs are mentioned in the Bible. This should not sound so strange. After all, God tells us that He created all the land animals on the 6th day of creation, the same day that he created mankind. Man and dinosaurs lived at the same time. There was never a time when dinosaurs ruled the earth. From the very beginning of creation, God gave man dominion over all that was made, even over the dinosaurs.

Have them color the page on page 2 or refer to it. (same with all handouts)

The Behemoth

"Look at the Behemoth, which I made along with you and which feeds on grass like an ox. What strength he has in his loins, what power in the muscles of his belly! His tail sways like a cedar; the sinews of his thighs are close-knit. His bones are tubes of bronze, his limbs like rods of iron. He ranks first among the works of God." —Job 40:15-19

2. “D” is for Dinosaur


God made the world, it’s plain to see.

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse." (Romans 1:20). This verse points out that there is overwhelming evidence that God created, and that if people don’t believe it, they are without excuse. This evidence is clearly seen all around us, because functional complexity (e.g., a functioning machine) can never be developed from disorder, by chance. To explain this to young children, you can use examples such as the following: (ideas, you can add your own)

1. Show them a picture of Mount Rushmore, and make it clear to them that the Presidents’ heads did not get there from millions of years of wind and water erosion, but by people who applied intelligence to make the carvings.

2. Point out that airplanes and watches and computers don’t come together by chance they have been designed and made by people.

3. Show them a pebble out of a stream, and an Indian arrowhead. Ask them to pick out the arrowhead. Discuss why they made their choice, explaining that it is easy to recognize something that has been designed.

Hand out on next page.


God made the world, it’s plain to see.


But did He make dinosaurs, and if so, when?

The topic of dinosaurs is probably used more than anything else to convince young people that evolution is true, and that the process took millions of years. Explain to them why it is obvious that God had to make life, and since dinosaurs were living creatures, then obviously God had to make them too-they couldn’t have happened just by mere chance. Colossians 1:16 states, "All things were created by him, and for him." The “All” must include dinosaurs that once existed on the earth.

Often the term “prehistoric” is used in reference to animals like dinosaurs. The term “prehistoric” means before recorded history long before man; however, (and this will be obvious in other sections of the book) the Bible is a record of history since time began, and the Bible says man was created on day six along with the land animals. (Genesis 1:24-31).

Student Exercise:

Have the children draw their favorite dinosaur. Emphasize how hard it is just to draw a dinosaur let alone make one. If it takes a lot of intelligence to draw a dinosaur, it must have taken MUCH MORE intelligence to make one in the first place.

Hand out on next page


But did He make dinosaurs, and if so, when?


The Bible has the answer, God’s Word is true

The Bible tells us in Colossians that in Christ "are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Colossians 2:3). This means that only God knows everything, and only God always tells the truth (John 17:17).

It is important to get across to the children that, compared to what God knows, what any human knows is almost nothing. Therefore, if we are going to find out the truth about the dinosaurs, or how the world came into existence, or how anything ever got here at all, we need to consult the one who knows everything. Stress to them that no scientist knows everything, but that the Bible tells us God knows everything, so we should go to the Bible to find the answers.

Student Exercise:

Have the children use an ink pen to draw a very small dot on a blank page. Then get them to take another blank page, and start making dots all over the page. They can continue doing this for a couple of minutes. Explain to them that the one dot on the page represents how much man knows, but all the other dots they have drawn on the other page are just a start in representing what God knows. Tell them that they could continue making dots FOREVER and God would still know MUCH more than that. Help them to begin to understand what it means that God has infinite knowledge.

Hand out on next page


The Bible has the answer, God’s Word is true.

V W X Y and Z

We’ll learn the truth about history.

Refer to Job 38:4. Here God asked Job the question, “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?” In other words, teach the children that God was really asking Job, “Were you there?”

Share with them that not only does God know everything, but He has always been there. The only way we can know what happened to the dinosaurs, for instance, is to talk to someone who knows everything, who’s always been there. Tell them that only God knows everything and has always been there, and that we should go to His Word to understand this world, and even to look for clues regarding dinosaurs.

