Monday, January 30, 2012

Native American Festival

        Mike & Cindy (from Illinois) arrived late Friday night so we all decided to go to the Native American Festival in Sarasota Saturday morning.  We stopped for breakfast at The Breakfast House (see earlier post), which was on the way to the festival, for a delicious, hearty breakfast.  The festival was educational and entertaining.  The costumes were beautiful!  The hoop dancer, Kevin Locke, was amazing.  At the time we watched him he worked with 28 hoops.  As he was dancing he explained the meaning of the hoops as a type of prayer.  He said he works with as many as 65 hoops at one time and that he had brought 100 which he would attempt to incorporate in a dance later in the day.  Here is a link to a YouTube video, if you would like to see him dance:

Kevin Locke, hoop dancer
        One of the booth owners told us they have pow-wows all over the U.S. and that Illinois alone has over 50.  He mentioned that one in Tipton, Indiana, on the first weekend in September, has over 500 dancers and is one of the best shows we could ever see.  
One of the dancers in native costume

        After the Festival we took Mike & Cindy to the Dry Dock restaurant for lunch and then spent the afternoon at the beach.  We were amazed at this phenomena--a halo around the sun--that appeared during the afternoon as we sat on the deck.
       The sunset was the most spectacular we have seen since we've been here--a beautiful gift to us all!   It is interesting to see people gather to watch the sunset at the condos--a very social occasion!

        After watching the sunset we went to The Beach House for dinner and to enjoy the live entertainment.  John Rinell has a beautiful voice and sounds just like the original artists of the songs he sings--particularly Frank Sinatra.  Even though it was a little cool, the restaurant had propane heaters so we were able to eat outside which always makes me feel like I'm on vacation.  It was a wonderful day!
     Then yesterday we went for a long walk on the beach and then to St. Amand's Circle to have lunch at the Cuban restaurant, Columbia.  We then strolled through the Art Show that was set up there.  
     On the way home we stopped at Publix--the local grocery store--for salad fixings for dinner so that we wouldn't have to go out again.  What a relaxing afternoon and evening spent at the condo!
     Our friends left this morning.  As our time on the beach is winding down my thoughts are beginning to turn to home.  It will be good to be home, but I'm a little reluctant to leave this beautiful area and the wonderful weather we have been having.

Friday, January 27, 2012

        It rained this morning so we read and watched the waves, and then went to The Dry Dock again for lunch.  I was so hungry for another grouper sandwich!  If you've been to Florida you probably know that grouper is a popular fish to eat here.  I've tried grouper sandwiches in several restaurants and have not been that impressed.  I suppose it is because I am not overly fond of seafood, but the waitress at the Dry Dock said they have the best grouper sandwiches in Longboat Key--and possibly the state--so I thought I should give it another try.  It was so good that I woke up this morning wishing I could have another one today.  Well, I got my wish.  Country Guy had one, too, and agreed with me that it really was the best we've ever had!
     We went for a walk along the water this afternoon.  The ocean is still very choppy from the storm.  That is me in the picture--in case you don't recognize me from this distance.  As you can see the beach is not crowded--one reason we love it here.
    Friends from Illinois have been visiting family in Florida and are planning to come stay with us a couple of days.  They're on their way back from Key West, so I don't know if they'll get here today or tomorrow.  It will be fun to see them.
     I'm sure with friends visiting that will also mean at least one more trip to The Dry Dock!   I guess I'll just have to suffer through it.  :o)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Today's vacation update

    We had lunch again at the Dry Dock Waterfront Grill.  It has become our favorite restaurant here in Florida, since both of us have tried something different from the menu each time we've been here for a total of 6 different entres and each one has been wonderful!  We're planning to go again at least one more time before we leave for Illinois.   Inside and outside seating is available, but because the weather has been so beautiful we always choose to be outside near the water.  Our first visit here was at night, but since most of the restaurants (including this one) have huge propane heaters in their outside dining areas it is pleasant to eat out even though the temperature drops pretty quickly when the sun goes down.
     Today, as always, there were several species of birds perched on the posts on the pier.
I especially liked the pose of this white ibis.  He would periodically look directly at me as if to say, "Aren't you going to take my picture?"  It was comical.

