March 31, 2009
by Sue PanchenkoPicture this: Your eyes are just beginning to feel the first ray of morning light as it squeezes through the bedroom blinds. Thoughts of organizing your day start to enter your brain as you realize it’s time to leave your warm bed and face the many challenges that lie ahead – some exciting, some overwhelming, and some you wish could be avoided altogether.
Certainly an important part of any day is communicating with others via face-to-face or land-line phone conversations, emails and, of course, cell phone texting or talking.
Certainly your cell phone will save the day! It can instantly reach a friendly voice to confirm lunch, cancel one of those dreadful meetings and even let someone know you love them. And the “Silence All” icon can even make it possible for you to ignore a pressing problem that may even require your immediate attention.
A cell phone is the world’s answer to solving just about any communication challenge that comes your way. It can keep information neatly organized in your calendar or contact List, manage MMS RSS JPG TXT E-mail and even speak real-time directions to help you find your next appointment. Imagine that!
With your cell phone, your life is easier and you’re in control. Yes, the mighty cell phone. How did we ever live without it?
Remember (in graphic detail) the day you forgot your phone at home or misplaced it for a few days? It might have been the day you needed to communicate (in audible full sentences) with your text-only teenager (OMG!) or the day you had to be available to welcome calls (as well as those not-so-welcomed) on your outdated land line! And, all this without Caller ID! !
You must admit, however, there was one good thing that happened that day. Your loved one actually got to hear your face-to-face “I love you” without those annoying “Can you hear me now’s” interjected sporadically.
If you’ve come to beginning your day by depending upon your electronic communication device as your be-all/end-all solution to your life’s communication challenges, I have an alternate suggestion for you to consider.
Try beginning every day communicating with Jesus Christ instead of being anxious (Matt 6:34). He’s always available to talk, you’ll never have to leave Him a voice mail, He’ll be there to guide you through your day, and He doesn’t have a “Silence All” button. There’s no Call Timer either. No Roaming charges apply. The Rollover Minutes just keep on rolling and never expire. Jesus has all the time in the world (or Heaven) to talk to you!
During the day, try reaching for the Bible instead of your cell phone every time you’re feeling lonely and just need to connect with someone to fill a void. God’s Word provides a direct connection with Him, gives you “real” direction in your life, calms your fears, fills the empty void that causes loneliness and gives you hope.
The Bible is the greatest all-in-one powerful communication tool; complete with Texting, Instant Messaging, Personalized ID, Bluetooth technology, ActiveSync, Call History, Voice Recognition, Media Center, Contact List, System Tools and much more.
However, it’s recommended that you speak to Jesus face-to-face in prayer. Just dial “0” – The Operator is always standing by!
Sue Panchenko is an avid supporter and encourager of RVchurchesUSA. She is Manager of RV Marketplace and Classifieds for Affinity Group Publishing in Ventura, CA
March 30, 2009by Mark Polk Mark is a regular contributing author
Start by draining the water heater. Go to the outside compartment where the water heater is located. The drain plug, or petcock is located in the bottom left hand corner. Remove the plug and open the pressure relief valve on top of the water heater to assist in draining. CAUTION: NEVER drain the water heater when it’s hot or under pressure.
Next, you need to locate the low point water line drains. It may take a while to find them, but I assure you they are there. There will be one for the hot and one for the cold water lines. This is the lowest point in the water system. Open these and let the water drain out. There’s one more thing left to do, find the drain for the fresh water holding tank and drain all of the water from it. At this point you can turn the water pump on for a moment to force any remaining water out. Do not let the pump continue to run once the water stops draining. Close all the drains.
Now, do not make the mistake that this is how you winterize the RV water system. If you do, it can be a very costly mistake next spring. All we have accomplished so far was to evacuate the majority of water from the system. If by accident you forget to drain the water system and you get that notorious stale odor all is not lost. You just need to sanitize the water system.
• Start by draining all of the old water out, and then close all of the drains.
• Take a quarter cup of house hold bleach for every fifteen gallons of water that your fresh water tank holds.
