It is Saturday morning in Dothan Alabama and we are at the A-Okay RV Park.  This appears to be a nice inexpensive park with few amenities which will suit us just fine for the next five weeks.  There will lots going on while we park here, including reconnecting with our Harvest Church friends.


We will also be looking at apartments to live in when we return to the area permanently later next spring or early summer.  While traveling has been fun and rewarding, our hearts have always been in Dothan.  We love the area better than any other place we have looked at and it is between our children, grandchildren and great-grandchild.


We will also look for opportunities to volunteer here in Dothan just on a more limited scale than we have been doing.  The blessings we receive from God are not for us alone but for those who have greater needs.  And there are always people poorer than us, people who need the love of the Lord and people who just need to know that they are loved.  Where we can best serve is yet to be determined, we just know that it will be here.

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Happy Thanksgiving. Well, here we are in Blakely, Georgia at a pretty little state park (Kolomoki Mounds). We have water and 30 AMP electric service but no sewer hookup which is fine since we are only spending 3 nights and they have a dump station for when we leave.


We have been spending time with Linda’s sister and her husband and will be with them today. Tomorrow we travel to Dothan and begin our round of doctor visits. As we have been talking here it has become apparent that Linda is very tired and that she feels like Dothan is the place where she wants to call her home base. So, this will be the place where we reestablish our roots. That is not to say that we will no longer travel, rather our trips will be shorter in length and duration and we will always winter in Dothan.


Dothan is where we met, where our original church family is located, a place of familiarity for Linda and between our two daughters. We will need to work out the details of this transition in lifestyles, but feel that this will improve our quality of life and spiritual journey. We have missed the fellowship of small group families and a stable church home.

This morning we are outside of Atlanta and this evening, the good Lord willing, we will be camped at Kolomoki Mounds and eating dinner with Linda’s sister Cindy. We marvel at being able to travel across the US in a day by air. But even more amazing is the ability to cook and eat breakfast in the morning, clean up, pack your home, drive 200 miles, setup and go to someone’s home for dinner in the evening.


Our front yard and back yard have changed 46 times since January 4th, 2017. We have met many new neighbors, made new friends and been blessed countless times by the Lord with amazing vistas. Each of the 6,100 miles that we will have traveled has been a true joy, not always fun, not always without some form of hardship but always with the Lord.


You see, whether you travel, like we do, or stay in one place, the Lord will always be with you. You will never be able run from Him and never be able to hide from Him. So you might as well embrace Him as your Creator, love Jesus as your Savior and learn to hear the Holy Spirit as your Guide, provided to you by God. Then, your joy will be complete.

Thirty-five degrees at 7:30 this morning and Little Man wants to go for a walk… outside. And I thought a cat would be less demanding than a dog, what with the litter pan and all. But, no, I get one of the few cats who prefer doing their business outside and actually seem to enjoy walking on a leash. Most days this is a joy, just not when it is this cold.


Or, just maybe this morning was a way for me to be reminded that it is not always about me, that my responsibilities do not end with me. In fact, we are taught that the last of us shall be first or to put it another way, the least of us shall be exalted.


So, when your task seems menial, when you do not feel the need to do what others need, when you just don’t want to help… remember. Remember all the things that were done for you over the years. Remember the times when others came to your aid. Especially remember what Jesus did for you before you even knew Him.


Jesus humbled Himself, took the sins of each one of us, bore the pain meant for us, all before we even acknowledged Him. We need an occasional reminder that putting others first was modeled for us long ago.

Walk a little shorter this morning, breakfast a little quicker because it is moving day again. This time we are traveling just over 100 miles and then resting for three nights in the Stone Mountain Campground just outside of Atlanta before continuing on to the Kolomoki Mounds State Park in Blakely Georgia.


These past 2 weeks have been quiet and peaceful, an accurate reflection of what our lives are becoming. With the realization that we no longer need to be at a certain place at a certain time comes freedom… the freedom to observe others, to interact with people leisurely and with intention. We can share our journey and hear about the journey of others.


Some that we meet are still in what we call the ‘get it done’ mode, moving from attraction to attraction and working hard to see as much as possible along the way, afraid of missing something. What they do not realize is that it is the journey that is important, it is those one meets, those one can help, those who need to tell their story or hear yours that embody the purpose of this time in their lives.