        Today the sea has been very choppy.  I think a storm is forecast for tomorrow.  I noticed when I went for a short walk at low tide that the sand on the beach had about a 6 or 8 inch drop off that the surf had cut in it because of the intensity of the waves.  It is amazing how much sand a wave (or a series of waves) can move!
       Only a few more days left in warm, sunny Florida.  I'm sure I will be a little sad to leave when the time comes.

Dennis Cramer

      I have heard much about Dennis Cramer and the accuracy of his personal and prophetic words but have not yet had the opportunity to sit under his ministry.  Not withstanding that fact, because of the doom & gloom prognosis for this world I have been encouraged by him just through the title of one of his books, The Next One Hundred Years.  Even though I haven't read the book the title says much.  Dennis is prophesying life will go on for at least 100 years.
     This "word" from him that was posted on Elijah List yesterday is definitely encouraging in light of the fear that the world will end in 2012.  There is also much good news for those of us who desire to see the Gospel preached with signs, wonders, and miracles as it was in biblical times.

The Gifts of the Spirit: Back From the Dead!  
        by Dennis Cramer   
     Jan 25, 2012
1. The gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12) will make a stunning comeback in 2012-2014!

2. The laity, the Body of Christ at large, will be the target for this revival of gifts. This will be a "God's people" revival, not a leader's revival of gifts.

3. Virtually all nine gifts will come to the forefront of our meetings – if we will allow them to.

4. Apostles and prophets will begin to impart and activate these gifts to the churches they minister in – here and abroad.

5. Some of the best teaching in years on these gifts will go forth from America's pulpits as pastors/teachers everywhere contribute their part to this gifts revival.

6. Information, impartation, and activation of these gifts will occupy entire meetings.

7. Other nations too will participate in this gifts awakening with a special emphasis on Asian nations.

8. Three power gifts: gift of faith, gifts of healing and gift of miracles will be especially restored.

9. Signs, wonders, various miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit will invade and ultimately destroy the works of the devil in 2012.

10. Those who find fault, or who criticize the operation of these gifts, will find themselves part of a group of Believers who will "miss God" and pay a terrible price for their skepticism and unbelief. These gifts will "polarize" the Church. Many will catch the fire, and many will not.

11. The Charismatic dimension of the Church will gain new credibility as these gifts are administered by quality men and women of character, integrity and honesty – displaying Christlikeness in their release of these powerful gifts.

12. This will be the year that the famous "nameless and faceless" generation of gifted men and women will finally arise among the nations.

This will be the year for the African-American Believer! There will an extra special move of God among African-American Believers, churches, and leaders characterized by the release of these nine powerful gifts.

Also, 2012 will mark the beginning of a new level of release of supernatural finances leading to extreme wealth. A curse is being broken off of the finances of many African-American brethren, and their personal and business finances will exceed their wildest imaginations – some even experiencing mega-wealth… all to the glory of God.

Everyone relax! The world will NOT end in 2012, Jesus will not return in 2012, and the Church will have one of her most powerful years in 2012. All Believers must be about their Father's business, must make full proof of their ministries, and must do the greater works Jesus spoke to us about. The word of the Lord for all Believers for 2012 is: produce, produce and produce. Do more in 2012 for the glory of God. Amen!

Dennis Cramer
Dennis Cramer Ministries

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A fun dinner tonight

     Country Guy checks the weather in Illinois everyday.  It is raining and the temperature is near freezing tonight as I write this, so I guess it's pretty miserable there.  Hearing that certainly doesn't make me eager to leave paradise.  :o)
     We took another long walk on the beach this morning.   After about 3 1/2 miles we stopped for breakfast at The Blue Dolpin and then walked another mile or so back to our condo.
     This afternoon we walked in the ocean for awhile.  The water felt really cold at first-- I saw somewhere the water temperature is in the low 60's, but after we walked in it a few minutes it began to feel much warmer and very refreshing since the temperature has been in the low 80's today.
       Don & Beth, friends from Aqueduct, live on AnnaMaria Island, which is connected to Longboat Key.  We met them tonight for dinner at The Beach House restaurant.  Because it was so warm today we ate outside and watched the sun set.  We had lots to catch up on since we hadn't seen them for several years.  Not only was the company great and the food good, but The Beach House had excellent live entertainment.
      It was another very fun and relaxing day!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Time Out

