Tag Archives: gospel

August 2013

Troxel Update August 2013


July was a busy month.  Nenana Community Church hosted the First Ever Gospel Music Festival.

The festival idea bloomed from an encounter last year.  In July 2012, Bud and Carolyn McAtee, of Voices of Peace, took a working vacation to Alaska.  They had started several such festivals all over the Midwest.  They felt a call from God to take this ministry into Alaska.  Upon arriving in Alaska, they contacted several churches in the larger communities of Anchorage, Fairbanks, and outlying areas.  After exhausting those avenues, they started calling churches in rural areas.  We were the first to ask them to come and talk to us more.

The McAtee’s came to Nenana and after time and prayer, we believed that this was something the Lord would have us do.  From there, the McAtee’s were connected to Jeannie Bennett, a friend that is an amazing planner and organizer.  On the Alaskan end, Jeannie did the vast majority of work to make the festival happen.

Returning to this year, the festival took place July 5th and 6th.  There was an open air church service on July 7th.  There were several Alaskan musicians along with many performing groups from the lower 48.  Attendance was around 100 or so, but the McAtee’s experience says that the first festival is a bit under attended with subsequent festivals growing every year.

During this time, the music was aired on the local Christian radio station.  The Scriptures were regularly read from the stage.  The Gospel was presented during the church service.  Now, the Second Annual Nenana Gospel Music Festival is scheduled for July 4th and 5th 2014.

We are eager to see how God will grow this and use it to further his glory.

In sad news, one of our supporting families experienced a terrible loss.  Beverly Hermans passed away this July.  Please join us in praying for her family, especially her husband Chuck.

In family news:

Continue reading


July Update

Is July already gone?

July is almost over. August is just around the bend. We can see Autumn on its way and snow is coming soon.

Summer in Alaska is wonderful and beautiful. The flowers and mountains and rivers show us the beautiful handiwork of our Father in heaven. We are so blessed to live in a place so full of beauty.

Independence Day is always a great time in Nenana. We were so thankful that the festivities were held on the 3rd, so as not to interrupt church services. The day started with a free breakfast and special recognition service held at the Verhagen family’s building – the Nenana Conference Center. The food was delicious. The speakers were eloquent. Veterans had an opportunity to share, as did all who owe such a great debt to the men and women who place themselves in harm’s way so that we can enjoy freedom.

The day was marked with games and races for kids of all ages. There were lot’s of chances to enjoy ice cream, pizza and other food. The main street into town was packed with fellow Nenanans, Alaskans, and many tourists here to help us celebrate our independence.

The Troxel family got to take a few days away with Rebecca’s folks. We enjoyed a beautiful cabin owned by family friends. The cabin has an amazing view of Mt McKinley right out the living room picture window. We enjoyed a time of rest and family fun. We are so thankful to the Rasmussen’s for their invitation to use their cabin.

The Troxel parents took a mini break too. Rebecca and I went to Fairbanks for two days and stayed at a wonderful little inn. Aerin stayed with our friends the Chapmans and Ethan stayed with our friends the Blairs. So they got a break from us too. Rebecca and I got to eat at restaurants that do not advertise a playland or playground in the building – nor do they serve any food labeled as “fast.” The rest and relaxation were very nice. We are certain that we have found a new family tradition. We hope to take a mini break like this every 6 months or so from now on.

This month, we had another freecycle at our home. The Nenana Freecycle is like a free rummage sale. People bring items they no longer need and everyone gets to take home a new to them treasure. Any leftover items are then taken to a thrift store in Fairbanks. We had a lot of people come by the house. We were blessed with an abundance of food. The grill ran non stop for several hours, serving up hamburgers, hotdogs, and salmon.

The last week of July has been marked with several visitors. St Mark’s Church in Nenana is hosting their annual vacation Bible school with the help of summer missionaries from the lower 48. The VBS is always great and its good to see our friends from down south again. The Nenanan Community Church kids have been so anxious to get to the VBS. It does a pastor’s heart good to see the young people eager to take time to learn from God’s word and to have fun while doing it.

We also have a short term missions group in the town volunteering as work teams. They are with Global Expeditions and come from all over the continental US. One of the young men comes from Iowa, not too far from where I grew up. We lamented together about the heat and humidity in Iowa while enjoying the beautiful Alaska weather. Part of the team came to the parsonage and helped us by painting our deck. Several planks have been replaced and the rest needed a touch up. What a blessing to see young people serving God in Alaska.

