Southwest Florida Road-Trip

This past U.S. holiday weekend I enjoyed a 3-day / 3-county / 360-mile Florida road-trip to and from Fort Myers. It was my first visit to the region since last July. I always enjoy visiting Southwest Florida (Collier and Lee County). Usually I venture over there to see a concert at the Hertz Arena, and this trip was no exception.

My first stop though after crossing the Everglades via the Tamiami Trail was the flagship branch of the multi-site Collier County Museum in East Naples. It was my first visit since June 2012. Back then I thought it was my first visit ever – until I saw some of the exhibits outside – and then I realized that I had been there years earlier.

At the end of my 90-minute visit I picked-up a brochure for a nearby place that I never knew existed – the Naples Museum Of Military History – at the main terminal of the Naples Airport. So I went there, and I immersed myself in all of the awesome displays there. They were overflowing at the seams in the two rooms that they occupy there. They need more space, and hopefully they get it.

After that I took a ride out to the country and into the woods for another first-time visit ever – the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. What a wonderful and beautiful place this was – especially on a sunny and coolish day. I’m sure that it would be a miserable place to be during our 9-month bug season and especially our 5-month rainy season, but that was truly a great day to be outdoors strolling the 2.25-mile elevated boardwalk absorbing nature’s beauty – created by my Almighty God.

By the way all of the above was Day 1 of my road-trip !  Day 2 started in Fort Myers at probably their # 1 tourist attraction – the Edison & Ford Winter Estates. It was my first visit since April 2011. I love this place. I could work and have fun at this place after I retire from my military / civil service career. I took the 1-hour and 15-minute guided tour which was a lot of fun (even though I had done it before). I’d do it again !

On Sunday night I went to the Hertz Arena to see Franklin Graham conclude his recent tour of Florida. He led us in prayer for our nation and our leaders, and then he preached a classic Billy Graham Crusade sermon on Repentance & Salvation. That’s a topic that I’m quite familiar with, as many of my sermons are about the same. Jeremy Camp opened and closed for Franklin, as he performed 7 of his greatest hits. I’ll be seeing Jeremy Camp perform again at this very same arena in 6 weeks, as he opens for MercyMe.

Day 3 of 3 started back in East Naples at the Naples Botanical Garden – yet another first-time visit. I walked well over 3 miles for 2 hours at this fun place on a chilly and overcast morning.

I’ve got over 80 photos of this fun road-trip to and from Southwest Florida – also known as Florida’s Paradise Coast. At least 60 of those 80 photos will probably be uploaded and captioned on my Flickr site over the next few weeks. But I’ll close this blog post with a sneak-peek. It’s a photo of the chalkboard at the start of the boardwalk at the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary where visitors can write-down what they’ve seen along their walk on the boardwalk. A little less than 90 minutes later – there were more sightings documented on the chalkboard.

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

My Top 10 Hits – Week 153

Every Monday I post my all-new Top 10 Christian hit music chart based on personal preference and influenced by radio airplay. This week I’m doing it on Tuesday due to the U.S. holiday yesterday. Here it is – for the week ending Sunday January 19TH 2020:

  1. “Holy Water” – We The Kingdom [# 1 last week / 8TH week on chart]
  2. “Rescue Story” – Zach Williams [2 / 15TH]
  3. “The God Who Stays” – Matthew West [3 / 9TH]
  4. “Almost Home” – MercyMe [4 / 5TH]
  5. “Smile” – Sidewalk Prophets [5 / 7TH]
  6. “Your Name Is Power” – Rend Collective [8 / 2ND]
  7. “Unstoppable God” – Sanctus Real [6 / 11TH]
  8. “Nobody (But Jesus)” – Casting Crowns Ft. Matthew West [7 / 25TH]
  9. “Like You Love Me” – Tauren Wells [- / 1ST]
  10. “In The Arms” – Terrian [10 / 3RD]

# 1 One Year Ago This Week:
“Nobody Loves Me Like You” – Chris Tomlin

# 1 Two Years Ago This Week:
“Lions” – Skillet

“Holy Water” holds at # 1 for a 3RD week in a row, but this could be its final week at the top of my chart. Zach, Matthew, and the MercyMe crew are heating-up in the next 3 chart positions, and any 1 of them could take over the top spot next week.