Also share with them that the next time a teacher (or anyone) talks about “millions of years ago,” the student could ask, “Were you there?” Explain that no human being knows everything, or has always been there, so how can they really know what happened in the past?

Student Exercise

Give each student an M&M to eat. Have some of them go outside and eat it without anyone watching. Then ask each student to prove they ate an M&M. It should be obvious that those who have witnesses will have an easier time attempting to prove this than those without witnesses. However, also discuss the fact that the witnesses have to be reliable, and they may not have observed carefully enough-maybe some witnesses didn’t tell the truth. Some may use evidence such as chocolate around the mouth, or on the tongue, to “prove” they ate an M&M. But this could also be interpreted as having been an ordinary piece of chocolate-not an M&M. Actually, in the final analysis, they can’t PROVE they ate an M&M, because it happened in the past. Explain how much easier it is to substantiate a fact when there are witnesses.

If you want to give the students a more difficult question-ask them to prove the color of the M&M they ate! In order to “prove” this, they would have had to specifically show it to someone before they ate it.


We’ll learn the truth about history.

Do we really know what dinosaurs looked liked or how they behaved?

Putting a dinosaur skeleton together is not easy. It is often like putting together a very difficult jigsaw puzzle with many of the pieces missing or damaged. The skeletons are usually very incomplete. Many dinosaur fossils are discovered badly damaged. Bones are often found crushed or bent by the great weight of the dirt and rock above. Sometimes parts from different creatures are mixed together. This just adds to the confusion.

Unfortunately, some scientists have not been careful enough in their descriptions of dinosaurs. They have told grand stories of how dinosaurs looked and behaved. All of these descriptions are based on guesswork - the imaginations of people who have never seen a living dinosaur.

Some scientists have made complete pictures of dinosaurs based on just a single bone or tooth or leg. Such pictures are based on many guesses and very little facts. The scientists' ideas often turn out to be wrong when more facts are discovered.

Dinosaur fossils are not found with labels or photographs attached showing what the animals looked like. That is why no pictures of dinosaurs are exactly right. Every dinosaur painting is sure to contain at least some wrong information. No artist ever saw the living, breathing animals - complete with skin, flesh and color.

For instance, imagine never having seen or heard of a poodle or a peacock. One day you find the jumbled bones of one buried in the ground. You try to put the bones together to form a skeleton. And then you try to draw a picture of what the animal looked like when alive. But bones cannot tell the whole story. Even if you are a very good artist, it would be a miracle if you drew a true picture of a poodle or a peacock just from the bones and your imagination.

If scientists could climb into a time machine and travel to the past, they could get much better information. Only then would they know the true appearance of dinosaurs or what they ate and how they really behaved. Scientists might be very surprised at what they would learn.

Hand out on next page

Copyright 1996 by Kevin Brockschmidt. All Rights Reserved.

The Triceratops

Some dinosaurs, like the Triceratops, had bony spikes on their heads. Others had spikes on their backs and elsewhere. If basic types of horns and spikes like these were originally created by God, then we know something about their purpose. They were not meant for fighting other dinosaurs. The head horns may have been used for getting food by lifting thick foliage, or for poking, rooting or turning plants.

After the Flood what happened to dinosaurs?

Then the Flood was over Noah opened the Ark’s big door and let the animals free. Babies were born to each set of parents. After many years, the earth began to be filled with animals again.

The dinosaurs lived for at least a few centuries after the Flood, but probably never in the great numbers that there once had been. No one knows exactly when they finally died out.

After the Flood the earth was a very different place. When Noah stepped off the ship, it must have felt like getting out on another planet. Nothing would have looked familiar. Most of the world was left covered with water. Seven out of every ten spots of the globe are still under water today.

All of the landmarks were destroyed. The Garden of Eden was gone forever. So was the whole land of Eden and every other land. Mud and rock were everywhere. Cold forbidding mountains stood where none had been before.

Earthquakes and volcanoes still continued to plague animals and man, even after the Flood was over--and still do today on a smaller scale.

Temperatures had become extreme. Some parts of the world got much hotter after the Flood. This eventually dried up all the water and left great deserts. In other places, snow began to fall for the first time because of freezing cold. A short ice “age” followed the Flood in some parts of the world.