• Mix the bleach, with water, into a one-gallon container and pour it into the fresh water holding tank.
• Fill the fresh water tank completely full of water.
• Turn the water pump on, open all hot and cold faucets and run the water until you smell the bleach at each faucet.
• Close the faucets and let it sit for twelve hours. •Drain the entire system and re-fill the fresh water tank with water.
• Open all of the faucets and run the water until you no longer smell any bleach.
Once this is done it is safe to use your water system. It’s also a good idea to use a water filter at campgrounds and to keep bottled water on hand for drinking.
Mark Polk is the owner of RV Education 101, a North Carolina based company that produces educational videos, books and eBooks on how to use and maintain your RV.
March 27, 2009by Jaimie Hall Bruzenak
as appeared on RV Home Yet?
If you are a boondocker, should you go with solar panels or a generator to power your RV when not hooked up to shore power? Purists only have solar panels. They are not fond of generators breaking the silence of the remote places they where they want to camp.
On the other hand, RVers who don’t boondock too frequently can do so with a generator at a much lower cost. Solar panels plus inverter can add up to more than $2000.Over time, the money saved by not having to stay in an RV park can pay off. But the infrequent boondocker will find a generator more cost-effective.
Actually we have found that having both is ideal. A certain amount of solar panels will take
care of basic needs if it is sunny. George and I got a generator when we had the satellite Internet dish because that drew more power if we were on the computer for any length of time. And, having a generator came in handy this year in Quartzsite on days when there wasn’t much sun.
If you are boondocking and plan to run your generator, please follow these common courtesies:
- Don’t park close to another RV if at all possible.
- Respect quiet hours. From 10 pm to 7 am are standard.
- Run it for the shortest period of time possible, like when you make coffee or are printing something off your computer rather than continuously.
- Face the generator away from other RVs. If you can put it down in a wash, even better.
- If you are in a gathering, try to group generators together and let non-generator users have their own area. Everyone will be happier.
Generator and non-generator users can co-exist! The option you choose will depend on your finances and how often and where you plan to boondock.
Jamie is a regular article contributor to RVchurchUSA
Photos- Boondocked along the Salmon River, ID Boomer gathering in Quartzsite, AZ 2009 Boondocked on Mt. Ord, AZ at a Workamping assignment (see solar panels on roof)
March 22, 2009by John Imler John is an RVchurchesUSA Ambassor and author of It’s Never Too Late
How Do We Decide To Believe The Bible?
The first thing we do when we want to obtain knowledge about any subject or issue is to study it. We can do that with formal schooling or we can choose to educate ourselves. To accomplish this we must use the Bible as our textbook and then choose other books as workbooks. Since returning to my faith, I have found a number of books that have helped me grow in my own faith. If you would like to read some of those books, I would be most happy to share them with you, if you will contact me.
As you start to study the Bible, I would suggest that you do the following:
1. Obtain a modern translation of the Bible such as the New International Version (NIV).
2. Find a Bible-believing church where you can find Bible study groups to assist you. This will provide you with an opportunity for examine your questions so that you may do so with an open mind. The truth does not object to being questioned.
You may also want to obtain other books such as A Case for Christ and A Case for Faith by Lee Strobel. His life as an investigative reporter for the Chicago Tribune and an avowed atheist provides a unique approach to why we should believe the Bible.
Often I hear people say that they don’t understand the Bible. The real truth is that they have never studied it. Many have never read it. This is no different from any other aspect of life. Ignorance of the issues generally produces disbelief.
A Gallup poll taken in 2000 indicated that 92% of Americans household own at least one Bible (a drop from 73% in 1980). Of the 92%, only 59% indicated they read it even occasionally.
This seems to add up to the fact that fewer and fewer people read, study or believe the Bible and God’s plan for mankind’s salvation. As I read the newspaper and listen to the news, I believe that is a fact. While the Bible is often bought, its wisdom is seldom sought. This is truly a tragedy of our times which results in many if not most of societies problems.
