Known by its Athabascan name “Denali”, meaning “Great One”, majestic Mount McKinley is located in Alaska’s Denali National Park. With a peak at 20,320 feet high, Denali is the tallest mountain in the United States. History tells us that the first settlers are believed to be nomadic hunters and fishermen who developed villages and fish camps on the rugged terrain, and by the early 1900s, settlers came to Denali for the prospect of finding gold and striking it rich.
President Eisenhower signed the Alaska Statehood Act on July 7, 1958 which made Alaska the 49th state of the United States of America, and Old Glory was proud to boast seven rows of seven stars.
Despite the destructive earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck south central Alaska on Good Friday in 1964, hard working Americans with pioneering spirits from the Lower 48 continued to pack up their belongings and move north to Alaska in search of adventure and a better life.
Chuck Heath, Sr. and his family from Sandpoint, Idaho were no exception.
Can you imagine what the Heath family thought as they soared above the Rocky Mountains and the Yukon in a Grumman Goose marveling at the lofty summits and snowy peaks of the Land of the Midnight Sun? Never becoming dismayed at the enormity of their challenge or the uncertainty of their future, the young family pressed onward to Skagway via Juneau when others would have turned around and headed back home.
Just as the Heath family encountered physical mountains upon their move to Alaska, our nation today is confronted with figurative mountains: energy dependence, illegal immigration, socialized healthcare, record-high unemployment, disregard for the unborn, the debt crisis, and the war situation. These troubling issues can seem daunting and permanent. Never learn to live with a mountain of difficulty. Instead, like the Heath family, move forward in faith without fear or intimidation.
As Chuck, Sr. moved his family into a small house in the tiny town of Skagway, he had no way of knowing that his infant daughter, Sarah Louise, would grow up to be a city councilwoman, a mayor, a governor, a vice presidential nominee, a best-selling author, and a serious contender for the American Presidency.
Fast-forward to Fairbanks on July 26, 2009, as the infant daughter is now Governor Sarah Palin bidding farewell to the Alaska governorship by wholeheartedly thanking its citizens for allowing her to serve and challenging the media to respect freedom of speech and honor the American soldier by, “Quit making things up.” Governor Palin may have walked off that Fairbanks stage into an unknown political future, but she had mountain-moving faith in that, “The steps of the righteous are ordered by the Lord.” (Psalm 37:23)
Governor Palin stepped out of one realm and into another as she has effectively endorsed common-sense conservative candidates like Alaska’s Joe Miller, Washington’s Clint Didier, and California’s Carly Fiorina, who are ready to take the U.S. Sentate by storm, and gubernatorial candidates like Iowa’s Terry Branstad, South Carolina’s Nikki Haley, and New Mexico’s Susan Martinez who are principled leaders and know what is right for their state.
Encountering mountains--- difficulties, problems, hardships, the unknown – in life is inevitable. Like the Heath and Palin families, we all come across them. Some of our “mountains” are big like the Rockies, and some are as intimidating as Denali. The secret to moving mountains is to never become separated from our statement of faith. We must keep our words connected to our faith as we stand alongside Governor Palin to take our country back in the 2010 mid-term elections.
America’s best days are ahead, and there ain't no mountain high enough that can't be conquerored as we move toward conservative victory in 2010!
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