Monday, June 30, 2014

Battery Charger Running- June 2014

If you ever hear me complain, please take a gun and shoot me dead.

The Lord is always so good to me... and this month was no exception.

The trip to Zion Canyon National Park was one that will stay with me for life- thanks to God for having the family together and blessing our travel in every way!

Let's take some of the things I have been working on in no specific order:


It was "FAIR"- travel and summer can take its toll- especially in the area of eating.
With only a month to go until my 50th birthday, it looks like I will likely NOT meet my weight goal. I have reached some peace about that (not necessarily a good thing) but I will re-engage it and not give up.

I will begin marathon training in Aug and I have a weight goal in mind with that.. though it is tougher to do when running long distance.

Blog Posting:

Readers for the Month of June 2014: 2808
Football by Jayopsis- 726
Jayopsis Devotions- 36
Best of Jayopsis- 28

I have really enjoyed my Bible reading and blog writing. It is more as a sense of something that is between the Lord and me and not about readers per se. It is how I learn and remember. I do have a sense of satisfaction that maybe I am helping someone.

Maybe one late night, somewhere on the globe, a lonely or hurting person will be encouraged by God's Word or read the gospel and the Spirit blesses the moment with a conversion... who knows?


We are in high gear- looks like I will be coordinating the offense and coaching receivers. I really like what we are doing from a scheme standpoint and I like the kids in our program.


One of my goals was to develop some new techniques over the summer- and I have done that.

Credit Lance Coggins- I have been using a Pro XL 65 lb braided line with a swim jig and it has really produced for me.

I have worked a little with a suspended jerk bait but I think it is wrong season and I want to continue to practice a square billed crankbait if I find the right depth and set-up.

Thankful to have had some nice opportunities to go after summer bass- it means rising early......

Going into July:

If the purpose of the summer in my line of work is evaluating and re-charging... then June is a success.

July will pick up with work duties...Senior retreat plans....chapels... school prep

and football is loaded with 7 on 7's.

Wish the god stuff could last forever... but time marches on.

Come quickly Lord Jesus!

Friday, June 27, 2014

God's Word for My Nation- Isaiah 59


I am excited about the 4th of July!


It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that we are in deep trouble as a nation.

Are you weary? Can we handle the truth?

And though this prophecy in Isaiah speaks specifically to Israel, the principles and truth here is universal and eternal.

See if you don't agree that this chapter reads like a current Op-Ed piece on any online publication.......


[1] Behold, the LORD's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear;

The problem in not the lack of ability in the Lord, and it really isn't our foreign enemies....the problem with the U.S. is US!

In a solar eclipse, the Sun is still is just hidden.

We live in an America today that does not see the Lord as we should. He is still there, but He is hidden...why?

If God seems absent- we are the ones who have moved- and this text agrees!

[2] but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear. [3] For your hands are defiled with blood and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies; your tongue mutters wickedness.

In our land there is personal sin, corporate sin, national sin........
There is republican sin...there is democratic sin....
There is corporate sin.... there is sin in the Church as well

[4] No one enters suit justly; no one goes to law honestly; they rely on empty pleas, they speak lies, they conceive mischief and give birth to iniquity.

How evil are the evil ones?

[5] They hatch adders' eggs; they weave the spider's web; he who eats their eggs dies, and from one that is crushed a viper is hatched. [6] Their webs will not serve as clothing; men will not cover themselves with what they make. Their works are works of iniquity, and deeds of violence are in their hands. [7] Their feet run to evil, and they are swift to shed innocent blood; their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; desolation and destruction are in their highways. [8] The way of peace they do not know, and there is no justice in their paths; they have made their roads crooked; no one who treads on them knows peace.

And what happens to a land where injustice and iniquity is the theme?
[9] Therefore justice is far from us, and righteousness does not overtake us; we hope for light, and behold, darkness, and for brightness, but we walk in gloom. [10] We grope for the wall like the blind; we grope like those who have no eyes; we stumble at noon as in the twilight, among those in full vigor we are like dead men.

And what is the tone of 'reality' show rhetoric and water cooler conversations?

[11] We all growl like bears; we moan and moan like doves; we hope for justice, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far from us. [12] For our transgressions are multiplied before you, and our sins testify against us; for our transgressions are with us, and we know our iniquities: [13] transgressing, and denying the LORD, and turning back from following our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart lying words.

Here is a great summary statement regarding our health as a nation......
[14] Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands far away; for truth has stumbled in the public squares, and uprightness cannot enter. [15] Truth is lacking, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey.

Does this mean there in no hope?
The LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no justice. [16] He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no one to intercede; then his own arm brought him salvation, and his righteousness upheld him. [17] He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on his head; he put on garments of vengeance for clothing, and wrapped himself in zeal as a cloak.

Yes, Jesus Himself did do what NO MAN could do. But be warned, God is full of mercy... but He also comes in wrath against injustice!

[18] According to their deeds, so will he repay, wrath to his adversaries, repayment to his enemies; to the coastlands he will render repayment. [19] So they shall fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun; for he will come like a rushing stream, which the wind of the LORD drives. [20] “And a Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who turn from transgression,” declares the LORD. [21] “And as for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the LORD: “My Spirit that is upon you, and my words that I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouth of your offspring, or out of the mouth of your children's offspring,” says the LORD, “from this time forth and forevermore.”

