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Archive for January, 2015

The Miracle of You available on Amazon.som

The Miracle of You available on Amazon.com

“God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM.’ And He said, ‘Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, I AM has sent me to you’“ (Exodus 3:14 NKJV).
That same God who created the universe spoke through the prophets to give messages to the people He created. This amazing God, that created the Milky Way, the mountains, and the seas, cared enough to communicate with us through gifted men and women who listened to Him.

Moses was tending his father-in-law’s flock when he came upon a bush that seemed to be on fire. He saw that the bush didn’t burn up, and continued to burn long after it should have been a pile of ashes. His curiosity led him to approach the bush. When the Lord saw that Moses had come over to look, He called to Moses from the bush. God told Moses to take off his shoes because he was standing on holy ground.

Then the Lord told Moses He was sending him to Pharaoh to bring His people out of Egypt. Moses went into immediate shock and denial. He basically said he couldn’t do it and even if he tried, who would believe him? But God showed him that he could do it.

Moses wanted to know how to answer the people when they asked about this God who sent him. And that’s when God identified Himself as “I AM.” He assured Moses and the people that “HE IS” exactly what they need in their situation and “HE IS” with them now and always. “HE IS” on their side.

We as a people are so very special that God Himself, the Creator of the universe, not only sent Moses to free His people from captivity, but also identified Himself to us and the rest of the world. This is how He wants to be identified. “I AM.” That means “HE IS” now. The miracle is that God is with you right now.

This devotional is an excerpt from The Miracle is You. Click here to order The Miracle of You!

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Sioux Lookout

Talk about finding a remote tourist attraction. I love the little out-of-the-way places with the big stories behind them. This is one from my childhood. Sioux Lookout is the highest point along the Platte River Valley. In the past it was used by Native Americans to spy approaching wagon trains. Before 2000 you could hike to the summit and stand in front of a commanding statue of a ornately decorated chief. Sadly, the statue has been placed on the courthouse square in North Platte because vandals nearly destroyed it. Some fifty years ago I remember climbing atop the hill only to see that an arm had been torn off or the head had been damaged. I would return to see that someone had made attempts at repairing it over the years. I can certainly understand the need to bring the statue into safe harbor.

The deep ruts up the hill are the result of thousands of visitors erosion by wind and water.

Sioux Lookout on the summit

Sioux Lookout on the summit

Sioux Lookout, the highest point in Lincoln County, was a prominent landmark on the overland trials. From its lofty summit the development of the West unfolded before the eyes of the Sioux and other Indians. Trappers and traders came by here in 1813, the first wagon train in 1830, and the first missionary in 1834. In 1836 Narcissa Whitman and Elizabeth Spalding became the first white women to travel the trail. During the Indian War of 1864-1865, its prominence gave a clear view of troop and Indian movements below.

Gold seekers enroute to California, homesteaders seeking free land in the West and a religious people seeking a haven in Utah–all are part of the history of this valley. Here echoed the hooves of the Pony Express. From 1840 to 1866 some 2,500,000 people traveled the valley, engraving into the sod a wide, deep trail. Indians called the route “The Great Medicine Road of the Whites.”

Sioux statue on Courthouse Square  North Platte, Nebraska

Sioux statue on Courthouse Square
North Platte, Nebraska

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Giving Elvis a little advice!

Giving Elvis a little advice!

This should be easy! If you get it right I will send you a free copy of “The Miracle of You”, a forty day devotional designed to make you aware of just how much God loves you. The answer will be on next week’s post.

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“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12 NKJV).

As far back as I can remember I knew Jesus existed. My family lived in a small town in Nebraska. We lived in a basement apartment with few extravagances. In fact, I remember my mother sewing cotton skirts for me to wear to school. On days when my sisters and I walked home in blizzards wearing our cotton skirts, we were frozen! My sisters and I shared the same bed until I was twelve years old. On cold nights we kept each other warm.

Poverty can have a debilitating effect on a child. Once in awhile my mother would send me to the store because she was fixing our favorite meal – goulash! We always looked forward to that day. As I said, she would send me to the store—for a quarter pound of hamburger. How my mother fed a family of five on a quarter pound of hamburger is a mystery to me. Nowadays one can hardly order a hamburger with less than a quarter pound of ground beef in it.

As children we used to say, we’re poor in money, but we’re rich in love. And to this day my siblings and I remain very close. Years later I realized how poor we were. We never got new clothes. We rode bicycles built from junkyard scraps. We made our own toys out of rocks and our imaginations. When things came up at school and our father couldn’t buy them for us, we did feel poor, comparing ourselves to the other kids.

Then one day I realized just how rich I am. I received Him at a young age. And He gave me the RIGHT to become HIS CHILD! I am a child of God, the King, Creator of the universe! He’s my Dad and He owns everything. So there. The miracle is that you are His child.

— from The Miracle is You. For more information click here.

