Arizona, church family, rivers

In Memory of 6 Year Old Jacob Baudek

This blog post is in memory of Jacob Baudek.

Pastor Adam my son in law was able to go down to Mayer to visit and pray with
the family who lost their little 6 year old in the Agua Fria River Friday night.
Hikers found Jacob Baudek’s body yesterday.  Jacob’s father manages the YMCA Hunt club in Mayer.
This is a very sad situation as told by to me by Adam.  Dave, Jacob’s father was on top of his truck fighting to save his family for two hours.

When the storm hit, Jacob wasn’t feeling well because of a 103 fever with seizures and his family decided to take him to a doctor. As they were driving along Hwy. 69 near I-17, their truck was suddenly surrounded by surging floodwater.
If you have been to the YMCA hunt club you will recognize this section of road. You drive through the Agua Fria wash to get to the hunt club.
The boy’s mother and sister were also swept by the current, but managed to get to safety.

Today, our church family lifted the hurting and grieving  family in prayer and will continue to minister in whatever ways  we can.

If you would like to help, feel free to contact us through this blog.

Life experiences, Ministry, rivers

When God Works Upstream

I just wanted to post this about the foresight of  God and how he has “upstream” solutions for our “downstrean” situations.

(Joshua 3:13-17)  And as soon as the priests who carry the ark of the LORD—the Lord of all the earth—set foot in the Jordan, its waters flowing downstream will be cut off and stand up in a heap.” 14 So when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant went ahead of them. 15 Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, 16 the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (the Salt Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho. 17 The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground.

Joshua, the third chapter, records a story about the challenge the Israelites faced just before they entered the Promised Land that has application to our situation today. God’s people were finally ready to enter the land of Canaan, but they had to cross the Jordan River. Normally that would not be difficult because the Jordan isn’t much wider than a typical creek at places. But the river was swollen at flood stage so the water was deep, the current was swift, and the river was wide and hazardous. Joshua 3 records a miracle God performed that enabled all of them to cross safely on dry ground.

Here are a few observations about how God works upstream to help us downstream.

1. God PROVIDED upstream in anticipation of what was about to occur.

– God’s timing was perfect. He dammed the water several miles upstream.

– When possible the church needs to imitate God by anticipating the future and preparing for it.

– You are giving to meet the needs of people downstream—people you haven’t met who will have much similar struggles and are so lost. “He stands tall who plants a tree in whose shade he will never sit.”

2. God PROVIDED upstream even though the need wasn’t as dramatic as it had been previously.

Forty years earlier God performed an even more spectacular miracle in parting the Red Sea.

Each act of God may not be more dramatic from a human perspective, but it’s another affirmation of God’s hand of blessing and the presence of His Holy Spirit within us.

3. God PROVIDED upstream because the leadership was in transition.

– The Israelites had followed Moses for forty years.

– He was the only leader they had known and God used him in a might way.

– Moses was dead.

– God took this opportunity to demonstrate that His hand was on Joshua as it had been on Moses. .

4. God PROVIDED upstream because the people were willing to walk by faith

– God gave the people specific instructions. They showed their faith by obeying.

– God will work upstream for us if we have enough faith to obey Him.

– God has commanded us not to rely on possessions.

– God commands us to return to Him a generous portion of what we earn.

– God commands us to respond to those in need.God commanded the Israelites to do one thing first: consecrate themselves. Before performing a miracle, God commanded them to purify themselves. God works through people who are spiritually clean and fully devoted to Him. A.W. Tozer said, “God can use any vessel, even if it is cracked, as longs as it’s clean.” The same is true with us.

Gos is always working upstream for you…“God…goes ahead of you” (Dt 1:30 TM).

outdoors, rivers, What I'm missing right now

Do not burn yourselves out

I love this picture of the middle-fork of the Snoqualmie River because it keeps things kinda in balance.

And this writing by Edward Abbey  goes right along with the pic.

“Do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am — a reluctant enthusiast . . . a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic.

Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the  lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much: I promise you this one sweet victory over those desk-bound men with their hearts in a safe deposit box and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators.

I promise you this: you will outlive them.”

Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire

Jesus said it perfectly when he instructed us to come apart so we don’t come apart.

Mark 6:31 “And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while:”

Arizona, canoing, outdoors, rivers

Do You Know Your CFS ?

CFS – Cubic Feet Per Second.

Here are a couple of photos of the Verde River about a mile up from Beezly Flats flowing at approximately 160 CFS.



Here is a pic of the remnants a an earlier CFS of around 900 to a 1000.


I actually floated the upper section where Oak Creek drops into the Verde @ 1100 CFS. What a ride that was.

Any way back to the CFS discussion. Here is a a chart provided by the usgs.

Current Verde River flow information:
Almost every water shed in the USA as well as Canada has these stations to give hourly reports of water flow. Very Cool.

Here is the actual chart flow when the top three photos were taken.

cfs chart 2

Notice the dates at the bottom of the chart.

If you want a perfect float down the Verde River, float it a between 25- and 450 CFS and you wont be disappointed for sure.

Before you float any river make sure you know what the CFS is for the day you float. It will help make the difference between a great time on the river and a not so good time on and possibly IN the river.