      Today we took the day off from the beach and went to Myakka River State Park.  On the way we had a wonderful breakfast at a cute little house which had been turned into a restaurant, called The Breakfast House.  The chairs of each table were painted a different color and then the table was set with the napkins to match the chair color.  Here's a picture:
     (I'm posting it not only so you can see the pretty chair colors but to hopefully inspire someone to start a restaurant in our hometown.  We certainly need one.)
     When we arrived at Myakka we decided to take the boat tour of the lake.  The captain was very knowledgeable and told us much about the park.  One of the things I found most interesting was that the lake was only 4 feet deep at the deepest part and it has been estimated over 1000 alligators live in it.  Here's a picture I took as we drove through the park: 
         This is a flock of white pelicans.  The captain said it is very unusual to see them in the park.  I actually didn't even know there was such a thing as a white pelican.  I now know they are one of North America's largest fresh water birds.

After the boat ride we hiked to the canopy walk and then continued up higher to the top of the tower which was 75 feet high.  We could see most of the park from there.
The canopy walkway

      We got home about 4:00 and then Country Guy went for an hour long walk on the beach.  I didn't go with him since I am still recuperating from my walk yesterday.  :o)    
     Afterwards we had pizza at a good Italian restaurant called The Bayou Tavern.  
     As soon as I get this posted, I am starting another book. 
     A very nice day!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Another Beautiful Day!

     It was another beautiful day today in Florida.  I think the temperature got nearly to 80 this afternoon.
     I went for a long walk on the beach this morning--actually longer than I had planned.  I was wearing my pedometer, but not my glasses.  I checked what I thought was the mileage when it read 247 and turned around, knowing I had that far to walk back, for a total of 5 miles which seemed like a long way to me.  When I got home and put on my glasses, I discovered the reading I was looking at was calories burned--507--but the distance I had walked was 7.14 miles.  Needless to say I was pretty tired.  It is a good feeling to know that I can walk that far, though.  The most disappointing thing is to realize I only burned 507 calories!  Surely that can't be right!
     There are lots of these birds on the beach waiting for a tasty morsel to wash ashore in the surf.  They are not afraid of people.  He (or she) was about 10 feet away.  As I took a step toward him/her he/she took a step away, but didn't intend to fly, it seems.
      We went to the Dry Dock Waterfront Grill again, this time for lunch,  It seems to be our favorite so far.

   This is a shot of the pool from our deck.  One of the things we love about this condo is the nearness to the pool and the beach and the fact that it has it's own stairs off the deck so we have great access to both.

      The sunsets are sooooo beautiful!  Each one is a little different.  Tonight's seemed especially spectacular!  Too bad pictures can't really capture all that beauty.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Vacation Log

      Yesterday we went to Naples to visit friends from Omaha who are staying there for the winter.  We had a delightful lunch at The Dock at Crayton Pier.  They then gave us a short driving tour of the city and took us to see where they are staying.  We sat on their lanai and "caught up" with the happenings in our families since we had last seen each other.  We were very impressed with the beauty of Naples.
     When we returned home we stopped at Venezia's at St. Armand's Circle for pizza.  Since we were already there we couldn't pass up another waffle cone at Kilwin's.  It's a good thing we have been walking a lot!
     Today we skipped breakfast in lieu of an early lunch at The Lazy Lobster.  It is about a mile from our condo so we enjoyed walking along the beach to get there.
     The weather has been absolutely beautiful here--in the upper 50's at night and the upper 70's during the day.
     I thought you might like to see what the Casa Del Mar looks like on the outside.  This is taken looking back from the beach.  We are on the second floor in the condo in the center that has the tall roof.  It actually has an extra loft bedroom.
      The following pictures show our view from the entry at the back of our condo.  The landscaping around the buildings is gorgeous and a sight for winter-weary eyes.  I love green!

      I wanted to include this picture because the sun was so beautiful this afternoon reflecting off the water!  It looked almost like diamonds on the ocean!

Do your ever write reviews on the Internet?

    I have been thinking about how lazy and selfish I've been to not write reviews on the Internet.
    Before I purchase anything I check product reviews and comparisons anywhere I can find them, but especially on Amazon.  It is so helpful to hear what others have discovered before making up my mind.  I have found some wonderful books, great appliances, good restaurants and hotels--almost anything I can think of has some sort of review published.
     I was thinking this morning of all the purchases I've made in the past few months based on reviews.

