Day 24 [Melbourne – Cocoa, FL]

Sunday, November 30, 2014

[Distance traveled: 20 miles]

(Having a lot of problems with the Internet tonight, so may not get photos posted until tomorrow night. We are IN Cocoa tonight, and will be leaving before 7am to hopefully be HOME before dark. THANKS for all your prayers!….TGG, jon)

Happy Sunday! Happy Lord’s Day, for all those who might have worshipped in the various churches today.

And WHY worship?

And what exactly IS worship?

Just a couple quick thoughts….

I think of worship as giving thanks. Kinda like celebrating Thanksgiving EVERY Sunday. And there is something special about “corporal” worship, doing it around, and IN the presence of other folks.

Paul says that we should not “forsake the assembling of ourselves together” (folks who are trying to DO right). (Hebrews 10:25)

In Revelation 12:11 it says that satan can be defeated by “the blood of the Lamb (Jesus) and the word of their testimony.”

And for TESTIMONY to work, there has to someone to SAY it, AND someone to HEAR it….right?!’

Right!!

AND 2 Timothy 2:22 says to “Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.”

So….get yourselves in church AND Sunday School….ESPECIALLY Sunday School.

And why on Sunday?

That is simply in recognition of something no one has ever done before or since….Jesus was cruelly crucified, buried, laid there a couple days, and then ROSE from the DEAD (thus PROVING He was God) on the first day of the week, or Sunday. So THAT’s the day we worship, THAT’s the day we come together and say THANKS.

Now Earline and I happened to take advantage, as some others do, of coming together with some other Believers last night to say thanks, because this morning we wanted to knock 20 miles off our distance between here and Orlando.

So we got our trikes assembled in Jyl and Dennis’s garage early this morning….

Trikes in Lees garage

….and then said our good-byes to Jyl, Dennis, and Riley [she’s the gorgeous one in the brown coat!].

Jyl Dennis Riley pose

It really was a pretty day today, as we headed up Wickham Road.

Beautiful day on Wickham Road

We ended up going right past my mom’s old house, right on the path where she used to take 2-mile morning walks 6 days a week, right up until a couple months before she died.

Route past moms house

And we fondly remembered all the times she came to this window and waved good-bye as we drove away:

Sliding glass window where mom waved

We went past some real pretty homes and churches:

Pretty church

But since we weren’t in a hurry, we decided to mostly ride the sidewalks. There ARE pluses and minuses to riding the sidewalks….sometimes they are smooth and wide, and clean….

Sidewalks wide and clean

Sometimes, well, they were not….

Sometimes NOT

Some kind a drainage problem here, it looks like….the water was actually only an inch or two deep, so we went through slowly, something you can only DO with TRIKES!

And then, sometimes, utility companies decide they can use the sidewalk area for their own purposes….

Sidewalk obstacles

The curb drains can be several inches deep between the street and the start of the sidewalk….TOUGH going up and down these with our heavy loads….

Bad curb

But when the bike path is only 18 inches wide, where do you go? Our trikes are 32 inches wide.

18 inch shoulder

Even the bike handles of most BIKES will run somewhere around 21 to 24 inches wide.

Hmmmmm.

We actually got to the motel around 2pm, so we decided to take a walk across the street to a Sam’s that happened to be there. Earline tried out this bike….do you like this better than our trikes, Earline?

Earline tries trike

[Actually, I think she just liked the color! LOL!]

See the trike behind her? It had a price tag of $1500 on it….what!!??!

Upon closer inspection, this was a MOTORZIED trike….HEY, that’s cheating!

Tricycle battery

So….what’s the point? You won’t get any exercise this way! Ha!

Actually, I think Earline wanted to come to Sam’s to get the pizza and soda deal for 2 bucks!

Right?

Really wanted their pizza

Okay, we need to get back to the motel! I did a little repair work on Earline’s trike….found this rear light casing that showed fatigue.

Busted light

I did happen to have a replacement along, so I just switched them out.

Did some other adjustments and tweaking on both the trikes, and we both got to bed by 9pm. Set the alarm for 4:30am….gotta take advantage of the light we have tomorrow.

