Meeting With God

October 27, 2010

by John Imler
John is an RVchurchesUSA Ambassador and author of It’s Never Too Late

As we go through this life we have many opportunities to meet our Creator. He sees to that! meeting-GodJust like He did with Adam and Eve, He seeks us out (Genesis 2:9). He searches us out from our busy lives because He desires to meet with each of us individually. He desires that we become acquainted and walk together through our days on this earth.

God has designed within each of us a special place where He can abide—our hearts, souls and minds—and He beckons us to love Him with all of those (Matt.22:37). As we read the Bible we find stories revealing His seeking out and meeting with various men and women since the beginning of time. He met with some early in life and with others later in life. Some walked with Him after their meeting; others chose to serve another god.

Since the beginning of time, individuals have reflected those same choices in their lives. Some heard His voice calling them to meet with Him and respond from the hustle and bustle of their lives; others ignore all His calls. How about you?

Let me assure you that you cannot escape God’s call for a meeting with you. Today He offers you acceptance as stated in John 3:16-21, just as He did to Cain in Genesis 4:6. The choice is yours (John 6:24)!

God calls for you now—today. No matter how long you have postponed your meeting, He waits for you. No matter what type of life you have lived, He invites you to meet with Him (Romans 10:13:9-10).

Yes, you have a scheduled meeting with God your Creator. Hebrews 9:27 declares “man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.” Yes, you will meet with God! Will you be ready because you have met with Him before that and walked with Him? Will you be able to say, “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (I Cor. 15:55)

John welcomes your comments either below or email him directly at john@faithrescued.com

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K-A-T vs. The Bible

October 26, 2010

by Dountonia S. Slack as appeared on BellaOnline
a contributing author on RVchurchesUSA

The other day one of my close friends shared his daily devotional with me. When he finished reading, he paused waiting for my response which was, “Who is the publisher?” because I immediately knew that what I had just heard was not biblical. KAs a matter of fact, the devotional book is published by a pantheistic, New Age cult that has Christian in its name and has over 1,000,000 readers worldwide. But, the thing that bothers me the most is the fact that today’s Christians gravitate toward literature/activities/music/churches that have Christian labels but no Christian foundation.

We prefer the emotionalized services that make a mockery of the grace of God by pacifying our consciences in order to make our sins seem benign or irrelevant. Or, we rely too heavily on the views of family members, friends, or someone we admire to determine truth or error for us. Unfortunately, we have become too indolent to examine whether content aligns with biblical truth.

I have even discovered that some of us are too afraid to study God’s Word for ourselves because we inaccurately believe that we are not spiritual/knowledgeable enough to discern what God is communicating. Yet, the Bible clearly teaches “that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence” (2 Peter 1:3). But, we are unable to learn the “true knowledge of Him” if we never open our Bibles.

In my Sunday School class for 9-11 year olds, I attempted to convince my students that cat is spelled K-A-T. In spite of all my efforts, the class remained unconvinced. The point I was making is this: “Why is it when it comes to the Word of God we accept without question whatever the ‘expert’ teaches regardless of what we know to be true in God’s Word?” The class concluded that it is because we do not know enough about the Bible to confidently stand firm on what we believe. Now, if children understand this, why is it so difficult for adults to get it?

Adults have trouble understanding the need for the pure Word because we know too much (Matthew 18:3). We are too educated, too experienced, too in control of our own lives, and too impressed with catchy phrases and anthropological wisdom. The Truth does not make sense to us because it is too simple – we need “more”. So, we turn to daily devotionals laced in Christian sounding lingo, television that makes worship “pop,” and music that makes us move but has no doctrinal truth in it.

The message and preaching of Christ as revealed in the Bible is “not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God” (1 Corinthians 2:4-5). Everyone would agree that replacing the “c” with a “k” in cat is an error. When are we going to agree that adding to or replacing Christ with anything else in Christianity is also error?

Dountonia is BellaOnline’s Baptist Editor

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Interesting RV Poll Results

October 23, 2010

by Mark Polk
Mark is a regular contributing author

It has been a while since I posted some of our weekly RV poll results.markpolk1 It’s always interesting and fun to look back at some of our past RV polls to see how folks responded to the questions.

