A New Page, A New Ministry

Encouraging Bible Verses and QuotesThe other day Journey Thoughts reached a new milestone: over 6 million hits!  To God be the Glory, Great Things He Has Done!

For a long time now, I’ve seen and shared countless pictures and postings on my blog and on Facebook that are meant to encourage others.  The majority of those postings have been Scripture verses.  It is obvious by the way that these images and verses have been shared so prolifically  that there are people who are hungry for the Word, and are in deep need of daily encouragement.

The other day one of my blog articles “25 Encouraging Verses for those facing Struggle” was shared on a VERY popular Facebook page: “Christian Quotes“.  Over 600 people have left comments so far; the article has been “liked” by over 24,000 people and shared over 9,000 times in just 48 hours on FB!  Interestingly this particular article, since it was first posted in January 2014, gets nearly 10,000 hits a day on Journey Thoughts and is one of the most popular posts on my site.  To me it confirms how much people are hurting and struggling in this world and how they so desperately crave encouragement from God’s Word.

Here are a few of the comments from the other day when that article was shared on FB:

this is the scripture God gave me close to 30 years now it has kept me going when I did not want to any more. Joshua 1:9

Yes Lord am one of those facing difficulties, I need you Lord, pls Lord help me.

The word of God is my whole armor that keep me strong everyday in facing struggles and trials in my life. thanks to the word of God mostly thanks to my living God

Just went through one of the worst weeks of my life. I found out who I can trust and who I can not. Surprisingly it was the opposite then I thought was the truth. Praise God He alone can be trusted 100% of ALL the time and in every situation!

Thank you Jesus for your love, mercy and strength. You are my shepherd when the wolves are circling.

Some thoughts as we enter the holiday season…It is important to remember that not everyone is surrounded by large wonderful families. Some of us have problems during the holidays and some of us are overcome with great sadness when we remember the loved ones who are not with us. And many people have no one to spend these times with and are besieged by loneliness. We all need caring, loving thoughts right now…”

“gives me strength to carry on though at times at the verge of despair”

Thank you for this today. Heading out for another round of MRIs. My God walks with me and I shall trust Him.

I too left a comment: Lynn DoveI have read all of the comments and am humbled by the response this article has generated. It is obvious that so many people are struggling and need encouragement from His Word. God never promised that believers would be without hurt or struggle, in fact the opposite is true. He said we would have trials, we would be persecuted, we would face hardship and heartache. But He did promise that He would ALWAYS be with us in every circumstance good or bad. (Matthew 28:20) I am thankful that His Word has encouraged so many of you!”

At our church we have been immersed in Missions Month.  Our Pastor has spoken for the last several weeks on the topic of discovering our mission field based on the teachings from Matthew 9:35-38.  “Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

For quite a while now I have been wondering and praying how God would have me expand this ministry of encouraging others.  I have determined much of my “harvest field” is online so….

Yesterday I launched a new Facebook page: “Encouraging Bible Verses and Quotes” to partner with Journey Thoughts, to bring encouragement to others and to draw more and more people closer to the Lord.  The Scripture I am clinging to in this new endeavor is: “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21

Would you join me on this new “mission field”?  I am asking readers of Journey Thoughts to help by “sharing” and “liking” the new page.  https://www.facebook.com/encouragingverses/?fref=nf

Blessings to you all!



25 Encouraging Bible Verses About Heaven

HeavenIn 2003, I had the honour in my first year of seminary to take a class taught by T.W. Hunt.  Hunt was widely recognized in Christian circles as an authority on prayer and before his passing at the age of 85, in 2014, he had written and co-authored several wonderful books on prayer including “The Mind of Christ”, “Disciples Prayer Life” and the “Doctrine of Prayer”.  However, the book we studied together in that particular seminary class was one he co-authored with his daughter, Melana Hunt Monroe, “From Heaven’s View”, and it was that book that left a lasting impression on my life by living in this world with heaven in mind.

