Friday, September 25, 2009

National Parks to garner nation's attention

The nation's national parks come to the forefront beginning Sunday, Sept. 27 with the debut of Ken Burns' documentary. The six-part series highlights our national treasures and the connections those places have with the people who visit.

The series will air on PBS for six consecutive nights. Check your local listings for times.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Crow Sweat Lodge

On my recent mission trip to the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana, I had the opportunity to participate in their "sweat" ritual. A number of tribes perform those rituals for a variety of reasons and in a variety of ways. The Crow that I was with use their "sweats" as a prayer ritual for healing.

The sweat "lodge" is a tent-like structure about 10 feet in diameter. It's supported by small branches that have been woven together, and it's covered with heavy blankets.

After stripping out of our clothes, 13 of us crawled inside the front opening of the tent and spaced ourselves out. A fire pit next to the entrance was filled with red hot rocks that had been heated on a blazing fire outside of the tent. Once we were all situated, the leader covered the opening, and it was pitch black inside.

The Crow do their "sweats" in four phases. The first phase involved him throwing four small containers of water onto the rocks. Wow! The heat that sweeps over you is incredible. As I stretched my head toward the floor, where the air is slightly cooler and a bit easier to breathe, I could literally feel sweat pouring out of every pore in my body.

While we all layed there sweating in the darkness, the leader did a series of prayers, both in the Crow language and in English. It was actually a very good time to reflect.

Following a short break for fresh air and some water, we went in for phase two - seven containers of water onto the rocks. That was nearly unbearable. I've never been so glad to hear "Amen" in my life.

We took another short break and then went back in for phase three - 10 containers of water on the rocks. Surprisingly, after making it through seven, the phase with 10 didn't seem all that bad.

The final phase is "unlimited," however since there were four or five of us participating in the sweat for the first time, I think he took it easy on us a bit and didn't go on too long.

After the final phase, you exit and wash off with cool water from a barrel near the fire. Some sweats are held near rivers where the participants jump into the cold water after the final phase.

After all was done, let's just say that I slept very well that night.

Monday, September 07, 2009

is watching a rodeo near pryor, mt.
worshipped at The Little Brown Church and the First Crow Indian Baptist Church Sunday.
worshipped at The Little Brown Church and the First Crow Indian Baptist Church Sunday.
Good morning from montana.
Good morning from montana.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

made it to Billings late last night. That was my first time flying Frontier and i was very impressed. All leather seats, friendly people, DirecTV at every seat ($6 for 24 channels, $8 for movies).

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Ugh. Rough start. Delta flight has mechanical problem. rebooked onto Frontier flight five hours from now.
is getting ready to leave on the church work trip to Montana for the week. Hopefully I'll be able to post some updates from the road.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Castaway Cay to get makeover

A sneak peek of new additions coming to Disney Cruise Line's private island Castaway Cay