Discipline and the Disciple of Jesus

As I begin to formalize my research and study in support of my DMin major project from Knox Theological Seminary, I will be sharing my research and findings here. To begin, I’d like to give a justification or argument for my research.

We live in a frenetic world, our attentions and energies constantly vied for by spouses, families, work, church, sports, television, social media, marketers, ad infinitum. Even typing the list raised my stress level. Amidst all the chaos, we are expected to find time (make time) to spend in Bible study and prayer, not to mention other disciplines like worship, fellowship, service, fasting and the like.

Unfortunately, we often treat these “spiritual” activities as less significant, even optional. We justify their neglect with misapplied biblical doctrines like justification by grace not works and the unconditional love of God. While these doctrines are valid and true, they are primarily about justification and less about ongoing sanctification. We are most certainly saved apart from our deeds. And it is (thankfully) true that God’s love is not diminished or amplified by the depth and length of our quiet times.

In reality, the quality and richness of our lives is directly related to our faithfulness in walking with the Lord. Jesus told us that we are to abide, remain, in Him and that apart from Him we can do nothing. (John 15:5) Much like the deceptive serpent in the garden planted a seed of doubt in Eve (“surely you won’t die”), experience demonstrates that there is much that we can do apart from Christ. Just as eating the fruit resulted in spiritual death and eventual physical death, our efforts apart from Christ yield nothing significant or substantial.

Even for those in “professional” ministry, established and mature believers, this vital connection is prone to neglect. It could be argued that pastors and missionaries are more susceptible to this tendency by virtue of their ministry. Since they are about the things of God, their day is full of prayer, Bible study, evangelism, etc., and these activities can supplant personal devotional acts. Sustainable service must overflow from a well that is continually refilled through communion with God. When one pours into others without being himself refilled, the well eventually runs dry and burnout occurs.

As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are to emulate our master and obey his commands. A disciple, by definition, is one who practices discipline. To follow Christ, we must discipline ourselves to say no to certain things and yes to others. The Bible prescribes certain activities and practices intended to make us more like our master. The more we engage in these disciplines, the closer we grow to God, the easier we are able to discern his will and the more genuinely we are able to share His love with those around us.

In a world of competing priorities, how do we justify these spiritual activities that seemingly have no tangible, concrete results or rewards? The truth is that God, the creator of the universe, has designed the human being and thus knows the optimum operating conditions for humanity to thrive. In the weeks to come, I will share some of the physiological benefits of the Christian disciplines. Perhaps, once we understand that these “spiritual” practices have physical benefits as well, we can more readily justify prioritizing them in our daily lives.

Ministry Update – November 2020

We have been members of First Baptist Church Coronado for 6 years. God called us to serve as missionaries to missionaries, specifically to provide pastoral care to missionaries in the field. As I became more senior as a Navy chaplain, my ministry transitioned to pastoral care for junior chaplains. This burden for fellow chaplains became a heart for missionaries in the field without access to similar support. In the initial phases of establishing this ministry, we could find no missions agency that was willing to take us on due to our unique model, namely, utilizing our sailboat to go to missionaries in Mexico and Central America. FBCC shared our passion for missionary care and, observing our walk and confirming our call, agreed to act as our sending agency. We felt that it was very first-century, sharing with the model of the Church at Antioch sending Paul and Barnabus into the mission field. In 2016, I retired from the Navy after 21 years and now our family of seven lives full-time aboard our 38’ catamaran in a little less than 400 square feet.

Our boat is named “ANKYRIOS,” a combination of the Greek words “ankura” (anchor) and “kyrios” (Lord). Hebrews 6:19 says “We have this [hope] as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul. . .” Knowing that our only hope is in the person and work of Jesus Christ, we seek to help missionaries remain securely set, anchored, in Christ. Hebrews 2:1 reminds us that we are to “pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.” The challenge for any committed Christian is to keep Christ foremost, not allowing “ministry” to diminish our relationship with the Lord.

Over the past five years, we have served over 200 missionaries in more than 20 countries directly through counseling, mentoring, discipleship, prayer, debriefing, conferences, building projects, ministry coverage, preaching, teaching and rest & recuperation (convincing missionaries to take a break and go sailing, paddleboarding, surfing, snorkeling, etc. for a day). We have facilitated church plants, youth ministry, prison ministry, orphanages, homeless ministry, retreat centers, summer camps, addiction recovery ministries, direct evangelism and Operation Christmas Child to name a few.