Harmful radiation from the sun (and space) probably came down in much larger doses after the Flood. The original world may have been protected from this radiation by a special atmosphere. The earth’s air may have contained a much higher amount of water which kept the weather warmer and more pleasant. Before the Flood, plants were watered by rivers, underground springs and dew--instead of by rain.

Word search

What does a dinosaur really look like?

















INSTRUCTIONS: Look for the words on the list. Circle them. Words may be hidden horizontally, vertically, diagonally, forwards, or backwards.

The story that will be shared with the children:

After a year of planning, our exploration of the Liscomb Bone Bed on the North Slope of Alaska was finally right around the corner. In this place were frozen, unfossilized dinosaur bones. They can be found in abundance in the coal and shale layers of these beds. It was these bones that attracted us. We hope to use these bones for chemical analysis, and samples with organic materials still present are always the best choice.

ARRIVING IN ALASKA The five of us were split into two groups for our trip to Alaska. We left from Ohio or Indiana, depending on what flights we were booked for. We were scheduled to depart from Fairbanks, Alaska the next morning by 8AM. But with some serious unexpected flight schedule changes, we weren’t sure our plans would work. But God saw to it that we arrived on time, even a few hours before our scheduled departure from Fairbanks to Umiat.

SPECTACULAR SCENERY The flight up the coast of Alaska was unforgettable. As we were flying, we witnessed a beautiful sunrise (about 1:30 in the morning!). The mountains below were absolutely spectacular. They were snow covered, and had glaciers hugging their valleys. The rugged mountains showed their beautiful array of horns, cirques, aretes, and other gorgeous glacial carvings. Even though I was dead tired, I could not sleep. It was a geologist’s paradise!

MOSQUITO ATTACK We had heard rumors about how bad the mosquitos were on the North Slope. But nothing prepared us for this!

We boarded the twin-engine Navajo Chieftain for the two and a-half hour flight to Umiat. Just before landing, our pilot reached behind his seat, fumbled around in his flight bag, and grabbed his Deep Woods OFF. He began to apply his “bug stuff” liberally. I thought this was premature until we landed in Umiat on the gravel runway at 10:30 A.M. We were shocked at the swarms of mosquitos outside the plane. Had we made the right decision about coming this far and being left behind with so many mosquitos? From our vantage point inside the plane, they sounded like the angry hives of bees that my pony had kicked over when I was a boy [“Peanuts” died from this]—and they were waiting for us to come out so the feeding could begin.

We had prepared physically for the mosquitos with 100% DEET (most bug stuff only contains a few percent DEET), mosquito head nets, and bug net shirts, but we were not prepared mentally for them. We didn’t know there would be this many.

I have never seen a pilot work so fast. He had the plane unloaded and was up in the air again within five minutes. He didn’t even stick around to say good-bye or let us have a second look in the plane to make sure we had gotten everything. He probably took off so fast to make sure we wouldn’t change our minds, and go back with him. After the pilot left, we sat around in shock sitting on top of our gear wondering what we were doing in such a desolate place. The DEET kept the mosquitos from landing on our exposed skin, but we could do nothing about the swarms that constantly enveloped us. Had we made the right decision? Would we ever make it home alive and sane?

UMIAT, AK—Umiat is a strange little ghost town. A generation ago the oil industry made it famous, but now no more than three people live here. O.J. is the town’s only year-round resident and self-proclaimed mayor. The town is full of abandoned trailers that look similar to those you find on construction sites. The front of the office we met at had several moose and caribou racks above the door along with a sign that read “Umiat Hilton.”

We paid $1,000 to rent three small rafts, life jackets, and paddles (plus a few patch kits and foot pumps), which we rented from Bob and O.J. (Our rental fee also including O.J. flying to Nuiqsut to pick up the rafts ten days later). Quickly we were off to the Colville River, which is only slightly smaller in width than the Ohio or the Missouri. It is a large river, draining the entire north side of the Brooks Mountains. It was cold (from snow melt) and very muddy. We loaded our rafts, said our goodbye’s, and began our journey.