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Me in front of the NASA insignia

Me in front of the NASA insignia

It’s at least a day of exploration, but well worth the time and energy. These NASA exhibits map the history of the United States’ space exploration. Not only that, you can actually sit in a mock – up of the Atlantis!

Entrance to the Kennedy Space Center

Entrance to the Kennedy Space Center

Get there early so you can get a full day in. The bus tour is a good way to begin so that you have an idea of what you want to see next. One of the reviews said, “We just visited the Kennedy Space Center (sept 2013) and we really enjoyed it. The 3D movies about the Hubble Satellite and the Space Station was really good and informative. I was blown away by the Atlantis Exhibit. Wow! I was so choked up for about 15 minutes and wanted to cry from being proud of NASA and our country. The hands on exhibits are cool, the simulator was really neat. It’s a motion ride but it’s really not bad. You get to feel what a real launch is like. The ride is pretty cool.”

Me - flying the shuttle! I finally got to be an astronaut!

Me – flying the shuttle! I finally got to be an astronaut!

Most of us are amazed at the size of these rockets!

Most of us are amazed at the size of these rockets!

By the time you leave Kennedy Space Center you feel very patriotic. As I wandered through these exhibits, I couldn’t help but think of the extraordinary astronauts that first started us on this journey. I think of Alan Shepard who became the first American to go into space and return. I remember John Glen on his orbit around the Earth. Then Gordon Cooper circled the Earth twenty-two times while all of us held our breath for his return. That orbit was the equivalent of spending one full day in space. And I remember where I was when Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon!

Donald ‘Deke’ Slayton was one of the original seven, but was grounded in 1962 because of an irregular heart rhythm. After that he served as NASA’s Director of Flight Crew Operations until March 1972. At that time he was granted medical clearance to fly, and was assigned as the Docking Module Pilot of the 1975 Apollo–Soyuz Test Project, becoming the oldest person to fly in space at age 51. That has since been surpassed by another of the first seven, John Glenn who flew at the age of 77.

Then there was Scott Carpenter, who I had the pleasure of meeting only a few years ago. He was the second American (after John Glenn) to orbit the Earth and the fourth American in space. What a legacy he left. He was not only an astronaut, but an aquanaut, serving in SEALAB II. Walter ‘Wally’ Schirra was the first person to go into space three times, and the only person to have flown in Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo, logging a total of 295 hours and 15 minutes in space.

Finally, I thought of Gus Grissom, the second American in space and the first to make a second trip. He died on January 27, 1967, when fire engulfed his Apollo 1 capsule on the Launchpad. He and his two crew members were the first casualties in the U.S. space program. Each and every man that trained to be an astronaut knew he was risking his life as a pioneer in space. How I respect their determination and sacrifice. Just think of the many benefits we take for granted as a result of the space program. Ah, but that’s another blog!

The Atlantis

The Atlantis

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Hawaii, The Big Island

Viewing the beach from above.

Viewing the beach from above.

The Big Island has two active volcanoes, and as we have seen in the news lately, the island is still growing. Lava destroyed the town of Kapoho in 1960, and Kalapana and Kaimu in 1990. The television news gave us a glimpse recently of what it would be like to see a wall of hot lava creeping toward your home. Very scary!

Inspired to write!

Inspired to write!

David and I found a quite beach side table and enjoyed the seashore. Of course I had brought my writing pad and couldn’t help but be inspired. Many a tale has been written about Hawaii.

Whale watching

Whale watching

The Big Island offers a myriad of things to do. One of my favorite things was the whale watching cruise. We got so close to the whales that our guide was whispering into the microphone. He said, “This is about as close as you get.”
Unfortunately, it took me a moment to recover from the shock of seeing a whale within touching distance. By the time I focused my camera the mom and baby had moved on, but I think I got a pretty good shot!

Click here to see some great whale watching!

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The Perfect Winter Vacation

Amazing waterfalls on the big island.

Amazing waterfalls on the big island.

Akaka Falls is not far from Hilo, located just off the road, making it very easy to view. Be prepared to be stunned at the beauty. Niagara Falls is just a baby next to Akaka in terms of height!

Hawaii 10th Anniv 2002  24

Instead of hunkering down for the rest of a miserable winter, grab a flight to Hawaii! Ha! That’s a nice dream for most of us. Maybe next year. When David and I were there in January, there was nary a snowflake in sight. The lush tropical landscape enchanted me as we walked through bamboo trees so tall that they dwarfed David.

When we got to the falls we were told that the falls drop 442 feet, making them two and a half times higher than Niagara Falls. The trail takes about half an hour to walk in its entirety and it’s worth every step!

Click here to go on a zip line over the falls!

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Model of the Titanic in the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic

Model of the Titanic in the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic

It was not until I visited Halifax that I had any idea of the connection that city has to the Titanic. Our tour bus stopped at a graveyard where victims had been recovered at sea and brought there to be buried.