We are currently in Puerto Peñasco, Sonora, Mexico where we hauled out for hurricane season and are in the midst of our annual maintenance / overhaul. We are planning to launch within the next month. We have a number of missionaries in Mexico with whom we have cultivated relationships over the last few years. We are scheduled to lead a conference in La Paz, Mexico for TEAM (The Evangelical Alliance Mission) with approximately 100 missionaries expected to attend. We will be researching and visiting a potential future ministry site near Guadalajara.

Financially, we are at approximately 30% of our monthly budget of $5000. Our personal expenses such as mortgage, insurance, food, clothing, education, medical, etc. are paid for with our military retirement pay. The financial support we receive goes to providing the services listed above at no cost to the missionaries. It is astounding how much others charge for these services. Our heart is to be able to continue to do so. However, we are facing a 25% drop in support that will directly impact our ability to serve this year.

Happy New Year 2020!

We want to take a moment to say thank you to those of you that support our ministry both financially and through your prayers. We have a unique opportunity to provide encouragement, counseling, preaching and teaching, training, and an extra set of hands to missionaries, pastors, chaplains, as well as expats and other boaters. We are also able to share the Gospel and our lives with unbelievers around us.

Supporting our ministry means you are also supporting:
-Church plants
-Youth ministries
-Prison ministry
-Home churches/Bible studies/discipleship for new believers
-Orphanages/abandoned children
-Transition homes for those aging out of orphanages
-ESL classes and job training to provide opportunities to youth and young adults
-Homeless ministry
-Operation Christmas Child
-Retreat centers
-Summer camps
-Building projects (schools, churches, homes)
-Addiction recovery ministries

In multiple places, such as:
-Mexico – Baja Sur, Sonora, Jalisco, Nayarit, Chiapas
-El Salvador
-Nicaragua – San Juan del Sur
-Costa Rica – Guanacaste, San José
-United Kingdom
-United States
-And many other locations as we meet and build relationships with missionaries serving around the globe.

All of our financial support goes to make it possible for us to reach these missionaries – to ensure the safety, security and reliability of our boat, taxis to ministries, and the occasional marina stay if the missionaries are inland. We do not take a salary for ourselves, nor do we use any of the funds for our personal needs (food, clothing, medical, homeschooling). We have exhausted our savings over the last few years, but we continue as we know this is what God has called us to do. We currently receive about $1200/month. We estimate our yearly ministry needs to be $35,000, less than $3000/month. Without the infrastructure of more traditional ministries, we have a broader reach and more impact with substantially less investment.

Our current plans for 2020 include ministries in Quepos and San Jose, Costa Rica; San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua; Puerto Vallarta, Guadalajara, La Paz, Loreto, and Puerto Peñasco, Mexico.

Would you prayerfully consider partnering with us this coming year?
Financial support (one time or monthly) can be given online through https://app.clovergive.com/app/Giving/clodo-fbcoronado.

San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua is a beautiful place. The local people are so genuine. I became friends with a woman named Brenda that sells bracelets and other souvenirs. We’ve talked many times in the last few weeks. Last night she hugged me and said she was sad I was leaving. Those that we met at the church are so sweet and kind. We ran into two in town yesterday and they were genuinely happy to see us. I was excited that we held our own in our Spanish conversation! I love the culture of hugs and kisses on the cheek. We’re all hot, sweaty, but everyone hugs each other anyways. There are many wonderful expats here too (mostly Canadians) and we’ve loved getting to know so many. We’ve enjoyed spending time with the pastor and his family, encouraging them in their challenging ministry to young men with addiction problems. Dennis was able to help out preaching a couple of times. Last week Dennis rescued two kids from the water that swam out too far while chasing a soccer ball. God planned all along for us to stop here, and we are thankful. We’ll miss this place and its people, but it’s time to head to Costa Rica and get this engine fixed. We’re currently planning to head back north towards Mexico after the repairs and hoping to stop here again.
One of my favorite things here is this statue of Jesus Christ above the bay, Cristo de La Misericordia, Christ of Mercy. The statue has served as my point of reference many nights when the wind picks up. By looking towards Jesus, I knew we were staying in place. Our anchor was holding.
Shouldn’t it always be that way in our lives? We look towards Jesus. He is unmovable. He should be our focal point. We know if we’re living right based on where we are in relation to Jesus. Have we moved away from Him? He’s always there, waiting for us to turn towards Him. His arms are open. Jesus is merciful. Jesus en ti confío. Jesus, I trust in you.


