Christmas In Okeechobee

Merry Day After Christmas my friends. I hope that you got to spend some quality time with loved ones, or you got to do something that you love.

For the 2ND Christmas in a row I embarked on a Florida road-trip to and from just a few hours to the north of where I live. This time I drove 355 miles round-trip to West Palm Beach, and then over to Okeechobee. It was a 4-day road-trip. I returned home yesterday (Christmas Day) morning.

Over in West Palm Beach I saw Jim Gaffigan LIVE in concert at the Kravis Center For The Performing Arts. He’s my favorite comedian today. I last saw him in 2010. Ryan Hamilton opened for Jim. He was very funny. He reminded me of Jerry Seinfeld. The next morning I spent a couple of hours at the historic Palm Beach Zoo. I got in for free as a military veteran. It was my first visit since 2010.

A few times each year I visit a town in Florida that I’ve never been to before, I haven’t visited in many years, or I’ve only driven through – in order to determine whether or not I wish to move there in a few years after I retire. I selected Okeechobee several months ago, and I spent a couple of days and nights there leading up to Christmas Day. It’s on the northern side of the big Lake Okeechobee.

While in Okeechobee I visited the main attraction – the big Lake ‘O’. I walked a couple of miles high atop the dike / levee known as the Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail. If you were to walk completely around the lake then it would take you a few days to do so – because it’s 109 miles around the lake !  I also ate at a couple of family-owned restaurants “where the locals eat”, and I toured the town’s old historic downtown district. It was a fun visit, but I don’t think I’d want to move there after I retire. Its location is a bit secluded from other towns. I’ll visit again though. It’s got small-town charm.

I ended up taking over 110 photos of my excursions on this Florida road-trip. 3 of them are up above, and I’ll probably post about half of the remaining photos over on my Flickr site in the weeks and months to come.

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

My Top 5 Hits RETRO – 2009

WELCOME TO NOVEMBER !  It’s my favorite month of the year for a bunch of reasons, and I’m looking forward to the next 30 days of family, fellowship, food, and fun.

Yesterday I went RETRO all the way back exactly 55 years ago to October 31ST 1964 with a captivating performance of “Monster Mash” from Bobby ‘Boris’ Pickett. I had never seen that performance before until I compiled that post.

Some fun facts – Bobby was 26 – almost 27-years-old when he did that. He was 24 when the song hit # 1. He actually had a comedy nightclub act in Hollywood where he did a lot of similar impressions of stars from horror movies. He was also a Veteran of the U.S. Army from age 18 to 21.

Every Friday 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 1ST Friday of the month, so I go back 10 years ago. Here it is – for the week ending Sunday November 01ST 2009:

  1. “Forget And Not Slow Down” – Relient K
  2. “Rolling With The Punches” – Ruth
  3. “Trying” – Eleventyseven
  4. “Where To Start” – Philmont
  5. “You’re A Fake” – I Am Empire

A decade ago right here on this blog I posted a regular feature under the banner of “My Fantastic Journey: It’s In The Lyrics” where I testified God’s Word using the lyrics of a popular song at the time. This is from the October 21ST 2009 edition of my blog where I used the lyrics of “You’re A Fake” from I Am Empire:

If you ever think that nobody loves you – then think again – and think long and hard about this fact, for this is about as real as it gets. God loves you. He loves you more than you can ever imagine. He loves you more than you can ever love Him back. You will never ever in your entire lifetime love Him more than He loves you right now. It is as simple, honest, and real as it gets. You can experience this true love right now – by simply believing in Him. Love Him more than any one – more than any thing. Love Him overwhelmingly. Love Him like your Life depends on it – because it does. Just walk away from everything you were. Believe. Love. It’s in the lyrics.

It’s halftime my friends. I’ll be back on Sunday and Monday 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

Hate

A couple of nights ago I tweeted this @ChrisMDay:

Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. (Ephesians 4:31). That applies to everyone – including those who accuse others of all of the above while declaring themselves pure.

Bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, slander, and evil behavior is a pretty good description of our nation today. It definitely describes our media and the entertainment and information industry – television, radio, newspapers, magazines, social media, et al. Nobody is exempt. Not even myself, yourself, and everyone around ourselves. That includes all of our leaders too – political or otherwise. We’re a messed-up nation (putting it mildly), and hatred rules the day. Hatred divides nations. Hatred destroys nations.

It’s easy to accuse others of espousing and spreading hatred, as we’re all pretty good at it in our own unique ways. We go around denouncing hatred online and offline, as we continue to hate certain types of people – because of the way they look – because of where they came from – because of where they live – because of what they do for a living. A lot of us believe that you can only hate other people if you’re a certain skin color or ethnicity. My friends – hatred comes from all skin colors and races. Hatred is colorblind. Hatred comes from deep within our hearts and souls. Hatred will continue to spread like wildfire as long as we have people deny that they can’t or don’t hate – while simultaneously spewing forth hatred.

Hiding hatred makes you a liar. Slandering others makes you a fool. (Proverbs 10:18)

Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible, and keep your mouth shut. (Proverbs 10:19)

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

Burt Reynolds & Football

It’s the start of a fresh new weekend, and this Thursday night blog is always the most difficult to write because I usually don’t know what I’m going to write about until my fingers hit the keyboard at 75 WPM. My Friday, Sunday, and Monday blogs are always the same – hit music charts on both ends with Scripture in the center.

I got home from work early this afternoon, and I quickly discovered via Facebook that Burt Reynolds had passed away this morning at 82. I liked him. I saw his “Smokey And The Bandit” and “Cannonball Run” movies for the first time ever with friends in my (Air Force) dorm when I was 18 years old several years after the movies were released. We laughed hysterically into the night. I decided then that Burt Reynolds was one of my favorite comedic actors. I once visited his museum in Jupiter Florida (about 125 miles from my home), and it was quite the unusual experience from the very start when I entered the premises “improperly”. I’ll share that amusing story with you in a future blog.

NFL Football (regular season) begins tonight on NBC with “Football Night In America”, and then of course all day on Sunday. I’ll be busy keeping up with it every Sunday through the start of February. Aside from the WWE it’s the only sport and league that I actively follow during its season. I’m a lifelong Washington Redskins fan. (That’s where I grew up from 1969 to 1985.)

Hail to the Redskins !
Hail Victory !
Braves on the Warpath !
Fight for old D.C. !

Run or pass and score. — We want a lot more !
Beat ’em. Swamp ’em. Touchdown. — Let the points soar !
Fight on !  Fight on !  ‘Til you have won — Sons of Washington !

Rah !  Rah !  Rah !
Hail to the Redskins !
Hail Victory !
Braves on the Warpath !
Fight for old D.C. !

Sunday Scripture

Earlier this week I stated that I attended the Greater Miami Youth For Christ annual fundraising dinner after church service last Sunday.

Today following our Lead Pastor’s sermon I talked about a young man by the name of Billy. He was a young Pastor in his early-to-mid-20s serving at a small Baptist church in the far-western suburbs of Chicago. His friend was the Founder of a local Youth For Christ movement in Chicago, and he himself was a fellow Baptist Pastor. One Sunday he came to the suburbs to see his friend Billy preach. He was impressed with what he saw and heard. He asked Billy if he’d be interested in hosting a radio show in Chicago. Billy accepted, and thousands heard his messages on the radio.

Billy was asked to kick-off the first night of the Youth For Christ meetings in Chicagoland. He accepted. Billy served as the first full-time evangelist of the Youth For Christ ministry. He eventually became the first Vice President – with his friend the Founder as President – of Youth For Christ International – which was established in 1946.

The Founder – in his mid-30s at the time – could’ve had any famous preacher from the big city to move Youth For Christ forward to the next level, but he wanted to work with a small circle of younger ministers who shared his vision and truly understood the youth of the day. These young ministers were all born and raised Chicago men – except Billy – from the western mountains of North Carolina. The Founder was totally convinced that there was no one better than Billy to deliver the message of God’s Good News to the youth of the day.

