My Brother-in-Love Bill—The Dairy Farmer and the Man with the Biggest Heart Ever!

My sister Chris married Bill in 1972 when I was 13 years old. I think so as it is hard to know dates when you are the youngest of six and can always rely on five other family members to set you straight. It was a college love-at-first sight; get married; honeymoon in Amsterdam and then off to Germany where Bill was stationed in the United States Army. After meeting many of Bill’s yodeling relatives, making friends while living off-base, seeing some of the countryside and learning a lot about wine, the couple-in-love returned to America, where Bill went to work in the family dairy farm business with his brother, father, and grandfather. He worked hard, embraced new technology and was always the peace-maker in the family. That’s when I, as a young teenager, on weekend trips to the farm with my parents, really got to know Bill and became lifelong friends. To say the least, Bill was more than a brother-in-law to me, he was an older brother and a friend; sort of a bridge to understanding life and the world beyond growing up in Binghamton, New York. He died in 2017, at age 66, four years ago when I was 57 myself. Here are my Top 10 Bill Blessings and Memories from those forty plus years together:

1. Bill was a man of patience, humble to the core. I can’t ever remember Bill raising his voice, not to me or anyone else. If I made a mistake in the barn, all Bill would do is move himself faster to fix it before any damage was done. Bill would understand why it has taken me four years to get these words out of my heart and down on paper. Why each time I tried to do so tears would come and change from ones of sadness or shock to ones of love and gratitude.

2. Bill loved my sister dearly and nearly perfectly as anyone could have. Not that it was always easy, especially when he was involved in a family business and raising a family with three children. He was always there for her or out in the barn or in the field working. His hobby was loving Chris and his kids while working hard to provide for them. Outside activities like making maple syrup, growing sweet corn, artificially inseminating cows all supported the inside activity of his heart to help out others where he could. In later years, he gave service to the Farm Bureau and Farm Credit which enabled Chris and Bill to travel a bit in their early and all too short golden years.

3. Bill loved his country, his family of origin, and Lee Center, outside Rome, New York where he grew up. His service in the Army, at a time when some in his generation opposed that service, was without notice but with distinction, honor, and commitment. I could see Bill tinkering with things in the Signal Corp on the Army base just like he did on the farm. Bill could fix anything or at least get it running temporarily! Awarded the National Defense Service Medal, he had a sense for how things worked and that good knowledge and good will also extended to people. Bill was an American to the core and knew American and World history in great detail and in a logical, common-sense sort of way.

4. Milking cows with Bill was fun, rewarding and always with interesting conversations! Much different than the city life that I knew in Binghamton. It took 2-3 hours. It was not a milking parlor where the cows came to you much like an automobile service bay. The Pipeline was more like a vacuum hose that ran the length of the barn providing the means of suction to relive the cows of their sometimes uncomfortable dairy excesses and to transport the fresher-than ever, wholesome with cream, milk back to a huge stainless steel refrigerated tank in the room where you entered the barn called the ‘milk house!’ My job would be to feed the cows by unbaling hay from above and then scoop some sort of grain and vitamins in the manger. Bill would get started milking at the far end of the barn. When my feeding chores were done we would milk together and talk. Just talk. Talk about anything. My special moment was when we would have only a few cows left. I would always say that it looked like “we were more than halfway done.” Bill would smile and then tell me to go up to the house and get cleaned up for dinner. I was always hungry for dinner when visiting the farm and I was always looking forward to our next time together too.

5. Bill would save the chore of cleaning out the calf pen for me and I would like it. Getting pregnant, having calves, producing milk was the mainstream in the life of a cow. Female calves were saved while male calves became cash income to sustain the dairy farm operation and a tasty protein meal on someone’s dinner table. Calves poop a lot and then compress that poop with their hooves as they live their young lives in their pens, day-after-day, week-after-week, usually months before I would come for another visit to family and the farm. I am sure Bill cleaned the calf pen too but surely not in the days right before I would come to do my chore. Once I remember the depth of poop to clean as being at least a foot deep! It was stratified and I felt like an archaeologist digging and searching. Of course I only found concrete which was a welcomed finding! Like I said I liked cleaning out the calf pen. Soon afterwards Bill embraced the concept of outside individual calf huts!

6. As life would have it our raising of families overlapped a little and Bill and the dairy farm was always a part of it until later years when the farm was sold and Bill built their retirement home in a nearby picturesque valley setting. Awaken with news that their first son was born by a phone call on the public phone in the hallway of my college dorm. Then came a daughter and another after that. I remember Bill giving the youngest of our two sons a tour of the barn and the opportunity to feed the small baby calf. Again, surely there is a name for that but a farmer I am not just a benefactor of having a farm in the family. Feeding the calves is really teaching them how to suck the milk from the bucket and learning how to drink. It is an up close and personal sort of job. I will always remember the delight in Tim’s eyes as he came into the house and remarked that “their eyes are so big!”

Chris & Bill's legacy lives on...

Chris & Bill’s legacy lives on…

7. Bill was funny with a dry sense of humor. I don’t ever remember him telling a joke per se. it was always a story with some funny parts to it or a perfectly timed comment of his with a twist. Once after coming in for dinner and sitting down to join us having already started on the sweet corn, he asked us why are we eating cow corn? Somehow our designated directions for the correct picking rows of the sweet corn had gotten mixed up. When we were eating steak he would always reminisce about what a good cow number so-and-so was. That it was a shame that she did not get pregnant.

8. Conversations with Bill in the barn milking cows or driving calves to Vernon were fascinating to me as a teenager and later as an adult, even later as an aging adult. Bill knew all about what was going on currently in the world and the history of it too. He could explain things in a simple, yet highly intelligent way. Bill knew people better than he knew the world too. He knew his own backyard too, what was going on in Rome and in New York State. It was intriguing to me to listen to him and still is as he comes into my thoughts often as a shining example of how to be in this world no matter what is happening in this world and of course how quickly and early one’s departure from this world can happen unexpectedly. Bill’s heart gave out on February 13th as he was driving his truck down the road. The truck gracefully slowed down and veered off into a snowbank hurting no one.

