Category Archives: The Father’s Cabin

Cabin 17: Row, Row Your Boat

fish

I just updated this chapter, greatly expanding it. Enjoy!

By the time the morning clouds were burned away by the midday sun, I was good and hungry for lunch. Jesus suggested we head to the lake to catch our meal.

“Jesus, I’m no fisherman, but my brother is a pro and he’s told me the fish bite best in the morning and evening, but high noon isn’t the time for fishing.”

“Well, can your brother walk on water and raise the dead?” Jesus replied with a wink. “With God anything is possible (Matt. 19:26). How about you do your job, and I’ll do mine?”

Jesus handed me an oar and we sat down in a little row boat and pushed off from shore. The calm waters sparkled as the sun reflected off the surface. An eagle flew overhead, dragon flies hovered over some cattails, while ducks chased after their lunch in the lily pads near the shore.

“Jeremy, there’s a thousand Kingdom lessons to be learned in a 12 foot row boat. But you need to leave your limited earth-bound mindset behind if you are to understand and embrace the exciting, surprising nature of life in the Kingdom of God.” Continue reading Cabin 17: Row, Row Your Boat

Cabin 21: Sweat it Out

rustic-log-cabin-design-stunning-interiors-13-2Jesus led me out of the Fishing Room, down a corridor, deeper into the mysterious Fish House. The walls and ceiling were all of warm, sweet smelling cedar planking. Lanterns lined the walls giving the place a cozy cabin feel. Under my feet, the ice was replaced by granite tile covered by a long, Persian runner of crimson hues. The soft rug was a warm and welcoming treat for my cold wet feet.

You would never have guessed we were still inside that little fishing shack on the ice. With each step, the temperature in the room increased. My nostrils were tickled by all the soothing, warming aromas of a luxury arctic spa — eucalyptus and lavender the most potent. The cold, drafty environs of the icy fishing room were replaced with the steamy warmth of the Father’s Sauna.

We reached the end of the long hallway, and stepped inside  a changing room next to two doors that looked like a sauna and steam room. I was already beginning to sweat, even though I was still wearing just my shorts and t-shirt only partially dried by the fishing stove. The curved shape of the walls and ceiling reminded me of the inner cabin of a boat.

Jesus told me to get undressed and go sit inside the sauna. He would give me further instructions once inside. As I shed my last layer of clothes, I noticed a verse on the wall over the sauna door:

STRIP OFF EVERYTHING THAT HINDERS AND THE SIN THAT SO EASILY ENTANGLES.

-HEBREWS 12:1

Continue reading Cabin 21: Sweat it Out

Cabin 20: Ice Fishing

Then immediately behind me I heard the creaking hinges of a door swinging open, and turning around I saw Jesus standing in the doorway of a little wooden ice fishing shack.

“Are you up for some more fishing?” he asked.

As I walked over toward the shack I noticed I was still dressed in sopping wet shorts and t-shirt. The angel song had raised the temperature, and a seasoned Minnesotan could tolerate shorts at 50 degrees — unless they’re wet.

“Come inside, and stand by the fire and dry out your clothes,” Jesus urged.

Over the door was a plaque with the verse:

MY SOUL LONGS FOR YOU. DEEP FROM WITHIN ME MY SPIRIT REACHES OUT TO YOU.

ISAIAH 26:8

I stepped into the ice house and just like the Father’s cabin, the inside was larger than the outside. The ordinary 6×8 ice house from the outside became a full service arctic spa on the inside with hallways and multiple doors.

I was immediately struck by the mouth-watering aroma of pan fish on a griddle. Jesus was preparing the lunch we had caught, or rather received, just before the winter storm interrupted our pleasant boat ride.

After a most satisfying meal, Jesus brought me down a hallway into a large “fishing room” where I saw probably dozens of holes drilled in the ice, and a someone seated on a bucket by each hole with a fishing line dangling in the water.

“Should we see what’s biting?” Jesus asked, again with a wink.

“Remember, Jeremy, what the ice and water represent. We are not fishing for walleyes or sunnies today. We’re here to see the kinds of things your soul yearns for, the things your heart chases after like hungry fish chasing a minnow.

