-MOTTO: "NORTH TO THE FUTURE"
-FISH: KING SALMON
-FLOWER: FORGET ME NOT
-TREE: SITKA SPRUCE
-SPORT: DOG MUSHING BIRD: WILLOW PTARMIGAN
-INSECT: 4 SPOT SKIMMER DRAGONFLY
-SONG: ALASKA FLAG SONG
-SUMMER SOLSTICE: 19.21 HRS
-WINTER SOLSTICE: 5 28 HRS
-IN BARROW, THE SUN RISES MAY 10TH, AND SETS AUGUST 2, FOR 84 DAYS OF LIGHT. THE SUN SETS NOVEMBER 18, AND RISES JANUARY 24, FOR 67 DAYS OF DARKNESS
-586,000 SQUARE MILES, MORE THAN TWICE THE SIZE OF TEXAS. (Or as they like to say in Alaska, 2.5 times as big when the tide goes out!)
-ALASKA IS BOTH AMERICA’S EASTERN MOST AND WESTERN MOST STATE (Due to Time Zones and the International Date Line) THIS MAKES ALASKA AT ONCE THE NORTHERN MOST, THE EASTERN MOST, AND THE WESTERN MOST STATE IN THE USA
-52 ACTIVE VOLCANOES AND MOST ARE PART OF THE PACIFIC'S "RING OF FIRE"
-10 QUAKES GREATER THAN MAGNITUDE 8.0 ON THE RICHTER SCALE SINCE 1889.
-ALASKA HAS APPROXIMATELY 50 QUAKES PER YEAR WITH A MAGNITUDE GREATER THAN 5 ON THE RICHTER SALE.
-1964 WAS THE LARGEST QUAKE IN NORTH AMERICA’S RECORDED HISTORY AT 9.5
-OF AMERICA’S 20 HIGHEST PEAKS, 17 ARE IN ALASKA
-MT MCKINLEY (ALSO CALLED “DENALI”, MEANING “THE GREAT ONE” IN THE NATIVE ATHABASCAN LANGUAGE ) IS THE HIGHEST PEAK IN NORTH AMERICA AT 20,320 FT.
-ALASKA ALSO HAS: MT. ST. ELIAS AT 18,008 FT., MT. FORAKER AT 17,400 FT., MT. BONA AT 16,500 FT., MT. BLACKBURN AT 16,390 FT., AND MT. SANFORD AT 16,237 FT.
-100,000 GLACIERS COVERING 30,000 SQUARE MILES, MANY OF WHICH ARE IN FACT GROWING RATHER THAN RECEEDING
-MALASPIN, AT 850 SQUARE MILES, IS THE LARGEST AND ROUGHLY THE SIZE OF RHODE ISLAND
Amazing, to say the least! Needless to say, Mrs. Vickie and I were overwhelmed by the majesty of this great land on our recent trip. As I said on Wednesday night, if someone you know does not believe in God, just send them to Alaska.
And yet, these facts are not near as impressive as the facts I gleaned from another book. The Bible says something even more amazing. Let me explain.
As we cruised the inside passage from Vancouver to Seward, and then travelled on to Anchorage by rail, I marveled at the awesomeness of God as displayed in the vastness of His creative ability all over the place in Alaska.
I was reminded also of my own seeming insignificance by comparison. As Steven Crane once said, "A man said to the universe: 'Sir, I exist!’ 'However,' replied the universe. 'The fact has not created in me a sense of obligation." It is so easy to feel puny and irrelevant in the face of such grandeur.
And yet, the Bible tells us that men and women (meaning you and I), and not mountains and glaciers, are the crowning glory of God’s creation (Psalm 8). We, alone, have been created in His image (Genesis 1 and 2). And it was for us, alone, that He gave His only begotten Son, in order that we might have eternal life (John 3).
No my friends, God never died for a mountain or a glacier or a tundra. God never died for a bird or a moose or a bear or a whale. But God gave all He could give to redeem you and me. That, beloved, is the most marvelous thing of all!
As John puts it in his Gospel, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." ( John 3:16) Amen!