Confidence in God

Confidence: the quality or state of being certain; faith or belief that one will act in a right, proper, or effective way.

Last month, we had the privilege of assisting TEAM Mexico with their annual conference in Loreto. Brandy and I led the teens as we explored the theme of “Confidence” from Jeremiah 17:7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.”
We took as the outline of our teaching, the song by Sanctus Real. Rather than just babysitting while the adults worked, we wanted to lead the teens in an in-depth study of confidence in the midst of struggle, trial and suffering.

God created each of us for a specific purpose. He has called each of us to fulfill that purpose in unique ways. In my time in the Navy, it was stressed over and again that the Navy never asks you to do anything you haven’t been trained to do. So it is in our walk with God. The challenges we face today are preparation for those we will face tomorrow. In God’s economy, trials get increasingly difficult the more successful we are. Because we have overcome much in the past, we are able to overcome even more today.

Jeremiah 17:5-8 says:

 Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord. He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land. “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” 

If we put our confidence in created things, man-made things like money, fame, power, comfort, pleasure,  even our “religion” and “good” behavior, we turn away from the Lord and reap the resulting lack of God’s blessing and favor. Does God actively curse us? In most cases, I don’t think so. He simply lets us reap the harvest of our sinful actions. Like a plant in a barren land, when we choose to put our roots down in the wrong place, we will shrivel and die.

When we put our confidence in God and trust his Word to guide our lives, we thrive in good soil with plenty of water. If we follow the path that God has for us, we will be blessed. Ending there, many false teachers promulgate the lie that following God means an easy and prosperous life. But the passage goes on to say “when heat comes.” When difficulty comes, as Jesus promised it would, the one who is blessed draws water from deep roots to stay nourished and to continue to bear fruit.

How does one grow the deep roots? A plant seeks that which is most essential to its life – water. Deep roots mean that the plant has invested precious energy to find what is not available on the surface. Times of dryness, trials, struggling to survive will kill the plant unless it finds deeper water. A plant that bears fruit, even in drought, is remarkable and a stark contrast to the surrounding bleak landscape. So it is with Christians who maintain joy in the midst of trial. They stand as testimony to the love of God and peace that transcends circumstances, peace derived from close communion with the Living Water, Jesus Christ.

Is your life characterized by fruit, peace and confidence? If so, then you are likely on the right path. Stay vigilant, abide in Christ, continue to walk in righteousness and obedience. If you are not experiencing a time of trial or difficulty, use this time to prepare because I am confident that the faithful Christian will not have a life of ease and comfort.

Are you in the middle of a struggle or trial and not feeling the comfort of the presence of God? Are your circumstances overwhelming and your burdens beyond your ability to bear? Are your prayers non-existent or powerless? Then you are in a prime place to experience the freshness of the Living Water. Just as the tree sought deep waters, God is calling you to a deeper and closer relationship with himself. If we call on him, God answers. We can have confidence in his promises.

Stay tuned for the next installment: Calling: Equipped by God


We made it to Puerto Escondido just before 8 on the morning of January 1st. Actually, we were a mile and a half away at 6am but we slowly rode the current while we waited for sunrise. This is not the kind of place you want to approach in the dark. We’re tied up on a mooring ball where we’ll be for 3 weeks.

Waiting for sunrise on New Year’s Day in Puerto Escondido

The 21 hour passage was incredibly calm at first, and then much rougher than we like (starting just before sunset and into the moonless night). Right around 4pm, the wind kicked up, waves got big (the boat is covered in salt – maybe we should start a secondary business selling sea salt), we had to reef the sail (pull it down some so there’s less sail area), fight the waves that were pushing us to shore, and in the middle of all of this we caught a fish! But not just any fish, a Pacific sharp nosed shark! It was about 3’ long. We let it go because we really couldn’t handle a shark at that moment and no one was super excited about eating shark. We celebrated New Year’s Eve with the kids on the first, but Dennis and I didn’t make it til midnight. The long rough night just wore us out 😴

The wind began to pick up by the afternoon after we arrived and has been blowing strong over the last few days. It’s made the half mile ride in from the boat to the dock a bit wet. Tomorrow should be calm but then it’s going to rain for a couple of days. Our solar and wind power are doing great! We can spend time at the mooring ball (a quarter of the price) instead of the expensive dock.