Here are just a few:
     The AccuSharp knife sharper--after trying mine out, I purchased more for Christmas gifts.
     Colorku Game Set for a granddaughter--a game similar to Sudoku but uses colored balls instead of numbers.  I liked it so much I bought one for me, too.
     A Bosch Pocket Driver for Country Guy for Christmas
     EyeClops Night Vision Binoculars for grandchildren for Christmas
     Think Fun Rush Hour and Think Fun Railroad for grandsons
     Mancala game for granddaughter
     Extra mixing bowl for Kitchenaid mixer for sister-in-law
     Hugh Halter's book "Sacrilege"
     Karole Truman's book "Feelings Buried Alive Never Die"
     CasaDelMar resort stay
     Various restaurant recommendations in Longboat Key, and Sarasota

     Because of all the help I've received I am feeling as if it is time to begin helping others.  So this morning I wrote a review for Hugh's book on Amazon.  One thing that has stopped me from writing reviews has been the time it takes to put my feelings about a product into words.  I find it difficult to communicate in a persuasive manner.   But as I think about it I realize I've been selfish not wanting to take the time to try, when others' reviews have saved me so much time and expense in purchases and added much to the quality of my life.
     One example--sitting on the beach listening to the soothing ebb and flow of the sea as I write this.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Sunset at Longboat Key

       We've had another leisurely day on Longboat Key.  We read for awhile, walked to the Blue Dolphin for a late breakfast, read some more, took another walk on the beach, watched the sunset and went to St. Armand's Circle for dinner at Tommy Bahama's and a waffle cone at Kilwin's.  I think I could get used to this life!  The weather has been perfect!  The temperature today was 77 degrees.  Mom just called to tell me it was freezing rain in Illinois so that makes it even more fun being here.  
      Tomorrow we are driving to Naples to have lunch with old friends and former neighbors, Joe & Michel,  from Omaha.  Michel & I used to walk together.  We haven't seen them in several years so we've  really been looking forward to our reunion!

        I thought you might enjoy seeing a sunset on the Gulf of Mexico, taken from our balcony, if you've never had the opportunity to see one--or if you just want to be reminded how beautiful they are.  It seems each one is different.

I Must Choose Not To Worry

        Do you sometimes catch yourself worrying?  I do. It seems with all the bad news I hear daily, it is difficult not to become fearful.  I begin to worry about what might happen and how I will cope with it if it does.  I then have to make a conscious effort to remind myself that I belong to God and that He has given me/us wonderful promises in His word about His care and protection for me/us.
        I begin to repeat His promises to myself:  "I will never leave you or forsake you," "Nothing is impossible with God," "He gives only good gifts to His children," "God is good all the time," "He works all things together for the good of those who love Him."
      One of the most helpful passages for me to remind myself of, though, is Matt. 6:25-33:  “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
    “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?  So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."  What a wonderful promise!  When I am reminded that God sees and cares about every detail of the smallest things He has created, how can I worry?  He created me. I am His, just as the flowers of the field are His.  Being reminded of this always helps me get my mind off my abilities to change the world and my circumstances, and get it back where it belongs on the One who created the world and holds it in His hands.
    Joseph Prince says, "My friend, when you worry, you are actually believing that the devil has the power to make inroads into your life that God cannot protect you from.  But when you refuse to worry, you are putting your faith in God.  You have more confidence in His love and power working for you than in the devil's ability to harm you!"
     I choose to put my faith in God's ability to protect and care for me instead of the devil's ability to harm me, don't you?  I choose to seek His kingdom and His righteousness and I expect that He will do just as He has promised.  
     And I need to remind myself of this daily!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Another Day in Paradise

