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January 2023

Today's message and prayer during Church of the Highlands 21 Days of Prayer is on fire!

Romans 12:1-2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”


Today's message and prayer at the Church of the Highlands was on fire! Here's the link if you want to hear and watch and see how thousands of people around the country are lifting up prayer requests for things that matter to you and society right now:

Today's 21 days of prayer is all about spiritual attacks on the family and encouraging us to put on the full armor of God. We need to step into our place of authority and fight the devil.

Ephesians 6:10 - 13  

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 

Be encouraged! Do not shrink back and be destroyed, stand in your purpose and your calling. Do not flee, Nehemiah 4:14  “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.”
Focus on the home and believe God can do great things. This is what the pastor was preaching and praying for today and encouraged all of us to pray too. That we would have: 
1. Homes built on the Word of God
2. Homes will have a spirit of unity, established in prayer
3. Homes filled with children in love with God. 
I have been so blessed and encouraged as I follow along daily I just had to share and encourage others to join me. Prayer-bible-verse-8
It's been really amazing to see what I'm praying for manifest in real life too. I've been praying for our government officials, our country, my alma mater, my friends and their families, my family, my favorite celebrities, Hollywood, and whoever and whatever God brings to mind as I'm lifting up these prayers to Him.
Prayer-bible-verse-11lI believe in the power of prayer. I believe in God's goodness. I believe in the power of God's truth. love and ability to change lives and circumstances.
I see it in my own life and in certain things happening in the country today which is why I have to write and share this with you to encourage you to join me in the final days of this amazing experience.
Prayer-bible-verse-6There's so much evil and darkness in the world right now. Wouldn't it be nice to have some light and encouragement in the midst of it? That's why I'm doing this. It changes my whole perspective and gives me encouragement that God is in control and He wins over the evil going on right now.
I think of this shocking story which you can read in full detail by clicking the link... Madonna Accused of Pornography and Child Trafficking in Southern Africa – Ethiopian World Federation Urges President of Malawi to Conduct Investigation  By Jim Hoft Published January 18, 2023 
I can't help but wonder if people praying for those caught in sex trafficking, human trafficking, and other abuses against children haven't caused these to come out now. I know I pray for that to end.
When I think about it, all I can do is pray for our borders, for the people caught in the crosshairs and that God will intervene, give our government officials wisdom in handling it, and that we will have law and order once again. It's out of my hands...
And on the flip side, I see positive news happening that makes me feel good: 
I know some may not think Alec being charged is positive, but I've been praying there will be justice in the world and I think it IS manslaughter when someone deliberately points a gun at someone and shoots it, fake or not.
I'm also tired of celebrities literally getting away with murder as Bruce Jenner did in that fatal car crash. I also feel sometimes we have to go through hard times to trust in God, not ourselves. Perhaps Alec will turn to God now?


But enough of me and my opinions of what's happening in the world, let's get back to God and his will for our lives.:)
This is one of my favorite verses in the Bible and I hope it encourages you too: Jeremiah 29:11 11 For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for prosperity and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
And here's a musical version with sign language!

So! I hope this encourages and challenges you to join me as we continue our journey through the 21 Days of Prayer with the Church of the Highlands!
They have a great app for pray called Pray First which you can find in both iPhone and Android stores. And I like having the church app too because it makes it easier to find the message. You can also just watch on your computer. Whatever works! Just pray! 
Prayer-bible-verse-1lGod bless your day as my friend Ashley always says. If you'd like some worship music to play in the background as you go about your day, here's some I just found. 

Have a great week! I plan to!


Finding a place to call home after a year of traveling and moving.

Where I traveled in 2022By Joy A. Kennelly

Well, I'm finally settled into my new town after a ton of cross-country trips last year. I had no idea it was so many until Google shared this insight with me. Normally, I don't like being tracked, but this was kinda fun to review and realize I did a lot of traveling last year.

I left California in June to go care for a friend's aged parents in Lakeland, Florida. The opportunity was presented that I would basically be there if anything went wrong at night and I would have the days free to work and travel.

1However, when I arrived, it was clear the parents needed more care and after many months of trying to get the family to provide in-home care, find a way for the couple to move into assisted living, or find help through the various senior resources, it became clear the situation wasn't ever going to change. I made the difficult choice to leave, but it was very sad for me because the couple was really special and I had grown to care for them.

I enjoyed swimming with the mom and helping her regain her sense of balance. Also, helping her remember positive memories of times spent with family and church friends over the years. The stepdad was another sort and I began to realize I never want to live into my 90s. He was in constant pain, stubborn, arrogant to a fault, and determined he would be fine without his walker, despite falling numerous times and injuring himself further. We eventually developed respect for each other, but it was rough going at first.