9. Bill helped me grow up and become the man I am today. I admit that I do use my Bill motif at times when confronted by difficult people in difficult situations. At first I didn’t know what driving the male calves to Vernon meant. There’s a name for male calves but I can’t remember it now. I do remember the day that I watched them go up the conveyor and first took note of the loud buzz saw that greeted them beyond the flap of heavy plastic that I could see. Bill was a good listener and an heartful emphathizer too. In fact that was his go-to and get-along perspective in life; a necessity in a family business and in marriage and fatherhood. Bill was a great guy and a good friend.

10. Bill was a Believer in the Resurrection of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Never to preach or to judge another harshly you just knew Bill had faith and it showed in his easy-manner, successful, and fulfilling way of life. Some people preach without saying a word. That was Bill! I have heard some of the most amazing, inspirational sermons at his church—St. Joseph’s in Lee Center. Bill sang bass in the choir as Chris sang alto. To this day I get the sense that Bill is singing along with Chris in that beautiful little country chucrh.

11. Did I save the best for last? Not with Bill, it was always good throughout our forty-plus years of life together. My sister Chris marrying Bill was one of the best things to happen in my life. My last time with Bill was on a cold fall night walking on fairly level ground. I did take note when he seemed more winded than usual causing us to slow down going up a slight rise and fall behind others on the walk. It was vintage Bill with us just having a conversation enjoying a moment in life when we could be in each other’s company again. I guess I knew that “we were more than half-way done’ with our lives but I never expected him to pass a few months later. Sometimes we take life for granted when living it. For us Believers, we know the the meaning of death too, that life is indeed everlasting and eternal. We miss you Bill and we look forward meeting once again and more of time together in the years ahead up in Heaven.

PS A bit over the limit of ten but in life there really is no limit of good things. Feel free to share your loving memory of Bill too!

Sarita May, A Beautiful, Graceful Southern Lady from Winston-Salem, North Carolina!

Ponte Vedra Beach’s Sarita May, A Beautiful, Graceful Southern Lady from Winston-Salem, North Carolina!

Direct from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Ponte Vedra Beach's own Sarita May!

Direct from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Ponte Vedra Beach’s own Sarita May!

One always remembers the very first person they meet when moving to a new area. When I rolled into Ponte Vedra Beach on Monday evening, February 11th, 2008 I joked, but it was true, that I was unemployed, homeless, and drove a minivan (with a motorcycle in tow). Coming from Texas Sarita graciously welcomed me into her home for the first two weeks so that I could get oriented to the Modern Capital of the Golf World and begin a new career in golf!

My TROML Journal entry for that very first night referenced this Southern Angel Lady as a “gift from God—my new friend Sarita May.”

Sarita's Gang, circa 2011, (L to R): Yours Tuly, Hers Truly, Chris. Sarah, & Margaret.

Sarita’s Gang, circa 2011, (L to R): Yours Tuly, Hers Truly, Chris. Sarah, & Margaret.

Along with Sarita, there was the expected “Welcoming Committee” to check out this new house guest—the neighborhood guy Chris, Alice from across the street and Chris’ house guest Mark. There were questions and conversations; a good time was had by all! This Southern Hospitality, meeting the ever expanding Sarita connections in Ponte Vedra, went on for the first two weeks! The time was well spent establishing myself in the golf community and preparing to go “out on tour” for the 4-week Florida Swing through Palm Beach Gardens,Tampa, Orlando, and Miami. By the time I left I had a job with NBC Sports during the Florida Swing and THE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP at TPC Sawgrass. Life was good in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida and it all started with the hospitality of Sarita May!

Sarita hosted countless social gatherings! This one a TPC Party for Andy & friends!

Sarita hosted countless social gatherings! This one during TPC for Andy & friends!

Before I left for the Florida Swing. Sarita would invite me to join her for the 9 am Service at Christ Episcopal Church. We would stay for the Rector’s Forum afterwards to further digest the Word of God. Over the years Maria and others would join us or rather I would join them as golf and life took me far from Ponte Vedra Beach for long periods of time. We would alternate hosting brunches too once I purchased my home in January 2011.

Sarita May took care in everything she did whether as a realtor or a volunteer at Christ Church!

Sarita May took great care in everything she did whether as a realtor or a volunteer at Christ Church!

Of course, my ‘adopted Mom’ was also my real estate agent and provided many renovation suggestions for my humble abode—‘my Home Sweet Home, Ponte Vedra Beach, Ocean Grove, Creative Condo!’

A talented artist, Sarita created an extra-large impressionist painting for my newly decorated Creative Condo. Entitled “Life’s Journey Brings One to a Sunrise in Paradise,” here is the accompanying description that speaks so well of our dear and enduring friendship:

One of the many pieces of artwork created by Sarita May, this one a gift to me and of course my favorite! “Life's Journey Brings One to a Sunrise in Paradise,”

One of the many pieces of artwork created by Sarita May, this one a gift to me and of course my favorite! “Life’s Journey Brings One to a Sunrise in Paradise,”

Life’s Journey Brings One to a Sunrise in Paradise” is an Impressionist painting by Sarita May. Like Claude Monet’s 1872 piece Impression, Sunrise that defined the movement, Sarita’s creation is a landscape.

Instead of the harbour of Le Havre, France the water beneath the sunrise is the Atlantic Ocean in Sarita’s Sunrise.

A native of Winston-Salem, North Carolina she came to Ponte Vedra Beach by way of New York City where she studied art at the Institute of Design.

The artwork was requested by Sarita’s friend Andy Reistetter who came to the beach in February, 2008 to pursue a career in golf writing. Literally the first person he met was Sarita and he is happy to call her his “adopted mom” and that she chose to artistically capture his journey in Sunrise in Paradise. From Ragtime to the winding A1A that could have been an emerging hurricane the piece takes one to the palm tree gracefulness and TPC Sawgrass clubhouse in one adoring look.