As always I welcome your comments either below or email me at [email protected]
March 21, 2009as appeared in Woodall’s March 2009 eNewsletter
Woodall’s NEW Camping and RVing with Dogs is your complete reference guide to the do’s and don’ts of traveling with your four-legged friend. Every dog owner certainly enjoys traveling with his or her four–legged companion. But don’t forget that your pets’ needs are not always the same as their human counterpart’s.
Getting Ready for the Trip – Important things to do before leaving on a trip to ensure your dog is safe, secure, and comfortable while on the road.
What to Do in Case of an Emergency – Do you travel with more than one dog? Do you know if your roadside service plan has any pet–restrictions? Would you know how to care for an emergency illness?
Crossing the Border – Traveling into Mexico or Canada? What paperwork should you be carrying with you?
Authors Jack and Julee Meltzer, full–time RVers who have been traveling across the U.S. with their two dogs and three cats for nearly five years, cover the topics listed above and many more along with tips and information when camping/RVing with dogs. They describe real life experiences and examples on how to care for your dog in dozens of situations while on the road.
It’s just as important for your canine companions to be happy and comfortable while traveling as it is for their owners. If you or somebody you know is planning an RV or camping trip with the dogs, you won’t want to leave without a copy of Woodall’s Camping and RVing with Dogs.
This latest addition to Woodall’s family of books includes a wealth of important information necessary to keep your furry friend happy and healthy on your next RV or camping trip.
Don’t risk being caught without hundreds of important MUST HAVE travel tips and information. Order Camping and RVing with Dogs for yourself or a friend before your next trip. You’ll be glad you did!
reprinted with permission
March 20, 2009by Robert Ruesch Bob and his wife Barb are members of our Ambassador Club
When you what something, you want it immediately and many times even yesterday…
We enjoy movies on demand, down-loadable music and other needs at the click of a button. Food can also be immediate – via fast pick-up windows – as well as travel to far off destinations (just a few flight-time hours between New York and San Francisco). In a instant we can Web-cam to our home, e-mail response or engage in “instant” messaging.
Cell phones provide immediate digital pictures that can be sent to others. WEB cams in computers give us access to our loved ones, friends or business contacts in real time – even when we are traveling. We can text message our teenage grandchildren or our spouse to find out where they are in the same “big box store” we’re shopping in! In many ways we can’t slow down, we MUST be about doing something every waking moment with immediate results.
Each day we hear and see more of the shrinking word with immediate reports ranging from across-town traffic to conflicts going on across the oceans. When it comes to immediate – we can have it all because the world is becoming an “instant-on” domain.
God is also immediate. He immediately listens to your prayers – though seemingly not answered according to our schedule. Parents and friends don’t do that. They often reply to our need to be heard by responding, “just a minute” which then can become a few minutes, hours or days. Sometimes when we share with a parent or friend we really wonder if they listened, much less responded with the same understanding and compassionate grace as God does each time.
However we can be assured that when we have a personal relationship with Jesus, God immediately knows our needs and what we feel. His grace, compassion and acceptance can be experienced through prayer and daily drawing closer to Him.
So ask our Lord for your needs, share your fears and concerns with Him. Tell Him of your hopes and joys as well for He is your Heavenly Father and promises, “I will give you rest”.
If you would like to know about how to begin a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, simply call 888-NeedHim (888-633-3446) or email Bob at [email protected]
March 20, 2009by Jamie Hall Bruzenak as appeared in RV Lifestyle Experts
How do you stay fit as you travel? There are options, though it can take diligence to make sure you get your exercise in.
RV parks may have facilities to help you stay in shape. Many have pools, though usually only larger resorts have lap pools or a gym. RV resorts may also have courts for bocce ball, pickleball and other sports. RV parks and resorts with these facilities are generally ones that attract long-term residents.
Walking and biking can be done most anywhere. Both can be done at most RV parks, though it may not be the most interesting scenery or conducive to a pace that will raise your heartbeat. In the afternoon after you set up in an RV park, take time to walk around. Mornings before leaving is another good time to spend at least 1/2 hour walking or riding your bicycle.