We’re happy to be back somewhere familiar and plan to spend time with the missionaries we met here 2 years ago. We also have study and prep work to do to get ready for the conference which starts the 13th. Our cell service is limited because of these giant beautiful mountains. We’ll probably go ashore each day and get some marginal 3G network. Not completely off the grid, but close.

Sierra de la Giganta – The Gigantic Mountain Range

Please pray for us as we prepare for the January 13-18th conference. We will be leading the youth of the TEAM missionary families. The theme is Confidence in God, which has been hitting home during my personal study.

As an update to our finances, we have received donations of almost $6000 above our regular monthly support. This has helped so much!! Unfortunately, we had unexpected problems with our engines to the tune of $3000, but we were able to pay the boat yard bill and the credit card bill (which had all of those necessary boat parts on it). We are waiting to hear back again from the state of CA in regards to a settlement on our tax bill (approximately $15,000). We provided them with information on our current income and what we could pay per month. They don’t seem to be in a hurry to give us a decision.

We are still only about a third of the way to what we need to be fully funded ($3000/month) to continue to serve missionaries. We have exhausted so much of our own resources over the last couple of years, we are to the point that we don’t have much more to provide and now are becoming dependent on support. We know God specializes in coming through when we’ve reached the end of ourselves. He wants us to fully rely on Him, to have confidence in His faithfulness. Please prayerfully consider if God is calling you to partner with us in this ministry to missionaries.

The Lord is Our Strong Tower

Dublin Castle, Ireland

I love you, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,
and I am saved from my enemies.

Psalm 18:1-3 (ESV)

Kelly Motto: The Lord is my Strong Tower

When it seems like the world is in ruins and everything is falling apart around us, we are reminded that there is a place of security and strength to which we can run. Even if we are far away, there is a beacon of hope, a lighthouse in the storm. The Lord stands strong in the midst of our struggles and battles. We can run to safety at his side and trust him to fight against the enemy that would destroy us.

While this summer did not look anything like we expected it to (see Brandy’s posts – France, Switzerland), it has been educational. We were able to visit with a number of missionaries in Europe, which was what we hoped for. We were also able to visit Normandy, France as well as Mont Saint Michel (definitely marked off a couple of lifelong “to-do’s”).  One of the most amazing things about our travels this summer was the number of castles we have seen. The vast majority are ruins, but some have been restored or are in the process of restoration.

Monastery in Glendalough, Ireland

Monastery in Glendalough, Ireland

Doune Castle – AKA French Taunter’s Castle from Monty Python and the Holy Grail

I found myself looking at these structures wondering about their history, about who used to live there and what their lives were like. Wondering why they abandoned such a seeming ideal structure. Had there been a family tragedy? A war? Financial ruin? Legal troubles? A move for a job that paid better than farming?

When we visited Nomandy, we saw many structures that had been rebuilt after being bombed and blown up in World War II. The reason for their destruction was obvious, but the fact that they, from their Humpty Dumpty state, had been put back together was remarkable. Restoration is an extensive and expensive process. Undoing years of neglect sometimes involves completely tearing down and rebuilding, often with the original materials. Sometimes, rather than rebuilding, the structures are scavenged for building materials for other structures, such as the Roman aqueduct at Pont du Gard near Avignon, France, the largest standing aqueduct that was contemporary with Jesus Christ.

Pont du Gard, France

Why are some structures maintained, some rebuilt, others repurposed and still others abandoned? The difference is in the level to which someone cared about and for them. In a Genesis 3 world, it takes time and effort to maintain anything. Everything is moving toward destruction, degradation or death. This is both a law of physics and a spiritual reality.

The state of Christianity in Europe can be seen literally and symbolically in the bones of churches strewn across the landscape.

Many churches have been “re-purposed” as shops, pubs and museums. I guess I am glad that some of the architecture and art has been maintained, but it is a stark reminder that it is a gravesite of a once worshipping body of Christ.

