Psalm 16:8 “I keep the Lord in mind always. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”
What does it mean to keep the Lord in my mind all the time? In this short Psalm we see first of all a choice. The Psalmist has made the decision to have the Lord in mind always. In this, we choose to relate everything we encounter to our trust in God. It’s important to know that what we choose to focus on becomes the dominant influence in our lives. If we choose to focus on problems then our problems will determine the direction of our lives. If we choose to focus on people, then people will determine what we think and do. If, and it’s our choice, focus on Christ, we invite Him to take the most important position in our lives. For every new experience, when people insult and mistreat us, when a crisis comes out of nowhere, when we are afraid the first response should be to choose Jesus. How amazing it is that Jesus should stand beside us to guide us and counsel us. Why should we ever be dismayed by our circumstance when we have our Lord at our right hand. The question………what will we choose? Chap Dan
A mom was getting her family ready to load up the car and head to the airport for a much need time away. Trying to corral a group of very excited and easily distracted children to the car she commented to her oldest son, “please hurry up we don’t want to miss our vacation.” To this the son responded “mom, I’m not going on vacation I’m going on mission.” The mom repeated this to her husband as they drove to the airport and a smile came across his face, “at least I know he was listening to the pastors sermon last Sunday. Don’t you remember, the pastor said when he spoke on our lives being salt and light to the world that our example to the world should be 24/7 even when we are on vacation.”
No matter where we are, no matter what we are doing, we are reflecting something through our example. Sometimes when we go on vacation we forget that even then we are to let our lights shine brightly where we are. (Matthew 5:16) So, as we head out on our vacations, remember that our testimony should always be “on.” Chap Dan
Just a quick introduction for those of you who are checking out this new blog link for the first time. My full name is Daniel L Billings but most of our team here at Newby just call me Chap Dan. This idea, while not at all new in our world of technology, is a new venture for me. As chaplain here at Newby and Pastor of Simplicity Fellowship I’ve been looking for ways to connect with our team and community residents in a way that provides more accessibility and a broader range of impact. This blog is just another tool to attempt to accomplish that goal. From time to time I will post to this blog a scripture, thought for the day or word of encouragement. I invite you to check it out for new posts and reach out to me with your thoughts and comments. Pastor/Chaplain Dan
No one wants to see the hurricane graphic on the weather channel coming straight towards them, however, you must be prepared for the inevitable, which means preparing for every hurricane scenario before the beginning of hurricane season, June 1st. Hurricanes can cause serious damage and fatalities to those who are unprepared. Hurricanes can cause serious damage and fatalities to those who are unprepared. Accuweather hurricane expert, Dan Kottlowski, explained that of those people who were impacted by Florence and Michael (the two biggest hurricanes of 2018), the ones who did not have plans in place had the most difficulty in dealing with the storm when it was occurring and during the recovery. According to Accuweather, experts are predicting fourteen to twenty tropical storms for 2020, with seven to eleven turning into hurricanes, and four to six of those being of Category 3 or higher.
In order to be prepared, we suggest to buy all supplies necessary before the season starts to avoid the pre-storm shopping rush. Supplies should include bottled water, canned foods, a flashlight, batteries, a first-aid kit, and storm shutters or plywood to board up windows.
So, what do I do if a hurricane has formed and heading straight towards me?
First off, if you live in a storm surge risk area, be prepared to evacuate if a hurricane is heading towards your area. This should be done as soon as possible to avoid potential traveling issues.
Secure your home: No one wants to leave their home and belongings behind, but it is necessary in many situations in order to avoid fatalities. However, you can follow guidelines to protect your house as much as possible to avoid losing your home and belongings.
Windows are the most vulnerable part of the house during a hurricane due to the high winds blowing around loose debris such as trees, roof shingles, and pieces of metal. The best way to prevent debris from coming through a window and damaging your home is to cover all your home’s windows with storm shutters, 5/8-inch exterior grade plywood, or marine plywood. Make sure to keep these supplies handy until the hurricane season is over because an average hurricane season produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.
A lesser known tip to protect your home from damage during a hurricane is to shut all interior doors of the house. The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety explains on its website, “Closing interior doors helps compartmentalize the pressure inside the home into smaller areas reducing the overall force on the roof structure, which gives the roof a better chance of staying intact.”
Stay tuned in: It is also crucial to stay tuned in to your local National Weather Service office and local government/emergency management offices for updates, insights, and news. Hurricanes can change direction very quickly so it is important to monitor the weather frequently when a hurricane is in the area. In fact, Hurricane Michael (the strongest storm to hit the continental U.S. since Hurricane Andrew in 1992) went from nothing to a category 4 hurricane in a matter of four days. Figure out the plan of action for each possible scenario so you are prepared no matter what happens. Follow instructions issued by local officials. Leave immediately to a designated storm shelter if ordered!
If you are not ordered to evacuate:
1)Take refuge in a small interior room, closet, or hallway on the lowest level during the hurricane. Put as many walls between you and the outside as you can.
2)Stay away from windows and glass doors to avoid being potentially hit with debris or broken glass.
3)If the eye of the hurricane is passing over your area, there will be a short period of calm, but at the other side of the eye, the wind speed rapidly increases to hurricane force winds coming from the opposite direction.
Each year we gather together with all of our staff and we reward our team members for the great job that they do throughout the year. Traditionally, we have a picnic with games, craft activities, and fellowship. This year we sadly had to cancel our awards picnic due to the current global pandemic.
However, we still wanted to celebrate our team members who are working hard to keep their communities running and safe in this time. In early April, we got together as a team and were all able virtually assemble through a video conference. From Houston to Tallahassee to Fort Myers, all of our team members were able to join our meeting and celebrate with us. This was a much needed break from the social isolation that we had been enduring. We were able to recognize our team members, especially those who went above and beyond in 2019. Some of those recognized with awards for their outstanding work include: Craig Graves of Quail Hollow for New Homes Sold and Re-Sales, Sal Fatzie of Palm Terrace for PKO’s Sold, Chris Thompson of Magnolia Village for Most Outstanding Land-Lease Community, Mark Lind of Caribbean Isles for Most Outstanding Resident-Owned Community, Doug Roper of Winterset RV Resort for Most Outstanding RV Community, and the much coveted President’s Award went to Tom and LaDonna Campbell of Jetstream RV Resort. Although we missed out on our typical picnic of food, games, and fellowship, it was still great to be able to connect in this difficult time.
Thank you to all our Team Members for the dedication and hard work shown in 2019. We are so blessed with our Newby Team and are anticipating a great 2020! We hope to see everyone in person at next year’s award picnic!