I read somewhere that 80% of people believe there is a “heaven” and most of those people believe that they will one day go to heaven when they die.  That may be the hope and wish of good people, but Scripture is very clear who will have access to heaven and who will be eternally separated from God and His dwelling place.

Read the following verses for encouragement and if you are wondering about your future citizenship in heaven, doubt no longer.  Heaven is only a prayer away:

Dear God in Heaven,

I come to you in the name of Jesus. I acknowledge to You that I am a sinner, and I am sorry for my sins and the life that I have lived; I need your forgiveness.
I believe that your only begotten Son Jesus Christ shed His precious blood on the cross at Calvary and died for my sins, and I am now willing to turn from my sin.
You said in Your Holy Word, Romans 10:9 that if we confess the Lord our God and believe in our hearts that God raised Jesus from the dead, we shall be saved.
Right now I confess Jesus as the Lord of my soul. With my heart, I believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. This very moment I accept Jesus Christ as my own personal Savior and according to His Word, right now I am saved.
Thank you Jesus for your unlimited grace which has saved me from my sins. I thank you Jesus that your grace never leads to license, but rather it always leads to repentance. Therefore Lord Jesus transform my life so that I may bring glory and honor to you alone and not to myself.
Thank you Jesus for dying for me and giving me eternal life.

John 14:2-4  My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.  You know the way to the place where I am going.”

Luke 13:29-30  “People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God.  Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.”

Isaiah 25:8–9  “…he will swallow up death forever.  The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth.  The Lord has spoken.   In that day they will say, “Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us.  This is the Lord, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.”

Revelation 22:1-5  “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him.  They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.”

Revelation 7:13-17  “Then one of the elders asked me, “These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?”   I answered, “Sir, you know.”  And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore, “they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence.  ‘Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst.  The sun will not beat down on them, nor any scorching heat.  For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water.  And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’”

Revelation 21:1-8  “Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,”for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”  He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”  He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.  But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

Matthew 7:13-14  “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

Matthew 5:17-20 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 22: 1-14  “Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying:  “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son.  He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.  “Then he sent some more servants and said, ‘Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’   “But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business. The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.  “Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come.  So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’  So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.  “But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes.  He asked, ‘How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?’ The man was speechless.   “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’  “For many are invited, but few are chosen.”

Colossians 3:1-10  “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.  For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.  Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.  Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.  You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived.  But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.  Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.”

Matthew 18: 1-5  “At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”  He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.”

Matthew 18:10 -14  “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.  “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off?  And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off.  In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.

1 Corinthians 2:7-9  “No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began.  None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.  However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”— the things God has prepared for those who love him—“

Philippians 1:21  “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

Philippians 3: 10-14  I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.  Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,  I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 3:17-21  “Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do.  For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ.  Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.  But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.”

John 3:1-8  “Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council.  He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”   Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”   Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.  Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.  You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

John 3: 16-21  “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.  This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.   Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”

John 3:36  “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.”

John 17: 1-5  “After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.  For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him.  Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.  I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.  And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.”

Acts 4:12  “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

2 Peter 3:3-13  “Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.  They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.”  But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water.  By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed.  By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.  But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.  The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.  But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.  Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.  That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.  But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.

Hebrews 13:14  “For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.”

1 Peter 1:3-5  “ Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.”

Revelation 5:11-13  “Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders.  In a loud voice they were saying: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength  and honor and glory and praise!”  Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!”

For more encouragement about Heaven: http://www.christianquotes.info/top-quotes/14-inspiring-quotes-about-heaven/

Unless stated otherwise all scripture used on Journey Thoughts is from: THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.










An Open Letter to My Grandchildren–Be Superheroes!

My Sweet Grandbabies,

You are too young to know what’s happening in the world today.  You dress up in your old Halloween costumes and play “Superhero” in aBy our love make-believe fantasy that always has a happy ending!  I never want to take that away from you…but your grandmother has grown cynical over the years and Superheroes are hard to find these days.

I’m sure every grandparent has wondered the same as me today: “What kind of world will my grandkids grow up in?”  My great-grandmother lived through World War 1 and my grandmother and my mother survived World War 2 and the Korean War, and I was a young child during the Vietnam War.  And now?  Well now we’re in the middle of a war against terrorism.  It’s global war and to be absolutely truthful, I can’t tell the “good guys” from the “bad guys”.

