Water for Life

Peggy Byland

Read: Acts 8:26-39 Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water. (v. 38 NIV) Two masses of land surrounded by water on three sides, the Upper and Lower Michigan Peninsulas are spanned by the mighty Mackinac Bridge; a five-mile link across the straits where the waters of Lake Huron and Lake Michigan mingle to become one. Wherever you stand in the state of Michigan, you are never more than six miles from a natural body or area …

Sunrise, Sunset

Peggy Byland

Read: Deuteronomy 4:15-20 Carefully guard yourselves so that you don’t look up into the skies and see the sun and moon and stars . . . and be seduced into worshiping and serving them. God set them out for everybody’s benefit, everywhere. (v. 19 MSG) Raising our family on the west side of the lower peninsula of Michigan, beautiful summer sunsets over Lake Michigan were common. On clear, cloudless evenings, we would pack up the kids and a picnic basket …

Foot Miles

Peggy Byland

Read: Matthew 4:23-25 And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. (v. 23) DeTour Village, Michigan, has a total area of about 8 square miles, of which 3.5 square miles is land. During the three weeks I spent in DeTour, my dog Isa and I walked daily. Sometimes our walks were only to the recycling semi truck to recycle our paper …

A New Census

Peggy Byland

Read: Numbers 26 Take a census of all the congregation of the people of Israel . . . (v. 2) According to the 2010 census, DeTour Village, Michigan, is home to 325 people; half its population of 1960 and much less than half of its lumber boom census in 1900–1910. At the turn of the century, DeTour was a thriving, bustling mill town with commerce coming and going by water. Once a Native American outpost, Canadians, French, English, Irish, and …

Pilot Boats

Peggy Byland

Read: Matthew 14:22-33 And when they [Peter and Jesus] got into the boat, the wind ceased. (v. 32) At the end of the journey from Lake Superior to Lake Huron, there is a changing of the crew. The freighters now enter international waters. Those licensed to crew the journey only thus far must debark the ship. How does a person leave a moving freighter? A small well-equipped pilot boat, much like a tug boat, sidles up to the side of …

The Captain of Your Vessel

Peggy Byland

Read: Deuteronomy 2:1-8 For the LORD your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He knows your going through this great wilderness. (v. 7) As my dog Isa and I rode the ferry from Drummond Island back to DeTour, Michigan, I watched a freighter, traveling south on the St. Marys River, navigate the sharp turn west into the two-mile DeTour Passage to Lake Huron. At times this large vessel seemed to stand still while the bow …