Gulp. I had never felt this exposed before, as I looked at a room full of God’s servants all peering down into my soul through holes in the ice like eyes through a magnifying glass.

Continue reading Cabin 20: Ice Fishing

Cabin 19: Footprints in the Snow

The wind was steady and the snow was blinding. I could barely see my own outstretched hand as I shuffled through the deepening snow. My bare legs were now numb from the cold as I plowed through drifts nearly up to my waist.

Jesus’ footprints were barely visible and disappearing quickly. I had to keep moving. I found myself running, stumbling, falling, getting back up — again and again.

My numb shins began to burn and itch from the prolonged exposure. My eye lids were nearly frozen shut. I had to keep peeling off the frosted flakes in order to keep my eyes on the trail Jesus was blazing.

Worse than the cold wind and blinding snow, was the deafening silence I was experiencing. Snow has an insulating effect, a way of dampening the sounds of around you, until all you can hear is your own breathing and your own thoughts.

And the last thing I wanted in the world right now was to be left alone with my own thoughts.

“Jesus!?” I had been yelling out continuously, but I hadn’t heard his voice for probably 30 minutes — which felt more like 30 hours.

In the ripe silence my thoughts grew louder. Have you ever listened closely enough to your thoughts to discern they often take on different tones? At one moment they had the voice of a scared child crying out for help:

Where is he leading me? How much further? I’m cold. I want to go home. Please slow down, Jesus. I can’t keep up.

The next moment my thoughts had the sneering tone of the Accuser:

This is all your fault! You brought this upon yourself! You should just lay down, close your eyes and fall asleep into peaceful oblivion. 

Then the voice of truth again:

No, follow Jesus’ footprints! That’s all I need to do. He will guide me through this.

But the snow only increased and the tracks were beginning to disappear. A huge blast of wind came suddenly, and I found myself stumbling forward, face first into a drift. In the few seconds it took to gather myself, I had somehow lost my sense of direction. Which way was I heading? My cold, numb muscles struggled to pull me to my feet.

When I finally stood up and looked around, the footprints had completely vanished.

Continue reading Cabin 19: Footprints in the Snow

Cabin 18: Frozen Waters

A couple summers ago, I wrote about an imaginative trip to The Father’s Cabin to spend the weekend with Jesus. I wrote out of desperation, from a spiritually dry place, in hopes that the creative writing process would force me into a real conversation with Jesus. It worked!  My soul was nourished as I spent time chatting with Jesus, riding shotgun in his car, walking with him in the woods, fishing with him in a boat, planting with him in his garden, dancing with him in the rain, and imagining the kind of room he goes to prepare for me out of love. 

And then I stopped writing. The end of summer came, and as I launched into the fall of ministry, I left the story hanging with Jesus and I sitting peacefully in a rowboat on calm waters. Its been 2 or 3 years now, and its time to continue the story.  However, unlike last time, this time I am writing in the middle of a cold Minnesota winter, and that will shape the scenery and experiences of this second part of my adventure at The Father’s Cabin. I invite you to come along and join me!

Jeremy Berg, Midwinter 2017

(For the record, the popular novel The Shack never even crossed my mind while I was writing. Any similarities are completely unintended. My experiences and conversations with Jesus have originated from within my own imagination shaped by the Scriptures.)

Read Part One (first 17 chapters) in PDF form HERE

Read them all in blog post form HERE.

18

Frozen Waters

So, there I sat in a boat with my Lord, bobbing gently up and down on the calm waters of the ocean blue lake. The warmth of the midday sun on my neck, the fluttering of butterflies overhead, the sounds of June bugs all around. For a moment all was right in the world. Complete shalom.

Suddenly, without warning, a gust of frigid arctic air blew from the north, stirring up the calm waters into an angry tempest. The blue sky was replaced by a dark, ominous gray. The pleasant sounds of summer were replace by the angry howl of a whirlwind.