TGG,

jon

Day 23 [Melbourne, FL]

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2014

Today was OUR Thanksgiving, as we were able to spend time with my sister, and even have some leftover turkey!

Dennis and Jyl have a dog named Riley, 5 years old, and was gentle enough even for Earline to pat [just like Thor back in 2010]. Hey, Riley!

Earline and Riley

And we had to get a selfie with Jyl:

Selfie with Earline Jon Jyl

In the evening we went to a local church named Faith Fellowship….real pretty sanctuary, and the folks were friendly….

Faith Fellowship sanctuary

The assistant pastor gave a message from John, and they were true to the Word….boldly declaring that Jesus is God in the flesh….in verse 14 of John 1, the Greek word that is translated flesh, or human, is the word sarx, which literally means not a soul or a spirit, but strictly the meat of an animal….”meat and bones” as some would say. God IN THE FLESH.

John was THERE….he should know!

[John confirms this in his 1st letter….see 1 John 4:2. To test if a person is an authentic prophet, they HAVE to believe that Jesus came in the flesh.]

Jesus is also described as LIGHT in John 1:5. The light that darkness can NEVER extinguish.

Today at the house I saw some lights that can go out, but they are definitely stronger than any bike light I have ever seen. My brother-in-law markets bike parts and accessories to dealers across Florida, and he showed me his suitcase of lights from Serfas, one of which is 2500 lumens. 25 HUNDRED lumens.

Check your light bulbs in the store sometime….400, 800 lumens. Not this….

Serfas light

2500 lumens! That is brighter than a car headlight! Wow.

[Of course, Jesus’ “LIGHT” is even brighter than that, and it NEVER goes out! Ha!]

If you want more details about the Serfas light, leave me a comment here, and I’ll get back to you.

Time to pack and get ready to hit the road tomorrow morning. Only 2 days left!

TGG,

jon

Day 20 [North Ft. Pierce Beach]

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2014

When I poked my head out the door at 8:00 this morning and saw this….

Rain

And then about 30 minutes later it was blowing, and raining even harder…..I guess the bad weather from yesterday in Orlando finally caught up with us, huh!

Windy, and getting colder [okay, COOLER, for you folks up North…ha!]

So…..we made the executive decision to stay in today. Probably needed some rest after going almost 65 miles in the last 2 days.

One quick comment about the goings-on in Ferguson, Missouri. As some of you know, we went through that area on our 2010 Mission POSSIBLE Tour, and had the opportunity to speak a few minutes at a Wednesday night Bible study at the nearby Believer’s Temple Word Fellowship Church where Dr. Calvin Scott is the pastor. These folks were so warm and kind to us, and they had over 100 folks out on a rainy Wednesday night for Bible study! Yea!

We pray for them and for the peace of that whole area.

And I appreciate the wisdom of a tight end from the New Orleans Saints football team, Ben Watson, who wasn’t afraid to tell it, that the bottom line problem in the Ferguson case and its aftermath is SIN. The sin of pride, and big egos, and greed.

Pray that people in that area will allow God to use them to learn from Him, to gain Heavenly Wisdom to combat what satan would use for destruction, and to bring us ALL closer the TRUTH of God’s Word.

Resting up for tomorrow’s ride up A1A [guess the wind won’t be behind us tomorrow, heh!!].

Thanks for ALL of YOUR prayers. We love you.

Through God’s grace,

jon

 

Day 17 [North Palm Beach, FL]

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2014

[Distance traveled; 2 miles]

When we woke up this morning, we asked God to help us find church, so I googled “church” around our location, and found Lighthouse Baptist Church just a mile away. We quickly got ready….

….[see, now this is A TRUE SERVANT’S heart….ironing my clothes for me before church]….

Doing whatever it takes

….and had a quick continental breakfast in the motel lobby, and headed to church.

Heading to church

Arriving at Lighthouse

We started to leave our trikes out front, but I got the idea that it might rain, so we brought them inside the gate, and under a roof.

Trikes at Lighthouse

And the church was an excellent one!

Welcome to Lighthouse

Sunday School was small, but lively, and there was real depth of understanding about the Word evident from many in attendance. We especially appreciated Miss Sue, and her leadership of the class. God is pleased! YES!