“What is war?” you ask.

I wish I had a really good answer, but the best way to explain it is that war is the result when grown-ups do not know how to “love one another”.  That’s the gist of it.

Jesus said that others will know us (Christians) by our love for one another.  “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”  John 13:35  I know you are smart kids so you’ve picked up on the fact that Jesus is talking about Christians loving one another.  You know, like brothers and sisters love each other.  Like families should love one another.  It should be easy to do, right? 


Remember the day you yelled, “I hate you!” at your Mommy when she gave you a time-out for being disrespectful to her?  Or the time I yelled at you for breaking one of my favorite music boxes after I had told you not to touch it.  I was mad at you and you were mad at me.  For a while there you thought of me as a “bad guy”.

Adults call “bad guys” enemies.

To be sure there are enemies who are very, very bad people and need to be stopped so that they cannot hurt you or others.  But you may also call some people “enemies” because you don’t agree with them, or they may not want to do the same things you want to do.  Maybe they think or act differently than you, or maybe they try to prevent you from doing something you want to do regardless of whether or not it’s good for you.   Anyone, even your own family can be your enemy at any given time, but it’s up to you to decide whether or not they STAY your enemy.  That’s where love comes in.

You see, Jesus said, “Love your enemies.”  (Matthew 5:44)  That’s a tough thing to do.  Believe me.  It’s hard to love someone who has hurt you.  It’s hard for you to forgive that kid who broke your toy, or the little girl who pushed you at the playground.  It is natural for you to be mad at those kids.  I get it!  It makes perfect sense to want to push that little girl down on her keester the next time you’re at the playground.  After all she deserves it!  She was a “bad guy” and she was mean to you, so it’s perfectly okay for you to be mean right back…after all Superheroes must fight bad guys, right?

Jesus tells you to do the opposite of what is natural to you…love instead of hate!  Why?  Because if you love someone it will be easier to forgive them when they hurt or disappoint you.  It is easier to show compassion and care, and have empathy for those who don’t think or act the way you do.  It allows you to avoid the fights in the first place and turn away wrath!  (Proverbs 15:1)  Love covers over a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8) the Bible says.  So Jesus asks you to be a Superhero!  A Superhero with an ultimate power that will right all wrongs…LOVE!

Just imagine if LOVE were your Super-Power according to 1 Corinthians 13.  You would be patient, and kind.  You would never envy, or boast or be prideful.  You would never dishonour others.  You would be humble and not self-seeking.  You would not be angry and would keep no record of wrongs.  You would not delight in evil but rejoice in TRUTH!  You would protect, trust, hope and always persevere!  You would never fail in doing good!

Imagine if EVERYONE in the world had that Super-Power!  Wouldn’t that be awesome?   We could stop hate right in its tracks!  There would be no more wars!

Unfortunately, you may have noticed that most adults haven’t figured that out.  There are no real-life Superheroes in our big world.  We get mad and stay mad at each other.  We refuse to forgive someone who has been mean to us.  We stop being friends.  We hate.  We go to war.

We have no idea how to forgive and forget.  We don’t know how to love our own brothers and sisters in Christ properly, let alone anyone else who doesn’t share our beliefs.  We complain, we bicker, we fight amongst ourselves.  If we cannot love each other, how in the world can we love our enemies??

So, my grandbabies…it’s up to you.

The world needs Superheroes right now.  It requires super-human effort to right the wrongs of this world.  It may mean standing up for truth and justice until the enemy is defeated, and yes, that may require going to battle.  That’s the consequence of living in a selfish, sinful world.  So we’ll fight the good fight until you’re old enough to take up the banner.  But then it’s up to you to not repeat the mistakes of the past.  To do what we have not been able to do in this lifetime: to totally embrace Jesus’ philosophy of peace and HOPE.  It’s up to you to be the new Superheroes…REAL heroes who will make a REAL difference in this world…and heroes who are known by their LOVE!