Yesterday afternoon I returned home from a 3-day / 3-county / 360-mile Florida road-trip to and from Fort Myers. I listened to a lot of K-LOVE on the radio in my car and even some WAY-FM. Next week’s chart should be very active. I’ll write all about my road-trip in just 48 hours as I begin a new weekend of blogging this upcoming Thursday morning.

This concludes another weekend of blog posts. I’ll do it again next 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 @ChrisMDay, and I’m the man behind the tweets for my church @LivingWatersHFL.

Enjoy this new week my friends !  May the God of hope fill you completely with joy and peace as you trust in Him.

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

My Flickr Photostream

Happy Thursday my friends. It’s the start of a 5-blog-post holiday weekend here at #CountUp. As is always the case – weekends start on Thursdays !

2019 was a great year for one of my other longtime social media platforms – Flickr – where I store all of my treasured photos online – many for public viewing. It was my most active year (as far as uploading new photos) since 2015, and it was the first year since 2015 that I uploaded at least 10 photos per month for all 12 months.

I plan to do it again in 2020. I’m off to a good start so far with 27 photos uploaded this month (as of last night). I’m currently uploading (and captioning) the best photos of my recent Christmas Eve trip to Okeechobee Florida. I’ve currently got 21 out of 52 photos up now, and I’ll probably put up another 20 over the next few weeks. (Generally out of every 5 photos taken on any given trip – 3 to 4 make it onto my Flickr Photostream for all to see.)

Here’s a photo that is not yet up on my Flickr site:

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That’s one of several military static displays located at Veterans Park in the heart of Okeechobee Florida where U.S. 98, U.S. 441, and Florida State Road 70 converge.

My Flickr Photostreamhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/cmday6567

You can follow me over there, or you can simply view my last 5 photos uploaded here at revchrismday.com. (They appear over on the right-hand side of the blog.)

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

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

Sunday Scripture

WELCOME to the “Winter Season Premiere” of my blog. Today – December 01ST 2019 – is the 12TH anniversary of this blog here on WordPress. It officially began on this date in 2007, but it was actually a continuation of my blog that started on Myspace a little more than 6 months earlier.

I’ve been on hiatus since my last post was published almost 2 weeks ago, but now I’m back. I got to spend quality time with immediate family over in North Texas, and we celebrated our annual tradition known as #ThanksChristmasGiving – 8 fun-filled days and nights of Thanksgiving and Christmas combined leading-up to the traditional Thanksgiving Day Dinner.

Over the next 3½ weeks I’ll celebrate Christmas here in South Florida with church family and work family. I’ll also be here online resuming blog posts every Thursday, Friday, Sunday, and Monday – starting today – with a special end-of-year post on New Year’s Eve.

Today I preached my sermon on the prophet Habakkuk to my church family.

Here’s how I started today’s sermon – before preaching on Habakkuk:

Well Good Morning (again) Church Family !  It is so great to be here – in the house of the Lord. You know this is a nice sanctuary that we have here – with this nice pulpit – on this nice big stage – and we have nice new chairs on our nice new carpet. We have an A.C. that works great. We have a roof that doesn’t leak.

This is the Lord’s house – but only because – we are here right now, and the Lord is with us. You know our bodies are the Lord’s house. That means that everywhere we go – is the Lord’s house. God’s presence – is there – right where we are. God lives within us – in our hearts. The Bible says that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit – who lives in you – and was given to you by God. You do not belong to yourself. (1 Corinthians 6:19)

I like Psalm 27 & 4:

The one thing I ask of the LORD – the thing I seek most – is to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life – delighting in the LORD’s perfections and meditating in His Temple.

That’s why we praise and worship Him. That’s why we have faith in Him.

Here’s how I closed today’s sermon:

As today’s prophets – with the temple of the Holy Spirit living within us – we must continue to go forth – together – as a church body – towards His bright light. We must remember what He has done for us in the past. We must accept what He is doing for us right now. We must trust what He will do for us in the future. We must believe in Him, for He is the only way. And we must invite our loved ones to join us for this journey. We want our loved ones to know the God that we know. That’s how we bring the church in everything we do – and in everywhere we go.

