Jay’s Journey and Still Proud to Be An American

As Rocky and Jay cross America, this great country has been on my heart. Today they traveled from Columbia, Missouri straight across Kansas and are spending the night in Goodland, Kansas, They have covered 1559 miles and are having a great time! The most surprising sights today were the miles of wind farms they passed. You can read more about wind farms here. These powerful wind turbines produce electricity and bring millions of dollars into the economy of Kansas. As the wind produces power,so our prayers produce power, and the more we can generate for this great country of ours, the sooner we can make a difference!

Wind Turbines

One year ago today, August 31, 2014, I began a series called “Hope Through Prayer: The Daily Dare.” Throughout the month of September that year I posted a dare every day with some inspiration to encourage us to pray and believe that America could once again be “One nation under God.” I encouraged readers to pray for America every time they saw a flag. I still do this. Do not lose heart. Keep praying. Revisit the “Hope Through Prayer” series if you would like. You can find the beginning of it by clicking here or you can read one of my favorites here: “Dare to Love.” Be sure to play the sound of the flowing water. It can remind you of the power of prayer just like the wind turbines.

I wrote this on May 4, 2014 and never published it. I hope it inspires you to be proud of America again and to pray for her every day. I truly believe it’s not too late!

It’s not too late! Let’s do it! Let’s bring back the love we have for our country. Let’s stand proud and stand tall. Tonight I was privileged to attend a show here in Myrtle Beach. It was the “One” show at the Alabama theater. At the end, as expected there was a patriotic finale. Unexpected, was the feeling that rose up within me. I AM still proud to be an American. So many of us have been discouraged, disillusioned, disheartened. We don’t have to be! We can love and pray this country back to her rightful position. Sing it! shout it, Pray it! God bless America! God bless the USA!

The guys will be arriving in Denver Monday morning and will spend some time there with one of Jay’s friends who was also in Germany with him two years ago. They will go through the old west town of Cheyenne, Wyoming. They have 1449 miles ahead of them before arriving in Redding. As we travel through our day today, let’s see how much prayer power we can generate!

Have a wonderful day!

jay and coffee

Jay’s Journey and 17 Tips I Learned From Shingles

jay and coffee

Today is the second of Jay’s Journey Challenge, in which I will endeavor to retrieve some meaningful thoughts from drafts I have in my flies. I found a Part 2 to my shingles experience which I believe is worth sharing. As you recall if you read “Shingles Happened,” I felt I had a very light case and since it was caught early, I did not expect a prolonged bout with this sickness. I didn’t get off quite as easily as I had at first thought. I had strange pain in my ear and face and quite a lot of itching and some nausea. By the end of this fourth week, all symptoms are minimal. I only mention this to prepare others for what to expect and to encourage them that you really can handle it with God’s help. The extreme stories are all over the internet, and I felt I should give some hope that you can and will survive shingles. The list of things I learned will be a helpful reminder to me, and I hope you’ll get a bit of encouragement yourself whether you experience shingles or some other affliction that disturbs your normally perfect life.

 

 

 

To Sharon,

Yes, you’ve been through a lot the past few days, but you’ve learned a lot! Don’t forget what you learned:

  1. Take care of your body. Get the rest you need.
  2. Keep perspective. Realize what is most important, and it is not your work.
  3. No matter what goes wrong in your life, there are always those who have it worse.
  4. You can count on family and friends for support.
  5. Everything you read on the internet is not true or at least not true for you.
  6. Praying for others is a privilege.
  7. Praying for others is therapeutic.
  8. Praying for others is a blessing and a delight.
  9. Laughter is the best medicine.
  10. Naps are wonderful.
  11. Feeling good feels so good when you have felt bad.
  12. God listens.
  13. God speaks to you if you listen.
  14. There are a lot of nice people in the world.
  15. It is fun being nice to people even when you don’t feel like it.
  16. Nothing is more precious than time with God.
  17. You must be all right! With God’s help you have survived SHINGLES!

Thought for the Day: And as our travelers strike out again tomorrow to cover the remaining 1964 miles across this great country, how many miles will you cover tomorrow in moving toward being all that God has called you to be?

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Jay’s Journey Challenge and the Empty Nest

Click on the picture for “Heading to Redding”
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Will the Empty Nest occur?

“Yes, eventually, it will. But as is His Way, God will provide the grace available to add a few more feathers to the nest to make it more comfortable, and we will be just fine. I may not be fine this exact moment in time, but in a minute I will be and ever so thankful that God has blessed me with a wonderful husband and three fine sons, a beautiful, loving daughter-in-law and precious grandchild. We are truly blessed.”

What you have just read is a quote from “And Away He Goes,” a post I published on August 31, 2013. You might have fun reading about my experience through the night as my last born left home and country for a two month stay in Germany. But today the real thing happened.

Today Rocky and Jay departed on a 2981 mile trek across the country toward Jay’s destination: Bethel School of Ministry in Redding, California. There is no question in our minds that this is exactly where he is suppose to be. He is expecting divine encounters with God, growing, learning, and thriving in all that God has for him. He will be a part of a community of over one thousand students who all want to experience God on higher levels and become better equipped to serve Him, each in their unique way. It is going to be incredibly amazing for him, but he’ll not be returning to life as we knew it, and that’s wonderful!