In an instant, like a great magician waving his wand, an arctic blast and blowing snow transformed the summer lake setting into a frozen, desolate winter wasteland. Green trees were now covered with frosty white snow. The blue sky was now a dull gray. The blue water was now a snow covered glacier. It felt like I was inside a snow globe that had just been violently shook.

Still sitting in the boat, now frozen solid into the lake, I turned to Jesus for some explanation and reassurance.

But he was gone.

Continue reading Cabin 18: Frozen Waters

Cabin 16: The Neighbor’s Well

This post is in memory of Robin Williams and a loving plea to all those who are or know somebody suffering from severe depression. Please don’t give up; Hope is knocking on your door. -JB

Jesus had one more thing to show me before we took a lunch break. He led me over the property line and down the hill toward the neighbor’s cabin. I was immediately struck by what I saw.

The neighbor’s property was completely overgrown with thick bushes, twisted trees, thorns, burs, tangled vines, exposed roots and fallen trees.  The woods around the neighbor’s cabin would have been impassable had it not been for a narrow hidden path that probably only Jesus knew. We struggled our way through until we came to a tall imposing chain link fence that went around the entire property — the barbed wire on the top screamed loud and clear: “Keep out!” Completely covered by vines now, you could hardly see through the fence to the dilapidated shack it protected. Everywhere I looked I saw “NO TRESPASSING” signs.

Screen shot 2014-08-12 at 3.02.58 PM“Uh, Jesus, maybe this isn’t such a good idea….” I suggested. The place looked like something out of a horror movie.

“Oh, don’t worry, he passed away last summer,” Jesus said. “It’s a tragic story. No visit to the Father’s Cabin is complete without pondering the tragic fate of Old Man Winters.”

“How did he die?” I wondered.

“Well, that’s just the thing. It’s not as simple as it seems. Let me show you something.”

He led me around the perimeter of the fence to a gate with a thick chain and lock. He was able to pull the door open just enough for us to squeeze through the crack. Continue reading Cabin 16: The Neighbor’s Well

Cabin 15: The Father’s Vineyard

As the rain let up and the sun returned, Jesus led me around the cabin where we entered a gated path with a sign over it that read:

“LET ME SING FOR MY BELOVED MY LOVE SONG CONCERNING HIS VINEYARD.” -Isaiah 5:1

The path weaved to and fro through what must be the Father’s gardens. We passed by rows and rows of every kind of flower, fruit and vegetable imaginable. Bubbling ponds with croaking frogs. Bird baths with splashing fowl. Friendly cartoon-sized bumblebees and dragon flies hovered over the splash of Eden I beheld. Finally we reached our destination.

“Welcome to my Father’s vineyard, “Jesus said, handing me some work gloves and a hand pruner.

“Jeremy, I have brought you to the Father’s Cabin to restore your soul. You are running on empty and beginning to languish in the heat of life’s concerns. Look carefully at the Father’s Vineyard.” Continue reading Cabin 15: The Father’s Vineyard

Cabin 14: Singing in the Rain

rainIt was still only mid-morning when we had finished seeding the lawn. What else did Jesus have on the day’s agenda? I thought.

“Don’t worry, Jeremy,” he answered my thought. “I have the entire day planned out for you, so just relax and enjoy whatever the day brings.”

This was easier said than done. I began to realize how rare it is to not have every second of every day already filled with plans, social engagements, household chores, or chasing after kids. I also realized how strange it was to NOT be the one setting the agenda. I usually have a general idea when I wake up what that particular day will bring. In fact, I like to have a rough idea what a particular week will bring.

“At the Father’s Cabin you are encouraged to recapture the spontaneous, carefree attitude of a child on summer vacation,” Jesus said. “Remember back, Jeremy, to those long summer days when you woke up to no agenda and just a big world to explore?  Floating sticks down the curb after a rain shower? Exploring the small woods behind the house that seemed to go on forever? Laying in the grass listening to the June bugs and birds identifying animal shapes in the clouds?”

Wow, if I could only go back….

“Jeremy, the Father created you in large degree to never lose that childlike spirit and wide-eyed wonder. Continue reading Cabin 14: Singing in the Rain