But ultimately it is the beauty of Sarita’s Sunrise that captures the eye of the critic in a way that inspires one to seek and ultimately find their journey in life.

Sarita was always Number ONE!!!

Sarita was always Number ONE!!!

“Impression — I was certain of it. I was just telling myself that, since I was impressed, there had to be some impression in it … and what freedom, what ease of workmanship!” The words of Monet’s critic seem fitting for Sarita’s piece as well. Bon voyage!”

Over the years me and the ‘New Year’s Baby’ (her birthday was January 1st) grew older just like everyone else. We enjoyed our times together especially worship times at Christ Church and occasionally Pussers’ Friday happy hours on the balcony taking in a calm, sunlit late afternoon respite.

Though our seasons in life were slightly different, our love of life and our love of our Personal Savior and Lord Jesus Christ brought Sarita and I ever so close at times. Life at other times kept us separated. After a distant 2019 in which I was home in Ponte Vedra Beach only for 91 nights, we managed to come together for one last time on January 13th.

Worshiping at Christ Church...

Worshiping at Christ Church…

When I had lunch with her she was the most joyous, most living in tranquility, and most optimistic that I had known her in the 12 years of our special friendship. All of us are praying for David’s full and speedy recovery. I trust and believe in my faith that Sarita is in an even better place now, free of all pain and truly living an eternal life in love, peace, and joy!

John 14:2-3. “In my Father’s house are many rooms, if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you… that you also may be where I am.”

Sarita loved here children—Elizabeth with granddaughter Lauren and Chip with wife Holly. She also loved her little dogs as much as life itself. The name of her cherished dog—”Gracie”reflects the journey all of us traveled with Sarita these past 12 years!

An Easter Sunrise Service with Sarita...

A Christ Church Easter Sunrise Service with Sarita…


When I look at her painting now, Life’s Journey Brings One to a Sunrise in Paradise,” and read the description and dedication of eight years ago, I realize that we enjoyed a taste of the promised Salvation, Eternal Life, and Spiritual Freedom right here in Ponte Vedra Beach… but now Sarita’s Sunrise and her Paradise is far much better!

May God Eternally Bless my friend Sarita May!

PLEASE NOTE:   Sarita May was tragically killed in a senseless car accident on A1A in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida on Monday Evening February 17th, 2020.

Eulogy of Sarita May Sparrow

I am grateful for this opportunity to say a few words about my dear friend Sarita. My heart goes out to her husband, her family, the Christ Church Community and all of Sarita’s friends. I feel your pain and loss too. This indeed will be a sorrowful Lenten Season.

I am wearing a tuxedo today because Sarita told me that if I ever gave her eulogy that I need to wear a tuxedo while doing so. Thank you Sarita. This is the first time that I ever had to fast on Fat Tuesday and Ash Wednesday so I could fit into this thing!

(Tapping chest, find another eulogy in the of the tuxedo)

Oh, and look here she even left me the eulogy to read…

The first thing being that her reported age was incorrect. She is forever 72. If retractions are not published quickly there will be Old Testament wrath to pay.

Thank you for this 30 minutes to share… what, only 3 minutes? Who ever here said hello OR GOODBYE to Sarita in 3 minutes? If you went to her house planning to leave in 30 minutes, it was always 3 hours later…

Before I make Sarita out to be the saint that she actually was… and nominate her for the Woman of the Year, yes Woman of the Year… I have to be honest and report that like all of us she was not perfect.

The only example I can recall of a Sarita imperfection, let’s call it Sarita’s inability to admit that she was wrong and to apologize. The closest I ever got to an apology was… “Andy, you must have misinterpreted what I said.”

Andy, you are 60 years old, here is how you should think, here is what you should do and here is how you should vote.

Sarita, let me get this straight, I am 60 years old, that is how I should think, that is what I should do, and that is how I should vote?

No Andy, you have misinterpreted what I said…

I loved Sarita May and I know everyone in this church loved her as well.

Sarita is not someone you forget. Her Southern beauty, charm, wit. She was artistic and creative with art, flowers, and food. Her life and her “way of life” were truly amazing.

I moved here 12 years ago almost to the day she passed. Sarita was the very first person I met in Ponte Vedra Beach. She graciously welcomed me into her home as her guest for the first two weeks.

My journal entry for that very first night referenced her as a “gift from God—my new friend Sarita May.”

Along with Sarita, there was the expected “Welcoming Committee” to check out this new house guest—the neighborhood guy Chris, Alice from across the street, Sarah the golf pro next door; later on Margaret, Maria, and so many more. There were questions and conversations; a good time was had by all!

This Southern Hospitality, meeting the ever expanding Sarita social network in Ponte Vedra has never really stopped for the last 12 years!

That very first weekend Sarita invited me to join her for the 9 am Service right here at Christ Episcopal Church. We would stay afterwards for the Clergy’ss Forum to learn more about the Scriptures. Over the years Maria and others would join us or rather I would join them as golf and life took me far from Ponte Vedra Beach for long periods of time. Sarita would typically host us for brunch after church.

Of course, my ‘adopted Mom,’ was also my real estate agent when I bought my home in Ponte Vedra Beach. She provided many renovation suggestions for my humble abode. As an interior decorator she was extraordinaire!

A talented artist, Sarita created an extra-large impressionist painting for my Creative Condo. Entitled “Life’s Journey Brings One to a Sunrise in Paradise,” I wrote the accompanying description for her work of art. These words speak well of our dear and enduring friendship:

A native of Winston-Salem, North Carolina Sarita May came to Ponte Vedra Beach by way of New York City where she studied art at the Institute of Design.

Like Claude Monet’s 1872 Sunrise piece that defined the Impressionist movement, Sarita’s creation was also a landscape.