Monastery in Glendalough, Ireland

These stone and wood structures suffered the ravages of years of neglect. As I pondered the history, I imagined the process of decay. Except for cases like Normandy and the rapid decay brought on by explosive forces, the ruins were the result of small things left unchecked. Water, the universal solvent, leaking through a bit of thatched roof. If the occupants noticed and fixed the leak, further damage was prevented. Uncorrected, water gets into the walls and either begins to wash away plaster or nature begins to encroach. Soon, a stone comes loose allowing in more water or animals seeking a safe home. Fast forward a hundred years and you stand before a ruin.

Hope helping the boys down at St. Andrews Cathedral, Scotland – originally built in the 12th century

Spiritually, there are many who have neglected their Christian walk and are little more than crumbled walls where once stood a beautiful cathedral. As the proverb says, “a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.” (Proverbs 6:10-11) That is not to say that rest is inappropriate, but extended periods of laziness are.

In our spiritual lives, it looks like skipping our time in the Word once in a while so we can catch up on some sleep, followed soon after by sleeping in every morning with the intent to spend our lunch time with the Lord. Then we only read the Bible on Sundays at church, then we forget to take our Bible to church (we have it on our phone after all). Before long we are looking on Amazon because the sermon is boring and it is better to stay awake not listening than fall asleep piously.

So it goes with neglecting prayer, fellowship, giving, evangelism, etc. “Little” sins like a wandering eye, a grumpy attitude, looking out for one’s own interest grow into lust, anger and selfishness. We should not be surprised when our love for the Lord begins to wane and our faith begins to feel stale.

We need not despair when we see cracks in the walls or leaks in the roof. It does not mean that all is lost, it is a prompting from the Lord that we should attend to our house, that we need to pay attention to areas that have been neglected.

Maybe there is someone in your circle that used to be a strong Christ-follower. Have you ever wondered about their history? What happened in their lives that left their faith in ruins? What seeped into a small hole and created a crevice?  A broken relationship? Lost job? Some “small” sin? When things don’t go the way we planned sometimes we assume that God is either powerless, unloving or absent. Discouragement and frustration become footholds that the enemy uses to weaken our faith and eventually breach the walls of our fortress.

Perhaps it isn’t someone else whose faith-walls are crumbling. Many Christians have lost some of the zeal and excitement of their early walk with the Lord. While everyone has days where they are anxious or discouraged, when we notice that we are having more bad days than good that is a prompting from God. When we notice that leak has made a stain, that the stain has developed into a crack, that the crack has become a gap, the Holy Spirit is giving us a glimpse of reality, a moment of clarity.

Unlike all those neglected church buildings reduced to ruins, our God cares enough for us that he will never abandon or forsake us. “I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6) We can run from God, or rather inch away from God, at the risk of ruining our earthly lives, but we have the promise that God will complete his work in us, working all things (including our rebellion) together for his glory and demonstrating his love for us.


Urgent Need!

We need your help!

Ok, so this is a very hard thing to ask. In the past four years, we have poured our lives and resources into the boat and the ministry to which God has called us. We have just received
the response from the state of California regarding our appeal.

Bottom line up front: we owe California $15,945.15 for something they call “use tax.”

When we started this journey four years ago, we had more than $50,000 in the bank (and a full-time, good-paying job). We had paid off all our debt including cars and turned around our financial world thanks in large part to Financial Peace University and Dave Ramsey. Today, not including our shipyard bill of about $3000, we have a balance in the bank of -$200. We have $4667.45 of ministry expenses on a credit card (Sorry, Dave Ramsey, life happens). The yard bill will go on the card as well.

We are extremely thankful for those of you who have supported us financially. At this point, our financial partners provide $1500 a month ($1100 after this month). This is roughly 25% of our monthly ministry expenses. To this point, the balance has come from our savings and retirement pay. The rule of thumb on boat maintenance expenses is 10% of the boat’s value per year. For us that is about $20,000. That doesn’t include other expenses such as marina fees, fuel, immigration, etc. Our boat payment alone is $1300 a month. These expenses are inherent in getting to missionaries. Once we arrive, there are the expenses of actually coming alongside the missionaries – such as transportation to them from wherever the boat is moored. Having done this for two years, our savings is depleted to $2083.38. (The kids each have about $15,000 in 529 plans thanks to an inheritance from Brandy’s grandfather.) We have nothing additional going into college or retirement savings. My monthly retirement pay is $3665.50. That goes toward food, clothing, shelter and education. We are not getting rich off of this ministry, at least financially. We are living frugally and modestly, seeking to be faithful with that which God has entrusted to us.

