2016 Jan 23 & 24 – Days 13 & 14 – California and Beyond

Days 13 & 14 – January 23 & 24 – Carlsbad, CA – Days 8 & 9

On Saturday the 23rd we drove north to the West Bistro restaurant, 15 minutes from our condo, and met our friends Charles and Evelyn who live in Westminster, CA in southwest LA. We met Charles and Evelyn in 2009 when they were seated at our table in the ship’s dining room for the World Cruise.

In early January 2009 we had flown to Fort Lauderdale, FL and boarded the Holland America ship MS Rotterdam to cruise through the Panama Canal and up to LA before the ship embarked on a 114-day cruise around the world.  The World Cruise that year began in Los Angeles and ended in New York City.  However, being somewhat OCD it did not compute with me to sail around the world by starting on one side of a continent and ending on the another.

The ship had been sailing a cruise route in the Caribbean and there was a ‘regular’ 14-day cruise to sail from Ft. Lauderdale, through the Panama and up to LA where the World Cruise officially started.  The second to last port of call at the end of the cruise was in Fort Lauderdale, so we added the 14-day Ft. Lauderdale to LA cruise onto our World Cruise and then got off in Ft. Lauderdale at the end and flew home again, thereby making an actual circumfrence of the globe.

Charles and Evelyn, since they live in the LA area, boarded the ship at the  beginning of the World Cruise.  We sat at the same table for almost 4 1/2 months with another couple from Florida. We all had a great time; lots of fun and laughter.  We met up with them again in 2012 when we both did the 67-day Grand Mediterranean cruise.

In January 2013  we drove down to Escondido, CA on one of our extended road trips and drove up the California coast from San Diego to LA and spent the night with Charles and Evelyn before driving over to the Grand Canyon and all the fabulous National Parks in southern Utah.

We had a two-hour lunch at the bistro and then they followed us back to the Four Seasons Aviara to check out our digs and continue our visit.

IMG_4610After Charles and Evelyn left to drive home John and I spent the rest of the afternoon working on the jigsaw puzzle. We only need to complete the head, legs and upper body of the Chocolate Lab whose outline forms the puzzle and it will be finished.

IMG_4617John had done an internet search and located Christ Presbyterian Church in the La Costa area of Carlsbad.  It was only a 15 minute drive from our resort. They have three services at Christ Presbyterian; a contemporary service at 9, a traditional service at 11 and a Korean congregation uses the building from 1-4.

CPC has an extensive child and youth program with Sunday School for all ages as well as weekday bible studies and fellowship groups. Between the contemporary and traditional services an open coffee bar is set up on the patio located between the church building and the fellowship/Sunday School building.

IMG_4614 IMG_4612 IMG_4611The minister has only been with the congregation for a year after having spent 23 years ministering in a congregation in Chicago.  Last January he challenged the members of the congregation to chose “one word” to be their spiritual focus during 2015.  In his sermon this morning he talked about how he put his word – embrace – into practice last year and shared some of the other words chosen by members and how they used their words for ministry or spiritual growth.

(All of the words chosen by people in 2015 were incorporated into this image in the bulletin. The largest words were chosen by the most people.)IMG_4621Next Sunday he will reveal his ‘one word’ for 2016 and the people have again been challenged to chose a word or short phrase for themselves for the year.  The object is to write out your word and post it on your fridge, your computer, your mirror – somewhere you will see it regularly and then direct the aspects of your life to utilize the word for the Lord.  I think it is a really good concept.  Even if you are not a person who attends a church it would be a good focus point for an area or aspect of your life where you would like to have improvement .  What would be your word for 2016?

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