MAYDAY! MAYDAY! Within fifteen minutes of our departure onto the Colville Buddy and Dan’s raft was out of sight. I was in the small red raft and Mike and George were in the other. Without warning Mike and George’s raft suddenly began to sink. The raft nearly sank before they were able to get to shore. George had to hold up the side of the raft and Mike had to paddle frantically to get there. It was certainly only because of God’s help they were able to get to shore before certain catastrophe. They discovered that some of their gear was on top of a valve and apparently had dislodged it, causing the leak. After getting it pumped up and rearranging some gear, they were on their way again. Knowing how cold the water was and how dangerous hypothermia would have been made Mike choose to ride in a different raft for the remainder of the trip—always listening for that foreboding sound of hissing air.

Because the Liscomb Bone Bed was still far downstream, we wanted to make as much distance on the river as possible. (The Colville flows from south to north and ends in the Arctic Ocean.) As we drifted, we saw occasional rubble tumbling down the one hundred and fifty foot bluff to our left. Falcons soared high above. When the air was still, mosquitos were thick

As evening approached, we decided to make camp on a high sand and gravel bar about 9:00. We were all tired and slept hard, despite the cold weather and short hours of darkness. At 3AM I was awakened by the sun shining brightly into my tent!

The Alaskan wildlife is certainly beautiful. To our delight this day allowed us to see five moose and one caribou. But the day wasn’t all relaxing.

SEPARATION! During the morning we encountered some anxious times. The river often splits into many different channels with long islands separating them. Buddy and Dan went down one channel and George, Mike, and I went down another with the other two rafts. We tried to follow Buddy and Dan, but the current was just too strong and we became separated. After traveling downstream a little further and drifting by several large adjoining channels, we didn’t know if Buddy and Dan were ahead or behind us. We didn’t know whether to wait or press hurriedly ahead. Finally, one hour later we reunited downstream. It was by God’s grace that we found each other so quickly. We were determined never to become separated again.

As lunch approached, we came upon a three mile sand and gravel bar. It had been reported in the scientific literature that a dinosaur horn core had been found in the float (loose rock material) near here. We had made good mileage that morning so we ate lunch on the east side of the river planning to spend part of the afternoon walking the bar looking for fossils. On the west side of the river rose a 100 foot bluff. After lunch, Buddy was not feeling well; he was sick to his stomach. I was hoping to make more time today, but I also needed a healthy crew. I decided that we should pitch our tents and make camp on this island gravel bar.

During our much-needed afternoon of relaxation, we found several pieces of fossilized and coalified wood on the bar contained within a hard tan siltstone matrix. I was hoping to get over to the 100 foot bluff, but the current was too strong to get over and back. Besides, it looked rather dangerous because the bluff was very steep and we would occasionally see rock falls tumble down the slope and into the river. I was content searching the bar for fossil material. I tried a little fishing, gazed at some moose up close, and enjoyed the windy afternoon that assisted in keeping the mosquitos at bay.

As evening approached, it began to drizzle and the mosquitos returned. Once we got inside the tent, we found ourselves refusing to leave because of the annoying insects, not to mention the rain. But what do you when nature calls? Thank God for Ziplock bags.

We were back on the river by 8AM this morning. We drifted down the river at a pretty good pace of 4-5 mph seeing an occasional moose standing motionless in the water along the river edge. We were able to check our speed with our G.P.S. (global positioning system), which also provided location and precise distance figures. Mike became our high-tech resident expert.

BEAR TRACKS Our lunch break was near the confluence of the Kikak River. We carefully checked some of the gravel bars here for dinosaur bones. Some have been reported here in the past. After no success on the bar, we began to work our way over toward the bluff hoping to find something there. As usual, my eyes were peeled to the ground as we worked our way through the willow bushes to the bluff. Suddenly I stopped—as I stared at the ground I saw bear tracks. Worse yet, I saw some smaller tracks—bear cubs. O.J. had warned us about grizzlies in the willows. Mother grizzlies with cubs are probably the most dangerous North American mammal. The willows (small spindly bushes about head high) were thick enough that we wouldn’t have been able to see a sleeping sow and her cubs twenty feet away. We were hoping not to surprise one. If the bear hears you coming well enough in advance, it will usually leave the area and leave you alone. But just in case, I sent Buddy and Mike back to the rafts for the twelve gauge shot gun and rifle. After checking the bluff out thoroughly, no bone material was found (and better yet, no bears).

