Anna Maria Island, Florida

We left Saturday, February 9th, to celebrate our 48th anniversary.

Our anniversary being February 6th is one that makes you want to go south and seek warmer weather.

This year we wanted to just hook up our travel trailer and go. We didn’t prebook. We just headed south. We did have a destination in mind. Anna Maria Island.

We underestimated the amount of other travelers heading south. The only park we could find a space was in Wesley Chapel, near Zephyrhills, Florida. This is about a hour and half from the Island.

We were able to have lunch on the island, on Sunday. We also returned Monday and took a picnic with us. They have great places for the public to enjoy the area. There are shaded places with picnic tables, clean bathrooms. There is a dock on one side for fishing, and sand and swimming area’s across the street.

This is a great place to bring your family for a great vacation

True to Life Realities

Dreams are aspirations, ambitions, and idea’s.

When we allow ourselves to ‘daydream,’ we let our imaginations out of the cage and allow them to fly.

Then, too many of us, sigh and force ourselves back into a reality that says those dreams are just wild imaginations.

What if that is wrong thinking? What if the worlds reality is holding us down.

Have you ever heard, ” Get your head out of the clouds, and get your feet on the ground?”

I’m sure you have, if you’ve lived over 5 minutes, or at least you have heard something like it.

Words can tear you down or they can build you up.

Negativity can be like a taser and paralyze your movement. But only if you allow the atmosphere to reside in you.

We live in this world but we are not of this world.

John 17:6, 26 are the words of Jesus explaining that we come out of the world, when we believe his word and trust in his name.

Christ prayer for protection, joy, love, and unity with him , applies to those who believe in him.

When we believe, we come out of the world, and our belief sanctifies us.

Our atmosphere changes from one of negativity to one, that says ” all things are possible to those who love God.”

If you believe, True to Life Reality can be your new world. Dream Big!

Recognizably Different

I’m in love with the potential of the new year.

At the minimum, we have at least 365 new opportunities to excel in life.

We will have to be very intentional. I already know that the year 2019 will be a year of Distinction.

I know that because I intend to make the best of it! I intend to prepare for it!

Since I know there are 365 days in a year, that means I am training for a marathon, not a sprint.

Yes, it’s the first of the year. I’m excited! I wrote down my goals and intentions to be recognizably different in the world. I want everything I do to be as distinctive as my father in heaven.

My vision for the year is to align with Jesus first and foremost and his vision stated in John 10:10 “Life and Life abundantly. ”

Yet, I know the first part of the verse says, I have a enemy. He plans to steal, kill, destroy.

My preparation has to include preparation for my years journey. Anyone can ‘keep the faith’ in a sprint. But my vision of making 2019 align with God’s will for my life will not happen overnight.

Therefore I’m preparing for a marathon race. It begins with a decision, and continues with determination and sacrifice. The goal is fight the good fight of faith. To practice true biblical freedom.

On the chopping block:

Anything that has the ability to steal, kill, or destroy in my life.

I’m downsizing. If it’s not speaking life, it’s not speaking into my life.

Hope this inspires someone besides me!

Paris, France

I was presented the opportunity to spend 12 days in Paris, France. Of course I took it!

I knew I would be out of my comfort zone. Different culture, different language, and different money, was just the top 3 things I expected.

What I didn’t expect was the very fast pace it would take to get around!

I got shut out on the metro one time and one time only. I learned to push my way in like the rest of them. I saw a lady get her case stuck in the door and I am a quick learner. When the alarm sounds the door closes, get in or get out, it’s going to close.

I busted my tail on the streets of Paris, visiting museums, mausoleums, and monuments . I literally busted my tail on the cobblestone street as I tripped and landed on my backside.

My favorite part was not the Eiffel Tower, though it is beautiful, especially at night. It was not the ballet, though I love the interpretation of Cinderella. It wasn’t even the beautiful Notre Dame Cathedral with all its history and stained glass windows.

My favorite was our visit to Omaha Beach in Normandy. I wish I could fully explain why! I really felt a solemn peace.

It was a humbling experience as we encountered the many graves, and were reminded of the heartbreak of that day, on Omaha Beach.

I strongly felt the presence of God and maybe even the soldiers, who rested there.

The graves with each name engraved and the number given them engraved on the back of the graves brought a emotional response.

One grave I saw was a unknown soldier. Unknown by man, but certainly known by God. Of course no number on the back of his grave.