Well, July is about wrapped up. Aerin and I are looking forward to our birthdays this next month. She is going to be the ripe old age of 12 and is going into junior high school this fall. The church will be meeting to plan for our AWANA program which will resume when school is back in session. We still need to get a chicken coop built for the chickens we are raising this summer. We hope to have fresh eggs by mid September.

We feel especially blessed to be serving God and his church in Nenana. Please pray for us – for wisdom and ministry opportunities as we live our faith in the wonderful town of Nenana.

Bookmark and Share

The Difference of One Day

This coming Sunday I will be preaching from John 20:1-10. In the passage, we find Mary Magdalene and Peter and an unnamed disciple going to the tomb and finding it empty. Our music leader told me about a song that captures the viewpoint of Thomas (given a bit later in chapter 20.) The song is done by Don Francisco and is called “He’s Alive.” I knew the final chorus, but had not heard the rest. My thanks to Wanda for telling me about it. Here it is for you:

While preparing the message, I remembered another song. This song recounts the three days from Christ’s death until his resurrection by Lordsong. I did an internet search and was so glad to listen to it again. I want to share it with you – enjoy!

These songs remind us of some facts. He is Alive – those who trust him are forgiven – and we will enjoy eternity with him. Also, while we might be tempted to look upon any of life’s circumstances as dark and hopeless – the Lord is sovereign still and works everything – including what we may think of as hopeless times – to our good – namely that he will mold us into the image of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. The Good News is that while man may be hopeless in his own strength – in Christ we have true, sure, certain hope both in this life and even more in the life to come.

Bookmark and Share

Rational Faith?

Recently I came across an article written by a Christian research scientist and professor. The article examines the faith of the scientist since many atheists claim one cannot be a Christian and be intelligent too. The article is laid out in an outline form and was written up for use in the author’s church.

I wanted to add the article and ask for comments – what do you think about the claims of the author?

Can a Thinking Person Be a Christian?


Michael A. Covington – Beech Haven Baptist Church – 2006 June 13

1. When I was young, I thought that as I became more educated, I’d have to either abandon traditional Christianity or start ignoring evidence. As I grew older I learned that:

a. The claims of Christ survive all the intellectual tests I can put them to;

b. If they did not, they would not be worth believing.

c. Very few people have actually become non-Christians because of intellectual arguments. Mostly, they take it on authority that someone else has disproved the Gospel… or they fall away from Christ first and then look for rational justification. (Behavior first, then intellect.)

2. It makes no sense to be a semi-Christian, to just “draw inspiration” from the Gospel without actually believing it.

a. Why should I “draw inspiration” from Christ rather than somebody else?

b. Christ didn’t present himself as a source of “inspiration.” He claimed to be God. Either he was God, or he was not a sane man! (Some say he didn’t actually claim to be God. Well, his followers certainly thought he did, from a very early stage.)

3. So why shouldn’t I be a Christian? Some non-objections:

Click to Read the Entire Article

Bookmark and Share

That’s My King

This Sunday, I shared a video presentation of a portion of a sermon preached by S.M. Lockridge – commonly called “That’s My King.” The video is a series of images combined with text along with an audio track. The video is less than 4 minutes long. However, there is also an extended version that adds even more about the wonderful Savior.

I decided to add the video of both for your edification and enjoyment.

Shorter Version:

Extended Version:

Bookmark and Share

Got Questions?

In a previous entry, I mentioned that I answer questions for an online service called Got Questions. This usually takes the form of a question submitted by a user and a few days to craft an answer that is sent back to them.

Recently, several writers were asked to write articles for the website. I asked to be assigned two questions that revolve around a biblical view of Creation. My first article has been submitted, approved, and posted on the site. I am very thankful to Got Questions for an opportunity to minister online in this way. I highly recommend the service.

I also want to add a link to the article. I hope you read it and enjoy it. Also, use the comments section on this blog to tell me what you think. The link is below:

“What happened on each of the days of Creation?”

Bookmark and Share

Got Questions

I wanted to share with everyone an excellent online ministry GotQuestions.org.

Got Questions is a ministry that enables people to ask a wide range of questions and receive a solid biblical response.  Questions range from the deeply theological to daily life.  In addition to asking questions, previous questions are available to search and read online.  There is also an option to sign up for a question of the week to be received by email

After several years of using this service for research purposes, I decided to apply as a writer.  So I cannot be unbiased about this ministry.  Instead, I am grateful for an opportunity to be a part of this ministry.  I have placed a banner link in the sidebar of the blog for any that would like to visit GotQuestions.org.

Bookmark and Share