And the worship service was a little different than what we were used to….not really a sermon, per se, and that might be because of the nature of THIS service.

Dr. Mike Butzberger is the Pastor, and he was all over the Word, and even helped lead the music with two other ladies.

Worship team

This service in particular was their Sunday-before-Thanksgiving, their annual “giving thanks to God” service. Pastor Mike showed the verse, John 1:16 where it says: “We have all benefited from the rich blessings he brought to us—blessing upon blessing heaped upon us!”

And then Psalm 22:22: “I will praise you to all my brothers; I will stand up before the congregation and testify of the wonderful things you have done.”

There was a microphone set up at the front of the church, and people would come up and share giving reasons for thanking God….although I think only one round was intended, there ended up being 4 rounds, as the kids got involved, and it almost became a little competition to see who could give the most thanks.

THAT loosened up some of the adults, and as time went on, more folks came forward to share.

Pastor then shared some tidbits in between all this, and the service flowed nicely.

Afterwards Earline got a selfie with Ola and Linda.

Earline, Ola, and Linda

Pray for Linda….she and her husband are taking care of a very sick son-in-law, who has a cyst on his stomach that they are trying to dry up, and in the meantime he has lost over 40 pounds….no eating or drinking for a while until the doctors can get this cyst closed up.

We met Jason and his wife, Kathy, who has a pretty voice and is part of the Praise Team. Jason’s mom, Jane, is also a cyclist, and often goes 10 miles a day. Alright!

Kathy, Jason, and Jane

And Jason encouraged Earline with YOLO [you only live once], and therefore you CAN conquer your fears, because fear, like life, is fleeting.

Jon got in a quick picture with Dr. B and his wife:

Pastor Mike and his wife

And immediately after we took this picture, we noticed it was RAINING outside!

Ack!

We did not bring ANY rain gear. But I really think God had a plan in mind, because we were NOT interested in riding in the rain, and GOD wanted us to hang around a little longer.

Turns out that Jeannie was waiting outside [but UNDER the roof] to talk to Earline, because she sensed that Earline had been sent here to this service today to talk specifically to her. We had a good chat, and I had a chance to let Michael try out the trike.

Jeannie and her son Michael

And after we finished talking with Jeannie and Michael….the rain stopped!

Earline, Michael, and Jeannie

In fact, it must have stopped a little earlier, because by the time we unlocked our trikes and said our goodbyes, even the roads were dry!

[LOVE those heavenly coincidences!]

AGAIN, we are grateful.

This afternoon washed clothes, got caught up on the blog, and watched an interesting documentary on TV about Banksy art in New York City while chowing down on some Papa Johns pizza. Mmm-mmm.

Through God’s grace,

jon

Day 13 [North Hollywood, FL]

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2014

[Distance traveled: 2 miles]

A day to rest Earline’s leg, and a day to do some repairs, and a day to get laundry done. Yea!

When we came in last night it was dark and still drizzling….[okay maybe it was not THAT bad, but some of you up north DO have MUCH snow….be careful!]….

Jon arriving at Kenwood

But this morning we could see better the cute little courtyard here at the Kenwood Motel.

Kenwood courtyard

And in the far right corner of the photo, you can see the washer and dryer. So convenient! Thanks, God.

The room also worked out great for us, because they were nice and big, AND both trikes fit thru the door. That is a BIG plus…otherwise we would have to dismantle the panniers, which is fairly easy on Earline’s trike, but on mine, so so much.

Inside room

[I made sure that I wiped off the tires with a rag before we brought them into the room….we want to be courteous and GRATEFUL for a gift like this room.]

[And honestly, we did not watch a minute of TV….too much to DO!]

Real cool this morning, in the mid 50s, but the forecast is for close to 70 degrees tomorrow, so we’re good!

Tonight we had the opportunity to minister at Elder Elaine’s church, the New Hope Missionary Baptist Church here in North Hollywood where Elder Connail Johnson is the Pastor. [Another plus of the motel is that it was only a mile to the church, so add just 2 miles to our distance traveled. Ha!]