THE ULTIMATE FIND Just when we were starting to feel quite disappointed at not having found any bone material on the trip, that’s when it happened. Mike was ahead of George and I by about 50 yards. Buddy and Dan behind us by about the same distance. The current carried George and I swiftly by; we couldn’t get to shore for at least another 100 yards. I yelled back to Buddy and Dan to see if they could take a look at the tan rock I had spotted six inches from the water line with black coloring in it. They paddled hard, and the instant they were going to pass it by, Buddy reached out of the raft and hauled the eighty pound specimen into the boat. He motioned that we should stop. We all were able to pull over about 100 yards down stream. (Even though we were fairly close to shore, it was a struggle to get there because of the swift current close to the bank.)

God’s perfect timing

We were hoping to make an eight mile trip today towards Ocean Point (the nearest marked map locality close to the Liscomb Bone Bed). We almost didn’t get anywhere at all. While Dan was relaxing along the river last night, he noticed a slight rise in the river. He decided to move all of our rafts, paddles, and life jackets to higher ground. This was God’s providence because the river rose one or two feet overnight and became extremely muddy. If he would not have noticed, our rafts would have been far downstream by the time we woke up the next morning. We saw God’s hand at work not only in this, but in allowing us to find the jaw bone along the river’s edge yesterday. The jaw was close enough to the river’s edge that it would have been underwater if we had floated by one day later. Thanks again Lord for your perfect timing and providential guidance.

As we traveled down the river that morning, we made excellent time. The current was moving faster because of the increased amount of water. What would God do next? How could anything surpass the events of yesterday? For the most part, the rocks along the bluff had been horizontally bedded. The rocks consisted of loosely cemented sandstones, shales, occasionally siltstones, and coal beds. As we traveled that morning we encountered some tremendous folds and faults, highlighted by coal beds. I certainly had not expected this after all of the “boring” horizontal stratigraphy we had seen the days before. While floating along photographing folds, faults, and occasionally stopping to get a closer look at some of the rocks along the bluff, we began to hear enormous noises in the distance. Mike was the first to hear them. We wondered if someone was shooting a gun or cannon. As we rounded a large bend, to our amazement, we began to see what was happening.

Awesome geology in motion

Ahead of us, on our left was a sheer cliff, approximately 150 feet high and one half mile long. The strongest current of the river was pulling us towards the cliff, as it did most of the time. We were alarmed. In front of us we could see the cliff giving away, producing massive rock falls which were careening into the water below. This is what we had been hearing for the last half hour upstream. We began to furiously paddle, steering the boats to our right to get out of the main current on our left. Floating along the edge of this cliff would have meant certain death. The rock falls were so continuous and large we would have either been sunk by rocks falling in our boats or capsized by the waves produced from the rocks hitting the water. Finally, after twenty minutes of hard paddling, we made it to a gravel bar across the river from the falls.

Exhausted, we pulled the boats up to the beach and watched in utter astonishment from our vantage point a quarter mile away. It was like watching fireworks. You didn’t know where the next big one was going to happen. The rockfalls were continuous, one happening somewhere along the cliff at all times. Some of the boulders would plunge the full height of the cliff, landing in the water creating splashes twenty feet high or more. The falls were the result of a combination of processes and factors. First, as we had already seen upstream the bluff was inherently unstable. Small falls and slides had already been witnessed. The rocks making up the bluff all crumble very easily. Secondly, the strongest current of the river was at the base of the bluff, causing tremendous amounts of erosion. The river was carrying away every bit of talus building up at the cliff base. The bottom of the bluff simply could not build out. This created the sheer nature of the cliff. Thirdly, the warm sun was melting permafrost at the top of the cliff and creating muddy waterfalls which flowed over the edge of the tundra and into the river below. I suspect this was the catalyst and lubricant which was making the falls so continuous.