It was a very sad situation and to be honest, I'm glad I'm no longer responsible because it was too heartbreaking to see them decline so quickly. Last year I experienced numerous friends passing while caregiving for my Dad and visiting my aunt in her skilled nursing facility. I began to feel like I needed to breathe and do something completely different which is why I left California for Florida. Plus, the political climate in California is stifling.

After a month of almost full-time care of the couple I was responsible for, the daughter told me to take off during the day because that was our agreement. It killed me to leave them because they really needed full-time care, but for my mental health, I began to pursue full-time work, look for an apartment to move out to, and explored various parts of Florida I considered moving to.

Downtown Looper Postcard I also joined a fun group of women called Lakeland Ladies and made friends through there that I have kept to this day. Really quality people too. We went and explored a local natural spring and the beach on one excursion. What was funny to me about Florida beaches is the water is warm, like bathtub warm, which was disconcerting when I'm used to freezing in the Pacific ocean. It was also extremely shallow very far out which was also difficult to get used to, especially when sharks were an issue if you went out too far. 

I'm used to swimming to the end of the pier and back and not being able to touch the floor of the Pacific ocean. As a result, I enjoyed the natural springs more due to the refreshingly cool water, deep floor, and opportunity to feel cool during the heat. Because Florida is hot! I bought more shorts living there than I have in my entire life!

I was able to visit St. Petersburg, Tampa, Orlando, and numerous smaller cities around the major ones. What I found fascinating was the brilliant purples and reds in their sunsets. The skies would explode with colors I'd never seen before and many times had to pull over to take a picture to capture the vibrancy. I still have a desire to return and travel around because there is so much I didn't have a chance to explore.

I enjoyed living in Lakeland because there is a burgeoning tech scene and I was able to attend one of their Catapult pitch fests. Very interesting startups and founders. Also, very a unique cool building devoted to the startup community which had a young, dynamic female leader in charge who was very welcoming. I gave her some referrals to the events, VCs, and other tech-related resources I knew from my time in that field.

I also enjoyed living in Lakeland because I was an hour or so from Orlando and the same distance to Tampa. Thus, I was able to explore both areas very easily. I especially enjoyed traveling to Orlando because I was able to reconnect with my friend Lana who had left California a few years before me. We both cried when we saw each other because she had been one of my best friends in the business and we used to do many events together. She recently had experienced a major health scare too and I was so grateful I was able to see her doing so well.

20220720_200256When I left Florida I went to live on a friend's ranch in West Texas which was a very unique experience. I will always remember fondly my time living on the ranch among the horses, cows, and dogs because those became my companions living so far away from any city and my friends being so busy. Plus, the animals were so fun to watch and be around. They always made me laugh at their antics.

The closest town, Valentine, had 200 people. You drive an hour and there's another arts community of roughly 1500 people called Marfa. Drive about 45 minutes further and you arrive in the city where I currently reside with a population of 6,000 people called Alpine.

We have numerous Dollar Generals, one big grocery store called Porter's, a smaller natural one called Blue Water that I just learned about and need to visit, and a nice variety of restaurants ranging from  Mexican to Thai to American to Chinese to Italian to BBQ, one cafe called Cedar Coffee Supply, and Sul Ross University.

This is a major adjustment to living in Los Angeles, but I found an apartment here that I really liked just before I left to housesit in Austin for a week to look for a place there and have decided this is where I will rebuild my life. My friends tease me that they're going to poke a hole in my tires to make me stay still because I've moved so much.

When I mentioned that I wasn't sure I would meet anyone here, my friend said, well, you haven't met anyone while you're moving around.  Maybe it will happen when you're in one place. That made me laugh and I still chuckle thinking of it. Who knows?!

There's a big Valentine's Day celebration taking place in Valentine, Texas on February 18 that looks like a lot of fun. Here are the details:

Now that I'm settled and have my office set up, just need a chair which is being delivered by Friday. I'm excited to see what the year holds and am grateful for the remote jobs I have and the opportunity to begin acting again.

Now to find a local job to help me to meet people and make friends. Otherwise, I will remain in my apartment working all the time and I refuse to be a workaholic anymore. Time to find some balance and achieve some personal goals, in addition to, business and financial goals.

Also, continue exploring Texas. It's so vastly different than anywhere I've ever lived before and I find it fascinating. The sheer expanse of natural beauty with no buildings in sight is healing and inspiring.

I'm going to start a virtual goal-setting group similar to what I used to run in the 90s once I decide which platform to build on. Every group I ran had people accomplish the 3-month goals they set out to achieve and I know having the accountability, support, and encouragement of like-minded people makes a huge difference. 

I'm going to take a few goal-setting seminars myself to learn from others and add to my own experience and background. I'll be sharing more later.

In the meantime, if you want to join me and my friends in starting out the new year in a new way, consider joining us for the 21 Days of Prayer that Church of the Highlands is offering. It's free to participate in and very encouraging. Get ready to see what God can do when you place Him first in your day. 

God bless and enjoy your year! I plan to!