It was a cute little church, and the people were very warm and hospitable. We sensed a spirit of deep love for the Lord, and were impressed with how many young men boldly expressed their love for God. One of the ladies created this beautiful Thanksgiving wreath:

Thanksgiving wreath

When the first young man spoke at the beginning of the service, I had a hard time hearing what he was saying. It might have because of the music they were playing during his talk. Probably my fault, because I am involved in the music ministry at Iglesia Gracia de Dios in Orlando, and one side of my brain was trying to hear the Word, and the other side was saying, “oh, listen to that transition, oh, that was a nice melody, oh, did they just modulate there?, oh, they need to pull pack the mids on that section, and up the highs, oh, that was a nice harmony, oh….etc., etc. ACK!”

They did eventually turn the music down, and that helped….whew!

The young men in the back were able to pull up our blog and put it on the screen in the front of the church. I had never seen that done before with our blog…great!

NHMBC screen

Earline and I then shared a little about our ministry to the Deaf, and why we do these Mission POSSIBLE Tours. Earline also talked a little about Facing Your Fears, including getting your hair trimmed at Supercuts. Sometimes things don’t turn out like we hope….I will let HER explain!

And finally, I taught the congregation Joshua 1:9, the first of the FEARLESS songs. They did great!

Pastor Johnson was home sick tonight, so please pray for his health! Elder Elaine gave Earline the opportunity to interpret the message, then, from Eugenia Bonds, who we found out after the service has a Deaf daughter in Orlando! Small world!

Earline interp Eugenia Bonds

Earline was interpreting for two Deaf ladies [I remember Cora on the right from our Deaf revival last year at Mt. Sinai], and Ernest on the front row, who is learning sign language.

Cora, Ernest and one other deaf lady

After the service, some of the folks had an opportunity to sit down in the trikes and test them out. Here’s Daniel, who loves the Lord, and got married only about 4 MONTHS ago. [Earline, we HAVE to tell them about the GORGEOUS Winshape marriage retreat center up in Mt. Berry, GA. See Day -2.]

Daniel testing trike

Pastor’s wife, “Lady J” WAS at the service, and took a picture with Earline.

Earline and Lady J

Earline, [OF COURSE! Ha!], got a selfie with Elder Elaine and Lady J:

Selfie with EE,EB, and Lady J

But not to be outdone, I ALSO got a selfie with Elder Elaine!

Jon and EE selfie

We are grateful for the opportunity to share our story, and how EACH of us has a special part in the body of Christ where we can thrive and be useful in building up HIS Kingdom.

Only THROUGH GOD’S GRACE,

jon

Day 10 [Key Largo – Homestead, FL]

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2014

[Distance traveled: 25 miles]

Had a really good night’s sleep at King’s Kamp, and the weather is almost perfect….light breeze, and maybe 75, 80 degrees.

As we were packing, a small C-Class RV pulled up beside us, and it was a young couple from Switzerland! They were in the U.S. for about 3 weeks, and are on their way to Key West.

Earline and Regula had a chance to talk for a while. Regula’s first language is German, so I sprechened a little Deutsch with her. We found out she is a Christian, and an Emergency Room nurse in Switzerland. When we left, we had a chance to have little prayer time with Regula, for their travels and ours.

Regula from Switzerland

After leaving the camp, we went next door to a little eating place called Evelyn’s of Key Largo. What a friendly little restaurant! For those of you familiar with Mr. Quick in Orlando, it was kind of like a fancy Mr. Quick, with a Spanish/Mexican/Keys flavor. [We love Mt. Quick!]

The food was scrumptious, and after we finished eating, one of the waitresses helped Earline fill our water bottles and small igloo with ice. How nice and thoughtful of them! For those of you who read my blog yesterday about customer service….THIS is what I was talking about. THIS is customer service, and we love it! Evelyn’s in Key Largo, about Mile Marker 104, on the north side of the road. Go there, and tell them the Wifi Pedalers sent you!

Headed out of town with bellys full, and fresh ice, and stopped to take a picture of the “You Are Leaving” sign.

Earline take picture of sign

So what exactly does the sign say? Check it out…

Key Largo sign

Oh, NOOOOOOOOOO! Back to reality!!!!!