(And that Conclusion was actually a hidden “sneak-preview” of my next sermon to preach.)

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 on my mind right this minute:

  • It’s been awhile since I last did this.
  • In fact it’s been 5 weeks.
  • I enjoy writing these spontaneous off-the-top-of-my-head “Mini-Thoughts”.
  • Let’s get started, as I look at my wall calendar.
  • Can you believe that November is nearly half-over ?
  • Thanksgiving Day (here in the U.S.A.) is 2 weeks from today !
  • This will be my final Thursday blog post of November.
  • I’m going offline again next week, so no new blog posts.
  • I’m going on a 12-day hiatus from blogging and social media.
  • After this weekend’s full slate of posts I won’t post again until December.
  • That’s December 01ST when I return with “Sunday Scripture”.
  • This has been a big year for attending shows and concerts.
  • My 9TH concert of 2019 was this past Sunday night.
  • I enjoyed Casting Crowns, Hillsong Worship, and Elevation Worship.
  • I wrote a nice review of it this past Monday here on the blog.
  • My 10TH concert is coming up on December 22ND.
  • I’m seeing comedian Jim Gaffigan LIVE in concert in West Palm Beach.
  • 10 shows and concerts in a single year makes it one of my biggest years ever.
  • 33 years ago tonight I was at the Oxford (England) Apollo at a concert.
  • I saw Ultravox back when they were big in England.
  • I still have my original tee-shirt that I bought at the concert !

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  • That tee-shirt doesn’t fit me anymore.
  • I weigh over 40 pounds more now than I did back then when I was 19.
  • Ultravox scored with a minor Top 40 hit at the time – “Same Old Story”.
  • I always thought that the song underperformed.
  • It didn’t get much airplay on national radio, and that stunted its growth.
  • I think it’s one of the greatest songs of my life.
  • I still love it 33 years later.
  • Its style of music wasn’t particularly popular in the U.K. in 1986.
  • Check out lead singer Midge Ure practically inventing the “selfie stick”:

  • I don’t think I’ve ever featured a music video as a “Mini-Thought” before.
  • That was Midge Ure at 33 – half his age than he is now.
  • I had a wonderful 2-year stay in the U.K.
  • This weekend marks 32 years since I left and moved back home stateside.
  • I haven’t been back since, but sometime I’ll make it back.
  • Well the Arctic Blast has avoided South Florida so far.
  • Our lowest temperature recorded so far is a mere 67°F.
  • But much cooler air should invade us this weekend.
  • We could actually drop into the upper-50s by Sunday morning !
  • The natives will be breaking out their flannels, coats, and hats.
  • We may not reach 80°F all weekend !
  • Incidentally I live in Homestead Florida.
  • This is the home of the NASCAR Championship !
  • The Homestead-Miami Speedway is just 3 miles from my home.
  • I’ll actually be able to hear the echo of the cars racing this weekend.
  • You can watch all of the action LIVE on NBC-TV this Sunday at 2 PM.
  • Well that’s gonna do it for this edition of my “Mini-Thoughts”.
  • I’ll be back again tomorrow for my regular Friday feature. #RETRO

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

Honoring My Fellow Veterans

It’s Veterans Day here in the U.S.A.

This past weekend marked the 34TH anniversary that the United States Air Force shipped me off to a foreign country solo for the first time in my life. As an 18½-year-old I flew from Washington Dulles Airport nonstop to London Heathrow Airport. It was an overnight flight from November 09TH into November 10TH of 1985. From there I took British Rail westward to Swindon, and then from there I hired a cab up to RAF Fairford – my home for the next 2 years. (It was my first permanent duty station.)

I’ve been a member of the United States Air Force for the past 35 years now – going back to when I first signed on the dotted line of the delayed enlistment program near the start of my senior year in high school. I was hesitant in joining the military way back then, but it all turned out just right, and it’s become my career. I’d do it all over again.

To my fellow Veterans – this is our day. From one Veteran to all of the others – I thank you for serving your nation so that we may be free indeed.

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

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