I know you can do it!

Love, Grandma




GPS – The Blind Leading the Blind

Has it really been only two weeks since we were boating down the Colorado River in Arizona?  ComingIMG_1677 home after our “Great Adventure” has left us in a bit of a blue funk.  Laundry is done, the 5th wheel is winterized, we’re getting back to routine at home and we’ve reconnected with family and friends who missed us while we were away.  It’s great to be home, to be sure, but it’s hard not to long for the open road again.

Our last few days driving home from Nevada had not been without its challenges.  For one thing, it seemed like we were the only Snowbirds travelling north!  All the RV traffic we passed (mostly fellow Canadians from B.C. and Alberta) must have thought we were going in the wrong direction…and they would have been right!  Especially when we hit snow in Ely, Nevada I wished we could just make a U-turn and head back the way we had come.  We waved to the southern-bound Snowbirds and continued our trek northward but not without some regrets we were not going in the opposite direction.

Stopping at the Craters to the Moon National Park for lunch enroute to spending the night in Dillon, Montana we mistakenly depended on our GPS to guide our way through unfamiliar territory.  We had discovered throughout our “Great Adventure” that the GPS was a good tool to use at times to help us navigate in the cities but we also discovered that it was not without its quirks.  For one thing, the GPS “lady” insisted on leading us down some routes that contradicted the road signs ahead.  Then when we followed the signs that clearly took us in the right direction, GPS Judy (as I started to name her), would demand that we make a “legal U-turn” until we were ready to strangle her.  There were times that road construction seemed to throw off our GPS and “Judy” would advise us that “guidance could not be given at this time” as we detoured on.  Our GPS didn’t understand the fact that a rig our size needed more than 50 feet to change lanes and turn in the direction she insisted we take.  We’d miss the turn and she would once again hissy-fit at us to “make a legal U-turn” until she could recalculate an obscure route that would circle us back again.  By that time, ignoring her incessant squawking to legally U-turn, we’d usually found our way back on track by following the posted road signs and then she wouldn’t talk to us again, put off that we found a better route than she had intended for us to go.  Many times I thought of our GPS as the blind leading the blind.  (Matthew 15:14)

As the weather was growing more snowy and road conditions started to deteriorate the further north we travelled, we were content to have GPS Judy calmly guide us while we concentrated on the winter driving. Perhaps she decided this was going to be her way to enact revenge on us for all the times we had ignored her advice before, but we were too busy concentrating on icy road conditions to question her choice to go left to Dillon rather than right.  We blindly followed her direction and a few miles later we found ourselves on a snowy, icy, muddy, gravel road going up a mountain pass with no way to turn around.  GPS Judy was silent while I wept.  I feared we would get our 52 foot-long rig stuck or jack-knifed and I cried and prayed and prayed and cried as my husband kept his composure despite a caterwauling wife beside him.  For twenty miles he brilliantly maneuvered our truck and fifth wheel, having more faith in God and his driving ability than I did at the time, and safely got us over the worst road we had ever been on!

“Another lesson learned!” he declared as he washed off two inches of mud, snow and ice caked on the front, sides and back of our trailer at an RV power wash in Dillon a few hours later.  “Never solely trust the GPS,” he said.

Yeah, no kidding.


A Snowbird is a term often associated with people who move from colder climates of the northern USAWN1421201_l and Canada and migrate southward in winter to warmer locales such as Florida, California, Hawaii, Arizona, Texas, or elsewhere along the Sun Belt of the southern United States and into Mexico.  Canadians took on the name, “Snowbird” as their own when Anne Murray (Canada’s sweetheart), in 1969 sang her way into all our hearts with the line: “Spread your tiny wings and fly away, and take the snow back with you where it came from on that day…”

I’m being really honest here but I am NOT a fan of snow.  I never took to the snow sports, so I don’t take advantage of the winter weather to do “fun” things.  For me, it’s an endurance to suffer through the snowy seasons until the warm weather returns…and that can sometimes be a very long wait.  In Alberta I have seen snow in all twelve months!  Thank goodness we also have those wonderful Chinook winds that can blow in so temperatures rise from well below 0 C to into double-digit temperatures within hours.  Barometric pressure messes with my head, so it’s migraine time when that happens!