     It is another beautiful day here in Longboat Key!
     Yesterday we went to the Lazy Lobster Restaurant for dinner.  What a great choice!  The food was delicious!
     We were planning to go there sometime because it was on the list of places to eat I had compiled from highly rated reviews, but since I had read the reviews for the Casa del Mar on TripAdvisor when I was looking for a new place to stay, I discovered there was a $50 coupon for use at a local restaurant on TripAdvisor.  When we got to the Casa del Mar they presented us with the coupon which was designated to be used at the Lazy Lobster.  Being the practical minded (cheap) people we are, we decided to use it during the discounted "early bird" dinner from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m.  That was a great idea because even though I called for reservations, as was suggested, there was no crowd and after ordering recommendations from the waitress (I had lemon sole) we still have $18.26 to spend on another meal.  We are looking forward to our next visit!
     I think we are going to walk to a restaurant a mile or two down the beach for breakfast this morning and after walking back, we will probably spend a few hours reading.  What a great opportunity!  I love to read! When I'm home I don't often let myself read novels because I get so caught up in them that I don't get anything else done, so I brought 6 with me.
     I've already finished one,  The Bride Collector, by Ted Dekker.  It certainly kept my interest.  Country Guy has already read The Woods by Harlen Coben and The Fourth of July, by James Patterson.  That is amazing because he never reads novels at home!  he liked both of them.  Of course, I've been alternating my novel reading with non-fiction and am almost finished with Sacrilege, by Hugh Halter, which I wrote about a few days ago.  I have really enjoyed it!  Hugh is a gifted writer.  Some of his stories make me laugh out loud.  But he also has a very refreshing way of looking at Christianity and communicating what it means to be a disciple of Jesus.  As our old friend, Tommy Tyson, who was the truest example of the love of Jesus I've ever been around, used to say, "He makes me want to be a Christian." I am hoping to find The Tangible Kingdom  written by Hugh, and by Matt Smay, while I'm in Florida.  If not, I'll be ordering it from Amazon when I get home.
    Time to get ready for breakfast, so I'll check in later.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Weather and Vacation

    It is January and the temperature in Illinois has been in the upper 50's!  The weather seems to be developing new patterns.  Last year everyone was amazed at the warmth of the winter, the wetness of the spring, the dryness of the summer...  I continually heard people say, "I can't remember a winter (spring, summer, fall) when the weather was like this."  It seems this year is setting new records, too.  I talked with a man from Minnesota last night.  He said they have yet to have a significant snow and the temperatures have been amazingly warm for MN this year.  I saw on the news last week that Valdez, Alaska, has had 26 feet of snow since November--a record for them!
      I must admit, I am not too concerned about the weather patterns right now, though, because we are sitting on the beach in Longboat Key, Florida, where the temperature is predicted to be in the mid to upper 70's for the next 10 days!  It is 70 degrees at I sit on the balcony typing this.  Here's the view from our deck:

      Our vacation time coincided with my sister Barb's trip to Illinois for business and pleasure so it worked out well.  She is house-sitting for us and is able to use our car while we're gone.  It seemed more than coincidence that she is going back to Arizona the day we return from Florida so she will take herself to the airport and leave the car for us. 
      As we left Tuesday from Illinois we drove through a thunderstorm with much lightening.  The temperature was 58 degrees.  I just checked and discovered the temperature there is 16 degrees right now with snow flurries forecast for tomorrow.  I have to admit it is good to hear we are missing some cold weather, even though I feel for those of you who are enduring it.
      Our plane arrived in Tampa almost 20 minutes early.  We were able to get our luggage, pick up our rental car and be on the road to our destination--Longboat Key--by 10:00 a.m. Illinois time.  Isn't that something--sleep in our own bed and be in Florida by 9:00 a.m.!
       We have been to Longboat Key several times but this is the first time we have stayed at the Casa Del Mar.  It is a 2 story complex.  Our room is facing the Gulf of Mexico on the second floor.  Here is a photo I took standing on the deck looking back into the condo.
   It is comparable to the Sand Cay where we usually stay but the rate was better and we thought it would be interesting to stay in a different complex this time.  It turns out to be only 3 units down from the Sand Cay.  
    On the way from the airport we stopped for lunch at a restaurant in Palmetto, called Popi's, which I found on the Internet.  Our gyros were very good.
    We checked into the Casa Del Mar early and went for a walk, read for awhile, and then went to dinner at the Dry Dock Waterfront Grill.  It was excellent!  (I spent an afternoon before the trip researching places to eat and things to do while we are here so we have several excellent recommendations we are eager to try.)  Our waitress recommended the crab cake combination which was yummy!
    Right now Country Guy is taking a walk on the beach while I write this, so I had better quit and join him.  It is too beautiful to stay inside very long!  
     More later...