Do you grow disheartened about shrinking GDP? Are you concerned about an unsecured border? Do you get angry at all of the growing public controversies? Are you losing faith in your government?

All of that is the broken promises of worthless idols........

Re-commit yourself to the Covenant-keeping God who offers hope, salvation, and peace. Pray for regeneration of men and women- a return to truth.

Read this chapter as a prayer of personal confession and repentance....

Until God closes the curtain... we need to proclaim the gospel!

All is not lost...and never will be.

Even if we fall, God will spare and protect the remnant.

Keep hopeful...stay prayerful... and keep proclaiming the truth!

Lord, let our children see Your glory and put their hope in YOU!
God Bless America!

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Zion National Park Day 4- Coming Home


It was sad to begin the last day.

We drove to Bryce Canyon (about an hour and a half -88 miles)

All of the hikes were TOTALLY different and would be hard to rank.

Bryce and Zion both had $25.00 entry fees per vehicle but are good for 3 days.

I had a blast with my girls!

 And again- the weather was AMAZING!

God's handy work!

Then we started back- deciding to take the northern route back.

Why drive?

I wanted to see the country- if we go again, I will probably fly into Vegas and drive 2 hours to Zion- but I do not regret driving.

We rented a nice car and drove a cool route. And we timed it so that the night time parts had little scenery to miss.

Again our route from B'ham.

Saturday Departure around 9:30 PM.

I-59 toward Tuscaloosa, through Jackson and Shreveport in the dark- arriving in Dallas early AM on traffic.

Up to Amarillo, TX and then stopped in Albuquerque just before dark. We 'slept' from 9 PM mountain time and left around 5AM toward Flagstaff, AZ.

Arizona up to Zion was a pretty drive- could have taken in the Easter rim of Grand Canyon- but glad we got to Zion with time to Hike on Monday.

 Coming home- we went through Denver- very happy to get over the rockies during daytime- there was snow still on the slopes through Vail.

The Colorado drive was BEAUTIFUL.

Then the LONG HAUL.. and we just kept going..... using all of our drivers!

We did not stop to see Canyon Lands or the Monument at Grand Junction- but it all looked awesome!

Here is sunrise in Kansas... a long nothingness!

St. Louis was our worst traffic except NASHVILLE was the usual parking lot...uggh!

Here is the final leg home- 2056 miles and almost 33 hours- without stopping except to eat.



It was surprisingly economical for a week long family trip of 5 people.

Costs were (approximate):

Rental car and gas... $850.00

Rooms- 1 night in Albuquerque and 3 nights in Zion $700.00

Food- $700.00

Misc- shirts- etc 250.00

So the entire week was about $2500.00

All in all- something I will never forget and always cherish!

For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations. (Psalm 100:5 ESV)

Zion Park- The Narrows- Day 3

Wed.  June 4, 2014

For rookies- we hit our trip to Zion just right- the Lord was watching out for us.

I liked when we left as far as seeing sites- and the weather was magnificent!

I also liked the order we hiked the canyon:

DAY 1) Emerald Pools with connectors
DAY 2) Angel's Landing- Hidden Canyon- Weeping Rock
DAY 3) Narrows

The Narrows is neat and the water was perfect 58F with air temps in the 80's.

The shoe/sock/stick rental was $22.00 per person and is HIGHLY recommended.

We rented at Zion Adventures on the way to park in Springdale.

Check the weather forecast before you go- flash floods can be a problem.

My only suggestion is to take sandals or chacco's  and wear them all the way down the concrete path and put on the shoes as the water starts.

We went all the way to Big Springs...about 4.5 hours with stops.

There is a side canyon called Orderville just past Wall Street.

 And if I ever did it again, I would just do the side canyon and back.

Take more water and food than you might think- there is nothing once you start up the Virgin River.

This is a water filling station at the park entrance.

Because it is a narrow, slot canyon- the water goes wall to wall for a lot of the hike.

All week we were AMAZED at how tame the animals were. We got close to deer and squirrels.

This is the highest and most narrow part called Wall Street

The entire hike is BEAUTIFUL

Here is Big Springs- the mandatory turn around for bottom up hikers.

You can get a permit though and do the bottom down as well.

Big Springs- a welcome sight! It takes a LONG time to get there.

Going back though is faster because you get to go with the flow.

I felt like we were in a movie... kept expecting to see King Kong come out of the trees!

It took us 9 hours to do our entire up and back.

Zion National Park- Day 2- Angel's Landing and others

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

I woke up before the alarm went off...very excited to enjoy the day's adventures!

But it finally the wake up ring tone got us going at 6:15.

We got to the breakfast at 7- I know I said this but the breakfasts at LaQuinta were awesome.

Warm Canadian bacon and cheese English muffins- Oatmeal- the staff made the waffles- and the coffee was really good!