Ha!

Here’s Earline officially leaving the Keys….you made it! [Only 375 miles to go….whoa!]

Officially leaving the Keys

But we hadn’t even gotten to the first big hill, when….thump, thump!

What?

Did I run over something?

There were some grates along the side of the road, next to the turquoise-painted walls [did you notice?….turquoise – I guess it is a Keys thing].

When I ran over one of those grates, apparently it knocked my tire pump loose, and that’s what I bumped against. Earline picked it up, and it looks like it survived any damage, and I had to reattach it.

Fixing loose pump

NOW we can go over the big hill.

Biggest bridge

When we got to the top, I stuck up my camera to the side and took this picture. [Earline, this is what you didn’t didn’t want to look at….see what you’re missing??!!??] [This is a higher-rez picture.]

Higher rez look over bridge

Then we had fun coming DOWN this hill…got up to 30 MPH going down. WHEEEE!

But that was it pretty much it….over 20 miles of a mostly straight, boring road, and….WAIT!

What does that sign say?

Crocodile crossing

Okay, so let me figure this out.

[Uncle Dan, maybe you can help me with this one.]

First of all, the Florida Department of Transportation wants us to know that there MAY be crocodiles trying to cross the road for the next 6 miles.

Okay, question 1….WHY in the world are they trying to cross the road?

Okay, question 2….if I DO see one trying to cross the road, is there something I am supposed to do?

[This seems especially significant for those of us ON A BICYCLE, OR TRICYCLE, don’t you think??!!?]

Okay, question 3….if I DO see one, and it starts to chase me, can I fight back? This seems to me to be an important fact that I should have figured out BEFORE I actually see one trying to cross the road!

Comments or suggestions are appreciated!

[Isn’t this Mission POSSIBLE Tour called FACING YOUR FEARS? I guess I did not understand that meant I would have to face…a CROCODILE!] [I think song #3 is probably the best song for this situation: “I (God) will help you, I will uphold you with My victorious right hand!”….especially if it is high above the jaws of some ornery crocodile!]

By the way, we did NOT see any crocodiles.

Whew!

So, OTHERWISE, it is basically just a straight shot north, and Earline got a nice picture of the skies.

Facinating clouds in hwy 1

By the way, we had to be careful NOT to drink too much water….there are NO services for this stretch through the swamp…no trees to hide behind, no cornfields….you just have got to hold it!

Whew!

There were some rumble grooves along the side, but for the most part they were within 3 feet of the outside white line of the right lane, and then there would be another 4 to 5 feet of blacktop surface OUTSIDE the rumble grooves for us to ride on. So mostly a smooth ride, and this was also very beneficial for Earline and her knee…it got sore again today, but it was almost 10 miles before it really started to bother her.

She does seem to be getting stronger each day. Thanks God!

FINALLY we arrived at the RaceTrak across from Card Sound Road. YES!

We did look for a church to go to a Sunday night service. Found one not too far away, the new Branches United Methodist Church.

But, alas, apparently they do not have a Sunday evening service.

We then stopped at a Bike Hostel we saw just off the bike trail coming from the Keys. They have got quite a set-up their courtyard…impressive! Even a flowing waterfall that you can drink and swim in! [I hear it IS a little chilly, however! Think warm thoughts.]

Hostel

Bike hostel in Homestead

Thanks, Bonnie, for taking the time to show us around! [I hope I remembered your name right!]

She and Earline, of course, HAD to take a selfie:

Bonnie at Bike Hostel

Alas, they didn’t have any private rooms available, so we found somewhere else close by to stay.

One final thought….and this is from “My Utmost for His Highest” by Oswald Chambers.

He writes:

“It’s one thing to go through a crisis grandly, yet quite another to go through every day glorifying God when there is no witness, no limelight, and no one paying even the remotest attention to us. To do even the most humbling tasks to the glory of God takes the Almighty God Incarnate working in us. The true test of a saint’s life is not successfulness but faithfulness on the human level of life.”

….”even the most humbling tasks”….

