Chanute AFB Illinois

I’m coming up on the 34TH Anniversary of my graduation from USAF BMT. That stands for United States Air Force Basic Military Training. I was stationed at Lackland AFB in San Antonio Texas from June 13TH 1985 (early in the morning – like right after Midnight) to July 29TH 1985 (at dawn). It was the roughest and toughest 46 days / 6½ weeks of my life at that point. (I had just turned 18.)

On July 29TH 1985 (a Monday) I boarded a plane (with others) from San Antonio Texas to Champaign County Illinois. I got food poisoning on the plane. That was when full hot meals were still served on airplanes. After landing we were transported from the airport to Chanute Air Force Base (near Rantoul Illinois). Everyone else was taken to their respective squadrons for in-processing. I was taken to the Base Hospital where I spent a couple of days and nights recuperating.

On the 3RD day I rose again – out of my hospital bed fully recovered, and I was released to my squadron. I moved-in to my dormitory room – my home for the next 3 months. School started soon for me. I would soon learn how to be an Aircraft Maintenance Systems Analyst (think “Statistician”). I was in a class of 4.

Today – 34 years later – I am an Analyst / Statistician, and I work for the United States Air Force.

All rights reserved (c) 2019 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries

Moving

I’m not moving (for now). I’m not a fan of moving. I’ve lived in the same home for over 24 years. I moved in here when I was in my late-20s, and now I’m in my early-50s. When I do move away (in about 4 or 5 years) I’ll continue to own this home, but I’ll also own another home about 3 hours north of here up in South Central Florida. This home is all paid off. It was all paid off over 6 years ago.

During my first 28 years of life I moved no less than 14 times. I’ve stayed put ever since.

The worst move ever occurred in November 1980 when – 2 months into my 8TH grade – my family moved from Lanham Maryland to McLean Virginia (opposite sides of the Washington D.C. area). It was a radical change of culture for a 13½-year-old. I was plunged into a completely different environment that I was not prepared for, and I never got used to. I had friends in Maryland. I knew nobody in Virginia. I was a “normal” kid in Maryland. I was a “poor” kid in Virginia that nobody really wanted to associate with. I had very few friends in Virginia – and nobody that I hung out with after school. I did poorly in school, as the school system in Virginia was actually at a much higher academic level than the one that I came from in Maryland. I was essentially a “C” and “D” student through my 11TH grade. That wasn’t good enough for college, and everyone around me was definitely going to college in 1985. I eventually made the honor roll during my Senior year in high school – making all “A”s and “B”s. But it was too late. I ended up joining the military – where my now 34-year career continues.

Had it not been for that move from Maryland to Virginia towards the end of 1980 I’m thinking that my life may have been completely different than it turned out to be. Maybe I would have gone with my friends from elementary and junior and senior high school to the University Of Maryland (where my Dad went 25 years earlier). Maybe I would’ve become a Meteorologist, or gone into Radio or Television Broadcasting (my dream jobs as a teen). Maybe I would’ve met the woman of my dreams, gotten married, and started a family. Maybe I would’ve had the perfect life. Maybe I would’ve never known God. Maybe I would’ve never created this blog 12 years ago to journal this journey.

Be careful when you make decisions. Think about the possible consequences of your decisions before you go through with them. Some decisions that you make can be far bigger than you can ever imagine at the time. One decision today could change your life – or a family member’s life – or a loved one’s life – forever – for better or for worse.

All rights reserved (c) 2019 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries

My Top 5 Hits RETRO – 2004

Every Friday night I post the Top 5 of one of my classic hit music charts based on personal preference and influenced by radio airplay from either 10, 15, 20, or 30 years ago this weekend (rotating each week).

It’s the 2ND Friday of the month, so I go back 15 years ago. Here it is – for the week ending Sunday July 11TH 2004:

  1. “Ocean Avenue” – Yellowcard
  2. “Meant To Live” – Switchfoot
  3. “The Reason” – Hoobastank
  4. “Hey Mama” – The Black Eyed Peas
  5. “Pieces Of Me” – Ashlee Simpson

15 years ago this weekend seems so long ago. I had recently flipped away from electronic dance music and returned to my roots in calmer pop music. I actually don’t remember much about 2004, and I really choose to not remember much about that year. It was a forgettable year. I wasn’t happy at work, and I wasn’t particularly happy at home either. I came home to my cat every afternoon, and he adored me. He was my best friend at the time. I still miss him over 12 years after his passing. #Boots

It’s interesting what I discover when I review old E-Mails. 15 years ago TODAY – the 12TH of July of 2004 (a Monday) I drove about 650 miles from a hotel very near Walt Disney World (like a mile away) to a suburb south of New Orleans. I was TDY (military term = temporary duty) at NAS JRB New Orleans during that week. According to my extensive records I filled-up with gas twice that day during my drive westward, and I paid $1.959 and $1.919 per gallon for gas.