We are very used to snow, we Canadians.  We have to be!  When snow is on the ground on an average of eight months a year, we learn to live with the white stuff.  We are very spoiled where we live with the views of the Rockies, and the snow on their peaks make them even more beautiful!  That’s about the only benefit I see with having snow in our vicinity.  I love looking at the mountains!

Enroute back home from Las Vegas, we spent the night in Ely, Nevada and woke up to snow this morning!  In fact, we are the cold spot in the U.S. this morning!  I knew I was going home to snow in Alberta, but I sure did not expect snow in Nevada!  I reluctantly retired my tank top, shorts and sandals and put on my jeans and sweater.  I am in a woe-is-me mode this morning lamenting the fact we are leaving summer behind the farther north we travel.

Our “Great Adventure” continues as we travel north.  God uses the weather to teach me along the way.  As much as I love the summer weather we have experienced the last four weeks, the reality is that there will be days of bad weather…and snow!

We travel with God through all seasons of life.  We love the fair weather, but certainly there are far more lessons learned through cold, snowy months.  Those are the times we hunker down and just try to stay warm and connected with God.  So today, I’m looking out the RV window and I’m seeing a ray of sunlight peak over the snow-covered peaks here in Ely and I can’t help but smile.  This Snowbird is almost home.

“He Who forms the mountains, Who creates the wind, and Who reveals His thoughts to mankind,
Who turns dawn to darkness, and treads on the heights of the earth—the Lord God Almighty is His name..” Amos 4:13

On the Road Again

rv_there_yet_shower_curtainAn interesting week in Las Vegas to be sure.  As we plan on rolling up the awning of our 5th wheel and start heading for home, we take with us countless memories (and pictures) of our “Great Adventure”.  Being away more than a month, it almost seems like we’ve been away a year…we’ve seen and done so much!  However, we can’t put off going back to reality although the temptation to go further south is definitely there!  Now that we’ve experienced what retirement may look like as full-time RV’ers, I’m not nearly as trepidatious about traveling and living in our little home-away-from-home long-term.

Still, there were some ups and downs along the way.  I had a little tumble down some steps coming out of a restaurant in Cannon Beach, Oregon.  Twisted my right ankle and my derriere suffered some colourful bruising.  I was so worried that my little fall would mean a trip home earlier than expected, but except for the bruising I was up and walking the next day.

Last Monday here in Vegas, my left leg started to swell, then throb and although I hoped it was just muscle soreness my husband insisted I go get it looked at.  My “Spidey Senses” were tingling, hoping it would not be true, but having experienced one years before, I had an inkling it was a blood clot.  Sure enough, it was confirmed by an ultrasound: a clot just below the knee to the ankle.  Good thing we had it checked out and thank goodness for Traveller’s Insurance especially when we had to fill the blood thinner prescription!  For those of you Snowbirds from Canada, who are planning to travel to the States or anywhere, do NOT leave home without medical/traveller’s insurance.  We were shocked by the cost of the prescription: $1000.00 US!  Not to mention the cost of the emergency room visit and the medical tests which we estimated to be nearly $3,000.00.  That’s quite a hit if you don’t have insurance.

Many of you may be asking what caused the clot?  The doctor suspected it was sitting too long while travelling.  Even though we would stop and stretch our legs when we were driving, they suggested that with my blood clotting history, I need to get out and walk every 1-2 hours to get circulation in my legs.  It also means that although I might like to travel more, I need to go home to my family doctor and I’ll be “grounded” from travel for a few months anyway.  I’ll be investing in some compression stockings before we head back on the road.  It will take over a week to get back to Alberta and there will be lots of stops along the way…more now with my having to stretch the legs.  Take note, fellow RV’ers, I am giving you advice learned through experience :)

We texted the kids and they started praying for my recovery to be speedy.  Between the prayers and the blood thinners, I’m happy to say, my leg showed almost immediate improvement and didn’t slow me down too much so I could take in a few more beautiful sites in and around the Las Vegas area before heading home.