You may be able to find hikes, nice areas to walk or bike trails nearby if you do some research. The American Volkssport Association is made up of walking clubs, which have events all over the U.S. Check to see if there is something near your travels. The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy has a list of trails for biking and walking at their Web site. An article naming walkable cities by the now defunct Walking Magazine lists a number of cities to keep in mind as you travel.
Some RVers find gyms to work out at when they travel. Curves has locations in some pretty small towns and your membership is good for visits. Gold’s Gym, I believe, allows out-of-town guests to use their gym. Other gyms might let you use their facilities for a small fee. Ask at the RV park if they know of one.
Carrying your own workout equipment is another solution. For a while I carried a Nordic Track Machine in the motor home. It had to be folded up and put in a closet and took up the entire free area in the kitchen/dinette area (no slide out) when in use. You can imagine how often that was used before being donated or sold! Dumbbells or bands are small and take up little space so are more convenient to use. An invigorating exercise tape or a yoga or Pilates routine can be a good motivator for some.
So why not stay fit?
The biggest hindrance to staying fit is usually not equipment or facilities, but being disciplined about exercising at least 3-4 times/week. It helps if both spouses, if married, exercise. Or, if you travel solo or your spouse or partner isn’t interested, find an exercise partner if you’ll be in one spot for a while. It’s harder to go back to sleep when someone else is counting on you showing up for a walk.
RV friend DeAnna started water workout classes where they work-camped to have others to exercise with. She carries her foam dumbbells and belt in her RV so she can do her routine wherever there is a pool. Sometimes a local motel will allow non-guests to use their pool for a small fee if the park doesn’t have a pool or there is no community pool.
In “RV Traveling Tales: Women’s Journeys on the Open Road”, Joanne Alexakis writes a hilarious account about making one more New Years Resolution to lose weight in “Losing Weight with Suzanne.” She followed the Suzanne Somers’ weight loss plan, combined with brisk walking laps around the perimeter of the Florida RV park where they stayed that winter. As the pounds came off, she added sprints and dumbbells. She lost a total of 40 pounds! The exercise became self-motivating as she dropped the excess weight.
So how do you stay fit? Do you make the effort? Do you get off the road in time to get in some exercise when you are traveling?
Please add your strategy in a comment below or email Jamie at [email protected]
March 1, 2009By Erika Careb Co-founder of RVchurchesUSA
Why are the names of God important?
God gave us a glimpse of His character and love as He reveals Himself through his names. By understanding and studying His names, we can enter into a more deeper and satisfying relationship with Him by communicating regularly in prayer.
So what are the names of God and when can you use them in your prayers (Psalm 9: 10)?
Here are a few names of God and samples of how to use them while praying:
Elohim – the Creator (Deut 10:17)
“Thank you God for being my Elohim….”
ElRoi – God who sees me (Gen 16: 13-14)
“You are my ElRoi who knows the past, present and future ….”
El Shaddai – All sufficient One (Gen 17:1)
“Lord you are my El Shaddi, please go befor me in my works for you …”
Adonai – Lord and Master (Psalm 16: 2)
“Lord, here am I. send me, You are my Adonai ..”
Jehovah-jireh – the Lord will provide (Gen 22: 1-19)
“Lord, help me not become anxious for you are my Jeova-jireh …”
Jehova-rapha – the Lord who heals (Jer 17:14)
“Lord, you are my Jehova-rapha. In you I comforted in knowing that you will heal me – body, mind and soul …”
Jehova-shalom – the Lord of peace (John 14: 27)
“ Lord, you are my Johova-shalom, I will not be afraid but comnforted …..”
The Bible is filled with many more names of G, both in the Old as well as New Testament. As you read and study the names of God you will find encouragement and comfort as you grow in a deeper relationship with Him.
A great resource to learn more about this topic is “Praying the Names of God” by Ann Spagler – Zondervan, grand Rapids, Michigan 2004