Instead of the harbour of Le Havre, France the water beneath Sarita’s sunrise is our Atlantic Ocean.

In one adoring look, Sarita’s landscape takes one gracefully down a winding road from Ragtime in Atlantic Beach to the palm trees, the island green and the clubhouse at TPC Sawgrass. Like life, on some days the graceful journey appears easy yet on other days as though a hurricane is emerging.

But ultimately it is the beauty of Sarita’s Sunrise that captures the eye of the critic in a way that inspires one to seek and ultimately find their journey in life.

The original Sarita Sunrise artwork is in Westbury Hall for all to enjoy after the Service.

Over the years the ‘New Year’s Baby’ and I grew older just like everyone else. We enjoyed our times together especially worship times at Christ Church and happy hours at Pussers… our late Friday afternoon respites of sunshine, tranquility and friendship.

Life at other times kept us separated. After a distant 2019 in which I was away practically the whole year, we came together for one last time on January 13th.

That day, I am forever grateful for, Sarita was the most joyous, the most tranquil, and the most optimistic that I had known her in the 12 years of our special friendship. She was in love with David.

I mentioned “WOMAN of the YEAR’ and here is my pitch for Sarita’s nomination:

Ever since I remember the theme here at Christ Church is to: BE BOLD!

Well Sarita was a woman of faith. She was BOLD in a lot of ways and recently VICTORIOUS in one particular way.

She acted on her faith and found David again, “the love of her life” and this time married him and was preparing to move back home to North Carolina. All of this at the age of 72.

Think about that and tell me of another woman who has done such a thing purely for love?

Sarita was defined by love—the love of faith, the love of life, the love of David and the love of each one of us here today… remembering and celebrating her life.

Sarita loved her children—Sarita loved her daughter Elizabeth—Sarita loved her granddaughter Lauren—Sarita loved her son Chip and his wife Holly. She also loved little dogs. The name of her last cherished dog—”Gracie”—grace itself reflects the journey that all of us has traveled with Sarita over the years!

When I look at her painting now, ”Life’s Journey Brings One to a Sunrise in Paradise,” and read the description and dedication of eight years ago, I realize that we, you, me, and Sarita enjoyed a momentary taste of the Promised Salvation, Eternal Life, and the Spiritual Freedom to be who God destined is to be… all right here on earth; all right here in Ponte Vedra Beach… but now Sarita’s Sunrise and her Paradise is far much better!

Sarita is not gone. Her spirit will live eternally and shine brighter each day.

We miss you and love you Sarita May Sparrow


Twenty-five Inspirational Quotes from Kobe Bryant…

Twenty-five Inspirational Quotes from Kobe Bryant…

With all credit to Flavia Medrut -December 28, 2018

With thoughts, prayers, and special intentions for the friends of, family of, and the nine souls lost in the helicopter crash on Sunday Morning, Januray 26th, 2020—Baseball Coach John Altobelli, his wife Kerri, and daughter Alyssa; Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton; Defensive Basketball Coach Christina Mauser; Pilot Ara Zobayan; and Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna…

“This is the moment I accept the most challenging times will always be behind me and in front of me.

Everything negative – pressure, challenges – is all an opportunity for me to rise.

The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great in whatever they want to do.

Winning takes precedence over all. There’s no gray area. No almosts.

Once you know what failure feels like, determination chases success.

I realized that intimidation didn’t really exist if you’re in the right frame of mind.

I’m reflective only in the sense that I learn to move forward. I reflect with a purpose.

I’m extremely willful to win, and I respond to challenges. It’s not a challenge to me to win the scoring title, because I know I can.

My parents are my backbone. Still are. They’re the only group that will support you if you score zero or you score 40.

The beauty in being blessed with talent is rising above doubters to create a beautiful moment.

A lot of leaders fail because they don’t have the bravery to touch that nerve or strike that chord.

The moment you give up, is the moment you let someone else win.

I can’t relate to lazy people. We don’t speak the same language. I don’t understand you. I don’t want to understand you.

If you’re afraid to fail, then you’re probably going to fail.

Pain doesn’t tell you when you ought to stop. Pain is the little voice in your head that tries to hold you back because it knows if you continue you will change.

Use your success, wealth and influence to put them in the best position to realize their own dreams and find their true purpose.

If you want to be great at something, there’s a choice you have to make. What I mean by that is, there are inherent sacrifices that come along with that. Family time, hanging out with friends, being a great friend, being a great son, nephew, whatever the case may be.

We all have self-doubt. You don’t deny it, but you also don’t capitulate to it. You embrace it.

My brain . . . it cannot process failure. It will not process failure. Because if I sit there and have to face myself and tell myself, ‘You’re a failure’ . . . I think that’s almost worse than death.

The most important thing is you must put everybody on notice that you’re here and you are for real.

Trust me, setting things up right from the beginning will avoid a ton of tears and heartache…

I create my own path. It was straight and narrow. I looked at it this way: you were either in my way, or out of it.

We can always kind of be average and do what’s normal. I’m not in this to do what’s normal.

Haters are a good problem to have. Nobody hates the good ones. They hate the great ones.

It’s the one thing you can control. You are responsible for how people remember you—or don’t. So don’t take it lightly.

Wally Armstrong: GOD’s Biggest Dispenser of Mulligans in Golf & Life since 1967!!!

With Wally Armstrong at the 2020 PGA Show.

With Wally Armstrong at the 2020 PGA Show.

How better to wrap up the 2020 PGA Merchandise Show than a spiritual Discussion with Wally Armstrong, God’s No. 1 Mulligan! Armstrong, the All-American UF Gator, never won on tour finishing second three times and 5th at the 1978 Masters, but is the all-time Winner-for-God on tour and after tour! Wally has authored numerous books including “In His Grip” with Jim Sheard in 1977 and “The Mulligan” with Ken Blanchard in 2007. His faith speaks for its self; he just hugs you and loves you to God in the most comforting and extraordinary way!