Our routine these days means unpacking and packing the tent, or gathering up scraps of trash, or Earline helping hold the hand pump still while I pump up the air mattress, or rubbing down Earline’s knee, or putting Cortizone on that mosquito bite that the other person just cannot quite reach…

….ALL these tasks should be done to the glory of God. ALL.

What are some humbling tasks that YOU do? What are you doing where there is “no one paying even the remotest attention to”….THAT is “the true test of a saint’s life.”

May all YOUR tasks today be done in “faithfulness” with gratitude and thanks to God.

“God…working in us.”

Thanks again to ALL of you for your prayers and support.

TGG,

jon

Day 3 [Key West, FL]

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2014

Happy Sunday!

Well, I do believe that today was the SHORTEST distance we have ever had to go to a church service. I remember, I did live in a church for 4 months during my senior year of college for an internship as a youth director, but my apartment there was was at the far end of the church, and I had to walk a ways, where this was just down the stairs and under our apartment, so I think this trip to church wins!

Ha!

[Also DARE NOT BE LATE for this church…no excuse there!]

At the 9:30 Sunday School, Elder Tim Warner lead us into an interesting study of the Greek words for love. One thing he pointed out that I didn’t know was the first instance of the word LOVE in the Bible is….

Well, do you know?

Guess.

Got it?

The answer is….

….I’ll tell you at the end of the blog! [smile]

In the 11:00 church service, Pastor Bill tackled the difficult subject of the event of salvation being a decision of an individual versus God’s enabling. This was based on Ephesians 2:1-10. Excellent study.

Pastor’s wife Sessie led us in music worship:

Sessie

Here’s Pastor Bill talking to one the attendees, Lois, after the service:

Lois and Pastor Bill

Then Pastor and his wife invited us to their home for lunch. Wonderful food and fellowship!

Then, we were ALLOWED to come to the evening service, too! Woo-woo!

[Allowed?]

NoSignsAllowed

[Ha!]

Again, Pastor Bill gave an interesting and thorough study on Simon the magician in Acts 8:4-25, and the difference between the Gospel as a narrative, Acts as church history, or didactical teaching from an epistle. Deep teaching that Pastor Bill was able to share clearly and with understanding. THANKS!

Here is Pastor Bill with Earline and I:

Jon, Earline, Bill

The church has many paintings on the walls that were actually painted by the Welzien’s daughter Abigail….here are 2 that she did – the Pillars of Fire and Cloud in the desert:

Pillars of fire and cloud

Abigail’s web site is ColorsOfWhite.com.

We also had a chance to meet their daughter Priscilla, and her “good friend” Doug who just finished 5 years in the Navy, and a week from tomorrow will start work as a civilian air traffic controller here at the Navy Training Center we rode past yesterday. God bless your efforts, Doug, and thank you for honoring God with YOUR testimony!

Priscilla and Doug

Earline made a new friend, too, with Judy, who we prayed together with for her friend who had a leaky house boat. God, please fix his boat, and make it obvious to him that it was YOUR doing! Amen!

Earline and Judy

THANK YOU Keys Presbyterian Church for your fellowship and your friendship.

Tomorrow we will stay in one more day to do some repair on the trikes, clean clothes, and avoid any rain left over from today!

[It has been raining pretty much all day, and right now at 11:55pm, is raining quite hard! THANKS, GOD, that we were not traveling today…YES!]

Only through God’s grace,

jon

[Oh, I almost forgot! The answer to the first instance of the word “love” in the Bible? It is not until the 22nd chapter of Genesis. Check out verse 2. And it is a pattern of life, of sacrifice, that flows throughout the Bible until God Himself offers Himself on the cross. See Philippians 2:5-11.]

Day 1 [Key West, FL]

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2014

A very special day today, as our 2014 MPT got underway….I would have to describe it as seeing the Bible come alive, to see God’s Word demonstrably presented in a number of ways.

DJ got up early to enjoy a beautiful sunrise and get bitten by thousands of mosquitoes. Ha!

Sunrise at Coppitt Key

He then headed back home so he could be there in time to pick up Zaria and Isaiah after school. And after he left, Earline sat here with tears in her eyes because DJ told her “he got it!”, that he was really starting to understand what mission work is all about, about making yourselves available for HIS purposes, whatever that might be.