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

All rights reserved (c) 2019 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries

Weekend Kickoff Mini-Thoughts

Let’s try this again – a rapid-fire session of thoughts in my mind right this minute:

  • Yesterday was not such a good day at work.
  • It only takes one person and a minute to ruin a whole work day.
  • I know that today will be a much better work day.
  • I know that God is always in control no matter where I go.
  • Sometimes during those not so good work days I forget that God is with me.
  • The past 12 years of my 34-year USAF career have been the best 12 years.
  • Is it a coincidence that Jesus Christ rescued and saved me 13 years ago ?
  • No coincidence, as God doesn’t do coincidences. He does intentionals.
  • Back on the homefront I enjoy relaxing in my 77°F living room.
  • I’m feeling good with my air conditioning taking care of business.
  • All of my modern technology is right here where it belongs.
  • If it’s summer then I’m watching “America’s Got Talent” and “Big Brother”.
  • I’ve never missed a single episode of either show since the beginning of both.
  • I’m also addicted to “Live PD” on Friday and Saturday nights.
  • There was a political debate on the NBCs last night.
  • I don’t get political online or offline.
  • As an apolitical person I’m in the minority fringes both online and offline.
  • I have very solid political beliefs, but I choose not to share them with anyone.
  • I’d rather talk about the weather.
  • I’m a weather expert, so I know what I’m talking about there.
  • I’ll even talk sports with you. Hail to the Redskins !
  • I’m so looking forward to the start of the NFL season.
  • I may go to a game this season – my Redskins against the Cowboys in Dallas.
  • 33 years ago tomorrow I attended the first concert of my life.
  • I was 19 at the time, and this young teenybopper was at the final Wham! show.
  • That was at Wembley Stadium in London England.
  • Google it. It was June 28TH 1986, and I was there singing and dancing.
  • I’ve been to 100+ concerts since that first one – an average of about 3 per year.
  • My two years of living in England as an 18 to 20-year-old were wild and crazy.
  • I haven’t been back since.
  • July starts in just 4 days.
  • 2019 is almost half over.
  • This whole decade of the 2010s (or #TwentyTeens) is almost over.
  • Will we all see better in 2020 ?
  • Will we all have the vision to love each other in 2020 ?
  • Will we change the world in 2020 ?
  • Time keeps on slippin’ slippin’ slippin’ – into the future.

All rights reserved (c) 2019 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries

Welcome To The Weekend !

It’s 3 AM on this Thursday the 23RD day of May of 2019. That’s 3 AM here in South Florida U.S.A., so 8 AM in the U.K., 9 AM in South Africa, and 7 PM in New Zealand. Welcome aboard wherever you’re reading this from.

I kickoff most new weekends of blogging on Thursday at 3 AM my time, and this weekend is no different. It’s a holiday weekend here in the States – Memorial Day Weekend. Monday is Memorial Day where we honor those military personnel who died while serving their country in a time of war. I’ll have a special tribute to our fallen heroes this Monday here on my blog. That pushes my new Top 10 personal hit music chart back a day to Tuesday. So I’ve got 5 new blog posts for you this weekend in lieu of the usual 4 – starting with this one.

I’m staying in during this long holiday weekend – not going anywhere – staying out of traffic. It’ll be a sunny, dry, and hot weekend here in South Florida, so I just want to relax and enjoy my air conditioning. I’ll do my usual Bible study on Saturday, and I’ll hopefully finish writing my next sermon that I’ll preach titled “Pray & Believe”. I also want to get started on my next sermon after that. We’ll see where God takes me this weekend. Sometimes I think I know exactly what I wish to write, and then God leads me in an entirely different direction. That’s the Holy Spirit at work. I just want to go where He guides me.

I just ate a pear a few minutes ago, and it was absolutely delicious. I then Googled the health benefits of eating pears, and I found this article. I really need to buy and eat more pears. I need all of those health benefits. The results of my recent ultrasound are in. My liver, pancreas, gallbladder, bile ducts, and right kidney were all checked-out. There were 3 “impressions” or anomalies, but nothing to be overly concerned about. My liver is normal size, and it measures 13 centimeters in length. The “impression” there was a “minimal diffuse fatty liver”. If I improve my diet, exercise more, and lose a little weight then the fat can go away. More pears !

I’ve been eating smaller lunches at my desk at work, and then after that I’ve been using the 2ND-half of my lunch hour by walking it off – basically walking around the exterior grounds of my building. My Fitbit likes that. I’ve been walking about 0.6 to 0.7 miles in a nice casual walk after eating. Nothing too strenuous. In fact once I break a sweat I walk back inside. Today my walk after eating was 15 minutes – 3 minutes “peak”, 8 minutes “cardio”, and 4 minutes “fat burn”. My average heart rate was 130 BPM, and it peaked at 145 BPM. More exercise !

