Hawk Nelson

Well this is a blog post that I never thought I would have to write. News broke earlier this week that Jonathan Steingard of Hawk Nelson revealed in an Instagram post that he “no longer believes in God”. Naturally the mainstream media ran wild with this story in adoration for Jon. Nowadays it seems that they are for anything against God and His believers and followers. I don’t state that lightly or flippantly. I believe it to be true, as the media proves it to me with each new day.

As you may know I avoid controversial topics like the plague (pun intended) here on social media. I thought about completely avoiding this news item of the week, but I run a blog with a mission statement of “sharing God’s Good News through His music”. It’s my online ministry, so I thought about it, I prayed about it, and here’s what I’ve come up with.

Jon is currently going through a crisis that didn’t start earlier this week. It started awhile ago – several years ago. Only Jon and God know. Jon is not giving up on God. This is just a season for him. He’s leaving the door open for God. And God will wait for Jon to return to Him. Hopefully that happens before it’s too late. As long as Jon is still alive and breathing – it’s not too late. His bandmate brothers are praying for him, and I am praying for him. I know that many of you are praying for him too.

Jon is 36. He’s known God all of his life. I didn’t know who God was until I was 39. Salvation started for me 14 summers ago. Some thought it was a passing fad, and even I thought so as well for a season. I’m still on fire for Jesus Christ, and nowadays I don’t hide it from anyone. I want to be closer to God tomorrow than I am today.

As one who didn’t believe and follow God for the first 39 years of my life I can’t imagine what it’s like the other way around – believing and following God – and then not. I don’t know how that works. I don’t really want to know how that works.

Sadly the 20-year career of Hawk Nelson as a band is probably over – unless one of the other bandmates steps up to become the lead singer (like Jon did in 2012 when Jason Dunn left the band to go solo).

We may never hear Hawk Nelson on the radio again. K-LOVE abruptly stopped playing their music. Up until earlier this week they were playing them frequently day and night. I have 10 Hawk Nelson songs on my iTunes from 2004 to 2018, and 2 of them are currently in heavy rotation on my iPod Shuffles. There’s a few additional recent songs that I plan to purchase and download. I will not abandon their music. As one of my favorite bands since salvation started for me – they didn’t stop being one of my favorites just because the lead singer left God behind.

From Hawk Nelson’s recent single “He Still Does (Miracles)”:

♫ When you’re at the end of the road
And it’s not the one that you would’ve chosen
When you’re at the end of your road
And you’re holding on, but feel like you’re fallin’

With every option exhausted
You’ve tried everything you know
You saw a light – then you lost it
But there is still hope

Like the fire in the night
Like the ocean parted wide
Like the grave – empty inside
You will see – He still does miracles ♫

All rights reserved (c) 2020 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries

My Final 3½ Years Of My Air Force Career

I am currently in my final 3½ years of my Air Force career (hence the title above). In 2 weeks I’ll observe my 35TH anniversary as an Air Force employee. After 5 years, and 10 years, and 15 years, and even 20 years – I never imagined making this my career. Even in 2007 after 22 years I was on the verge of moving on. But then the greatest 13 years of my career began, and it continues to this day.

According to my plans – which are always superseded by God’s plans (I wrote and preached an entire sermon on that) – I’ll be retiring sometime in December 2023 at the age of 56½ (my minimum retirement age). I plan to move about 3 hours north of where I am now – up into the central part of the state of Florida along the Lake Wales Ridge – the spine of the peninsular part of Florida. A long long time ago when present-day Florida was submerged underwater – only the spine existed as a narrow series of small islands (much like the Keys exist today). The sandy ground of the region are remants of when beaches existed there.

There’s a 54-mile stretch of U.S. 27 that rides high atop the Lakes Wales Ridge from State Road 70 to the south to State Road 60 to the north. It includes the historic small towns of Lake Placid, Sebring, Avon Park, and Lake Wales. That’s my retirement destination – with Sebring being Ground Zero.

I’ve already selected a few neighborhoods (online) that I’d like to check-out for future living possibilities. At some of them you have to be 55 years of age or older. OK – I’ll see you all in 2022.

Sebring Pier over Lake Jackson looking back towards downtown

During my retirement years I hope to work part-time somewhere (maybe Publix), and volunteer hours at various places such as a local military museum and a large state park. I also hope to go in to full-time ministry with a local church. I’ll be very busy during my upcoming retirement years, but I’ll also make time to travel more – especially right here stateside – where I’ve only set foot in a little more than half of our 50 states.

It’ll be a brave new world that I’ll enter into in about 3½ years, but I’ll be ready for it.

