Pine Tree Ministries

Welcome to the online home of Pine Tree Ministries. My name is Karl Crawford and I chose Pine Tree Ministries because it is a combination of my physical and spiritual heritage. I was born and raised on a piece of property known as The Pines Nursery.

Having worked in cemeteries since the age of 12, I have met with thousands of families over the years and have been an observer of their passage through grief. I have also been present as family members have passed from this life to the next and experienced grief first hand.

No human is an expert on your grief, but our Loving Heavenly Father is – and He keeps His promise to never leave us nor forsake us – even to the grave and beyond. I ask you to join me, to participate, to discuss, that we may grow together in our knowledge of the Lord and His desire to work in us and through us.

Recent Blog Posts

  • 24 Nov, 2022


    I remember the evening a few years ago now when a visitor attended our church service.  He was a slender man with lots of energy and it was obvious he was trying to find a place to sit.  Certainly, he was aware of the rules for the Crawford Section; that we were very selective about someone invading our turf…but alas, he was not cognizant of our rules made for such a time as this.  I made casual eye contact with......

  • 10 Jul, 2022

    Roe v. Wade? Or love?

    Roe v. Wade is the name of a Supreme Court case decided back in 1973.  A case that has divided much of the nation since that day.  In my social circle in my tiny berg in Northern Michigan the 1973 decision did not have much impact at the time.  Over the years, the gravity of taking the life of an unborn human being by the choice of the mother seemed very wrong to me.  I began to be more involved......

  • 26 Mar, 2022

    Do You Trust God?

    We all remember the story of Abraham and Sarah waiting so many years for the male child that God had promised them.  This was the only child who could fulfil the promises God had made to them on multiple occasions. (That promise to Abraham and Sarah was made to you and me too.  The promise was not only for their progeny as the sands of the seashore but for a Deliverer.  That Deliverer is as important to me thousands of......

  • 12 Mar, 2022

    A Long Decade? Or a Few Short Years?

    The last few years have been difficult since we were made aware of some new type of flu found in a place called Wuhan on the other side of the world.  “Normal” has become a fading dream as the results of that medical discovery have changed our personal world and our greater world.  I remember the first time I heard on the news of this new virus: “It will affect mainly older people and those with comorbidities” the young newscaster......

  • 16 Feb, 2022


    My sister-in-law, Kenda, passed away almost 22 years ago now. It doesn’t seem like it could possibly be that long since we have been together. It would have been about this time of year that I would have done her income tax for her after her husband died. And she would have been flummoxed because she was so uncomfortable having people do things for her, in her mind it was to be the other way around. I woke up this......

  • 12 Feb, 2022

    Psalm 23—For Where I am, and Where You are, Right Now

    I have been reading/studying/meditating my way through the Psalms in 2022.  I am reading the Bible and through 4-5 commentaries and am at different points in each of them.  This week, I came to Psalm 23 in one of the commentaries.  I had already read it in the Scriptures and, like you, can pretty much quote it by heart.  When I read it in the Word, my mind fell back on what I already knew, “The Lord is my Shepherd,......

  • 01 Jan, 2022

    Happy New Year!!!

    Every December 31, the next day is anticipated as “the year” when a fresh start is given to each one of us. A new chance to get our weight under control, a new hope for better family relationships, a better job, or more security for our future. Some resolve to begin daily devotions for a closer walk with the Lord. Some hope for a fresh start for their marriage, while others hope for someone to marry. Someone on Facebook said......

  • 23 Dec, 2021


    Do you ever get the idea that some people are going to be with us forever, that other folk will die, but not them?  I think that Wilbur Wagenschutz was one of those people for me.  When I see his obit on my desk, it jolts me, it doesn’t seem real. Wilbur had been a long-time friend of my wife’s family, and when I came into her family, I became a friend of Wilbur’s as well.  He had known my......

  • 12 Dec, 2021

    Christmas Past…and Present

    Christmas, the time of year, brings many emotions as our thoughts of the holiday are formed by our past experiences.  My parents were fully involved in Christmas.  My father sold Christmas trees from his salesroom, formerly known, as recently as a few weeks before, as the family’s two-car garage.  My mother made wreaths and other items in her workshop, which also doubled later that day as the dining room table.  The look and smell of Christmas was evident throughout the......

  • 27 Jun, 2021

    The Thorn’s Gift

    There are certain writers whose writings I am drawn to: Philip Yancey, Elisabeth Elliot and Joni Eareckson Tada seem always to speak to my inner me. As I write these words, I have hundreds of books within my reach but the ones that I reread are written by those authors. They share a common message; the author has gone through difficult times. They have wrestled with the pain caused by those trials.  They have wrestled with the promises of God—and......

  • 07 Jun, 2021

    The Gift no one wants—really!

    I write about grief often; it is what seems to be in the ink of my pen as it touches paper. I begin to write with some other theme in mind…and before too long I am writing about grief, and heartache, and loss. But in writing about the trials of life, I must also write about the faithfulness of God who always keeps His promises to care for His children. Just as I believe that this life may be full......

  • 30 May, 2021

    So, You Are Telling Me there is a Chance?

    A while back I felt compelled to study the Sermon on the Mount again. I thought I should start in chapter 4 of Matthew to get a run up to the sermon, to have some context. I was immediately struck by the words “Jesus was led up…to be tempted by the devil.” Who thinks it is a good idea to tempt God? Just exactly what does one tempt God with? The One who has spoken all things into existence and......

“Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world.”
John Muir

Books on Grief by Karl Crawford

We grieve when a loved one dies which is expected and natural, but it can be devastating if we get “stuck” in grief. I have written two books on the subject of grief and they are available at or by contacting me personally.

Grief Comforting Grieving Karl Crawford

Grief and Comforting the Grieving

This book uses the scriptures to help us understand the purpose of grief and how to move through it.

Grace of God Revealed in Death of Man Karl Crawford

The Grace of God Revealed in the Death of Man

This little book discusses God’s promise in Psalm 23 to walk with us through the valley of the shadow of death.