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Hugh Halter

      My friend, Debbie, recently recommended some books by Hugh Halter and Matt Smay.  She said they have helped her to re-focus on what church was meant to be.
      Yesterday I searched the internet to see if Hugh Halter had a website.  He does.  This is one of his sites:   On it he has some interesting videos explaining what he believes the church is called to be and do.  He & Matt have produced hands-on materials to help individuals and churches get to that place.  The material includes a book called The Tangible Kingdom, along with a Tangible Kingdom Primer that is meant to be used as an 8-week training manual.
     I found the website and the videos very helpful and also exciting.  It/they seem to confirm what we have been sensing in The Gathering.  We have felt that God is calling us to something different, but have not known what it would look like, or how to get there.  We have felt it would not be a church in the usual definition of the word, but have not been able to get a good idea of what it would be.  I can see how the information they have produced could help us immensely.
     I went to our local Christian bookstore last night.  They didn't have the Tangible Kingdom materials but they did have Hugh's book, Sacrilege.  I started reading it this morning and feel as if it is an answer to many prayers of seeking God for direction for our group, so I intend to order the Tangible Kingdom materials as soon as possible.
    Have you felt a stirring that there is more to being a church than maintaining a building and a program that meets on specific days in that building?  Do you long to live a Christian life that is relevant to the world, not just in word, but in deeds and relationships?   Do you desire to learn to know Jesus and do as He did?   Come join us at The Gathering on Sunday nights, beginning February 5, at 6:00 p.m.  We would love for you to explore with us what it means to be disciples of Jesus.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Elevate 2012

     The main line-up of bands is complete for Elevate 2012 which will be held Saturday, July 7, on the Martinsville Agricultural Fairgrounds.  We are excited about the great groups we were able to book.  Kutless, who has been a popular group for several years, will headline the evening.  Josh Wilson and For King & Country, both of whom have songs on Billboard's top 20, will also be playing full sets.  We plan to have the inflatables for children, and the concessions for the Fair which officially begins on Sunday will be in place to provide great "fair food."
     If you are anywhere near our area, don't miss this fun event for the whole family.
     For more information check out Elevate Martinsville's Facebook page and the website at

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The IDF Step By Step Guide to Self-Defense

       A friend sent this today.  Since I am not knowledgeable about self-defense, I found it helpful.  I wanted to have it for future reference so posting on the blog seemed like a good place to store it.  Hopefully, you will find it helpful, too.  (Sorry.  Because I cut and pasted it, it doesn't fit the page format correctly, but I couldn't figure out how to reset it.)

New post on Israel Defense Forces

The IDF Step By Step Guide to Self-Defense

Krav Maga (Close-Range Combat, lit."Touch-Fight") is a martial arts style specially developed by the IDF to suit the army's specific security needs. Each and every Israeli soldier, regardless of his job, must undergo training to learn the basic steps of self-defense -IDF style.
Following the prisoner negotiation for Sergeant First Class Gilad Shalit's release with Hamas, the terrorist organization ruling Gaza, has threatened additional soldier kidnapping. In light of this, we are issuing this step-by-step guide for the common man, to protect oneself from the threat of kidnapping.
Situation #1: An unfamiliar car stops in front of the sidewalk you're walking on. Suddenly, from the rear door a man emerges who tries to force you into the vehicle.
What to do:
1) Instead of instinctively resisting the attacker's pull, attack his eyes directly by shoving your fingers into the sockets to temporarily blind him.
IDF's Guide for Self Defense 2) While the attacker is unable to see, kick him as hard as possible in the groin.
IDF's Guide for Self Defense 3) Run away!
IDF's Guide for Self Defense
Situation #2: After neutralizing the first attacker, a second comes out from the rear door and pins your arms from behind.
What to do:
1) Kick him in the groin with your heel.
IDF's Guide for Self Defense
2) Hit him on the back of the head.
IDF's Guide for Self Defense 3) After his grip is shaken, finish him by kicking his face as hard as you can.
IDF's Guide for Self Defense Situation #3: Two attackers jump you; one pins your arms from behind and the other attacks you from the front.
What to do:
1) Kick the attacker in front of you as hard as possible and then pull down your body's center of gravity by bending forward.
IDF's Guide for Self Defense 2) Elbow the attacker behind you in the face.
IDF's Guide for Self Defense 3) Deliver another blow to your attacker's vulnerable area.

  1. IDF's Guide for Self Defense 4) Victory!
Israel Defense Forces | January 10, 2012 at 22:43 | Categories: Facts & Figures | URL:

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

That's My King! - SM Lockridge

I love this!!  What an amazing testimony and tribute!!