All rights reserved (c) 2020 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries

My Top 10 Hits – Week 171

Every Monday (except this week on Tuesday) I post my all-new Top 10 Christian hit music chart based on personal preference and influenced by radio airplay. It’s the continuation of a weekly hobby that goes back 40+ years. Here it is – for the week ending Sunday May 24TH 2020:

1 1 18 I Will Fear No More The Afters
2 2 11 Alive & Breathing Matt Maher
3 4 6 Keep Me In The Moment Jeremy Camp
4 3 23 Almost Home MercyMe
5 5 4 Love We Are Messengers
6 6 5 Great Things Phil Wickham
7 8 2 Amadeo (Still My God) Ryan Stevenson
8 9 2 No Impossible With You I AM THEY
9 10 2 The Father’s House Cory Asbury
10 7 9 (I’ll) Never Let You Down Hawk Nelson Ft. Hunter & Tara

# 1 This Week In:
2019 – “Born Again” – Austin French
2018 – “The Way (New Horizon)” – Pat Barrett
2017 – “Live Like You’re Loved” – Hawk Nelson

Welcome to the first week of Summer, and with the new season comes an upgrade to my chart. It’s displayed in an actual chart now !  It’s easier to read, and it’s actually easier to update now each weekend. “TW” is this week’s chart position, ‘LW” is last week’s, and “WKS” is total number of weeks on my chart.

Earlier this weekend I quietly uploaded a brand new chart to my blog. It’s a compilation chart (in an actual chart) of every single # 1 hit during this current era – all 47 to date since February 2017. This chart will be updated each week with each new weekly chart. You can track to it via the “CHART-TOPPERS SINCE 2017” menu item near the top of this page.

This concludes another weekend of blog posts. I’ll do it again this upcoming weekend – with 4 new entries on Thursday, Friday, Sunday, and Monday. I don’t blog on Saturdays. That’s my day of rest.

Your likes, follows, and comments are always appreciated. Thank You for being part of my online ministry to share God’s Good News and win souls for Christ through His music. I’m also on Twitter and Flickr.

Be blessed my friends !  May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

All rights reserved (c) 2020 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries

Memorial Day

2008 Memorial Day Poster #3.

It’s Memorial Day here in the U.S.A. It’s not appropriate to say “Happy Memorial Day”, for this is a truly solemn holiday. It’s the day each year that we honor our fallen heroes – those military personnel who served their country in a time of war – and who gave the ultimate sacrifice to keep our freedom strong. They gave their life.

This is not a day for those like me who once served in the U.S. Armed Forces, for I am still alive. My day is Veterans Day on November 11TH. It is not a day for those who are currently serving in the military. That day is Armed Forces Day – the 3RD Saturday of May.

On this day I remember our fallen heroes. I will never forget.

There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:13)

All rights reserved (c) 2020 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries

Sunday Scripture

Happy Sunday May 24TH 2020. This is the day that our LORD has made. Let us rejoice. Let us be glad in it. Let us be the church. Let us bring the church – in everything we do – and everywhere we go.

For me (and for many of you as well) this is our 10TH Sunday in a row of no corporate church services. Many church services have been presented online – either LIVE or on Memorex. (If you get that reference then you are as old as me.)

I’ve watched many church services online. My Pastor has generally preached solo on Saturday nights from our sanctuary – recording his sermons – and then uploading them to Facebook soon after. I’ve been watching them the next morning – on Sundays right around 10 AM – the exact time when I would normally be driving to our church building. (Hopefully we’ll be able to do that again real soon – maybe as soon as next Sunday.) I miss my church family in-person.

Incidentally you can view any of my Pastor’s recent sermons on Facebook by clicking this link.

I’ve recently updated and enhanced my SERMONS page here on my blog. Check it out for my own sermon history. I’ve got future enhancements planned for this blog to include audio files of sermons. It would be a new concept for me – preaching a sermon while recording it (via my iPhone), and then uploading it as an audio file to my blog. I’ve never done it before, so I’ll experiment with it. Maybe there’s a podcast in my future ?

You know our God doesn’t want us to stay in place in neutral mode. He wants us to keep moving forward towards Him and His light. He wants us to move forward physically and spiritually. I believe that if you’re not learning something new about God on each new day of this journey then you’re not moving forward towards Him. You may not be retreating, but you may be standing still, or just barely moving along. Standing still does not get you closer to God. Barely moving along means you’re missing out on a lot of opportunities – on a lot of miracles – that God has planned for you. We must keep learning each and every day that God gives us on this Earth. Older people can learn about God from younger people. Longtime believers and followers of God can learn about God from newer and even baby Christians just learning how to walk on this journey.