With Wally Armstrong & Kenya's Emanu Kasio (Golf For Kids)

With Wally Armstrong & Kenya’s Emanu Kasio (Golf For Kids)

In 1975, Wally’s second year on tour, his eighth year into his relationship with God; the year he finished second in the Pensacola Open he was the president of the tour’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes. That year, at the 29th Pee Wee International Golf Championship, Wally gave a golf clinic to the 269 competitors from around the world. The list of notable junior golfers to attend Wally’s clinic includes Phil Mickelson, Gary Nicklaus (Jack’s son), Laura Rinker and Nancy Lopez!

What a career Wally Armstrong has had on and off the golf course! At age 74 he is growing ever stronger! God Bless Wally Armstrong!

(Andy Reistetter; Facebook Post with 30 Pics; 1-24-20)

Wally's scrapbook from 1975!

Wally’s scrapbook from 1975!

Franklin Graham’s DECISION AMERICA Tour Kicks Off in Jacksonville Beach, Florida!

Reverend Franklin Graham & Musician Jeremy Camp... a powerful Christian Duo!

Reverend Franklin Graham & Musician Jeremy Camp… a powerful Christian Duo!

Franklin Graham’s DECISION AMERICA Tour Kicks Off in Jacksonville Beach, Florida!

On a beautiful 70-degree evening, on a pavilion with lined with palm trees, and with the Atlantic Ocean as a backdrop for the stage, Jeremy Camp sang and Franklin Graham preached to kickoff a 6 city Franklin Graham DECISION AMERICA Sunshine State Tour!

Jeremy Camp rocked the seashore!

Jeremy Camp rocked the seashore!


As in any rock n’ roll evangelical church, Jeremy’s words of worship and wisdom got us up off our feet and praising Our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ! Jeremy and Franklin had a tough opening act to follow—Dennis Agajanian who closed with God Bless America! Jeremy’s songs spoke of his redemption and testimony to Christ—I can see—I can hear—there is nothing we can’t do—we will overcome. The trailer to his upcoming Christian biographical drama “I Still Believe” was played. Can’t wait for it to be released on March 13th!

Evangelist Franklin Graham began with a prayer but first asked everyone present to pray out loud for a few moments. The Holy Spirit was upon us!

Reverend Graham’s sermon follow a Biblical path…

1 Timothy 2:1-3: “First of all, then, I ask that supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone, for kings and for all in authority, that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity. This is good and pleasing to God our savior.”

Reverend Graham shared how much his father loved Jacksonville and that he was happy to be in the warm & sunny state of Florida!

Reverend Graham shared how much his father loved Jacksonville and that he was happy to be in the warm & sunny state of Florida!

Mark 8:36-37: “What profit is there for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? What could one give in exchange for his life?”

Do I believe God has forgiven my sins?

Our life is temporary… our soul is eternal…

Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Sin separates us from God…

Isaiah 59:2: “Rather, it is your crimes that separate you from your God, it is your sins that make him hide his face so that he does not hear you.”

Are your sins forgiven? Does God love you?

Confess to God, not Franklin or anybody else…

Ephesians 2:8-9: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God. it is not from works, so no one may boast.

Salvation is a gift from God based on faith and by grace, not by works.

Other religions but only one Jesus, one Cross…

John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.”



Standing and texting I asked once again to be renewed in Christ, my Lord & Savior!

One year ago it was baptisms in the Jordan River at Yardenit and Qasr Al Yahud in Israel and Palestine respectively.

Daily it is SSS Soul-Print Spiritual Exercises to be prepared to write a third spiritual book as part of TROML 2020 (celebrating 20 years of TROML Journaling on September 3rd.

Decision. Dear God, I turn from sin. I trust in Jesus. Forgive me Jesus. Thank you for dying for my sins. Come into my heart, come in too my life. Show me God’s Will for the rest of my life! This I pray in Jesus’ name. Alleluia!

Congratulations on your decision to follow Jesus Christ! I’d like to send you the Living in Christ e-book. It contains the gospel of John and four biblical lessons to guide you in your faith. Click here to access it:

It will be an amazing year and an amazing decade!

TROML Baby (an exclamation of Joy & Gratitude)

Amen! Alleluia!


Start of 6 city Franklin Graham DECISION AMERICA Sunshine State Tour in Jacksonville Beach! Brief exchange with Jeremy Camp leaving the stage & Mr. Graham coming on stage! Definitely a Message of HOPE! TROML Baby (an exclamation of Joy and Gratitude)!!! Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Billy Graham Library Franklin Graham.

CLICK HERE for Reverend Franklin Graham Video!

(Andy Reistetter, Facebook Post with 1 Video; 1-11-2020)

Jeremy Camp got us hopping up & down for Jesus! Alleluia! Billy Graham Library. Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Franklin Graham

CLICK HERE for Jeremy Camp Video!

(Andy Reistetter, Facebook Post with 1 Video; 1-11-2020)

Happy Veteran’s Day: May God Bless ALL Veterans!

A salute to ALL veterans on Veterans Day with thoughts of gratitude for your service to our country. A special prayer for the women & men in service right now, especially those in harm’s way. My Dad (lower left) and five of his brothers (Uncle John was killed in the Battle of the Coral Sea), all four of my Mom’s brothers in WWII, my brother, brother-in-law, many of my cousins and a younger generation all served or are serving with honor, bravery & pride. Thank You to ALL our veterans!

Atlanta’s Episcopal St. Philip Cathedral: God is Relationships! Seek Godly Relationships!

My second visit to ‘Jesus Junction’ in Atlanta’s Buckhead District… this time to The Episcopal Cathedral of St. Philip… serving Atlanta and the World!

Definitely felt like worshiping in a Cathedral with grand processions, entering the sanctuary for communion, and the Cathedral itself being such a grandeur setting!

Such meaningful First Timothy reading & Gospel reading from Luke (see below) and thought-provoking preaching by The Very Reverend Samuel G. Chandler!

Here are my notes from Reverend Chandler’s Sermon: In the name of God: The Father, Son, & Holy Spirit… the gospel is clear that we can not serve two masters “but of course we all do…” The word ‘Mammon ( New Testament. riches or material wealth. Matt. 6:24; Luke 16:9,11,13; a personification of riches as an evil spirit or deity.) in Deuteronomy “meant heart, soul, and all your money”… “not many of us set out to do wrong; but we get there… “money does have the power to change people… college football… in of itself is not so bad… money is just a piece of paper… an e;electronic digit… institutions. Hospitals, schools, churches use money for good…

Gospel Parable where Jesus praises dishonest manager who fudged the books to make friends (develop relationships)… deeper lesson… money/gold is not the final station (in life)… relationships/friendships should be our Gods!

Currency; the ‘current’ of a river; engaging and enjoying relationships… the Church has a right to talk about money… right relationships… holy relationships… trust, faith, and long term commitment… when Jesus talks about money he is really talking about relationships! Stewardship…

Reverend Chandler shared a story of approaching an Old Southerner to support the church… “You just want my money, right? “No we want your heart!”

“Use money but do not let money use you! Money is at our service, we do not serve money!”

“God of Holy Relationships!”

My thoughts and spiritual awakenings:

In the name of God: The Father, Son, & Holy Spirit… while I agree that there is one God for all; including a conversation with a Muslim in Israel this past winter; in reality my God includes Jesus, the Resurrection, and The Holy Spirit. Note how Reverend Chandler greeted his congregation!

Yes, it can be very confusing, especially in dynamic, excitement-filled, and first-time-through situations between the secular world and God’s Kingdom on Earth and in Heaven…

How do I use money or does money use me? How about you?

Very thought-provoking Scriptures and sermon!

How do I live a life of compassion, love, and mercy first from the inside-out!
What a spiritual experience! Splendid Love, Wisdom, and Worship!

TROML Baby (an exclamation of Joy & Gratitude)!

1 Timothy 2:1-7: “”First of all, then, I ask that supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone, 2 for kings and for all in authority, that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity. 3 This is good and pleasing to God our savior, 4 who wills everyone to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth.

5 For there is one God. There is also one mediator between God and the human race,
Christ Jesus, himself human, 6 who gave himself as ransom for all.

This was the testimony at the proper time. 7 For this I was appointed preacher and apostle (I am speaking the truth, I am not lying), teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

Luke 16:1-13: “Then he also said to his disciples, “A rich man had a steward who was reported to him for squandering his property. 2 He summoned him and said, ‘What is this I hear about you? Prepare a full account of your stewardship, because you can no longer be my steward.’ 3 The steward said to himself, ‘What shall I do, now that my master is taking the position of steward away from me? I am not strong enough to dig and I am ashamed to beg. 4 I know what I shall do so that, when I am removed from the stewardship, they may welcome me into their homes.’ 5 He called in his master’s debtors one by one. To the first he said, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6 He replied, ‘One hundred measures of olive oil.’ He said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note. Sit down and quickly write one for fifty.’ 7 Then to another he said, ‘And you, how much do you owe?’ He replied, ‘One hundred kors of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note; write one for eighty.’ 8 And the master commended that dishonest steward for acting prudently.

“For the children of this world are more prudent in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light. 9 I tell you, make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth, so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings. 10 The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones; and the person who is dishonest in very small matters is also dishonest in great ones. 11 If, therefore, you are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth, who will trust you with true wealth? 12 If you are not trustworthy with what belongs to another, who will give you what is yours? 13 No servant can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”

Mystic Sunday School: Adam & Eve Exiled from the Garden of Eden; Go Deeper Within Self!

Old Fashioned Sunday School” Contemplating Christ: How to Become a Mystic without Really Trying!

What will the church of the future look like?

The Jesuit theologian Karl Rahner famously said, “The Christian of the future will be a mystic or he will not exist at all/” Rahmer was convinced that the secularization of life that began after the end of the Second World War would pull people away from the church. He feared that, if people did not have a deep experience of God, they would not commit themselves to a sustained life of faith.

This term, we are looking at what it means to be a mystic (it’s not as extraordinary as you might think!) and how the recovery of contemplative tradition in the church might change how we go about being church.

This week, we will look at the dramatic story in Genesis 2 and 2 of Adam and Eve and their exile from the Garden of Eden. Canon George Maxwell will talk about what this story tells us about ourselves and where we should look for the God of love that we long to know.

Announced during The Parish Notices part of the 8:45 Service, I searched and found the above description in the Adult Education section of the bulletin. Intrigued by the word ‘mystic’ I decided to attend the old-fashion Sunday School! After all I like anything old-fashion in life; past, present, and future!

As it turned out the 8:45 sermon about God being relationships, was a perfect lead in to relationships between men and women, especially romantic, spiritual, and committed relationships. And of course, it all began with Adam and Eve or I learned in class Adam-Eve (signifying oneness; originally!).

Here are my notes from Canon George Maxwell’s class:

First of all it was a packed class but rather than in a classroom, it was in a large gathering space; probably 200-300 people! Plus this wasn’t the first week as it started with a review of the previous class. Thank God where God is—The Cathedral!

Although I missed the first session, Canon Maxwell made a statement along the lines that he had to start in the middle of the story last week and this week would be the beginning and all the pieces would fall into place. For me they did!

“You did not frustrate my expectations,” is to say everybody, teacher included was in the learning mode and happy with the first session. That was obvious by the spirit, attention, and dynamic presence of Scripture in the room!

Mystic traditions have a direct experience in the church—as evidenced by the experience of Jesus with The Father. Do we have the faith of Jesus or are we just imitating his behavior? This was a key point and “goes deeper than that.”

Who are you versus what you do? Faith in Christ is Faith of Christ!

Be drawn into a new relationship with Christ…

Jesus was God and I am not! “We are worse than we think but we also have more potential than we think!”

This class on the “Myth of Eden” will not address history, rather what is happening inside of us all the time! This is how God works within us; the pattern of God’s behavior.

What it means to be human—it goes much deeper than that!

In the Garden of Eden everything was connected; there was unity; God was in everything; there was a presence of connectivity.

There was one person—he was called everything—he was called Adam. The creation of Adam was really the creation of all humanity.

In the Garden of Eden was the Tree of Life and the Tree of Good and Evil. God forbade Adam and Eve to eat the fruit of either tree. Note that Adam and Eve never agreed to this.

Basically God needs a parenting class! What parent would put a temptation in front of a child, tell them not to touch it, and leave the room?

The snake in the tree; the Tempter; Satan deceived Eve and Adam and Eve ate of the fruit of the Tree of Forever.

Adam-Eve fell apart; there was no longer a oneness; connectivity, and unity/ There was an immediate focus on differences’ Adam and Eve, Good and Bad; us versus Them; In Crowd versus Out Crowd.

Adam and Eve were naked, ashamed, cold and hiding from God.

Where is God in that moment of our lives? The ‘you’ you think of you is being threatened. Fear; who do we rely upon? It should be God but usually it is not!

Give us life versus tools for life. Instruments to be used for life (money, etc.) versus the source of life itself.

Is it “Spiritual Maturity” or Narcissism? Go spend a week thinking about your self.

We are reliving the Myth of Eden all the time! Go deeper and the Bible becomes a prayer book! It gives us a higher level of consciousness; we learn how to be in the presence of God!

In reality the presence of differences is good. Prior how could we make something out of nothing? Bit we can make something out of differences. Dualistic thinking—grow through one to get to the other.

The Garden of Eden was destroyed so Adam and Eve were forced to leave. It was too much for them, like Moses in the Exodus not wanting to see God. The Garden of Eden was not destroyed. Like the father in the Prodigal Son Parable; God is always rushing out to meet us, forgive us, love us!

Don’t play the ‘Blame Game.’ Adam; Eve did not make you do it; take responsibility for one’s own behavior.

God comforted Adam and Eve and provided them with clothes; garments of light; an act of love!

The story of Adam and Eve has more power to you as a myth though validate through history and science.

Interior Lives; Contemplative Paths… seeking a better relationship with God, Jesus, and The Holy Spirit… honesty with self; desire to be loved for who I am…

Desire to be loved for who I am but are we willing to reveal who I am?

My thoughts and spiritual awakenings:

The phrase it “goes deeper than that” came up about a handful of times during the one-hour class! I like to go deeper, be more contemplative, go within to find God, Jesus, and The Holy Spirit! To go within to find self!

Very powerful perspectives here… a splendid spiritual surrender to let my life be used for God’s Will through relationships with God, my self and others; friends and strangers!

We are different but let us relate and create God’s Kingdom here on Earth…

Perhaps the Garden of Eden is Heaven; our one connection with God, Jesus, and The holy Spirit beyond this world…

See beyond what seems to be…

TROML Baby (an exclamation of Joy and Gratitude)!

CLICK HERE for a Link to the Website of the Cathedral of St. Philip!

(Andy Reistetter; Facebook Post with 13 Pics; 9-28-19)



Worshiping at Christ The King Cathedral in Atlanta is a Spiritual Experience!

I know that a church is not the building, that it is the people and community inside and outside… but there is something about worshiping in a Cathedral that makes it extra special; sort of like going up to a mountaintop, seeing the view and feeling closer to God, Jesus, and The Holy Spirit!

On Sunday I visited the Catholic Cathedral of Christ the King in Atlanta which is actually on Peachtree Road in Buckhead a northern district of Atlanta. The junction of Peachtree Road and Wesley Road is known as “Jesus Junction.” The Episcopal Cathedral of St. Philip and the Second-Ponce de Leon Baptist Church are all right there. Reminds me a bit of the Village Palmyra in Western New York; the only place in America with four major churches on the four corners of an intersection. Magnificent, stately, and beautiful outside; inside is the same with slate stone and stained glass windows and of course the packed pews. Christ the King is one of the ten largest parishes in the United States with over 5,500 families!

The First Reading (Exodus where Moses convinces God to be lenient with His people); the Second Reading (First Timothy where Paul who once was Saul and a persecutor of Christians knows that the grace, faith, and love of and in Jesus has strengthened himself into a righteous man), and the Gospel Reading (Luke and The Parable of the Prodigal Son from Luke) were a perfect setup for the powerful homily of Rev. Monsignor Frank McNamee. The three readings are included below.

Do we have a wonderful future? Wonder-Full or Wonder-Less? Are our desires the most important thing in the world? Do we need to direct out steps back to forgiveness and God? Can we forgive from the heart? Can there be a new beginning?

Paul (old Saul) was the foremost sinner. Jesus Christ has come to save all sinners. There is joy over one repentant sinner. Christ is here today to make us a free man through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. All things are possible through Christ!

The Prodigal Son was a repentant sinner. Even if we don’t have a father like his, Our Father, Our Creator, God the Father can forgive us! Just like he did His stiff-necked chosen people that were worshiping another god after being brought out of Egypt to freedom.

I love to see the love, compassion, and forgiveness of God in the Old Testament Book of Exodus. We see it in Jesus in the New Testament and can only imagine what it will be like on a spiritual level beyond this world!

I also realized the tie between Paul’s reference to grace in the Second Reading and the singing of Amazing Grace at the end of mass… the words rang true to me maybe for the very first time… Twas Grace that taught my heart to fear… And Grace my fears relieved… How precious did that Grace appear the hour I first believed…

You can’t help but feel the spirit of this community! Their published motto is “to Know, Love, and Serve as Jesus Did.” They have Bibles in the pews! And the mass begins with a reminder for us to “be mindful that we are in the presence of the Lord!” Plus you are worshiping in a magnificent, stately, and beautiful Cathedral! Wow, what a spiritual experience!

I look forward to heading back to “Jesus Junction” to learn more, realize more, and apply more to the rest of my life! TROML Baby (an exclamation of Joy and Gratitude)!

CLICK here to go to the website of Christ The King Cathedral in Atlanta!

Exodus 32:7-11: “Then the Lord said to Moses: Go down at once because your people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt, have acted corruptly. 8 They have quickly turned aside from the way I commanded them, making for themselves a molten calf and bowing down to it, sacrificing to it and crying out, “These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt!” 9 I have seen this people, how stiff-necked they are, continued the Lord to Moses. 10 Let me alone, then, that my anger may burn against them to consume them. Then I will make of you a great nation. 11 But Moses implored the Lord, his God, saying, “Why, O Lord, should your anger burn against your people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a strong hand?

Exodus 32:13-14: “Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, and how you swore to them by your own self, saying, ‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky; and all this land that I promised, I will give your descendants as their perpetual heritage.’” 14 So the Lord changed his mind about the punishment he had threatened to inflict on his people.”

1 Timothy 1:12-14: “I am grateful to him who has strengthened me, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he considered me trustworthy in appointing me to the ministry. 13 I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and an arrogant man, but I have been mercifully treated because I acted out of ignorance in my unbelief. 14 Indeed, the grace of our Lord has been abundant, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.”

Luke 15: 11-32: “Then he said, “A man had two sons, 12 and the younger son said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of your estate that should come to me.’ So the father divided the property between them. 13 After a few days, the younger son collected all his belongings and set off to a distant country where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation.

14 When he had freely spent everything, a severe famine struck that country, and he found himself in dire need. 15 So he hired himself out to one of the local citizens who sent him to his farm to tend the swine. 16 And he longed to eat his fill of the pods on which the swine fed, but nobody gave him any. 17 Coming to his senses he thought, ‘How many of my father’s hired workers have more than enough food to eat, but here am I, dying from hunger. 18 I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers.”’

20 So he got up and went back to his father. While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him. 21 His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son.’ 22 But his father ordered his servants, ‘Quickly bring the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Take the fattened calf and slaughter it. Then let us celebrate with a feast, 24 because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found.’ Then the celebration began.

25 Now the older son had been out in the field and, on his way back, as he neared the house, he heard the sound of music and dancing. 26 He called one of the servants and asked what this might mean. 27 The servant said to him, ‘Your brother has returned and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’ 28 He became angry, and when he refused to enter the house, his father came out and pleaded with him. 29 He said to his father in reply, ‘Look, all these years I served you and not once did I disobey your orders; yet you never gave me even a young goat to feast on with my friends. 30 But when your son returns who swallowed up your property with prostitutes, for him you slaughter the fattened calf.’ 31 He said to him, ‘My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours. 32 But now we must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’”

CLICK here for the website of Atlanta’s Christ The King Cathedral!

(Andy Reistetter; Facebook Post with 30 Pics; 9-15-19)

Andy Stanley’s Buckhead Church: Love, My Heart May be Broken but I am Chosen!

Rock ‘n Rolling Worship with Andy Stanley last Sunday at Buckhead Church in Atlanta! The last Sunday in a 6-part series entitled: “Love, Dates, & Heartbreaks!” Yes, quite apropos as I have known all three in pursuit of that special someone to celebrate the rest of our lives together! Although I only witnessed the last of six sermons I feel like it was a summary and quite comprehensive of all six!

Andy Stanley was masterful, in line with The Master as he wove us through in a heartfelt and biblical way the essence of our Christian life design! God does have a design for Christian relationships! Starting with “A Broken Heart doesn’t mean You’re Broken” brought some immediate relief!

“There is a Purpose for You Even When Your Dreams Can’t Come True.” Onward with TROML 2020!

“No One Envisions their Future Alone!” NEVER!!!

“I am not cursed… I am blessed! I am not broken… I am chosen!”

TROML Baby (an exclamation of JOY & GRATITUDE)!!!

“I can only receive what is given from heaven! Yet not my will, but Yours be done!”

“Jesus did not offer us an equation.” Tough for an educated & trained engineer to accept but I do!

“Follow Jesus because of Who He Is and What He has Already Done!!!”

Then Andy Stanley went into a detailed description of the life of King David! Child Prodigy as the one who slain Goliath once he realized that the Philistines were taunting their God not their army David was inspired to take the matter into his own hands and slingshot! Anointed as the next king but King Saul wanted his son Jonathon to be king. David future goes black, goes hopeless!

What did David do when his heart was broken? He panicked like the rest of us and lied and took Goliath’s Sword which cost Hemlich and all the priests their lives at the revenge of King Saul. And David’s lie was public, everyone knew about it!

David becomes king only to have his son overthrow him. His future goes dark once again as he is a fugitive and on the run. He sees the Ark of the Covenant and people loyal to him want him to take it along with him. But this time he sees the light, refuses and submits 100% to the Will of God and surrenders his own will! “He did not anchor his faith to the fulfillment of his dreams!”

They remained faithful because of what already happened—the Resurrection of Jesus Christ!

“Lean In, Look Up, and Reach Out!”


PRAY: “I offer You my dreams and plans. Do to me whatever seems good to You. I acknowledge Your right to rule. Your Will be done in me!”


Love, Life, & a Healed Heart! TROML Baby (an exclamation of JOY & GRATITUDE)!!!

It was the BEST of times worshiping with my Olympian Buddy Dennis in Atlanta!

If you watch one Andy Stanley Sermon; watch this one and “Be Saved” from a broken heart for the rest of your life!

CLICK here for Andy Stanley’s “Love, Dates, & Heartbreaks” Series of Sermons!

(Andy Reistetter; Facebook Post with 30 Pics; 9-8-19)