Billy is the Reverend Billy Graham. He held his first Crusade soon after in 1947.

When you are called on this fantastic journey – accept the calling – receive His gifts – and trust that God will lead you every step of the way as you fulfill the purpose that He has given you. God didn’t give us The Holy Spirit to do nothing with it. God gave us The Holy Spirit to change the world.

And then He told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.” (Mark 16:15 NLT)

The Major’s Walk-A-Thon

Time: 1:59 PM – 2:32 PM
Sky: Sunny & Clear
Temperature: 62°F
Dewpoint: 41°F
Relative Humidity: 46%
Winds: S 13 MPH
Barometric Pressure: 30.11 Falling

Here are my walking thoughts in 15 words or less:

– This past Friday afternoon I went on a refreshing 1.8-mile walk.
– That puts me at 8.3 miles towards my goal of a 26.2-mile marathon.
– I really needed this walk because I’m eating way too much food.
– My family does not follow the ‘one MASSIVE meal per day’ plan.
– My brother and his dog Buddy trailed me for most of the walk.
– They didn’t walk the entire way because Buddy is an old dog.
– Buddy was exhausted after the first 10 minutes.
– I think my brother was exhausted too, but he would deny it.
– My brother lives in a rather large enclosed neighbourhood.
– I could get lost in the grid of streets here, so I walk with a GPS.
– The sky was crystal clear and deep dark blue all day long on Friday.
– Ever since then it’s been rather cloudy and dreary with just peaks of sun.
– At least it’s been warm – nearly record-breaking warm !
– I plan to squeeze in one more walk before the ‘Arctic Blast’ arrives.
– On Thanksgiving Day temperatures may struggle to reach the low-40s.
– Wind chills will be near freezing all day long.
– Guess who plans to stay inside all day long ?
– On Friday morning it will be in the mid-20s outside !
– Guess who is looking forward to returning to the South Florida heat ?
– If I walk again then I’ll post another edition of this blog series (mid-week).
– If not then I’ll blog again next Saturday night for an all-new ‘Retro’.
– Have a festive Thanksgiving holiday my friends !
– Enjoy some quality time with friends, family, and food.
– These walks are dedicated to the memory of my Dad – William Lesley Day.

Saturday Night Retro

Saturday November 20TH 2010
Volume 3 / Number 11 / Edition 108

31 years ago in November of 1979 66 Americans were taken hostage in Tehran Iran when the U.S. Embassy was invaded and seized by student radicals. This would begin an International crisis that would continue on for 444 days until January 20TH 1981 when President Ronald Reagan took the oath of office. President Jimmy Carter found opposition within his own Democratic Party, as Senator Ted Kennedy announced that he would seek the nomination for President in 1980.

I was 12½-years-old at the time and living with my Dad, Mom, and 4½-year-old brother on Red Wing Lane in Lanham Maryland. I was a 7TH grader at Robert H. Goddard Junior High School in Greenbelt Maryland – home of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Robert H. Goddard invented the liquid-fueled rocket back during the 1910s and 1920s. Many of my classmates were offspring of NASA employees. That would explain why many of them appeared to be ‘spaced-out’ most of the time.

In FM Stereo one of the hottest pop-country-crossover acts of the late-1970s was Dr. Hook And The Medicine Show out of New Jersey – although they certainly had a distinct ‘Southern Rock’ feel and style to them. As the Disco beat raged on in 1979 country music was quietly entering the pop music scene as an alternative to the club beat. One of Dr. Hook’s greatest hits was this cool track that kind of took on a subtle Disco beat to blend in with its pop chart neighbours. It even crossed the Atlantic Ocean to become a # 1 pop smash on the U.K. chart exactly 31 years ago this weekend. It tells the simple story of what happens “When You’re In Love With A Beautiful Woman”.

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