I think that most of you will agree with me that blogging peaked about 15 years ago during the mid-2000s (post-AOL and pre-Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram). I started this blog in 2007 towards the end of my first year of salvation to begin a dialog online about the God I know. There’s a lot of hatred on social media today. It’s one of the main reasons why I returned to the WordPress community 16 months ago to get back into full-time blogging again. Many of you reading this blog host your own blogs. I know that because I visit them on a regular basis. Some of your blogs surely glorify our God. This is the LORD’s doing, and it is wonderful to see. Never be discouraged that you’re not getting enough visits, or likes, or comments. Keep blogging and writing about your life. Keep expanding God’s Kingdom – one blog post at a time.

All rights reserved (c) 2019 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries

My Top 5 Hits RETRO – 1999

Every Friday night I post the Top 5 of one of my classic hit music charts based on personal preference and influenced by radio airplay from either 10, 20, or 30 years ago this weekend (rotating each week). Here it is – for the week ending Sunday May 16TH 1999:

  1. “The Hardest Thing” – 98°
  2. “I Want It That Way” – The Backstreet Boys
  3. “Livin’ La Vida Loca” – Ricky Martin
  4. “Special” – Garbage
  5. “That Don’t Impress Me Much” – Shania Twain

Good solid pop music back then – with Garbage being the anomaly.

I like to do this from time to time. Looking back at my checkbook register is a lot of fun. Back then I wrote a whole lot more checks than I do today. (The only checks I typically write today are my weekly tithes to my church.)

So 20 years ago this week I got paid. I got paid today too. My net pay back then was about 58.6% of what it was today. That’s good progress.

My telephone bill for a month of service 20 years ago was $52.85. Last weekend I paid $78.99. You may be thinking, “Why do you even have a telephone bill ?  It’s 2019 !” There are many logical reasons why I still have an “old-school” land-line telephone. I get very few telemarketing calls on my cell phone – because I rarely give out my cell phone number. I give out my longtime land-line number instead. The telemarketers call that number. I also live deep in the heart of hurricane country. During bad storms cell phone towers lose power, get damaged, or topple over. Most of our standard telephone lines are underground and operate continuously during and after hurricanes.

I paid my Chevron bill during this week 20 years ago. Gas was cheap back then – about $1.25 per gallon. It’s more than twice that amount today, but I’m not complaining about $2.70 per gallon. I remember when it was approaching $5 per gallon. I’m planning a road-trip in about 4 months from South Florida to North Texas and back. That’s about 3,000 miles. At $2.70 per gallon and about 42 miles per gallon with my car that’s a little less than $200 in gas. I got this !

You know 1999 was not that good of a year for me – privately and professionally. It was a rather forgettable year, or I’ve just chosen to forget about that year over time. The music of yesteryear brings back those memories – good and bad. As Shania said, “That Don’t Impress Me Much”. I feel the same about 1999.

It’s halftime my friends. I’ll be back on Sunday afternoon and Monday night with two more blog posts for this weekend. Enjoy your Saturday. Go make some good memories that you’ll cherish for years to come.

All rights reserved (c) 2019 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries

Home Sweet Homestead

I’m back from vacation !  My 6-day / 590-mile / 14-county Florida road-trip has come to a close. My trek started in deep South Miami-Dade County (where my home is), and it continued northward through Broward, Palm Beach, Hendry, Glades, Highlands, and Polk Counties, westward into Hillsborough County (Tampa), southward through Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee, and Collier Counties, and then back into Miami-Dade County. I also came within a few feet of touching (mainland) Monroe County for a second.

It was a fun trip. I saw a couple of current movies, I did a little bit of shopping (didn’t buy anything), I ate a lot of good food, I walked over 60,000 steps (to burn-off that good food), I did a lot of sightseeing, I visited some historical museums and animal-based tourist attractions, I went to two Christian music concerts, and I spent a lot of time at the beach.

I saw and I did things that I had never seen or done before in my life. This was a classic vacation. I get to spend the near future reminiscing about the times I enjoyed via the 140+ photos and 1 video I captured during all of the fun.

The 1 video I captured is a spectacular 3½-minute video of this past Tuesday night’s sunset on Venice Beach Florida. The video captures the 3 minutes leading up to the sun dropping below the horizon at sea as well as the 30 seconds right after that moment. I intended to post that video in its entirety here on my blog, but I realized that I can’t upload videos on here with my current WordPress plan. The video is also about 1:10 too long for Twitter, so I’ll have to figure out how to trim it down to 2:20 for Twitter.

In the meantime here’s Monday night’s sunset at 8:05 PM EDT on Venice Beach.

Sunset

From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets – the name of the LORD is to be praised. (Psalm 113:3 NIV)

All rights reserved (c) 2019 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries

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