. It is basically sales tax for the purchase of our boat. We did due diligence for about a year to find out if we were exempt as non-resident military and had no luck. At the time of purchase, we had set aside the approximate amount, but as we never received a bill or response from the state, we spent that money on maintenance and repairs to the boat.

Additionally, last month we got to the bottom of an indebtedness to the US Department of the Treasury regarding an overpayment by the Navy. When I returned from Iraq, they failed to stop my special pays for Imminent Danger, Family Separation and Hazardous Duty. I knew I was overpaid on these and had put aside the overpayment. Before I retired, we had about $3500 deducted from my paycheck the payday before my retirement ceremony. (Ouch!) Since I no longer had access to my LES (pay stubs), I was unable to verify exactly what it was, but, since it was the same amount as my overpayment, logic said that it was my repayment. What we were finally able to discover was that was the federal tax on my untaxed combat zone pay. We hadn’t considered the federal tax. So, we still had additional indebtedness to the government of about $2000.

We know that God could make this disappear with a mere thought, but it appears that he has other plans. Part of that plan is to invite you to participate in serving missionaries in Mexico and Central America.

Here is what we need:

First, prayer for us. This is frightening, discouraging and challenging
to our faith and sense of calling. I’m sure you all know the weight that a financial burden can have. We do not think this is God’s way of telling us to sell the boat to pay off the debt and quit, but it is a storm and Jesus appears to be sleeping in the stern of the boat.

Second, prayer for our finances. Obviously, we cannot pay these debts in our financial situation. I know everyone has challenges, but we know that our God will meet our needs. We also know that he uses his children as stewards of his wealth. Please pray that those on whom God lays a burden to assist would trust and obey. We are first and foremost asking for a one-time, special gift for this specific time. Of course, we are also looking for regular giving parters. If God puts it on your heart to help, you can donate online at: SUPPORT

Finally, prayer for our ministry. We are planning to visit our missionary contacts in Loreto and La Paz as well as assist a new boating missionary family in La Cruz. Around the first of the year we will partner with missionaries in Guatemala, missionaries in Honduras in the spring and missionaries in Panama in the summer. There are many miles of open water between here and there, so we need your prayers.

Ankyrios Amazon Wish list

This is being updated constantly. Let us know if you want to send us something and we can give you an address.

It’s only been TWO WEEKS?!

It’s barely been two weeks since we left Mexico. Our sail north from La Paz to Puerto Peñasco was everything from calm and boring to rough with lots going wrong. In other words, a pretty normal sail for us. The 4 days we worked and put the boat to “bed” was some of the most physically demanding and exhausting work we’ve done in awhile. But she’s safe and secure and all cleaned up. We took the sails down, lines down and everything outside is now inside. She looks naked! We don’t look forward to putting all back in working order in the fall.

We spent 3 days in Phoenix with friends from our “Young Marrieds” days at College Ave Baptist Church in San Diego in the late 90s. We’re so thankful for their hospitality and friendship for so many years. Other friends loaned us their truck (while they’re off floating along the coast in Central America). We caught a cheap flight from Phoenix to New York, drove to McGuire AFB in New Jersey and then caught a military flight to Mildenhall, England. We’ve spent the last week in Scotland with another set of dear friends from our “Young Marrieds” class. The last time our three families were together was 2015 and our 12 kids always pick up as no time has passed at all, just like us adults. We are so blessed!!

It’s been so refreshing for us to spend time with our wonderful friends. It was exactly what we needed after some physically and emotionally tough months. And that’s good because tomorrow we start our 3 months in France. Dennis has already made a plan for finishing up his doctorate. The kids and I have some big plans for getting some major school work done too (ok, I do, they don’t quite know yet). We’ll enjoy the time to roam around 2 acres and meet many wonderful people who come through the ranch. It’ll be such a change for all of us and we’re excited to see what God has planned.

Oh, that reminds me, we were given information on two missionary couples from France while visiting our friends’ church in Phoenix. Also, we just reached out to a missionary couple looking for some R&R not too far from where we’ll be in France. We will probably also make it to Ireland in September where we’ll have the opportunity to visit missionaries from my childhood church. It’s pretty exciting!!!