Just one more point in this blog.

Here is another link for the Verde River Canoe Challenge sponsored by NAU every year.

Chuck Hammersly does a fanastic  job of putting this event together and all for just 10 bucks (includes t-shirt)

Go for it – you will love it and fall in love with the Verde as well.


Brenda and I – Verde is running @ 450 CFS

verde brenda

church family, Life Goals, Ministry, outdoors, rivers


I just received an  invitation last night to officiate the wedding of two very amazing young people.

Kyle and Kristin will start the journey together this September when they covenant together in marriage.

kyle n kristin

I have performed many weddings in the past 30 years but this wedding is going to be a amazing!

Kyle’s father is a river guide on the Colorado River and we will have the wedding in the Colorado river Cathedral. Wow, can’t wait for this ceremony.

Kyle just completed his Wild Land Certification test as a EMT this week.

I love being a pastor. I get to see so many people suceed in their life mission.

kyle and pastor

glen canyon map

I have done the lower section of the Colorado in 08′ and 09′ so this upper trip is goin to be be a real nice gift.


This is one of the most amazing places on the planet. – Why not get married there.

Good choice Kyle and Kristin!

canoing, rivers

Hoover Dam/Lake Mead

I just learned while traveling back on our canoe shuttle from the river outfitter something that caught my attention.

He told me that California has purchased 80% of the water rights to the water that comes out of Hoover dam.

Since they have, he told us that the lake is 50% lower than it was a decade ago.


The white line is the former water lever since the water purchase.


The post emergent stream.

canoing, rivers


Here are just a few photos of our canoe trip on the Colorado river this past week.

My friend from Missouri Mike Ketcherside and his nine year old son River went with us on the trip.

We put our canoes in just below the Hoover dam. Here is a canoe’s eye view of the Hoover dam rising some  1100 feet above the water.



My son in law Adam had a great time on the water.


Another canoe’s eye view of the new bridge that will replace the traffice flow on the Hoover dam.


Taking a break in Gold Strike Canyon.


These ducks followed us the entire trip.



The Colorado river will take me a lifetime to discover. And even then it will offer so much more to explore.

Great trip, can’t wait to take Brenda next time.

canoing, rivers, What I'm missing right now


What I am really missing right now is shown in the pictures in this blog post.

I love Arizona big time…..but I really miss the streams of missouri.


It is not just the rivers and streams…but the people who you connect with on them that makes them so great.

Did you know the name “Missouri” is a Siouan Indian word? It comes from the tribal name Missouria, which means “big canoe people.”….The word Missouri means “big canoe.”

Great times with some great people in “the big canoe”.

This post is dedicated to my good friend Mike Ketcherside.

Thanks for showing the “good water.”


Liquid History pt. 2


Issac Walton says it perfectly when he quotes an old Spanish Proverb that says; “rivers were made for wise men to contemplate and for fools to pass by without consideration.”


“The mark of a successful man is one that has spent an entire day on the bank of a river without feeling guilty about it”. – Chinese Philosopher

Someone told me along time ago that families that play together, stay together.
Then a friend a couple of years ago told me this one, “married people shouldn’t canoe together.”

I have found the opposite is true. Tandem canoeing has at least for Brenda and I been a great barometer for our long term success in marriage.

The canoe literally and figuratively, forces two people to work together through some very challenging circumstances. White water, “sweepers”, log jams  and situations can really bring a couple together and help you handle other difficult water in life as well.

A trip on a fast moving river can present in a single day challenges and opportunities that a couple might otherwise only experience over a lifetime.

How two people interact under such circumstances says a lot about their compatibility both on and off the water.

Two people can become one as they work their way down a stream bound together by a sixteen foot canoe and one common destiny.

Rivers are great marriage counselors . 





The Colorado River in Topock Gorge

This is an 11 mile float trip that eventually takes you

to a “take out” just above Lake Havasu.








I talked with John Rodgers today. John  is the Environmental Coordinator  for the Phoenix Expansion Project and the Transwestern Pipeline Company.

His job is to make sure the pipeline that is being laid from New Mexico to somewhere south of Phoenix with the purpose of providing natural gas to the masses of the Southwest is complying with the environmental agreements made between the necessary parties.

As I hobbled past him on my crutches at the coffee shop, I could not help but notice the picture displayed on his lap top. It was a great photo of a southwestern stream.

Being someone that absolutley loves rivers, I had to stop and ask what river was pictured on his lap top.

He told me, it was a picture of the upper Verde river where the company was laying pipe under the river.

With that, I couldn’t help but show him the picture on my computer of my wife and I canoing the Verde river  just south of his pipeline crossing.

He was impressed and we had a nice talk about his line of work and about how mountain biking is fun but risky.

The picture above is taken of Brenda and I  at this year’s Verde River Canoe Challenge.

The Verde was flowing at 550 cfs and we floated 10 miles in about three hours.

It was three hours of absolute fast flowing  fun and a great memory maker for us.

Brenda did great on the trip and she has been my canoe partner for the past three years for the Verde River Canoe Challenge.

The Verde River is becoming liquid history for her and I.

More on rivers in the next few blogs.