So, we move slowly and leisurely and pay attention to those we meet and in doing so we become better people, we receive healing and sometimes we help others to heal.

This morning’s walk took Little Man on a meandering trip through the campground, towing me along behind. Away we went, winding into an abandoned road behind the pavilion, past campers along the way, finally arriving at the site we used for two days when we first arrived while waiting for a full-hookup site. This was where confusion reared its ugly head.


Little Man decided that his walk was done, and we had an argument over whether to stay or move on. Considerable discussion ensued with much gesturing and argument, all under the watchful eye of a fellow camper. As we finally moved on, I explained that walking a cat was very different from walking a dog. Cats are more hardheaded than dogs and less apt to give in. Patience needs to be used abundantly since cats seldom recognize any one else as the alpha male.


I see a lot of our cat in myself. I am stubborn, opinionated and know that I am mostly right. That is why my walks with Little Man are so important for me. The Lord uses Little Man’s attitudes to show me my own failings. All those emotions that my cat creates in me by his lack of faith in my leadership, by his stubbornness and determination to go his own way, show me how little faith I have in the Lord’s leadership, and His great patience with me.

We watched as the news unfolded from our daughter… there had been a suicide at our grandson’s school A high school senior had gone out as part of a fire drill to the bus loop and shot himself in the head. Ben was not in the vicinity, he was never in danger. And yet fear entered our hearts. We were hundreds of miles away, only able to know secondhand and after the fact what was happening.


As the day progressed, our fear was replaced by relief, relief that ours were okay, sadness for the family and friends of the deceased, and pride in the response of our grandson.


Our grandson who we first knew as Ben-Ben and later as Benjamin, our grandson that we feared would never grow up, showed that he is a man yesterday. He was the compassionate one who consoled others and he was rock for others to cling to. Given the option of staying home today he went to school anyway. His friends needed him.


Stepping up during tough times, not with bravado and bluster but with kindness and caring, that is the true test of a man. Thank you for your example Ben.

Today has started as a cold (low 40’s), wet day and will be that way all day. Does this mean that today will be a miserable day? That is the adjective usually ascribed to a cold and wet day. Once again, just like happiness comes from within us… so does being miserable.


What people do to us, what the environment gives to us are things outside of our control. For the most part, illness and pain and suffering are things that happen to us and not things that we control. It lies within us to control our response to things that happen. We can choose to be happy, we can choose to reject misery and we can choose to seek the joy of the Lord in all that we do.


When we seek the joy of the Lord, when we actively pursue His peace for our lives, the Lord will grant us the desires of our heart. We will have joy and not misery, we will be filled with peace and not discord. So, seek first the will of God, pursue with passion His kingdom and be ready to be blessed every day for the rest of your life. Blessing will come… even amid pain and suffering, they will come.

As I sit here this morning contemplating the many generations of my family, I realized how fortunate my family is. My older brother and I can look at our mother and our great-grandchildren at the same time. Even though the old are weary and worn out, they are buoyed by the young and vibrant. Five generations strong, our family survives and even thrives.


The passing of the generations is to be celebrated as the new replaces the old. I have watched this renewal of life with the passing of my great-grandmother and grandmother. One of the blessings of longevity in a family is being able to see over the generations… see the past and the future together.


As with any extended family, there is one who becomes the nurturer, the person who takes responsibility for the wellbeing of those in need. We are fortunate to have an older brother willing to do this. He has always stepped up with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and now he is, once again, stepping up with our mother.


God places the humble servants where they are most needed and my brother David Ford is that person in our families lives.

You know who you are… the one who knows about Jesus, the who has been struggling to understand this thing called ‘salvation’, the one whose head gets in the way of what the heart knows. As life deals you blow after blow of pain and heartache, you wonder how God (if there even is one) could let this happen.


You know what you want… peace from all of struggles of daily life, the joy of knowing there is a Greater Authority in charge, freedom from the need to fix it all yourself. All you ask is the proof of a better tomorrow, the light at the end of the tunnel.


Our intellect looks at the world and says this is all there is, and satan says ‘yes, you are right, there is no God and even if there is, He left long ago and cares nothing for you’. The solution is so simple that our minds have trouble understanding. You need to look through your pain with your heart and see Jesus. Jesus will show you the truth and the truth is that you have never been alone. All the peace and joy that you need is waiting for you.


Just ask.

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