What have the Douglases been up to lately? Well! It’s been quite a year. In fact, I would say that not a month goes by without some exciting (or challenging) adventure in our lives. That’s a good thing, right...?
Our daughter, Lorelle, was married to Drew Harper last July. It was a lovely day but tough on the dad bringing her down the aisle! It was hard not to see the little girl that used to run into my arms whenever I came home (or out of a room, or wherever!) instead of an “all-grown-up” beautiful lady. Leanne was not the star of the wedding, but she was certainly the star of the preparation, getting everything ready (and staying up until 3:00 the night before the wedding!). Our friend and Timberline’s Office Manager, Megan, was also a star in keeping everything organized and helping out the day of the wedding. In the end, it all went beautifully, I only shed a few tears, and we were happy to welcome Drew into our family.
My New Book: Two Paths
During COVID, I began to write a new book, Two Paths: Discover the Way that Leads to Life. Initially, I planned it for my kids, centered around life lessons I had learned, but my family persuaded me to publish it. After refocusing, significant revisions, and input from many early readers, I am mostly pleased with it now. Furthermore, Word Alive Press has accepted it for publication, and we expect it to be available in stores and online by the fall. It is a discipleship book about following Jesus in all aspects of our lives. I hope it will be helpful to many.
Health and a Pandemic
When you’re immunocompromised, the last thing you want is a worldwide pandemic! According to a scientific study, my medications for Crohn’s disease made me over 400 times more likely than others in my demographic to get very sick or die from COVID. Yikes! Meanwhile, Leanne had cancer surgery in 2021, making her also very susceptible to illness. So, when everyone else was throwing their masks away and returning to restaurants, we still had to be extra careful. We both eventually got COVID last June (while still being very careful on a driving trip to Tofino), but by God’s grace and with the antiviral Paxlovid, neither of us got too sick. And we’re thankful!
I hit an unexpected milestone last month – eighteen years as the director at Timberline Ranch! What was an eight-month interim position has somehow stretched to where I am now the longest-serving director in the camp’s 62-year history. None of that could have happened but by God’s grace and the support of my family, especially Leanne. There have been many highs and lows along the way, and there were many times I wanted to quit, but God has done amazing things. I believe the camp may be in the best place it's been in for a very long time. COVID was challenging, but we seem to be moving in the right direction now.
Lorelle not only got married this past year, but she graduated from Columbia Bible College with a 4-year B.A. in Biblical Studies this April. She also just happened to graduate as class valedictorian and with highest honors! I was especially impressed with her tenacity and perseverance through some challenging circumstances over those years. It was adorable how she highlighted her brother Ben in her speech as the one who helped her through those first couple of years at college. Our kids are certainly a huge blessing to us and to each other. Ben also graduated from CBC two years earlier, also with a B.A. in Biblical Studies.
We’ve now been at Northwest Langley Baptist Church for almost six years. For most of that time, I have been chairman of the board. I also served as worship leader for a couple of years, led the pastoral search committee, and preached every few months as needed. It was a tough season, and only with God’s strength was I able to take on so much beyond our ministry at Timberline. I’m excited to say that my term on the board is over this June! Leanne is now on the board, likely much more effective than I ever was. It’s been great to see how God has revitalized a small, seemingly dying church with a new pastor, assistant pastor, children’s ministry, and so on. It’s an excellent place to be.
Kayaking & Hiking
We wanted to get a good start on the kayaking season this year, so we first went out on March 8. It was a little brisk, but we dressed for it, and the rain clouds looked likely to stay away based on the direction of the wind. All went well until we were about ten minutes from returning to the car, and it started to rain. By the time we put the kayaks on the car, it was sleeting, and my hands were freezing, trying to tie them down! Fortunately, March 18 was beautiful and warm for kayaking on Hayward Lake, but it wasn’t until late April before we found another warm day. That allowed us to go up Widgeon Creek and hike to the falls. We continue to walk almost every day, but our hiking has been kept to a few shorter excursions. We are so thankful we live in such a fantastic area with so many lakes, forests, mountains, and streams to enjoy!
We all remember assuming that this COVID-thing would probably be over in a few months, and we could return to life as we remembered it. Apparently, the joke was on us. But it was tough on people and on relationships. The world seems to have become a much nastier place. Yet the darker it gets, the brighter the lights will show, and I believe now more than ever, those who live in the light of Jesus need to shine. I pray that we will make a difference in the lives of those around us while the opportunities are there.
We are looking forward to my three-month sabbatical in the fall. Lord willing, we hope to go to Europe in September and then return to a kitchen renovation on the house we rent from the Ranch (not so fun, but necessary). Life is very full and challenging, but as always, I am excited for the future, whatever comes our way.
Let me leave off with Hebrews 9:28:
So Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.
We eagerly await! Come, Lord Jesus, come!
. . . Craig Douglas, May 2023