Sunday, January 8, 2012


       I believe worship of God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, is the number one responsibility of our lives and should be our number one priority.  It is the highest form of prayer, but it seems we often fail to recognize how important it is, and the power that true worship holds.  Because of our lack of understanding and our inhibitions we have not given God the praise that is due Him and that He desires.  I want to learn to worship better.  And then I want to actually do what I am learning.  For this to happen, I also need freedom from inhibitions.  I often find myself concerned about what others are thinking and if they are watching me.  This inhibits my true expression of worship.  I pray I will not allow others' opinions to hinder something I know pleases God.
      We had a pastor in Omaha once whose favorite saying was, "If you please God it doesn't matter who you displease, but if you displease God it doesn't matter who else you please."  I truly want to please God, don't you?
       I like the way James Goll has condensed the reasons for worship, the ways in which worship can be entered into and demonstrated, and the effects of true worship, in this excerpt/outline from his book, The Compassionate Intercessor.

The High Praises of God

A. The Entrance into His Presence
1. Psalm 100:4 (NASB) tells us, "Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name."
2. As you enter into praise, meditate on the provision the Lord has made for 
you through the Blood of Jesus (see Hebrews 10:19; 12:24 NASB).

B. Praise God for Who He Is!
1. The source of praise is the Holy Spirit activating your spirit/soul to express approval and adoration of God's greatness.
a. Psalm 51:15 (NASB) O Lord, open my lips, that my mouth may declare Your praise.
b. Psalm 119:164 (NASB) Seven times a day I praise You, because of Your righteous ordinances.
2. As you begin to praise the Lord, your spirit and soul will rise up to higher levels of exuberance and joy. You will become enlightened with a revelation of WHO HE IS! You will then find faith rising up within, declaring, "Nothing is too difficult for You (God)" (Jeremiah 32:17b, NASB).

C. Thank Him for What He Has Done (and what He will continue to do)
1. Thanksgiving awakens your love toward God, as you acknowledge that you are His child.
2. Thank Him that He gives every good and perfect gift to you (see James 1:17).
3. Respond with joy to Him for His benefits and ways.
a. Proverbs 3:6 (NASB) In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.
b. Psalm 116:12,17 (NASB) What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits toward me?...To You I shall offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving...
D. Seven Hebrew Words
1. Towdah - Sacrifice of thanksgiving or praise; to render thanksgiving or praise. See Psalm 42:4; 100:4.
2. Yadah - To throw, thrust, or cast away from; hands outward; to throw hands into the air. See Psalm 67:3; 107:8, 15, 21, 31.
3. Barak - To bless, to give thanks and praise to God because He has given out of His abundance; to bless as an act of adoration, to kneel. See Psalm 31:21; 63:4; 95:6.
4. Halal - To make a show or boast, to be clamorously foolish, to go about in a raging or raving way, to dance, to celebrate. See Psalm 56:4; 150:1-2.
5. Zamar - To celebrate with instruments, to praise the Lord skillfully on an instrument, to touch strings with the fingers. See Psalm 21:13; 33:2; 98:4.
6. Tehillah - Imperative summons to praise Jehovah. A psalm or a hymn, by choirs, with dancing and expressive speaking; festal jubilation. See Psalm 22:3,25; 33:1; 35:28.
7. Shabach - To praise, comment, soothe, still; adoration towards the power, glory, and sanctity of the Lord; to praise God for His mighty acts and deeds; to triumph in a loud voice. See Psalm 63:3; 117:1; 147:12.

E. Examples of Bodily Expression through Praise
1. When you clap your hands and stomp your feet, you portray your excitement (2 Kings 11:12; Psalm 98:8; Isaiah 55:12; Lamentations 2:15; Ezekiel 6:11).
2. When you stand up, march, or walk, you portray readiness to serve or to go (Genesis 13:17; Deuteronomy 11:22-25; Joshua 1:15; Psalm 68:7-8).
3. When you lift your hands, you are worshipping and surrendering to God (Exodus 17:8-16; 1 Kings 8:22-24; Psalm 28:2; 63:3-4; 134:2; 141:2; Luke 24:50-51; 1 Timothy 2:8; Hebrews 12:12).
4. When you dance, you express great joy (1 Samuel 18:6-7; Psalm 30:11; 149:3; Jeremiah 31:13; Luke 15:11-24).
5. When you sing, you express gladness of heart (Psalm 68:25; 100:2; 108:1; Proverbs 29:6; Isaiah 26:19; 65:13-14; Jeremiah 31:7; Zechariah 2:10; 1 Corinthians 14:15; James 5:13; Revelation 15:3).
6. When you play skillfully on an instrument, you show forth adoration (1 Samuel 16:23; 18:67; 2 Chronicles 5:13-14; 34:12; Psalm 33:3).
7. When you fall prostrate (fall down flat in homage to royalty or to God), you portray deep emotion and total surrender to God (Psalm 72:11; Isaiah 45:14).
8. When you kneel, you are portraying humility and dependence upon God (2 Chronicles 6:13; Matthew 17:14; Mark 1:40). Kneeling is asking for mercy (Luke 22:41; Acts 9:40; 21:5).
9.When you sit down or keep silent, you show forth rest and trust in God (Exodus 14:14; Joshua 6:10; Job 2:13; Proverbs 13:3; 17:27; Amos 5:13; 
Matthew 8:4; 12:16; 27:14; Luke 23:9; John 8:6).