I spoke this morning on Facebook briefly how, even though we don’t deserve it, God is being KIND to us again at the beginning of THIS tour, like He did in 2010, because He provided the Keys Presbyterian Church apartment as a wonderful retreat place for us to prepare physically, mentally, and spiritually for our upcoming journey.

East side of church

One interesting characteristic of this location, is that there is a naval training center/airport just a few miles southwest of here, and as soon as it gets light, you will experience pilots taking off in their F-18s [think Top Gun movie]. No sleeping in around here! Ha!

We walked to a little restaurant a couple blocks away, where it looked like a lot of locals were going and had a GREAT lunch. [Great idea to always look for where the locals go!]

Even found a place next door with microwavable ice cream! [See, Earline isn’t the only one who microwaves her ice cream….hmmm!]

Shake

Pastor Bill then picked us up, along with a ministry friend, John Dunn, and we headed to Mallory Square, on the northwest tip of the island.

Pastor Bill and John Dunn

Pastor Bill then set up his board…he said they discovered the plans for the easel he was using in the ancient ruins at Ephesus, Turkey, of how to construct this board presentation that apparently Paul used when ministering to the Greeks in the Roman Empire. [smile]

Prepping the boards

He also said Peter, though, wasn’t a big fan of the easel board presentation of the Gospel.

HA!

A lot of expensive water craft can be seen from here.There is also apparently a speed boat festival going on this week that draws a lot of people [and vendors.]

Girl and daughter with speedboat

sailboat

Coconut lady

Including this guy who was apparently telling everybody their future [wonder if he ever plays the lottery?!?].

Future guy

I found this gentlemen over by the restrooms, with orchestration coming from his little portable speaker, as he played along on his wooden flute “Ave Maria.” He was quite good!

Ave Maria flute

Pastor Bill does about a 20 minute presentation a little before sunset, and then another one right after. He has several topics he can do, and this first one he did was called Two Religions.

Two religions pres

Pastor Bill comes alive when he’s preaching….and he was just coming straight from the Bible. Simple Gospel message. It really was fascinating to watch! Some people would stop and watch, most would just saunter past, sometimes right in from of him while he’s talking!

[By the way, Pastor Mills, I am not sure which is you is more “height-challenged”, but I think Pastor Bill might have you beat! But as with you, sometimes the best comes in small packages. Pastor Bill is actually an avid swimmer, and 63 times has swum the 12 miles around the island of Key West! He said it takes him about 6 hours. Whoa! In fact, in September 2009, as far as he knows, he was the FIRST person to swim across the Sea of Galilee from north to south, a distance of about 14 miles. He said it was tough, especially when the wind picked up – it took him about 10 hours.]

After Pastor Bill’s first presentation, everybody then was calling attention to the gorgeous sunset, apparently awed by what they were seeing, but oblivious to the One who MADE what they were seeing.

Sundown

So, how many people were watching?

Sunset watchers

Then Pastor Bill did his second presentation, this one called “Is God Narrow-Minded?”

Pastor Bill starts narrow minded

Narrow minded pres

Sometimes people will react to him. Some will ask questions, some will make fun of him, most will just ignore. All the while John Dunn would be there PRAYING….John is a member of Pastor Bill’s church. John had a bad accident up in New York some 30 years ago, and he is in an increasingly tough physical condition, and yet he has been doing this with Pastor Bill for 28 years. Wow!

Earline and John

So, what’s the point?

It is like Paul told his tearful friends in Ephesus after he had ministered there for 3 years, and knew he would never see them again:

From Acts 20: When they arrived he declared, “You know that from the day I set foot in the province of Asia until now I have done the Lord’s work humbly and with many tears. I have endured the trials that came to me from the plots of the Jews. I never shrank back from telling you what you needed to hear, either publicly or in your homes. I have had one message for Jews and Greeks alike—the necessity of repenting from sin and turning to God, and of having faith in our Lord Jesus.”

Pastor Bill puts it out there….he is being faithful to preach. But it is the Spirit that changes the hearts: “a change of heart produced by the Spirit” it says in Romans 2:29.