We were on the shuttle early- ready to be gone the whole day. Water- sandwiches- snacks- sunscreen and we enjoyed the breathtaking sites on the way to the Grotto and Angel's Landing.

It is a 2.5 mile climb to the top of the Canyon to a spot that looks out onto the 'Great White Throne'. My devotional that morning was Psalm 8- but you also cannot help to think of the Psalms of Ascent. Mormons and Methodists were instrumental for all the Biblical names...The Altar of Sacrifice- the 3 Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob- and Congress named the Park "Zion National" in the 1920's (would not happen today)- but I saw God everywhere.

I saw Him in the Canyon- water carved out sand and the minerals hardened it to sandstone. I believe it happened in the flood.

I saw Him in the tame wildlife- deer and squirrels walk the trails with fear.

And then we climbed to the heavens....

This is no hike for those afraid of heights. At times you are leaning into the rock with barely room for 1- holding onto a chain- and in places it drops off of BOTH sides.

And it took me 2 hours to summit!

Once I got up there.... I had a huge rush of accomplishment- but the descent is no piece of cake!

But I saw old men and little children on the top of that ledge!

The climb is not strenuous, it was a very slow and pleasant climb. It was crowded at times and I got very nervous watching an elderly gentleman going down (we referred to him as "Number 7").

But it was so thrilling to do it and the beauty was beyond words or pictures!

There are a lot of good  Go Pro videos on You Tube to give you an idea of what to expect. But I am glad I didn't read all of the death accounts before I climbed.

Angel's Landing has danger:
Fatal Fall from Angel's Landing

Angel's Landing though is breathtaking!

Here is an excellent video of the hike:

I heard so many languages from the large number of park visitors..but the people were really friendly and warm.

After Angel's Landing we did 'Hidden Canyon' not knowing it was an uphill climb as well with chains and ledges...but it emptied into a sand filled slot canyon with a quiet and beautiful walk.

We went back down and wound to 'Weeping Rock"- and finished with a stop and 50 yard walk to 'Patriarchs Court".

We got back to the LaQuinta- had an amazing dinner at the Parrot head Grill (there on the premises).

Hard to know exactly how far we walked.. but it was more that 12 miles and less than 16 miles we think.

Zion National Park- Departure- Destination Zion pt 1

What an amazing day!


We left Birmingham around 9:30 PM driving I-20 West on a family trip. It ended up being a great time to leave. We drove through the night with little or no traffic going past Tuscaloosa, Livingston, Jackson, MS and Shreveport, Louisiana.

I didn't realize Shreveport was such a big Casino town- the neon lights did bring some adrenaline to the drive.

I loved coming through Dallas as the sun began to allow us to finally see. Listening to George Strait all the way through Texas, we made Dallas in just under 9 hours.

Again- early morning and Sunday morning got us through the main channels with NO traffic.


Texas is BOOMING- construction is everywhere!

I especially enjoyed playing all George Strait almost the entire time in Texas. Amarillo By Morning, Does Ft Worth Ever Cross Your Mind, Out Here in the Middle of Nowhere were amazing!

The drive was as good as I hoped it would be- vast areas of flat desert and the first hint of mountains in New Mexico. I also liked the 75 MPH speed limit- but our rented Ford Edge did not- it seems like it kept wanting us to know over and over that 80 was the vehicles maximum and it chimed ALL THE TIME!

Our only issue was not re-fueling in Vernon, TX- we had to back track and get fuel when we realized we did not have enough to make it to the next town!


We got as far as Albuquerque, NM. A clean and beautiful city. We booked a night in the Best Western in Old Town- we walked down to that district and ate at a mexican restaurant- but the meal was average and expensive.


We departed in the dark the next morning on an 8 hour run to Zion through Flagstaff, Arizona.

It was my most difficult time driving- I felt like I was in a video game- pitch dark- only the lines on the Hwy and I felt like I was headed downhill. I only make it 100 miles and asked Lisa to take over.

We stopped off in Gallup, NM at a McDonald's at 6AM for Melissa to get her Alabama football order in! It was the only place open with wifi that early.

Flagstaff to Zion was a beautiful drive- but it was the hardest part. Page, AZ is possible the cleanest and coolest looking place we saw. Desert....nothing.... then a booming town next to a beautiful Lake Powell with gorgeous homes!


It was spectacular- the road they call 'the wiggles' is wild- a long claustrophobic tunnel that opens into paradise!

In all we drove 28 hours and 1850 miles!

As tired as we were- the beauty of Zion Canyon energized us and we checked into the LaQuinta - amazing rooms/food/breakfast/coffee/location/service- and caught the shuttle to the park.

We hiked a few trails- we stopped at the Grotto- took the Keyenta trail to the Emerald Pools. It was an awesome beginning hike. We also went around to try and see tomorrow's challenge...Angel's Landing- but ran out of time and steam.

God's majesty was everywhere and the whole trip was pure worship in the goodness of God's grace.

I laid down that night as tired as I have ever been- but I woke up at 5:30 AM mountain time the next morning ready to take on a hike like I had never seen before- Angel's Landing where 6 people have died since 2004!

That is tomorrow's story..... Tuesday was Angel's Landing and Hidden Canyon Trails.