F. What Does Extravagant Praise Do?
1. It blesses the Lord (Psalm 66:8; Luke 24:52-53).
2. It brings you into His presence and draws you closer to Him (Psalm 100:4).
3. It opens doors and makes rough places smooth (Isaiah 60:18; Acts 16:25-26).
4. It defeats the devil (Psalm 149:5-9; 2 Kings 11:13-14).
5. It brings revival (2 Chronicles 31:2; 34:12; Psalm 107:32).
6. It keeps you happy and gives you joy (Isaiah 61:1-3; Acts 2:45-47).

(This outline is part of the "Compassionate Prophetic Intercessor" by James W. Goll.)
Blessings to You!
James W. Goll
Encounters Network • PrayerStorm • Compassion Acts


Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Year's Resolutions

      It seems most people begin the new year with a determination to do some things differently.  So do I.  Of course, there is always the vow to begin eating things that are good for me instead of stuffing myself with more of the wonderful Christmas treats I've been eating for the past month.  Then there is my plan to get more exercise. I am never eager to get outside in the winter so this year I have a new exercise bike to help me it that area.  Now if I would get a little more disciplined!  :o)
       But one of the most important resolutions I make each year is to be more consistent in the time I spend in prayer and reading the Bible.  I have to admit it is a struggle, but I keep trying.  It helps so much to have someone to hold me accountable.  That's why I'm excited we are studying Colossians in The Gathering on Wednesday nights, but I also feel I want to be reading more.  
      Our daughter was telling me about the wonderful plan their pastor introduced to the congregation of the church she attends in Nebraska.  She said he had purchased the Chronological Bible at a discount for church members and is encouraging the whole church to get one and read along with him this year.  He will then be preaching on what they have been reading during the week on Sundays.  And on Wednesdays, he has invited those who are interested to meet for coffee, discussion and questions on the material they're reading.  I think that sounds like a wonderful way to be held accountable, don't you?  It would help me immensely to have a couple hundred people reading the same passages so I could discuss it with any number of them?  I need some constructive peer pressure!
      She also sent this link to a blog the pastor recommended:  It looks to be very helpful, so I thought I would pass it on to you, too.
      Have you made a determination to be more consistent in reading God's word this year?  I would love to know what you're reading.  Do you have a specific plan, or are you studying a particular book, or do you just read wherever your Bible opens?   There are so many different ways to read the Bible, but of course, the most important thing is that we do it.  God can speak to us through any page of His Word if we are taking the time to be available.  How else will we get to know Him?  That is my main New Year's resolution.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A New Beginning

    I always feel such hope and expectation--even a little excitement--at the beginning of a new year.  I'm still not sure why I feel this way, but again this year as I have put all the Christmas decorations back in storage and have returned the house to order I am hopeful and eager to begin this new year.
     It was good that the meeting of The Gathering coincided with the first day of the year.  We are off to a good start and it seems like a new beginning to us.  I finally discovered how to hook my computer to the screen in our family room so we were able to project the service from Bethel Church in Redding, CA into the room and worship along with the people there.  After a time of listening prayer and intercession we were encouraged by a word from Bethel's pastor, Bill Johnson, followed by discussion and fellowship.  It was a very good format for our group so we are planning to continue on Sunday nights at 6:00.
    We will also be meeting on Wednesday nights at 6:00 to study Colossians with a verse by verse video commentary of the book by Bob Utley.  We are excited about this new beginning for our group.
     If you live in this area and have a desire for more of God--to experience His love and Presence--and for great fellowship, teaching, prayer and worship, we invite you to come participate with us.  Call or email me if you need more information.