And Jesus plainly stated, in John 16:8-9, some of His LAST WORDS to His disciples, that:

And when He [the Holy Spirit] comes, He will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in Me.

So, share the Truth, tell the Good News, and let the Spirit do His work…because the PROMISE is:

“The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with My Word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It WILL accomplish all I want it to, and it WILL prosper everywhere I send it.” Isaiah 55:10-11

And that TRULY is Good News!

Okay, time to pack up!

Tearing down

[Are you sure that piece goes in there? Ha, after 3 times a week for 28 years, I think he’s got it!]

Thanks, Pastor Bill, and thanks, KEM, for letting us join in your ministry.

[Tomorrow we trike over to Key West!]

TGG,

jon

Day 9 [Jacksonville]

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2011

The forecast is 80% chance of rain today….and we aren’t triking! What a great timing! Thanks, God!

I quickly in the morning loaded up the dirty clothes and headed by trike to a laundromat only a mile away [I can see on radar the showers won’t arrive until around noon], and Earline prepared for a leadership meeting for some ladies from FBDA [the Florida chapter of the National Deaf Black Advocates].

In the afternoon Earline had her meeting….they discussed the purpose of agendas, and about knowing and accomplishing your mission statement.

3 Ladies of FDBA

Earline at Leadership Meeting

After I got back from washing clothes, I set the computer on a table outside [the fellowship building had aluminum sides and roof, and I couldn’t get a good satellite signal inside], and worked on the blog as the rain came.

Table working on blog

And it got COLD! Temperature probably dropped 20, 25 degrees in a matter of an hour or 2. In the evening, Pastor Pat and her husband Pastor Kenneth took us out for a wonderful meal at Golden Corral [How are we supposed to lose any weight on our trip?….ha!].

Pastors Kenneth and Pat Cochran

We then headed back for one last night in our little room.

Accomodations at EDC

Back at the Fellowship Hall, while I worked on the blog, Pastor Pat, Earline, Rose, and Sam had a long discussion about Deaf ministry, and life, and….well, around 8:00pm I heard them talking about closing in prayer, and around 10:00pm I heard them….talking about closing in prayer! Ha!

Rose EEB Pat and Sam

Thanks Lord, for a day of discussion, of learning, of organizing, and of trying to be more like YOU.

TGG,

jon

Day 8 [Jacksonville]

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2011

Happy Sunday!….and half way thru the 2011 Mission POSSIBLE Tour.

Pastor Pat agreed to let us take the Sunday School time to teach The 10C [10 commandments] in a visual format that helps memorize each one. These graphics are taken from Living Waters, specifically the Evidence Bible from Ray Comfort. [I even got to teach a couple songs: “Deep and Wide,” and a brand new song inspired by the vultures: “Birds, Dogs, Bridges, and Bears!”]

Pastor Pat introducing us:

Pastor Pat

Earline teaching the 10C:

Teaching The 10C

The congregation watching Earline:

Ephphatha learning the 10C

Brother Anthony Seawright [Dr. Antz] did a visual teaching on the seeds [sins] that stick to your pants [person]. Good teaching!

Pastor Pat and Bro Antz

And we also found out that Dr. Antz is the boyfriend of Faye from First Baptist Deaf Church of Baton Rouge where we were the past 2 summers. Small world!

[See: www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtqJrNOZ4-k]

Bro. Buzz was the official photographer for the day:

Photographer Buzz

There was even a short celebration and gooey cake after the service….Ephphatha was celebrating their 28th Anniversary! Congratulations!

Rose and Lovey

Earline also had the opportunity to do some one-on-one question-and-answering:

Discussing cults

Here’s the whole congregation for a picture after the service.

Whole cong at EDC

By the way, did I tell you that Ephphatha means “Be opened”? [See Mark 7:34, and the surrounding story].

Thank you, Ephphatha Deaf Assemblies of God Church for your warmth, and your hospitality. We love you!

At the end of the day we took advantage of the $2 specials at Taco Bell.

Thank you, Lord, for using us today. May your words, that were spoken through us, have special and lasting effects in the hearts of the hearers of those words.

TGG,

jon