Later that day, the flag was lowered over the American Cemetery. As we stood there tears filled my eyes,

I wish that war didn’t have to happen. I grieved for what mankind is capable of doing to one another.

Yet, at the same time my respect for their heroism is very high. I thank God for the United States Military, and for their continual sacrifice to keep us safe!

May God bless America!

The Last Quarter

The year 2018 is winding down. We are in the last quarter.

As we march toward the new year, I am drawn to look through my journal at the year in its entirety.

I was given a word by God to live under for 2018. It was “sustain.”

That was an important word for me. It kept me balanced as fierce, oppositional winds raged against our family. But God was faithful and made a way when we didn’t see a way. We bent but we didn’t bow! Glory to God!

In this last quarter, the first day of October, God gave me a very clear word to continue what he began in January.

The word is STAND.

This time though I am sensing, not to just hold, but to hold and move out.

I heard him say, Stand for Righteousness! Stand between & Stand against! STAND!

I received 2 confirmations, immediately, within minutes from writing down the word Stand for, Stand between, and Stand against. He told me exactly what I was to stand for, between and against.

Stand for righteousness:

Self- explanatory!

Stand Between:

I must pray, believe, and encourage myself and other believers, that God’s word and promises belong to us.

Faith, healing, abundant life, belong to us through salvation. This is very important truth!

The between times is what gets most people! Its the hardest in the between time, where you receive the promise by faith, and the final manifestation of the actual evidence.

Faith can be like the shot on the starting line of a race!

We are believing in faith at the beginning, and it’s all good, if it’s a short race to the finished line!

But what happens if it’s a marathon? What happens when stamina is needed and we aren’t prepared?

What happens in the ‘between,’ of seeing and getting the promised thing? When we can’t see the finish line and the obstacle course pops up?

We need prayer and encouragement to keep our eyes on God. He cannot lie! If he said he will do it, he will. We can’t give up!

We must be prepared to stand in the between times!

Clarity is needed! Clarity comes from Renewing your mind!

Clarity comes from Putting on faith glasses, and keeping them on!

To Stand against:

I actually got a email with the words,’Stand Against,’ in the title, within minutes of the understanding of ‘stand between.’

Stand against:

It was concerning standing against wickedness! Against unrighteousness in our nation!

As I thought about it, I realized we must stand against apathy!

We must stand against Anti- Christ activity.

We stand against compromise. Com-promise is anti promise.

I have been giving a word in the last quarter to Stand.

Stand for righteousness. Stand in between the promise and the fulfillment. Stand against unbelief.

I’m putting on my faith glasses. Putting on my armor. Setting my face like a flint.

John 2:15 He made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle, he scattered the coins of the money changers, and overturned their tables.

Think on that!

Time to stand! As for me and my house we will serve the Lord!

Cruising into 70!

Introducing the 70’s Sailing Crew

Our shirts say, ” Cruise Control.”

Sitting in the middle is my sister Faye. Her shirt says, “Cruising My Way into 70”

She reached the age 70 before us and we wanted to celebrate with her! So her sisters, and some of her nieces took her on a cruise to the Bahama’s.

We had a blast on the Royal Caribbean Enchantment of the Seas Ship. Hats 🎩 off to our captain, who was from the Ukraine. His crew boasted 52 different nationalities! Including the United States. The display of the different cultures working together was one of the highlights from our trip! We loved the Flag Ceremony!

We also loved how the waiters learned everyone’s name on the first night at our dinner hour. And of course we loved the great entree’s.

Also at the Buffet Style Diner, all the waiters lined up as they opened the doors and clapped as those who waited in line came in. They knew how to celebrate with the passengers!

We especially enjoyed our day on the Island Of Cocoa Cay! The Island Crew literally roasted a pig!

So our trip consisted of lots of good food, lots of sunshine, and lots of celebration. Some of our ‘crew’ enjoyed snorkeling in the beautiful Blue Sea.

Some went on a tour and swam with the Sea Lions.

Oh yea, and everyone went shopping! That’s goes without saying! Lots of shopping in the Bahama’s and on the ship!

Last but not least, I want to boast about God, and thank him for the safe traveling, and also for the blessing of a family that loves each other perfectly, even though we are not perfect!

Well, some of us are. But, I wouldn’t want to single anybody out!

To the other half of our family who didn’t get to go, we love you! Let’s do this next year, bigger!