Tonight I start Jay’s Journey Challenge, a seven day challenge designed to keep me busy while adjusting to what has finally occurred: the Empty Nest! I plan to pick up where I left off after “You Need a Break” and “Shingles Happened,” and I will continue going through my 55 remaining drafts and getting those trashed, revised, or published.

After this initial transition time, I have the pleasure of “adding a few more feathers to the nest,” focusing on Larry and experiencing new adventures with him. Along with hand holding, foot rubs, walks, taking advantage of our season passes to the Sky Wheel, and vacations, my plans include a lot of writing, publishing, organizing, exercising, and praying. And Larry and I really want to take time to get to know our friends better and make new friends as well. We all really do need each other in this world.

When our children start out on new adventures, we can do no less than cheer them on! God’s challenges and blessings await them, and we will be among those who shout the loudest at their accomplishments!

Here’s Jay at Fresh Brewed in Myrtle Beach on August 22, 2015 as family and friends experienced “Sounds of Jay” at his going away party.

Jay, Nick, and Larry playing a little Bluegrass.

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By the way, you might like to read Jay’s blog about his “Journey” and here’s Allie’s blog, “Step by Step.”

Here’s a quote from “Journey.” Notice that Jay’s concern is for God to take care of his family.

“What I have had to learn is that only God can truly take care of my family, and I must let Him do that. I am going to miss them but God is doing something in their lives also.”

He’s setting out on an adventure that only God knows where it leads. We’re excited for him. Prayers will be appreciated!

As I say good night, our travelers are approaching Knoxville, Tennessee, 411 miles from home with 2570 remaining. And away we go. . .

Tomorrow night, the Challenge continues.

Prayers for Jay and Allie by our dear friends and loving pastors

Shingles Happened

You think you have an earache, you take Excedrin, and you feel better for a while. The next day you notice you have a fever blister and other bumps around your chin. You are becoming miserable. You are away from home visiting your mom and hoping to get some things done for her. You realize if that is going to be possible, you had better find out what is going on.

At your mom’s suggestion you go to the “Minute Clinic” at CVS. You are diagnosed with an outer ear infection and a middle ear infection, a fever blister, and miscellaneous bumps including on your tongue that are probably related to the cold sore. So you find that you have at least three unrelated infirmities. You are given three kinds of medicine. You go back to your mom’s, happy that you know what it is, and it has been treated.

The next day you find that you are still miserable, and the bumps on your face are increasing in number. You go back to the “Minute Clinic,” which takes 142 minutes from sign-in to check-in, and the nice NP (nurse practitioner) asks why you are there when you were there yesterday. You say, “Well, I can leave if you like,” then together you discuss why you are there. She finally sends a picture of your face to a doctor across town, and he tells her what he thinks it is before seeing the picture. She writes up a prescription, and then receives a call back from him after he has seen the picture, and he says he thinks it is (drum roll here) SHINGLES. She writes a different prescription. You give her another $20, pay for your prescription and run out of CVS.

Before you are barely out of the door, you go online to read everything you can find out about SHINGLES. You hear words like “horrid,” “excruciating,” “lasting weeks or sometimes months,” “worst pain since childbirth,” “12 on a pain scale of 1 to 10.” You see pictures online that make you cringe. “Blistering, scabbing, possible scarring.”

Woman of faith that you are, you know you have a light case, and it was after all caught early with anti-viral medicine given for treatment. There will be no blistering, scabbing, or scarring.The bumps will simply fade away. You hear in your spirit, “It will last five days.” Yet there is the nagging questions about what will happen the next day. Will the pain which currently is about a 2 or 3 on a 10 point scale go to 12 or higher. Will the horrid scabs prevent you from working for the next 7 weeks?

Today is the fifth day. The bumps are all but totally faded. There are no blisters, unless they are in the ear where you can’t see them. There will be no scabbing or scarring. The last pain you felt was about 2:00 pm today. You are completely pain-free as you write.

You had some interesting times over the past 3 days. You had some wonderful naps. You even went to work the day after the diagnosis, even though you went home after the first hour when you realized you could barely hold your head up. You spent a lot of time praying.

You started cooperating with God when the pain started on Wednesday when you chose to speak health and healing over yourself. You started drawing closer to God when you started thinking of everyone you could pray for and everything you could pray about.

You now see that God had a plan in this. Does this mess with your life belief that God never lets bad things happen to His people. Yes, it actually does mess with that belief because in this you can see God making some very important adjustments.

To start with He reminded you that you were the one that allowed your immune system to break down by working too many long hours. You were pushing  your body beyond its limits to “make up for” having missed out on some opportunities in June that were out of your control.

The most important adjustment came when you started trying to get in as many 10 minute prayer sessions in a day and ended up praying more than you have in a long time.You feel like you are setting a new baseline for spending time with the Lord.

Your faith has taken a major upswing, and you plan to protect that above all else. You feel like you are living in the Presence of God once again all because you are giving Him more time and attention, all because He got your attention.

 

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