This was one of the most amazing geologic spectacles I have ever seen. It was geology in motion. Watching along the half mile cliff base, no one point could be observed for more than ten seconds without at least one rock falling into the water. Watching the incredible degradation of the cliff before our eyes, we wondered how long this process could continue until the cliff disappeared. How long has this landscape been in existence? 25 years? 100 years? Could it last 1,000 years? Could this process occur for hundreds of thousands of years? The cliff decomposing before our eyes was direct evidence for a young age of the cliff, and indirect evidence for a young age of the river, and the earth. There is just no other reasonable way to explain why the cliff is still here and hasn’t completely eroded away.

After a nice lunch without the aid of mosquito netting, we reluctantly left our paradise, looking over our shoulders for a final glimpse of the spectacular falls. The distant booms continued for an hour as we floated away. The river began to split into many channels. We wanted to stay on the west side of the river, but the wind became stronger than the current, and we ended up in the eastern channels, much to our dismay. No progress was made down river. Occasionally, it was faster and less tiring to get out of our boats and pull them along the beach instead of trying to paddle. Finally, we were forced to pull over and wait for the wind to die down.

On shore, the Alaskan tundra has no trees. The largest plant life here are small willow bushes, no higher than your head. They like to grow next to rivers and in low areas near a ravine or stream where they can find plenty of moisture. Mostly, the tundra is covered with grasses and a half dozen different types of wild flowers. I didn’t know their names, but we saw red, several varieties of blue, and yellow ones. One flower I didn’t expect to see north of the Arctic Circle was the dandelion. They are not prolific, but they are here, strong and healthy. I was disappointed to find somebody’s trash in this little clearing amongst the willows. There were several tin cans (one was Spam), beer cans and other bits of waste left behind. This wasn’t the only time I came across trash. I was angry that someone would spoil the pristine Alaskan tundra like this.

Soon the wind died down and our two hour siesta was over. Paddling for a long time, and still fighting the breeze, we passed through the main channel and made it into one of the western channels. We still weren’t quite sure where we were on the map. Apparently the channels in this part of the river change so much that it is difficult to keep the maps updated. Our G.P.S. helped, but the coordinates it gave us didn’t quite match with the map (it doesn’t always give an accurate reading). Very tired, and yet still wanting to make more progress towards Ocean Point, we stopped and had dinner about 7:30 on a sand bar. We ate quickly and began to talk about trying to make it to the bone beds that evening. However, the Lord had other plans.

The specimen Buddy hauled in turned out to be the jaw of a duck billed dinosaur we have temporarily identified as Lambeosaurus. Others had expected this dinosaur may be present in Alaska, but until our find, the skull bones have never been found to prove it. It turns out the jaw we found is twice the size of any dinosaur yet found in Alaska. From our estimation, this jaw represents an animal at least 40 feet long. A jaw this large was surprising to us, because most of the previously reported Alaskan bone material has been from juvenile dinosaurs.

We were very excited! We had found our first bit of bone material. We stopped our boats and prepared to walk along the bank back upstream. We wanted to see if any more bone material was present. The current was moving fast along the edge, and the cold, muddy water was certainly over our heads. As always, when we stopped, we gingerly stepped out of the boats. But this time, Mike slipped, and nearly went up to his waist in water and mud. It was a wake up call for all of us to take our time and be careful. As we walked back upstream, we found several other large pieces of bone (we think they are limb bones from the same animal) and some additional fossil wood specimens. The large pieces of tan siltstone containing the bones seemed to be weathering out of the bank behind us. Who knows how much of the Lambeosaurus had rolled down the bank and ended up in the bottom of the river. We were all praising the Lord that we had been allowed to find something so amazing!

After collecting everything we could find, we loaded the rafts and went a short distance downstream to set up camp. We settled in for a nice afternoon amidst the wild flower aroma and warmer weather. By 10PM many of us settled down for sleep, the sun still brightly shining. As I lie in bed I hear various sounds: the mosquitos outside, cliff rubble periodically crashing into the river, gurgling muddy river rapids, and falcons nesting high above us as they cry like baby kittens. George is quietly singing praises to our mighty Creator.

Thinking back over the day, it has absolutely been amazing. Thanks Lord for your perfect timing, and giving us the privilege to do your work.