Touring the graves of Titanic victims

Touring the graves of Titanic victims

The RMS Titanic left Southampton, England on April 10, 1912, on her maiden voyage. On Sunday, April 14 at 11:40 pm, the Titanic struck a giant iceberg and by 2:20 am on April 15, the “unsinkable ship” was gone. The first vessel to arrive at the scene of the disaster was the Cunard Liner RMS Carpathia and she was able to rescue more than 700 survivors.

The stone tells the story.

The stone tells the story.

On April 17, the Halifax-based Cable Steamer Mackay-Bennett set sail with a minister, an undertaker and a cargo of ice, coffins and canvas bags. Her crew was able to recover 306 bodies, 116 of which had to be buried at sea. On April 26, the Mackay-Bennett left for Halifax with 190 bodies. She was relieved by the Minia, also a Halifax-based cable ship.

Most of the gravestones, erected in the fall of 1912 and paid for by the White Star Line, are plain granite blocks. In some cases, however, families, friends or other groups chose to commission a larger and more elaborate gravestone. All of these more personalized graves, including the striking Celtic cross and the beautiful monument to the “unknown child” are located at Fairview Lawn. Click here for more information about the “unknown child”.

Click here for more details about the recovery of other victims of the Titanic.

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Entrance to the Maritime Museum of he Atlantic

Entrance to the Maritime Museum of he Atlantic

It’s one of the most moving experiences of visiting Nova Scotia. The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic must be visited if you want to understand the history of Halifax. Located in downtown Halifax, Nova Scotia, it is the oldest and largest maritime museum in Canada with a collection of over 30,000 artifacts including 70 small craft and a steamship: the CSS Acadia, a 180 foot steam-powered hydrographic survey ship launched in 1913.

The museum is located on the waterfront and one can be fooled regarding the size of it when entering the building. The large area in front of you is only a small portion of what is contained there. The museum was founded in 1948. It was first known as the Maritime Museum of Canada and located at HMC Dockyard, the naval base on Halifax Harbor. The museum moved through several locations over the next three decades before its current building was constructed in 1981 as part of a waterfront redevelopment program. The museum received the CSS Acadia in 1982. Today the museum is part of the Nova Scotia Museum system.

Just one of the exhibits on the main floor

Just one of the exhibits on the main floor

In addition to the over 30,000 artifacts, the museum also has a collection of 30,000 photographs as well as a large collection of charts and rare books. A reference library, open to the public, is named after the Museum’s founding director, The Niels Jannasch Library. The museum has Canada’s largest collection of ship portraits including the oldest ship portrait in Canada as well as a large collection of ship models including the original production models of the television show Theodore Tugboat. Ongoing restoration of Whim, a 1937 C-Class sloop can be found in one of the boatsheds on the wharf behind the museum. In addition to this current restoration project, the boatsheds house some of the museum’s small craft collection. During the summer months three boats in the working small craft collection can be found moored next to CSS Acadia.

Public galleries include the Days of Sail, the Age of Steam, Small Craft, the Canadian Navy, the Halifax Explosion, and Shipwrecks. A special permanent exhibit explores the sinking of RMS Titanic with an emphasis on Nova Scotia’s connection to recovering the bodies of Titanic victims. The museum has the world’s foremost collection of wooden artifacts from Titanic, including one of the few surviving deck chairs. The Titanic exhibit also includes a child’s pair of shoes which helped identify Titanic’s “unknown child” as Sidney Leslie Goodwin. The Age of Steam gallery includes a special display on Samuel Cunard, the Nova Scotian who created the Cunard Line.

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David and I at Peggy's Cove

David and I at Peggy’s Cove

One of the most interesting places to visit in Nova Scotia is Peggy’s Cove. The small town is located just twenty-six miles southwest of Halifax. Peggy’s Cove is just one of many small fishing communities located in the area. It sits on the eastern point of St. Margaret’s Bay.

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This present lighthouse was fist lit in 1915. However, the original lighthouse was just a wooden house with a beacon on the roof constructed in 1868. At sundown the keeper lit a kerosene oil lamp magnified by a silver-plated mirror, creating the red beacon light marking the eastern entrance to St. Margaret’s Bay. That lighthouse was replaced by the current structure, an octagonal lighthouse built in 1914.

The lighthouse is made of reinforced concrete and retains the eight-sided shape of earlier generations of wooden light towers. It stands nearly forty-nine feet tall. The old wooden lighthouse became the keeper’s dwelling and remained near to the current lighthouse until it was damaged by Hurricane Edna in 1954. In 1958 the lighthouse was automated. Since then, the red light was changed to white light, then to a green light in the late 1970s. Finally, to conform to world standards, the light was changed to red in 2007.

Peggy’s Point Lighthouse is one of the most photographed structures in Canada and is recognized throughout the world. Interestingly enough, due to the rocky granite outcrop around the lighthouse, some visitors are swept off the rocks by waves each year. Sadly, some of these unfortunate visitors drown in the bay. This happens despite numerous warning signs for unpredictable surf.

Click here to read about the Swissair Flight 111 that crashed into the bay, near Peggy’s Cove.

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