Keep in mind that the outcome of any poll depends on several factors like; what type of poll it is, how the questions are worded, who is asking the questions and of course who does and does not participate in the poll. Our weekly RV poll is not a scientific poll, a political poll or a marketing poll. It is basically used to give me some idea of what our newsletter readers are interested in, how they use their RVs, and of course just for fun.

Here are the latest RV poll results:

Poll Question: Do you use the shower at the campground bath-house more than the shower in your RV?
Poll Response: 41% answered yes and 59% answered no.

Poll Question: Do you RV during the fall and winter months?
Poll Response: 84% do and 16% do not.

Poll Question: Do you winterize your RV, or do you have an RV dealer winterize it for you?
Poll Response: 88% winterize their own RV and 12% do not.

Poll Question: Do you take bottled water with you when RVing, or do you filter your drinking water?
Poll Response: 32% take bottled water, 15% filter their water and 53% do both.

Poll Question: Do you store your RV on your property or at a storage facility?
Poll Response: 70% store it on their property and 30% store it at a storage facility.

Poll Question: Do you RV with pets?
Poll Response: 91% do and 9% do not.

Poll Question: How often do you wash your RV?
Poll Response: 29% after each trip, 7% before putting in storage, 3% never and 61% as needed

Poll Question: Do you pack most of your food before leaving on a trip or buy your groceries when you arrive at your destination?
Poll Response: 72% pack most food before leaving and 28% buy food when they get there.

Poll Question: Have you ever weighed your RV?
Poll Response: 36% have and 64% have not.

Poll Question: How many years has your RV battery(s) lasted? (1 to 2, 2 to 3, 4 or more)
Poll Response: 15% 1 to 2 years, 39% 2 to 3 years and 46% 4 0r more years.

Poll Question: Do you perform your own routine maintenance on your RV?
Poll Response: 78% yes and 22% no.

Poll Question: Have you ever cleaned your RV roof?
Poll Results: 84% have and 16% have not.

Poll Question: Have you ever dry-camped in your RV? (camping without hookups)
Poll Response: 73% answered yes and 27% answered no

Poll Question: Have you ever camped in a national or state park?
Poll Response: 80% have and 20% have not

Poll Question: Have you ever had a rodent problem with your RV?
Poll Response: 30% answered yes and 70% answered no.

Poll Question: Have you ever spent the night in a Wal-Mart parking lot?
Poll Response: 48% have and 52% have not.

Poll Question: When traveling by RV how often do you connect to the Internet? (every day, 2 or more times a week)
Poll Response: 69% responded every day and 31% responded 2 or more times a week

Poll Question: Who drives or tows the RV the most? (male, female, I travel alone)
Poll Response: 92% male, 4% female, 4% I travel alone

Poll Question: Did your RV come with a spare tire?
Poll Response: 73% yes and 27% no

Poll Question: Do you make advanced campground reservations?
Poll Response: 84% yes and 16% no.

Poll Question: Do you see closing state parks as a feasible method to decrease state budgets?
Poll Response: 10% said yes and 90% said no.

Poll Question: Is your RV financed?
Poll Response: 56% yes and 44% no

Poll Question: Do you have an RV Emergency Roadside Service Plan?
Poll Response: 84% do and 16% do not

Poll Question: On average, how many miles a day do you travel in, or tow your RV? (200 or less, 300, 400, 500 or more)
Poll Response: 18% 200 or less, 46% 300 miles, 27% 400 miles and 9% 500 or more.

For those of you who enjoy the RV poll results we will keep you updated as we collect more poll results. You can view all of our past RV poll results here.

Happy Camping,

Mark

Mark Polk is founder of RV Education 101 and RV University

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A Look at Snowbirds

October 21, 2010

by Rex Vogel as appeared on Woodall’s Family Camping Blog
a regular contributing author to RVchurchesUSA

A major concentration of snowbirds in Ol' Airy Zonie occurs each winter in the Phoenix area. Pictured above is Usery Mountain Regional Park located north of Mesa. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

It’s pretty safe to say that summer is over and we’re approaching the Snowbird season.

Long before winter’s blustery chill begins to sting the bones, plans are being made by millions of Canadians, Northeasters, Midwesterners, and those in the rainy Northwestern United States to seek the warmer climes of the south. It’s an interesting phenomenon that occurs each year and mimics the migration ritual of our feathered friends.

Snowbirds flock to Ol’ Airy Zonie, Southern Texas, Florida, and other Sunbelt states and Mexico to avoid winter’s bite, snow and blowing snow, and treacherous icy sidewalks and streets. Northern Europeans are also known to migrate to the U.S. Sunbelt, adding to these communities of seasonal residents.

Snowbirds are typically retired seniors who have the desire and financial ability to be away from home for extended periods of time. Many take their home-on-wheels with them in the form of a recreational vehicle while others maintain a second home or rental accommodation in a warmer location.

As our population ages the number of people considering this lifestyle increases.

We have been making this trip for the past 13 years in an RV—first with a fifth-wheel trailer and now in a motorhome.

There are numerous advantages to the snowbird lifestyle:

* No snow to shovel or trod through
* No bundling up in warm sweaters, winter overcoats, and snow boots
* Taking part in outdoor activities during winter months
* Ability to maintain friendships in two or more communities
* Sense of community with other snowbirds
* Break in the monotony of dull and dreary winter days

Despite the many positive benefits, the snowbird lifestyle is not for everyone. For some it may be wise to gradually evolve into the lifestyle to determine if it’s for them. Snowbirding can be tried on a short term basis of one or two months to determine if there’s a fit with one’s individual preferences.

greenj-bird

Birding attracts many snowbirds to the Rio Grand Valley of South Texas. Pictured above is the beautiful green jay. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Surprisingly there are disadvantages to being a Snowbird:

* Missing out on Christmas with the grandchildren
* Not being a permanent part of any one community
* Missing family and friends
* Finding someone to look after your home during while “on the road”
* Security and safety issues
* Increased financial burdens
* Additional cross-border issues for Canadians

We find the snowbird lifestyle in an RV to our liking since we can take our home with us when the cold weather arrives and snow begins to falls. We enjoy the warmer climes while their neighbors up north are shoveling snow. For us the snowbird lifestyle is the best of both worlds.

If you have been dreaming about exploring the road less traveled, now is the time to stop dreaming and hit the road in a recreational vehicle.

Worth Pondering…

We have chosen to be reasonably warm year-round, so we are snowbirds. Every year when I hear the honks of the Canada geese overhead at our home, something in my genes starts pulling my inner-compass to the South. And an inner voice whispers: “Surely you’re as smart as a goose.” Feeling that I am at least as smart as a silly goose, I line up the motorhome with that compass pointer and head for the Sun Belt.

This article is the first in an ongoing series on snowbirds and preparation for the snowbird lifestyle.

You may comment on Rex’s article below or contact him at vogelontheroad@gmail.com

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The Christian Vote

October 18, 2010

by Dountonia S. Slack as appeared on BellaOnline
a contributing author on RVchurchesUSA

Followers of Christ are not Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Constitutionalist or isolationist. We arechristian_vote Christian. Therefore, we are apart of a different culture; called to be salt and light in the world (Matthew 5:13-16); and, value what Christ values as it is spelled out in the Word of God.

However, when it comes to exercising good citizenship, while we sojourn on this earth, we have a tendency to make decisions based upon standards other than the biblical standard we claim allegiance. In the voting booth, especially, we exercise our “rights,” follow familial voting patterns, or make our selections based upon media sound bytes without taking the time to research who the candidates are and what they represent.

Because almost every aspect of human life has found its way onto the governmental agenda, those we choose to govern over us – their personalities and beliefs, their virtues and vices – will affect what they do to and for us. “Now, more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness, and corruption. If it be intelligent, brave, and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature. . . . [I]f the next centennial does not find us a great nation . . . it will be because those who represent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces,” (President James A. Garfield, 1876).

While we understand that only God is in control and no matter what happens at the polls, there are no mistakes and everything happens according to God’s purpose (Romans 13:1-7). Yet, when we have a sound theological basis for the campaigns/issues that we support, we send a clear message to the world that our faith, values, and beliefs will not be compromised. We will lift our voices in unison to say that the Christian culture is more important than my socio-economic status, ethnic group, or gender expectations. Now, this does not mean that we would politicize the church or impose our religion upon others, but this does mean that we have a responsibility to live godly and faithful lives using the Word of God as our guide in order to be the conscience of the nation and a witness of Christ no matter what the political climate is.

But the bottom line is that our vote should reflect what we believe. Sending mixed signals by being Christian but not Biblical confuses everyone and devalues the significance of making choices based upon a biblical worldview. Christ followers die to self daily, are becoming less concerned with self proclaimed rights, and seek to do the will of the Father – just like Jesus. Jesus was not concerned about political/religious/cultural agendas; He gave His life for the Kingdom Agenda so that you and I might have life. We live in a post-modern world where everything is subjective – the definition of life, the distinction between a male and a female, the difference between religion and worship – our Christian walk should not be one of them. We have a duty to cast a biblically educated ballot that leaves no question as to who and what we stand for – Christ.

Dountonia is BellaOnline’s Baptist Editor

Trapped Miners Give Glory To God

October 18, 2010

By Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter

(Photo: AP Images / Hugo Infante, Chilean government) In this photo released by the Chilean government, miner Alex Vega draws attention to his shirt that reads "Thank you Lord" after being rescued from the collapsed San Jose gold and copper mine where he had been trapped with 32 other miners for over two months near Copiapo, Chile, Wednesday Oct. 13, 2010.

(Photo: AP Images / Hugo Infante, Chilean government) In this photo released by the Chilean government, miner Alex Vega draws attention to his shirt that reads "Thank you Lord" after being rescued from the collapsed San Jose gold and copper mine where he had been trapped with 32 other miners for over two months near Copiapo, Chile, Wednesday Oct. 13, 2010.

When the 33 trapped miners in Chile emerged from underground, at least two dozen of them were wearing T-shirts that proclaimed “Gracias Senor,” or “Thank you Lord.”

Christian Maureira, national director of Campus Crusade for Christ in Chile, who helped provide the shirts, said the miners wanted to recognize and thank God publicly as the world watched the anticipated rescue this week.

The miners were rescued on Tuesday and Wednesday after being trapped in the San Jose mine in Chile since the Aug. 5 cave-in.

During the 10-week stint some 2,000 feet underground, Jose Henriquez, 55, stepped up as a spiritual leader in the group, leading prayer services at noon and 6 p.m. each day.

He wrote a letter to Maureira after MP3s of the “JESUS” film and the New Testament were delivered to the miners through a 4-inch-wide tube.

“Thank you for this tremendous blessing for me and my coworkers. It will be good for our spiritual edification. I am fine because Christ lives in me,” Henriquez, who is part of a Pentecostal church, wrote.

He also quoted the Old Testament passage Psalms 95:4 – “In His hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to Him.”

That passage was printed on the back of the T-shirts that a majority of the miners wore as they were pulled out to safety this week.

Berry Fiess, director of Field Information Services of The JESUS Film Project, made it clear that the miners decided on their own to ask for shirts that essentially give glory to God. The shirts also have the JESUS Film Project logo on the sleeve.

“They requested – after we sent the MP3s – that we get these shirts for them. They told us what they wanted on the front and back sides,” Fiess explained. “There appears to be this strong desire to honor God and I think that this situation must have brought them close to their Maker.”

Maureira worked with a designer to produce the shirts and they were delivered to the miners on Monday, just a day before they began hopping into the “Phoenix” escape capsule to reach the surface.

According to Maureira, who had initiated delivering audio Scripture to the miners, several of the men gave testimonies about meeting God while trapped.

Responding to those who wonder where God was during other cave-ins where miners died, the CCC Chile director commented, “I believe that God is sovereign and all miners – either those that have survived or those who have died – accomplish the will of God.”

Another collapse could have happened during the rescue process in Chile, or the instruments might not have worked, Fiess noted.

“And like the shirt said on the back, ‘In His hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to Him,’” he said.

Fiess also noted that there have been many Christians who were saved miraculously and those who suffered and died. But he cited three biblical figures, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the Old Testament book of Daniel, who were prepared to give glory to God whether they were delivered from a blazing furnace or not.

In the case of the miners in Chile, Fiess said, “I think it’s valid to give God the honor and the glory here because God is the one who can provide His grace and mercy at any time that He wants.”

Lest We Forget

October 17, 2010

by John Imler
John is an RVchurchesUSA Ambassador and author of It’s Never Too Late

Forget what, you might ask me. This phrase is often used to encourage us to remember the forgettingvarious challenges our country has gone through and the accompanying resiliency that has resulted in its citizens. That is certainly a good thing to remember; however, it is not what I have in mind.

As believers in God there are several other things the Bible admonishes us not to forget. Of course, we should never forget about God, His Word, and His commandments (Deut. 4:9, 23).

In Psalms 78:4 we read “we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done.”

I recall a story of an individual being shown around heaven. In one room he saw people as far as he could see who were working as fast as they could to handle prayer requests. In another room he saw one individual reading a book with their feet up on a desk. When he asked what this person was doing, the angel indicated this was where all thanks for answered prayers were received.

As I read through the Old Testament, I notice that the Children of Israel were derelict in their duty to do as the Psalms promised. They were quick to complain at every new circumstance failing to recall God’s faithfulness in delivering them (answering their prayers) when they turned to Him and failing to remember or thank Him for those past “praiseworthy deeds.”

It occurred to me that I am so often guilty of the same sin. When I receive an answer to my prayers, too often I say a quick Thank You and then go on my merry way. We may start our prayers with a short summary of things we are thankful for, but often we do not hold all of His “praiseworthy deeds” in our memory for long.

When I turned my back and walked away from God (www.faithrescued.com ), it was because I doubted His promises and forgot the many reasons I had to trust Him and to remember His “praiseworthy deeds.” While shortness of memory is often attributed to aging, it is one of Satan’s schemes that we are warned about in 2 Cor. 2:11.

As believers we are asked to walk by faith. That faith is not only based on God’s promises to us but also on His faithfulness in keeping those promises “to answer us when we call upon Him” (Jer. 33: 2-3).

So, let us not forget to be believers who are “always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph. 5:20). Perhaps starting a journal of answers to prayer might be helpful.

John welcomes your comments either below or email him directly at john@faithrescued.com

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Chaplain U Graduates 31 Students

October 16, 2010

by Robert N. Ruesch
an RVchurchesUSA Ambassador

October 2010 Christian Resort Ministries international (CRM) graduated 31 students recently crmuwho are now endorsed and qualified for service in RV Parks in the United States.  “We were honored to bring into focus excellent teaching and training for our chaplain candidate class,” stated Dennis Maloney, CRM’s General Director.

CRM’s charter course – held on the campus of College of the Ozarks in Branson, MO – focused on many topics including support raising, Pastoral care, counseling, RV resort living, cyber-technical challenges, use of spiritual gifts/ministry to other faiths, to name a few.  Each day was opened with a devotional time offered by Dr. Dan Griffin who teaches seminary extension courses in the Missouri area.

Other facility members were Dr. Dan Brezavar, Sr., Pastor of Church of the Harvest in Branson and Dennis Maloney, MBA.

“The classes were on target and presented with first-rate material. My wife and I would not have missed it! The training was just what we needed to complete our requirements to volunteer as Chaplains in an RV park,” stated one pastor and his wife who came from Virginia to addend the one-week course.

Christian Resort Ministries requires chaplains to meet specific standards to qualify for service in the RV resort ministry.  Lay chaplains (without formal Bible school education) who apply to become endorsed by CRM are required to complete 30 hours of training within 18 months prior to be assigned. Their aggressive training course work includes The Life of Christ, Old Testament Survey, New Testament Survey, Missions, The Ministry of the Holy Spirit, Pastoral Care, The Book of Acts, three other book studies as electives and their choice of either Anthropology or Bible Archeology.

Training can be in a classroom, by correspondence or at an extension facility.  “New chaplains receive 40 Hours of Hands on Chaplaincy developed by the Baptist General Convention of Texas with an additional 12 hours of division specific chaplaincy training taught by our division managers at Chaplain University.  There is a 6 hour continuing education piece required annually.  In addition, chaplains are trained in NOVA disaster response, ASIST Suicide Intervention training and CISM first responder intervention,” says Maloney.

“We are aware of the need of excellence when working with other businesses, and thus we strive to bring qualified excellence to the table as we offer a Chaplain Program to campground resorts across America.  In today’s litigated world, you need to have a professional posture and presence in the volunteers we offer for service. We especially are honored to work with RVchurchesUSA*, as they enroll member resorts, campgrounds and parks. Along with their Ambassador Club members, we can offer the opportunity to bring a non-denominational Chaplain into that park. Working with multiple mission ministry-minded organizations is a vital key to each other’s success. (*Christian Resort Ministries and RVchurchesUSA have been ministry partners for over 3 years.)

“We want our chaplains to be equipped to be the finest they can be and equipped to bring the word of the saving grace of Jesus Christ to those who don’t know and who do  know Him.  Lets face it, time is short, eternity is forever. If we are not doing the labor of the Lord now, when do we do this work?,” Maloney asks. “Jesus clearly states in Acts 1:8 that we need to be His witness to the ends of the earth.  Resort ministry in RV parks, campgrounds and resorts spans all the requirements in the Acts passage.”

CRM’s Chaplain University offers a three-phase teaching process over 3 years and is presented in the Branson, MO area each year in September.  Further information on CRM international and Chaplain University can be obtained by visiting www.crmintl.org.

Robert Ruesch is the Sr. Chaplain and Field Service Director of CRM international and taught the technical classes at the university.

The Issue (2)

October 11, 2010

by John Imler
John is an RVchurchesUSA Ambassador and author of It’s Never Too Late

In an article for The Ambassador, Chaplain Christian Biscotti states that issuesthere are two world views in our society today. One is the humanistic, which makes man the central figure to the universe; the other is theistic, which makes God central to the universe. If we say we believe in God, then we cannot dismiss Him from our view of the universe, our world, and our lives. He must be the central figure of it all (John 12:44-45).

If we claim to believe in our Creator God, then we ought to (must) learn of Him and what He has to say about the life we are living. The Bible is the only known place to discover Him and His instructions for this life (Deut. 11:13).

To ignore that Book is like climbing into a 747 aircraft and attempting to navigate it successfully through the airways from point A to point B (Romans 15:4). Anyone who would think of such a venture with no training is doomed to certain failure and a probable crash landing.

Yet today we have legions of individual who are striving to live their lives without consulting God’s Instruction Book. These individuals strive to fly their airship from this earth to the hereafter with no charts and no previous instructions. Many have already experienced crash landing in the forms of divorce, job loss, financial set backs, illness, and the death of friends and loved ones (Psalms 119:9, 18, 27).

You may say you believe in God but have you ever enlisted in His battle—the battle of good and evil? Have you ever accepted His plan of salvation that He provided for you through the birth, death, crucifixion, and resurrection of His Only Beloved Son (John 3:16-18)?

You may have accepted God’s plan of salvation at some time in your life and enlisted in God’s army against the forces of evil but then went AWOL like I did for 45 years before returning to His arms for forgiveness (www.faithrescued.com ).

So where are you? It doesn’t make any difference. God waits for your turning to Him to accept His love, mercy, and forgiveness. Hebrews 11:6 declares that “anyone who comes to God must believe that exists.” Jesus Himself implored Thomas and us to “Stop doubting and believe” (John 20:27). He has promised that “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13). The decision is yours.

John welcomes your comments either below or email him directly at john@faithrescued.com

Don’t Let The Bed Bugs Bite!

October 11, 2010

by Professor95
for Woodall’s Family Camping Blog October 7, 2010

“Sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite.”

bed-bugI remember my mother telling me that when I was a child as she tucked me into bed.  I would just laugh ‘cause I thought it was funny.   I passed the goodnight phrase  on down to my children.

I did not know what a bed bug was or if they really existed until earlier this year.

I was watching the evening news on TV,  they had a special on bed bugs being on the rise and how they were being found in even four and five star hotel rooms in New York and other locations.

I thought, “WOW, I guess they are real.  Boy, am I glad I don’t frequent hotel rooms anymore.”  When Nancy and I travel, we take our camper with our bed – not one someone else has slept in.

After watching the TV News Special,  I put any thoughts of bed bugs  in our environment totally out of my mind.

Then this summer we learned quite by accident that some good friends of ours had discovered bed bugs in their bed!  I was surprised– these were some of the cleanest, neatest people on the face of this earth.  Honest!  If you walked in their house you could wipe it down with a white glove and not find a speck of dust.

So, how could these parasites invade John and Marge ‘s (not their real names) home?

We can’t be sure, but John believes it may have happened when he drove to  his sister’s house in another state after his Mom fell and broke her hip (His Mom was staying with his sister).  He had taken his favorite feather pillow with him as he always does.  On the way there and back he spent the night in hotels.  He suspects one of the hotels had bed bugs, and they hitched a ride in his pillow.

At first John thought the small red spots that appeared on his legs and arms were mosquito or chigger bites that he had acquired on their recent camping trip.  But, as it turned out, those itchy little red spots were bites from bed-bugs.

John and Marge have a camper and guess what John always takes with him?  You got it – his favorite feather pillow!  Both their home and their camper were infested before they even knew what had happened.

Bedbugs were once believed to have been eliminated by pesticides like DDT back in the early days.  But with the current laws against DDT and similar pesticides bed bugs have made a strong comeback.  Only this time they are resistant to most all of our commonly used pesticides and thriving in what we might consider a toxic environment.

So, how did John and Marge determine for sure they had bed bugs?

They placed some strips of sticky duct tape at the head of their bed with the sticky side up and turned out the lights. A few hours later they found bed bugs trapped on the tape.  They then tried the same procedure on their furniture and in the camper. The furniture came out OK, but the camper bed did not.

How do you get rid of these pesky critters?

bed-bug-bites

Bed bug bites appear as tiny red spots. Some people are allergic to the bites. They can itch and become infected from scratching.

John and Marge had planned on getting a new set of bedding for the house anyway.  So they took the old mattress and box springs out and hauled them to the dump.

They bought one of those steam cleaning machines you often see advertised on TV infomercials at a local home store.   After completely vacuuming their bedroom – even behind and inside the picture frames and electrical outlet cover plates – they went back over everything that moisture would not harm with a hot steam vapor blast.  Heat kills bed bugs.   Marge washed all the sheets, blankets, and curtains in hot water.  She sent the quilt out to a dry cleaner and had a commercial carpet cleaner come in and steam clean all the carpets.  Just for good measure, she ironed everything after washing and drying.

John’s favorite feather pillow was also washed in hot water and then tossed in the hot dryer.  Amazingly, it was not ruined.

The mattress in the camper was almost new,  so John steamed all the seams and folds where bugs or eggs could hide, then put it into a homemade plastic bag fashioned from a roll of  black  plastic sealed with duct tape to make it air tight.   He tossed in some moth crystals for good measure and placed it in the hot sun for about a week.  When he took it out of the bag it had a moth crystal odor, but another day in the sun and a bottle of Fabreze©  made it smell like new.

steam-cleaner

Example of a small, portable steam cleaning machine.

The inside of the camper received the same careful vacuuming and steam cleaning.  Then they shut the door and windows and let it bake in the hot summer sun for a week.  Inside the temperature rose to 140 degrees – plenty hot to kill bed bugs.

They think they are rid of the creatures but  realize that any eggs left behind can hatch at a later date.   Just to be sure they will know if any bugs come back, they keep a strip of tape – sticky side up – near the bed in both the camper and house and check it daily for signs of bed bugs.

John is no longer allowed to take his favorite feather pillow with him when he travels overnight away from home.

You guys sleep tight tonight, and don’t let the bed bugs bite!

originally printed at Woodall’s Family Camping Blog

[five-star-rating]

The Issue (1)

October 6, 2010

by John Imler
John is an RVchurchesUSA Ambassador and author of It’s Never Too Late

The word “issue” has various meanings; however, the one that stands out issuesis “an important question that is in dispute and must be settled.” Most of us would agree that we have a variety of issues in our daily lives.

The most important issue in dispute today seems to be the matter of God. “Is there a God or not?” Each of us must answer that question for ourselves.

In spite of all the arguments being espoused, common sense and logic require that I simply acknowledge God’s existence. When and if I consult the only really reliable Source of information available that will help me “settle” the question, I discover that it really is not a question at all. That Source, the Bible, simple says “In the beginning God.”

Further the Bible states: “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands” (Psalms 19:1-4). Furthermore, it states: “The fool says in his heart, there is no God” (Psalms 14:1). It makes no difference how educated or brilliant a person may be or how others may perceive him, this is the Bible’s description of him.

This dispute is taking place in our world today, perhaps as never before, but it demands that you and I settle it for ourselves. Most would admit that in this world there are two forces that struggle for our minds, thoughts, and actions. These are the diametrically opposed forces of good and evil that most of us recognize as those of God and Satan.

I recently spoke with a friend who said, “I believe in God but I can’t put up with my wife’s religion.” His wife is a professing Christian. Are you like this gentleman who claims to believe in God, but that is the end of it?

Solomon, the man acclaimed to be the wisest the world has ever known, had this to say about this issue. “Now all has been heard, here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” (Ecc. 12:13-14). Fear is defined as “profound reverence and awe especially toward God.”

Just to say one believes in a Creator God is not enough, for believing requires that we live our lives in recognition of Him, His laws, and His commandments. James 2:19 declares “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that and shudder.”

Read John’s part 2 of “The Issue”

John welcomes your comments either below or email him directly at john@faithrescued.com

Tailgating: RV Style

October 4, 2010

by Rex Vogel as appeared on Woodall’s Family Camping Blog
a regular contributing author to RVchurchesUSA

Another college football season is almost here. Get out the grill, stock up the cooler, and let the party begin!

The Ultimate Tailgate Machine—complete with four flat-screen TVs, 2 full-size kitchens, and an exterior grill—to parking lots around the country finding good food and fun people. Photo courtesy: Gator Tailgating

The Ultimate Tailgate Machine—complete with four flat-screen TVs, 2 full-size kitchens, and an exterior grill—to parking lots around the country finding good food and fun people. Photo courtesy: Gator Tailgating

It is tailgating season and Welcome to Tailgate City, as much a part of college football as the Heisman Trophy and grumbling about the bowl system.

And just in time for the fall football frenzy, Vogel Talks RVing offers up tips for successful RV tailgating.

From Mississippi—where women in formal dresses and men wearing ties congregate at the “Grove”—to Washington—where fans can party on boats docked near the stadium—this has become the country’s giant backyard. Friendships are renewed. Stories are swapped. And gargantuan amounts of food and drink are consumed.

The game, it seems, has almost become a sidelight, nothing more than a reason to get together for some tailgating outside the stadium.

Millions of football-loving Americans are gearing up to support their favorite teams this fall. With the help of well-equipped RV kitchens and a big dash of creativity, it promises to be a great tailgating season.

The annual rite of autumn begins…Oklahoma and Texas, Army and Navy, Vikings and Packers, Florida and Georgia, Alabama and Auburn, Mississippi and Mississippi State, USC and UCLA, Michigan and Penn State, Texas Tech and Texas A&M…

Ask true fans—they can tell you! The best place to be at a football game is not necessarily the 50-yard line.

Tailgating can make an ordinary football game into a special event. It brings together the four F’s—family, friends, fans, and food.

Tailgating is about having fun, eating good food, and armchair quarterbacking.

Tailgating is talking discussing how the game will unfold, and after the game, dissecting every play.

Whatever your favorite team, it’s time to pack up the RV and head to the stadium parking lot.

Whatever your favorite team, it’s time to pack up the RV and head to the stadium parking lot. Photo courtesy: RVBasics

Whatever your favorite team, it’s time to pack up the RV and head to the stadium parking lot. Photo courtesy: RVBasics

You’ll be joining thousands of fans who enjoy the festive atmosphere while partying with fellow parking lot participants.

Bring your home to the game. Each weekend, stadium parking lots across the country fill with tailgaters, who often produce elaborate food spreads in their RVs before and after the big game.

Tailgating in an RV means bringing your kitchen along, everything from on-board oven/stove and microwave, refrigerator and ice maker, blender and fry pan, to grill and smoker.

Your ingredients will be fresh and accessible.

RVs have plenty of space to store cooking supplies and utensils.

Anything you can prepare at home, you can make in an RV, and serve up fresh.

No lugging tables, chairs, and everything else but the kitchen sink—it’s all on board, including the kitchen sink.

Let the football season begin!

Rex

You may comment on Rex’s article below or contact him at vogelontheroad@gmail.com

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