Eight beautiful cities in Europe

Ellis Goes On Holiday

I have to admit that I am pretty lucky to live in Europe, the continent has so many interesting and beautiful cities that are just a stone’s throw away from good old Blighty. Even if you do live a bit further out, however, there are many that are worth the trip:

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The Art of Appreciation

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Exhale, Relax, and Receive

Today was my last day at my now former job. Next week starts a new chapter of my life with my new job. For personal reasons, I will not say what that is at this time but let’s just say it’s in my feild (criminal justice), more challenging, people’s lives are in my hands, and it’s something different everyday. Nonetheless, I am excited and nervous at the same time to start something new. But if I had to describe in one word how I felt driving home from my former job for the last time, it would be…..release!

It was so peaceful! The rode was clear from the blizzard that hit two days ago, light traffic, and the sun seemed to chase my car as I drove. The red light gave me the opportunity to admire the sun, and embrace its warmness. For a moment, I could hear God whisper in my ear….”you can release now, it gets better from here.” In that moment I was reminded of His goodness and that made me appreciate the sun so much more. For me, the art of appreciation is being able to receive God’s love in its simplist form; through the small things. God is everywhere!

God bless!

Bali’s secret sanctuary

Sigh…..Bali. Beautiful Post!

Plus Ultra

The Menjangan_1

The rambling, stony trail beckons us deeper into the forest. Three identical wooden gateways stand straight ahead, pure Japanese in their simplicity, the green and gold patterns on their rough-hewn columns evoking the hollyhock crest of the Tokugawa shoguns. But this is Indonesia, and instead of a perfectly manicured landscape of framed views, Bama and I are about to discover a different kind of serenity.

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Fraser Island

Fraser Island in Australia- Beautiful Blog……may have to add this to my list as well!

curatorofthenations

A great place to visit if you have a week spare and a bunch of friends is Fraser Island. I’ve posted about Fraser Island on my blog because it’s so worth it. As well as being the world largest sand island, Fraser Island is home to some beautiful wildlife and picture-perfect scenery. Its white untouched beaches are famous as well as the the wild dingos that roam them. The Mahino Shipwreck is also a must-visit attraction that sits right up on the beach with lots of angles to take some great snaps!

Fraser has over 100 freshwater lakes, one of them being the famous Lake Mackenzie and 184 000 hectares, mostly being towering trees that make up a luscious rainforest. The sand dunes are a popular attraction with the tallest being recorded as 240m above sea level. There are many tours that visit the island daily from different points on…

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living intentionally as followers of the way #lent

“Is the quality of faith you choose to lead what Jesus had in mind for you when he was hanging on the cross?” —–Great question!

DEREK MAUL

IMG_8053-001“One of the most remarkable truths about Christ’s journey to the cross is the understanding that he made a purposeful informed choice with his eyes wide open. Jesus knowingly stepped out, away from the table of admiring friends in Bethany, and turned his face toward Jerusalem…” (Reaching Toward Easter, p 17)

Recently I’ve started to notice that the theme of “Intentional Living” has been cropping up a lot in my writing. The idea is closely related, of course, to that of “Live Like You Mean it,” and the important commitment I’ve been encouraging people to make when it comes to “Living Forward” as proactive disciples of Jesus.

snowy evening in Wake Forest snowy evening in Wake Forest

Too many people live in the shadow of a kind of “victim mentality,” where they see themselves as passive participants in a story that has been written by somebody else, floating along like so much flotsam…

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The Reason Behind the Name…

Bridge near my home overlooking the James River

Imagine that you just finished a long day at work. You’re tired, glad to be off, and have to do it all over again the next day. As you drive home, you try to search in your mind for a place of contentment and fulfillment but you get nothing! Still in search for an answer, you gaze out your windshield at your surroundings. Suddenly, you notice the way the trees move; the branches dancing together. A warm cozy feeling creeps over you as you experience the sun setting over the river complimented by a cotton candy sky. In that moment, everything seems more vibrant. The trees seem greener, the sky more colorful, the river more peaceful, and the sun warms your soul. And for a second a feeling of gratitude overtakes you, and it’s almost as if God is giving you an answer…..

This has become the norm for me! For years, I have worked jobs that left me feeling unfulfilled and in search for something more. Every day I would leave work feeling like I had nothing left to give and in search for sanity. God and nature became my sanity. I began to marvel at the trees, the sun, the river, the sky, the big beautiful multi-colored stone houses, the side cafes, even the way the pedestrians communed together on the sidewalks. Things that were usually overlooked, I came to appreciate. While I have always had a relationship with God, I had finally arrived to a place where I could see Him in everything. I realized that God is everywhere and in everything that is beautiful and good in this world (hence the name God Within). And if you are willing to shift your perspective, it is His way of showing His love towards us. He didn’t just take the time to create us, but He took the time to craft the mountains, the hills, the oceans, and so on. And I personally believe that He desires for us all to see it!

So I made a personal goal to do just that…..starting with my hometown!! I use to complain to God about not being financially stable to travel the world. And I have to admit, I became a little impatient and irrational in my pursuit to travel. Then God presented me with a really good question: “How can I demand to see the rest of the world when I haven’t really opened my eyes to the world around me?” Sometimes we travel the world searching for something that’s been in our face the entire time. While I don’t see anything wrong with traveling the world (well duh!), I just learned that in order to appreciate it in it’s’ entirety we have to develop an appreciation for the part that’s freely given to us. For me, that may mean taking a different approach and knocking things off my bucket list but starting in my hometown (USA).

So join me as I travel and discover God Within beginning with the U.S——>insert country here!

God Bless! 🙂