This past weekend, we met up with some dear friends who are now full-time RVers and yesterday we took in the NHRA Toyota National Drag Racing championships here.  For car enthusiasts, like my husband, it’s a must-see event to see Top Fuel dragsters hit over 300 mph in 3 seconds!  It’s an experience I will never forget either.

So, would appreciate journey mercy prayers as we travel back home over the week.  Not looking forward to the snow we’re going back home to, but I’m ready to winterize the rig and already counting down the days until we’re RV’ing again next year.







There is a Cost to Feeding Self

IMG_1304Since we began our “Great Adventure”, one thing my husband and I have not lacked is FOOD.  Oh my!  We will have to go on an immediate diet when we get back to our Albertan Abode.  In every restaurant we have eaten in here in the States, I’m convinced the portion sizes for one would feed a family of four!  I generally take at least one half to two-thirds of my meal home and feast on the leftovers the next day with my husband.  Not to mention the meals I prepare in our little home-away-from home when camping; we have taken to eating only two meals a day: a mid-morning brunch and a late supper.  Eating more than that would definitely cost us in excessive poundage that would take months of work to get rid of once we got home.  There is definitely a negative cost to feeding self!

A few days ago we walked along the famous Las Vegas Strip and I couldn’t help but say the same thing there: there is a cost to feeding self.  In a town famous for indulging the whims and wants of people, “Sin City” lives up to its name.  Although absolutely grandiose in its architectural facades from the Statue of Liberty replica at the New York, New York Hotel, to the two-story guitar at the entrance to the Hard Rock Café, everything is meant to lure and captivate, and from the crowds there on the Strip it obviously works!

My husband and I walked up and down the street and felt intimidated by all the sights and sounds.  There is a dark side to Vegas and it was impossible not to notice the scantily dressed men and women on billboards and the neon flash of lights promising instant winners at gaming tables.  The saying that “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” might be a catchy slogan for any city or town that caters to satisfying the selfish desires of people who want to participate in selfish and sinful pursuits but it is not necessarily a true statement because “what happens in Vegas (or any other City), does not stay in Vegas”.  There are always negative results that follow a person, sometimes for a lifetime, when they indulge in sin.  Unfortunately a better way to encapsulate what we found on the Strip was, “every man for himself and if it feels good do it, no matter the consequences”!  With that kind of attitude it’s easy to conclude that there is always going to be a negative cost to feeding self!

We walked past many street people who held up signs asking for hand-outs.  Even in a town dominated by money and opulence there are the working poor and the very destitute.  Although we know from our experience with panhandling in Calgary that many of those street people are just looking for money to feed addictions, others are panhandlers who entertain to attract attention.  Here in Vegas we passed one man who held up a sign reading:

Need money!  Wife got a sex change operation and ran off with my girlfriend!

What does one say to that??

On the drive back to our campsite in Boulder City, about twenty minutes outside of Las Vegas, we pondered upon what we had experienced there on the Strip.  Certainly the sights are spectacular but I had to admit I was more impressed by what we saw off the Strip than on it.

We passed several large and what appeared to be thriving churches with parking lots full of cars.  It is obvious that people recognize that their city, like any other, need Jesus Christ.

We stopped for gas at a self-serve station and a young man ran up to our truck and asked if he could wash our windows.  He didn’t ask for a tip, but he did such an excellent job of it that my husband said he was glad to pay him for his effort.  In every store we’ve been in here the customer service has been exceptional…you can’t help but be impressed!  In our campsite, our T.V. was not picking up the cable channels and two park attendants came to help us discover why.  When we still could not connect due to the analog technology not being compatible with our T.V., one of the men said we could borrow his T.V. for the duration of our stay here.  That’s selflessness and THAT impression will stay with us forever.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”  Philippians 2:3-4

And so our Great Adventure continues…