Together we must:

Trust in the LORD with all your heart. Do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take. Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead – fear the LORD and turn away from evil. Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones. (Proverbs 3:5-8)

All rights reserved (c) 2020 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries

My Top 5 Hits RETRO – 1990

Every 2ND, 3RD, and 4TH Friday of the month I post the Top 5 of one of my classic hit music charts based on personal preference and influenced by radio airplay from either 15, 20, or 30 years ago this weekend (rotating each week).

It’s the 4TH Friday of the month, so I go back 30 years ago. Here it is – for the week ending Sunday May 20TH 1990:

  1. “Room At The Top” – Adam Ant
  2. “The Price Of Love” – Bad English
  3. “Peace In Our Time” – Eddie Money
  4. “This Old Heart Of Mine” – Rod Stewart & Ronald Isley
  5. “Club At The End Of The Street” – Elton John

30 years ago – back when I had more spare time on my hands – I compiled and published a Top 40 hit music chart every week. As a special treat this week I present to you a list of the artists that appeared from chart positions 6 to 40 in alphabetical order:

Aaron Neville
Alannah Myles
The B-52s
Belinda Carlisle
Bell Biv Devoe
Billy Joel
Deborah Harry
Don Henley
Gloria Estefan And The Miami Sound Machine
Jane Child
Linda Ronstadt
Luther Vandross
Marcia Griffiths
M.C. Hammer
Michael Bolton
Motley Crue
Phil Collins
Richard Marx
Sinead O’Connor
Sydney Youngblood
Taylor Dayne
Wilson Phillips

WOW !  What a line-up. It’s a who’s who list of the biggest pop stars in the U.S.A. as the Summer of 1990 was just getting started. It’s what I was listening to in my dorm room, at the workplace, and on the road in my 1989 red Geo Spectrum.

It’s halftime my friends. I’ll be back on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday with 3 more blog posts for this weekend. Enjoy your Saturday. Thanks for going RETRO with me !

All rights reserved (c) 2020 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries

My Last 2 Years On Active Duty Air Force

National Military Appreciation Month continues on this 3RD Thursday of the month with my own appreciation of my 35-year career with the United States Air Force. It’s no secret that I’m currently in the greatest 13-year era of my career. It started at the end of July of 2007, and it continues to this day. But there’s a runner-up to this great era, and that’s January 1991 to February 1993.

I was sent to war (Operation Desert Shield / Storm) as 1991 began. I didn’t volunteer for it. I’m actually quite antiwar. I was sent as punishment by my supervisors at the time. They didn’t like me, and they made life miserable for me. I threatened to report them for harassment. Before I could take action on that they sent me away to Saudi Arabia.

As it turns out my deployment overseas into the war zone turned out to be the turning point of my career back then. I was scared over there due to an uncertain future, but I also made new friends with fellow airmen from other bases, and I matured quite a bit in “Tent City” in the desert. I flopped at building fuel tanks, but I exceled at building bombs.

When I returned home to Homestead AFB after the war I was immediately sent home to my family near Washington D.C. for up to 30 days of uncharged “rest and recuperation” leave. When I returned to the base I met my brand new supervisor. You see my previous supervisor, and a few others as well – were relieved of their duties and sent away while I was away. I wasn’t informed of the specifics, but the outcome was great. There was even a reorganization of our squadron and flight structure. We even moved to a different building down towards the other end of the airfield. It continued the peak of my career at that time that started at wartime.

And then Hurricane Andrew destroyed the base. I became a “refugee” at Andrews AFB Maryland. I picked that base because it was my hometown base at the time – closest to my family. I really liked my supervisor and coworkers at my new base. They treated me nice. They respected me. I respected them. I informed them quite early on that I would not be reenlisting for a 3RD 4-year term in early-1993, so they had me for about 6 months to do what they wanted with me. They had me teach them everything I knew about the computer system and database that we managed and utilized in my career field at that time. They were so impressed that they had me teach the rest of the base as well. I was essentially a teacher for my 6 months there. They gave me a bunch of awards for my work during my short stay there – the most prominent of which hangs on my wall just above my computer workstation here.

My last duty day was the same day that the World Trade Center in New York City was bombed the first time around (Friday February 26TH 1993). We found out about the bombing via overhead TV sets at Pizza Hut where we had my farewell luncheon. I went on “terminal leave” for a month after that, and at the end of March I was officially out of the Air Force after nearly 8 years, or so I thought …

gray plane inside hangar
Photo by Kelly Lacy on Pexels.com

All rights reserved (c) 2020 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries