We have never made reservations at 7 locations over a 3 week span….we usually go reservation by reservation as we travel, following the weather, mainly, and with “interim” destinations such as time with our daughter and her family, or back to our home base in Sebring, FL (my mom and other family still live there). So I just felt “compelled” to email our itinerary to our family. Immediately, my sister-in-law emailed back and said we had to see John and Patsy Dunning when we were in Sopchoppy, Florida, our 5th stop. I only met them once 40 years ago and immediately had a love for them, as I know Bill and his brother David did. The Dunnings took them under their wings as “newly born again” Christians. So we reached out but knew our only 2 nights there would make it hard to experience Ocholockonee River State Park and have quality time with them. We had wanted to stay at least 5 days, but the park was booked up! So a few days before we were to arrive, we thought we would see if we could at least add on a day. Which we did and that meant we would arrive the day the Christians in the town of Sopchoppy would be holding their 7th annual “Jesus River Festival!” Wow, I was transported back to the early 1970’s when we were part of the “Jesus” movement! I will write about that travel day and more in our other blog, Follow the Tumble Lees, in a few days.
We arrived as the Festival was ending and John was starting to “tear” things down – thus the pole in his hands!
On Sunday, we attended their sweet church, Spirit Life Church and that is where we learned about praying the scriptures over our families – and this was not the sermon, just his introduction to the Wednesday night Bible session!
And here are the scriptures: (I chose the NIV version, but he uses the King James Version.)
Praying for our families, as led by Pastor John Dunning:
Ephesians 3:14-21 New International Version (NIV)
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Ephesians 1:13-23 NIV
And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in His holy people, and His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength He exerted when He raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed Him to be head over everything for the church, which is His body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.
And prayer specifically for Pastor Dunning, all pastors and heads of families:
Ephesians 6:19-20 NIV
Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
And Pastor Dunning’s prayer back for us:
Philippians 1:9-11 NIV
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
So we will return, perhaps for the 8th Annual Jesus River Festival….and also to go to dinner at The Seineyard at Summer Camp, just down the road from our campground in Saint Teresa, Florida. Our fellowship was blessed over a fantastic seafood meal and we parted ways after praying for each other!